Thursday, December 19, 2013

B - Teaching scientific editing

Willey I, Tanimoto K. "Convenience editors" as legitimate participants in the practice of scientific editing: an interview study. Journal of English for Academic Purposers 2013;12(1):23-32

This study explored how English teachers who regularly edited healthcare-related texts learned the “craft” of scientific editing. The authors interviewed English-teaching editors of scientific texts written by Japanese authors, with a focus on these editors' initial difficulties with editing and how editors overcame these difficulties. Results indicate that some issues are of potential significance to these English teachers, such as the various styles and terminology of medical academic writing; authors' involvement in the editing process; and early apprenticeship or immersion experiences.  Greater collaboration between English teachers and scientific professionals is needed, too.

B - What makes a good title?

Grant MJ. What makes a good title? Health Information and Library Journal 2013;30:259-260
(doi: 10.1111/hir.12049)

What factors transform a mediocre title into a good title? Firstly, it should be both informative and specific, using words or phrases likely to be used when searching for information. Secondly, it should be concise yet convey the main ideas clearly; articles with short titles reporting study findings have been found to attract higher numbers of viewing and citations. Thirdly, provide details of the study design to assist the reader in making an informed choice about the type of project your article is reporting. In taking these small steps when developing your title, it can present a more concise, retrievable and clear articulation of your article.

B - Benchmarking biomedical publications

Boissier MC. Benchmarking biomedical publications worldwide. Rheumatology52(9):1545-1546.                                                                                                           
(doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket181)
The volume of science as evaluated by the number of publications is increasing 10-fold every 50 years, and the number of scientific journals doubled every 13 years on average. This growth is driven in part by emerging countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan. The global number of publications reflects the prominence of a country in the worldwide scientific landscape, which has obvious implications both for the development of worldwide strategies and for intellectual property issues. The ratio of the number of publications over the size of the population is an index of the scientific productivity of a community and can be used to benchmark countries in terms of what a group of researchers is actually accomplishing.

B - Use of double dummy trial

Marušić A, Ferenčić SF. Adoption of the double dummy trial design to reduce observer bias in testing treatments. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2013;106(5):196-198
(doi: 10.1177/0141076813485350)
The use of the double dummy trial was reported to reduce observer bias. Although the use of placebo controls (dummy treatments) and blind assessment to decrease observer bias in clinical trials was introduced at the end of the 19th century, it was not until the second half of the 20th century, that placebo controls became more widely used. The preparation of the placebo interventions becomes more complicated: to control for both delivery methods, the trial needs to have adequate control groups for both treatments – an approach referred to as the ‘double dummy’ trial design.

B - Editing across borders

Drouart M (Ed.) Editing across borders: papers from the 6th IPEd National Editors Conference, 10-12 April 2013, Perth, Western Australia.

Online proceedings of a Conference on editing held in April 2013 in Perth, Western Australia, by the Society of Editors (West Australia) and the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd)
, the 6th IPEd National Editors Conference. They include some top-quality papers on editing across cultural borders, editing skills, editorial workflows, creating a magazine, and much more.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

B - Gender differences in research collaboration

Abramo G, D'Angelo CA, Murgia G. Gender differences in research collaboration. Journal of Informetrics 2013;7(4):811-822
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2013.07.002)
The issue of gender aspects in research collaborations has been treated in a marginal manner. In this article the authors apply an innovative bibliometric approach, that is the measurement of gender differences in the propensity to collaborate by fields, disciplines and forms of collaboration: intramural, extramural domestic and international. The analysis of the scientific production of Italian academics shows that women researchers register a greater capacity to collaborate in all the forms analyzed, with the exception of international collaboration, where there is still a gap in comparison to male colleagues.

B - Redefining misconduct

Fanelli D. Redefine misconduct as distorted reporting. Nature 2013;494:149
(doi: 10.1038/494149a)

Only the most egregious cases of misconduct are discovered and punished. Publication, peer-review and misconduct investigations should focus less on what scientists do, and more on what they communicate, and they should also ensure that it is impossible to lie by omission. A good start would be to redefine misconduct as distorted reporting. In addition, the main task of journal editors and referees would be to ensure that researchers comply reporting guidelines, and if the authors refuse or were unable to comply, their paper should be rejected.

B - Research ethics: authorship

Jawad F. Research ethics: authorship and publication. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association 2013;63(12):1560-1562

Some considerations on authorship issues. These should be known to all performing research, and every institution should have laid down policies on research and authorship. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines on authorship criteria are reported and discussed.

B - Iranian registry of clinical trials

Solaymani-Dodaran M, Vasei M, Ghanei M. Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials: a four-year steady progress. Archives of Iranian Medicine 2013;16(11):671-674

The Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT) begun its activities as a member of WHO registry network in December 2008. It has made an outstanding progress within four years from its establishment both in terms of quantity and timeliness. Registration movement has succeeded in getting the message across to the research community and clinical trial registration has now become an integral part of research sphere in Iran.

B - Research misconduct

Bornmann L. Research misconduct - definitions, manifestations and extent. Publications 2013;1(3):87-98
(doi: 10.3390/publications1030087)

This article provides an overview of what research misconduct is generally understood to be, its manifestations and the extent to which they are thought to exist. While every spectacular case of fraud discovered and discussed in the public media seriously damages the trust placed in science, it is almost impossible to estimate the extent of the risk posed by more minor transgressions to the progress of scientific knowledge.

B - Open data sharing in the context of bioresources

De Castro P, Calzolari A, Napolitani F, et al. Open data sharing in the context of bioresources. Acta Informatica Medica 2013;21(4):291-292
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2013.21.291-292)

In the complex field of bioresources, the BRIF (Bioresource Research Impact Factor) project aims to create suitable methods to recognise and measure the use and impact of biological resources in scientific/academic work, in order to maximize access by researchers to collections of biological materials and attached databases, and to recognize efforts involved in their maintenance. The BRIF initiative can be considered as a tool to facilitate research resource sharing.

B - Gender differences in UK research funding

Head MG, Fitchett JR, Cooke MK, et al. Differences in research funding for women scientists: a systematic comparison of UK investments in global infectious disease research during 1997–2010. BMJ Open 3(12):e003362                                
(doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003362)

The authors investigated funding awards to UK institutions for all infectious disease research from 1997 to 2010 through a systematic comparison of awards by sex. Results showed consistent differences in funding received by men and women, with women who had fewer funded studies and received less funding in absolute. These differences remained broadly unchanged over the 14-year study period.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

B - New roles for health sciences librarians

Martin EL. Shaping opportunities for the new health sciences librarian. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2013;101(4):252-253
(doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.101.4.004)

This Editorial briefly summarizes some aspects related to the new health sciences librarian roles, that are described in articles published in a recent issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association. The effects of today's new economy have accelerated a new cycle of change in the roles of health science librarians, who should have the following characteristics: a subject expertise combined with information science training, an expert ability to retrieve and access information including data sets, digital tools, and social media outlets; an ability to play a role in the entire scholarly communication process.

