Monday, December 22, 2014

B - Medical deontology and ethics

Grammaticos PC. Medical deontology, meetings, journals, candidacy for higher posts and how to better enjoy life. Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2014;17(2):85-86

Today few physicians care about medical deontology and medical ethics, that is how to behave and respect others when exercising the medical profession. This paper illustrates with few examples what the situation is at present, including issues as medical meetings and publishing.

B - Public access to clinical study results

Kaiser J. U.S. to expand public access to clinical study results. Science 2014;346(6213):1043

Two U.S. government proposals could expand the amount of data from clinical trials. A draft regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would require companies sponsoring clinical trials to report summary results for drugs and devices that are never approved, not just for those that reach the market. And a proposed policy from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would expand the requirement—which now applies only to trials regulated by the Food and Drug Administration—to all trials funded by the health agency.

B - Peer review quality

Arns M. Open access is tiring out peer reviewers. Nature 2014;515:467

According to the author, as numbers of published articles rise, the scholarly review system must adapt to avoid unmanageable burdens and slipping standards. The result of the increased pressure on peer reviewers is that papers are assigned to reviewers who are not experts in the area. The author suggests a two-tier system, in which some papers are not reviewed before publication at all and are instead subject to a post-publication peer review. This would free up peer reviewers to focus on papers with more direct societal impact, where the question of whether to publish at all is more relevant.

B - What researchers perceive as unpublishable research

Tsou A, Schickore J, Sugimoto CR. Unpublishable research: examining and organizing the "file drawer". Learned Publishing 2014;27(4):253
(doi: 10.1087/20140404)

This articles aimed to explore through a survey what researchers perceive to be 'unpublishable' research. The results suggested  that there is a perceived gap in scholarly communication. In particular, there are several types of research besides negative results that are perceived to be unpublishable yet worthy of publication, and a great diversity within and across disciplines as to what constitutes 'unpublishable' research.

B - Research data and publishing

Murphy F. Data and scholarly publishing: the transforming landscape. Learned Publishing 2014;27:S3-S7
(doi: 10.1087/20140502)

Research data has become an increasingly critical issue for publishers. Introducing a Learned Publishing special issue on research data and publishing, the author outlines some recent initiatives that are responding to policy directives, particularly the Project ODE (Opportunities for Data Exchange), funded by the European Union. She also considers how publishers are working with data and integrating their practices with other collaborative efforts.


B - Writing style: abstract thoughts

Anstey A. Writing style: abstract thoughts. British Journal of Dermatology 2014;171:205-206
(di: 10.1111/bjd.13181)

A well-written abstract is essential to direct potential readers towards your research. Most readers use electronic searches or content lists from favoured journals to identify potentially interesting papers. Data dissemination and retrieval systems operate almost exclusively at the level of titles and abstracts. This article describes main elements for an informative and concise abstract. Some tips from the AMA Manual Style are also included. The author also published Writing style: what's in a title? BJD 2014;170:1003-1004

Friday, December 19, 2014

B - Evidence-based medicine in crisis?

Greenhalgh T, Howick J, Maskrey N. Evidence based medicine: a movement in crisis? BMJ 2014;348:g3725
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3725)

The authors argue that, although evidence based medicine has had many benefits, it has also had some negative unintended consequences. They offer a preliminary agenda for the movement’s renaissance, refocusing on providing useable evidence that can be combined with context and professional expertise so that individual patients get optimal treatment.

B - Academia gets social

Owens B. Academia gets social. The Lancet 2014;384:1834-1835

The author examines the rise of academic social networking websites, such as and ResearchGate, and asks researchers how these sites are shaping their careers.  These academic-focused social networks operate much like Facebook or LinkedIn. Researchers upload their latest research publications, and discuss the technical aspects of their work. The number of papers and datasets uploaded is mounting at an exponential rate. The rapid feedback metrics on the number of views and downloads of the papers can help researchers decide where to focus their efforts.

B - The peer review scam

Ferguson C, Marcus A, Oransky I. Publishing: the peer-review scam. Nature 2014;515:480-482

When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems. As the systems are made more technical and automated, there are more ways to game it. Some observers argue for changes to the way that editors assign papers to reviewers, particularly to end the use of reviewers suggested by a manuscript's authors. Journal editors are trying to plug the holes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

B - Publishing and evidence-based medicine in Asia

Yamshchikov GV, Schmid GP. Publication practices and attitudes towards evidence-based medicine in central Asia. The Lancet Global Health 2013;1(2):e73-e74
(doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70022-6)

To assess the current contribution of central Asian scientists to medical science, the authors analyzed the quantity and scope of medical literature from central Asia published between January 2009 and July 2011. To ascertain perceptions of the use of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in central Asia, they also did  interviews with 85 medical scientists, medical educators, and health-care professionals from central Asia. Most respondents thought that EBM is important but not used in health-care decision-making. The results of the study indicate that countries of central Asia still have barriers to integration into world scientific processes.

B - The top 100 papers

Van Noorden R, Maher B, Nuzzo R. The top 100 papers. Nature 2014;514:550-553

Nature asked Thomson Reuters, which now owns the SCI, to list the 100 most highly cited papers of all time. Surprisingly, many of the world’s most famous papers do not make the cut. Most of the 100 papers describe experimental methods or software that have become essential in their fields.
The most cited work in history, for example, is a 1951 paper describing an assay to determine the amount of protein in a solution. It has now gathered more than 305,000 citations. The list of top journals reveals how powerfully research has been affected by computation and the analysis of large data sets. But the position of any particular methods paper or database at the top of the citation charts is also down to luck and circumstance.

B - Compliance of retraction notices with COPE guidelines

Singh Balhara YP, Mishra A. Compliance of retraction notices for retracted articles on mental disorders with COPE guidelines on retraction. Current Science 2014;107(5):757-760

This study aimed at assessing the compliance of retraction notices for articles on mental disorders with COPE guidelines,  and the impact of open access on post-retraction citation of retracted articles. There seemed to be little impact of COPE guidelines on retractions. Free accessibility of the retraction notice was found to have a significant impact on the post-retraction citation of retracted article.

B - Health news and academic press releases

Sumner P, Vivian-Griffiths S, Boivin J, et al. The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study. BMJ 2014;349:g7015
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7015)

This article aims to identify the source (press releases or news) of distortions, exaggerations, or changes to the main conclusions drawn from research that could potentially influence a reader’s health related behaviour. Findings show that exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Improving the accuracy of academic press releases could represent a key opportunity for reducing misleading health related news.

