Friday, December 14, 2012

B - How much doctoral clinical research is published?

Caan W, Cole M. How much doctoral research on clinical topics is published? Evidence-Based Medicine 2012;17(3):71-74
(doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2011-100227)

This study aimed to determine how often clinical research from doctoral degree programmes is unpublished and what characteristics exist between those researchers who do or do not publish their work or between the institution where they studied. Results showed that research evidence associated with doctoral degrees is often left unpublished. Supporting students in publishing preliminary work while they are still in doctoral programmes may be the most productive solution.

B - Open access publishing: advantages and disadvantages

Manista FC. "Open don't mean free": a reflection on the potential advantages and disadvantages of open access publishing. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2012;1(2):eP1049.
(doi: 10.7710/2162-3309.1049)

The evolution of open access is important, but proposed OA approaches have not yet resolved issues involving dissemination and distribution of high quality research. The Finch Report, released in the UK, is a significant attempt to ensure that research is made available openly and for the benefit of everyone, including the public and others outside of the academe. Some key issues as those related to financial aspects are not adequately addressed in the Report ("open don't mean free") and need to be considered.

Monday, December 10, 2012

B - Embargo on Iranian scientific publications

Lankarani KB, Haghdoost A, Smith P. Embargo on publication of scientific papers by Iranian authors. The Lancet 2012;380(9842)648 649
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61369-5)

Since the Islamic revolution in 1979 scientists from Iranian institutions have published joint papers with scientists from 107 other countries, mostly from the USA and UK, and have experienced a rapid increase in the publication of scientific papers in indexed journals. Recently few academic publishers have embargoed scientific publications from Iran, not in accordance with scientific publication ethics.

B - Publication of public health theses in Turkey

Sipahi H, Durusoy R, Ergin I, et al. Publication rates of public health theses in international and national peer-review journals in Turkey. Iranian Journal of Public Health 2012;41(9):31-35

This study investigated the publication rates of Turkish public health doctorate theses and specialization theses in international and Turkish national peer-reviewed journals, and analyzed the distribution of research areas. Being rates low, the authors suggests a better understanding of factors affecting this situation, also through a case-control study, in order to find appropriate solutions.

B - Plagiarism in scientific publishing

Masic I. Plagiarism in the scientific publishing. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(4):208-213
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.208-213)

The author describes his experiences in discovering plagiarism as Editor-in-Chief of three indexed medical journals. He also presents several examples of plagiarism recorded in Southeastern European countries. According to his opinion, scientific institutions and universities should have established units for monitoring,  promoting and developing quality research, in accordance with the principles of Good Scientific Practices (GSP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP). It is necessary to work on mechanisms for early detection of plagiarism, and relevant softwares should be used by scientific journals.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

B - Relationship between impact factor and papers' citations

Lazano GA, Larivière V, Gingras Y. The weakening relationship between the impact factor and papers' citations in the digital age. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 2012;63(11):2140-2145
(doi: 10.1002/asi.v63.11/issuetoc)

This study compares the strength of the relationship between journals' impact factors (IFs) and the actual citations received by their respective papers from 1902 to 2009. Since scientific information began to be disseminated electronically, around 1990, the relation between IFs and paper citation rates has been weakening, and the percentage of top papers coming from the top journals has been decreasing. All this could bring forth the end of the IF as a useful measure of the quality of journals, papers, and researchers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

B - Authors' COI disclosure in Iranian medical journals

Heidari A, Adeli SH, Mehravaran S. et al. Addressing ethical considerations and authors' conflict of interest disclosure in medical journals in Iran. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2012;9(4):457-462
(doi: 10.1007/s11673-012-9393-8)

This study aim to examine how ethical considerations and competing interests (conflicts of interest, COI) are addressed by medical journals in Iran. Results show that the rate of addressing ethical considerations is not far from ideal, but the requirements for COI disclosure needs more attention.

B - Consequences of conflict of interest disclosure

Loewenstein G, Sah S, Cain DM. The unintended consequences of conflict of interest disclosure. JAMA 2012;307(7):669-670
(doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.154)

Conflicts of of interest, both financial and nonfinancial, are ubiquitous in medicine, and the most commonly remedy is disclosure. Disclosure acknowledges the problem of conflicts but involves minimal regulation and is less expensive to implement than more comprehensive remedies. It is broadly perceived to have beneficial effects. However, disclosure can have adverse effects, exacerbating bias and hurting those it is intended to help.

B - Selecting the right journal

Welch SJ. Selecting the right journal for your submission. Journal of Thoracic Disease 2012;4(3):336-338
(doi:  10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2012.05.06)

One of the key decisions an author must make is where to submit his paper. This article addresses several important criteria to making that decision, including identifying a list of potential journals, topic match, acceptance/rejection rate of the journal, speed of review/publication, distribution of and access to the journal, and impact factor.

B - Does endorsement of reporting guidelines infuence the completeness of reporting?

Shamseer L, Stevens A, Skidmore B. et al. Does journal endorsement of reporting guidelines influence the completeness of reporting of health research? A systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews 2012;1(1):24
(doi:  10.1186/2046-4053-1-24)

Reporting of health research is often inadequate and incomplete. Many guidelines have been developed for reporting a variety of research types and aim at improving the quality of health research reports. In order to increase their uptake, evidence of their effectiveness is important and will provide authors, peer reviewers and editors with an important resource for use and implementation of pertinent guidance. The objective of this study was to assess whether endorsement of reporting guidelines by journals influences the completeness of reporting of health studies.

B - Avoiding plagiarism

Roig M. Avoiding unethical writing practices. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012;50(10):3385-3387
(doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.06.043)

It has been noted that more articles have been published with the word "plagiarism" in their title since 2005 than were published in all of the years prior to 2004. Plagiarism manifests itself in various ways and it also includes the misappropriation of others' intellectual property, including ideas, images, and methodologies. This Editorial cites some common myths about plagiarism and describes self-plagiarism and other forms of redundancy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

B - Measuring the societal impact of research

Bornmann L. Measuring the societal impact of research. EMBO reports 2012;13(8):673-676
(doi: 10.1038/embor.2012.99)

While research is less and less assessed on scientific impact alone, the increasingly important contributions of science to society should be quantified. The problem begins with defining the "societal impact of research" and how to evaluate societal quality. Research into societal impact is still in the early stages: it is much harder to measure than scientific impact, and there are probably no indicators that can be used across all disciplines and institutions for collation in databases. Societal impact often takes many years to become apparent.

B - Authorship disagreements

Dance A. Who's on first? Nature 2012;489:591-593
(doi: 10.1038/nj7417-591a)

When scientists collaborate on an experiment and a paper, it can be hard to decide who gets the credit and how much. Disagreements often happen when contributors put in similar amounts of effort on different aspects of a project. Journals are increasingly attempting to keep authors in line by asking for details on who did what. Some tips for settling the line-up are provided.

