Tuesday, September 26, 2017

B - Sci-Hub

Novo LAB, Onishi VC. Could Sci-Hub become a quicksand for authors? Information Development 2017;33(3):324-325
(doi: 10.1177/0266666917703638)    
Sci-Hub has shaken the pillars of scholarly publishing, providing free access to millions of paywall-protected scientific articles. Along the way, it has also challenged the hegemony of major publishers and a system propelled by scientometrics. Here the authors posit a scenario in which the myriad of papers offered by Sci-Hub could trigger a sudden flip to gold open-access, dragging authors into an even more restricting paywall.

B - Google Scholar

Halevi G, Moed H, Bar-Ilan J. Suitability of Google Scholar as a source of scientific information and as a source of data for scientific evaluation - Review of the Literature. Journal of Informetrics 2017;11(3):823-834
(doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2017.06.005)  

The authors aimed to review some studies to provide insights into Google Scholar (GS) ability to replace controlled databases in various subject areas. Results show that GS has significantly expanded its coverage through the years which makes it a powerful database of scholarly literature. However, the quality of resources indexed and overall policy still remains known. Caution should be exercised when relying on GS for citations and metrics mainly because it can be easily manipulated and its indexing quality still remains a challenge.

Monday, September 25, 2017

B - Rewards of predatory publications

Pyne D. The rewards of predatory publications at a small business school. Journal of Scholarly Publishing 2017;48(3):137-160
(doi: 10.3138/jsp.48.3.137) 

This study is the first to compare the rewards of publishing in predatory journals with the rewards of publishing in traditional journals. It finds that the majority of faculty with research responsibilities at a small Canadian business school have publications in predatory journals. In terms of financial compensation, these publications produce greater rewards than many non-predatory journal publications. Publications in predatory journals are also positively correlated with receiving internal research awards.

B - A survey on predatory publications

Moher D, Shamseer L, Cobey K, et al. Stop this waste of people, animals and money. Nature 2017;549:23-25

Predatory journals have shoddy reporting and include papers from wealthy nations. The authors selected and examined 200 supposed biomedical predatory journals. Most of the articles came from India, and more than half of the corresponding authors hailed from high- and upper-middle-income countries. Of the 17% of sampled articles that reported a funding source, the most frequently named funder was the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

B - Improving transparency at meetings

Silberberg SD, Crawford DC, Finkelstein R, et al. Shake up conferences. Nature 2017;548:153-154

The role of scientific conferences, where much work gets its first airing, is crucial for communication. Hence greater transparency should be encouraged and embraced by all attendees.
Earlier this year, the group of authors of this article met to hash out what could be done to improve transparency at meetings: for example, emojis, smartphone technologies and revamped guidelines would boost transparency.

B - Science journalism

N. Pitrelli. Science journalism: in search of a new identity. Medical Writing 2017;26(2)

Science journalism is undergoing a major transition due to changes in the relationship between science and society and dissemination via digital and connective technologies. This article presents a number of scenarios and a series of significant results of research that fuel the debate on the future of the information systems dealing with science, technology, and healthcare.

B - Tackling wordiness in medicine and science


B. Every. Writing economically in medicine and science: tips for tackling wordiness. Medical Writing 2017;26(1)

In this article, the author describes three ways for medical writers and editors to tackle wordiness: avoiding  repetition, eliminating redundancy, and minimising purposeless words such as unnecessary qualifiers, weak verbs, and roundabout expressions. An added benefit of limiting word clutter is that it helps reduce the word count to suit publication guidelines.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

New Style Author Toolkit!

Hot on the heels of the Peer Reviewer toolkit, comes a revised Author Toolkit!

In the same style as the PR Toolkit, I have organised all the resources in the toolkit into some main themes and collected them together in different pages.

The main themes of the modules are:

General Writing Tips
Peer Review for Authors
Publishing and Editorial Issues
Ethics for Authors
Other Resources

There is not much new in it yet, but I will be adding new content to the toolkit in the near future, especially an entire module devoted to Open Access, 'predatory' journals, pros and cons and more.


