Tuesday, July 29, 2014

B - Publishing ethics

Abdollahi M, Gasparyan AY, Saeidnia S. The urge to publish more and its consequences. DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014;22:53
(doi:  10.1186/2008-2231-22-53)

Uncovered cases of misconduct and violation of publication ethics are increasing at rapid pace due to the digitization and open access movement in the last two decades. Large amount of funding for research, publishing and archiving activities comes from pharmaceutical agencies, supporting individuals and their research and academic institutions. These are obliged to educate their authors and to inform about publishing ethics and consequences of biased and fraudulent publications. Reviewers and science editors, in turn, have to carefully evaluate correctness of research data and transparency of authorship, contributorship, and disclosures of ethical approvals, funding, and conflicts of interests.

B - Publication ethics in Iranian journals

Koushan M, Pejhan A, Shomoossi N, et al. Ethical considerations in publishing medical articles in Iranian journals. Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis 2014;31(2):105-111
(doi: 10.2478/afmnai-2014-0012)

This study intends to investigate ethical issues in sticking to publication ethics in major medical journals of Iranian universities published in 2011 and 2012. The results indicated that some ethical considerations are ignored in publishing medical articles: a great majority of articles did not state the approval of research committees and some did not disclose the conflict of interests and the financial support providers. The authors discussed some reasons why these deviations occurr and provided some practical suggestions.

B - Publishing strategies

Dai N, Xu D, Zhong X, et al.  Build infrastructure in publishing scientific journals to benefit medical scientists. Chinese Journal of Cancer Research 2014;26(1):119-123
(doi: 10.3978/issn.1000-9604.2014.02.10)

Medical journals should optimize their publishing processes and strategies to satisfy the huge need for medical scientists to publish their articles, and then obtain better prestige and impact in scientific and research community. These strategies include optimizing the process of peer-review, utilizing open-access publishing models actively, finding ways of saving costs and getting revenue, smartly dealing with research fraud or misconduct, maintaining sound relationship with pharmaceutical companies, and managing to provide relevant and useful information for clinical practitioners and researchers.

B - Creative Commons and open access

Carroll MW. Creative Commons and the openness of open access. The New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:789-791
(doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1300040)

The Internet has changed the economics of publication and digital-resource sharing. Copyright law supplies the baseline terms of use for almost all information on the Internet. These terms can be altered if the copyright owner grants a license or permission to do something that would otherwise infringe copyright. Creative Commons licenses are the most widely used of these public licenses for all kinds of copyrighted works except software, for which free and open-source licenses are most common.

B - Peer review and visibility

Lortie CJ, Allesina S, Aarssen L, et al. With great power comes great responsibility: the importance of rejection, power, and editors in the practice of scientific publishing. PLoS One 2013;8(12):e85382
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085382)

The authors used data from the handling service manuscript Central for ten mid-tier ecology and evolution journals to test whether number of external reviews completed improved citation rates for all accepted manuscripts. Results showed that citation rates of manuscripts do not correlate with the number of individuals that provided reviews. This study aimed also to explore whether editor-only review is a viable peer review model.

Monday, July 28, 2014

B - Good clinical practice

Berghammer G. Good clinical practice (GPC): a universal call for ethics in biomedical research. Medical Writing 2014; 23(2):106-112
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000209)  

Today, the principles of good clinical practice (GCP) form an integral part of the development of new medicines. GPC provides an international ethical and scientific quality standard designed to protect the rights and safety of individuals consenting to participate in clinical trials and to ensure the integrity and credibility of clinical research data. This article traces the historical roots of GCP and takes a look at the role GCP principles play in the life of the medical writer. 

B - Study design in biomedical and health research

Thiese MS. Observational and interventional study design types; an overview. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):199-210
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.022)

The appropriate choice in study design is essential for the quality, execution, and interpretation of biomedical and public health research. Observational study designs, also called epidemiologic study designs, are often retrospective and are used to assess potential causation in exposure-outcome relationships and therefore influence preventive methods. Interventional studies are often prospective and are specifically tailored to evaluate direct impacts of treatment or preventive measures on disease.