B - Selection of journals by A&I services

Scott-Lichter D. New journal selection by A&Is - still valuable after all these years. Learned Publishing 2012;25:245-246
(doi: 10.1087/20120401)

Well-established and carefully crafted abstracting and indexing (A&I) services are still very important to a new journal's success. Publishers and A&Is have a synergistic relationship: publishers supply their content for indexing, while the A&Is index and distribute it. A critical part of the A&I enterprise is represented by the selection of journals for indexing. As with journals, A&Is have different offerings, strenghts and weaknesses. Starting from the author's experience in getting a recently launched journal into A&I databases, some of them (PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science) are described in this Editorial.;jsessionid=2nv3tups9pag0.alice

Thursday, November 29, 2012

B - Impact of the Internet surfing on reading practices

Loan FA. Impact of the Internet surfing on reading practices and choices. Webology 2012;9(1)

A study was conducted to identify the impact of the Internet surfing on reading practices and choices of the net generation college students. A sample of 676 students was selected in some Indian colleges. Results reveal that the reading behaviour of the online readers is in transition as the Internet reading has increased non-sequential , interactive, superficial, and extensive reading. It is responsible for decreasing concentrated and in-depth reading.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

B - Anatomy of open access publishing

Laakso M, Björk B. Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure. BMC Medicine 2012;10:124
(doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-124)

This is the first study to provide comprehensive gold open access (OA) measurement for 2010 and 2011. Its primary aim was to measure the volume of scientific articles published in full immediate OA journals from 2000 to 2011, while observing longitudinal internal shifts in the structure of OA publishing concerning revenue models, publisher types and relative distribution among scientific disciplines. The secondary aim was to measure the share of OA articles of all journal articles.

B - Ghostwriting

Bosch X, Ross JS. Ghostwriting: research misconduct, plagiarism or fool's gold? The American Journal of Medicine 2012;125(4):324-326
(doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.07.015)

Ghostwriting and guest authorship practices are thought predominantly to occur when academic researchers collaborate with industry, however they also occur within purely academic collaborations. Those practices flourish as they are perceived as slight, easily comprehensible moral failing, rather than as unethical. The Office of Research Integrity should broaden its definition of fabrication and falsification of credentials, and thus of research misconduct, to explicitly include ghostwriting and guest authorship.

B - How to acknowledge crediting contributors

Rohlfing T, Poline JB. Why shared data should not be acknowledged on the author byline. Neuroimage 2012;59(4):4189-95

According to this article, the author byline should not be used to acknowledge shared data. It discusses viable alternatives for crediting non-author contributors, such as citations of papers describing shared data, reference to dataset publications, inclusion in the Acknowledgments section or in an Appendix.

B - Authorship problems in scholarly journals

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Kitas GD. Authorship problems in scholarly journals: considerations for authors, peer reviewers and editors. Rheumatology International 2012 Nov 4 (Epub)
(doi: 10.1007/s00296-0'12-2582-2)

Authorship problems in scholarly journals are multifaceted. This article overviews common cases of inappropriate authorship (honorary, gift, guest and ghost) and suggests options to solve related problems by authors, reviewers and editors. It also discusses the contributorship criteria, still not well-validated. Many international associations are developing educational materials, guidelines and policy statements, incorporating authorship issues. It should be improved a global awareness of what constitutes authorship among authors authors, reviewers, editors and publishers, and the adherence to the editorial policies of learned associations and research institutions.

B - Duplicate publication and plagiarism

Maina S, Di Napoli M. Duplicate publication and plagiarism: is RHC safe? Reviews in Health Care 2012;3(4):225-227

While plagiarism obviously represents scientific misconduct, the so-called "self-plagiarism", or duplicate publication, is more controversial. It can include: same study sample, control data, or study outcomes; the so-called "salami slicing" (a large study sliced into several smaller studies); multiple submission; and republication in another language. Some authors are not aware of copyright rules, nor of publication ethics. Reviewers and editors have certainly an essential role in detecting any scientific misconduct and avoiding plagiarism and duplicate publication. Cooperation between editors and authors, and transparency are needed, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

N - The life of a Nature paper

Watch a new video from Nature, explaining the life of a scientific paper, from the lab notebook to the published article and beyond.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

B - Open access publishing models

Morgan C, Campbell B, Teleen T. The role of the academic journal publisher and open access publishing models. International Studies Perspectives 2012;13(3):228-234
(doi: 10.1111/insp..2012.13.issue-3/issuetoc)

This article explores the role and value of the academic journal publisher as paradigms of open access gain momentum and challenge the standards of paid subscription models. The two main versions of open access publishing currently at large - gold and green - pose a challenge to the user-pays models that have served as a foundation of the business since its inception.

B - Authorship, scholarship and ergonomics

Smith DR. Authorship, scholarship and ergonomics. Le Travail Humain 2012;72(4):397-403

Authorship represents a contentious issue for modern academics, researchers and journal editors. In recent years there has been an alarming rise in publications with significant numbers of authors. Various methods have now been proposed for establishing author credit, although no Uniform Requirements have yet been agreed upon. Regardless of the method which is ultimately chosen to address this issue, openness, transparency and fairness in authorship clearly need to return to the forefront of publishing and scientific ethics.

B - History of citation-based research

Smith DR. Impact factors, scientometrics and the history of citation-based research. Scientometrics 2012;92(2):419-427
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0685-x)

This article provides an overview of some key historical events of relevance to the impact factor since Garfield had proposed it over half a century ago. History has seen journal impact factors rise to become one of the most popular bibliometric product, and are one of the most controversial topics of the field. The author suggests that this debate will probably continue for a long time.

B - A protocol to report plagiarism

Shamim T. Serious thoughts about plagiarism in India. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia 2012;6(3):191
(doi: 10.4103/1658-354X.101191)

It is the prime duty of authors and editors to take strong decisions to tackle plagiarism at the earliest to avoid unethical publishing. The author of this editorial suggests a protocol to report plagiarism in published articles to which authors should adhere.;year=2012;volume=6;issue=3;spage=191;epage=191;aulast=Shamim

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

B - Predatory open access publishers

Beall J. Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature 2012;489:179

Predatory publishers are those publishing counterfeit journals to exploit the author-pays open access model. They set websites that closely resemble those of legitimate online publishers, and publish journals of very low quality. Only after the paper is accepted and published, and copyright assigned, the authors are invoiced for the fees. The research community should use social networks such as Connotea and Mendeley to identify and share information on those publishers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

B - Identifying attractive research fields for new scientists

Akritidis L, Katsaros D, Bozanis P. Identifying attractive research fields for new scientists. Scientometrics 2012;91(3):869-894
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0646-4)

In this article authors attempted to identify the research fields that could be attractive to a scientist prior to the beginning of his/her scientific career by combining the characteristics of attractive research areas and the new scholars. Conclusions showed that not all trendy research areas were suitable for new scientists but they were also interested in not emerging scientific fields.

B - Medical social networks use in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Masic I, Sivic S, Pandza H. Social networks in medical education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Materia Socio Medica 2012;24(3):162-164
(doi: 10.5455/msm.2012.24.162-164)

The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent and how effectively the Internet is used today by students of biomedical faculties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the implications of social networks in education of students and health professionals as well. Results showed that while students enthusiastically embraced these opporunities, this is not much the case with health care professionals in practice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

B - Honorary authorship and contribution-specific index

Kovacs J. Honorary authorship epidemic in scholarly publications? How the current use of citation-based evaluative metrics make (pseudo)honorary authors from honest contributors of every multi-author article? Journal of Medical Ethics 2012 August 3 (Epub)
(doi: 10.1136/medethics-2012-100568)

In this paper attention is drawn to the unfair and discriminatory current use of citation-based metrics, that is similarly applied to authors of single-author papers and to contributors of multi-author papers. The author's proposal is that in case of multi-author articles, authors should be required to assign a numeric value to their degree of contribution. In this way, a contribution-specific index of each contributor for each citation metric could be created.

Monday, September 10, 2012

N - Elsevier ethics resources

Elsevier has launched a new resource on research and publication ethics, aimed at young researchers. The website ( includes an ethics toolkit, a useful list of resources, testimonials and interviews, and a quiz. Elsevier also maintains a Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK).

