bims-skolko Biomed news
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒03‒17
seven papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Am J Med. 2019 Mar 06. pii: S0002-9343(19)30173-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    Patel RB, Vaduganathan M, Mosarla RC, Venkateswaran RV, Bhatt DL, Bonow RO.
      BACKGROUND: While open access publishing among cardiovascular journals has increased in scope over the last decade, the relationship between open access and article citation volume remains unclear.METHODS: We evaluated the association between open access publishing and citation number in 2017 among 4 major cardiovascular journals. Articles indexed to PubMed with ≥5 citations were identified among the following journals: Circulation, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JAMA Cardiology. Multivariable Poisson regression models were adjusted for journal and article type.
    RESULTS: Of the 916 articles published in 2017, original investigations accounted for most articles (66.7%), followed by reviews (14.5%), guideline/scientific statements (8.4%), research letters (3.7%), viewpoints (3.7%), and editorials (2.9%). Among all articles, 43% (n=391) were open access. Citation number was higher among open access articles compared with those with subscription access (14 [25th-75th percentile: 9-23] vs. 11 [25th-75th percentile: 7-17]; P<0.001). Open access status was significantly associated with higher number of citations after multivariable adjustment (β coefficient: +0.42, 95% CI: 0.38-0.45, P<0.001). Open access articles had consistently higher citations compared with subscription access articles across the 3 most frequent article types.
    CONCLUSION: Among contemporary articles published in major cardiovascular journals, open access publishing account for over 40% of articles and was significantly associated with increased short-term citations. Further research is required to assess the variation in long-term citation rates based on open access publishing status.
    Keywords:  cardiology; citations; journal; open access; publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2019.02.009
  2. J Pediatr Urol. 2019 Feb 15. pii: S1477-5131(18)30494-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    O'Kelly F, Fernandez N, Koyle MA.
      INTRODUCTION: The advent of open access publishing has allowed for unrestricted and rapid knowledge dissemination and can generate higher citation levels. However, the establishment of predatory journals exploits this model and may lead to publication of non-peer reviewed work.OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the characteristics and trends of indexed publications in paediatric urology. The primary outcomes were to compare open access vs non-open access publishing. The secondary outcome was to assess whether any open access publications in this cohort could be classified as predatory based on journal data basing and external peer review policies.
    METHODS: PubMed, MEDLINE and Embase reviews were carried out for any publication using the terms 'p(a)ediatric urology' over a 5-year period (October 2012-2017). These publications were individually accessed, assessed for relevance and cross-checked using the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Report. Bibliometric data, journal type and access model were all individually assessed, ranked and compared using descriptive and non-parametric statistical methods.
    RESULTS: From an initial total of 4075 indexed publications, 2244 journal publications across 51 countries were included based on relevance, of which 611 were open access. Open access journals were significantly more likely to publish basic science/laboratory versus clinical publications (10.9% vs 3.3%). They were more likely have higher average citations/publication (17 vs. 8), but there was no difference between open and closed journal impact factors (3.1 vs. 2.7). The overall rate of open access, indexed publications that were not peer reviewed and/or included in open access databases was 6.5% DISCUSSION: The overall numbers of paediatric urological articles appearing on PubMed between 2012 and 2017 have increased by approximately 75%, while the number of open access articles has remained relatively static (25%). Researchers may prefer to publish in specific journals to disseminate results to a particular audience or fear in the current climate that an open access journal may not be considered legitimate, and possibly even predatory, thus having a negative impact on the data and the author's reputation. The impact factor status and route/method of publication may be less important.
    CONCLUSIONS: Open access, peer reviewed publishing allows rapid international knowledge dissemination. The exact objective definition of what constitutes a predatory journal remains controversial. We have identified a time-stable prevalence of 6.5% open access publications that could meet proposed criteria for a 'borderline/predatory journal'; however, this should not influence the decision to publish in open access journals.
    Keywords:  Citation; Impact Factor; Open Access; Predatory; Pseudojournal; Publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpurol.2018.08.019
  3. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 4
    Ross-Hellauer T, Görögh E.
      Open peer review (OPR) is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation. As more journals move to implement and experiment with the myriad of innovations covered by this term, there is a clear need for best practice guidelines to guide implementation. This brief article aims to address this knowledge gap, reporting work based on an interactive stakeholder workshop to create best-practice guidelines for editors and journals who wish to transition to OPR. Although the advice is aimed mainly at editors and publishers of scientific journals, since this is the area in which OPR is at its most mature, many of the principles may also be applicable for the implementation of OPR in other areas (e.g., books, conference submissions).
