Wednesday, September 29, 2010

B - A new method for measuring research leadership

Klavans R, Boyack KW. Toward an objective, reliable and accurate method for measuring research leadership. Scientometrics 2010;82:539-53
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-010-0188-6)

A new alternative method of measuring research leadership for an actor, be it a university, state, or nation, is proposed in the article. Seeking and gaining a leadership position in science brings great benefit to institutions, being the basis for much of the strategy and policy decisions. Results from this new approach have been compared to results calculated using a traditional journal category-based approach for determining leadership. The traditional method uses partitions of science based on journal categories and it is not well-suited to measuring anything that is cross-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary (research leadership is rarely mono-disciplinary). The new method is based on highly cited reference papers rather than journals and defines three different types of leadership: publication leadership, reference leadership and thought leadership. The comparison provides evidence that this new method more accurately portrays the actual patterns of research leadership at the national level.

B - Publication pattern of theses in Peru

Arriola-Quiroz I, Curioso WH, Cruz-Encarnacion M et al. Characteristics and publication patterns of theses from a Peruvian medical school. Health Information & Libraries Journal 2010;27(2):148-54
(doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00878.x)

The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics and publication pattern of theses published in biomedical-indexed journals by medical students of a private university in Peru with the highest scientific research production. Data relate to 482 medical theses registered from several databases between 2000 and 2003; of these, 85 (17.6%) were published in biomedical-indexed journals. Most of them (80%) were in Spanish and published in local journals, and 17 theses (20%) were published in foreign journals. The percentage of published theses in biomedical journals at this university is comparable with those from developed countries (e.g. Finland and France). These results cannot be generalised to all medical schools in Peru.

B - Usage of open access journals

Chaudhuri J, Thohira M. Usage of open-access journals: findings from eleven top science and medical journals. The Serials Librarians 2010;58(1):97-105
(doi: 10.1080/03615261003623070)

Usage patterns of open-access and hybrid-open-access journals in selected scholarly publications are outlined. More than 1,100 citations from eleven top science and medical journals for the years 2004, 2006 and 2008 were analyzed. The eleven high-impact journals included eight traditional, one open-access, and two hybrid-open-access journals. In most cases, the data show that the usage of open-access journals increased from 2004 to 2008.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

B - Google Scholar as a tool for discovering articles in LIS journals

Lewandowski D. Google Scholar as a tool for discovering journal articles in library and information science. Online Information Review 2010; 34(2):250-262
(doi: 10.1108/14684521011036972)

The purpose of this paper is to measure the coverage of Google Scholar (GS) for 35 major Library Information Science (LIS) journals from the years 2004 to 2006, and to collect information on the type of their availability (abstract, preprint full text, free PDF, and PDF for a fee). The results show that GS was able to index 100% of the articles for only eight journals, however for most journals the coverage ratio was over 95%. The availability of articles depends on the type of publisher and it varies a lot from journal to journal. Then GS cannot substitute for abstracting and indexing services but it can greatly help in obtaining available full texts of the desidered publications.

Monday, September 27, 2010

B - Publishing in China

Harris S. East meets West as reasearch grows. Research Information August/September 2010:14-15

In this first of a two-part focus on China research and publishing, people involved in research and in supplying research content in China were asked about their experiences of Chinese research and information access. Over the past 10 to 15 years Chinese researchers have been making great progress in scientific research and publishing and there has been a dramatic rise in the number of articles coming out of China. According to ISI figures, China's annual output is now second only to the USA. China is also fifth on the list of most frequently-cited source countries. Its government and institutions offer a good range of incentives for scientific research and publishing. The country is also very open to new technologies, which strenghten ist connection with the West. In the October/November issue of Research Information the focus will be on the challenges and opportunities for Western and Chinese publishers in China.