Friday, September 07, 2012

B - Open access versus subscription journals

Björk B-C, Solomon D. Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact. BMC Medicine 2012;10:73
(doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-73)

The aim of this study was to compare the scientific impact of open access (OA) journals with subscription journals, controlling for journal age, the country of the publisher, discipline and (for OA publishers) their business model. Results showed that OA indexed journals in Web of Science and/or Scopus were approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges.

B - A look at medical journal editors

Wong VS, Callaham ML. Medical journal editors lacked familiarity with scientific publication issues despite training and regular exposure. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2012;65(3):247-252
(doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.08.003)

One hundred eighty-three editors of major clinical medical journals were electronically surveyed (response rate, 52%) to determine their demographic, training, potential source of conflict of interest (COI), and familiarity with ethical standards. Although most editors reported training in medical editing topics and saw ethical issues regularly, their knowledge of four common and well-disseminated publication ethics topics (authorship, COI, peer review, and plagiarism) appeared poor.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

B - The inevitability of open access

Lewis DW. The inevitability of open access. College & Research Libraries 2012;73(5):493-506

Using methods described by business theorist Clayton Christensen, this study suggests that gold open access, where all the articles of a journal are available at the time of publication, could account for 50% of the scholarly journal articles between 2017 and 2021, and 90% of articles as soon as 2020 and more conservatively by 2025.

B - Editorial ethical aspects

Masic I. Ethical aspects and dilemmas of preparing, writing and publishing of the scientific papers in the biomedical journals. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(3):141-148
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.141.148)

In this paper the author discusses about preparing and submitting manuscripts - scientific, research, professional papers, reviews, and case reports. Issues are described from his perspective as an editor-in-chief of several bomedical journals, covering ethical aspects of authorship, conflict of interest, copyright, plagiarism, and duplicate publication. He also discusses about important ethical dilemmas.

B - To be an editor is to live dangerously

Van Der Weyden MB. On being the Editor of the Medical Journal of Australia: Living dangerously. Mens Sana Monographs 2012;10(1):150-157
(doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.91295)

Editorial independence is crucial for viability of a journal and editors have many masters - the public, the readers, the authors, and the owners.Editors are exposed to a wide range of opinions as to what should and should not be published. Their decision making is sometimes exposed to undue pressure by clinical groups. In addition, social media facilitates this manipulation.;year=2012;volume=10;issue=1;spage=150;epage=157;aulast=Van

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

B - Ending honorary authorship

Greenland P, Fontanarosa PB. Ending honorary authorship. Science 2012;337:1019
(doi: 10.1126/science.1224988)

Academic institutions, funders, and publishers are exploring new ways to clarify authorship attribution, and many journals have updated their policies on authorship and now require disclosure of specific contributions to discourage honorary authorship. Research institutions should also develop and promulgate clear statements in their research policies about the importance of upholding ethical standards of authorship.

Monday, September 03, 2012

B - Science writers should not fear jargon

Quirk T. Writers should not fear jargon. Nature 2012;487:407

Specialized terms capture the complexity and specificity of scientific concepts. The truth tends to be complicated, and jargon offers its most obvious peek: compression. Researchers use complex language for a specific purpose, and science writers should be clear about what those reasons are. The author, a science writer, offers examples of what can be lost when jargon is not used. He believes that people seem to resent not just specialized language, but any language that requires a large degree of labour to understand, appreciate and use.

B - Quality of peer review in biomedical journals

Gasparyan AY, Kitas GD. Best peer reviewers and the quality of peer review in biomedical journals. Croatian Medical Journal 2012;53(4):386-389
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2012.53.386)

Evidence supporting peer review as a guarantor of the quality of biomedical publications is currently lacking. Its outcomes are largely dependent on the credentials of the reviewers. Some experts are in favor of formal education and courses on peer review for all those who will be involved in science writing and reviewing. Universities and learned associations as well may take lead in organizing education activities.

B - New COPE guidelines

Wager E, Kleinert S. Cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(3):136-140
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.136-140)

It is important for institutions and journals to communicate and collaborate effectively on all aspects of research and publication integrity. Recognising the important role that institutions have in investigating cases of suspected misconduct, but also the difficulties that sometimes arise when journals and institutions try to work together and share information on such cases, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has developed guidelines for cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases, also available at COPE website (

Friday, August 24, 2012

N - Towards open content mining

The use of technology to extract data and meaning by 'mining' journal content opens up new areas of research and new ways of answering research questions. Researchers in this emerging field have pushed for more co-operation from publishers, especially those researchers whose institutions already subscribe to journals but who aren't able to 'mine' those journals' contents due to uncertainties about copyright and licensing. The Open Knowledge Foundation has published a draft content mining declaration, with the three-pronged aim of educating researchers and librarians about the potential of mining, persuading publishers to make mining easier, and urging governments to promote and protect rights to mine. The declaration, published on the OKFN website in June, is based on three principles: right of legitimate access to mine; lightweight processing terms and conditions; and freedom to use mined information.

N - How to insult a scientist

“Mostly publishes in specialist journals” (i.e. his papers are not good enough for a top journal) and “papers are mostly descriptive” (i.e. her work is boring) are just two of the phrases scientists use to insult their peers, as collected by stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler on his blog. Other insults include “mostly middle author publications” (i.e. he is a loser) and “outstanding educator” (i.e. her research output is negligible).

N - Looking into the future

An impressive gathering of academics, editors and technologists gathered at Stanford University (California, USA) in March for a colloquium titled Rethinking the future of science communication. The participants considered the role of a journal article as “just one node in the chain” of communication and for disparate groups to engage in the “ecosystem of objects” surrounding scientific discourse. Access was discussed, of course, but alongside filtering, annotation and interaction. The colloquium covered a lot of ground and the summary is a rich resource for anyone interested in how, why, when, and where we may be communicating scientific findings in the future. Similar conversations took place at the Society for Scholarly Publishing's recent annual conference (30 May-1 June; Arlington, Virginia, USA), which included a panel discussion on the roles of publishers in future scholarly communication ('Publishers: what are they good for?') in a world where a scholarly journal (e.g. Journal of Digital Humanities) can be created entirely from curated open-access content from blogs, social media and repositories. You can read summaries of this and other sessions from the conference on the Scholarly Kitchen blog.

N - PEERing into access

PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research), an EU-funded project to explore the impact of large-scale 'green' open access (deposition of peer-reviewed manuscripts in repositories) on “reader access, author visibility and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research”, came to a close in May 2012, with an end-of-project conference. Nellie Kroes, EU commissioner with responsibility for the EU's Digital Agenda, opened the event with a call for open access and a discussion of the barriers preventing it being implemented more broadly, saying that lack of access is bad for business: “for small businesses, for example, it can mean two years' extra delay before getting new products to market. So if we want to complete globally, that kind of access cannot be a luxury for Europe — it's a must-have.” The project found that visits to journal websites were slightly higher when that same content was also available in repositories, but that there remain many unanswered questions about green OA, especially its growth and scope.

N - Indicators for OA journals

One of the criticisms levelled at the Finch report was that it supported the gold model of open access (OA) without also acknowledging concerns about the quality of some open-access journals. To address this concern, researchers in the Netherlands are developing quality indicators for OA journals. The indicators, looking at the quality of the editorial board and the peer-review process, will be combined to create a quality test for new journals. The measures will be assessed by a group representing funders, editors and publishers during Open Access Week (October 2012).

