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?

B - Social networks in education of health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Masic I, Sivic S. Social networks in education of health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina - the role of Pubmed/Medline in improvement of medical sciences. Acta Informatica Medica 2011;19(4):196-202
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2011.19.196-202)

Social networks provide significant opportunities to researchers, students and professors for spreading medical information and for health education. This article investigates to what extent and how effectively social networks are used today, specifically their implications in educations of students and health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A survey was conducted among 200 students of a medicine faculty and 210 health professionals. While students are frequent users of general social networks, health care workers have not shown great interest in it.

B - Ethical publishing in developing countries

Marusic A. Importance of ethical publishing in developing countries. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(1):4
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.4-4)

Journal editors may be the key figures in increasing the level of research integrity in the scientific community. Ethical publishing is particularly important in small and developing countries, and an important role for editors is the educational role, that is educating authors in responsible publishing and responsible conduct of research. Also editors in small journals may have problems to achieve the full integrity of the articles published, mostly because of their own weaknesses as well as external threats to the integrity of the editorial work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

EASE Guidelines

EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English are now freely available in as many as 20 languages! Two new translations, Croatian and Bosnian, can already be downloaded from EASE redesigned website.
EASE Guidelines provide simple, clear advice aimed at making international scientific communication more efficient. We encourage authors and translators to observe these guidelines and apply the relevant suggestions to their manuscripts before submission. Adherence should mean that the manuscript has a greater chance of acceptance.

Friday, February 17, 2012

B - Ngram, mapping the language of science

Perkowitz S. Mapping the language of science. Physics World October 2011

This article describes Ngram, a free search tool for the written word. Its database contains 500 billion words in 8 languages, taken from the 5 million books that Google has scanned into digital form. Ngram can plot a word incidence as a percentage of all works used over time period between 1500 and 2008. It finds when words like “science”, “technology”, “mathematics” and so on first appeared, and also how other terms rose in usage and then fell again. It can also display the surrounding text or point to the book containing the word. It is particularly amusing when it reveals connections between real science and the speculative or junk variety.

Thanks to John Glen.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

B . Retractions in the medical literature

Steen RG. Retractions in the medical literature: how many patients are put at risk by flawed research? Journal of Medical Ethics 2011;37(11):688-692
(doi: 10.1136/jme.2011.043133)

This article reports evidence that a large number of patients are put at risk by flawed research. The author evaluated 788 retracted English-language articles published from 2000 to 2010, describing new research with humans or freshly derived human material. Retracted papers were cited over 5,000 times, with 94% of citations being research related, showing that ideas promulgated in retracted papers can influence subsequent research.

B - The gender gap in authorship

Shields L, Hall J, Mamun AA. The "gender gap" in authorship in nursing literature. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2011;104(11):457-464
(doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2011.110015)

There is gender bias in authorship in nursing journals in the UK similar to that observed in medicine, with more men than women as first or senior authors of articles. Despite the small proportion of men in the nursing workforce, up to 30% of first authors in 8 non-specialist nursing journals were men. UK journals were more likely to have male authors than USA journals, and this increased over time.

B - Gap in access to scholarly content

Research Information Network (RIN), Publishing Research Consortium (PRC), Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). Access to scholarly content: gaps and barriers. December 2011

This report investigates and quantifies the extent to which members of different communities in the UK can gain ready access to formally-published scholarly literature, in particular journal articles and conference proceedings. The findings are based on an online survey of researchers and knowledge workers from UK universities and colleges, medical schools and health providers, industry and commerce, and research institutes. This study provides hard factual evidence on the size and significance of gaps and barriers to accessing scholarly information.

