Friday, December 28, 2007

B - Periodical Price Survey 2007: Serial Wars

Van Orsdel L C, Born K. Periodical Price Survey 2007: Serial Wars. Library Journal 2007

As the open access movement stands now alone as an alternative to the existing system of journal publication, which most say is unsustainable as it is, publishers of scientific, technical and medical journal vigorously defend the adequacy of the current system, while fearing cancellation of subscriptions by librarians. Questions such as journal pricing, OA policies and the practice of self-archiving and its effects on subscription cancellations, even being still unclear and under examination, are extremely significant in the issue of access to scientific information.

Friday, December 21, 2007

B - Assuring the confidentiality of shared electronic health records

McGilchrist M, Sullivan F, Kalra D. Assuring the confidentiality of shared electronic health records. BMJ 2007;335:1223-1224 (15 December)

In health care, the collection and storage of sensitive personal data is essential for delivering a high quality clinical service and for research, that is why, considered the recent scandals related to losses of sensitive data, we urgently need better technical measures to enforce and verify procedures that represent good practice, in storing, managing and sharing data between institutions. Standard operating procedures (SOPs), can prevent inadvertent disclosure of data only if staff are trained to use them consistently; if users do not have malicious intent, are competent, and don’t make mistakes; and if the author of the SOP has planned for all scenarios relating to data access and sharing. This is why SOPs are important but also insufficient, because they form a closed opaque system, and need to be improved to provide transparency, counter conflicts of interest, and enforce agreed procedures.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

B - Is Content of Medical Journals Related to Advertisements?

Vlassov V V. Is Content of Medical Journals Related to Advertisements? Case-control Study. Croat Med J. 2007;48:786-90

A case-control study was performed on a convenience sample of 7 journals subscribed by Central Medical Library in Moscow, 4 international and 3 Russian peer-reviewed journals to assess the relationship between the content of the journal and paid advertisements published on the same journal. Study results showed that in 3 of 7 journals, contents were related to paid advertisements, usually placed somewhat explicitly face to face or overleaf the related research articles, supporting the hypothesis that journal content is manipulated to place more emphasis on the advertisements.

Friday, December 07, 2007

B - Monuments and instruments

Marris E. Monuments and instruments. Nature 2007;450:592-593 doi: 10.1038/450592a

Architecture has always been used to make statements about what science is and how it should be done, and consequently the architecture of buildings influences the fruit of researchers’ work. From the concept of the “dry” or “wet” lab to the openness of spaces and the use of glass, the article offers a landscape of architectural studies, obsessions and fashions in the field laboratory and research buildings construction and restructuring.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

B - An exploratory study of Google Scholar

Mayr P, Walter A K. An exploratory study of Google Scholar. Online Information Review 2007;31(6):814-830
DOI: 10.1108/14684520710841784

The purpose of the paper is to discuss the new scientific search service Google Scholar (GS), born to search exclusively scholarly documents, and to test its functionality. The study, based on queries against different journal lists, showed some deficiencies in coverage and up-to-datedness of GS index and pointed out the most important sources of this kind of service, such as the commercial academic publishers, currently the main data providers. Through the analysis of a huge amount of data from this search engine, the study concludes that GS has some interesting pros but cannot be used as substitute of specialized databases and catalogues.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

B - The strike rate index: a new index for journal quality

Barendse W. The strike rate index: a new index for journal quality based on journal size and the h-index of citations. Biomedical Digital Libraries 2007, 4:3


Measuring quality in science is a difficult and controversial process. A uniform method that can be applied across all fields should be desirable. The quantification is generally summed up with the impact factor of the journal in which the work is published, which shows differences between fields. Here the h-index, a way to summarize an individual's highly cited work, was calculated for journals over a twenty year time span and compared to the size of the journal in four fields, Agriculture, Condensed Matter Physics, Genetics and Heredity and Mathematical Physics. The relationship between the h-index and the size of the journal is analysed: the larger the journal, the more likely it is to have a high h-index. A strike rate index (SRI) based on the log relationship of the h-index and the size of the journal shows a similar distribution in the four fields, with similar thresholds for quality, allowing journals across diverse fields to be compared to each other.

B -An Incentive Solution to the Peer Review Problem

Hauser M, Fehr E (2007) An Incentive Solution to the Peer Review Problem. PLoS Biol 5(4): e107

Despite the Internet facilities, peer review generally continues to be a long process. The authors of this note propose a system of incentives and punishments for reviewers according to times of their response to the editorial deadlines. Time for review will be maintained in the referees database and the future articles submitted by reviewers will be processed immediately or with delay according to the circumstance. All positive and negative aspects of the suggested procedure are discussed.
Editors' Note: The problems with the peer review process are a source of endless discussion within the scientific community. This solution to delayed reviews seems innovative, if not necessarily practical. Edotors of PLOS Biol encourage comments online through our Reader Response facility, rather than via formal submission to PLoS Biology.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

B - Who’s watching whose ethics?

Shashok K, Jacobs A. Who’s watching whose ethics? Slanted reporting of the medical writer’s role in the Neuropsychopharmacology-Cyberonics case 1. The Write Stuff. 2007 (16)1-3

Medical writing is seldom considered in the lay press, and whenever it happens, it is mostly misleading. A recent case of blame on a medical writer and the following attempts to make things clear to the public is reported in this article. This offers many hints to reflect on ethical considerations regarding authors, editors and medical writers. There are also very useful references. The case reported here involved an article published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology and the suggested unethical behavoiur of the medical writer. This was debated in Science. A group of medical writers reacted to this unfair appreciations, and wrote a letter to Science to clarify positions but it was never considered for publication. The Write Stuff, the journal of the European Medical Writers Association, published the corresponcence that Science did not consider, of course, after taking into account all ethical implications regarding the publication of such correspondence.

Friday, November 30, 2007

B - Planning that title and the use of colons

Hartley J. Planning that title: Practices and preferences for titles with
colons in academic articles
. Library & Information Science Research. 2007(29): 553–568

There is a large debate on effective titles that influence article reading and its citations. This article considers the use of "colonic" titles in different disciplines. Colons play an important role in titles for academic articles. Some current practices in using colons and students'and academics' preferences for titles with and without colons are analysed. Disciplinary differences show a greater use of colons in the arts than in sciences and that more single authors use more colons that multiple authors. There are differnces in titles used for conference papers and journal articles. The use of colons did not influence citation rates.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

B - Academics’ views on publishing refereed works

Hemmings BC,Rushbrook P, Smith E. Academics’ views on publishing refereed works: A content analysis. Higher Education. 2007, 54(2):307-332. DOI 10.1007/s10734-005-8608-x

A research from an Australian university aiming to explore academics views about publishing or not publishing in refereed sources and their perceived worth of this activity. The survey included many questions to get information on the factors that either encourage or discourage academics from publishing in peer reviewjournals. The responses are analysed in detail and comparisons are made also on the responses of male and female academics.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

B - Integration of the research library service into the editorial process

Brown D, Leith D. Integration of the research library service into the editorial process. "Embedding" the librarian into the media. New Information Perspectives 2007 59(6):539-549

The purpose of the study is to outline changes in information management and decentralise library services according to the paradigms of modern media organisation. The methodology was to review best practice in newsroom library. The "embedded" structure resulted in an increasing in lenght and complexity of researches inquiries and in librarians playing a more active role in the editorial process.;jsessionid=8A9921BC9CAE10350E1D420BC817133C?contentType=Article&contentId=1640590

B - The Delorean or the Mini? Digital imperatives for publishers, digital dilemmas for repositories.