N - Reasons not to be a peer reviewer

Despite its failings, peer review remains a fundamental component of science editing and publishing. A recent article in Clinical Chemistry article looked at ways of recruiting and keeping peer reviewers. The journal's deputy editor, Thomas Annesley, explores the seven most common reasons (excuses) given by potential peer reviewers when declining an invitation. These range from “I have too little experience to be a good reviewer” to “I need to understand the entire study to serve as a peer reviewer”, and Annesley provides a counter-argument for each. Another recent article, in Learned Publishing [requires subscription], proposes the development of a reviewer effectiveness index.

N - Choosing a journal

Writing a research paper is one thing; getting it published and read is another matter. Choosing a suitable journal has always been a challenge for researchers, but with the increasing number of journals and alternate publishing avenues available, that choice may be harder than ever. Journal editors can and do give guidance, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Edanz, the editing services company, has a new tool called the Journal Advisor, which uses “cutting edge semantic technology” to pick a suitable journal for your manuscript. A similar tool, JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) was developed a few years ago by the Dutch Biosemantics Group. So how do the systems compare? I asked both to suggest a journal based on the abstract of a certain well-known 1953 paper by Crick & Watson, and I received completely different top-10 suggestions from the two systems. Maybe helpful colleagues still have a role to play?

N - FundRef

FundRef is a new project that builds on a collaboration between publishers and funding agencies. The project, supported by CrossRef, aims to standardise how funding sources are reported in research articles. Funding statements in journal articles vary widely and make it difficult for funders to track the output of their funding streams. The project will explore how publishers and manuscript tracking system vendors can use standardised metadata for funding sources based on a taxonomy developed at Elsevier.

N -Open citations

The publishers of the two biggest science journals, Nature and Science, have announced that they will make available the reference lists of those journals' articles for use in an Open Citations project developed by JISC, the organisation that promotes digital technologies in British academic institutions. Nature Publishing Group (NPG) had already launched its own linked data platform and developers portal and is the first commercial publisher to contribute to the Open Citations project. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the publisher of Science, and Oxford University Press, have joined NPG in making the reference lists from a number of journals available for the project. The CrossRef Cited-By Linking service will be used to integrate these publishers' reference lists with the existing database.

N - Welcome to PeerJ

PeerJ ( is a new publishing venture set up by Peter Binfield, previously of PLoS ONE, and Jason Hoyt, ex-Mendeley. PeerJ is a new open-access journal and pre-print service, initially limited to biomedical science, and opens for submissions in summer 2012. Like PLoS ONE, and the many other broad-based ‘mega-journals’, PeerJ will assess submissions for methodological rigour, not 'interest'. But what makes PeerJ different is its business model: PeerJ won’t charge article processing or submission fees; its income will come from membership fees. “Pay $99, publish for life” claimed the pre-launch publicity. It’s a bit more complex than that, with various levels of membership and other considerations, but the basic model is free publishing for life for a one-off fee.

N - Journal naming standards

What happens when a journal changes its name? The US National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published draft recommendations for the presentation and identification of e-journals. When a journal changes name, publishers are likely to list older articles on the newly branded journal website, with potential confusion for users and problems for librarians (the ISSN changes as well as the URL). Updates on this work will appear on a dedicated website (, which also provides valuable background for any editor facing or considering a journal name change.

N - The Finch Report

The Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by Dame Janet Finch (co-Chair of the UK Government's Council for Science and Technology, published its findings in June. The group's remit was to investigate how UK-funded research findings could be made more accessible. Its report recommended better, faster communication of research results through open access, with the aim of benefiting public services and economic growth, as well as improved efficiency for researchers, and more opportunities for public engagement with research. The report received a large amount of attention in both mainstream and social media and was generally supported by publishers, who broadly acknowledged that some kind of open-access model was the way forward. Coming only a few months after the widespread criticism of some publishers for their support of legislation designed to prohibit open-access mandates, this seemed like a significant shift in viewpoint. Indeed, a few days before the report was published, Nature editor-in-chief, Philip Campbell, acknowledged that open-access was “going to happen in the long run”. However, the Finch report was criticised for its strong support of 'gold' OA (publisher-led open-access) over 'green' OA (institutional repository-based access), among other concerns.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

B - Pricing principles by open access publishers

Björk B. Solomon D. Pricing principles used by scholarly open access publishers. Learned Publishing 2012;25(2):132-137
(doi: 10.1087/20120207)
The article processing charge (APC) is currently the primary method of funding professionally open access (OA) peer reviewed journals. In the article the pricing principles of 77 OA publishers publishing over 1,000 journals using APCs were studied and classified. The most common pricing method is a single fixed fee, that can be either the same for all of a publisher's journals or individually determined for each journal. Among the big OA publishers, the individual journal pricing seems to be the dominant mode.

B - Medical publishing and drug industry

Sismondo S. Medical publishing and the drug industry: is medical science for sale? Learned Publishing 2012;25(1):7-15
(doi: 10.1087/20120102)

Drug company articles placed in medical journals are often written under the names of independent medical researchers in order to gain their largest scientific impact and market value. Pharmaceutical company statisticians, reviewers, and key company scientists are only sometimes acknowledged. In the article this publishing process is described and ways in which it might be addressed are discussed.

B - Outsourcing of editorial processing

Sellwood S. Editorial processing: to outsource or not? Learned Publishing 2012;25(3):225-230
(doi: 10.1087/20120310)

This article examines the reasons why outsourcing the editorial assistant function might be of benefit to a journal, either on a temporary or permanent solution. It also examines the practical considerations of entering into such an arrangement - what should be looked for in a partner company and what can be expected from such a relationship. Finally, it offers a case study, i.e. the experience of the Journal of Pathology, who have outsourced their editorial assistant role for over four years. This would allow publishers and societies to make informed choices.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

B - Publication guidelines

Larson EL, Cortazal M. Publication guidelines need widespread adoption. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2012;65(3):239-246

This study aims at describing the development and adoption of general publication guidelines for various study designs, at providing example of guidelines adapted for specific topics, and at recommending next steps. These ones include: increasing use of available guidelines and their adoption among journals, educating peer reviewers on their use, and incorporating guideline use into the curriculum of medical, nursing, and public health sectors.

B - Citation biases

Radicchi F, Castellano C. Testing the fairness of citation indicators for comparison across scientific domains: the case of fractional citation counts. Journal of Informetrics 2012;6(1):121-130
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2011.09.002)

The use of raw citation counts is generally misleading, especially when applied to cross-disciplinary comparisons, since the average number of citations is strongly dependent on the scientific discipline of reference of the article. The authors present a statistical method aimed at estimating the effectiveness of numerical indicators in eliminating citation biases. The method is simple to implement and can be easily generalized to various scenarios.

B - Open access debate

Lucibella M. Bill to kill open access sparks debate. APS News 2012;21(3):1-6

The article reports on whether scientific articles funded by US Federal agencies should be publicly available on the web. It presents publishers' stance about this issue and discusses how journal costs could be met. It ends by describing the England-based "Faculty of 1000", an online subscription service, which will be starting up its own free, open access journal which will freely publish scientific papers with a peer review process after publication with all commentary open and visible.

B - Multiple authorship

Wyatt PJ. Commentary: too many authors, too few creators. Physics Today April 2012:9

The author discusses interesting issues regarding multiple authorship of articles written by authors in, or associated with,  academia, government laboratories and industry in the USA. Over the years the number of authors associated with each published article has greatly increased; single-author papers has become relatively rare. Many problems of irrilevant authors arise with the journals themselves, as only a few of them ask the correspondence author to confirm that the listed authors all contributed to the paper.