B - Disseminate time-sensitive research faster

Stanbrook MB, Hébert PC. Disseminate time-sensitive research faster. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2010; 182(1):9
(doi: 10.1503/cmaj.092077)

Traditional dissemination processes used by researchers, policy-makers, regulators and journals may prove inadequate for health professionals and the public, particularly during health emergencies or for reporting possible new risks of widely prescribed therapies. Communication of important research findings that have immediate implications for public health should then be improved. All stakeholders in the publication process should develop the capacity to make the process work faster when speed is critical. In such cases, the important steps of peer review and revision should be accelerated ensuring at the same time their quality and integrity, which are even more essential during health emergencies to ensure credibility.

B - Are shorter article titles more attractive to citations?

Habibzadeh F., Yadollahie M. Are shorter article titles more attractive for citations? Cross-sectional study of 22 scientific journals. Croatian Medical Journal 2010 April;51(2):165-70
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2010.51.165)

In the instructions to authors, journal scientific editors usually give advice that the titles of articles should be concise for a better clarity of the message and a greater attractiveness for the readers. This study aims at investigating the correlation between the length of the title of a scientific article and the number of citations it receives. Title and the number of citations to all articles published in 2005 in 22 English-language journals were retrieved from citation database Scopus. Results show that longer titles are more likely associated with higher citation rates and this association is more pronounced for journals with high impact factors. An hypothesis to be tested is that longer titles are mainly those which include the study methodology and/or results in more details and could attract more attention and citations.

B - How a pre-publication review may affect the rate of scientific progress

Shrager J. The promise and perils of pre-publication review: a multi-agent simulation of biomedical discovery under varying levels of review stringency. PLoS One 2010;5(5):e10782
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010782)

The Internet has enabled profound changes in the way science is performed especially in scientific communications, it has raisen new possibilities but also the potential for new problems.
A web-based review process must be carefully designed to allow for easy filtering of publications based upon their review type and quality. The author used a multi-agent simulation of treatment selection and outcome in a patient population to examine how various levels of pre-publication review might accelerate or hinder the scientific progress. The results certainly do not answer the specific question but show that both completely unreviewed and very strictly reviewed scientific communication seems likely to hinder scientific progress. Then, this relatively simple model suggests general principles and reveals interesting phenomena for further analysis.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

B - Fraud and ethics

Feldman BJ. Fraud could be more common than thought. APS News 2010;19(8):5

Letter to the American Physical Society APS News suggesting the need for the physics community to start to seriously and openly discuss issues concerning the motivation for fraud and suggesting more discussion of fraud and ethics in graduate curricula and also the need to hold supervisors to a higher standard of supervision and ethical training. He also emphasises the importance of reproducibility.

Thanks to John Glen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

B- Preserving research for the future

Pool R. Preserving research for the future. Research Information August/September 2010; 10-11

In 2008 a survey was addressed by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) to its members and in 2010 the Oxford University Press (OUP) surveyed its cutomers, the librarians, to find out what they thought about the long-term preservation of digital content. Preservation refers to ensuring electronic scholarly literature remains accessible to future scholars, researchers and students even if a publisher ceases operations. The results of both surveys were inconclusive. The issue of payment for digital preservation activities is crucial with a clear preference for libraries and publishers to work together on a wide range of issues, particularly in method and in funding preservation initiatives. A stronger role for governments is also advocated: one initiative could involve the modification of copyright laws to enable digital preservation.

B - New APS policies enhance access to journals

American Physical Society. New APS policies enhance access to journals APS News 2010;19(8):1,3
The editors of the APS journals Physical Review Letters, Physical Review and Reviews of Modern Physics have announced a new policy by which all US public libraries are given free online access to all APS journals, they are also allowing free access to the first experimental papers from the Large Hadron Collider. These will be available to anyone under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license and will apply to any LHC papers coming out of CERN in 2010.

Thanks to John Glen

B - Scholarly publishing through open access: a bibliography

Bailey CW Jr. Transforming scholarly publication through open access: a bibliography. Digital Scholarship website 2010;180 p.

