bims-skolko Biomed news
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒04‒14
eighteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Ecol Evol. 2019 Mar;9(6): 3599-3619
    Fox CW, Paine CET.
      The productivity and performance of men is generally rated more highly than that of women in controlled experiments, suggesting conscious or unconscious gender biases in assessment. The degree to which editors and reviewers of scholarly journals exhibit gender biases that influence outcomes of the peer-review process remains uncertain due to substantial variation among studies. We test whether gender predicts the outcomes of editorial and peer review for >23,000 research manuscripts submitted to six journals in ecology and evolution from 2010 to 2015. Papers with female and male first authors were equally likely to be sent for peer review. However, papers with female first authors obtained, on average, slightly worse peer-review scores and were more likely to be rejected after peer review, though the difference varied among journals. These gender differences appear to be partly due to differences in authorial roles. Papers for the which the first author deferred corresponding authorship to a coauthor (which women do more often than men) obtained significantly worse peer-review scores and were less likely to get positive editorial decisions. Gender differences in corresponding authorship explained some of the gender differences in peer-review scores and positive editorial decisions. In contrast to these observations on submitted manuscripts, gender differences in peer-review outcomes were observed in a survey of >12,000 published manuscripts; women reported similar rates of rejection (from a prior journal) before eventual publication. After publication, papers with female authors were cited less often than those with male authors, though the differences are very small (~2%). Our data do not allow us to test hypotheses about mechanisms underlying the gender discrepancies we observed, but strongly support the conclusion that papers authored by women have lower acceptance rates and are less well cited than are papers authored by men in ecology.
    Keywords:  bias; citations; discrimination; gender; peer review; scholarly publishing
  2. J Acad Ethics. 2018 ;16(3): 211-223
    Shaw DM, Penders B.
      The reward infrastructure in science centres on publication, in which journal editors play a key role. Reward distribution hinges on value assessments performed by editors, who draw from plural value systems to judge manuscripts. This conceptual paper examines the numerous biases and other factors that affect editorial decisions. Hybrid and often conflicting value systems contribute to an infrastructure in which editors manage reward through editorial review, commissioned commentaries and reviews and weighing of peer review judgments. Taken together, these systems and processes push the editor into a role resembling censorship. Editors and authors both experience this phenomenon as an unintended side-effect of the reward infrastructure in science. To work towards a more constructive editor-author relationship, we propose a conversation, an exchange between editor and author in which value is collectively assessed (or constructed) as obligatory passage points in the publishing process are traversed. This paper contributes to the discourse on editorial practices by problematising editorial paradigms in a new way and suggesting solutions to entrenched problems.
    Keywords:  Editorship; Reward; Valuation; Value systems
  3. PeerJ. 2019 ;7 e6702
    Cox AR, Montgomerie R.
      To date, the majority of authors on scientific publications have been men. While much of this gender bias can be explained by historic sexism and discrimination, there is concern that women may still be disadvantaged by the peer review process if reviewers' biases lead them to reject publications with female authors more often. One potential solution to this perceived gender bias in the reviewing process is for journals to adopt double-blind reviews whereby neither the authors nor the reviewers are aware of each other's identity and gender. To test the efficacy of double-blind reviews in one behavioral ecology journal (Behavioral Ecology, BE), we assigned gender to every authorship of every paper published for 2010-2018 in that journal compared to four other journals with single-blind reviews but similar subject matter and impact factors. While female authorships comprised only 35% of the total in all journals, the double-blind journal (BE) did not have more female authorships than its single-blind counterparts. Interestingly, the incidence of female authorship is higher at behavioral ecology journals (BE and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology) than in the ornithology journals (Auk, Condor, Ibis) for papers on all topics as well as those on birds. These analyses suggest that double-blind review does not currently increase the incidence of female authorship in the journals studied here. We conclude, at least for these journals, that double-blind review no longer benefits female authors and we discuss the pros and cons of the double-blind reviewing process based on our findings.
    Keywords:  Behavioral ecology; Double-blind review; Gender bias; Ornithology; Peer review; Women in STEM
  4. Basic Res Cardiol. 2019 Apr 08. 114(3): 23
    Alfonso F, Zelveian P, Monsuez JJ, Aschermann M, Böhm M, Hernandez AB, Wang TD, Cohen A, Izetbegovic S, Doubell A, Echeverri D, Enç N, Ferreira-González I, Undas A, Fortmüller U, Gatzov P, Ginghina C, Goncalves L, Addad F, Hassanein M, Heusch G, Huber K, Hatala R, Ivanusa M, Lau CP, Marinskis G, Cas LD, Rochitte CE, Nikus K, Fleck E, Pierard L, Obradović S, Del Pilar Aguilar Passano M, Jang Y, Rødevand O, Sander M, Shlyakhto E, Erol Ç, Tousoulis D, Ural D, Piek JJ, Varga A, Flammer AJ, Mach F, Dibra A, Guliyev F, Mrochek A, Rogava M, Guzman Melgar I, Di Pasquale G, Kabdrakhmanov K, Haddour L, Fras Z, Held C, Shumakov V, .