B - Five-step authorship framework

Marušić A, Hren D, Mansi B, et al. Five-step authorship framework to improve transparency in disclosing contributors to industry-sponsored clinical trial publications. BMC Medicine 2014;12(197)

This article describes a research project led by the Medical Publishing Insights and Practices (MPIP) Initiative to identify current challenges when determining authorship for industry-sponsored clinical trials. As a result, the Five-step Authorship Framework was developed to provide a clear and flexible process to facilitate more transparent and consistent  authorship decisions for clinical trial publications, and help readers better assess the credibility of results and perspectives of the authors for medical research more broadly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

B - The rise of predatory publishers

Bartholomew RE. Science for sale: the rise of predatory journals. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2014;107(10):384-385
(doi: 10.1177/0141076814548526)

Some unscrupolous publishers are exploiting the open-access (OA) model by corrupting the peer-review process, which is often absent or minimal, and by charging large fees to authors. Such publishers and their journals are referred to as 'predatory'.  Their motivation is the procurement of evaluation and publication fees, While many predatory publications would be easily recognised as such, some are highly sophisticated and operate websites that mirror prominent mainstream journals. Even experienced scientists have been duped into joining the editorial boards of bogus journals, or submitting articles. The peer review remains the benchmark of scientific assessment.

B - Visibility of Argentinean publications

Chinchilla-Rodríguez Z, Miguel S, de Moya-Anegón F. What factors affect the visibility of Argentinean publications in humanities and social sciences in Scopus? Some evidence beyond the geographic realm of research. Scientometrics e-pub 29 August2014
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1414-4)
 Argentina´s patterns of publication in the humanities and social sciences were studied for the period 2003–2012, using the Scopus database and distinguishing the geographic realm of the research. The results indicate that “topics of national scope” have grown and gained international visibility. Citation is apparently not determined only by the geographic realm of research, but also by language of publication, co-authorship, and the profiles of the journals where published.

B - Rubriq: a peer review service

Stemmle L, Collier K. RUBRIQ: tools, services, and software to improve peer review. Learned Publishing 2013;26(4):265-268
(doi: 10.1087/20130406)

The authors describe the Rubriq peer review service. It is an author-pays model that facilitates a fast, independent, and standardized double-blinded peer review from three expert academic reviewers, who are paid for their efforts. This service should improve journal selection, supplement editorial reviews, and make peer review more portable between journals. The reviews are returned to the author in 1-2 weeks. Manuscripts are classified and screened for plagiarism using iThenticate and, after review, they are matched to the most appropriate journals. The authors also tested the usefulness of the Rubriq review with editors, working with six publishers.

B - Research credibility

Ioannidis JPA. How to make more published research true. PLoS Medicine 2014;11(10):e1001747
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001747)

Currently, many published research findings are false or exaggerated, and an estimated 85% of research resources are wasted. To improve the credibility and efficiency of scientific research, some practices may help increase the proportion of true research findings. They are: adoption of large-scale collaborative research; replication culture; registration; sharing; reproducibility practices; better statistical methods; standardization of definitions and analyses; more appropriate statistical thresholds; and improvement in study design standards, peer review, reporting and dissemination of research, and training of the scientific workforce.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

B - How to develop high-quality, ethical clinical manuscripts

Hindle A, Tobin SC, Robens J, et al. Working with authors to develop high-quality, ethical clinical manuscripts: Guidance for the professional medical writer. Medical Writing 2014;23(3):228-235
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000229)

This article provides medical writers with advice on how to help researchers prepare high-quality clinical manuscripts for publication in English-language journals, and consider some ethical issues. Authors will then be assisted in preparing a well-structured, ethically sound, and highly readable manuscript that clearly expresses the clinical evidence of their findings.

B - Retraction notices and COPE guidelines

Balhara YP, Mishra A. Compliance of retraction notices for retracted articles on mental disorders with COPE guidelines on retraction. Current Science 2014;107(5):757-760

This study is aimed at assessing the compliance of retraction notices for articles on mental disorders with COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines and the impact of open access on post-retraction citation of retracted articles. A bibliometric search was carried out using PubMed. Results show little impact of COPE guidelines on retractions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

B - Wikipedia citations in journal articles

Tohidinasab F, Jamali HR. Why and where Wikipedia is cited in journal articles? Journal of Scientometric Research 2013;2(3):231-238
(doi: 10.4103/2320-0057.135415)

This research aimed to identify the motivations for citation to Wikipedia in scientific papers. Also, the number of citation to Wikipedia, location of citation, type of citing papers, subject of citing and cited articles were determined and compared in different subject fields. Results showed that there are 20 motivations for citing Wikipedia and the most frequent of them are providing general information and definition, facts and figures. Citations to Wikipedia often appear in the introduction or introductory sections of papers. Computer sciences, internet and chemistry are the most cited subjects. The use of Wikipedia in articles is increasing both in terms of quantity and diversity;year=2013;volume=2;issue=3;spage=231;epage=238;aulast=Tohidinasab

B - Science publishing in Russia

Teixeira da Silva JA, Lukatkin AS. Challenges to research, science writing and publishing in Russia. The Asian and Australasian Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology 2013;7(1):66-71

Traditionally, Russian researchers write articles in Russian. They tend to publish articles in a leading Russian journal as it is much easier than to attempt to publish in an English-based journal. This paper provides some perspectives as to the rationale and challenges that Russian scientists face when publishing in high ranked international journals. They are influenced by cultural and structural limitations.

B - The Kardashian index

Hall N. The Kardashian index: a measure of discrepant social media profile for scientists. Genome Biology 2014;15:424
(doi: 10.1186/s13059-014-0424-0)

The author proposes the "Kardashian index" (from the name of one of the most followed people on twitter), a measure of discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record based on the direct comparison of numbers of citations and twitter followers. He has compared the numbers of followers that research scientists have on twitter with the number of citations they have for their peer-reviewed work.

B - Publication bias in social sciences

Franco A, Malhotra N, Simonovits G. Publication bias in the social sciences: unlocking the file drawer. Science 2014;345(6203):1502-1505
(doi: 10.1126/science.1255484)

The authors examined every study since 2002 that was funded by TESS (Time-sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences),  a national grants programme adopting a rigorous peer review for proposals submitted. They found a strong relationship between the results of a study and whether it was published, a pattern indicative of publication bias. Selective reporting of scientific findings is often referred to as the "file drawer" problem. Although around half of the total studies in the sample were published, only 20% of those with null results appeared in print. In contrast, about 60% of studies with strong results and 50% of those with mixed results were published What is perhaps most striking is not that so few null results are published, but that so many of them are never even written up (65%).

Friday, September 19, 2014

B - Social media use by medical students

Harrison B, Gill J, Jalali A. Social media etiquette for the modern medical student: a narrative review. International Journal of Medical Students 2014;2(2):64-67

Most medical students worldwide are using various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) for file sharing, circulation of educational resources and staying connected with peers.  This narrative review examines social media use by medical students, with a concentration on online professionalism and how education on the topic is, or should be, integrated into the world-wide medical school curricula. The research shows that there is a potentially dangerous dichotomy between the online social lives of modern medical students and professionalism requirements of medical career for which they are training.