B - Scientific fraud in China

Hao X. Fraud takes the shine off rising star. Physics World September 2011:12-13

Reent cases of scientific plagiarism and fraud in China have cast a shadow over the rise of science in China, and have raised questions about why the country has not done more to tackle misconduct. Many Chinese scientists state that the root cause of this lies in a system that awards grants and prizes based largely on personal relations rather than on merit.

B - The language of science

Mining the language of science. University of Cambridge, Research Features Epub November 18, 2011

Scientists are developing a computer that can read vast amounts of scientific literature, make connections between facts, and develop hypotheses. A new developed tool, based on text-mining technology, is aimed  at analysing literature review in cancer risk assessment of chemicals.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

B - A science editor about authors' frustrations

An interesting interview with Prof. Allen Moore has just been published in Wiley-Blackwell Publishing News. He says: "Science is a weird profession. We seek rejection. Even when we get our work published, we are told what is wrong with it. It is important to remember that every time an author submits a paper they expect it to be published, not rejected. Criticism is fine, but it has to be tempered with an understanding of the frustration authors feel. This is why I think it is important that editors remain active scientists. I too have my papers rejected. I too get frustrated when journals sit on manuscripts without making a decision. I too get frustrated when editors simply seem to count positive and negative comments to make a decision on a paper. I’m on the side of the authors!"

Thursday, July 05, 2012

B - Impact factor and journal certification

Vanclay JK. Impact factor: outdated artefact or stepping-stone to journal certification? Scientometrics 2012;92(2):211-238
The author discusses several weaknesses of the impact factor, the ways to amend some of them, and reveals indications that the scientific community seeks and needs better certification of journal procedures to improve the quality of published science. Journal editors should collaborate to introduce a journal certification system as a comprehensive certification of editorial and review procedures could help ensure adequate procedures to detect duplicate and fraudulent submissions.
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0561-0)

B - PeerJ: a new idea for open access publishing

Van Noorden R. Journal offers flat fee for "all you can publish". Nature 14 June 2012;486(166)
(doi: 10.1038/486166a)

An open access venture called PeerJ announced its launch on June 12, 2012. It aims to drive down the costs of research publishing. PeerJ asks its authors for only a one-off fee to secure a lifetime membership that will allow them to publish free, peer reviewed research papers. Despite the low publication cost, its founders (one of them was publisher of PLos ONE) assure that articles will be peer reviewed for scientific validity.

B - ORCID: authors' identifier system

Butler D. Scientists: your number is up. Nature 31 May 2012;485:564
The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) has been launched this year. It is an identifier system that will distinguish between authors who share the same name. It aims at reliably attributing research outputs to their true author by assigning every scientist in the world a machine-readable, 16-digit unique digital identifier. If ORCID takes off, it could increase the precision and breadth of scientific metrics and help in developing new analyses of social networks.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

B - How to enhance quality and transparency of industry-sponsored clinical research

Mansi BA, Clark J, David FS et al. Ten recommendations for closing the credibility gap in reporting industry-sponsored clinical research: a joint journal and pharmaceutical industry perspective. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2012;87(5):424-29
(doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.02.009)

A list of top ten recommendations outline several opportunities to enhance the quality, transparency and credibility of industry-sponsored clinical research publications in general, regardless of funding source. This list is intended to serve as a call for action for all stakeholders - authors, journal editors, research sponsors, and others. It was issued by attendees to a roundtable of journal editors and industry representatives, organized by the Medical Publishing Insights and Practices (MPIP) initiative.

B - Developing a societal impact factor

Niederkrotenthaler T, Dorner TE, Maier M. Development of a practical tool to measure the impact of publications on the society based on focus group discussions with scientists. BioMed Central Public Health 2011;11:588
(doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-588)

This qualitative study presents the development of a practical tool to assess the societal impact of publications, that would contribute to a more comprehensive evaluation oof scientific research. Focus group discussions with scientists suggested that this societal impact factor should consider the effect of the publication in a wide set of non-scientific areas, but also the motivation behind the publication, and efforts by the authors to translate their findings into societal action.

B - Alternative solution for copyright

Contreras JL. Wait for it...Commons, copyright and the private (re)ordering of scientific publishing. Social Science Research Network March 4, 2012

In this paper, the author critiques various open access strategies related to copyright protection and assignment, and he proposes an alternative private ordering solution. Under this proposal, research institutions would develop and adopt publication agreements that do not transfer copyright ownership to publishers, but grant publishers a one-year exclusive period in which to publish a work. This limited period of exclusivity should enable publishers to recoup their publishing costs and a profit through subscription revenues.

B - Updated edition of EASE Guidelines

The 2012 edition of EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles is available in 20 languages. It includes some new material, such as practical tips for junior researchers. Besides, we support the global initiative Healthcare Information For All by 2015 ( ) by advising authors to make abstracts of their papers highly informative, reliable, and easily understandable.
If journal editors wish to help us spread the word about EASE Guidelines, they can mention them in Instructions to Authors, using a formula like:
Before submission, follow EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators, freely available in many languages at . Adherence should increase the chances of acceptance of submitted manuscripts.
We'd greatly apppreciate also any other help in popularization of EASE Guidelines among scientists, science translators, and editors. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

B - Can tweets predict citations?

Eysenbach G. Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on Twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2011;13(4):e123
(doi: 10.2196/jimr.2012)

Tweets can predict highly cited articles within the first three days of article publication. Social impact measures as the so-called twimpact factor, based on tweets, are proposed to complement traditional citation metrics. Tweetations should be primarily seen as a metric to measure public interest in a specific topic, while citations are primarily a metric for scholarly impact.

B - The accessibility quotient (AQ) of open access

Willmott MA, Dunn KH, Duranceau EF. The Accessibility Quotient: a new measure of open access. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 2012;1(1):eP1025

This study presents a new measure, the Accessibility Quotient (AQ). It offers a concise assessment of accessibility of peer reviewed research produced by an individual or group (authors, departments, disciplines, or universities) by combining three measures - price, quality, and shareability. The paper reports how the AQ is calculated, how it can be used in faculty outreach, and why it is useful by leading to more open access to research.

B - Citations and ethics

Reedijk J. Citations and ethics. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2012;51(4):828-30
(doi: 10.1002/anie.201107554)

Nowadays fabrication or engineering of journal Impact Factors and citations in general have been observed and will probably increase. They may be affected by particular editorial strategies, be intentionally or not.  Peer reviewed scientific publications are the basis of scientific evaluations, and they must adhere to the highest ethical standards. These standards should be the same for authors, referees, and editors.

B - Wikipedia: a tool for health promotion

Heilman JM, Kemman E, Bonert M. et al. Wikipedia: a key tool for global public health promotion. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2011;13(1):e14
(doi: 10.2196/jimr.1589)

The paper discusses the intricacies, strengths, and weaknesses of Wikipedia as a source of health information and compares it with other medical wikis. Several examples of partnerships show that it is possible to strenghten its biomedical content and use it as a tool for worldwide health promotion.

Monday, July 02, 2012

B - Predatory publishers and plagiarism

Jansen PA, Forget PM. Predatory publishers and plagiarism prevention. Science 2012;336:1380

A letter referring to a paper describing how s scientist recently published nine articles that largely or entirely duplicated papers written by others. Six of these papers were published in scholarly journals only last year. It is surprising that these papers escaped plagiarism detection tools such as CrossCheck and eBlst. The authors argue that publishers did not use them consciously being accomplices in plagiarism.