B - Research data referencing

Hahnel M. The reuse factor. Nature 2013;502:298

The majority of scientists still consider journal articles to be the only valid, formal record of their research. The author has set up a company, figshare, to make research data reusable, reproducible, and interactive. He believes that referencing is not dead, but it is exploding to encompass the full spectrum of research outputs from lines of code to video frames. Scientists should appreciate that making their research outputs citable enables their research to have quantifiable impact. Accordingly, publishers should mandate that all the research that goes into forming the conclusions of a paper be made openly available, when ethically possible.

B - BioRxiv preprint website for bioscience

Callaway E. Preprints come to life. Nature 2013;503:180

BioRxiv is a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences. It is launched by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press in New York, a not-for-profit research and educational institution. It operates similarly to arXiv, with scientists depositing papers as soon as they are ready to share them, weeks or months before their publication. By posting preprints on bioRxiv, authors are able to make their findings immediately available to the scientific community and receive feedback on draft manuscripts before they are submitted to journals. This website leaves journals divided, with many of them that have changed their policies in recent months to allow the practice.

B - Libyan Journal of Medicine

Bakoush O. Libyan Journal of Medicine among top journals in African and Arab countries. Libyan Journal of Medicine 2013;8:20686
(doi: 10.3402/ljm.v8i0.20686)

African and Arab academic and research institutions contribute modestly to the international biomedical literature. Inadequate research funding and limited national, regional and international collaboration are important factors contributing to this deficiency. This Editorial describes results obtained by the Libyan Journal of Medicine, that was established in 2006 as an open access journal.

B - Science communication to general public

Brownell SE, Price JV, Steinman L. Science communication to the general public: why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific training. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE) 2013;12(1):E6-E10

The authors argue that incorporating formal communication training into undergraduate and graduate curricula for aspiring scientists will enhance the quality of discourse between scientists and the lay public. They provide general recommendations for those interested in developing basic science courses with an emphasis on communication with a layperson audience, with specific examples derived from their own training experience whose focus is analysis of primary scientific literature and mastery of scientific content.

Friday, December 13, 2013

B- Impact factor and citation performance

Finardi U. Correlation between Journal Impact Factor and citation performance: an experimental study. Journal of Informetrics 2013;7(2):357-370
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2012.12.004)

This article studies how the correlation between the Journal Impact Factor and the (time-weighed) article Mean Received Citations (intended as a measure of journal performance) has evolved through time. It focuses on a sample of hard sciences and social sciences journals from the 1999 to 2010 time period. Correlation coefficients (Pearson's Coefficients as well as Spearman's Coefficients and Kendall's τα) are calculated and then tested against several null hypotheses. The results show that in most cases Journal Impact Factors and their yearly variations do not display a strong correlation with citedness. Differences also exist among scientific areas.

B - Journal rankings

Brembs B. What ranking journals has in common with astrology. RT. A Journal on Research Policy & Evaluation 2013;1:1-6
(doi: 10.13130/2282-5398/3378)

According to the author, erroneous and fraudulent work is more common in high-ranking journals than anywhere else, and the methodology of research published is at least not superior, perhaps even inferior to work published elsewhere. Scientists use factors, such as the container within which an article is published, to judge the quality of an article. The existing scientific infrastructure should be reformed to develop an evidence-based reputation system. The solution could lie in a combination of the expert know-how residing in computing centres and libraries of institutions and academies.

B - Raw data availability from clinical trials

Doshi P, Goodman SN, Ioannidis JPA. Raw data from clinical trials: within reach? Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2013;34(12):645-647
(doi: 10.1016/

Many scientific disciplines have accepted that raw data, protocols, and analysis codes should be widely available. Making raw data from clinical trials widely publically available should reduce selective reporting biases and enhance the reproducibility of and trust in clinical research. Some of the caveats and limitations in proposed data-sharing policies are potentially restrictive, and the authors argue in favor of more widespread availability of data from clinical research.

Monday, November 25, 2013

B - BMJ Case reports

Dobbins M. BMJ Case Reports. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2013;101(1):80
(doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.101.1.016)

BMJ Case Reports is an electronic journal that provides a collection of peer-reviewed case reports in all disciplines for health care professionals and researchers. Cases come from 70 countries and articles cover both common and rare diseases. The resources available through this journals are easy to find and are presented logically. All its characteristics and functions are described in detail. 

B - Defending against plagiarism

Bailey J. Defending against plagiarism. The Scientist Magazine June 1, 2013

Retractions in academic publishing have skyrocketed-up 10-fold in the past three decades, with plagiarism and duplication at the root of about 25% of those retractions. Why doesn't every organization (government agency, research department, or academic publisher) employ active defenses against plagiarism? There is no reason why readers should discover plagiarism before a publication's editor do. Publications that use plagiarism-detection software tools (that are well tested, available, and simple to use) have seen retractions decrease.

B - Internationalization of Chinese STM journals

Xu L, Fang Q. Internationalization of Chinese STM journal publishing. Publishing Research Quarterly 2013;29(2):190-196
(doi: 10.1007/s12109-013-9309-4)

Over the past two decades, China has witnessed an international development of its scientific, technological and medical (STM) journals. This has enhanced journals' editorial forces, it has established a quality-control mechanism centered around peer reviews, and it has internationalized both the journal publishers’ productions and services. Under the above-mentioned endeavors, Chinese STM journal publishing has achieved its initial internationalization progress.

B - National vs international journals

Lakhotia SC. "National" versus "international" journals. Current Science 2013;105(3):287-288

According to the author, the existing Indian classification into "national" and "international" journals is misleading as it presupposes that the former group of journals publishes articles only from authors in India, and that those articles are not so good as those published in "international" journals. This discourages scientists to submitt their best manuscripts to Indian journals. The scientific community in India should ensure that any assessment need not distinguish between "national" and "international" journals and that selection committees for academic jobs or promotions begin to appreciate the nature of science rather than the journal impact factor.,%20S.%20C.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

B - Is there an apartheid in science publishing?