Can scholarly journal articles and other scholarly works be made freely available on the Internet? This volume contains over 1,100 references providing in-depth coverage of published journal articles, books, and other works about the open access movement. Many references have links to freely available copies of included works.

Friday, September 17, 2010

B - Mutations of citations

Specht CG. Opinion: Mutations of citations. Just like general information, citations can accumulate heritable mutations. The Scientist.com 16th September 2010.

Citation variants - that can comprise the author's name, journal, volume, first page number and year of publication - arise through a variety of mechanisms similar to those described by molecular genetics and that can be described in genetic terms. As they are often found in publications that cite one another it seems as they are heritable between scientists. The high incidence of wrong citations (WCs) reflects the fact that the contained information is to a certain extent redundant.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

B - PaperMaker: validation of biomedical scientific publications

Rebholz-Schuhmann D, Kavaliauskas S, Pezik P. PaperMaker: validation of biomedical scientific publications. Bionformatics 2010;26(7):982-984
(doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq060)

PaperMaker is a web-based service that helps the authors of a biomedical scientific publication to improve his manuscript prior to submission to a journal. It analyses the document, checks consistency parameters and gives author feedback on the appropriate use of specialized terminology and references. It also analyses the proper use of acronyms and their definitions and provides Gene Ontology (GO) and MeSH categorization of text passages. At the end of this interactive analysis, the author receives a final summary of findings, the manuscript in its corrected form and a digital structured abstract.

Friday, September 10, 2010

B- How to review journal manuscripts

Rosenfeld RM. How to review journal manuscripts. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;142(4):472-86
(doi:10.1016/j.otohns.2010.02.010)

Reviewing manuscripts is central to editorial peer review. A common complaint of nearly all journal editors is the difficulty in finding competent reviewers: identifying content experts is relatively easy, but finding those with expertise in both content and reviewing is quite another matter. Assuming the reviewer has appropriate expertise and is free of conflicts of interest, the article provides suggestions on how to review manuscripts, in particular: goals of editorial peer review, the structure for composing a manuscript review, criteria for explicit consideration in the general comments section, how to assess the internal validity (methodological quality) and the external validity (generalizability) of a manuscript, ethical aspects and composition.

B - Peer review should continue after publication

Liesegang TJ. Peer review should continue after publication. American Journal of Ophtalmology 2010;149 (3):359-60
(doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2009.11.015)

Readers assume that articles published in peer-reviewed journals are scientifically valid, but there is sufficient evidence to the contrary. Most common errors in articles are methodological or study design ones. Journals are responsible for the integrity of peer-reviewed literature but many manuscripts are not reviewed by the best in the field. The International Committee of Journal Medical Editors (ICJME) agrees that editors should correct the literature by critical critique of the articles through correspondence and then by publishing corrections or retractions. Correspondence is needed to correct mistakes, and initiate a dialogue between reasearchers and clinicians. Then, publication should be the start of the peer-review process since many readers possess the critical skills to provide enhanced knowledge regarding the content and interpretation of studies and can detect faulty data.

B - Free journals grow

Kaiser J. Free journals grow amid ongoing debate. Science 20 August 2010;329(5994):896-8
(doi: 10.1126/science.329.5994.896)

Today the so-called open access (OA) movement is claiming success with publishers producing hundreds of free-to-read, peer-reviewed journals. The most prominent publisher, the Public Library of Science (PLoS), launched its first journal, PLoS Biology, in 2003. A recent study found that 20% of peer-reviewed articles across all disciplines are freely available mainly through journals or as manuscripts in online repositories. However, a dispute centers whether OA is speeding scientific progress. Critics suggest that the OA publishing model encourages mediocre work. The field has received a boost in recent years from public-access policies at funding agencies and the future of OA likely will depend on what funding agencies do, particularly on the subsidies they provide.

