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.