Habibzadeh F. Is there an apartheid in science publishing? The Lancet 2013;382(9889):310

On April 30, 2013, Elsevier asked its US editors and reviewers not to handle manuscripts with any Iranian co-authors employed by the Government of Iran. This decision was taken after a recent policy adopted on the basis of the sanctions imposed by the USA on Iran. The author of this Letter believes that publishing of scientific articles from Iranian researchers in US journals is technically a flow of information out of Iran, and thus, should in principle not be treated as a violation of the sanction. It is expected that the flow of goods and technical information be prohibited from outside into Iran

B - Journal rank and study impact

Brembs B, Button K, Munafò M. Deep impact: unintended consequences of journal rank. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2013;7:291
(doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00291)

So far, contributions to the debate concerning the limitations of journal rank as a scientific impact assessment tool have either lacked data, or relied on only a few studies. In this review, authors present the most recent and pertinent data on the consequences of institutionalizing journal rank as an impact measure. These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice. They argue that a higher journal ranking does not always point to greater scientific impact, and that universities may have hired and promoted researchers who were savvy at getting their articles published in top journals though their research was iffy, and removed researchers who were not that savvy.

B - Journal's publisher country and citation rates

Schubert T, Michels C. Placing articles in the large publisher nations: is there a “free lunch” in terms of higher impact? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 2013;64: 596–611
(doi: 10.1002/asi.22759)

This paper deals with the role of a journal's publisher country in determining the expected citation rates of the articles published in it. It analyzes whether a paper has a higher citation rate when it is published in one of the large publisher nations, the USA, UK, or the Netherlands, compared to a hypothetical situation when the same paper is published in journals of different origin. Results showed that there is a nonquality-related "free-lunch" in terms of citations associated with publishing in the above nations.

B - Normalization of citation impact

Bornmann L, Marx W, Barth A. The normalization of citation counts based on classification systems. Publications 2013;1(2):78-86
(doi: 10.3390/publications1020078)

This study describes an ideal solution for the normalization of citation impact: in a first step, the reference set for the publication in question is collated by means of a classification scheme, where every publication is associated with a single principal research field or subfield entry and a publication year. In a second step, percentiles of citation counts are calculated for this set, and are then used to assign a normalized citation impact score to the publication in question. The major advantages of this approach are the application of a systematic high-quality classification system, the simplicity of the procedure, and the balance of fairness of the resulting citation counts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

B - Data transparency in medical communication

Kermani F, Fürst W, Billiones R. Potential implications of wider data transparency in medical communications. Medical Writing 2013;22(2):128-130
(doi: 10.1179/2047480613Z.000000000113)

The current medical communication environment is characterised by growing calls for increased data transparency and for improvement of access to unpublished data results. There are ongoing concerns about the selective publication of trial results and the potential impact on use of medicines by prescribers and patients in both Europe and the US. This article outlines some of the background to current developments and considers the potential impact on those working in the field of medical communications.

B - Older people in clinical research

McMurdo M. Clinical research must include more older people. BMJ 2013;346:f3899
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f3899)

Why are the people who take part in clinical research systematically different from those seen in practice? For years older people are systematically excluded from clinical research, with those older than 85 years particularly under-studied. Most research is still done on younger adults, often male, with single diseases and minimal comorbidity. According to the author, funders, ethics committees, and journals must stop older people being under-represented, and more clinical trials should embrace the heterogeneity and multimorbidity of old age in their study designs and funding. Ethics committees should reject all proposals with arbitrary upper age limits, and journals should do likewise.

B - Reporting guidelines

Grant SP, Mayo-Wilson E, Melendez-Torres GJ, et al. Reporting quality of social and psychological intervention trials: a systematic review of reporting guidelines and trial publications. PLoS One 2013;8(5):e65442

Reporting guidelines have improved the quality of trial reports in medicine, yet existing guidelines  have important limitations in content, development, and/or dissemination and they may not be fully suited for social and psychological intervention trials. Important details are routinely missing from trial publications and most leading journals in social and behavioural sciences do not ask authors to follow reporting standards. Findings demonstrate a need to develop a CONSORT extension with updated standards for social and psychological intervention trials.

B - Science editing

Masic I, Kujundzic E. Science editing in biomedicine and humanities. Sarajevo: Avicena, 2013.272 p.

The authors of this book focus on the role of academic periodicals as one of the most important medium of communication of ideas and new scientific discoveries. The book offers a comprehensive overview of the field of science writing and editing and presents a broad range of media, in particular: various systems of knowledge classification and categorization; the peer-review procedure; methods for preparation of papers; different types of information resources; review on instruments on access to information sources and their use. It also includes a historical perspective of the raise and development of the relevant media of communication of scientific knowledge.

B - Ethical authorship in industry publications

Woolley KL, Gertel A, Hamilton CW, et al. Time to finger point or fix? An invitation to join ongoing efforts to promote ethical authorship and other good publication practices. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2013;47(7-8):1084-1087
(doi: 10.1345/aph.1S178)

In this commentary, authors present evidence that unethical authorship (eg, guest and ghost authoring) and other publication practices are not restricted to the pharmaceutical industry; they also occur in academia. Such practices are not an industry problem - they are a research problem. Industry has made far-reaching changes to its publication practices and professional medical writers are helping to implement these changes.

B - Transparency declaration for research article

Altman DG, Moher D. Declaration of transparency for each research article. BMJ 2013;347:f4796
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f4796)

Incomplete or misleading publications are indeed a serious problem. Failure to publish the findings of all studies, especially reports of randomised trials, seriously distorts the evidence base for clinical decision making. This editorial is putting forward a new proposal for scientific journals to include a ‘transparency declaration’ for all article submissions, that authors should sign. The declaration asks the lead author to confirm the article is an ‘honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported’. The BMJ and BMJ Open have already implemented this policy and are urging other journals to do likewise.

B - Honorary authorship in biomedical journals

Al-Herz W, Haider H, Alò-Bahhar M, et al. Honorary authorship in biomedical journals: how common is it and why does it exist? Journal of Medical Ethics e-pub 17 August 2013                            
(doi: 10.1136/medethics-2012-101311)

The number of coauthors in the medical literature has increased over the past 50 years as authorship continues to have important academic, social and financial implications. The article intends to determine the prevalence of honorary authorship in biomedical publications and identify the factors that lead to its existence. Results of a survey showed that honorary authorship is relatively common Each institution should encourage researchers to comply with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship, recently revised.                      

B - New authorship criterion

The Lancet. Authorship and accountability. The Lancet 2013;382(9894):744        

The Lancet, as a member of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), fully supports the new (August 2013) ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (previously known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical journals [URMs] or Vancouver guidelines. To ensure that those credited as authors recognise their role in taking responsibility and being accountable for what is published,  the ICMJE has added a fourth criterion for authorship as part of the new ICMJE Recommendations, that is "agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work thereby ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved".

B - Bibliographic databases: critical points

Gasparyan AY. Bibliographic databases: some critical points. Journal of Korean Medical Science 2013;28(6):799-800
(doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.6.799)

The objectivity of communication is increasingly dependent on a comprehensive literature search through online databases. Though most authors and editors are aware of the existence of databases and communication platforms, not all of them are skilled at retrieving essential information and distinguishing 'indexed' journals. They should know indexing criteria, advantages and limitations of databases as well as continuous efforts to expand and maintain the visibility of their journals in the highly prestigious databases. These skills can secure a good standing and an opportunity to publish articles which contribute to the advancement of global science, and avoid manipulations aimed at attracting quality articles to substandard journals.