      The Editors' Network of the European Society of Cardiology provides a dynamic forum for editorial discussions and endorses the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to improve the scientific quality of biomedical journals. Authorship confers credit and important academic rewards. Recently, however, the ICMJE emphasized that authorship also requires responsibility and accountability. These issues are now covered by the new (fourth) criterion for authorship. Authors should agree to be accountable and ensure that questions regarding the accuracy and integrity of the entire work will be appropriately addressed. This review discusses the implications of this paradigm shift on authorship requirements with the aim of increasing awareness on good scientific and editorial practices.
    Keywords:  Accountability; Authorship; Editorial ethics; Journals; Scientific journals; Scientific process
  5. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2019 Apr 11. pii: bmjebm-2018-111124. [Epub ahead of print]
    Gøtzsche PC.
    Keywords:  medical ethics
  6. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 5
    Baethge C, Goldbeck-Wood S, Mertens S.
      Background: Narrative reviews are the commonest type of articles in the medical literature. However, unlike systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCT) articles, for which formal instruments exist to evaluate quality, there is currently no instrument available to assess the quality of narrative reviews. In response to this gap, we developed SANRA, the Scale for the Assessment of Narrative Review Articles.Methods: A team of three experienced journal editors modified or deleted items in an earlier SANRA version based on face validity, item-total correlations, and reliability scores from previous tests. We deleted an item which addressed a manuscript's writing and accessibility due to poor inter-rater reliability. The six items which form the revised scale are rated from 0 (low standard) to 2 (high standard) and cover the following topics: explanation of (1) the importance and (2) the aims of the review, (3) literature search and (4) referencing and presentation of (5) evidence level and (6) relevant endpoint data. For all items, we developed anchor definitions and examples to guide users in filling out the form. The revised scale was tested by the same editors (blinded to each other's ratings) in a group of 30 consecutive non-systematic review manuscripts submitted to a general medical journal.
    Results: Raters confirmed that completing the scale is feasible in everyday editorial work. The mean sum score across all 30 manuscripts was 6.0 out of 12 possible points (SD 2.6, range 1-12). Corrected item-total correlations ranged from 0.33 (item 3) to 0.58 (item 6), and Cronbach's alpha was 0.68 (internal consistency). The intra-class correlation coefficient (average measure) was 0.77 [95% CI 0.57, 0.88] (inter-rater reliability). Raters often disagreed on items 1 and 4.
    Conclusions: SANRA's feasibility, inter-rater reliability, homogeneity of items, and internal consistency are sufficient for a scale of six items. Further field testing, particularly of validity, is desirable. We recommend rater training based on the "explanations and instructions" document provided with SANRA. In editorial decision-making, SANRA may complement journal-specific evaluation of manuscripts-pertaining to, e.g., audience, originality or difficulty-and may contribute to improving the standard of non-systematic reviews.
    Keywords:  Agreement; Cronbach’s alpha; Internal consistency; Intra-class correlation coefficient; Item-total correlation; Narrative review articles; Non-systematic review articles; Periodicals as topic; Reliability; SANRA
  7. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Apr 11. 1-6
    Abdellatif W, Shao M, Jalal S, Ding J, Vijayasarathi A, Sanelli PC, Castillo M, Norbash A, O'Neill SB, Nicolaou S, Khosa F.
      OBJECTIVE: Radiology has traditionally been a male-dominated medical specialty, and this is also reflected in the authorship of radiology publications and the composition of radiology journal editorial boards. The purpose of this study was to quantify the extent of the gender disparities reflected within the journal editorial boards of the largest international radiologic societies.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methods were crafted to generate a geographically based gender analysis of the editorial boards of the largest general radiologic societies globally. All editorial board members of journals that were published by societies included in the study and that had an impact factor of 1 or greater were assessed to determine the gender composition of the board and the research productivity and career advancement of its members. Analyzed metrics included gender, academic rank, departmental leadership positions, subspecialty, total number of peer-reviewed publications, total number of citations, the h-index, and total number of years of active research.
    RESULTS: Significant gender disparity was noted across the six journal editorial boards included. Overall, 80.87% of editorial board members were men and 19.13% were women. Men were more prevalent than women across all academic ranks. Male editorial board members had longer publishing careers (22.5 vs 18 years; p = 0.015), a higher total number of publications (110 vs 65 publications; p < 0.001), and a higher h-index (25 vs 19; p < 0.001) than their female counterparts. Female editorial board members at higher academic ranks were less represented on editorial boards and were also less likely to have formal departmental leadership titles.
