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.