Gorman G E. The Delorean or the Mini? Digital imperatives for publishers, digital dilemmas for repositories. Online Information Review 2007 3(6):741-743

The paper aims at examining the issue of the development of digital publishing and the managing of data preservation. As publihsers, writers and readers are becoming increasingly digital, a greater burden seems to be placed also on libraries and repositories, responsible of finding new and more effective ways of preserving digital artifacts. That is why according to the authors a symbiotic relationship seems to exist between publishers and institutions charged with mantaining digital artifacts from these publishers;jsessionid=4F8020A9202496AED3432DED0CC1750D?contentType=Article&contentId=1640576

Monday, November 26, 2007

B - Using position, fonts and cited references to retrieve documents.

Yen-Liang Chen, Li-Chen Cheng, and Yun-Ling Cheng. - Using position, fonts and cited references to retrieve scientific documents. Journal of Information Science 2007 33: 492-508

As more and more documents become available on the internet, finding documents that fit users' needs is becoming increasingly important. A scientific document is a structured text and has some features that can be used to improve retrieval. In this work, fonts, position and cited references are investigated to this aim. These three factors together can improve retrieval performance. This work first investigates the relationships among them, and then uses them to design a novel retrieval method based on the discovered relationships. Empirical results show that using the location factor alone achieves the same performance as considering location and font factors simultaneously. Citation similarity is useful only when the similarity is high.

B - Coverage analysis of Scopus

de Moya-Anegón F, Chinchilla-Rodríguez Z, Vargas-Quesada B, Corera-Álvarez E, Muñoz-Fernández FJ, González-Molina A, Herrero-Solana V. Coverage analysis of Scopus: A journal metric approach.Scientometrics 2007,73(1: 53-78.

The coverage of the Scopus database is compared with Ulrich's. The variables taken into account were subject distribution, geographical distribution, distribution by publishers and the language of publication. The analysis of the coverage of a product of this nature should be done in relation to an accepted model, the optimal choice being Ulrich’s Directory, considered the international point of reference for the most comprehensive information on journals published throughout the world. The results allow us to draw a profile of Scopus in terms of its coverage by areas — geographic and thematic — and the significance of peer-review in its publications.

B - Measuring scientific eminence with h-index and other indicators

Peter Vinkler. - Eminence of scientists in the light of the h-index and other scientometric indicators. Journal of Information Science 2007 33: 481-491. DOI: 10.1177/0165551506072165

Scientometrics cannot offer a simple consistent method for measuring the scientific eminence of individuals. The h-index method introduced by Hirsch was found applicable for evaluating publications of senior scientists with similar publishing features, only. When calculating scientometric indexes for individuals, self-citations should be excluded and the effect of the different bibliometric features of the field should be taken into account.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

W - The history of Nature, 138 years of science publication

Nature has published an editorial collection looking back over its unique 138 year history.
Visit to read specially commissioned articles, use interactive timelines and watch video interviews with Nature’s previous editors and science historians. You can even nominate and debate your favorite papers, letters and oddities. Visit the site and gain a novel insight into how Nature has both influenced and been influenced by some of the leading scientific minds and events in world history.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

B - OBO Foundry: coordinated evolution of ontologies to support biomedical data integration

Smith B, Ashburner M, Rosse C, Bard J, Bug W, Ceusters W, Goldberg L J, Eilbeck K, Ireland A, Mungall C J, the OBI Consortium, Leontis N, Rocca-Serra P, Ruttenberg A, Sansone S A, Scheuermann R H, Shah N, Whetzel P L, Lewis S. The OBO Foundry: coordinated evolution of ontologies to support biomedical data integration. Nature Biotechnology 2007;25(11):1251-55.

As the value of data is enhanced by their being in a form that allows them to be integrated with other data, a wide number of "ontologies", common controlled vocabularies, were created to approach this integration. Unfortunately the proliferation of these "ontologies" became an obstacle itself to integration. The Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) consortium, pursuing a strategy to overcome this problem, is undergoing a coordinated reform. The result is a new family of ontologies designed to be interoperable and logically well formed and to incorporate accurate representations of biological reality.

B - Plagiarism and punishment

Godlee F. Plagiarism and punishment. BMJ 2007;335 doi: 10. 1136/bmj.39392.602523.47

Plagiarism is listed, in the US Office for Research Integrity (ORI)'s definition of research misconduct, as one of the three high crimes of research fraud. The Commettee on Publication Ethics (COPE) lists 18 cases of plagiarism from 1998 to 2005, but is liklely that there has been a sensibly higher number. COPE has also a series of flow charts that outline what journals should do if editors suspect plagiarism, even if in the end everyone still rely on academic institutions, that too often still fail, as in the case of an eminent Croatian clinician and academic, that cast a cloud on the Croatian research community.

Friday, November 09, 2007

B - Access all theses

Banks, Michael. 2007 . Physics World 20(11)18-19.
Argues that the time is ripe for a complete online database of PhD theses and that physicists should take a lead

Posted for John Glen

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

W - Data management videos

Submitted by Margaret Cooter:

The United States Office of Research Integrity, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services has made available a set of ten short videos from Syracuse University (funded by the ORI). Says the blurb:

When is it appropriate to share data? Are you allowed to share the research protocol with other universities? Under what circumstances is it appropriate to remove lab books from the lab? After viewing each 10 second video, the learners are presented with a question to see what action they would take in response to the situation. Consequences for each action are given to allow users immediate feedback about their decision making process.

W - "Vancouver style" updated

The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors have been recently updated (Octover 2007)with new considerations on publication ethics

B- Plagiarism

Rich MW. Plagiarism in an article: Is there any evidence? Medical
Hypotheses 2007;69:1154-62. doi: 10.1016/m.mehy.2007.05.039

Authors of a published paper "relied heavily" on this author's earlier
publication, and also violated other authors' copyright. In an apologetic
reply, published without editing (pp1155-6; doi
10.1016/jmehy.2007.06.024), the Chinese authors say: "The full
understanding of citation model as well as language problem (English is
not native language) for us may also be principle reasons for those

posted for Margaret Cooter

B - Vindication of the "editorial review" system for revolutionary science

Charlton BG. Medical Hypotheses 2006 impact factor rises to 1.3 - a
vindication of the "editorial review" system for revolutionary science.
Medical Hypotheses 2007;36:967-9. doi: 10.1016.j.mehy.2007.07.107

The journal's impact factor has doubled since 2004, and it has now entered
the mainstream level of "respectable" medical jourals in terms of its
usage by other scientists, says its editor. The journal aims to publish
radical and speculative ideas; a healthy impact factor is important
because the journal uses a system of editorial review rather than peer
review. As editorial review relies on hard-to-quantify and non-transparent
individual judgments, it is important for its outcomes to be open to
objective evaluations, such as impact factors and downloads, to show the
journal's usefulness in the dynamic process of science.

