Monday, April 11, 2011

B - Publication ethics

Scott-Lichter D. Publication ethics: prevention, screening, and treatment (Editorial). Learned Publishing 2011;24:84-85
(doi: 10.1087/20110201)

The author underlines what can be done to address ethical concerns (such as plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification) and at the same time maintain the timely flow of reliable scholarly information. The need to correct ethical breaches after publication can be reduced if potential indicators can be identified before publication. This proactive approach requires education and changing of human behaviour.

B - Are pediatric OA journals promoting good publication practice?

Meerpohl JJ, Wolff RF, Antes G et al. Are pediatric Open Access journals promoting good publication practice: an analysis of author instructions. BMC Pediatrics 2011;11:27
(doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-11-27)

The article aims at investigating to what extent pediatric open access journals endorse editorial recommendations such as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). They were mentioned by 66% journals, that is more frequently than conventional journals; however, endorsement is still only moderate. Further research should confirm these exploratory findings in other medical fields and should clarify what the motivations and barriers are in implementing such policies.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Recording medical systematic reviews

Well-conducted systematic reviews are generally considered higher-calibre evidence than individual trials in decision-making for clinical practice and health policy. But there is increasing evidence that publication bias exists for such reviews, and that non-publication of completed studies is as much of a problem as it is for trials. Increased clarity surrounding systematic review conduct and reporting would be possible if the protocols for systematic reviews, just like those for trials, were registered.

Until now there has not been an overarching registry for recording the existence and development of systematic reviews from inception through to completion. This month, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (University of York, UK) announces PROSPERO, its international Prospective Register of Ongoing Systematic Reviews (http://tinyurl.com/6g9xfkx). Registration is free, is available to anyone around the world, and generates a unique identifying number for each registered systematic review, which can (and should) be reported in any publications that arise from the study. Investigators should use the registry to record the existence of the protocol for a planned or ongoing systematic review of health care interventions even before screening studies for inclusion in the systematic review.