bims-skolko Biomed news
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒02‒24
twelve papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. PLoS Biol. 2019 Feb 21. 17(2): e3000151
    Sarabipour S, Debat HJ, Emmott E, Burgess SJ, Schwessinger B, Hensel Z.
      Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value. The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision, and resubmission causing redundant peer review. This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. Today, ECRs face a changing academic landscape, including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population, and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands. The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal-managed peer review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges. Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback, and facilitating collaborations. Although there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted. The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting need to be addressed. We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of ECRs on the value of preprints and advocate their wide adoption to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000151
  2. Nature. 2019 Feb;566(7744): 307
    Vaidyanathan G.
      
    Keywords:  Peer review; Policy; Publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-00514-1
  3. Med Teach. 2019 Feb 22. 1-6
    Ruiter-Lopez L, Lopez-Leon S, Forero DA.
      OBJECTIVE: Given that often the quality of journals is based on its editors, the objective of this study was to describe quantitatively the profiles of members of editorial boards (MEBs) of presumed predatory journals.METHODS: The following information was retrieved from 1015 editors taken from journals listed in Beall's list: country, university, position, and degree. The Scopus website was used to identify the number of citations, documents, and h-index.
    RESULTS: Presumed open access predatory journals are including all types of profiles as their MEBs, which include fake and unqualified editors, but mostly very high-qualified scientists who are professors, medical doctors and/or had a PhD. MEBs were located in 74 different countries, most had an affiliation in the United States of America (USA) (44.4%). The median of publications per editor was 43, number of citations 664 and h-index 14.
    CONCLUSIONS: The results dispute the common belief that it is possible to identify predatory journals by checking their editorial boards. Scientists should not rely on the editors to determine if a journal is predatory. If an author has doubt, the editors should be contacted.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2018.1556390
  4. Ann Glob Health. 2018 Nov 05. 84(4): 584-589
    Forero DA, Oermann MH, Manca A, Deriu F, Mendieta-Zerón H, Dadkhah M, Bhad R, Deshpande SN, Wang W, Cifuentes MP.
      Predatory journals (PJ) exploit the open-access model promising high acceptance rate and fast track publishing without proper peer review. At minimum, PJ are eroding the credibility of the scientific literature in the health sciences as they actually boost the propagation of errors. In this article, we identify issues with PJ and provide several responses, from international and interdisciplinary perspectives in health sciences. Authors, particularly researchers with limited previous experience with international publications, need to be careful when considering potential journals for submission, due to the current existence of large numbers of PJ. Universities around the world, particularly in developing countries, might develop strategies to discourage their researchers from submitting manuscripts to PJ or serving as members of their editorial committees.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.9204/aogh.2389
  5. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2019 Feb 11. pii: S2468-7812(19)30064-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Jull G, Moore A.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2019.02.001
  6. PeerJ. 2019 ;7 e6423
    Weiss GJ, Davis RB.
      Background: Financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) are known to be prevalent in medicine. Authorship of pivotal trials reap non-financial benefits including publication productivity that can be used for assessment of tenure positions and promotion. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the prevalence and discordance of academic trial author (authors) FCOI in industry-sponsored drug trials that were initially presented as oral abstracts and subsequently resulted in a peer-reviewed publication.Methods: Oral abstracts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting that were subsequently published were identified. Studies that were non-industry sponsored, non-adult, or non-therapeutic trials were excluded. Studies that did not have a subsequent peer-reviewed publication or had a publication preceding the ASCO 2017 Annual Meeting were also excluded. FCOI was categorized and impact factor (IF) for the journal at the time of publication was retrieved. FCOI discordance between the oral abstract and publication was calculated based on geographic location and IF.
    Results: A total of 22 paired abstract and publications met inclusion criteria for further analysis. A total of 384 authors were identified, of these 280 authors (74.1%) were included in both the oral abstract and subsequent publication. A total of 76% of these 280 authors had FCOI and 66.4% had FCOI discordance. There were statistically significant differences for the sum of FCOI discordance for U.S.-based authors (p = 0.0004) but not for journal IF. When analyzing the sum of absolute differences of FCOI discordance, statistical significance was reached for authors from any of the three geographic regions, as well as, low and high IF journals (all p-values < 0.0001).
    Conclusions: This study draws attention to the lack of uniformity and vetting of FCOI reporting in abstracts and journals publishing solid tumor oncology trial results. This is particularly concerning, since FCOI is prevalent globally.
