bims-librar Biomed News
on Biomedical librarianship
Issue of 2019‒12‒08
seven papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 23
    Grossetta Nardini HK, Batten J, Funaro MC, Garcia-Milian R, Nyhan K, Spak JM, Wang L, Glover JG.
      Background: Developing a comprehensive, reproducible literature search is the basis for a high-quality systematic review (SR). Librarians and information professionals, as expert searchers, can improve the quality of systematic review searches, methodology, and reporting. Likewise, journal editors and authors often seek to improve the quality of published SRs and other evidence syntheses through peer review. Health sciences librarians contribute to systematic review production but little is known about their involvement in peer reviewing SR manuscripts.Methods: This survey aimed to assess how frequently librarians are asked to peer review systematic review manuscripts and to determine characteristics associated with those invited to review. The survey was distributed to a purposive sample through three health sciences information professional listservs.
    Results: There were 291 complete survey responses. Results indicated that 22% (n = 63) of respondents had been asked by journal editors to peer review systematic review or meta-analysis manuscripts. Of the 78% (n = 228) of respondents who had not already been asked, 54% (n = 122) would peer review, and 41% (n = 93) might peer review. Only 4% (n = 9) would not review a manuscript. Respondents had peer reviewed manuscripts for 38 unique journals and believed they were asked because of their professional expertise. Of respondents who had declined to peer review (32%, n = 20), the most common explanation was "not enough time" (60%, n = 12) followed by "lack of expertise" (50%, n = 10).The vast majority of respondents (95%, n = 40) had "rejected or recommended a revision of a manuscript| after peer review. They based their decision on the "search methodology" (57%, n = 36), "search write-up" (46%, n = 29), or "entire article" (54%, n = 34). Those who selected "other" (37%, n = 23) listed a variety of reasons for rejection, including problems or errors in the PRISMA flow diagram; tables of included, excluded, and ongoing studies; data extraction; reporting; and pooling methods.
    Conclusions: Despite being experts in conducting literature searches and supporting SR teams through the review process, few librarians have been asked to review SR manuscripts, or even just search strategies; yet many are willing to provide this service. Editors should involve experienced librarians with peer review and we suggest some strategies to consider.
    Keywords:  Editorial policy; Evidence synthesis; Information specialists; Librarians; Meta-analysis; Methodological standards; PRESS; Peer review; Reporting standards; Systematic reviews
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0083-5
  2. Trials. 2019 Dec 02. 20(1): 669
    Jerčić Martinić-Cezar I, Marušić A.
      BACKGROUND: Open access (OA) journals are becoming a publication standard for health research, but it is not clear how they differ from traditional subscription journals in the quality of research reporting. We assessed the completeness of results reporting in abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in these journals.METHODS: We used the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials Checklist for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) to assess the completeness of reporting in abstracts of parallel-design RCTs published in subscription journals (n = 149; New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet) and OA journals (n = 119; BioMedCentral series, PLoS journals) in 2016 and 2017.
    RESULTS: Abstracts in subscription journals completely reported 79% (95% confidence interval [CI], 77-81%) of 16 CONSORT-A items, compared with 65% (95% CI, 63-67%) of these items in abstracts from OA journals (P < 0.001, chi-square test). The median number of completely reported CONSORT-A items was 13 (95% CI, 12-13) in subscription journal articles and 11 (95% CI, 10-11) in OA journal articles. Subscription journal articles had significantly more complete reporting than OA journal articles for nine CONSORT-A items and did not differ in reporting for items trial design, outcome, randomization, blinding (masking), recruitment, and conclusions. OA journals were better than subscription journals in reporting randomized study design in the title.
    CONCLUSION: Abstracts of randomized controlled trials published in subscription medical journals have greater completeness of reporting than abstracts published in OA journals. OA journals should take appropriate measures to ensure that published articles contain adequate detail to facilitate understanding and quality appraisal of research reports about RCTs.