B - Authorship attitudes and practice in Norway

Nylenna M, Fagerbakk F, Kierulf P. Authorship: attitudes and practice among Norwegian researchers. BMC Medical Ethics 2014;15:53
(doi: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-53)

The authors studied attitudes to, and practice of, authorship among researchers in a university hospital and medical school in Norway. Reserchers, who responded to a questionnaire, had knowledge of formal authorship requirements. Most of them agreed with the criteria, but found it harder to put them into practice, and had experienced breaches. More experienced researchers found it easier to put authorship recommendations into practice than less experienced researchers.

B - Plagiarism and retraction

Chaddah P. Not all plagiarism requires a retraction. Nature 2014;511(7508):127
(doi: 10.1038/511127a)

It is important to appreciate why scientists may indulge in the three forms of plagiarism (text plagiarism, ideas plagiarism, and results plagiarism), that the author discusses in this article. According to him, papers that plagiarize only text can still contribute to the literature, but any errors or omissions should be prominently corrected. Such plagiarism is unethical, but the originality of ideas more than of language should be valued.

B - English for medical purposes

Salager-Meyer F. Origin and development of English for Medical Purposes. Part II: Research on spoken medical English. Medical Writing 2014;23(2):129-131
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000204)

This second part of the review on English for Medical Purposes (EMP) presents the main results of a  research on spoken interaction in medical settings. The first group of studies focused on improving the English language skills of non-Anglophone medical students and health professionals;  the second one consisted in linguistic analysis of medical conference presentations; and the third research analyzed the literature on healthcare (doctor-patient) communication, These three categories were discussed.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

B - Publication in PNAS

Aldhous P. The inside track. Nature 2014;510:330-332

Members of the US National Academy of Sciences have an inside track to publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal as they can submit up to four papers per year. This article examined the contributed track, both to assess its scientific impact and to see which members use it most heavily and why. Results showed that only a small number of scientists have used the track to the maximum allowable rate while most of them published on average fewer than one paper per year. Direct submissions are much less likely to be accepted than those contributed by academy members. Nevertheless, the journal seems to make progress trying to eliminate the abuse of publishing privileges.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

B - Mistakes in manuscripts on education and rejection

The goal of this study was to identify common mistakes made in research study manuscripts submitted to journals of Education and the effects of these mistakes on rejection by the journal editors and referees. An online questionnaire was developed for this purpose and sent to the editors and referees of Turkish journals of Education indexed in SSCI and ULAKBIM. The results show that researchers mostly make mistakes in the discussion, conclusion, and suggestions part of the manuscripts. However, mistakes made in the methods part are the most significant causes of manuscript rejection.

B - Defining and responding to plagiarism

Wager E. Defining and responding to plagiarism. Learned Publishing 2014;27(1):33-42
(doi: 10.1087/20140105)

A clear definition of plagiarism and the ability to classify it into more or less serious forms would help editors and publishers to devise policies to handle this problem. This article considers factors such as the originality of the copied material, its position in the report, the adequacy of referencing, and the intention of the authors as well as the extent of the copying. and proposes possible definitions of major and minor plagiarism in relation to scholarly publications which might be used as the basis for anti-plagiarism policies in conjunction with resources such as the COPE flowcharts.

B - Upgrading instructions for authors

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Gorin SV, et al. Upgrading instructions for authors of scholarly journals. Croatian Medical Journal 2014;55:271-280
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2014.55.271)

Journal instructions are important and need to be properly structured, linked to the available guidelines from editorial associations, and regularly revised and enforced to avoid unethical and erroneous publications. They should inform authors about the journal’s scope, priority articles, peer review policy, code of publishing ethics, structure and content of different types of accepted articles, in-house style of editing and formatting, and accompanying documents required for each submission. Properly written, printed, and available online instructions are the keys to successful publishing and indexing in prestigious bibliographic databases.