B - The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

Craig ID. Introducing SNIP to the Journal of Sexual Medicine. J Sex Med 2010;7:2661-2
(doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01907.x)

The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) is a new journal indicator that is based on citation data derived from Elsevier's Scopus. It combines characteristics of how well a journal is cited with characteristics of the subject area in which it exists. It overcomes existing problems in delineating the related journals that constitute a journal's subject area. The SNIP indicator is undoubtedly a smarter indicator than the Impact Factor (IF) and is relatively simple to understand. Whether it will replace the IF is an open question to date

B - Can we do better than existing author citation metrics?

Finch A. Can we do better than existing author citation metrics? Bioessays 2010; 32:744-7
(doi: 10.1002/bies.201000053)

Trying to find a single accurate metric to properly measure author impact is quite impossible at the moment as it would need to consider a number of important criteria. The article reviews the usefulness of the various author citation metrics currently available. The journal Impact Factor (jIF) is considered a wholly inadequate way of evaluating authors: the most significant reasons for it are disparities between subject areas and variation of article quality within a journal. The h-index and its variants significantly improves the IF in evaluating authors but still with some limitations. A recently proposed metric, the Author Superiority Index (ASI), corrects some of the primary problems of the h-index but is dependent upon the volume of papers published. Each of these metrics is only able to describe a small part of the whole and should then be used alongside experts' peer review.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

N - UK science austerity on its way

Researchers in the United Kingdom are anxiously waiting to see what damage may be inflicted on R&D funding by the government's budget deficit. Levels of funding for the next few years will be revealed in the government's Comprehensive Spending Review, due out on 20 October. In a speech at Queen Mary, University of London, Vince Cable, the minister for business, innovation and skills, spoke enthusiastically about science, but gave little away about the cuts to come.

He pointed out that several countries, in similar financial straits, have decided to increase spending on research, such as the United States, China, Germany, and Sweden. But there was no indication that the United Kingdom would be going down this route. "My preference is to ration research funding by excellence and back research teams of international quality -- and screen out mediocrity -- regardless of where they are and what they do," Cable said.

Other researchers were not impressed. “The UK leads the world in science and engineering, and yet today Dr. Cable had nothing exciting or inspiring to say about government policy in this area," said Imran Khan, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, said: "Any contraction in the UK’s science and higher education budgets will signal a narrowing of this country’s vision for its role in the world, a withdrawal from its current international leadership role in science."

N - Top tips for editorial professionals

The UK's Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) has compiled two sets of top tips from its membership, one from the point of view of freelance copy-editors and proofreaders and one from the perspective of project managers and managing editors.

Rooted in years of experience, both sets highlight the things that are important to bear in mind when producing a readable publication without breaking the bank. Together they can provide a better understanding of everyone's roles in editorial projects, and of how they can best work together.

N - US open access battle rumbles on

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has warned that US government mandates requiring free access to journal articles published by the private sector would seriously undermine scientific communication, as well as jobs, exports and copyright protection. In testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Allan Adler, AAP’s Vice President for Legal and Government Affairs, stressed that efforts to impose mandates were based on lack of understanding of the distinction between the “research” that is funded by the Federal government and the private-sector journal articles that validate and document the process, findings and significance of that research.

“Most of the two to three million manuscripts submitted to publishers each year, including those that result from Federally funded grants, do not meet publishers’ quality standards on the first pass through the peer review process,” Mr Adler said. “Before they can be validated and disseminated as a journal article, manuscripts must be screened, revised per reviewers’ comments, edited and formatted for hosting and preservation on an electronic platform which allows delivery through multiple distribution channels in paper and digital formats -- all of which requires substantial investment by the publisher,” he continued. “Publishers invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year in the screening, peer review, editing and production of these journal articles. It is unfair for the government to expropriate these private-sector products without compensation and make them available free.”

N - Making climate data free for all

Meteorologists are meeting this week to hammer out a solution to one of the thorniest problems in climate science: how to make raw climate data freely available to all.

