Friday, June 16, 2017

B - Manuscript development and publishing

Downey SM, Geraci SA. Manuscript development and publishing: a 5-step approach. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 2017;353(2):132-136
(doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2016.12.005)

This article articulates a 5-step approach for developing and publishing successfully a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. The authors combine existing tutorials with their collective experience. The 5 steps identified instruct would-be authors to: know their material and determine their audience; outline their manuscript; be ethically vigilant; develop individual sections and submit their manuscript; and respond to reviewers׳ comments.

B - NISO Alternative altmetrics project

Lagace N. NISO Releases recommended practice covering outputs of its multiyear project in alternative assessment metrics. Serials Review 2016;42(4):337-338.
(doi: 10.1080/00987913.2016.1246343)   
NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, announced the publication of its latest Recommended Practice, NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Project, in September 2016 This document is the culmination of a two-phase project initialized in 2013 and designed to support the uptake of altmetrics. To further facilitate adoption of these new assessment measures, the scholarly community developed consensus work via NISO that addresses several areas of the altmetric environment: definitions and use cases; persistent identifiers, output types, and data metrics; and data quality.

B - European Commission OA publishing platform

Banks M. European Commission moves into publishing. Physics World 2017;30(5):6.
Reports that the European Commission is proposing to launch its own open-access publishing platform for papers that emerge from its Horizon 2020 programme.. It would be similar to that launched last year by the Wellcome Trust.  This aims to publish papers quickly with peer review occurring post publication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also announced that Gates Open Research will launch later this year. These developments present further options for open-access publishing to those provided by regular journals.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

B - Citation indicators

Davis P. Citation performance indicators - A very short introduction. The Scholarly Kitchen 2017 May 15

This post provides a brief summary of the main citation indicators used today. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor to opine on which indicator is best. The goal  is simply to highlight their salient strengths and weaknesses. These citation indicators are grouped based on the design of their algorithm: the group Ratio-based indicators is built on the same model as the Impact Factor, by dividing citations counts by document counts; the group Portfolio-based indicators calculates a score based on a ranked set of documents; and the last group Network-based indicators seeks to measure influence within a larger citation network.

B - Should authors suggest peer reviewers?

Teixeira da Silva JA, Al-Khatib A. Should authors be requested to suggest peer reviewers? Science and Engineering Ethics 2017 Feb. 2
(doi: 10.1007/s11948-016-9842-6)

The authors of this paper query the ethics, fairness and validity of the request, by editors, of authors to suggest peer reviewers during the submission process. An author-suggested peer reviewer choice might tempt authors to seek reviewers who might be more receptive or sympathetic to the authors’ message or results, and thus favor the outcome of that paper. Authors should thus not be placed in such a potentially ethically compromising situation, especially as a mandatory condition for submission.

B - Sharing of copyrighted papers

Schiermeier Q. Science publishers try new tack on copyright breaches. Nature 2017;545(7653):145-146
(doi: 10.1038/545145a)

Rise in copyright breaches prompts industry to discuss ways to allow ‘fair sharing’ of articles. Science publishers seem to be changing tack in their approach to researchers who breach copyright. Instead of demanding that scientists or network operators take their papers down, some publishers are clubbing together to create systems for legal sharing of articles — called fair sharing — which could also help them to track the extent to which scientists share paywalled articles online.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

B - Bioethics over the past 40 years

Jin P, Hakkarinen M. Highlights in bioethics through 40 years: a quantitative analysis of top-cited journal articles. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

B - Non-English papers in scholarly communication

Liu W. The changing role of non-English papers in scholarly communication: evidence from Web of Science's three journal citation indexes. Learned Publishing 2017;30(2):115-123
(doi: 10.1002/leap.1089)

Non-English languages are widely used, but their roles in scholarly communication are relatively under-explored. This study shows that English is increasingly being used as the dominating language from natural sciences and social sciences to arts and humanities. However, a large number of non-English papers can be found in some applied disciplines of sciences and social sciences, and non-English papers have consistently played important role in arts and humanities disciplines from the beginning of 1975.

B - Funder interference in addiction research

Miller P, Martino F, Gross S, et al. Funder interference in addiction research: an international survey of authors. Addictive Behaviors 2017;72:100-105
(doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.03.026)

This study investigates funder (e.g. industry, government or charity) interference in addiction science. Interference appears to be common by governments and internationally, and similar proportions of reported interference from commercial and government funders were found. Strategies to increase transparency in the addiction science literature, including mandatory author declarations concerning the role of the funder, are necessary internationally.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

B - A review of data sharing policies

Vasilevsky NA, Minnier J, Haendel MA, et al. Reproducible and reusable research: are journal data sharing policies meeting the mark? PeerJ 2017 Apr 25;5:e3208
(doi: 10.7717/peerj.3208.eCollection2017)

Publishers could play an important role in facilitating and enforcing data sharing; however, many journals have not yet implemented data sharing policies and the requirements vary widely across journals. This study analyzed the pervasiveness and quality of data sharing policies in 318 biomedical journals . Results showed that only a minority of biomedical journals require data sharing, and a significant association between higher Impact Factors and journals with a data sharing requirement.