Posted for Margaret Cooter

Friday, November 02, 2007

W - Equator: Improving reporting of health research

The EQUATOR Network is a new quality improvement initiative that seeks to enhance reliability of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of health research.
This goal will be achieved maily by raising awareness of the crucial importance of good reporting of research. The EQUATOR grew out of the work of CONSORT and other guideline development groups.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

B - Strengthening the reporting of observational studies

Von Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, Gotzsche PC, Vandenbroucke JP
for the STROBE Initiative. Strengthening the reporting of observational
studies in epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting
observational studies.
BMJ 2007;335:806-808

The reporting of observational research in biomedicine is often
inadequate, which hampers the assessment of its strengths and weaknesses
and of a study's generalisability. The Strengthening the Reporting of
Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Initiative developed
recommendations on what should be included in an accurate and complete
report of an observational study. In September, 2004 methodologists,
researchers, and journal editors helped to draft a checklist of items,
which was revised during several meetings of the coordinating group and in
e-mail discussions with the larger group of STROBE contributors. This
resulted in a checklist of 22 items (the STROBE statement) that relate to
the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion
sections of articles. 18 items are common to all three study designs and
four are specific for cohort, case-control, or cross sectional studies. A
detailed explanation and elaboration document is published separately and
is freely available on the websites of PLoS Medicine, Epidemiology, and
Annals of Internal Medicine.

posted for Margaret Cooter

B - A graphical method for depicting randomised trials

Perera R, Heneghan C, Yudkin P. A graphical method for depicting
randomised trials of complex interventions.
BMJ 2007;334:127-9.

Making the what, when, and who of non-drug treatments easier to understand
would benefit researchers and readers. Using a single graphical
representation could clarify descriptions, and would prompt researchers to
focus on the structure and timing and ensure appropriate comparisons.
Readers would be able to see the differences between comparison groups

posted for MArgaret Cooter

Thursday, October 04, 2007

B - Scientific citations in Wikipedia

Nielsen FA. Scientific citations in Wikipedia. First Monday 2007;(8).

Wikipedia, the Internet–based encyclopædia is steadyly growing in popularity also for scientific research, but some critics have questioned the quality of entries.
Citing Wikipedia as an authoritative source may be questionable: biased coverage and lack of sources are among the most common “ Wikipedia risks.” this study examines the outbound links from Wikipedia articles to articles in scientific journals and compares them against journal statistics from Journal Citation Reports such as impact factors. The results show an increasing use of structured citation markup and good agreement with citation patterns seen in the scientific literature, though with a slight tendency to cite articles in high–impact journals such as Nature and Science . These results increase confidence in Wikipedia as a reliable information resource for science in general.

Thanks to Margaret Cooter

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

W - Full open-access with Springer Open Choice

Springer operates a program called Springer Open Choice that offers authors to have their journal articles made available with full open access in exchange of a basic fee, or 'article processing charge'. Springer continues to offer the traditional publishing model, but due to the growing number of researchers who want open access, Springer journals offer the option to have articles made available with open access, free to anyone, any time, and anywhere in the world. If authors choose open access in the Springer Open Choice program, they will not be required to transfer their copyright to Springer, either. All articles will be peer-reviewed, professionally produced, and available both in print and in electronic versions on SpringerLink. In addition, every article will be registered in CrossRef and included in the appropriate Abstracting and Indexing services.

W - EBSCO Launches Data-Rich E-Journal Reference Tool

To assist editors and librarians in tracking e-journal changes, EBSCO has launched its data-rich E-Journal Updates feature within EBSCONET. Thanks to this new tool, librarians will be able to review titles where format or pricing options have changed, view an archived history of changes made via E-Journal Updates, receive notification when an online version of a current print subscription becomes available, identify journals that have changed in publisher, view new open access titles that are added and identify titles that have been added to or removed from e-journal packages.

Monday, September 17, 2007

W - Tiny urls, a useful help to stay fit

Tiny url, a new device to shorthen urls. It allows to cut long urls that cause trouble in e-mails or publications and oblige readers to cut and paste urls in the address bar.
By entering a long URL in this software, you will have a tiny URL that will not break in emails or postings and never expires.

Try it at or

B - Stakeholders weigh costs of open-access publishing.

Guinnessy P. Stakeholders weigh costs of open-access publishing. Physics Today. 2007.60(8)29-30.

As open access moves mainstream, publishers are concerned about who is going to fund their journals.


Posted for John Glen

Friday, September 14, 2007

W - All-in-one search engine debuts in UK

Infospace launched an all-in-one search engine called WebFetch. This engine combines top results from the biggest and best search engines including Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live search and, along with smaller and more sppecialisic engines like blinkx and Kelkoo. Providing top results from various engines, WebFetch is said to search effectively the entire web, while one engine only leaves a huge amount of relevant content unseen and doing so increases the likelyhood of relevant search results. WebFetch also allows users to personalise their search using advanced tools and settings.

B - eBooks now available on inter-library loan

eBooks now available on inter-library loan. Research Information 2007; 30:28

The National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) and MyiLibrary, an eBook aggregator, have partnered to launch a new sevice called eBook Loans. This electronic version of the traditional library interlending model reduces the costs associated with processing interlibrary loans and allows publishers to benefit from a new channel to market their content and users to gain instant access to the eBook they require. In addition there is no need to worry about returning a borrowed book, nor about lost or damaged books.

B - Latin America provides new publishing opportunities

Anscombe N. Latin America provides new publishing opportunities. Research Information 2007; 30:6.

Duch marketing-services company Accucoms reported that Latin America presents many opportunities for publishers, highlighting the rapid growth in internet usage in that region. In Latin America online resources are becoming a significant part of libraries' collections and librarians plan to invest in a wide range of resources like eBooks, online databases and journals. In fact, even if they feel optimistic about their economic position and future growth, librarians in Latin America are still restricted in what they can afford to purchase, so they appreciate models offering flexibility to purchase the content they need, in the format they need, for a fair price not subject to rises. So online and print bundles remain the most popular subscription option.

B - Scientists are wary of open-access journals

'Scientists are wary of open-access journals'. Research Information 2007; 30:5.

A recent study from researchers at University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Munich, showed that researchers are reluctant to publish their research within open-access outlets, even if open-access publications have higher speed of publication and citation rates. According to this study academics are positive about the speed at which online journals spread new findings to academic world, but more than 50% of them said that open-access is not well-known enough to use it as a medium for publishing works, and that open-access publications lack a guarantee of long term availability of research. This situation suggests a gap between positive attitude toward open-access publication and a low level of use of this means.