B - Peer review for RCT

Patel J. Why training and specialization is needed for peer review: a case study of peer review for randomized controlled trials. BMC Medicine 2014;12:128
(doi: 10.1186/s12916-014-0128-z)

Innovations in peer review have focused on the process of peer review rather than its quality.  Some types of research, such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs), may lend themselves to a more specialized form of peer review where training and ongoing appraisal and revalidation is provided to individuals who peer review RCTs. Any randomized controlled trial peer reviewed by such a trained peer reviewer could then have a searchable ‘quality assurance’ symbol attached to the published articles and any published peer reviewer reports.

B - Impact factor mania

Casadevall A, Fang FC. Causes for the persistence of impact factor mania. mBio 2014;5(2):e00064-14 
(doi: 10.1128/mBio.00064-14)

Science and scientists are currently afflicted by an epidemic of mania manifested by associating the value of research with the journal where the work is published rather than the content of the work itself. The authors consider the reasons for the persistence of impact factor mania and its pernicious effects on science. They conclude that impact factor mania persists because it confers significant benefits to individual scientists and journals. Various measures to reduce the influence of the impact factor are considered.

B - An example of unethical behaviour

Masic I. A new example of unethical behavior in the academic journal "Medical Archives". Medical Archives 2014;68(4):228-230
(doi: 10.5455/medarh.2014.68.228.230)

A recent case of unethical behaviour by authors who have submitted their article in the Medical Archives is described in this Editorial. The same article was submitted to another journal and then retracted and sent to "Retraction Watch". Considerations on plagiarism and other forms of unethical behaviour in a scientific publication are also expressed.

B - Plagiarism and ethics

Jamali R, Ghazinoory S, Sadeghi M. Plagiarism and ethics of knowledge. Journal of Information Ethics 2014;23(1):101-110
(doi: 10.3172/JIE.23.1.101)

This study aims to investigate whether there is any difference between plagiarism volumes in different fields of study in Iran. Specifically, if there is any significant difference between these statistics among five countries, namely Iran, USA, Turkey, Australia and China. The results show that there was no trace of plagiarism in 6 out of 27 fields under consideration for Iranian papers. Most cases of plagiarism were reported in three scientific fields, with medicine on top of the list. The paper suggest that more frequent instances of plagiarism in Iranian articles are due to the unawareness of the international standards of science writing and editing.

B - Scholarly publishing trends 2014

Smart P. The big picture: scholarly publishing trends 2014. Science Editing 2014;1(2):52-57
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.52)

This article considers the changes that have happened recently to the scholarly journal environment, starting with the changes in research and development and the influence of the emerging economies. It then considers the financial models and the serials crisis that led to the movement for more open access to research and greater involvement of the academic community. It looks at the ethical issues that have beset the recent years, and the new technologies that promise more efficient and ethical publishing. There is particular concern about some of the new publishers who are not adhering to established quality control and ethical practices.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

B - Science transparency

Denegri S, Faure H. It's plain and simple: transparency is good for science and in the public interest. Trials 2013;14:215
(doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-14-215)

In the past couple of years, there has been a growing focus on the need to make scientific output accessible to a greater number of people, especially in the field of clinical research. The public are being urged to become more well-informed and to ask their doctors about taking part in clinical trials.
All recent initiatives demonstrate that there are still a number of challenges in making current research both accessible and understandable by prospective participants. It is necessary to improve ‘signposting’, to direct the public to the information. Plain English summaries are seen as a good idea but very few people are willing to pay for improved content.

B - Lay summaries of OA articles

Nunn E, Pinfield S. Lay summaries of open access journal articles: engaging with the general public on medical research. Learned Publishing 2014;27(3):173-184
(doi: 10.1087/20140303)

This study investigates attitudes towards the addition of  lay summaries to open-access journal articles in the context of engaging the public with medical research. In particular, the perspectives of two stakeholder groups were analysed:  employees of organisations with a stake in communicating OA medical research to the public, and members of the public who have experience of accessing online medical research.

B - Periodicals price survey 2014

Bosch S, Henderson K. Steps down the evolutionary road. Periodicals price survey 2014. Library Journal April 2014

The article discusses the serials and scholarly publishing industry as of April 2014, focusing on the authors' identification of trends impacting use and pricing in the field according to data from the Periodicals Price Survey 2014. Topics include the library industry's recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, average price changes across serial categories, and a reduction in print orders. On the basis of the survey the average prices for science, technology, and medical (STM) serials remain the highest, compared with prices for serials in other subject areas.

B - Recommended procedures for retracting articles

Gilliver S. Recommended procedures for retracting articles: inadequate or patchily applied? Analysis of a recent article in PLoS One examining the fates of retracted articles. Medical Writing 2014;23(2):122-124
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z000000000202)

In several cases, many articles, that are found to have broken ethics rules, have been linked to a single researcher. A 2014 study published in PLoS One sought to determine whether 88 articles by one of the worst known offenders were retracted as recommended and, if so, whether their retraction conformed to the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines and other recommended practices.

B - The impact of retraction

Madlock-Brown CR, Eichmann D. The (lack of) impact of retraction on citation networks. Science and Engineering Ethics e-pub March 2014
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-014-9532-1)

This paper presents an analysis of recent retraction patterns, with a unique emphasis on the role author self-cites play, to assist the scientific community in creating counter-strategies. The findings indicate new reasons for retractions have emerged in recent years, and more editors are penning retractions. The rates of increase for retraction varies by category, and there is statistically significant difference of average impact factor between many categories. 18% of authors self-cite retracted work post retraction with only 10% of those authors also citing the retraction notice. Further, there is a positive correlation between self-cites and after retraction citations.

B - Retractions of scientific publications

Katavić V. Retractions of scientific publications: responsibility and accountability. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):217-222
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.024)  

This evidence-based opinion piece gives a short overview of the increase in retractions of publications in scientific journals and discusses various reasons for that increase. Also discussed are some of the recent prominent cases of scientific misconduct, the number of authors with multiple retractions, and problems with reproducibility of published research.