B - Review of Wikipedia citations in health science literature

Bould MD. Hladkowicz ES, Pigford AE, et al. References that anyone can edit: review of Wikipedia citations in peer reviewed health science literature. BMJ 2014;348:g1585
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.g1585)

An increasing number of peer reviewed academic papers in health sciences are citing Wikipedia. This article evaluates the prevalence of Wikipedia citations in indexed health science journals, identify the journals that publish articles with Wikipedia citations, and determine how Wikipedia is being cited. The relationship between academic publication and Wikipedia remains largely understudied, and international guidelines lack editorial guidance on how this resource should be used. Wikipedia is often cited when permanent, evidence based sources are available. The authors suggest that editors and reviewers insist on citing primary sources of information where possible.

B - Citation increments between collaborating countries

(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0797-3)

International collaboration enhances citation impact. Collaborating with a country increments the citations received from it. The authors observed a certain tendency for these increments to be lower in countries with greater impacts, and differences in the behaviour of the countries between the various scientific disciplines, with the effects being greatest in Social Sciences, followed by Engineering.

B - Internet publicity of data problems and corrective actions

Brookes PS. Internet publicity of data problems in the bioscience literature correlates with enhanced corrective action. PeerJ 2014;2:e313
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.313)

Data integrity is a common discussion topic, and it is widely assumed that publicity surrounding such matters accelerates correction of the scientific record. This study aims to verify whether such public discussion of data integrity has actually had any effect. The results show that it is correlated with greater levels of subsequent actions to correct the scientific record by enhancing the motivation of journals, authors or institutions.

B - Ethics of scholarly publishing

Amos KA. The ethics of scholarly publishing: exploring differences in plagiarism and duplicate publication across nations. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2014;102(2):87-91
(doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.2.005)

This study explored national differences in plagiarism and duplicate publication in retracted biomedical literature. The national affiliations of authors and reasons for retraction of papers accessible through PubMed that were published from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently retracted were determined. While the United States retracted the most papers, China retracted the most papers for plagiarism and duplicate publication. Rates of plagiarism and duplicate publication were highest in Italy and Finland, respectively. Unethical publishing practices cut across nations.

B - Privacy protectionism and health information

Allen J, Holman CD, Meslin EM, et al. Privacy protectionism and health information: is there any redress for harms to health? Journal of Law and Medicine 2013;21(2):473-485

Health information collected by governments can be a valuable resource for researchers seeking to improve diagnostics, treatments and public health outcomes. This article examines the legal, ethical and structural context in which data custodians make decisions about the release of data for research. It considers the impact of those decisions on individuals. While there is strong protection against risks to privacy and multiple avenues of redress, there is no redress where harms result from a failure to release data for research.

B - Science journalism

Watts S. Society needs more than wonder to respect science. Nature 2014;508(7495):151

According to the author, there is a fundamental difference between science communication and science journalism: researchers are well placed to explain concepts, but journalists will bring the critical scrutiny needed to integrate science in society. Science journalism should weigh up the values and vices of science. A journalist needs to be persistent and brave enough to find out things that people don't want the world to know.

B - Editorial research and publication process

Marušić A, Malički M, von Elm E. Editorial research and the publication process in biomedicine and health: Report from the Esteve Foundation Discussion Group, December 2012. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):211-216
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.023) 

The article presents results from a discussion group of editors and experts organized by the Esteve Foundation. They included findings of past editorial research, discussed the lack of competitive funding schemes and specialized journals for dissemination of editorial research, and reported on the great diversity of misconduct and conflict of interest policies, as well as adherence to reporting guidelines. They also reported on the reluctance of editors to investigate allegations of misconduct or increase the level of data sharing in health research. They concluded that if editors are to remain gatekeepers of scientific knowledge they should reaffirm their focus on the integrity of the scientific record and completeness of the data they publish.


Friday, May 30, 2014

B - Citation-related characteristics in scientific journals

Sangwal K. Some citation-related characteristics of scientific journals published in individual countries. Scientometrics 2013;97:719-741
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1053-1)

This bibliometric study on relationships between publication language, impact factors and self-citations of journals published in individual countries, eight from Europe and one from South America (Brazil) found that: English-language journals, as a rule, have higher impact factors than non-English-language journals; all countries investigated have journals with very high self-citations but the proportion of journals with high self-citations with reference to the total number of journals published in different countries varies enormously; irrespective of the publication language, journals devoted to very specialized scientific disciplines have high self-citations.