B - The SOAP Project

Dallmeier-Tiessen S, Darby R, Goerner B, et al. Open access journals - what publishers offer, what researchers want. Information Services & Uses 2011;31:85-91
(doi: 10.3233/ISU-2011-0624)

This article describes the SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project, that analyzed the current supply and demand situation in the open access (OA) journal landscape. Several sources of data were considered, from DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) to journal websites and direct inquiries within the publishing industry, to map the present supply of online peer reviewed OA journals. On the basis of a large-scale survey of researchers' opinions and attitudes, the demand for OA publishing was assessed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

B - Reporting guidelines for survey research

Bennett C, Khangura S, Brehaut JC, et al. Reporting guidelines for survey research: an analysis of published guidance and reporting practices. PloS Medicine 2011;8(8):e1001069
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001069)

The authors identified any previous relevant guidance and any evidence on the quality of reporting of survey research. The results of their study showed that guidance is limited and consensus lacking. They highlighted the need for a clear and consistent reporting guidelines specific to survey research, that would provide the structure to ensure more complete reporting and allow clearer review and interpretation of the results from surveys.

B - Reporting guidelines for health research

Moher D, Weeks L, Ocampo M, et al. Describing reporting guidelines for health research: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2011;64(7):718-742
(doi: 10.1016/j.clinepi.2010.09.013)

This review article describes the process of development, content, and methods of implementation of 81 reporting guidelines for health research. The results of the review indicate that guideline developers do not report on many aspects of how their guideline was developed. As such, it is difficult to determine the quality of the guideline development process. Publishing better descriptions of the process will allow potential users to critically assess the robustness of the provided recommendations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

B - Why science struggles to correct its mistakes

Zimmer C. It's science, but not necessarily right. The New York Times June 25, 2011

As a series of controversies have recently demonstrated, science fixes its mistakes not so rapidly and fitfully. It usually takes a lot of time to look back over other scientists' work and replicate their experiments. Even when scientists rerun an experiment, and even when they find that the original result is flawed, they still may have trouble getting their paper published. The reason is that journal editors typically prefer to publish groundbreaking new research, not dutiful replications. The scientific community should put more value on replication.

B - Missing clinical trial data

Lehman R, Loder E. Missing clinical trial data. British Medical Journal 2012;344:d8158
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.d8158)

A large proportion of evidence from human trials is unreported, and much of what is reported is done inadequately. Missing data about harm in trials can harm patients, and incomplete data about benefit can lead to futile costs to healthy systems. Some articles are listed that look closely at the extent, causes, and consequences of unpublished evidence from clinical trials. They show that the current situation is a disservice to research participants, patients, and health systems. The authors advocate for a retroactive disclosure of all clinical trial data and for developing better systems for the future.

B - Copyright of clinical tools

Newman JC, Feldman R. Copyright and open access at the bedside. The New England Journal of Medicine 2011;365:2447-2449

What can researchers do to ensure that other colleagues can use clinician tools they developed to improve patient care? A good solution is that authors provide explicit permissive licensing, ideally with a form of copyleft. Any new tool developed with public funds should be required to use a copyleft or similar license to guarantee the freedom to distribute and improve it. Yet authors would maintain ownership and copyright of their tool and could profit by licensing it for a fee to commercial users or publishers.

B - Peerage of Science: a publishing revolution?

Fowler M. Peerage of Science: a publishing revolution? Theoretically Speaking Nature.com blog Jan 16, 2012

The increasing number of scientists is coupled with a pressure to publish more (often smaller units of) science. This increases the burden on peer reviewers in different ways. Peerage of Science (POS) is a new initiative that aims to improve on some of the perceived problems with peer review, independently from journals and publishing houses. One of its goals is that of cutting down unnecessary repetition of effort in the review/editorial process to get the work published more easily. This post assesses the pros and cons of various aspects of the POS system from different points of view: those of authors,reviewers, and editors.

