Tuesday, December 20, 2011

B - Science editors' associations

Gasparyan AY. Familiarizing with science editors' associations. Croatian Medical Journal 2011
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2011.52.735)

The role of editors' associations is evolving to solve the numerous problems of efficient writing, editing, and publishing. This article presents activities carried out by some international science editors' associations, that include developing standards and guidelines of science writing, editing, indexing, research reporting, peer review, editorial independence, and other editorial policies. They also play a central role by facilitating distribution of information and networking, conducting research, and publishing periodical literature.

Friday, December 16, 2011

B - Effect of using report guidelines during peer review on final manuscript quality

Cobo E, Cortés J, Ribera IM et al. Effect of using reporting guidelines during peer review on quality of final manuscripts submitted to a biomedical journal: masked randomised trial. BMJ 2011;343:d6783
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.d6783)

According to this study, additional reviews based on reporting guidelines (such as STROBE and CONSORT) result in a moderate improvement in manuscript quality. Nevertheless, authors in a mid-level medical journal have difficulties in adhering to high methodological standards at the latest research phases. To boost paper quality and impact, authors should be aware of future requirements of reporting guidelines at the very beginning of their study.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

B - Improving categorization of Scopus database journals

Gómez-Núñez AJ, Vargas-Quesada B, de Moya-Anegón F et al. Improving SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) subject classification through reference analysis. Scientometrics 2011;89:741-758
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0485-8)

This work introduces a proposal to improve the categorization of Scopus database journals included at the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) portal using reference analyisis of citing journals. This method represents a consistent and congruent new disciplinary structure, showing a solid performance in grouping journals at a higher level than categories - that is, aggregating journals into subject areas. It should be supplemented with additional techniques.

B - Correlation between peer assessments and h index values

Bornmann L, Schier H, Marz W et al. Does the h index for assessing single publications really work? A case study on papers published in chemistry. Scientometrics 2011;89:835-843
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0472-0)

The results from a study on the peer review process of the Angewandte Chemie International Edition showed a correlation between peer assessments and single publication h index values: after publication, manuscripts with positive ratings by the journal's reviewers showed on average higher h index values than manuscripts with negative ratings by reviewers.

B - Research assessment: comparison of peer review and bibliometrics rankings

Abramo G., D'Angelo CA, Di Costa F. National research assessment exercises: a comparison of peer review and bibliometrics rankings. Scientometrics 2011;89:929-941
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0459-x)

There is unanimous agreement that resources for science should be assigned according to rigorous evaluation criteria. Some governments have already introduced bibliometric methodology in support or substitution for more traditional peer review. The aim of this work was to compare ranking lists of Italian universities obtained through peer review for the period 2001-2003, with those obtained from bibliometric simulations. The comparison showed great differences between the two methodologies, raising strong doubts about the peer review reliability.

B - Google's vision for books

Barron P. The library of the future: Google's vision for books. Learned Publishing 2011:24:197-201
(doi: 10.1087/20110307)

Much of the world's most useful information is locked within books and it is stored offline. As a consequence, the vast majority of books ever written are not accessible to the majority of people. In this article the author, Google's Director of External Relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, points out some of the huge opportunities that lie ahead in the relationship between the Internet and the world of books. He discusses Google's vision of the power and value to society of its book digitization programme, Google Books, launched in 2004 with the aim of bringing as many as possible of the world's books online.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

B - Access to scientific publications: the scientist's perspective

Voronin Y, Myrzahmetov A, Bernstein A. Access to scientific publications: the scientist's perspective. PLoS One 2011;6(11):e27868
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027868)

This study used the field of HIV vaccine research as a barometer to measure the degree to which scientists have access to published research. This area of research - of critical importance for the developing countries - saw recent growth in the popularity of open access journals, but the exact impact of these changes is not yet clear. Institutional subscriptions continue to play an important role, however, subscriptions do not provide access to the full range of HIV vaccine research literature. A variety of other means to access literature are investigated, including emailing corresponding authors or joint affiliations.

B - Research ethics cases managed by COPE

Foo JYA, Wilson SJ. An analysis on the research ethics cases managed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) between 1997 and 2010. Science and Engineering Ethics 2011, 29 April e-pub
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-011-9273-3)

This article reviewed the outcomes of 408 cases, that the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) had investigated between 1997 and 2010 with respect to 7 distinct criteria. The results showed that the number of ethical implications per case had not changed significantly since 1997, and that the number of ethical cases, including research misconduct, was not diminishing.

B - UK scientific papers rank first in citations

Marshall E, Travis J. U.K. Scientific papers rank first in citations. Science 2011, October 28;334:443

The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released a citation analysis that found that UK "attracts more citations per pound spent in overall research and development than any other country". A similar analysis for the period 1991 to 2010 by Thomson Reuters reported that UK produced 17% of the world's research papers with more than 500 citations and 20% of those with more than 1,000 citations. Today UK scientific papers have the greatest impact in the world and biological sciences are the strongest area of research. This performance surpassed even that of the United States, which has the world's best-funded research system.

B - Are journal editors an anachronism?

Davis P. Have journal editors become anachronisms? Scholarly Kitchen blog 2011, 19 September
Are journal editors an anachronism? On the Guardian a recurring revolutionary theme has been recently reported: publishing must be taken back from editors and the institutions and returned to the people. In this blog post it is discussed why we still need editors and their journals, perhaps more than ever before. The information overload is a problem of quality signaling between authors and readers, and the role of editors is enhanced - not diminished - in mediating these signals. Journals should be then considered as mediators of quality signals and not as a mechanism to control the distribution of scientific research.
Thanks to Sylwia Ufnalska

B - How journals can prevent, detect and respond to misconduct

Wager E. How journals can prevent, detect and respond to misconduct. Notfall+Rettungsmedizin German Interdisciplinary Journal of Emergency Medicine 2011, 30 October:1-3
(doi: 10.1007/s10049-011-1543-8)

Editors of science journals are sometimes reluctant to retract articles. Reasons may include concerns about litigation or about effects a retraction might have on the reputation of a journal. Editors should work to prevent and detect potential misconduct by educating researchers and authors about good practices. Journals policies and guidelines should also inform peer reviewers and editors about their responsibilities for ensuring the integrity of the process and of what is reported. Nowadays new tools are available for detecting various types of misconduct but all of them carry costs.

Monday, December 05, 2011

N - Wolters Kluwer acquires Medknow

Medknow Publications, an open-access publisher based in Mumbai, India, has been acquired by Wolters Kluwer Health, the home of Lippincot, Williams & Wilkins, UpToDate and Ovid, and other brands. Medknow has built its reputation through alliances with professional societies, and Wolters Klower sees the acquisition as a way of increasing locally written content and incorporating open-access platforms into its business model.

B - Reproducible research in computational science

Peng RD. Reproducible research in computational science. Science 2011;334(1226)
(doi: 10.1126/science.1213847)

Computational science has led to exciting new developments in many scientific areas. The availability of large public databases has allowed for researchers to make meaningful scientific contributions. Replication is the ultimate standard by which the value of scientific claims is assessed, particularly when full independent replication of a study is not feasible. However, there are some barriers to reproducible research, and the author proposes some steps to improve the current situation.