B - Quality of author guidelines

Nambiar R, Tilak P, Cerejo C. Quality of author guidelines of journals in the biomedical and physical sciences. Learned Publishing 2014;27(3):201-209  
(doi: 10.1087/20140306)

This article aimed to assess quantitatively the completeness and clarity of author guidelines of 80 international English-language journals in the biomedical and physical sciences. No journal scored 100% for completeness and clarity. While author guidelines of many journals adequately address some essential aspects of manuscript preparation and submission, they often do not provide all the information needed as clearly as possible. 'Formatting instructions' was the most complete and clear category, and 'authorship' the least complete and clear category.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

B - Publishing ethics

Abdollahi M, Gasparyan AY, Saeidnia S. The urge to publish more and its consequences. DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2014;22:53
(doi:  10.1186/2008-2231-22-53)

Uncovered cases of misconduct and violation of publication ethics are increasing at rapid pace due to the digitization and open access movement in the last two decades. Large amount of funding for research, publishing and archiving activities comes from pharmaceutical agencies, supporting individuals and their research and academic institutions. These are obliged to educate their authors and to inform about publishing ethics and consequences of biased and fraudulent publications. Reviewers and science editors, in turn, have to carefully evaluate correctness of research data and transparency of authorship, contributorship, and disclosures of ethical approvals, funding, and conflicts of interests.

B - Publication ethics in Iranian journals

Koushan M, Pejhan A, Shomoossi N, et al. Ethical considerations in publishing medical articles in Iranian journals. Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis 2014;31(2):105-111
(doi: 10.2478/afmnai-2014-0012)

This study intends to investigate ethical issues in sticking to publication ethics in major medical journals of Iranian universities published in 2011 and 2012. The results indicated that some ethical considerations are ignored in publishing medical articles: a great majority of articles did not state the approval of research committees and some did not disclose the conflict of interests and the financial support providers. The authors discussed some reasons why these deviations occurr and provided some practical suggestions.

B - Publishing strategies

Dai N, Xu D, Zhong X, et al.  Build infrastructure in publishing scientific journals to benefit medical scientists. Chinese Journal of Cancer Research 2014;26(1):119-123
(doi: 10.3978/issn.1000-9604.2014.02.10)

Medical journals should optimize their publishing processes and strategies to satisfy the huge need for medical scientists to publish their articles, and then obtain better prestige and impact in scientific and research community. These strategies include optimizing the process of peer-review, utilizing open-access publishing models actively, finding ways of saving costs and getting revenue, smartly dealing with research fraud or misconduct, maintaining sound relationship with pharmaceutical companies, and managing to provide relevant and useful information for clinical practitioners and researchers.

B - Creative Commons and open access

Carroll MW. Creative Commons and the openness of open access. The New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368:789-791
(doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1300040)

The Internet has changed the economics of publication and digital-resource sharing. Copyright law supplies the baseline terms of use for almost all information on the Internet. These terms can be altered if the copyright owner grants a license or permission to do something that would otherwise infringe copyright. Creative Commons licenses are the most widely used of these public licenses for all kinds of copyrighted works except software, for which free and open-source licenses are most common.

B - Peer review and visibility

Lortie CJ, Allesina S, Aarssen L, et al. With great power comes great responsibility: the importance of rejection, power, and editors in the practice of scientific publishing. PLoS One 2013;8(12):e85382
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085382)

The authors used data from the handling service manuscript Central for ten mid-tier ecology and evolution journals to test whether number of external reviews completed improved citation rates for all accepted manuscripts. Results showed that citation rates of manuscripts do not correlate with the number of individuals that provided reviews. This study aimed also to explore whether editor-only review is a viable peer review model.

Monday, July 28, 2014

B - Good clinical practice

Berghammer G. Good clinical practice (GPC): a universal call for ethics in biomedical research. Medical Writing 2014; 23(2):106-112
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000209)  

Today, the principles of good clinical practice (GCP) form an integral part of the development of new medicines. GPC provides an international ethical and scientific quality standard designed to protect the rights and safety of individuals consenting to participate in clinical trials and to ensure the integrity and credibility of clinical research data. This article traces the historical roots of GCP and takes a look at the role GCP principles play in the life of the medical writer.

B - Study design in biomedical and health research

Thiese MS. Observational and interventional study design types; an overview. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):199-210
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.022)

The appropriate choice in study design is essential for the quality, execution, and interpretation of biomedical and public health research. Observational study designs, also called epidemiologic study designs, are often retrospective and are used to assess potential causation in exposure-outcome relationships and therefore influence preventive methods. Interventional studies are often prospective and are specifically tailored to evaluate direct impacts of treatment or preventive measures on disease.

B - Authorship attitudes and practice in Norway

Nylenna M, Fagerbakk F, Kierulf P. Authorship: attitudes and practice among Norwegian researchers. BMC Medical Ethics 2014;15:53
(doi: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-53)

The authors studied attitudes to, and practice of, authorship among researchers in a university hospital and medical school in Norway. Reserchers, who responded to a questionnaire, had knowledge of formal authorship requirements. Most of them agreed with the criteria, but found it harder to put them into practice, and had experienced breaches. More experienced researchers found it easier to put authorship recommendations into practice than less experienced researchers.

B - Plagiarism and retraction

Chaddah P. Not all plagiarism requires a retraction. Nature 2014;511(7508):127
(doi: 10.1038/511127a)

It is important to appreciate why scientists may indulge in the three forms of plagiarism (text plagiarism, ideas plagiarism, and results plagiarism), that the author discusses in this article. According to him, papers that plagiarize only text can still contribute to the literature, but any errors or omissions should be prominently corrected. Such plagiarism is unethical, but the originality of ideas more than of language should be valued.

B - English for medical purposes

Salager-Meyer F. Origin and development of English for Medical Purposes. Part II: Research on spoken medical English. Medical Writing 2014;23(2):129-131
(doi: 10.1179/2047480614Z.000000000204)

This second part of the review on English for Medical Purposes (EMP) presents the main results of a  research on spoken interaction in medical settings. The first group of studies focused on improving the English language skills of non-Anglophone medical students and health professionals;  the second one consisted in linguistic analysis of medical conference presentations; and the third research analyzed the literature on healthcare (doctor-patient) communication, These three categories were discussed.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

B - Publication in PNAS

Aldhous P. The inside track. Nature 2014;510:330-332

Members of the US National Academy of Sciences have an inside track to publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal as they can submit up to four papers per year. This article examined the contributed track, both to assess its scientific impact and to see which members use it most heavily and why. Results showed that only a small number of scientists have used the track to the maximum allowable rate while most of them published on average fewer than one paper per year. Direct submissions are much less likely to be accepted than those contributed by academy members. Nevertheless, the journal seems to make progress trying to eliminate the abuse of publishing privileges.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

B - Mistakes in manuscripts on education and rejection

The goal of this study was to identify common mistakes made in research study manuscripts submitted to journals of Education and the effects of these mistakes on rejection by the journal editors and referees. An online questionnaire was developed for this purpose and sent to the editors and referees of Turkish journals of Education indexed in SSCI and ULAKBIM. The results show that researchers mostly make mistakes in the discussion, conclusion, and suggestions part of the manuscripts. However, mistakes made in the methods part are the most significant causes of manuscript rejection.