B - Open data sharing

Boulton G. Open your minds and share your results. Nature 2012;486:441
(doi: 10.1038/486441a)
An article on the scientific approach to open data. An open approach is the best way to maximize the benefits of research for both scientists and the public. The policy report Science as an Open Enterprise has been just published by the Royal Society of London, requiring that specific raw data should be made available as a condition of publication in biomedicine journals. True openness requires data to be not only accessible, but also intelligible, assessable and reusable.

B - Research reviews in child psychology and psychiatry

Nigg JT. Editorial: Writing (and reading) Research Reviews in child psychology and psychiatry - principles and practice, opportunities and pitfalls. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2012;53(7):723-25
(doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02575.x)
The author, the Research Reviews Editor for The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP), describes some kinds of review outlets published by the journal. One of it is the Research Reviews: they are short reviews intended to fill a certain needed niche in one of the journal's fields of interest. As these reviews don't pretend to be comprehensive, they require clear conceptual framing, methodological explanation of how topics and literature are selected for citation and discussion, and skillful recognition of important but not-reviewed aspects of topic literature. Essays in areas in which there is very little current literature, but unusual potential and importance, represent a second type of review.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

B - Favourable comments about EASE Guidelines

Anna Sharman has recently commented favourably on EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles:
This document is available in 20 languages and is updated every year ( The updated edition (slightly modified) should be published next month.

Monday, May 21, 2012

B - EASE Guidelines

Ufnalska SB. EASE Guidelines help editors and scientists save time. Science Editor 2011;34(4):e10

In 2010 EASE published its practical, concise and clear EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles.  They are addressed non only to scientists but also to translators because of culture-related differences in scientific style. They aim at facilitating the publication process and enabling science editors to focus on the scientific validity and accuracy of submitted aticles. In 2011 edition a special attention was given to ethical issues (authorship, acceptable secondary publication, avoidance of plagiarism) to promote research integrity worldwide.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

B - All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI)

Markusova V.  All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(2):113-117
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.113-117)

This article overviews the leading agency in information processing in Russia, the All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) of the Russian Academiy of Sciences. Its main aim is to collect, process and disseminate scientific information on various fields of science and technology, published in 70 countries in 40 languages. It contains about 30 million records dating back to 1980, with about 80,000-100,000 records added monthly.

B - Online biomedical databases

Masic I, Milinovic K. On-line biomedical databases - The best source for quick search of the scientific information in the biomedicine. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(2):72-84
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.72-84)

Biomedical databases can be grouped into three categories: bibliographic database, citation database and full-text database. Most important databases are located in famous university/academic centers. The authors describe about 30 online biomedical databases and how to make access and search articles in indexed medical journals.

B - Can small journals provide leadership?

Marušić A, Marušić M. Can small journals provide leadership? The Lancet 2012;379:1361-63
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61508-0)

Using a case study of the Croatian Medical Journal (CMJ) to represent a small journal from a small country, the authors explored what journals can achieve in their community. CMJ got excellent results. Among them, it implemented editorial policies, set up an official national register of all clinical trials approved by the Croatian Ministry of Health, strengthened health research in Croatia by promoting evidence-based medicine and systematic reviews as guidelines for practice, contributed to the increase in the quality of scholarly publishing mainly by introducing quality standards for obtaining funding.

B - Alarming cracks of bias

Sarewitz D. Beware the creeping cracks of bias. Nature 2012;485:149

The increasing pressure to publish is worsening the bias towards false positive results. Evidence is mounting that research is riddled with systematic errors, and that biases are not random. A biased scientific result is no different from a useless one. Alarming cracks in the scientific edifice are showing up starting from the biomedical field, because research results are constantly put to the practical test of improving human health. But systematic errors are a problem for any field that seeks to predict the behaviour of complex systems. Left unchecked, this could erode public trust.

Friday, May 11, 2012

B - Inappropriate authorship in high impact biomedical journals

Wislar JS, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, et al. Honorary and ghost authorship in high impact biomedical journals: a cross sectional survey. British Medical Journal 2011;343:d6128
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.d6128)

Ensuring appropriate authorship remains an important issue for authors, academic and research institution, and scientific journals. This study aimed at assessing the prevalence of honorary and ghost authors in six leading general medical journals in 2008 and at comparing this with the prevalence relative to 1996. Results showed that the total prevalence of articles with inappropriate authorship was 21%, a decline from 29.1 in 1996.

B - Authorship criteria

Scott-Lichter D. Authorship disputes: me first, me equally, me too, not me. Learned Publishing 2012;25(2):83-85
(doi: 10.1087/20120201)

Authorship criteria vary among journals. Some give detailed guidelines, others provide no definitions in their instructions for authors. Unfortunately, some recurring behaviours are inconsistent with ethical scientific practice. Some examples refer to the authorship order (which often influences how the work is cited), to the guest and ghost authorship. Journal editors should define acceptable authorship criteria and encourage adherence to them. One approach that may help is requiring authors to fill the contributorship model of authorship, in which they outline their individual major contribution to the article.;jsessionid=350hu269imqwv.alexandra

B - Author self-citations

Hartley J. To cite or not to cite: author self-citations and the impact factor. Scientometrics online pub. 23 Dec.2011

Author self-citations contribute to the overall citation count of an article and are an important factor in determining the impact factor of a journal. As there are usually more citations in the text than in the reference list, the author suggests to first count the number of references in the text to gain a better measure of how many citations are in the article. A discrimination should be also done between different kinds of author self-citations - from those that are informative to those that are self-enhancing.

B - Scientists' opinion on impact factor

Buela-Casal G, Zych I. What do scientists think about the impact factor? Scientometrics online pub.22 Febr.2012
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0676-y)

This study reflects the opinion on the impact factor (IF) of a broad sample of scientists all over the world. A questionnaire was answered by 1,704 researchers from 86 different countries. The results show that the opinion is slightly above a "neither positive nor negative" median. Surprisingly, there is a negative correlation between the number of articles published by the respondents and their opinion on the IF, that is more articles they have, the less they believe that IF is a good metric.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

B - Ethics of journal peer review

Lipworth W, Kerridge I. Shifting power relations and the ethics of journal peer review. Social Epistemology 2011;25(1):97-121
(doi: 10.1080/02691728.2010.534567)

This qualitative study aimed at generating an understanding of the manuscript review process. Results showed that relations of power and epistemic authority in manuscript review are complex and dynamic. A shifting "net" of power relations is then suggested, also by encouraging reviewers to participate in the review process in the most ethical and effective manner.

B - Refereeing academic articles

Hartley J. Refereeing academic articles in the information age. British Journal of Educational Technology 2011;43(3):520-528
(doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01211.x)

The new technology (such as ScholarOne) used for submitting papers to academic journals increases the possibilities for gathering, analysing and presenting summary data on stages in the refereeing process. Such data can be used to clarify the roles played by editors and publishers as well as referees. The author suggests that refereeing should be “open” in this information age - i.e. correspondence between editors, referees and authors should be open and available, and not private. Some of the issues involved in achieving this are outlined and discussed.

B - Publication success prediction

Hönekopp J, Khan J. Future publication success in science is better predicted by traditional measures than by the h index. Scientometrics 2012;90(3):843-853
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0551-2)

Little is known about how future publication success can be predicted from past publication success. This article investigated how the post-2000 publication success of 85 researchers in oncology could be predicted from their previous publication record. The main findings were: rates of past achievement were better predictors than measures of cumulative achievement, and a combination of authors' past productivity and the past citation rate of their average paper was most successful in predicting future publication success. This combination of traditional bibliographic indicators clearly outperformed predictions based on the rate of the h index.