The workshop, to be held in Exeter, UK, on 7-9 September, will be hosted by Britain's Meteorological Office. It follows years of discussion within the climate science community, which wants to draw disparate climate data together into a single, comprehensive repository to streamline research.

The effort has been given fresh urgency over the past year by the backlash against climate science that was sparked by the leaking of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.

N - Ghostwriting in the drug industry

Journal articles on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) ghostwritten by medical writers employed by the pharmaceutical industry serially understated the treatment's risks and promoted unapproved uses, according to an analysis of industry documents.

The analysis, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, is based on some 1,500 emails, contracts and other documents made public in July 2009, after the New York Times and PLoS Medicine successfully argued that their release would be in the public interest. Many thousands more papers remain sealed as part of ongoing lawsuits brought by more than 14,000 women against the drug maker Wyeth, which was bought last year by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, based in New York.

N - JSTOR interface update

On 21 August 2010 JSTOR released a new interface. One feature, the ability for any user to submit a search against all JSTOR content, drew strong reactions from many in the library community. Their key concern was that JSTOR users at participating institutions with a subset of JSTOR collections could get search results pointing to content they could not access, and that JSTOR had not yet enabled OpenURL for all articles. This could make it difficult for libraries to redirect users to other copies of the articles that might be available to them.

In response, JSTOR issued an update to the interface changes. The default option for authenticated users on all search forms will be to search licensed content only. Authenticated users include those on campus or logged in via remote access. This change should reduce any potential frustration for authenticated users until JSTOR can extend support for OpenURL linking throughout the platform, at which point librarians will be able to direct their users to alternative options for accessing content not licensed through JSTOR.

N - ENCePP Code of Conduct

The European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance (ENCePP) of the European Medicine Agency has developed a Code of Conduct for scientific independence and transparency in the conduct of pharmacoepidemiological and pharmacovigilance studies.

The Code also addresses issues of publication and reporting of study results, and recommends following the Guidelines for Good Pharmacoepidemiology Practices (GPP) and the STROBE Statement.

N - Multilingual WorldwideScience.org

The beta version of Multilingual WorldWideScience.org was launched in June in Helsinki, Finland, at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) annual conference. It now provides the first-ever real-time searching and translation across globally dispersed, multilingual scientific literature.

Multilingual WorldWideScience.org allows users to conduct a single query of over 70 nationally sponsored scientific databases from around the world. Results from the databases are combined, ranked by relevance, and then translated into the user's preferred language. At the time of the launch, nine languages were available (Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian), and more languages will be added in the coming months.

Since its inception in 2007, WorldWideScience.org has grown from searching 12 databases in 10 countries to searching over 70 databases in 66 countries, covering more than 400 million pages of science.

N - Research integrity guidelines

While acknowledging national and cultural differences, delegates at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity concluded that all scientists share a set of values that can serve as the foundation for global guidelines that promote research integrity.

The conference, held in Singapore on 21-24 July and co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will produce a draft statement of international research integrity recommendations for release this autumn.

The final statement will cover a broad range of topics, including peer review, proper credit for publications, and practices to preempt research misconduct. It will also confirm that research integrity is an essential part of science’s service to society.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

B - Authors' responses to post-publication feedback

Gøtzsche PC, Delamothe T, Godlee F, et al. Adequacy of authors' replies to criticism raised in electronic letters to the editor: cohort study. BMJ 2010;341:c3926. http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c3926.full

Letters to the editor are an essential part of scientific debate, and they may alert readers to limitations in research papers that have been overlooked by the authors, peer reviewers, and editors. A study of research papers submitted to the BMJ that had been the subject of substantive criticism
shows that authors are reluctant to respond to criticisms of their work, although they are not less likely to respond when criticisms are severe. Editors should ensure that authors take relevant criticism seriously and respond adequately to it.

