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.