B - Quality Journals and Gamesmanship

Macdonald S, KamRing J. Ring o’ Roses: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies. Journal of Management Studies. 44(4): 640655

Academic performance is measured by papers in quality journals much more than contribution to knowledge. This article referes to management studies but most considerations equally apply to all fields of science. Paper production is a means to measure academic performance and determine funding. The gamesmanship of publishing in quality journals is considered under different points of view. According to the auhtor cunning and calculation support scholarship and this gamesmanship will continue until the publication in quality journals is considered more important than the content of the papers therein published

Thursday, September 13, 2007

B - Association Between Funding and Quality of Medical Research

Reed DA, Cook DA, Beckman TJ, Levine RB, Kern DE, Wright SM. Association Between Funding and Quality of Published Medical Education Research JAMA. 2007;298:1002-1009. .

Methodological shortcomings in medical education research are often attributed to insufficient funding. In a recent report on the advancement of scientific research in education, the National Academy of Science recommended that to promote research quality, education journals and federal funding agencies should identify reliable and valid metrics for scoring the quality of medical education research. As a Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument, MERSQI was designed to measure the quality of experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational studies. This instrument was appplied to 13 peer review journals (analysing 210 articles). The results of a validity study of MERSQI and a cross sectional study using that instrument to identify association between fundings and study quality, showed a significant association between funding and research studies quality, as showed by the MERSQI, providing evidence to support the call to increase funding for medical research.

B - The information-seeking behaviour of doctors

Davies K. The information-seeking behaviour of doctors: a review of the evidence. Health Information and Libraries Journal 2007; 24(2): 78-94.

This paper provides a narrative review of the available literature from the past 10 years that focus on the information seeking behaviour of doctors, dividing it in three sub-themes: Information Needs of Doctors, Information Seeking by Doctors, Information Sources Utilized by Doctors. The review is wide ranging and it would seem that the traditional methods of face-to-face communication and use of hard-copy evidence still prevail amongst qualified medical staff in the clinical setting, while the use of new technologies in information provision may be of influence in the future.

B - Electronic journals and their unbundled functions in scholarly communication in Japan

Kurata K, et al. Electronic journals and their unbundled functions in scholarly communication: Views and utilization by scientific, technological and medical researchers in Japan. Information Processing & Management 2007; 43(5):1402-1415

These days electronic journals are in common use in scholarly communication and we can say that scholarly communication is much dependent on electronic resources even if it would be too simplistic to say that it is greatly dependent on them. The purpose of this article is to show the position of electronic journals in scholarly communication based on Japanese researchers’ information, behavior and estimation. The main result is that even if their recognition has begun to change and thei are shifting to electronic resources, researchers still rely on traditional scholarly journals for accessing information and publication.

B - Multiple publication on a single research study: Does it pay?

Bornmann L, Daniel H D. Multiple publication on a single research study: Does it pay? The influence of number of research articles on total citation counts in biomedicine. Journal of the American Society for Information Science nad Technology. 2007; 58(8)

Scientists often seek to report a single body of research in more than one publication, in repeated reports of the same work or in fractional reports, in order to disseminate their research as widely as possible in the scientific community. Up to now, it has not been yet examined whether this strategy of multiple publication leads to greater reception of the research. The results of a regression model with an interaction term show that the practice of multiple publication does in fact lead to greater reception of the research even if reception is actually dependent upon length of article. Thus, according to the author, it pays for scientists to practice multiple publication of study results in the form of sizable reports.

doi: 10.1002/asi.20531

W - EASE - European Academy for Scientific Explainers

We all know what EASE is, but did you know that there is another EASE on the web??

It is the European Academy of Scientific Explainers, representing a Genoa (Italy) based project involving many and various scientific centres throughout Europe. The Science Festival of Genoa proposes a training programme for graduates and researchers with the core skills and personal awareness development inherent in the new professional figure of Scientific Explainer. You will find the program on the net

B - Archiving challenges of scholarly electronic journals

Galyani Moghaddam G. Archiving challenges of scholarly electronic journals: how do publishers manage them? Serials Review 2007; 33(2):81-90

Electronic achiving of scholarly journals in an important issue for libraries as the usage of electronic journals has increased significantly in recent years. Two of the most important issues in digital libraries are long-term preservation of electronic journals and their accessibility which, along with electronic publishing in general, is causing a shift in responsability for archiving journals from library to agreements between libraries and publishers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

W - the new global science gateway

A new online global gateway to science information has now been opened by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the British Library and eight other participating countries. uses federated search technology to give citizens, researchers and anyone interested in science the capability to search science portals that are not easily accessible through popular search technology. It will use existing technology to search vast collections of science information distributed across the globe, enabling much-needed access to smaller, less well-known sources of science. As grows, it will give access to the research results of any nation in any language.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

B - Physglish: our coded speech.

Brunker J. 2007 Physglish: our coded speech. Physics World 2007: 20(9)64

Winning entry from a student in Institue of Physics 'Lateral Thoughts' writing competition. Discusses the different use of language in physics and ordinary speech.

posted for John Glen

Thursday, August 30, 2007

W - 10 Years Of Geology Research

Thomson Scientific Analyzes 10 Years of Geology Research To Rank The Most-Cited Published Papers

In a press release of August 9, 2007, Thomson Scientific analyzes 10 Years of Geology Research. The results of the study point out that larger institutions generally tend to have higher total citations and that is quite obvious since they publish more articles. Among the top 10 most highly cited institutions, six are located in the United States (first is the US Geological Survey with 23,172 citations), the others in China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom, each having been cited more than 11,000 times.
The press release reports the most cited authors in geosciences as well as the most cited journals where Geology ranks first with 116,069 citations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

B - Interpreting and Reporting Clinical Trials

Keech A, Gebski VJ, Pike R. Interpreting and Reporting Clinical Trials. A guide to the CONSORT statement and the principles of randomised controlled trials. Australasian Medical Publishing, 2007, 166 p. ISBN 9780977578641

Useful guide for all those involved in the planning, conduct and interpretation of clinical research this book explains and expands upon each of the items in the CONSORT checklist to elucidate how best to undertake and learn from clinical trials.

You can buy it from the online shop of The Medical Journal of Australia

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

B - For free or for fee? Dilemma of Small Scientific Journals

Kljaković-Gaspić M, Petrak J, Rudan I, Biloglav Z. For Free or for Fee? Dilemma of Small Scientific Journals . Croatian Medical Journal 2007; 48(3):292-299

A good lesson from The Croatian Medical Journal (CMJ) which was recently approached by two major publishing companies offering them to become one of the journals in their group. After analyzing pros and cons for commercial publishing, the CMJ decided that would not benefit from such a change because their interests are beyond making a profit and they still think that setting the standards and education are the fundamental aims of the journal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

B - Publishing in peer review journals - Criteria for success

McIntyre E, Eckermann SL, Keane M, Magarey A, Roeger L. Australian Family Physician. Publishing in peer review journals - Criteria for success. 2007;36(7):561-562

The authors of this article have had many peer reviewed papers published and are also peer reviewers for several journals relevant to the primary health care sector. Based on their experience, as well as information derived from electronic searches, they developed a set of criteria that should increase the chances of your paper being published in a peer reviewed journal.