    CONCLUSION: Editorial boards have significant gender disparities, with no specific geographic regional variation noted. Male editorial board members published more, had higher h-indexes, and held more departmental leadership positions than their female counterparts.
    Keywords:  editorial boards; gender disparity; gender map; h-index; radiologic societies
  8. Nature. 2018 Apr;556(7701): 273-274
    Keywords:  Lab life; Publishing; Research management
  9. Ann Emerg Med. 2019 Apr 05. pii: S0196-0644(19)30142-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Niforatos JD, Narang J, Trueger NS.
      STUDY OBJECTIVE: We aim to characterize the prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among emergency medicine journal editorial board members.METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of editorial board members of leading peer-reviewed emergency medicine journals. A list of highly cited emergency medicine journals was curated with Journal Citation Reports and Google Scholar Metrics. Financial conflicts of interest were obtained by curating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Open Payments database for the most recently available data (2017). The outcomes of this study were prevalence of financial conflicts of interest and frequency of disclosure on each journal's Web site.
    RESULTS: Editorial boards of the top 5 journals were analyzed. Of the 198 unique US-based physician-editors, 60 (30.3%) had a financial conflict of interest documented as general or research-based payments. The 52 editors with general payments had a median of 2 payments (interquartile range [IQR] 1 to 8.25), with a median of $202 (IQR $69 to $7,386); the maximum general payment was $115,730 received from industry. For research payments, 26 editors (13.1%) had a median 4 payments (IQR 2 to 9), with a median of $47,095 (IQR $5,328 to $126,025) and maximum of $3,590,000 received from industry. Seven editors in one of the emergency medicine journals included in this study publicly disclosed competing interests; dollar amounts were not reported.
    CONCLUSION: Nearly one third of US-based editors at leading emergency medicine journals had financial conflicts of interest, although only one journal publicly disclosed the presence of payments. Public disclosure of editorial board members' financial relationships with industry may allow for more transparency related to the content published in these journals.
  10. Radiol Med. 2019 Apr 09.
    Cornacchia S, Errico R, Balzano RF, Fusco V, Maldera A, Pierpaoli E, Ferrari C, Rubini G, Guglielmi G.
      AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to properly define the information regarding patient exposure to Ionizing Radiations in the radiological report, according to the European Directive 2013/59/EURATOM (EU 2013/59 art.58(b)). For this purpose, we evaluated the results from other Member States EU 2013/59 transpositions and from Guidelines recommendation published by International Organizations involved in diagnostic radiology. A practical way for implementing art.58 is also traced.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dosimetric quantities, such as exposure, absorbed dose and effective dose which may be included in radiological report, were first analyzed; then, in order to define international state of art of Member States EU 2013/59 transposition, a Web research using French, English, Spanish and German key words was performed.
    RESULTS: EU 2013/59 transposition for 5 Member States was reported. Especially regarding art.58, a European project reports that few European countries (11 of 28) have identified the dose metrics to be used in radiological report. Scientific organizations supporting clinical radiologists and medical physicists have published Guidelines reporting parameters useful to quantify the radiation output and to assess patient dose.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our research revealed that there is not a shared interpretation of patient exposure information to be included in radiological report. Nevertheless, according to scientific community, authors believe that the exposure is the most appropriate information that could be included in radiological report. Alternatively, but with more expensiveness, a risk index based on effective dose could be used. Moreover, the systematic exposure information recorded could be useful for dose estimates of population from medical exposure.
    Keywords:  Dose index; EU Directive 2013/59 transposition; Patient exposure information; Radiological equipment; Radiological report
  11. Am J Pharm Educ. 2019 Mar;83(2): 6515
    Shafeeq H, Hammond DA, Swanson JM, Li C, Devlin JW.
      Objective. To characterize the practices and perceptions of recent post-graduate year 2 (PGY2) critical care pharmacy (CCP) residents surrounding the completion and publication of their primary research project. Methods. Potential factors and perceptions influencing primary research project publication success were identified and incorporated in a validated electronic survey distributed to 2011 and 2012 PGY2 CCP residency program graduates. Results. Among the 94/124 (76%) respondents, 26% had published their research project (67% were first authors; 50% were successful on first submission), while 36% still planned to pursue publication, and 38% had no plans for their manuscript. Factors more commonly reported by publishing (vs. non-publishing) PGY2 graduates included: publication of their PGY1 research project, any publication during the PGY2 year, and national presentation of the PGY2 research project. Perceptions associated with research project publication success were a higher degree of self-motivation to publish, post-PGY2 mentor support, project's publication deemed important to post-PGY2 employer, adequate training for manuscript submission, and adequate time during residency for manuscript completion. Two factors, ≥1 publication during PGY2 [odds ratio (OR)=3.7; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3, 10.2] and research project presentation at a national conference (OR=4.5; 95% CI 1.2, 16.9); and two perceptions, self-motivation to publish (OR=8.1; 95% CI 1.7, 37.7) and post-PGY2 mentor support (OR=3.3; 95% CI 1.1, 9.8) were independently associated with publication success. Conclusion. Only one-quarter of PGY2 CCP residents published their primary research project. PGY2 programs should consider those factors associated with research project publication success when formulating strategies to increase resident publication rates.