B - Web science in medicine and healthcare

Denecke K, Brooks E. Web science in medicine and healthcare. Methods of Information in Medicine 2013;52(2):148-151

The editorial provides an overview on the landscape of medical social-media (weblogs, forums or social network platforms that deal with health-related issues) and their possibilities in supporting healthcare. It introduces three papers of a Focus Theme considering different aspects of web science in medicine which are 1) detection of drug interactions from social media, 2) inferring community structures from online forums and 3) improving access to online videos through assignment of SNOMED CT terms. All three papers show the potential of medical social-media in supporting health information gathering processes from the web. However, several issues still need to be addressed in future.

Monday, September 09, 2013

B - Open access: the true cost of science publishing

Van Noorden R. Open access: the true cost of science publishing. Nature 2013;495:426-429
(doi: 10.1038/495426a)
The article from the Nature Special Future of Publishing points out the different views on the costs of publishing. It discusses the true cost of science publishing and the value publishers add for their money. The variance in prices is leading everyone involved to question the academic publishing establishment as never before: while some publishers report very low costs per article, others expect their cost per paper much higher. If a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.

B - Conflict of interest in OA publishing

Salem DN. Conflict of interest in open-access publishing. The New England Journal of Medicine 2013;369:491
(doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1307577)

Open access generates numerous legal issues including ownership of intellectual property, licensing, embargo periods, consent, copyright expiration of older literature, "fair use" policies, indexing and archiving, and preservation of works. Among all, the most relevant issue is the rigorous scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest, as for example the inherent conflict of interest in the "author pays" model.

B - Open access: changing global science publishing

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Kitas GD. Open access: changing global science publishing. Croatian Medical Journal 2013;54:403-406

Open access publishing is becoming a global trend. The article reflects on open access as a strategy of changing the quality of science communication globally. It is gradually changing the way of scientific research, literature research, journal editing, publishing, and archiving. Advantages and downsides of gold, green, and hybrid models of open access operating in diverse scientific environments are described.

B - Medical publication and scientometrics

Masic I. Medical publication and scientometrics. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences 2013;18:516-521

Scientific research works need to be carried out according to established rules and guided steps. This paper describes research methods, choice of study design, data collection methods, data analysis, and writing and publication of results. It also answers why scientific research works should be carried out and what kind of satisfaction the provide to reaserchers. A special emphasis is placed on the importance of scientometric indicators.

Friday, September 06, 2013

B - A reviewer index

Kachewar SG, Sankaye SB. Reviewer Index: a new proposal of rewarding the reviewer. Mens Sana Monographs 2013;11(1):274-284
(doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.109347)

Recognising and rewarding the role of the reviewer is vital. In this article the authors propose a novel idea of Reviewer Index (RI), Reviewer Index Directory (RID) and Global Reviewer Index Directory (GRID), which would strengthen science by focusing on the reviewer, as well as the author. They can be applied to all journals, irrespective of their specialty. By adopting this innovative Reviewer Centric Approach, a new breed of well-trained reviewers of high quality and sufficient quantity would be available for eternity. In addition, RI, RID and GRID would also enable grading and ethical rewarding of reviewers.

B - Reporting medical research

Simera I, Altman DG. Reporting medical research. The International Journal of Clinical Practice 2013; 67(8):710-716
(doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12168)

This article provides a brief overview of general principles of reporting medical research studies with a particular focus on the following study designs: randomised controlled trials, analytical observational studies, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The main reporting guidelines, such as CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, and EQUATOR are introduced. They have been developed to help document all necessary methodological aspects and findings in research papers. Although the reporting guideline activity has been largely focused on medical research, the broad principles are applied to the research in many other fields, especially in biological sciences.

B - Choosing the target journal

Gasparyan AY. Choosing the target journal: do authors need a comprehensive approach? Journal of Korean Medical Science 2013;28(8):1117–1119.
(doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.8.1117)
A variety of factors that influence the authors' choices of the right journal for submission of a manuscript have emerged in the past few years. A prime concern for authors is whether the publication options offer good chances for citations, which are crucially important for academic competitiveness. It has become a common practice to initially target high-impact journals and, in case of rejections, embark on lower rank journals. What may suffer as a consequence of the global competition is quality, thereby demanding a more comprehensive approach to the avenue of publication and its promotion.

B - Use of h-index in chemical research

Ciriminna R, Pagliaro M. On the use of the h-index in evaluating chemical research. Chemistry Central Journal 2013;7:132
(doi: 10.1186/1752-153X-7-132)

Citations in chemistry are meaningful. The h-index alone, however, cannot render the multidimensional complexity of research performance. According to the authors, the best way of measuring performance is to use the informed peer review, where peers judge on the base of a bibliometric report, once the limits and advantages of bibliometric indicators have been thoroughly understood, and their use expanded and improved in a useful and wise manner.

B - Utility of style guides

Joshi Y. Style guides that refuse to go away. Learned Publishing 2013;26(2):133-134
(doi: 10.1087/20130210)

The article discusses the relevance and utility of the minutiae that style guides and specifications  insist on in restructuring submitted manuscripts for publication. The author believes that the difficulty at finding any ergonic justification for selecting among recommended style has affirmed the necessity of reorienting copy-editing on making the text simple, lucid and euphonious. Problems in styling also occur in electronic books, web pages and audiobooks.;jsessionid=24E0B4001A1E8539D670E4F7EE6D0EF7

B - Visibility of retractions

Decullier E. Huot L, Samson G, et al. Visibility of retractions: a cross-sectional one-year study. BMC Research Notes 2013;6:238
(doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-238)

Retraction in Medline medical literature experienced a tenfold increase between 1999 and 2009. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has established guidelines on dealing with retractions in 2009, recommending that they should be issued in case of unreliable findings (misconduct or error), plagiarism or unethical research. The authors analysed retractions published in Medline over a single year period to describe the conformity with COPE retraction guidelines as well as the reasons for retraction and their distribution across countries. They also suggest the use of a standard retraction form with a checklist of major reason.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

B - Duplicate systematic reviews

Moher D. The problem of duplicate systematic reviews. BMJ 2013;347:f5040
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5040)

Two or three systematic reviews on the same topic are usually considered reasonable. But, when does replication become unnecessary duplication? The best way to reduce unnecessary duplication of systematic reviews may be to make it compulsory for reviewers to identify existing reviews, either protocols or completed reviews, before conducting their own review. PROSPERO is an international prospective register  that can be used to search for existing systematic review protocols.