    Keywords:  CONSORT for Abstracts; Open access publishing; Randomized controlled trial; Reporting guidelines; Subscription journals
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-3781-x
  3. ESMO Open. 2019 ;4(6): e000580
    Richtig G, Richtig E, Böhm A, Oing C, Bozorgmehr F, Kruger S, Kiesewetter B, Zielinski C, Berghoff AS.
      Introduction: Predatory journals harm the integrity of science as principles of 'good scientific practice' are bypassed by omitting a proper peer-review process. Therefore, we aimed to explore the awareness of predatory journals among oncologists.Methods: An online survey among oncologists working in Germany or Austria of various professional surroundings was conducted between October 2018 and April 2019.
    Results: One hundred and eighty-eight participants (55 women (29.2%), 128 men (68.1%)) completed the questionnaire. 41 (21.8%) participants indicated to work in a hospital, 24 (12.8%) in private practice and 112 (59.6%) in a university hospital. 98.9% of participants indicated to actively read scientific articles and consider them in clinical decision-making (96.3%). 90.4% of participants indicated to have scientific experience by publishing papers in journals with peer-review system. The open-access system was known by 170 (90.4%), predatory journals by 131 (69.7%) and Beall's list by 52 participants (27.7%). Predatory journals were more likely to be known by participants with a higher number of publications (p<0.001), with more high-impact publications (p=0.005) and with recent publications (p<0.001). Awareness of predatory journals did not correlate with gender (p=0.515) or translation of scientific literature into clinical practice (p=0.543).
    Conclusions: The problematic topic of 'predatory journals' is still unknown by a considerable amount of oncologist, although the survey was taken in a cohort of oncologists with scientific experience. Dedicated educational initiatives are needed to raise awareness of this problem and to aid in the identification of predatory journals for the scientific oncology community.
    Keywords:  influence; knowledge; oncologist; oncology; predatory journals; survey
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000580
  4. Cureus. 2019 Oct 21. 11(10): e5952
    Murphy EP, Fenelon C, Murphy F, Baig MN, Murphy RP, Diack M, Leonard M.
      Introduction The aim of this study is to assess the readability and reliability of internet-based information on pelvic and acetabular fractures. Methods The three most popular English-based internet search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Quality was assessed using the DISCERN tool, the Journal of the American Medical Association tool, and the presence of the Health on the Net Code (HONcode) seal. Readability was assessed using a combination of the Flesch Reading Ease Score and the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Inclusion criteria included English language websites with the relevant search terms. We excluded videos, YouTube links, or sponsored advertisements. Search terms included acetabular fracture/fractured acetabulum and pelvic fracture/fractured pelvis. The top 25 websites in each search engine were reviewed. The searches for acetabular fractures and pelvic fractures generated 75 websites in total. Duplicates were excluded. Results The search for acetabular fracture revealed 36 discrete websites among the three search engines, and the search for pelvic fractures revealed 45 websites. Overall, the average reading grade was 9.7 for acetabular websites and 13.6 for pelvis websites. The quality of the websites was poor across all key performance indicators studied. Conclusion Physicians should be aware of the quality of medical information available to patients via internet searches because physicians should play a central role in the navigation of poor quality information to help direct patient-centered care.
    Keywords:  internet-based information; readability; reliability
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.5952
  5. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Dec 04. 21(12): e13694
    Zhu C, Zeng R, Zhang W, Evans R, He R.
      BACKGROUND: Social media has become the most popular communication tool used by Chinese citizens, including expectant mothers. An increasing number of women have adopted various forms of social media channels, such as interactive websites, instant messaging, and mobile apps, to solve problems and obtain answers to queries during pregnancy. Although the use of the internet by pregnant women has been studied extensively worldwide, limited research exists that explores the changing social media usage habits in China, where the 1 child policy ended in 2015.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to (1) present the status quo of pregnancy-related information seeking and sharing via social media among Chinese expectant mothers, (2) reveal the impact of social media usage, and (3) shed light on pregnancy-related health services delivered via social media channels.