B - Usage of e-Journals

Nicholas D, Williams P, Rowlands I, et al. Researchers' e-journal use and information seeking behaviour. Journal of Information Science 2010;36:494-516. http://jis.sagepub.com/content/36/4/494

Academic journals are vital to researchers in all academic disciplines. Computer usage logs give an accurate picture of researchers' online behaviour and show that e-journals are the main means of access. Gateway services are widely used, re-intermediating the link between publisher and reader.

B – Reporting bias in medicine

McGauran N, Wieseler B, Kreis J, et al. Reporting bias in medical research - a narrative review. Trials 2010;11:37. http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/11/1/37

Reporting bias is widespread in the medical literature. Prospective registration of trials and public access to data need to be introduced worldwide, allowing an independent review of research data and ensuring that ethical obligations are met and providing a basis for fully-informed decision making.

B - Social relationships are key to health

The PLoS Medicine Editors. Social relationships are key to health, and to health policy. PloS Med 2010;7(8):e1000334
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000334)

Evidence from observational studies has documented the association between social relationships and beneficial effects on health outcomes, such as mortality. A systematic review, published in PLos Medicine in July 2010, retrieved data from a large body of literature and reported that stronger relationships were associated with a 50% increased chance of survival over the course of the studies. Quite remarkably, the degree of mortality associated with lack of social relationships is similar to that existing for more widely publicized risk factors, such as smoking. However, the mechanisms through which social relationships affect health are unclear. This doesn't allow to design effective social interventions at a population level that will result in improved health outcomes.

B - The growth rate of scientific publication and the decline in SCI coverage

Larsen PO, von Ins M. The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index. Scientometrics 2010;84(3).575:603
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-010-0202-z)

The growth rate of scientific publication was studied from 1907 to 2007 using available data from a number of literature databases, including Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). Traditional scientific literature (publication in peer-reviewed journals) is still increasing although there are big differences between fields. Important changes in publication methods are happening in present years including open access archives, publications on the net and the increasing role of conference proceedings. But this is only partially reflected in the databases. In particular, the growth rate for SCI is smaller than for comparable databases and its coverage is especially low in some of the scientific areas with the highest growth rate, including computer science and engineering sciences. It is then problematic that SCI is used as the dominant source for science indicators based on publication and citation numbers.

B - A terminology quality improvement model

Kim TY, Coenen A, Hardiker n. A quality improvement model for health care terminologies. J Biomed Inform 2010 Aug 17
(doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2010.08.006)

Purpose of this paper is to introduce a terminology quality improvement (TQI) model formulated through a synthesis of the literature and validated using a case study with the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP). A TQI model or framework would be useful for various stakeholders to guide terminology selection, to assess the quality of healthcare terminologies and to make improvements according to an agreed standard. The TQI model encompasses structure, process, and outcome components in relation to a terminology life cycle: change request, editing, and publication. Discussion about the applicability of the model and concluding remarks also are presented.

Friday, September 03, 2010

B - How to boost a paper's citations

Corbyn Z. An easy way to boost a paper's citations. Nature 13 August 2010
(doi: 10.1038/news.2010.406)

A research conducted by Gregory Webster, a psychologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville (USA), suggests that scientists who reference the work of their peers are more likely to find their own work referenced in turn. His latest study gathered data from the Web of Science database for all 53,894 articles and review articles published in the journal Science between 1901 and 2000. Contrary to what could be predicted, review articles showed less of a relationship between citations and references than standard articles. According to other experts, these results should be interpreted with caution calso onsidering that different subjects have different citation patterns.

B - Writing a structured abstract for the thesis

Hartley J. Writing a structured abstract for the thesis. Psychology Teaching Review 2010;16(1):98-100

An analysis of sources containing advices on how to write abstracts for the PhD. Advices could not be appropriate for every situation. For these reasons, students should check their institution's regulations, examine the abstracts written for previous theses in their departments, and consult with their supervisor(s) about what is required. Even if only one structured abstract is cited, headings under which an abstract can be structured are suggested.