B - Impact of article language in medical journals

Diekhoff T, Schlattmann P, Dewey M. Impact of article language in multi-language medical journals - a bibliometric analysis of self-citations and impact factor. PLoS One 2013;8(10):e76816
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076816)

This article analyzed the influence of English-language articles in multi-language medical journals. The findings suggested that a larger share of English articles in multi-language medical journals is associated with greater international visibility and recognition. Fewer self-citations were found as they are not needed to artifactually increase the impact factor. with a greater share of original articles in English.

B - Open access respiratory journals

Dai N, Xu D, Zhong X, et al. Publishing in open access era: focus on respiratory journals. Journal of Thoracic Disease 2014;6(5):564-5677.
(doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.03.18)

Open access (OA) journals benefit researchers and the general public by promoting visibility, sharing and communicating. Non-mainstream journals should turn the challenge of OA into opportunity of presenting best research articles to the global readership. The authors found that OA respiratory journals have relative higher acceptance rate and less time between submission and final publication than conventionally published journals. OA respiratory journals need to optimize their business models to promote the healthy and continuous development.

B - How to read health care news stories

Schwitzer G. A guide to reading health care news stories. JAMA Internal Medicine e-pub May 05, 2014
(doi: 10.10001/jamainternmed.2014.1359)

A team of reviewers from HealthNewsReview.org. evaluated the reporting by US news organizations on new medical treatments, tests, products, and procedures. They graded most stories unsatisfactory on 5 of 10 review criteria: costs, benefits, harms, quality of the evidence, and comparison of the new approach with alternatives. They established that the stories often emphasize or exaggerate potential benefits, minimize or ignore potential harms, and ignore cost issues. These findings can help journalists improve their news stories and help physicians and the public better understand the strengths and weaknesses of news media coverage of medical and health topics.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

B - Publication guidelines for industry medical research

Wager E, Woolley K, Adshead V, et al. Awareness and enforcement of guidelines for publishing industry-sponsored medical research among publication professionals: the Global Publication Survey. BMJ Open 2014;4:e004780
(doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004780)

The authors published the results from the Global Publication Survey, a large-scale, international survey to obtain information about the ways in which medical writers and other publication professionals work, and about current knowledge and implementation of publication guidelines within the pharmaceutical, medical device and medical communications industries. The survey showed high reported levels of knowledge of the various publication guidelines, with over 90% of respondents stating that they routinely referred to them. The survey also aimed at clarifying and monitoring trends that may require further research, insight or education.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

B - Guidance on research integrity in Europe

Godecharle S, Nemery B, Dierickx K. Guidance on research integrity: no union in Europe. The Lancet 2013;381(9872):1097-1098
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60759-X)

The authors retrieved and analysed 49 national guidelines addressing research misconduct and promoting scientific integrity, published by 19 European countries. They found a highly heterogenous picture within and between European countries resulting in a confusing situation. In addition, they had great difficulty in retrieving the guidelines of 12 countries. The harmonization of those guidelines are therefore necessary.

B - Why growing retractions are a good sign

Fanelli D. Why growing retractions are (mostly) a good sign. PLoS Medicine 2013;10(12):e1001563         

The number of journals issuing retractions has grown dramatically in recent years, but the number of retractions per retracting-journal has not increased. Growing numbers of retractions are most plausibly a sign that researchers and journal editors are getting better at identifying and removing papers that are either fraudulent or plainly wrong, and there is little evidence of an increase in the prevalence of misconduct. Nevertheless, many journals still lack clear policies for misconduct and retraction, and existing policies are applied inconsistently.

B - Cheating in publications

Khan ZH. Cheating in publications - Self or others? Acta Medica Iranica 2014;52(1):1-2

Also using plagiarism, duplicate (redundant) or piecemeal publications, some authors manage to safely escape the barriers and filters the editorial staff of journals and get their papers published. It appears that cross check does little to address plagiarism of ideas.To bring an end to this menace, the author of this article suggests that referees with the necessary expertise of removing cheatings should be selected.