Feel free to message me if you would like to be involved in expanding it, or have any comments/questions.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

B - Scholarly publishing like a bubble

Bariç H, Baždariç K, Glasnoviç A, et al. Why scholarly publishing might be a bubble. Croatian Medical Journal 2017;58(1):1-3
(doi: 10.3325/cmj.2017.58.1)

Scholarly publishing is expanding in all directions, like a bubble. The economy of publishing has many peculiarities: the number of publications, journals, and publishers is constantly on the rise; journals subscription prices have been growing faster than the consumer price index and the inflation rate. The major publishers act as an oligopoly and, occasionally, even monopoly. The number of publications and rising prices are the main but not the only problem. There is also high number of publishers, journals, journals per publisher, predatory journals, authorships per article and per unique author, number of references per paper, self-citated and self-citing rates, and so on. A plausible hypothesis is that the expansion is driven by a market bubble.

B - What is PubMed now?

Anderson K. A confusion of journals - what is PubMed now? The Scholarly Kitchen September 7, 2017

PubMed Central used to be a credentialing system, an online port of the MEDLINE index. This shift of medium quickly made it a search engine, but one built on a manual and highly curated index. Then it was discovered that it is including articles published in journals whose publishers are considered predatory. Although these articles appear in PubMed (often after a delay), the titles are not indexed by Medline and are difficult to find. PubMed’s brand has long been muddled in ways that pass lower-quality works through the system under cover of prestige. This has real consequences.

B - Manuscript submission systems

Hartley J, Cabanac G. The delights, discomforts, and downright furies of the manuscript submission process. Learned Publishing 2017;30(2):167-172
(doi: 10.1002/leap.1092)

The authors described the frustrations that many authors feel when using manuscript submission systems. Undoubtedly these new systems have many benefits, such as the ability to detect plagiarism and fake articles and to speed up the production process. Neverthanless, instructions to authors vary hugely – from none at all to whole handbooks –  online submission systems have not reduced the complexity of submission and may have increased the work of authors. Some publishers are introducing more flexible submission rules that may help authors.

B - Senior scientists victim of predatory journals

Cobey K. Illegitimate journals scam even senior scientists. Nature September 7, 2017;549:7

The author has seen a litany of researchers preyed on by predatory journals, even those who recognize a potential problem can fall victim. She has ideas on how to stop it: better job of educating trainees and faculty members about how to assess a journal's integrity; incentives and resources that will prevent scientists from sending real work to places that will not identify flaws or truly contribute to the scholarly literature.

B - Core competencies for scientific editors

Moher D, Galipeau J, Alam S, et al. Core competencies for scientific editors of biomedical journals: consensus statement. BMC Medicine 2017;15:167
(doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0927-0)

The authors describe the development of a minimum set of core competencies for scientific editors of biomedical journals. The 14 key core competencies are divided into three major areas, and each competency has a list of associated elements or descriptions of more specific knowledge, skills, and characteristics that contribute to its fulfillment. They aim to provide guidance to scientific publishers and editors of biomedical journals worldwide on the minimum knowledge, skills, and characteristics that are needed to be effective in their role.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

PubMed Journal Selection Webinar

Join staff of the U.S. National Library of Medicine to learn how journals are selected for MEDLINE and PubMed Central, how NLM has responded to an evolving scholarly communication ecosystem, and how to use NLM resources in assessing the quality of a publication.

"PubMed Journal Selection and the Changing Landscape of Scholarly Communication."
Date and time: Friday, October 6, 2017, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM EDT

This Webinar is intended for librarians and other information specialists who work with PubMed. Participants may receive one MLA continuing education credit.

By the end of this Webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Describe some issues and concerns surrounding the current publishing landscape.

  • List the roles and responsibilities of NLM in collecting and providing access to biomedical literature.

  • Explain what is referenced in the PubMed database.

  • Find the complete list of journals in MEDLINE and in PubMed.

  • Describe the selection criteria for the different components of the PubMed database.

  • Find additional resources for authors and librarians on assessing publication quality.

If you are interested in joining, registration is on the NNLM site, here
: https://nnlm.gov/class/pubmed-journal-selection-and-changing-landscape-scholarly-communication/7780


Metadata 2020 Collaboration

Metadata 2020







Metadata 2020 is a new global initiative, organised to draw together people and organisations from all over the world. Its goal is to rally and support the academic community around the critical issue of sharing richer metadata for research communications.