B - Defining and responding to plagiarism

Wager E. Defining and responding to plagiarism. Learned Publishing 2014;27(1):33-42
(doi: 10.1087/20140105)

A clear definition of plagiarism and the ability to classify it into more or less serious forms would help editors and publishers to devise policies to handle this problem. This article considers factors such as the originality of the copied material, its position in the report, the adequacy of referencing, and the intention of the authors as well as the extent of the copying. and proposes possible definitions of major and minor plagiarism in relation to scholarly publications which might be used as the basis for anti-plagiarism policies in conjunction with resources such as the COPE flowcharts.

B - Upgrading instructions for authors

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Gorin SV, et al. Upgrading instructions for authors of scholarly journals. Croatian Medical Journal 2014;55:271-280
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2014.55.271)

Journal instructions are important and need to be properly structured, linked to the available guidelines from editorial associations, and regularly revised and enforced to avoid unethical and erroneous publications. They should inform authors about the journal’s scope, priority articles, peer review policy, code of publishing ethics, structure and content of different types of accepted articles, in-house style of editing and formatting, and accompanying documents required for each submission. Properly written, printed, and available online instructions are the keys to successful publishing and indexing in prestigious bibliographic databases.

B - Review of Wikipedia citations in health science literature

Bould MD. Hladkowicz ES, Pigford AE, et al. References that anyone can edit: review of Wikipedia citations in peer reviewed health science literature. BMJ 2014;348:g1585
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.g1585)

An increasing number of peer reviewed academic papers in health sciences are citing Wikipedia. This article evaluates the prevalence of Wikipedia citations in indexed health science journals, identify the journals that publish articles with Wikipedia citations, and determine how Wikipedia is being cited. The relationship between academic publication and Wikipedia remains largely understudied, and international guidelines lack editorial guidance on how this resource should be used. Wikipedia is often cited when permanent, evidence based sources are available. The authors suggest that editors and reviewers insist on citing primary sources of information where possible.

B - Citation increments between collaborating countries

(doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0797-3)

International collaboration enhances citation impact. Collaborating with a country increments the citations received from it. The authors observed a certain tendency for these increments to be lower in countries with greater impacts, and differences in the behaviour of the countries between the various scientific disciplines, with the effects being greatest in Social Sciences, followed by Engineering.

B - Internet publicity of data problems and corrective actions

Brookes PS. Internet publicity of data problems in the bioscience literature correlates with enhanced corrective action. PeerJ 2014;2:e313
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.313)

Data integrity is a common discussion topic, and it is widely assumed that publicity surrounding such matters accelerates correction of the scientific record. This study aims to verify whether such public discussion of data integrity has actually had any effect. The results show that it is correlated with greater levels of subsequent actions to correct the scientific record by enhancing the motivation of journals, authors or institutions.

B - Ethics of scholarly publishing

Amos KA. The ethics of scholarly publishing: exploring differences in plagiarism and duplicate publication across nations. Journal of the Medical Library Association 2014;102(2):87-91
(doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.2.005)

This study explored national differences in plagiarism and duplicate publication in retracted biomedical literature. The national affiliations of authors and reasons for retraction of papers accessible through PubMed that were published from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently retracted were determined. While the United States retracted the most papers, China retracted the most papers for plagiarism and duplicate publication. Rates of plagiarism and duplicate publication were highest in Italy and Finland, respectively. Unethical publishing practices cut across nations.

B - Privacy protectionism and health information

Allen J, Holman CD, Meslin EM, et al. Privacy protectionism and health information: is there any redress for harms to health? Journal of Law and Medicine 2013;21(2):473-485

Health information collected by governments can be a valuable resource for researchers seeking to improve diagnostics, treatments and public health outcomes. This article examines the legal, ethical and structural context in which data custodians make decisions about the release of data for research. It considers the impact of those decisions on individuals. While there is strong protection against risks to privacy and multiple avenues of redress, there is no redress where harms result from a failure to release data for research.

B - Science journalism

Watts S. Society needs more than wonder to respect science. Nature 2014;508(7495):151

According to the author, there is a fundamental difference between science communication and science journalism: researchers are well placed to explain concepts, but journalists will bring the critical scrutiny needed to integrate science in society. Science journalism should weigh up the values and vices of science. A journalist needs to be persistent and brave enough to find out things that people don't want the world to know.

B - Editorial research and publication process

Marušić A, Malički M, von Elm E. Editorial research and the publication process in biomedicine and health: Report from the Esteve Foundation Discussion Group, December 2012. Biochemia Medica 2014;24(2):211-216
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.023) 

The article presents results from a discussion group of editors and experts organized by the Esteve Foundation. They included findings of past editorial research, discussed the lack of competitive funding schemes and specialized journals for dissemination of editorial research, and reported on the great diversity of misconduct and conflict of interest policies, as well as adherence to reporting guidelines. They also reported on the reluctance of editors to investigate allegations of misconduct or increase the level of data sharing in health research. They concluded that if editors are to remain gatekeepers of scientific knowledge they should reaffirm their focus on the integrity of the scientific record and completeness of the data they publish.


Friday, May 30, 2014

B - Citation-related characteristics in scientific journals

Sangwal K. Some citation-related characteristics of scientific journals published in individual countries. Scientometrics 2013;97:719-741
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1053-1)

This bibliometric study on relationships between publication language, impact factors and self-citations of journals published in individual countries, eight from Europe and one from South America (Brazil) found that: English-language journals, as a rule, have higher impact factors than non-English-language journals; all countries investigated have journals with very high self-citations but the proportion of journals with high self-citations with reference to the total number of journals published in different countries varies enormously; irrespective of the publication language, journals devoted to very specialized scientific disciplines have high self-citations.

B - Impact of article language in medical journals

Diekhoff T, Schlattmann P, Dewey M. Impact of article language in multi-language medical journals - a bibliometric analysis of self-citations and impact factor. PLoS One 2013;8(10):e76816
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076816)

This article analyzed the influence of English-language articles in multi-language medical journals. The findings suggested that a larger share of English articles in multi-language medical journals is associated with greater international visibility and recognition. Fewer self-citations were found as they are not needed to artifactually increase the impact factor. with a greater share of original articles in English.

B - Open access respiratory journals

Dai N, Xu D, Zhong X, et al. Publishing in open access era: focus on respiratory journals. Journal of Thoracic Disease 2014;6(5):564-5677.
(doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.03.18)

Open access (OA) journals benefit researchers and the general public by promoting visibility, sharing and communicating. Non-mainstream journals should turn the challenge of OA into opportunity of presenting best research articles to the global readership. The authors found that OA respiratory journals have relative higher acceptance rate and less time between submission and final publication than conventionally published journals. OA respiratory journals need to optimize their business models to promote the healthy and continuous development.

