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.