B - Data authorship

Bierer BE, Crosas M, Pierce HH. Data authorship as an incentive to data sharing. New England Journal of Medicine 2017;376:1684-1687
(doi: 10.1056/NEJMsb1616595)

The use of research data by persons other than those who originally gathered the data is termed “data sharing". Data sharing creates an obligation for the original investigators who obtain funding, design studies, collect and analyze data, and publish results to make their curated data and associated metadata available to third parties. The authors believe that both as a matter of fairness and as a matter of providing an incentive for data sharing, the persons who initially gathered the data should receive appropriate and standardized credit that can be used for academic advancement, for grant applications, and in broader situations.

B - Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: a comparison

Shamseer L, Moher D, Maduekwe O, et al. Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison. BMC Medicine 2017;15:28
(doi: 10.1186/s12916-017-0785-9)

The authors carried out a cross-sectional comparison of characteristics of three types of biomedical journals: potential predatory, presumed legitimate open access, and presumed legitimate subscription-based journals. Thirteen evidence-based characteristics by which predatory journals may potentially be distinguished from presumed legitimate journals were identified.

B - Statement on good science publishing

Wakeford R. Academies outline principles of good science publishing. Journal of Radiological Protection 2017;37(1):312-315
(doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aa58f9)

 A join statement was published on 13 December 2016 by the UK Royal Society and the National Academies of France and Germany that outlines the best practice for high quality science publishing.
A set of principles define a number of minimum conditions which should be satisfied in order to earn the label of "scientific journal".

B - Single IRBs in multisite trials

Klitzman R, Pivovarova E, Lidz CW. Single IRBs in multisite trials. Question posed by the new NIH policy. JAMA 2017;317(20):2061-2062
(doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.4624)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new policy (effective September 25, 2017) to mandate that nonexempt multisite research with humans funded by the NIH be reviewed by a single institutional review boards (IRBs). Underlying the policy is the belief that the use of single IRBs for multisite studies avoids duplicate and possibly conflicting IRB reviews and thereby streamlines and accelerates the review process.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

B - Fake editors

Sorokowski P, Kulczycki E, Sorokowska A, et al. Predatory journals recruit fake editor. Nature 2017;543:481-483
Predatory journals exhibit questionable marketing schemes, follow lax or non-existent peer review procedures and fail to provide scientific rigour or transparency. Crucial to a journal's quality is its editors. Such roles have usually been assigned to established experts in the journal's field, and are considered prestigious positions. Many predatory journals recruit academics to build legitimate-looking editorial boards. The authors conceived a sting operation and submitted a fake indequate application for an editor position to 360 journals, a mix of legitimate titles and suspected predators. Forty-eight titles accepted. Four titles immediately appointed the fake editor as editor-in chief, while others required some form of payment or profit.

B - Potential COI

McCoy MS, Emanuel EJ. Why there are no "potential" conflicts of interest. JAMA 2017;317(17):1721-1722
doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.2308

The notion of a potential conflict of interest (COI) reflects the mistaken view that a COI exists only when bias or harm actually occurs. Distinctions between potential and actual COI are rooted in a basic misunderstanding of the concept of a COI and its ethical significance. These invidious distinctions should be avoided. A COI exists when a secondary interest has the potential to bias a physician’s or a researcher’s primary interest in pursuing patient well-being and generalizable knowledge. Achieving greater conceptual clarity is essential to develop policies that effectively regulate COIs.

B - A checklist to improve medical writing

Leventhal PS. A checklist to improve your writing. Medical Writing 2017;26(1):43-45

A checklist of eight items to improve medical writing is provided, with explanations and  examples for each item. Several of the checklist items are discussed in detail in other articles in the same issue of Medical Writing journal. A series of exercises to help readers put them into practice is also included.

B - Scientists on Twitter

Ke q, Ahn Y-Y, Sugimoto CR. A systematic identification and analysis of scientists on Twitter. PLoS ONE 2017;12(4):e0175368.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175368

The authors developed a systematic method to discover scientists who are recognized as scientists by other Twitter users and self-identify as scientists through their profile. They studied the demographics, sharing behaviors, and interconnectivity of the identified scientists in terms of discipline and gender. Twitter has been employed by scholars across the disciplinary spectrum, with an over-representation of social and computer and information scientists, under-representation of mathematical, physical, and life scientists, and a better representation of women.