B - How to read health care news stories

Schwitzer G. A guide to reading health care news stories. JAMA Internal Medicine e-pub May 05, 2014
(doi: 10.10001/jamainternmed.2014.1359)

A team of reviewers from evaluated the reporting by US news organizations on new medical treatments, tests, products, and procedures. They graded most stories unsatisfactory on 5 of 10 review criteria: costs, benefits, harms, quality of the evidence, and comparison of the new approach with alternatives. They established that the stories often emphasize or exaggerate potential benefits, minimize or ignore potential harms, and ignore cost issues. These findings can help journalists improve their news stories and help physicians and the public better understand the strengths and weaknesses of news media coverage of medical and health topics.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

B - Publication guidelines for industry medical research

Wager E, Woolley K, Adshead V, et al. Awareness and enforcement of guidelines for publishing industry-sponsored medical research among publication professionals: the Global Publication Survey. BMJ Open 2014;4:e004780
(doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004780)

The authors published the results from the Global Publication Survey, a large-scale, international survey to obtain information about the ways in which medical writers and other publication professionals work, and about current knowledge and implementation of publication guidelines within the pharmaceutical, medical device and medical communications industries. The survey showed high reported levels of knowledge of the various publication guidelines, with over 90% of respondents stating that they routinely referred to them. The survey also aimed at clarifying and monitoring trends that may require further research, insight or education.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

B - Guidance on research integrity in Europe

Godecharle S, Nemery B, Dierickx K. Guidance on research integrity: no union in Europe. The Lancet 2013;381(9872):1097-1098
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60759-X)

The authors retrieved and analysed 49 national guidelines addressing research misconduct and promoting scientific integrity, published by 19 European countries. They found a highly heterogenous picture within and between European countries resulting in a confusing situation. In addition, they had great difficulty in retrieving the guidelines of 12 countries. The harmonization of those guidelines are therefore necessary.

B - Why growing retractions are a good sign

Fanelli D. Why growing retractions are (mostly) a good sign. PLoS Medicine 2013;10(12):e1001563         

The number of journals issuing retractions has grown dramatically in recent years, but the number of retractions per retracting-journal has not increased. Growing numbers of retractions are most plausibly a sign that researchers and journal editors are getting better at identifying and removing papers that are either fraudulent or plainly wrong, and there is little evidence of an increase in the prevalence of misconduct. Nevertheless, many journals still lack clear policies for misconduct and retraction, and existing policies are applied inconsistently.

B - Cheating in publications

Khan ZH. Cheating in publications - Self or others? Acta Medica Iranica 2014;52(1):1-2

Also using plagiarism, duplicate (redundant) or piecemeal publications, some authors manage to safely escape the barriers and filters the editorial staff of journals and get their papers published. It appears that cross check does little to address plagiarism of ideas.To bring an end to this menace, the author of this article suggests that referees with the necessary expertise of removing cheatings should be selected.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

B - How to be a top journal

Huh S. The new era of Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility: what should be prepared to be a top journal in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2013;19(4):419-421
(doi: 10.5056/jnm.2013.19.4.419)   

Starting from the experience of the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, the author explains what the editors of a journal indexed in the Web of Science should do in order to improve all processes of editing and publishing: invitation and arrangement of editorial board members, masthead description including aims and scope, instructions to authors, publication ethics, cover page design, lay-out style of text, manuscript management system, review process, training of reviewers, budget including article processing charge, eISSN, PMC XML or Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) XML, PubReader, CrossRef XML for digital object identifier (DOI), CrossCheck, CrossMark, FundRef, Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID), QR code, journal homepage, journal app for smart phone and smart pad, multimedia data including audio recording or video presentation, and epub ahead of print.

B - Conflict of interest disclosure form

Baethge C. The effect of a conflict of interest disclosure form using closed questions on the number of positive conflicts of interest declared - a controlled study. PeerJ 2013;1:e128.
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.128) 
Conflicts of interest (COI) are often not declared completely and accurately. One of several possible reasons for deficient COI declarations is the lack of standardized and comprehensive COI forms. In this study positive COI statements were analyzed at three German medical journals. Results showed that COI forms employing closed questions based on clear definitions of conflicts of interests, such as those recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and now used by Deutsches Ärzteblatt, seem to be superior to less structured forms.

B - The first scientific journal

Singleton A. The first scientific journal. Learned Publishing 2014;27(1):2-4
(doi: 10.1087/2014101)

On the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the publication of the first scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil Trans), the editor of Learned Publishing took a close look at the early issues of this journal to see how much has changed in journal publishing since that time. Surprisingly he discovered many features that we associate with the modern journal, and that today we call: contents lists and indexes, letters to the editor, news and views, FAQs, book reviews, errata, adverts, illustrations, referencing, and peer review.

B - Conflicts of interest in high-impact biomedical journals

Bosch X, Pericas JM, Hernández C, et al. Financial, nonfinancial and editors' conflicts of interest in high-impact biomedical journals. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 2013;43(7):660-667
(doi: 10.1111/eci.2013.43.issue-7/issuetoc)

This study aimed to assess financial, nonfinancial and editors' conflicts of interest (COI) disclosure policies among high-impact biomedical journals. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of 399 journals and collected information relevant to the disclosure available on journal websites. Results showed that authors' financial COI disclosures were required by about 90% of journals, and that editors are increasingly concerned about nonfinancial competing interests.


B - Online-to-print delays and impact factor

Tort ABL, Targino ZH, Amaral OB. Rising publication delays inflate journal impact factors. PLoS ONE 2012;7(2):e53374
(doi: 10.1371/journale.pone.0053374)

In this study the authors used publication records of neuroscience journals to analyze the evolution of publication delay over the last decade, and to study whether this phenomenon can alter journal impact factors. They showed that online-to-print lags (that is, the delay between online availability of an article and its print publication) have risen steeply in recent years, and that they led to earlier citations, and thus to an increase in impact factors. According to the authors, a simple means to avoid distortions such as the one described is the indexing of articles by scientific databases on the date of their online appearance, rather than on that of their publication in print.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

B - New ideas in science

Maqbool F, Bahadar H, Abdollahi M. Science for the benefit of all; the way from idea to product. Journal of Medical Hypotheses and Ideas epub February 2014
(doi: 10.1016/j.jmhi.2014.02.002)

Mutual coordination between academia and industries is extremely important for the growth of science. The spread of ideas is only possible with publication and distribution of information to all in the world. Unpublished new ideas will remain hidden. It is necessary that all scientists share their ideas, opening new opportunities for others to work in the various aspects them. It is important to ponder new ways in science, generate new ideas and share with others, so the concept of “science for the benefits of all” remain alive forever.

B - Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, NAkazhanov NA, et al. Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors. Croatian Medical Journal 2013;54:600-608
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.600)

This article overviews evidence on common instances of conflict of interest (COI) in biomedical publications. Financial relationships of research institutions and their investigators is the most conspicuous source of COI. Comprehensive policies on disclosure of financial and non-financial COIs in scholarly journals are presented as proxies of their indexing in evidence-based databases, and examples of successful medical journals are discussed in detail. The article emphasizes the importance of adhering to the guidance on COI from learned associations such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). It also considers joint efforts of authors, peer reviewers, and editors as a foundation for appropriately defining and disclosing potential COIs.

B - Salami publication

Šupak Smolčić V. Salami publication: definitions and examples. Biochemia Medica 2013;23(3):237-141
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2013.030)

Salami publication is a distinct form of redundant publication that is characterized by similarity of hypothesis, methodology or results but not text similarity. There is no software application or algorithm for its detection, and therefore it presents a serious threat to publication ethics. This article describes a practical approach, including examples, for dealing with manuscripts suspected of salami publication through the experience of Biochemia Medica journal.

B - Case reports

Barić H, Andrijašević L. Why should medical editors CARE about case reports? Croatian Medical Journal 2013;54:507-509
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.507)

In September 2013, CARE (CAse REport) guidelines were presented and published in several journals. Even though case reports are indispensable for medical progress since they bring attention to novel entities, in the evidence based era of impact factors and citations, they are often considered to be less valuable and often neglected by both publishers and readers, due to their low citation rates. However, case reports have not only changed and grown more complex in their form, but continue to report on a wide range of topics other than direct clinical experience. Today they play a significant role in medical education and help emphasize ethical predicaments.

B - Peer review simulation

Paolucci M. Grimaldo F. Mechanism change in a simulation of peer review: from junk support to elitism. Scientometrics epub February 2014
(doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1239-1)

In this work, with an agent-based approach, the authors developed a computational model as an heuristic device to represent, discuss and compare theoretical statements and their consequences. Employing a theoretical approach supported by agent-based simulation, they examined computational models of peer review, performing the replication of simulations using different mechanisms. Plausible changes showed that peer review can withstand a substantial amount of cheaters, causing just a graceful decline in total quality.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

B - Self-correction in biomedical publications

Gasparyan AY, Ayvazyan L, Akazhanov NA, et al. Self-correction in biomedical publications and the scientific impact. Croatian Medical Journal 2014;55:61-72
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2014.55.61)

The authors conducted searches through PubMed, based on the author information, to retrieve errata, duplicate, and retracted publications. A striking increase in the number of corrections appeared in 2013. Duplicate and retracted article types were those most frequently recorded, and a sizeable amount of them came from highly productive countries. In particular, findings revealed an increase of duplicate items, which mostly came to the light in the digitization and open-access era. The study suggests that the increased self-correction in biomedicine is due to the attention of readers and authors, who spot errors.

B - Research misconduct

Farthing MJG. Research misconduct: a grand global challenge for the 21st century. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2014;29:422-427
(doi: 10.1111/jgh.12500)

According to the author, promoting the responsible conduct of research (RCR) alone may not be enough to prevent research misconduct; complementary strategies should be considered to deal with the continuing rise in the number of reported cases of research misconduct. These strategies include enhanced monitoring of research outputs and random audit using the available technology, as should be having a register of “licensed researchers.” In addition, he supports a culture change in the research community in which researchers are encouraged to admit their mistakes, and a greater collaboration between organizations to ensure standards of research integrity.

B - Honorary authorship

Rajasekaran S, Li Pi Shan R, Finnoff JT. Honorary authorship: frequency and associated factors in physical medicine and rehabilitation research articles. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014;95:418-428
(doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.09.024)

This article addresses the persistent, difficult, and unsettled issue of unwarranted authorship as it applies to physical medicine and rehabilitation. It estimates the prevalence of perceived honorary authorship and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)-defined honorary authorship, this latter being much greater. The findings show that its frequency is similar to the 25% to 50% rates reported in other medical specialties.

B - Japanese randomized controlled trials

Yoneoka D, Hisashige A, Ota E, et al. Are Japanese randomized controlled trials up to the task? A systematic review. PLoS ONE 2014;9(3):e90127
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090127)

The number of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is rapidly increasing worldwide. This study identified the number of all Japanese RCTs published in Japan in 2010, it assessed their general characteristics and quality and analyzed factors related to their quality. Despite a considerable number of RCTs conducted in Japan, their quality is not satisfactory in some domains. On the other hand, there are high-quality, non-indexed RCTs. The full disclosure of trial information and quality control of clinical trials are urgently needed in Japan.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

B - Research design of articles in Brazilian physical therapy journals

Saragiotto BT, Costa LCM, Oliveira RF, et al. Description of research design of articles published in four Brazilian physical therapy journals. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy e-pub 2014
(doi: 10.1590/S1413-35552012005000136)

One important step in accessing high-quality clinical research in evidence-based physical therapy is the identification of the research design used and knowing where the research design is ranked in the hierarchy (or levels) of evidence. This article aims to describe the research design used in articles published in Brazilian scientific journals that are relevant to physical therapy or physical medicine and rehabilitation. Journals that are freely available and have high Qualis rankings were evaluated over the most recent 7-year period (2005 to 2011).

B - Citation indices of Korean scientific journals

Kim JA, Huh S, Chu MS. Correlation among the citation indices of Korean scientific journals listed in international databases. Science Editing 2014;1(1):27-36
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.27)

This article intends to examine the influence of Korean scientific journals and find solutions for future growth by performing a correlation analysis of the indicators of citation indices for 62 Korean scientific journals cross-listed in the Web of Science and Scopus. Journals showed low values in both popularity and prestige-based indicators. The authors suggested to take a strategic approach to improve those values, in particular the impact factor.

Friday, February 21, 2014

B - Medical writing and ghostwriting

Das N, Das S. Hiring a professional medical writer: is it equivalent to ghostwriting? Biochemia Medica 2014;24(1):19-24
(doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.004)

Several international guidelines including the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines require authors to acknowledge the contribution of medical writers.
This article discusses this acknowledgement and it emphasizes on how acknowledging medical writing support can go a long way in curbing the menace of scientific misconduct including ghostwriting. Some biomedical editors predict a gradual shift from the traditional authorship system to a model of contributorship: even medical writers who do not always qualify as authors would receive adequate acknowledgement for their contribution.