    METHODS: A qualitative approach was employed to examine social media usage and its consequences on pregnant women. A total of 20 women who had conceived and were at various stages of pregnancy were interviewed from July 20 to August 10, 2017. Thematic analysis was conducted on the collected data to identify patterns in usage.
    RESULTS: Overall, 80% (16/20) of participants were aged in their 20s (mean 28.5 years [SD 4.3]). All had used social media for pregnancy-related purposes. For the seeking behavior, 18 codes were merged into 4 themes, namely, gravida, fetus, delivery, and the postpartum period; whereas for sharing behaviors, 10 codes were merged into 4 themes, namely, gravida, fetus, delivery, and caretaker. Lurking, small group sharing, bad news avoidance, and cross-checking were identified as the preferred patterns for using social media. Overall, 95% (19/20) of participants reported a positive mental impact from using social media during their pregnancy.
    CONCLUSIONS: It is indisputable that social media has played an increasingly important role in supporting expectant mothers in China. The specific seeking and sharing patterns identified in this study indicate that the general quality of pregnancy-related information on social media, as well as Chinese culture toward pregnancy, is improving. The new themes that merge in pregnancy-related social media use represent a shift toward safe pregnancy and the promotion of a more enjoyable pregnancy. Future prenatal care should provide further information on services related to being comfortable during pregnancy and reducing the inequality of social media-based services caused by the digital divide.
    Keywords:  China; consumer health information; information seeking; pregnant women; social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2196/13694
  6. World Neurosurg. 2019 Nov 27. pii: S1878-8750(19)32949-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ammanuel S, Edwards CS, Alhadi R, Hervey-Jumper SL.
      BACKGROUND: The internet has become a popular resource for patients to research diagnosed or suspected medical diseases. Medical institutions provide comprehensive online education resources about various conditions to the general public. The National Institutes of Health and American Medical Association recommend that patient education materials aimed at the general population should be written at or below eighth grade reading level. The goal of this study is to assess the readability of patient education materials for Central Nervous System tumors across tertiary care institutions.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patient Education materials were collected from National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Centers in October 2019. Materials were analyzed by Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) score using Microsoft Office Word software. Subgroups were formed based on regions in the United States (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West) as well as diagnostic and treatment information.
    RESULTS: A total of 180 documents were collected across fifty institutions. Overall median FKGL was 12.5, while median FRE was 38.2. Median FKGL for diagnostic information was 11.6 and FRE was 43.0, whereas median FKGL for treatment information was 12.9 and median FRE was 34.3. No statistically significant differences were seen for both FKGL and FRE between geographic regions (p>0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: Current online neuro-oncology patient education materials from tertiary institutions are written above recommended reading levels. Future efforts should be taken in order to improve the readability of brain tumor specific patient education materials, particularly with information relating to treatment.
    Keywords:  Health Literacy; Neuro-Oncology; Patient Education
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2019.11.109
  7. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 29. pii: E4804. [Epub ahead of print]16(23):
    Zhao Y, Zhang J, Wu M.
      The trend towards the use of the Internet for health information purposes is rising. Utilization of various forms of social media has been a key interest in consumer health informatics (CHI). To reveal the information needs of autism-affected users, this study centers on the research of users' interactions and information sharing within autism communities on social media. It aims to understand how autism-affected users utilize support groups on Facebook by applying natural language process (NLP) techniques to unstructured health data in social media. An interactive visualization method (pyLDAvis) was employed to evaluate produced models and visualize the inter-topic distance maps. The revealed topics (e.g., parenting, education, behavior traits) identify issues that individuals with autism were concerned about on a daily basis and how they addressed such concerns in the form of group communication. In addition to general social support, disease-specific information, collective coping strategies, and emotional support were provided as well by group members based on similar personal experiences. This study concluded that Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) is feasible and appropriated to derive topics (focus) from messages posted to the autism support groups on Facebook. The revealed topics help healthcare professionals (content providers) understand autism from users' perspectives and provide better patient communications.
    Keywords:  autism; consumer health informatics; natural language processing (NLP); online support groups
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234804