The collaboration, which is being overseen by Crossref, involves researchers, publishers, aggregators, service providers, librarians, and funders who will commit to improving the quality and interoperability of their metadata. Crucially, Metadata 2020 aims to enhance communication between the different communities involved in scholarly communications, through sharing stories and resources, providing education and support to everyone seeking to improve their metadata.

The role of Editors is key in this collaboration, given our very hands-on involvement in adding the metadata into the ecosystem, our perspective on the use of metadata in publishing, and the nature of our interaction with so many scholarly communications groups who produce, use, and work with metadata.

Across the full research community, we struggle with a consistency in the formats and quality of metadata. Properly structuring metadata makes it easy to find, retrieve and coordinate information for individuals and cross-organisational platforms.

For example, in many instances, publishers and data repositories set up metadata feeds to Crossref or Datacite when they launch, but do not go back to update any of the configurations later if any change to data forms or workflows are made. Another example addresses attitudes in attention to detail and the global impact it may have - if there are mistakes in the content of metadata, corrections tend to receive less care and oversight than they should, relative to how much it is actually worth to all of us. And as a final example: in a blog post on the University of Cambridge Schol Comms blog, Dr Danny Kingsley writes:

“Researchers cannot be expected to share their data at the end of their research project if they are unable to locate their data, if the data is not correctly labelled or if it lacks metadata to make the data re-usable.”


The reality is that most scholarly communications infrastructure is based on the metadata, so quality is key to all of our success. It is our shared responsibility, and through increasing awareness of its value, and implementation of high quality practices, we will see shared benefits.

Metadata 2020 is taking the approach of organizing smaller community-focused groups for funders, data repos, researchers, etc. to help articulate specific case studies on the financial and community benefits of better metadata. It would be great to have your help!

Find out more at www.metadata2020.org, follow @Metadata2020 on Twitter, and email info@metadata2020.org to participate.

Friday, September 08, 2017

EASE Peer Reviewing Group - join the discussion!

We have added two big developments on the EASE site relating to peer review this week.

EASE Peer Reviewing Group

We are delighted to announce the formation of a new EASE working group looking at Peer Review. This group will be looking at guidelines, good practice, the culture of review and how to recognise and reward reviewers - and many other topics.

There is a public forum for discussion of peer review topics (open for non members as well as members) so please do take a look and encourage your colleagues to contribute - see http://www.ease.org.uk/strategy-groups/peer-review-committee

We will be discussing several topics during peer review week - we'd love to hear your views on all the tricky reviewing issues.

EASE Peer Reviewers' toolkit

To coordinate with Peer review Week, the EASE Peer Review Working Group has assembled a selection of resources on the peer review process


Those new to the peer review process - and those not so new - may find these links useful, so visit the website and bookmark the page!

If you know of any other resources that we should add to the site, please let us know.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Final Call for Abstracts!

A final reminder that the deadline for abstracts for presentations is 15th September, 2017.

Deadline for poster abstracts is 1st April, 2018.

Presentation sessions should address any issues around the theme of the conference: ‘Balancing Innovation and Tradition in Science Editing’.

Please see the Programme for the list of specified sessions.

Speakers will have a 10-20 minute slot within their chosen session.

*Please submit a session title and 200-word abstract, including the title of the session you wish to speak in, by 15th September 2017

Poster presentations can address any aspects of science editing and publishing.

If you wish to submit a poster, please submit a title and 200-word abstract by 1st April 2018

All submissions should be sent by email to either the EASE Secretariat Tea Marasovic, or to the Conference Chair, Joan Marsh.

EASE Conference announcements!

We are delighted to announce some further details of our 14th EASE conference, to be held in June, 2018.

The University of Bucharest has kindly agreed to host our conference. Prof Liviu Papadima, Vice-rector, will provide facilities in the Faculty of Law, Boulevard. M. Kogalniceanu.

We are also pleased to bring you the first draft of the conference programme, to give you an idea of the topics and sessions we will be bringing you at the event.

We have added several new pages to our website to cover everything conference-related, and will be regularly updating it as we finalise further details.

Please visit our Bucharest 2018 homepage for more information.