B - Positive-outcome bias

Fanelli D. Negative results are disappearing from most disciplines and countries. Scientometrics 2012;90(3):891:904
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0494-7)

A system that disfavours negative results not only distorts the scientific literature directly, but might also discourage high-risk projects and pressure scientists to fabricate and falsify their data. This study analysed over 4,600 papers published in all disciplines between 1990 and 2007, measuring the frequency of papers that, having declared to have ‘‘tested’’ a hypothesis, reported a positive support for it. The overall frequency of positive supports has grown by over 22% between 1990 and 2007, with significant differences between disciplines and countries. The increase was stronger in the social and some biomedical disciplines.

B - Publication bias

Joober R, Schmitz N, Annable L, et al. Publication bias: what are the challenges and can they be overcome?. Editorial. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience 2012;37(3):149-152
(doi: 10.1503/jpn.120065)

There is evidence suggesting that publication bias - withholding negative results from publication -  is increasing. Psychology and psychiatry are among the disciplines in which this increase is highest. This bias may seriously distort the literature and lead to misguided research. Researchers' and editors' ethical duty should lead them to publish both positive and negative outcomes in an equitable manner. All journals should make a concerted effort to promote publication of high-quality negative studies.

Monday, May 07, 2012

B - Writing a narrative biomedical review

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Blackmore H et al. Writing a narrative biomedical review: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors. Rheumatology International 2011 July 29 (doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-1999-3)

Writing and properly structuring a review article requires the author's deep knowledge and expertise in a specific field of science. Each section of a review article has to be constructed based on widely accepted rules and relevance evidence. The aim of this review is to analyze the main steps in writing a narrative biomedical review and to consider points that may increase the chances of successful publication and future impact, such as those related to authorship, title, abstract and keywords, introductory notes, search methodology, conclusions, acknowledgments, references, and where to submit a review manuscript. These steps can also be applicable to editorials and commentaries.

B - Teaching best practices in scientific research

Macrina FL. Teaching authorship and publication practices in the biomedical and life sciences. Science and Engineering Ethics 2011;17(2):341-354

The examination of a limited number of publisher's Instructions for Authors, of guidelines from two scientific societies, and of the policy document of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) provided the basis for articulating best practices in authorship in scientific research. They relate, in particular, to the following issues: definition of authorship, police statements on duplicative publication, conflict of interests disclosure, electronic access, data sharing, digital image integrity, and subject's protection. All these elements provide a foundation for teaching about authorship and publication practices.

B - Conflicts of interest policies

Fernando A,Timmis A, Pinto FJ et al. Conflict of interest policies and disclosure requirements among European Society of Cardiology national cardiovascular journals. Heart 2012 Apr;K98(7):e1-7
(doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2012-301875)

This review provides a comprehensive editorial perspective to better understand potential conflicts of interest (COI) disclosure. A survey on the Editors' Network of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) National Societies Cardiovascular Journals (NSCJ) COI policies and disclosure requirements confirms that this topic is poorly - and not uniformly - dealt with by journals. Further actions are then required to increase awareness of the importance of COI disclosure and to promote appropriate policies.

B - Maps of citations uncover hot research and scholarship

Howard J. Citation by citation, new maps chart hot research and scholarship's hidden terrain. The Chronicle of Higher Education 2011, Sept. 11

A team led by two biologists and a physicist has set out to build a guidance system, a sort of Google maps of scholarship, to help researchers locate hot research, spot hidden connections to other fields, and identify new disciplines. The Eigenfactor algorithm should take into account the sources of citations. This tool should be freely available and run on a desktop or laptop computer.

Friday, May 04, 2012

B - Myths about open access publishing

Taylor MP. Persistent myths about open access scientific publishing. The Guardian 2012 April 17

Recent articles published in The Guardian have drawn attention to lots of reasons why open access (OA) scientific publishing is reasonable, beneficial, and even inevitable. But some misconceptions have still been presented in two recent letters to the same journal. The author reinforces a steady situation regarding OA publishing, i.e. academic publishers do not pay peer reviewers, and lack of funds is no bar to publication in an OA journal. Probably the greatest impediment to more universal OA at the moment is researchers' fear that unless they place their work in high impact journals, they will be at a disadvantage when competing for grants.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

B - UNESCO guidelines on open access

Swan A. Policy guidelines for the development and promotion of open access. UNESCO: Open Guidelines Series;2012
The objective of this publication is to promote open access (OA) in UNESCO Member States by facilitating understanding of all relevant issues related to OA. It will serve the needs of OA policy development at the government, institutional and funding agency level. It can facilitate knowledge-based decision-making to adopt OA policies and strenghten national research systems.

Friday, April 20, 2012

B - Review about authorship issues

Marušić A, Bošnjak L, Jerončić A. A systematic review of research on the meaning, ethics and practices of authorship across scholarly disciplines. PLoS ONE 2011;6(9):e23477
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023477)
This systematic review has the purpose to evaluate evidence about authorship issues and provide synthesis of research on authorship across all scholarly disciplines. It reviewed 123 articles reporting results from 118 studies. Four general themes were identified: authorship perceptions, definitions and practices; defining order of authors on the byline; ethical and unethical authorship practices; and authorship issues related to student/non-research-personnel-supervisor collaboration.

Friday, April 06, 2012

B - Social awareness tools for science research

McMahon TM, Powell JE, Hopkins M, et al. Social awareness tools for science research. D-Lib Magazine 2012;18(3/4)
(doi: 10.1045/march2012-mcmahon)

Thi article discusses social awareness tools developed specifically for science researchers that facilitate collaboration, help manage article references, and offer options for presenting findings in new ways. The following tools are described: VIVO and Profiles, ScienceSifter, Mendeley, SAT and EXPAT, and SciVee. As scientists know little about such tools, librarians could play an important role to evaluate the many social awareness tools available, to recommend them, and to help researchers use them effectively.

B - Science growth in Iran

Kharabaf S, Abdollahi M. Science growth in Iran over the past 35 years. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences 2012;17(3)

This study was carried out to evaluate activities in different scientific fields in Iran compared to other countries over the past 35 years. A scientometric analysis of relevant databases was then conducted. Results showed a progressive quantitative and qualitative growth of Iranian publications. The field of chemistry was the most prolific in terms of number of publications, and a general growth in the quality of works was also evident.

Friday, March 23, 2012

B - Post-dating journal articles and citation counting

Krell FT. Academic publishers' time-loop: another mechanism to manipulate impact factors? Learned Publishing 2012;25(2):153-154
(doi: 10.1087/20120210)

According to the author, all major scientific publishers state false publication dates. Why not give the correct publication dates? For a journal issue published, for example, in December 2011, but dated January 2012, the citation counting for the Impact Factor (IF) will consider citations from January 2012 to December 2014. This buys journal issues another year of exposure and moves the citation counts for the journal IF closer to the peak of citedness for most journals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

B - Tracking replications as method of post-publication evaluation

Hartshorne JK, Schachner A. Tracking replicability as a method of post-publication open evaluation. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 2012;6:8
(doi: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00008)

To increase the reliability and accuracy of published articles, the authors propose tracking replications of published findings as a means of post-publication evaluation, both to help researchers identify reliable findings, and to incentivize the publication of reliable results. They laid out a proposal for how replications might be tracked via an online open access system, which core components are described, including mechanisms for compiling the information, ensuring data quality, and incentivizing the research community to participate.

