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