    Keywords:  post-graduate year 2 (PGY2); publication; research; residency; training
  12. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(4): e0215369
    LeFebvre MJ, Brenskelle L, Wieczorek J, Kansa SW, Kansa EC, Wallis NJ, King JN, Emery KF, Guralnick R.
      Interdisciplinary collaborations and data sharing are essential to addressing the long history of human-environmental interactions underlying the modern biodiversity crisis. Such collaborations are increasingly facilitated by, and dependent upon, sharing open access data from a variety of disciplinary communities and data sources, including those within biology, paleontology, and archaeology. Significant advances in biodiversity open data sharing have focused on neontological and paleontological specimen records, making available over a billion records through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. But to date, less effort has been placed on the integration of important archaeological sources of biodiversity, such as zooarchaeological specimens. Zooarchaeological specimens are rich with both biological and cultural heritage data documenting nearly all phases of human interaction with animals and the surrounding environment through time, filling a critical gap between paleontological and neontological sources of data within biodiversity networks. Here we describe technical advances for mobilizing zooarchaeological specimen-specific biological and cultural data. In particular, we demonstrate adaptations in the workflow used by biodiversity publisher VertNet to mobilize Darwin Core formatted zooarchaeological data to the GBIF network. We also show how a linked open data approach can be used to connect existing biodiversity publishing mechanisms with archaeoinformatics publishing mechanisms through collaboration with the Open Context platform. Examples of ZooArchNet published datasets are used to show the efficacy of creating this critically needed bridge between biological and archaeological sources of open access data. These technical advances and efforts to support data publication are placed in the larger context of ZooarchNet, a new project meant to build community around new approaches to interconnect zoorchaeological data and knowledge across disciplines.
  13. Front Psychol. 2019 ;10 622
    Mendoza SA, Martone LE.
    Keywords:  faculty mentoring; liberal arts education; psychology curricula; publishing; teaching institutions; undergraduate research
  14. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019 Apr 11. 19(1): 77
    Babic A, Pijuk A, Brázdilová L, Georgieva Y, Raposo Pereira MA, Poklepovic Pericic T, Puljak L.
      BACKGROUND: Clinical decisions are made based on Cochrane reviews, but the implementation of results of evidence syntheses such as Cochrane reviews is problematic if the evidence is not prepared consistently. All systematic reviews should assess the risk of bias (RoB) in included studies, and in Cochrane reviews, this is done by using Cochrane RoB tool. However, the tool is not necessarily applied according to the instructions. In this study, we aimed to determine the types of bias and their corresponding judgements noted in the 'other bias' domain of Cochrane RoB tool.METHODS: We analyzed Cochrane reviews that included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and extracted data regarding 'other bias' from the RoB table and accompanying support for the judgment. We categorized different types of other bias.
    RESULTS: We analyzed 768 Cochrane reviews that included 11,369 RCTs. There were 602 (78%) Cochrane reviews that had 'other bias' domain in the RoB tool, and they included a total of 7811 RCTs. In the RoB table of 337 Cochrane reviews for at least one of the included trials it was indicated that no other bias was found and supporting explanations were inconsistently judged as low, unclear or high RoB. In the 524 Cochrane reviews that described various sources of other bias, there were 5762 individual types of explanations which we categorized into 31 groups. The judgments of the same supporting explanations were highly inconsistent. We found numerous other inconsistencies in reporting of sources of other bias in Cochrane reviews.
    CONCLUSION: Cochrane authors mention a wide range of sources of other bias in the RoB tool and they inconsistently judge the same supporting explanations. Inconsistency in appraising risk of other bias hinders reliability and comparability of Cochrane systematic reviews. Discrepant and erroneous judgments of bias in evidence synthesis may hinder implementation of evidence in routine clinical practice and reduce confidence in otherwise trustworthy sources of information. These results can help authors of Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews to gain insight into various sources of other bias that can be found in trials, and also to help them avoid mistakes that were recognized in published Cochrane reviews.
    Keywords:  Cochrane; Other bias inconsistency; Risk of bias; Systematic review
  15. Nature. 2019 Apr;568(7752): 425-426
    Gotian R.
    Keywords:  Careers; Communication; Conferences and meetings