B - Authors' financial interests should be made known to manuscript reviewers

de Melo-Martín I, Intemann K. Authors' financial interests should be made known to manuscript reviewers. Nature; 2007 (448): 129

It is a letter suggesting to revise policies that require authors to be transparent about financial conflicts of interest. They should be revealed to reviewers before publication and prior to accepatance of the manuscript. "If the aim of conflict-of-interest policies is to promote objectivity and inform readers and the public, we believe a more effective approach would be for authors to be required to reveal possible financial competing interests, not only to the public after publication, but also to reviewers during the peer-review process."


Friday, July 13, 2007

B - Not being clear about authorship

England C, Hodgkinson M, Stamber P. Not being clear about authorship is lying and damages the scientific record. The National Medical Journal of India. 2007(29)2:56-58

Although people expect honesty, there are many circumstances under which honesty criteria are not followed in publication authorship. This article offers sound advice to authors about authorship criteria and invites to create in-house policies regarding who can and should belisted as an author. It invites young authors to clarify authorship rights at the start of a project to avoid disappointment at the end and seniors authors to show humility and accept other forms of aknowledgement when authiorship is not really appropriate.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

B - Can Journalists Help Improve Peer Review?

Moore A. Can Journalists Help Improve Peer Review? The Scientist. 2007; 21(7) 25

For many seasoned observers of science, major journals risk losing credibility when press releases are issued with added "spin" before publication. When research makes headlines, science journalists facilitate a kind of postpublication scientific review. Their interviews with other scientists, as well as the author, reflect the collective wisdom and opinion of far more scientists than the number involved in the peer review

B- Digitizing for access and Preservation. Strategies of the Library of Congress

Deanna B Marcum. Digitizing for access and Preservation. Strategies of the Library of Congress First Monday 2007;12(7).

Library of Congress, like others, is exploring new ways of using digital technology for both access and preservation. This work will grow as the library completes moving its audio–visual resources into its new National Audiovisual Collection Center. The library hopes to share new developments and work with others in meeting the challenges of the digital information era.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

W - Term-minator. Fishing words from the net

Term-minator Term-minator. Fishing words from the net from Google and Co.

Search definitions, proverbs, abbreviations, acronyms, portals, literary texts, bibliographies, museums... and much more in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

B - Open access unnecessary for physicists.

Chen F. 2007. Open access unnecessary for physicists. APS News 16(4)12

Letter giving the view that physicists do not need open access as they prefer to attack problems without comprehensively reading the literature; he says "the only time I access previous articles is when the referee forces me to"!

Posted for John Glen

Friday, June 22, 2007

B - Published vs. posted

Gawrylewski A. 2007. New site pits 'published' vs. 'posted': Nature Precedings raises questions over the value of sharing findings before submitting to peer review. The Scientist. 19th June

Nature set up a new site, named "Nature Precedings", to post pre-print articles which are not yet submitted to the peer review. This is a kind of experiment to be interestingly watched, particularly with respect to the consequences on scientific communication, publishing and evaluation aspects.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

B - Communication between Physicians and Patients in the Era of E-Medicine

Stone JH. 2007. Communication between Physicians and Patients in the Era of E-Medicine. New England Journal of Medicine. 356 (24): 2451-2454

An experience of using a secure Internet link to communicate with physicians and medical staff members. Secure Web messaging about routine issues was an attempt to direct round-the-clock communication into a manageable channel. The e-medicine model comprised online appointment scheduling, electronic prescription refills, general messaging capabilities, and "Web visits" with physicians. Despite the advantages of e-medicine, physicians, who face ever-increasing demands on their time, were hesitant to accept new responsibilities that might increase their workload.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

B - Women and interdisciplinary research

Rhoten D, Pfirman S. 2007. Women in interdisciplinary science: Exploring preferences and consequences. Research Policy 36(1):56-75

The authors report three studies aimed to investigate gendering and other factors (race, ethnicity) in interdisciplinarity. Particularly, as regards women, the limited data suggest that, overall, women tend to be more interdisciplinary than men and this is probably due to "different gender-based ways of knowing". Further, the "Matilda Effect" (coined by M.W. Rossiter) in science is cited, as a corollary to the "Matthew Effect" (by R. K. Merton), to underline that women tend to receive less credit for their scientific work than their male colleagues even when they deserve more recognition.

Friday, May 25, 2007

W - Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography

Now available The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. Version 67: 4/11/2007

An international bibliography on academic electronic publishing: over selected 2500 books, articles from 1990 to surf and try to understand the changing system of academic scientific communiation.

B - A model to evaluate scientific merit

Soler JM. 2007. A rational indicator of scientific creativity. Journal of Informetrics 1(2):123-30
DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2006.10.004

An index is developed to measure scientific creativity, in terms of creating new and useful knowledge, and therefore to evaluate the scientific merit.

B - A natural way of acquiring a language

Joshi Y. 2007. A systematic approach to improving writing skills. Current Science 92: 1343–4

Suggests a kind of action plan for those ESL (English as secondlanguage) researchers who wish to improve their writing skills.
In the manner of an old-fashioned general practitioner, the suggested prescription is a ‘mixture’ comprising (a) extensive reading, (b) a modest amount of progressively difficult writing assignments, (c) revising one’s writing, and (d) developing a concern for readers.
It is possible, simply through massive exposure, to absorb typical patterns of English sentences and to string words together in those patterns without any formal study of grammar.

B - Good and bad medical journalism

Cassels A. 2007. The media-medicine mix: quality concerns in medical reporting. Open Medicine (1) 1: 52-54

Many people hear about medical discoveries for the first time through popular media. (Newspapers, magazines, television and the Internet). Good medical journalism provides accurate, balanced reports and important contextual information, helps to set appropriate expectations on the part of consumers, informs the larger medical community, and thus arguably provides a vital public service. By the same token, poor medical journalism can exaggerate or oversimplify an issue, unnecessarily inflating expectations of patients and providers and putting increasing strain on the physician–patient relationship.
A major and sustained improvement in reporting standards needs to start with improving the education of journalists and the public on what qualities to look for in news reports about new treatments. Read the article to find more critical suggestions and useful links.

B - Peer review in open access scientific journals

Falagas ME, 2007. Peer review in open access scientific journals. Open Medicine. 1 (1): 49-51

The peer review process is not without flaws. The birth of the open access publication model and the rise of a more open science presents an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate the transparency of editorial and peer review practices. Many suggestions and hints are given to critically evalute open peer review process.

W - Open Medicine, a new peer reviewed open access journal

Open Medicine, vol 1, n. 1 2007

The mission of Open Medicine is to facilitate the equitable dissemination of high-quality health research; to promote international dialogue and collaboration on health issues; to improve clinical practice; and to expand and deepen the understanding of health and health care.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

W - International Science Media Fair

FEST (Fiera Editoria Scientifica Trieste), the first International Science Media Fair, held in Trieste (Italy) from the 17th to the 20th of May.