B - Meta-assessment of bias

Fanelli D, Costas R, Ioannidis JP. Meta-assessment of bias in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 2017;114(14):3714-3719
(doi: 10.1073/pnas.1618569114)

Actual prevalence of biases across disciplines is unknown. To gain a comprehensive picture of the potential imprint of bias in science, the authors probed for multiple bias-related patterns and risk factors in a large random sample of meta-analyses taken from all disciplines. The magnitude of these biases varied widely across fields and was overall relatively small. However, it was observed a significant risk of small, early, and highly cited studies to overestimate effects and of studies not published in peer-reviewed journals to underestimate them.     

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

B - Institutional OA publishing

Shashok K. Can scientists and their institutions become their own open access publishers? arXiv:1701.02461  

This article offers a personal perspective on the current state of academic publishing, and posits that the scientific community is beset with journals that contribute little valuable knowledge, overload the community's capacity for high-quality peer review, and waste resources. Open access publishing can offer solutions, but commercial journal publishers have influenced open access policies and practices in ways that favor their economic interests. One way to free research from constraints on access is the diamond route of open access publishing, in which institutions and funders that produce new knowledge reclaim responsibility for publication via institutional journals or other open platforms.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

B - Full discovery: the publisher's role

Dove JG. Full discovery: what is the publisher's role? Learned Publishing 2017;30(1):81-86
(doi: 10.1002/leap.1086)

Efforts over the years to improve content discoverability have made great progress, but an increasing amount of freely available content brings up new issues. Readers of all kinds rely on a variety of ‘discovery pathways’, such as search engines, library systems, and various electronic links, some of which are blind to the content they desire. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO)’s Discovery to Delivery (D2D) Topic Committee has developed a grid comparing various ways in which content is shared with various ways in which users discover such content.This article brings to light a few of the current obstacles and opportunities for innovation by publishers, aggregators, search engines, and library systems.

B - Evidence-based review of Open Access

Tennant JP, Waldner F, Jacques DC, et al. The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review. F1000Research 2016;5:632
(doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8460.3)

This review presents published evidence of the impact of Open Access on the academy, economy and society. Overall, the evidence points to a favorable impact of OA on the scholarly literature through increased dissemination and reuse. OA has the potential to be a sustainable business venture for new and established publishers, and can provide substantial benefits to research- and development-intensive businesses, including health organisations, volunteer sectors, and technology. The social case for OA is strong, in particular for advancing citizen science initiatives, and leveling the playing field for researchers in developing countries.

B - Accountability in publishing

Mani H. Foot print of a paper: accountability in academic publishing. The Lancet 2016;338(1004):562-563
(doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31217-X)

At the moment, the publishing process is unaccountable to the readers and is not transparent. In a published paper, there is no record of previous submissions to other journals and the comments it might have received in the journey to the final publication. A transparent and openly recorded submission and review process would result in accountability, improve the quality of papers and the peer review process, and reduce the chances of previously reported systematic cheating. The scientific input of a reviewer can also be included in their academic activities. A database for registering any paper before submission could issue an internationally recognised identification number that could help to track the submissions.

B - Journal self-citations

Heneberg P. From excessive journal self-cites to citation stacking: analysis of journal self-citation kinetics in search for journals, which boost their scientometric indicators. PLoS One 2016;11:e0153730

Little is known about kinetics of journal self-citations. The author hypothesized that they may show a generalizable pattern within particular research fields or across multiple fields. Currently used scientometric indicators provide only limited protection against unethical behaviors. An algorithm is needed to be developed to search for potential citation networks, allowing their efficient elimination. The algorithm could be based on differences in a number of citations received from a respective journal during the impact factor calculation window (post-publication years 1–2) and the number of citations received only later (e.g., post-publication years 4–7).

B - Publication ethics statement

Gasparyan AY, Yessirkepov M, Voronov AA, et al. Statement on publication ethics for editors and publishers. Journal of Korean Medical Science 2016;31(9):1351-1354
(doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.9.1351)

Editors and publishers are frequently encountered with the fast-growing problems of authorship, conflicts of interest, peer review, research misconduct, unethical citations, and inappropriate journal impact metrics. The aim of this Statement is to increase awareness of all stakeholders of science communication of the emerging ethical issues in journal editing and publishing and initiate a campaign of upgrading and enforcing related journal instructions.

B - Systematic reviews

Barbui C, Addis A, Amato L, et al. Can systematic reviews contribute to regulatory decisions? European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2017;73(4):507-509
(doi: 10.1007/s00228-016-2194-y)

Discusses the potential usefulness of systematic reviews in responding to regulatory needs. By collecting, analysing and critically appraising all relevant studies on a specific topic, they may be used by different stakeholders as a basis for making clinical and policy recommendations, including regulatory recommendations. They may simultaneously produce new findings and summarize existing knowledge, with the potential of informing regulatory decisions more pragmatically and more rapidly than other research designs.