B - Sharing research data to improve public health

Walport M, Brest P. Sharing research data to improve public health. The Lancet 2011;337(9765):537-539
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62234-9)

A group of major international funders of public health research have committed to work together to increase the availability of data emerging from their funded research, in order to accelerate advances in public health. A joint statement of purpose sets out the principles and goals through which the organisations will work to further this shared vision.
The statement was launched on 10 January 2011, with a comment piece in The Lancet by Wellcome Trust director Mark Walport and Hewlett Foundation president Paul Brest.
Read the statement in full http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/Policy/Spotlight-issues/Data-sharing/Public-health-and-epidemiology/WTDV030690.htm

B - Goodbye PubMed, hello raw data

Godlee F. Goodbye PubMed, hello raw data. British Medical Journal 2011;342:d212
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.d212)

According to the Cochrane team, reviewers must have access to all unpublished data, not only from unpublished trials but also from those that have been published in peer reviewed journals. Reviewers must assess entire trial programmes, and if trial reports are incomplete, they should turn to reports from the drug regulators. Being this approach unsustainable across the whole of healthcare, the only real solution by the BMJ editor is that the raw data from trials must be made freely available. Journal editors have a key role to play in making this happen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

B - The value of data

Barend M, van Haagen H, Chichester C et al. The value of data. Nature Genetics 2011;43(4):281-283
(doi: 10.1038/ng0411-281)

Data citation and the derivation of semantic constructs directly from datasets have now both found their place in scientific communication. The data-intensive sciences call for innovative ways of data sharing, stewardship and valuation. This article proposes a new way to represent data, information and, in particular, assertions in the form of nanopublications. A nanopublication is the smallest unit of publication: a single assertion associating two concepts by means of a predicate in machine-readable format with proper metadata on provenance and context.

B - Modelling and representing the scholarly article

Pettifer S, McDermott P, Marsh J. et al. Ceci n'est pas un hamburger: modelling and representing the scholarly article. Learned Publishing 2011;24(3):207-220
(doi: 10.1087/20110309)

In spite of its apparent limitations, the PDF remains the favourite vehicle for distributing scholarly work, representing more than 80% of all downloaded content. The article introduces the Utopia Documents, a new free PDF reader that the authors have developed. This software combines all the advantages of the PDF with the interactivity of a blog or Web pages. It reads a PDF much like a human does, recognizing document content and feature and ignoring less important artefacts and non-document content.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

B - The Creative Commons licence

Morgan C. Understanding the Creative Commons licence. Learned Publishing 2011;24(1):51-53
(doi: 10.1087/20110108)

This article explores some of the issues related to the use of the Creative Commons (CC) licences. Six types of CC licences are described, from the least to the most restrictive. Each publisher needs to make his own decision about whether to use them according to their advantages and disadvantages, guided by the difference between "some rights reserved" and "all rights reserved".

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

B - Science as a public enterprise

Boulton G, Rawlins M, Vallance P et al. Science as a public enterprise: the case for open data. The Lancet 2011;337(9778):1663-1635
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6376(11)60647-8)

Despite the spectacular advances of science, nowadays there is criticism about the accessibility of data on which scientists base their conclusions and on which policy or regulatory decisions are made. The UK's Royal Society has established a working group to study the use of scientific information as it affects scientists and society, to explore the problematic questions arising from a regime of open access to scientific data, and which recommendations should be addressed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

B - Coercive citation in academic publishing

Wilhite AW, Fong EA. Coercive citation in academic publishing. Science 2012;335(6068):542-543
(doi: 10.1126/science.1212540)

One side effect of impact factors is the incentive they create for many journal editors to coerce authors to add citations to their journal. To explore the extent and nature of such coercive self-citation, the authors analyzed responses from a survey and journal-based data in some disciplines (economics, sociology, psychology, and multiple business disciplines). Results showed that coercion is uncomfortably common - especially in the business disciplines - and appears to be practiced opportunistically. Academic associations could help by officially condemning the practice.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

B - Article evaluation: the five stars

Shotton D. The Five Stars of Online Journal Articles - a framework for article evaluation. D-Lib Magazine Epub January/February 2012;18(1/2)
(doi: 10.1045/january2012-shotton)

The author proposes five factors - peer review, open access, enriched content, available datasets and machine-readable metadata - and a five-point scale for each of them, by which an online journal article can be evaluated. These five stars are complementary and provide a conceptual framework by which to judge the degree to which any article achieves or falls short of the ideal. They could be useful to authors, editors, and publishers.