Fest wants to launch a new way of communicating science through narration, but also through interaction and dialogue: from the pages of books to the voices of scientists, from the latest generation of multimedia products to the experience of professionals in this field.
FEST focuses on all publishing products: from books to audiobooks, from newspapers to digital magazines, from television to the Internet. A wide range of meetings, conferences, and performances of various kinds enable the public to discover and develop the most diverse aspects of the scientific world.

B - Subtleties of Scientific Style

Stevens M. 2007. Subtleties of Scientific Style. Science Scape Editing

About this book the author says: "this book is aimed at hands-on scientific editors, those who work with the nuts and bolts of the text—from spelling, punctuation and grammar (copyediting) to meaning and logic (substantive editing). Copyeditors (subeditors) and journal editors will also find something of interest in it. I decided to write this book when I recognised that the assortment of books on my shelves either don’t mention some faults of scientific writing that I regularly encounter, or mention them only in passing. The book collects together many subtle, recurring errors that I’ve come to recognise in my more than 20 years of editing. It also incorporates a few essays I’ve written or lectures I’ve given on things that annoy
me about scientific writing..."
The full text of the book is free online

Sunday, May 20, 2007

B - Exploring the possibilities of titles

Hartley J, 2007. There's more to the title than meets the eye: Exploring the possibilities. Journal of Technical Writing & Communication 37(2): 95-101.
The author distinguishes between twelve types of title for academic articles, and suggests that these should be discussed with student writers. Before and afrer examples are provided to show how titles can be improved.

Posted for James Hartley

Thursday, May 17, 2007

B - Research productivity and the journal system

Rowlands I, Olivieri R. 2007. Research productivity and the journals system: a study of immunology and microbiology. Research Evaluation 16(1):23-34.
DOI: 10.3152/095820207X196759

This article focuses on two aspects: research productivity and the journal system. A survey, related to these issues, was carried out involving a select group of biomedical scientists. Among the relevant results that are pointed out, the main problems on research productivity concern funding issues; while accessing to the journal articles is not considered to be an obstacle to the scientific work (issue ranked 12 of 16). Scientists, librarians, universities and funding bodies should constructively dialogue, by examining "the complete R&D value-chain, from research proposal through citation to exploitation", and possibly contribute to the scientific and economic progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

B - To evaluate a journal with criteria "impact factor-free"

Coleman A. Assessing the value of a journal beyond the impact factor. 2007. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Published Online (early view): 18 Apr 2007.
DOI: 10.1002/asi.20599

With the current rapid evolution of scientific communication in its different facets, the author considers citations (and, consequently, impact factor) not completely representative of a journal value, and proposes other criteria to evaluate a journal such as: journal attraction power, author associativity and journal consumption power.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Factors influencing publication choice: why faculty choose open access.

Warlick SE, Vaughan KTL. 2007. Factors influencing publication choice: why faculty choose open access. Biomedical Digital Libraries. 4:1-12

This paper describes the results of a number of interviews with scholarly biomedical faculty members at two US universities. Participants were chosen based on their recent publication record in OA journals and interviews conducted to establish why they chose OA journals, what factors influenced those decisions and their general attitude to open access. The authors conclude that although free access and visibility are incentives to OA publication, it is publication quality that is the most important factor influencing the faculty members’ decisions.

The future of science is open (access)

Hooker B. 2007 The future of science is open (access) APS News 16(2)12

Article surveying open access issues from the perspective of a molecular biologist. Open access archives/repositories and also open access journals are discussed including questions of financing and the desirability of including metadata to develop "open science": Open (Access + Data + Source + Standards + Licensing) = Open Science.

Posted for John Glen

The embargo should go

Kiernan V. 2007. The embargo should go APS News 16(3)8

Article discussing the arguments for and against the embargo system under which science journals provide journalists with advance copies of newsworthy articles, but set strict timelines on when that information can be shared. He concludes that the system does more harm than good in the reporting in newspapers of science advances. The article is adapted from the author's book Embargoed Science © 2006 by Vincent Kiernan (see

Posted for John Glen

Editors' Suggestions

Physical Review Letters launches new feature to improve accessibility. 2007. APS News 16(3)7

Physical Review Letters launched a new feature in January. Each weekly issue has several papers designated as "Editors' Suggestions". These are intended to be papers that are well written and of interest to a wide range of physicists. How they are selected is described. The announcement about the new feature can be found at

Posted for John Glen

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals

Hames I. 2007. Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals. Blackwell Publishing Malden, MA, Oxford, and Carlton, Vic. in association with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, xii, 293 p.

ISBN 1 4051 3159 4 or 978 1 4051 3159 9

This is a handbook on how the process of peer reviewing and manuscript management should be carried out. After an Introduction its chapter headings are: The peer-review process - how to get going. Manuscript submission and initial checks on completeness and suitability. The full review process. The decision-making process for reviewed manuscripts. Moving to on-line submission and review. Reviewers - a precious resource. The obligations and responsibilities of the people involved in peer review. Misconduct in scientific research and publishing - what it is and how to deal with it.

Posted for John Glen

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To blind or not to blind?

Regehr G , Bordage G. 2006. To blind or not to blind? What authors and reviewers prefer. Medical Education 40: 832–839


A web-based survey was sent to all authors and reviewers who had submitted or reviewed a manuscript for Medical Education in 2003 and 2004. Authors and reviewers who chose to respond to the survey voted strongly in favour of continuing the double-blinding procedure of concealing both author and reviewer identities during the review process. Determining the replicability of these findings in other academic fields would reveal the extent to which this social construction of peer review is idiosyncratic to the medical education field.

Friday, April 13, 2007

How to write an English medical manuscript that will be published and have impact

Tompson A. 2006. How to Write an English Medical Manuscript That Will Be Published and Have Impact. Surg Today (36)407-9

English has become the international language in science. Yet to write a medical manuscript in a second language is a challenge for many scientists whose native language is not English. The authors explains how it need not be such a challenge if you follow a few simple rules based on the concept of “simplicity = clarity = effective communication.” , in fact any paper will have impact only if the readers can understand it easily.

How to write consistently boring scientific literature

Kaj Sand-Jensen. 2007. How to write consistently boring scientific literature. Oikos (OnlineEarly Articles). doi:10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.15674.x

Scientists typically insist that their research is very exciting when they talk to laymen and prospective students, but the allure of this enthusiasm is too often lost in the predictable, stilted structure and language of their scientific publications. A top-10 list of recommendations for how to write consistently boring scientific publications is presented andd suggestions givben to make these contributions more accessible and exciting.