B - Citation and IF distributions of scientific journals

Sangwal K. Citation and impact factor distributions of scientific journals published in individual countries. Journal of Informetrics 2013;7(2):487-504
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2013.01.011)
 Citation distribution of journals published in individual countries is a subject which has not been investigated so far. The aim of the paper is three-fold: (1) to analyze of the distribution of citations, two- and five-year impact factors and citation half-lives of journals published in different selected countries using the newly proposed Langmuir-type function and its modification, (2) to investigate the physical significance of the effectiveness parameter α of this function, and (3) to trace a relationship, if any, between the Langmuir constant K of the distributions and the number N of journal published in different countries.

B - Impact factor for journal scientometrics

Guraya SY. Bandwagon of Impact Factor for journal scientometrics. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences 2013 April 25
(doi: 10.1016/j.tumed.2013.04.001)

This article describes the merits and demerits of the Impact Factor (IF) with details of misapplication and manipulation techniques. The IF cannot assess the quality of individual articles. For the evaluation of individual researchers, author-focused metrics, such as the h-index, are to be used. Researchers and publishers should seek a more reliable and accurate measure of journal scientometrics.

B - Reconsidering the Declaration of Helsinki

Emanuel EJ. Reconsidering the Declaration of Helsinki. The Lancet 2013;381(9877):1532-1533

B - The Lancet journals new OA policy

The Lancet Editors. The Lancet journals welcome a new open access policy. The Lancet 2013;381(9873):1166-1167

Monday, July 29, 2013

B - Quality of reports on RCT's in Iranian journals

Nojomi M, Ramezani M, Ghafari-Anvar A. Quality of reports on randomized controlled trials published in Iranian journals: application of the new version of Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT). Archives of Iranian Medicine 2013;16(1):20-22

The objective of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) criteria is to provide a guideline for authors to improve the reporting of their trails. This study evaluated clinical trial reports by national peer-reviewed Iranian journals between 2008 and 2010. Their quality needs significant improvement as the majority did not adhere to CONSORT guidelines.

B - Peer review: past, present and future

Munishwar NG . Peer review: past, present and future. Current Science 2013;105(2):159-161

A better appreciation of the respective roles of authors, reviewers, and editors is desirable for a good publication to emerge. Over the years, peer review has taken many shapes and continues to evolve. This article outlines the various facets of the peer review system, outlining its current shape.

B - Publishing function

Singleton A. Publishing - is our love here to stay... Learned Publishing 2013;26:155-156
(doi: 10.1087/320130301)

The author examines present challenges existing to academic publishers and any kind of corporate publishing, such as: potential technological obsolence, legitimacy of publishers' role and even of the "product" that they have been responsible for, and the rise of new systems with or without supporting business models. Journals are not principally a "product" but part of the process of scholarship and science; they are the expression of and for a community.

Monday, July 22, 2013

B - Prescribed practices of authorship

Bošnjak L, Marušić A. Prescribed practices of authorship: review of codes of ethics from professional bodies and journal guidelines across disciplines. Scientometrics 2012;93(3):751-763
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0773-y)

The lack of and variety of authorship definitions in journal and professional organizations across scientific disciplines may be confusing for researchers and lead to poor authorship practices. In this study the prevalence of authorship statements, their specificity and tone, and contributions required for authorship were assessed in selected scientific journals and codes of ethics from professional organizations.

B - Impact factor distortions

Alberts B. Impact factor distortions. Science 2013;340(6134):787
(doi: 10.1126/science.1240319)

This Editorial presents a statement on the misuse and overuse of the impact factor, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). It aims to stop the use of the journal impact factor in judging an individual scientist's work, and provides a list of specific actions to be taken by funding agencies, institutions, publishers, researchers, and the organizations that supply metrics.

B - Predatory scholarly publishing

Vardi MY. Predatory scholarly publishing. Communications of the ACM 2012;55(7):5
(doi: 10.1145/2209249.2209250)

Scholarly publishing is a very unique business, in which there are several parties: publishers, research libraries, authors, editors and reviewers. The author states that the partnership that once existed between the scholarly community and commercial publishers is broken. Commercial publishers are driven by profits, which creates a conflict of interest between publishers and authors. The future of scholarly publishing belongs to association publishing, where all the participants of the publishing business share commitment to scholarship.

B - Peer review: nuts and bolts

Voice of Young Science network. Peer review: the nuts and bolts (Standing up for science; 3). 12 July 2012; 26 p.
Produced with the help of over 40 early career researchers, editors, journalist and grant bodies' representatives, this guide will help early career researchers understand how the peer review process works, some of the limitations of peer review and the role of peer review in society. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

B - Evaluations by peer review

B - Bornmann L. Evaluations by peer review in science. Science Reviews e-pub 31 January 2013
(doi: 10.1007/s40362-012-0002-3)

Nowadays, it is recommended for major evaluation contexts to use an informed peer review process where the peers are informed by bibliometric indicators. This review gives a short overview of the practice of peerreview and its linking with bibliometrics. "Qualitative" peer review and "quantitative" tecniques of bibliometrics should be seen not as competing processes in scientific evaluation, but as two options with which to view a scientific work from different perspectives.

B - Acta Informatica Medica indexed in PubMed

Masic I. Acta Informatica Medica is indexed in PubMed and archived in PubMed Central. Acta Informatica Medica 2013;21(1):4-6
(doi: 10.5455/AIM.2013.21.4-6)    

 Acta Informatica Medica journal has been accepted for archiving in PubMed Central from 2011 onward. The journal started in 1993 as the official journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the last 3 years, it has been included in almost all prestigious online databases, including PubMed, Scopus and EMBASE. The 20th volume of the journal is fully international, with papers from 18 countries.

B - Altmetrics for institutional repositories

Konkiel S, Scherer D. New opportunities for repositories in the age of altmetrics. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 2013;39(4):22-26

By reporting altmetrics (alternative metrics based on online activity) for their content, institutional repositories can add value to existing metrics – and prove their relevance and importance in an age of growing cutbacks to library services. This article discusses the metrics that repositories currently deliver and how altmetrics can supplement existing usage statistics to provide a broader interpretation of research-output impact for the benefit of authors, library-based publishers and repository managers, and university administrators alike.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

B - Bioresources sharing and traceability

Mabile L, Dalgleish R, Thorisson GA, et al. Quantifying the use of bioresources for promoting their sharing in scientific research. GigaScience 2013;2:7
(doi: 10.1186/2047-217X-2-7)

An increasing portion of biomedical research relies on the use of biobanks and bioresources. To address the need to incentivize the development, maintenance, and sharing of bioresources, an appropriate set of principles, tools, and guidelines is required. This article proposes to measure the use of bioresources in scientific research as a value of their impact, leading to create the Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

B - Cost effectiveness for open access journals

Corbyn Z. Price doesn't always buy prestige in open access. Nature 22 Jan. 2013
(doi: 10.1038/nature.2013.12259)

An online interactive tool suggests that the open-access journals that charge the most aren't necessarily the most influential. This freely accessible tool, called Cost Effectiveness for Open Access Journals and launched in January 2013, incorporates pricing and prestige information for 657 open-access journals indexed by Thomson Reuters, including 356 that do not charge any fees.
The data are plotted to show a journal's Article Influence (AI) score against the fee it charges per article. The tool shows that a journal's fees do not correlate particularly strongly with its influence, as measured by a citation-based index. This metric could be used by authors to help them decide between the different venues they could publish in.