B - Tips for non-native English speakers editors

Murugesan R. Publishing a journal in English: tips for journal editors who are non-native English speakers. Science Editing 2014;1(1):46-48
(doi: 10.6087/kcse.2014.1.46)

Journal editors should make sure that the quality of English in their journal is consistently high. This article is aimed at non-native English speaking journal editors who wish to improve the standard of English in their journals. It describes several types of language professionals who can be involved in preparing a scientific manuscript for publication. Among them, the author's editor is a person who helps an author improve the language and presentation of a manuscript; a copy-editor works for a range of clients (i.e., publishers, universities, individual authors) and is involved in the author's publishing goals.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

B - Gender disparities in science

Larivière V, Ni C, Gingras Y, et al. Global gender disparities in science. Nature 2013;504:211-213
(doi: 10.1038/504211a)

In this paper the authors present a cross-disciplinary bibliometric analysis of: the relationship between gender and research output; the extent of collaboration; and the scientific impact of published papers. They used the following parameters: authorship; co-authorship; and citations.
Their findings confirm that gender imbalances persist in research output worldwide. Globally, women accounted for fewer than 30% of fractionalized authorships of scientific papers; in terms of collaboration, women tended to be more “domestically oriented” (i.e., focused on within country collaborations) than men; and papers with women in prominent author positions received fewer citations (on average) than those with men in the same positions. The authors recommend programmes fostering international collaboration for female researchers.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

B - Legal remedies for ghostwriting

Stern S, Lemmens T. Legal remedies for medical ghostwriting: imposing fraud liability on guest authors of ghostwritten articles. Medical Writing 2013;22(4):264-271
(doi: 10.1179/2047480613Z.000000000164)

In industry-controlled research several examples have revealed the use of ghostwriters, and the recruitment of academics as guest authors despite not fulfilling authorship criteria. The authors suggest that the practice of ghostwriting could be deterred through the imposition of legal liability on the guest authors. Thus, a guest author's claim for credit of an article could constitutes a legal fraud.

B - Standards on responsible research publication

Wager E, Kleinert S. Why do we need international standards on responsible research publication for authors and editors? Journal of Global Health 2013;3(2):020301
(doi: 10.7189/jogh.03.020301)

Most journals concentrate on style and formatting but give little or no information about research and publication ethics. Peer review cannot, by itself, prevent fraud or misconduct. This article include position statements and the Guidelines on Responsible Research Publication for authors and editors, that were developed after a wide international consultation with input from researchers and editors. They aim to establish international standards and to describe responsible research reporting practice.

B - Dealing with peer review

Cleary M, Walter G, Daly J. Dealing with peer review: what is reasonable and what is not? Collegian 2013;20(3):123-125
(doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2013.06.004)

Peer review is a central process in publishing. Carefully constructed peer reviews are likely to result in a substantially strenghtened article. Thus peer reviewers form an essential role in the advancement of knowledge and do so for little recognition or reward: many editors, editorial board members and reviewers provide their services voluntarily. They ensure poor quality manuscripts are not published, thus maintaining the reputation of the journal and the quality of scientific knowledge.

B - Publishing in nursing

Broome ME. The dynamic world of publishing in nursing: impact assessment. Nursing Outlook 2013;30:379-380
(doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2013.10.001)

This article describes some new and dynamic concepts in publishing. In addition to the web-based systems for submitting manuscripts to journals, that shortened considerably the amount of time to transmit manuscripts to reviewers and back again to the editor, an important concept is that of  journal metrics. The latest methods of measuring impact are called altmetrics and are being used by publishers to assess the widespread use of one's article,

B - Research funded by drug industry

Smith R, Gøtzsche PC, Groves T. Should journals stop publishing research funded by the drug industry? BMJ 2014;348:g171
(doi: 10.1136/bmj.g171)

The BMJ and its sibling journals have stopped publishing research funded by the tobacco industry for two main reasons: the research is corrupted and the companies publish their research to advance their commercial aims, oblivious of the harm they do. Two authors of this article say that research funded by the drug industry is also flawed and published to encourage sales, but the third author says that the industries are fundamentally different and that moves are afoot to increase integrity. The BMJ considers drug and devices trials only if the authors also commit to making the relevant anonymised patient level data available on reasonable request.

Friday, January 17, 2014

B - Methods of assessing a scientific paper

Eyre-Walker A, Stoletzki N. The assessment of science: the relative merits of post-publication review, the impact factor, and the number of citations. PLoS Biology 2013;11(10):e1001675
(doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001675)

This article investigates three methods of assessing the merit of a scientific paper: subjective post-publication peer review, the impact factor of the journal in which the article was published, and the number of citations gained by a paper. According to the conclusions, the three measures of scientific merit considered are poor; in particular subjective assessments are an error-prone, biased, and expensive method by which to assess merit. The authors argue that the impact factor may be the most satisfactory of the methods considered, since it is a form of pre-publication review. However, it is likely to be a very error-prone measure of merit that is qualitative, not quantitative.

B - Open peer review: a review of the literature

Ford E. Defining and characterizing open peer review: a review of the literature. Journal of Scholarly Publishing 2013; 44(4):311-326 
(doi: 10.1353/scp.2013.0028)

This article examines the literature discussing open peer review, identifies common open peer review definitions, and describes eight common characteristics of open peer review: signed review, disclosed review, editor-mediated review, transparent review, crowd-sourced review, pre-publication review, synchronous review, and post-publication review. This article further discusses benefits and challenges to the scholarly publishing community posed by open peer review and concludes that open peer review can and should exist within the current scholarly publishing paradigm.

B - Bibliometric indicators of Russian journals

Libkind AN, Markusova VA, Mindeli LE, et al. Bibliometric indicators of Russian journals by JCR-Science Edition, 1995-2010. Acta Naturae 2013;5(3):6-12

A representative empirical bibliometric analysis of the Russian journals covered by the Journal Citation Reports-Science Edition (JCR -SE) for the period 1995–2010 has been conducted for the first time at the macro level (excluding subject categories). The growth in the number of articles covered by JCR  is ahead of the growth rates of Russian publications. The Russian research performance is staggering (approximately 30,000 articles per year) although the coverage of Russian journals has expanded to 150 titles. Over the past 15 years a twofold increase in the impact factor of the Russian journals has been observed. Measures to improve the quality of Russian journals are proposed, as for example the quality of their translation into English.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

B - Reducing waste from reports of biomedical research

Glasziou P, Altman DG, Bossuyt P, et al. Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. The Lancet Jan.8, 2014
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62228-X)

Most publications have elements that are missing, poorly reported, or ambiguous. Reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STARD, PRISMA, and ARRIVE aim to improve the quality of research reports, but all are much less adopted and adhered to than they should be. Some immediate action can be taken to improve the reporting of research: change the current system of research rewards and regulations to encourage better and more complete reporting, and fund the development and maintenance of infrastructure to support better reporting, linkage, and archiving of all elements of research.