Learning and Teaching Medical Writing

Learning/Teaching Medical Writing. 2007. The Write Stuff (1)

The January issue of The Write Stuff (the official publication of the European Medical Writers Associations ( is decicated to Learning and Teaching Medical Writing and considers it under different points of view. Medical writers rarely have a specific qualification in medical writing and often need to learn. Scientists can benefit from courses on medical writing that also increase the chances of publication for non native speakers. Teaching medical writing is now a very good opportunity for medical writers. Some useful tips from teachers are included.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Scholarly Productivity of Editorial Board Members

Weinrach SG., Thomas KR, Pruett SR, Chan F. 2006. Scholarly Productivity of Editorial Board Members of Three American Counseling and Counseling Psychology Journals . International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling 28(3) 303-5

Scholarly journals in professional and scientific fields communicate new knowledge and editorial board members (EBMs) serve as gatekeepers of what information will be communicated. This study analyzes the scholarly productivity of the editorial board members of three major American counseling journals.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The cost of journal publishing

King, D. W. 2007. The cost of journal publishing: a literature review and commentary Learned Publishing, 20: 85–106
doi: 10.1087/174148507X183551

Detailed description of the costs, direct and indirect, involved in publishing. Also illustrates the effect of the number of articles published on average costs, examines the implications for libraries and the author-side payment model, and gives examples of how economies of scale can be achieved.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How to draw three-dimensional structures on two-dimensional paper

Brecher J. 2006. Graphical representation of stereochemical configuration Pure and Applied Chemistry 78(10):1897-1970. doi:10.1351/pac200678101897

Recommendations are provided for the display of three-dimensional stereochemical information in two-dimensional diagrams in ways that avoid ambiguity and are likely to be understood correctly by all viewers. Examples are provided for all types of stereochemical configuration, with explanation of which styles are preferred and which should be avoided.

Proposed Standard for the Scholarly Citation of Quantitative Data

Altman M., King G. 2007. A Proposed Standard for the Scholarly Citation of Quantitative Data D-Lib Magazine 13(3/4). doi:10.1045/march2007-altman

The authors propose a universal standard for citing quantitative data that retains the advantages of print citations, adds other components made possible by, and needed due to, the digital form and systematic nature of quantitative data sets, and is consistent with most existing subfield-specific approaches.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dealing With Deception

Beryl Lieff Benderly. 2007. Dealing With Deception. Science. Jan 19

Echoes of the recent Korean stem cell scandal continue to reverberate, most recently in a report commissioned by the journal Science to examine how it can keep from falling victim to future frauds. Finding protection from the perils of potentially disastrous scientific deceptions is an important issue not only for journal editors but also for early-career researchers.

DOI: 10.1126/science.caredit.a0700008>

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Three articles on impact factor in BMJ

Brown H. 2007. How impact factors changed medical publishing and science. BMJ. 334:561-564.

Journal rankings can be maximised by keeping the number of scholarly articles as small as possible, and boosting review content can make journals perform better. But minor manipulation of journal content is not the issue causing concern: ignorance persists about what impact factors can and cannot do, especially in regard to guiding decisions on researchfunding.

Williams G, Hobbs R. 2007. Should we ditch impact factors? BMJ 334:568-569.

Should we get rid of impact factors, or is refining them the answer? One argument is that they don't measure quality: every scientist knows that the vagaries of peer review can push a "not so good" paper into a "good" journal, and vice versa. Though bibliometric scoring will be driving theUK's research assessment exercise, we want journals to publish material that has been filtered to ensure it is reliable, interesting, relevant, or important - and that reading it results in some wider benefit.

Martyn C. 2007. Advice to a new editor. BMJ.334:586.
Tongue in cheek advice on, above all, maximising the (medical) journals impact factor. Although you'll probably produce a journal that is widely read and enjoyed, you'll never impress the sort of people who prefer a number to thinking for themselves.

posted for M. Cooter

Monday, March 19, 2007

The future of science is open (access).

Hooker B. 2007. The future of science is open (access). APS News 16(2)12

Article surveying open access issues from the perspective of a molecular biologist. Open access archives/repositories and also open access journals are discussed including questions of financing and the desirability of including metadata to develop "open science": Open (Access + Data + Source + Standards + Licensing) = Open Science.

posted for John Glen

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bid behavior of conference referees

Rodriguez MA, Bollen J, Van de Sompel H. 2007. Mapping the bid behavior of conference referees. Journal of Informetrics 1(1):68-82.
DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2006.09.006

The article analyses the possible factors influencing the bid behavior of conference referees. For instance, referee fatigue can be responsible for the quality of the peer review process: a valid study may be rejected or a fraudolent one may be accepted. Further studies and data on this issue are needed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gender Differences in Publication Output

Symonds MR, Gemmell NJ, Braisher TL, Gorringe KL, Elgar MA. 2006. Gender Differences in Publication Output: Towards an Unbiased Metric of Research Performance. PLoS ONE 1(1): e127. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000127

The article shows that male scientists publish more than women, bringing into question the fairness of academic selection processes that rely heavily on publication quantity to rank scientists. However, the study also found that, according to some measures, women's work was cited more than men's.

Computers learn chemistry

Van Noorden R. Computers learn chemistry. 2007. Chemistry World. 2 (4)

Chemists who trawl through the thousands of chemistry papers published every month must wish their computers could do the job for them and maybe one day they will: that's the ultimate goal of Project Prospect, an initiative unveiled this month by Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing, described in this article. From February 2007, electronic RSC journal papers will be written so their data can be read, indexed, and intelligently searched by machine. The aim of this project is to create a chemical version of the 'semantic web': where computers can understand the meaning (semantics) of information, rather than simply display data.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Research malpractice in Sweden

Schulz WG. 2007. Giving Proper Credit. Chemical & Engineering News 85(12)35-38.

Stockholm University has sanctioned an associate professor of chemistry, Armando Córdova, for research misconduct. In a number of cases, the investigation found that Córdova violated scientific ethics in his quest to publish research results in the emerging field of organocatalysis.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Debating the future of physics publishing

Harnad J et al. 2007. Debating the future of physics publishing Physics World 29(3)22

Letters relating to the debate on the future of publishing (ibid. 29(1)13-36).
John Harnad compares two different approaches to OA, gold OA where the journal charges nothing for reader access and green OA where the journal charges for subscriptions; he considers gold OA to be not in the interests of the research community. Richard Reeves calls for reviews of research papers to be made available to the general public. Basil Polychronopulos considers the end of written manuscripts and the dawning of e-mails not necessarily a bad thing. John Chubb comments that the rise of citation analysis as reported by Lokman I. Meho (ibid. 29(1)32-36) takes no account of the practical value of published work as industrial applications do not leads to citations. A reply by Meho is included in which he points out that up to 15% of citations are from the grey literature.

posted for John Glen

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Highly cited papers previously rejected

Campanario JM, Acedo E. 2007. Rejecting highly cited papers: The views of scientists who encounter resistance to their discoveries from other scientists. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Article online in advance of print (6 Feb).


A useful survey about the difficulties encountered by scientists to have their own articles published. Manuscripts containing new ideas are often rejected, but once published by using different strategies, they can attract a great deal of citations and become highly relevant.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Guidelines on Publication Ethics

Graf C, Wager E, Bowman A, Fiack S , Scott-Lichter D, Robinson A. 2007. Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: a Publisher's Perspective International Journal of Clinical Practice 61 (s152), 1–26.