B - Open access and altmetrics

Mounce R. Open access and altmetrics: distinct but complementary. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology 2013;39(4):14-17

Open access (OA) publications have been shown to gain more citations than articles with restricted access. Thus, alternative metrics (altmetrics) have arisen to better assess the influence and impact of online journal articles. They are still new, relatively unexplored and underdeveloped. This article considers the complementary relationship between OA journal publishing and altmetrics.

B - Medical writing in the Middle East

Handjani F, Habibzaedh F. Medical writing in the Middle East. Medical Writing 2013;22(2):96-98
(doi: 10.1179/2047480613Z.000000000112)

Over the past three decades, Middle Eastern countries have made substantial progress in both conducting and publishing scientific research. Regional initiatives, such as the foundation of the Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors and the AuthorAID project in the Eastern Mediterranean, have helped, but challenges remain. Improved training and educational programmes are needed, and the concept, importance, and principles of scientific writing need to be incorporated earlier in existing educational programmes.

B - Health research in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Ismali SA, McDonal A, Dubois E, et al. Assessing the state of health research in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2013;106(6):224-233
(doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2012.120240)

This review presents an assessment of the current state of health research systems across the Eastern Mediterranean Region based on publicly available literature and data sources. The review finds that – while there have been important improvements in productivity in the Region since the early 1990s – overall research performance is poor with critical deficits in system stewardship, research training and human resource development, and basic data surveillance. This review identifies key areas for a regional strategy and how to address challenges, including increased funding, research capacity-building, reform of governance arrangements and sustained political investment in research support.

B - Integrity of clinical trial evidence

Loder E, Godlee F, Barbour V, et al. Restoring the integrity of the clinical trial evidence base. BMJ 2013;346:f3601
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f3601)

The authors stated that many completed trials have never been published, and many published results are incomplete or misleading. Hidden or misreported information from clinical trials is one of the leading scientific problems of our time. Peter Doshi and colleagues call on institutions that funded and investigators who conducted abandoned trials to publish (in the case of unpublished trials) or formally correct or republish (in the case of misreported trials) their studies. Their RIAT (restoring invisible and abandoned trials) proposal is here described. It provides a minimum set of criteria for the proper and responsible publication and republication of abandoned studies.

B - Modules for teaching publication writers

Barroga EF. Essential modules for teaching publication writers. Medical Writing 2013;22(1):4-9
(doi: 10.1179/204748012X13560931063555)

This article introduces 16 essential modules to teach medical writers to enhance their ability to help researchers effectively communicate in scholarly publications. Each module addresses the different aspects and components of writing, editing, and publishing articles.  A competency evaluation system consisting of 14 competency areas is also described.

Monday, June 17, 2013

B - Peer review impact

Rigby J. Looking for the impact of peer review: does count of funding acknowledgments really predict research impact? Scientometrics 2013;94:57-73
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0779-5) 

This paper examines an important bibliometric relationship that has been assumed to exist between the count of the funding acknowledgements received by a research paper and the paper’s citation impact within the context of a single journal. The results suggest that at the level of a specific journal the link is evident but is weak and questionable.

B - Peer review evaluation

Baethge C, Franklin J, Mertens S. Substantial agreement of referee recommendations at a general medical journal – A peer review evaluation at Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. PLoS ONE 2013;8(5): e61401

This study analyzed the peer review process at Deutsches Ärzteblatt International journal focusing on the following questions: What is the distribution of reviewer recommendations? To what degree did the editors follow reviewer recommendations? What is the agreement among reviewers in evaluating manuscripts? Are reviewer recommendations associated with the number of future citations?

B - Relationship between information literacy and creativity

Raeis AR, Bahrami S, Yousefi M, et al. Relationship between information literacy and creativity: a study of students at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Materia Socio-Medica 2013;25(1):28-31
(doi: 10.5455/msm.2013.25.28-31) 

Information literacy is a facility to empower individuals and as a set of skills to identify and access the accurate sources of information and use them purposefully. This article investigates the relationship between information literacy and creativity of students at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. The results showed that information literacy and its dimensions in students are higher than average but creativity is lower than average, and that the students who are more creative are more information literate.

B - Acta Medica Academica indexed in PubMed

Tahirović H. Acta Medica Academica is now indexed in Medline/PubMed. Acta Medica Academica 2013;42(1):1-3
(doi: 10.5644/ama2006-124.64)

After six years’ hard work by the new editorial board of Acta Medica Academica the journal was selected for indexing in Medline/PubMed. To reach this goal, a significant activity of the journal has been individual work with young authors about writing skills and medical publishing process. In a relatively short period of time, the quality of the journal has increased and cooperation with national and foreign biomedical institutions and experts is going to be improved.

B - Characteristics of randomized controlled trials

Bala MM, Akl EA, Sun X, et al. Randomized trials published in higher vs. lower impact journals differ in design, conduct, and analysis. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2013 (66):286-295
(doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.10.005)

Rigorously designed and conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide high-quality evidence regarding the effects of health care interventions. This study examined and compared the study design, conduct, analysis and/or reporting of a large cohort of RCTs published in higher vs. lower impact journals. Results showed that RCTs published in higher impact journals were less prone to risk of bias.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

B - Influences of media on social movements

Olorunnisola AA, Martin BL. Influences of media on social movements: problematizing hyperbolic inferences about impacts. Telematics and Informatics 2013;30:275-288
(doi: 10.1016/j.tele.2012.02.005)

Authors critically assessed cases across Africa of variegated employment of old (i.e., radio, newspaper, television) and new media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, mobile telephone text messaging) by four social movements spanning 35 years. Assessments underscore citizen empowerment and multiplier capabilities of new media but affirm the value of contextual factors that minimize hyperbolic assumptions about the contribution of new media to the formation and progression of social movements.

B - Are alternative metrics still alternative?

Buschman M, Michalek A. Are alternative metrics still alternative? Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology 2013;39(4):35-39

Alternative metrics provide a more complete view of peer response to scholarly writings. A better categorization of scholarly impact would cover usage, captures, mentions and social media in addition to citations. Metrics should include mentions in blogs and other nontraditional formats, open review forums, electronic book downloads, library circulation counts, bookmarks, tweets and more.