    Keywords:  Guidelines; Open peer review; Open science; Peer review; Scholarly publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0063-9
  4. Addiction. 2019 Mar 09.
    Gorman DM.
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The credibility crisis evident in many academic disciplines has led peer-reviewed journals to implement procedures to reduce use of flexible data analysis practices and selective reporting of results. This exploratory study examined the adoption of six of these procedures by addiction journals.METHODS: Thirty-eight high-impact addiction journals were identified using the 2017 Clarivate Analytics' Journal Citation Report. The online instructions for authors were reviewed for references to six publication procedures: conflict of interest disclosure, reporting guidelines, clinical trial registration, registration of other study designs, data sharing, and registered reports. The webpages of the Center for Open Science and CONSORT were also reviewed for data pertaining to registered reports and reporting guidelines, respectively.
    RESULTS: The range of procedures adopted by the addiction journals was 0-5, with a mean of 2.66. Conflict of interest disclosure was required by all but one journal. Encouraging data sharing was the next most commonly required procedure. Less than half of the journals recommended specific reporting guidelines or required registration of clinical trials, and only four required procedures to pre-specify hypotheses and analytic methods.
    CONCLUSIONS: While many addiction journals have adopted publication procedures to improve research integrity, these can be limited by their voluntary nature and monitoring difficulties. More stringent requirements that lock researchers into specific hypotheses and analyses have not been widely adopted.
    Keywords:  academic journals; analytic flexibility; conflict of interest; registered reports; research integrity; trial registration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14604
  5. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019 Mar 13. 19(1): 57
    Rombey T, Allers K, Mathes T, Hoffmann F, Pieper D.
      BACKGROUND: An a priori design is essential to reduce the risk of bias in systematic reviews (SRs). To this end, authors can register their SR with PROSPERO, and/or publish a SR protocol in an academic journal. The latter has the advantage that the manuscript for the SR protocol is usually peer-reviewed. However, since authors ought not to begin/continue the SR before their protocol has been accepted for publication, it is crucial that SR protocols are processed in a timely manner. Our main aim was to descriptively analyse the peer review process of SR protocols published in 'BMC Systematic Reviews' from 2012 to 2017.METHODS: We systematically searched MEDLINE via PubMed for all SR protocols published in 'BMC Systematic Reviews' between 2012 and 2017, except for protocols for overviews, scoping reviews or realist reviews. Data were extracted from the SR protocols and Open Peer Review reports. For each round of peer review, two researchers judged the extent of revision (minor/major) based on the reviewer reports. Their content was further investigated by two researchers in a random 10%-sample using PRISMA-P as a guideline. All data were analysed descriptively.
    RESULTS: We identified 544 eligible protocols published in 'BMC Systematic Reviews' between 2012 and 2017. Of those, 485 (89.2%) also registered the SR in PROSPERO, the majority (87.4%) before first submission of the manuscript for the SR protocol (median 49 days). The absolute number of published SR protocols increased from 2012 to 2017 (21 vs 145 protocols), as did the median processing time (61 vs 142 days from submission to acceptance) and the proportion of protocols requiring a major revision after first peer review (19.1% vs 52.4%). Reviewer comments most frequently addressed the PRISMA-P item 'Eligibility criteria'. Overall, 76.0% of the reviewer comments suggested more transparency.
    CONCLUSIONS: The number of published SR protocols increased over the years, but so did the processing time. In 2017, it took several months from submission to acceptance, which is critical from an author's perspective. New models of peer review such as post publication peer review for SR protocols should be investigated. This could probably be realized with PROSPERO.
    Keywords:  Meta-analysis; PROSPERO; Peer review; Protocol; Systematic review
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-019-0698-8
  6. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Mar 12.
    Bucala RJ, Solomon DH.
      The academic freedom inherent in scientific publication carries with it academic responsibility, although the two concepts are rarely equated. For authors, there is the fundamental ethical obligation to publish work that is truthful and scientifically defendable. For reviewers, academic responsibility requires impartiality and fairness while not abusing the privilege of anonymous review, despite professional competition. Ultimately, it is the Arthritis & Rheumatology community of contributors and reviewers that not only sustains but expands the foundation of trust that ensures continued research progress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/art.40882