    Keywords:  Clinical trials; Discordance; Financial conflicts of interest; Oncology; Publication
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6423
  7. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Feb 19. pii: S0885-3924(19)30054-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Sanz Á, Del Valle ML.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.02.003
  8. Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2019 Feb 05. pii: S1050-1738(19)30007-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Mandrola J, Futyma P.
      Digital and social media are transforming society and Medicine. In this review, we discuss how social media speeds the translation of medical evidence, disrupts peer review, changes the path to leadership, improves lifelong learning, connects colleagues and may even transform cardiovascular research. Despite some downsides, we make the case that social media will be a net positive for Medicine.
    Keywords:  Digital medicine; Lifelong learning; Peer review; Social media
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcm.2019.01.009
  9. Neurointervention. 2019 Feb 19.
    Huh S.
      It aimed to present the definition of personal information based on Korean laws that protect personal information and the process of protection of personal information in journal publishing based on the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and Committee of Publication Ethics. Two Korean laws relate to the protection of personal information in human subject research: the Personal Information Protection Act and the Bioethics and Safety Act. These laws were enacted to prevent the unauthorized use of Koreans' personal information including medical information. Personal information can be divided into personally identifiable information including resident registration numbers and sensitive information including health information. To protect personal information in journal publishing, institutional review board (IRB) approval and obtaining informed consent from patients is recommended or mandatory in clinical studies. However, retrospective chart reviews may be exempted from IRB approval, while obtaining informed consent is recommended for all case reports. Journal policies may vary with regard to whether a copy of the informed consent form is collected from authors, since the Committee of Publication Ethics guideline does not specifically recommend collecting it. In discussions of adopting clinical data-sharing policies, transfer of data including nonidentifiable personal information to another country is an unresolved issue. Furthermore, a public data repository site should be established in Korea for data to be deposited. To protect subjects' privacy and to prevent legal issues potentially arising from privacy concerns, editors and publishers should do their best to publish articles with appropriate oversight on subjects' personal information.
    Keywords:  Ethics committees, Research; Informed consent; Personally identifiable information; Privacy; Republic of Korea
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.5469/neuroint.2019.00031
  10. Int J Biometeorol. 2019 Feb 20.
    Vecellio DJ, Allen MJ.
      The International Journal of Biometeorology (IJB) has been the flagship journal in the field for the past 60+ years. However, given its interdisciplinary nature, biometeorology research has appeared in numerous publication outlets other than the IJB. This study compiles the most popular of these journals, so that early-career biometeorologists might be able to be exposed to more literature that the field has to offer. In focusing on where members of the International Society of Biometeorology's (ISB) Climate and Human Health Commission (CHH) members publish, journals with a general focus on fields such as climate, the environment, and health stand out. Many of these journals have impact factors much higher than the IJB, potentially making them more attractive for dissemination of results to a larger audience. With this paper, the authors hope that the interest in biometeorology is broadened through an expansion of known available literature, specifically with early-career researchers.
    Keywords:  Biometeorology; Climate; Human health; Publications
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-019-01695-0
  11. Biomark Insights. 2019 ;14 1177271919829162
    Byrne JA, Grima N, Capes-Davis A, Labbé C.
      A major reason for biomarker failure is the selection of candidate biomarkers based on inaccurate or incorrect published results. Incorrect research results leading to the selection of unproductive biomarker candidates are largely considered to stem from unintentional research errors. The additional possibility that biomarker research may be actively misdirected by research fraud has been given comparatively little consideration. This review discusses what we believe to be a new threat to biomarker research, namely, the possible systematic production of fraudulent gene knockdown studies that target under-studied human genes. We describe how fraudulent papers may be produced in series by paper mills using what we have described as a 'theme and variations' model, which could also be considered a form of salami slicing. We describe features of these single-gene knockdown publications that may allow them to evade detection by journal editors, peer reviewers, and readers. We then propose a number of approaches to facilitate their detection, including improved awareness of the features of publications constructed in series, broader requirements to post submitted manuscripts to preprint servers, and the use of semi-automated literature screening tools. These approaches may collectively improve the detection of fraudulent studies that might otherwise impede future biomarker research.
    Keywords:  Biomarkers; cancer; gene knockdown techniques; paper mill; research fraud; salami publication; under-studied gene
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1177271919829162