These Guidelines describe Blackwell Publishing's position on the major ethical principles of academic publishing and review factors that may foster ethical behavior or create problems. Blackwell Publishing recommends that editors adapt and adopt the suggestions outlined to best fit the needs of their own particular publishing environment. They provide practical guidance in the form of Best Practice statements.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Raja UY, Cooper JG. 2006. How accurate are the references in Emergency Medical Journal? Emergency Medical Journal. 23(8):625-626.

The objective of this article was to access the accuracy of references in Emergency Medicine Journal during 2003. Out of the 2561 citations checked they found 19% contained minor errors and in 8% the errors were classed as major, in such a way as to distract from the quality of the reference. This article makes some important points, not only does poor referencing reflect badly on the journal but it pulls into question the quality of the research in general. With this in mind, should journals expect editors to check the accuracy of citations against reliable electronic and manual resources as standard practice?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Is there science beyond English?

Meneghini R, Packer AL . 2007. Is there science beyond English? Initiatives to increase the quality and visibility of non-English publications might help to break down language barriers in scientific communication. EMBO reports 8, 2, 112–116


Scientists must master English to obtain international recognition and to access relevant publications. English has become a communication tool also in the less erudite world, consisting of those who want to learn about and pass on knowledge. Much research however is still published in languages other than English and even if it is valuable, it will not be spread to the international community. Suggetions are given to change this trend and foster also the use of local languages, but ... this article that is intended for the wider international community is written in English!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How Web 2.0 is changing medicine

BMJ 2006;333:1283-1284 (23 December)

Web 2.0 is a difficult term to define. What seems clear is that it brings people together in a more dynamic, interactive space. This new generation of internet services and devices—often referred to as social software—can be leveraged to enrich our web experience, as information is continually requested, consumed, and reinterpreted. Web 2.0 examples in medicine are given with useful links to test them

Milestones on the long road to knowledge

Godlee F. 2007. Milestones on the long road to knowledge. BMJ

Seeking a way to mark the launch of the new BMJ, the editors hit on the idea of looking back at the most important medical milestones since the forerunner of the BMJ was first published in 1840. They asked readers to nominate milestones and then a panel of editors and advisers narrowed the field down from more than 70 to 15. They invited champions to write on each one; their contributions make up the commemorative supplement published on 20 January.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Analysis of the most highly cited articles from the 50-year history of CCA.

Csako G. 2007. Analysis of the most highly cited articles from the 50-year history of CCA. Clinica Chimica Acta. 375(1-2):43-48.

This article describes the analysis of the most highly cited articles from CCA’s history. Lists are all based on the ISI/Thomson Scientific database and the country of origin identified by a PubMed search. A significant positive correlation was found between the total number of citations and the date of publication of the cited articles, with the most highly cited articles appearing at least 8–16 years following their publication. It is concluded that these results may assist in editorial policy-making and marketing decisions and in assessing the impact of individual countries on the field, as well as guiding authors' decisions when in submitting articles.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The future of Physics publishing

Physics World 2007. (20) 1

Physicists need to keep abreast of the latest changes in science publishing.
The January issue of Physics World (Vol. 20, No.1, 2007) has three papers in its "Comment " section introducing an issue featuring developments in physics publishing, and also has a whole section entitled "The future of physics publishing" (p. 18-36). Here follow the individual entries:

[Editorial]. 2007. Brave new Web. Physics World. 29(1)13
Article introducing an issue featuring developments in physics publishiing and suggesting physicists are slow to use the new tools: 84% have no idea what social tagging is; only 14% have ever contributed to a work-related wiki etc.

Carroll S. 2007. Blogging for physics. Physics World 29(1)14
Explains how blogging can place scientific research in a wider context

Crease RP. 2007 Critical point: The lost art of the letter . Physics World 29(1)15
The Internet is affecting not only how scientists communicate, but also how furure science historians will work.

Chalmers M. 2007 A revolution in bits. Physics World 29(1)18-21
The Internet is transforming the way that physicists report their findings and communicate with one another. This article shows that we are only just beginning to harness the power of the Web. Its current use by physics journals, the effect of open-access, open peer review, blogs including Wikipedia, and possible future problems are all discussed.

Voss R. 2007. The open-access debate. Physics World 29(1)22
Paper making the case for open-access journals.

Enderby J. 2007 . The open-access debate. Physics World 29(1)23
Paper warning that open-acess publishing is an unproved business model and not in the best interests of science.

Griffiths, M R. 2007 Talking physics in the social Web. Physics World 29(1)24-28
From "blogs" to "wikis", the Web is now more than a mere repository of information. This paper investigates how this new interactivity is affecting the way physicists communicate and access information.

Cartlidge, E. 2007. Peer review steps out of the shadows. Physics World. 29(1)29-30
Some researchers believe that the Internet can be used to imporove the transparency and quality of the peer-review process, but as this paper discovers, "open peer review" has yet to catch on in the physics community.

Meho LI. 2007. The rise and rise of citation analysis. Physics World. 29(1)32-36
With the vast majority of scientific papers now available online, this paper describes how the Web is allowing physicists and information providers to measure more accurately the impact of these papers and their authors and ending the monopoly of Thomson Scientific (formerly ISI).

Posted for John Glen

Friday, January 05, 2007

Concentration of the Most-Cited Papers in the Scientific Literature

Ioannidis JPA. 2006. Concentration of the Most-Cited Papers in the Scientific Literature: Analysis of Journal Ecosystems. PLoS ONE. 2006; 1(1): e5. Published online 2006 December 20.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000005.

Despite a plethora of available journals, the most influential papers are extremely concentrated in few journals, especially in fields with high citation density. Existing multidisciplinary journals publish selectively most-cited papers from fields with high citation density. The paper reports and discusses on: journals publishing most-cited papers, diversity in specific fields, correlates of species (journal) diversity, concentration in multidisciplinary journals, original articles and reviews, extent of concentration of papers, citations, and most-cited papers.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The PLoS Medicine Editors, Krishna S. 2006. Drug Development Papers in PLoS Medicine: How We Try to Spot a Winner. PLoS Med 3(12): e547
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030547

Editors ask several general questions about any submitted paper: how important is the research question (both globally and in relation to the journal's audience); what is the likelihood of the conclusions holding up over time (and when is it worth publishing preliminary results that would be important if confirmed but where confirmation is uncertain); and, for a highly selective general medical journal, do the results represent a substantial advance—be it in understanding pathogenesis, suggesting treatment options, or having implications for public health. The editors of PloS Medicine here discuss their strategy in deciding which drug development papers are appropriate for publication in a general medical journal.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Boyd EA, Bero LA. 2006. Improving the use of research evidence in guideline development: 4. Managing conflicts of interests.
Health Res Policy Syst. 4: 16

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the need to use more rigorous processes to ensure that health care recommendations are informed by the best available research evidence. Literature on conflicts of interest was reviewed to search the best way to obtain complete and accurate disclosures on financial ties and other competing interests.
The paper considers how to manage conflict of interests and how to enforce appropriate policies.