B - Chinese medical ethics

Li EC, Du P, Ji KZ, et al. Chinese ethics review system and Chinese medicine ethical review: past, present, and future. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine 2011;17(11):867-872

The Chinese medical ethics committee and the ethical review system have recently made substantial achievements, as they: enabled the institutionalization of medical ethics, carried out the ethics review of Chinese medicine extensively, trained a large number of ethical professionals, supported and protected the interests of patients and subjects. Nevetheless, new problems and difficulties should be faced.

B - Open access economical model

Leptin M. Open access-pass the buck. Science 2012;335(6074):1279
(doi: 10.1126/science.1220395)

Most scientists support the open access publishing model, but there is still much debate on the economics and potential consequences of open access among researchers, publishers, academics, funding agencies, and governments. Publishing costs money and open access is not free. Moving from subscription-based to author-pays economics does not abolish the potential for profit. The open access publishing depends largely on the proportion of submitted articles accepted by a journal. The author-pays business model is incompatible with the highly selective publishing model of the traditional journals: an open access journal has to be either selective and expensive, or less selective and inexpensive.

B - Women underrepresented on editorial boards of top-ranked medical journals

Amrein K, Langmann A, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, et al. Women underrepresented on editorial boards of 60 major medical journals. Gender Medicine 2011;8(6):377-387
(doi: 10.1016/j.genm.2011.10.007)

Significant gender disparity is still present at many levels of academic medicine. Results from a sample analysis of 60 leading medical journals in different medical specialties, published in 2011, showed that women are still a minority on editorial boards, accounting for 16% of editors-in-chief and 18% of editorial board members. A great variability (between 0 and 71%) exists among the journals and specialties analyzed. Greater participation by women on editorial boards may improve the quality and diversity of the review process as reviewer behaviour is different in some aspects between men and women.

B - Publication of NIH funded clinical trials

Ross JS, Tse T, Zarin DA et al. Publication of NIH funded trials registered in cross sectional analysis. British Medical Journal 2012;344:d7292

The US FDA Amendment Act of 2007 requires that clinical trials subject to regulation be registered and reported in, and this is - according to the ICMJE - a requisite for publication. This legislation aims at improving the accessibility of clinical trial results. The results of this study showed that fewer than half of clinical trials funded by NIH and registered within were published in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal indexed by Medline within 30 months trial completion. The median time of publication was 51 months after trial completion, and a third of trials remained unpublished.

Friday, March 16, 2012

B - Gender-sensitive reporting in medical research

Heidari S, Abdool Karim Q, Auerbach JD, et al. Gender-sensitive reporting in medical research. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2012;15(11)
(doi: 10.1186/1758-2652-15-11)

Women are still underrepresented in clinical trials, and even in studies in which both men and women participate, systematic analysis of data to identify potential sex-based differences is lacking. This article suggests important steps that could be taken to address the gender imbalance: inclusion of a gender perspective in the next Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guideline revision; sensitizing the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to emphasize in their Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URM) the ethical obligation of authors to present data analyzed by sex as a matter of routine; and requiring journal editors to include gender analyses into their editorial policies.

B - How experienced examiners assess research theses

Mullins G, Kiley M. "It's a PhD, not a Nobel Prize": how experienced examiners assess research theses. Studies in Higher Education 2002;27(4):369-386
(doi: 10.1080/0307507022000011507)

This 2002 article reports on a study of the examination processes for postgraduate research theses that 30 Australian experienced examiners went through, and the judgements they made before writing their reports. The study considered a variety of issues, such as: criteria used by examiners and levels of student performance expected by them; critical judgement points in the examination process; examiners' perceptions of their own role in the process; influence on examiners of previously published works.

B - Twitter: a guide for academics and researchers

Mollett A, Moran D, Dunleavy P. Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities. Impact of social sciences: maximizing the impact of academic research, LSE Public Policy Group, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. LSE Research Online September 2011

Twitter is a form of free micro-blogging which allows users to send and receive short public messages called tweets. Thousands of academics and researchers at all levels of experience and across all disciplines already use Twitter daily. How can such a brief medium have any relevance to universities and academia? Can anything of academic value ever be said in just 140 characters? This guide answers these questions, ahowing how to get started on Twitter and showing how it can be used as a resource for research, teaching and impact activities.

Monday, March 12, 2012

B - Mathematicians' author rights

Fowler KK. Do mathematicians get the author rights they want? Notices of the AMS 2012;59(3):436-438
(doi: 10.1090/noti808)

This article identifies the rights mathematicians say they want when publishing an article, which rights they often do not get, and how and why an author might keep the important ones. The best suggested solution would be to sign a publication agreement betwen the author and the editor, that both of them agree to, and that gives both of them the rights they feel are important. On the contrary, if a standard agreement is not possible, an author should attach and addendum to the contract. A balance of rights is needed for the mathematics community's benefit.

B - Maximizing journal article visibility and citations

Norman ER. Maximizing journal article citation online: readers, robots, and research visibility. Politics & Policy 2012;40(1):1-12
(doi: 10.1111/j.1747-1346.2011.00342.x)

Writing an article for online distributions is different from preparing one for print journals in some small, but important, aspects. This article covers some techniques that authors should consider when submitting to online journals, in order to: choose a search engine-friendly title, write accurate abstracts and inviting introductions, make the article easy to use and connect to, use media and links imaginatively, and disseminate the article after publication. These improvements are likely to be worth in terms of maximizing an article's chances for better visibility, increased downloads, and higher citations later.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

B - AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean

Shashok K, Handjani F. Enhancing the quality of research publication: AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Journal of Tehran University Heart Center 2010;5(4):169-171

Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region, infrastructural, linguistic, economic and even political factors can limit access to English-language resources for the development and training of researchers, science editors, and peer reviewers. This article describes the AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean (AAEM) project, that aims to increase the dissemination of research results from Eastern Mediterranean countries through editorial mentoring. AAEM advisors help researchers prepare manuscripts to a high standard of linguistic and editorial quality.

B - Self-publishing of Croatian editors

Bošnjak L, Puljak L, Vukojević K, et al. Analysis of a number and type of publications that editors publish in their own journals: case study of scholarly journals in Croatia. Scientometrics 2011;86:227-233
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-010-0207-7)

This article analysed a number of articles of scholarly Croatian journals to assess how often the editors published their own research articles in their own journals (self-publishing). Although the majority of editors did not misuse their journals for scientific publishing and academic promotion and extreme self-publishing cases were rare, none of the journals had any stated policy on the publications and management of submissions. A greater transparency for the conflict of interests of the editors is needed.

B - What factors determine citation counts in chemistry

Bornmann L, Schier H, Marx W, et al. What factors determine citation counts of publications in chemistry besides their quality? Journal of Informetrics 2012;6(1):11-18
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2011.08.004)

This study examined the correlation between citation counts of individual papers and a number of factors, using an extensive data set from the field of chemistry. The study found a statistically significant correlation - independently of the quality of the papers - with the following factors: citation performance of the cited references, reputation of the authors, language of the publishing journal, and chemical subfield, but not with the number of the authors.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

B - Plagiarism in scientific writing: words or ideas?

Habibzadeh F, Shashok K. Plagiarism in scientific writing: words or ideas? Croatian Medical Journal 2011;52(4):576-577
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2011.52.576)

Plagiarism can be categorized in two general distinct categories - plagiarism of ideas and plagiarism of text. While in many fields like literature and humanities the author and hence the wordings are the most important aspect of the article, in scientific writing the scientific content is more important than the author and wordings. Here the originality is not in wordings, but in the scientific content. The author of a scientific paper should follow a well-established scientific methodology for conducting and reporting the results of a research. Should the damage to the integrity of a work associated with text plagiarism be considered less compared to the consequences of plagiarism of ideas?