B - Publication ethics in the UK

Wager E. The UK should lead the way on research integrity. BMJ 2013;346.f2348
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f2348)

The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, published by Universities UK in July 2012, states that research institutions should be responsible for investigating misconduct, according to the International Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. It also recognises the need for a coordinated approach to research integrity, thus global alignment of guidelines and standards in research integrity are essential. According to the author, the UK does better than some other European countries, but there is no room for complacency.

B - Technology and discipline

Editorial. Disciplinary action. How scientists share and reuse information is driven by technology but shaped by discipline. Nature 495:409-410
(doi: 10.1038/495409b)

Scientists don't hold consistent views about how widely information should be shared and reused.
Today, diversity of experiences and attitudes on the open sharing stand out across the disciplines. New technologies can allow a much greater and faster transition to a digital future, that will ideally be an amalgam of papers, data and software that interlinks with tools for analysis, annotation, visualization and citation.

B - The determinants of open access publishing

Eger T, Scheufen M, Meierrieks D. The determinants of open access publishing: survey evidence from Germany. Social Science Research Network March 13, 2013
(doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2232675)

Results of a 2012 survey showed significant differences between the scientific disciplines with respect to researcher's awareness of and experience with both open access journals and self-archiving. Results also suggested that the relevance of OA journals within a discipline drives the OA decision. Several other aspects like copyright law, age or profession can play a role.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

B - The structured abstracts

Bauchner H, Henry R, Golub RM. The restructuring of structured abstracts. Adding a table in the Results section. JAMA 2013;309(5):491-492
(doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.76)

Today all medical journals virtually use structured abstracts for articles reporting the results of research papers, although the sections and subheadings vary in journals. In this issue of JAMA the next generation of structured abstract is introduced, featuring a table in the Results section, that displays the key findings. This is intended to convey the key results of the study in a clear, concise and efficient manner.

B - Editors' implementation of CONSORT guidelines

Hopewell S, Ravaud P, Baron G, et al. Effect of editors’ implementation of CONSORT guidelines on the reporting of abstracts in high impact medical journals: interrupted time series analysis. BMJ 2012;344:e4178

This article aims at investigating the effect of the publication of the CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines, and the effect of different journals' editorial policies to implement them, on the reporting quality of abstracts of randomised trials published in five high impact, general medical journals. The results show that the guidelines improved the reporting when actively implemented by a specific editorial policy. Passive dissemination of information was generally ineffective.

B - Traditional and open access publishing in oncology

Poltronieri E, Bravo E, Camerini T, et al. Where on earth to publish? a sample survey comparing traditional and open access publishing in the oncological field. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2013;32(4)
(doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-32-4)

This article intends to help scientific authors to make the best choice of journals in which to publish, by describing and comparing journal features in the area of oncology. For this purpose, the authors identified impact factor ranking, cost options and copyright conditions offered to authors wishing to publish in full open access, subscription-based or hybrid journals. Alternatives to high-cost business models, investments in setting up institutional repositories hosting the published versions of articles and efforts to overcome copyright barriers and gain free access to scientific literature are all crucial should all be considered.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

B - Open vs blinded peer review

Vinther S, Nielsen OH, Rosenberg J, et al. Same review quality in open versus blinded peer review in "Ugeskrift for Laeger". Danish Medical Journal 2012;59(8):A4479

The aim of this study was to compare the quality of reviews produced by identifiable and anonymous reviewers working for the Journal of the Danish Medical Association (Ugeskrift for Laeger-Ufl), and to characterize authors' and reviewers' attitudes towards different peer review systems (open, single-blinded and double-blinded). Results showed the same quality in reviews, but many reviewers and authors preferred anonymity and, thus, a a blinded peer review. The lack of anonymity might cause reviewers, already limited in number in a national journal like Ufl, to decline when asked for reviews.

B - Editing in the digital world - Conference

Masic I. "Editing in the digital world" - Scientific conference about medical editing and publishing, Tallinn June 08-10.2012. Acta Informatica Medica 2012;20(3):198-199
(doi: 10.5455/aim.2012.20.198-199)

The scientific conference "Editing in the digital world" (Tallinn, June 8-10, 2012) was also dedicated to the celebration of the 30th EASE anniversary. The article describes the interesting scientific part of the conference, that included plenary lectures, workshops on specific educational topics and work sessions on specific issues. During the General Assembly seven new members of the Council were appointed for the period 2012-2015.

B - Digital licenses replace print prices

Gantz P. Digital licenses replace print prices as accurate reflection of real journal costs. Professional/Scholarly Publishing Bulletin 2012;11(3):1-5

Library Journal's Annual Periodical Price Survey 1990-2010 showed a more than six-fold increase in journal prices since 1990. Institutional libraries have shifted their purchasing patterns from print to digital holdings, and are pursuing licensing agreements that provide perpetual digital access to a body of content, instead of purchasing subscription to individual journals.

B - Copy-editing of research papers

Joshi Y. Copy-editing of research papers: who and why and why not. Current Science 2013;104(2):171

This commentary explores the “who and why” of copy-editing. The need for copy-editing to ensure the quality of research papers and the importance of hiring an editor with language and subject expertise are evinced. According to the author, it is tempting to believe that a good copy-editing contributes to raising the  impact factor of a journal, but he couldn't find any research to support this assumption. Current Science is among the few Indian journals to maintain a stable of copy-editors, in-house and otherwise. Most Indian journals do not for a variety reasons, probably the most common being that the majority of journals don't run on professional lines.

B - Medical writer education

Benau D. On educating the medical writer. Medical Writing 2013;22(1):26-28
(doi: 10.1179/2047480612Z.00000000081)

Most medical writers received their education on the job rather than through formal education. However, formal education gives a more uniform foundation of knowledge than experience alone. This article addresses some of the differences between education and training, educational approaches and delivery methods, and potential effects on employment prospects.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

B - The San Francisco Declaration on research assessment

Yandell K. Scientists take aim at impact factor. The Scientist Magazine May 20, 2013

Many organizations involved in scientific publishing have up to now signed a declaration, called the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), that asks the scientific community (scientists, funding bodies, and others) to put less weight on impact factor. It argues that, within journals, most citations are likely to come from relatively few papers and so the aggregate impact factors do not reflect an individual paper's merit. Impact factors also vary by field of research and do not differentiate between review papers and original research.

B - Teaching scientific writing

Heseltine E. Teaching scientific writing to non-native English speakers. Medical Writing 2013;22(1):13-15
(doi: 10.1179/204748012X13560931063591)

The author describes the basic design of a 3-day workshop on scientific writing for non-native English speakers. It is designed to give participants a basic understanding of writing scientific articles for international journals, and does not include English-language teaching. Scientific communication could be taught as a subject in its own, with English-language teaching as a completely separate course.

B - Six red flags for suspect work

Begley CG. Six red flags for suspect work. Nature 2013;497:433-434

According to many researchers the majority of preclinical cancer papers in top-ranking journals could not be reproduced, even by the original investigators. The author presents six questions that every author, editor, reviewer and reader should ask themselves when evaluating a research paper. They are: Were experiments performed blinded? Were basic experiments repeated? Were all the results presented? Were there positive and negative controls? Were reagents validated? and Were statistical tests appropriate?  Each question is here analyzed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

B - Reporting of research studies in rheumatology

Marušić A, Gasparyan AY, Kitas GD. Promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies in rheumatology: endorsement of reporting guidelines in rheumatology journals. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism 2013 (in press)
(doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2013.01.005)

Reporting guidelines promote accurate and transparent reporting of health research studies. To assess the endorsement of reporting guidelines in rheumatology journals, this article analyzed the best practices in most influential rheumatology journals. Results showed that only a third of the journals endorsed any reporting guideline, most commonly CONSORT. The journals should also get involved in developing and testing guidelines specific for rheumatology research.

B - Precepts on writer's attitude

Steen RG. Writing for publication in a medical journal. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism 2012;16(6):899-903
(doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.102988)

A dozen precepts should guide the author when writing for publication in the medical field. They focus on the attitude of the writer, rather than the mechanisms of writing. Then, a medical author should be: original, honest, innovative, organized, careful, clear, modest, fair-minded, frank, persistent, rigorous, and realistic. But talent, energy, and luck are needed as well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

B - Scientific publications in Nepal

Magar A. Scientific publications in Nepal. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council 2012;10(22):243-249

This article analyzes the past and present scenario for scientific publications in Nepal, and future perspectives. Since the start of the first medical journal in 1963, issues related to role of authors, peer reviewers, editors and publishers in Nepal are decades back. Over the years, there has been some developments in terms of numbers of articles published, in local science scenario, in younger generation being more interested in scientific research and evidence-based medicine, in increasing awareness about the importance of research ethics and improvement of journals standards.

B - How to write a scientific manuscript

Liumbruno GM, Velati C, Pasqualetti P, et al. How to write a scientific manuscript for publication. Blood Transfusion e-pub 21 December 2012;1-11
(doi: 10.2450/2012.0247-12)

This article addresses the multiple steps requiring in writing original articles and reviews with the aim of providing the reader with the necessary tools to prepare, submit and successfully publish a manuscript. Types of literature considered are: editorials, commentaries, narrative reviews, qualitative systematic reviews, and quantitative systematic reviews.

B - Reporting guidelines

Simera I. Get the content right: following reporting guidelines will make your research paper more complete, transparent and usable. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association 2013;63(2):283-285

This article provides a brief overview of key reporting guidelines (CONSORT, STROBE, COREQ, ENTREQ, PRISMA, STARD, and SQUIRE) and highlights other resources supporting the writing of high quality research publications which are available on the EQUATOR Network. The majority of guidelines listed on the EQUATOR website are more specific, providing guidance relevant to a  particular medical specialty or a particular aspect of research.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

B - Biomedical publications in Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Al-Maawali A, Al Busadi A, Al-Adawi S. Biomedical publications profile and trends in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal 2012;12(1):41-47

This study is the first detailed analysis of publication productivity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). It aimed to ascertain: the number of biomedical publications in the GCC from 1970 to 2010; to establish the rate of publication according population size; and to determine the relationship between the number of publications and specific socio-economic parameters. Overall, the six countries showed a rising trend in publication numbers.

B - Publication ethics in biomedical journals

Broga M, Mijaljica G, Waligora M, et al. Publication ethics in biomedical journals from countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Science and Engineering Ethics e-pub 1 March 2013
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-013-9431-x)

This article examined publication ethics policies in biomedical journals published in Central and Eastern Europe. It demonstrated significant differences in the prevalence of policies between East European countries that are members of the European Union and South-East European countries that are not. The most common ethical issues addressed were redundant publication, peer review process, and copyright and licensing details. The least frequently addressed policies for both regions were image manipulation, editors' conflicts of interest and registration of clinical trials.

B - Challenges for authors and publishers

Ajami S, Movahedi F. Challenges for authors and publishers in scientific journal. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences 2013;29(1)Suppl:432-436
(doi: 10.12669/pjms.291(Suppl).3550)

This study aimed to express challenges of authors and publishers in scientific journals. More than 100 articles and reports were selected based on their relevancy to discuss issues as authorship criteria, plagiarism, and fraud.

B - Publication of results from clinical trials

Chalmers I, Glasziou P, Goodle F. All trials must be registered and the results published. BMJ 2013;346:f105
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f105)

Under-reporting of research can lead to overestimates of the benefits of treatments and underestimates of their harmful effects.  Failure to publish all the results from clinical trials distots the evidence base for clinical decisions. The responsibilities of authors are clear, but there is also clear and consistent evidence that academics and non-commercial funders are just as guilty as industry.

B - Management of errors and scientific fraud

Maisonneuve H. The management of errors and scientific fraud by biomedical journals: they cannot replace institutions. La Presse Medicale 2012;41(9):853-860
(doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2012.05.009)

Journals do not have the aim to assess research integrity: that's the institutions' roles. Journals discover research misconduct when articles are reviewed, or after the article is published. The peer review system is criticised, including the anonymous peer review: it has never been proved that quality of anonymous reading was better than quality of open reading. When errors and fraud are identified, journals can publish 3 statements: erratum for errors, expression of concern for errors or fraud when evidence is not established, and retraction when evidence is obvious.

B - Peer reviewers can be credited as authors

Erren TC, Erren M, Shaw DM. Peer reviewers can meet journals' criteria for authorship. BMJ 2013;346:f166
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.f166)

Should some reviewers be credited as authors?  Accurate interpretation of evidence in medicine requires accurate evidence regarding the role of reviewers. In principle, some contributions by reviewers may justify credit for authorship under the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria. No journals seem to specify how to acknowledge advice from reviewers who contributed substantially to the final paper, and a few even discourage such acknowledgements. It may also be necessary for them to declare any potential conflicts of interest, whether theoretical or financial.

B - Referencing accuracy

Luo M, Chuan C, Molina D, et al. Accuracy of citation and quotation in foot and ankle surgery journals. Foot & Ankle International 2013 Febr.4;XX(X):1-7
(doi: 10.1177/1071100713475354)

According to this paper, authors often quote references without reading and understanding the content, and such action may damage the integrity of the author and that of the journal. The aim of this study was to explore the reference accuracy for three of the major foot and ankle surgery journals and two of the major orthopaedic journals. Results showed that citation and quotation errors were still relatively common. The authors suggest that the use of technical editing may reduce the amount of citation errors.