bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒04‒21
sixteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Nature. 2019 Apr;568(7752): 275
    Keywords:  Authorship; Peer review; Publishing
  2. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2019 Jun;5(2): 134-136
    Burdine LK, de Castro Maymone MB, Vashi NA.
      To further the progress of scientific research and expand the literature, authors and editors share a common goal of producing and reviewing innovative publications. However, as publication rates increase, so does the amount of detected plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. This concept, also referred to as text recycling, is defined as the repurposing of one's own previously published work in new publications without referencing the original source. There are advocates both for and against versions of text recycling, but without a universal protocol for authors and editors of what constitutes self-plagiarism, there is no strict standard among journals as to what is unethical. The advent of online text duplication detection software has been increasingly used by journals to assure that all published work is novel, but challenges remain. Converging on standardized guidelines would be beneficial with regard to text recycling and improving author education and the promotion of active communication between journals and authors during the submission process if confusion arises.
    Keywords:  Text recycling; plagiarism
  3. Curr Med Res Opin. 2019 Apr 15. 1
    DeTora LM, Carey MA, Toroser D, Baum EZ.
      INTRODUCTION: The systematic review of biomedical ghostwriting has proven challenging due to problems in consistency and in study design. Moreover, authorship guidelines established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) may have inadvertently created opportunities to potentiate ghostwriting. Given continued interest in ghostwriting by the International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) and other organizations, we undertook an analysis of ghostwriting in the biomedical literature.METHODS: We searched PubMed (search terms: ghost writ*, ghostwrit*, ghost writer, ghostwriter, ghostwriting, and ghost writing). Results, including abstracts, were reviewed for relevance (relationship to ghostwriting in biomedical journals) to aid in removal of inapplicable work and duplicate publications. After review, we consolidated expert opinions for publication professionals.
    RESULTS: Overlap was poor across search terms; of 181 unique papers identified; most (112/181) were opinion pieces. An increasing number of papers are using the term "ghostwriting" to describe genetics as well as diverse phenomena of misattributed authorship, including "ghost authorship." Eight primary studies and 1 systematic review of ghostwriting incidence were identified, reporting prevalence ranging from <1% to 91%, in varied settings using differing methods and definitions of ghostwriting. Suggestions for avoiding ghostwriting include early consensus building and better definitions of authorship among manuscript teams.
    DISCUSSION: The prevalence and definition of ghostwriting remain unclear. Increased transparency and auditable authorship practices that align with specific guidelines may aid in the avoidance of ghostwriting. In addition, MeSH or clearer indexing terms may be helpful to separate usages of ghostwriting in scientific settings (e.g., genetic research) versus biomedical publishing.
    Keywords:  authorship; ghost writing; ghostwriting; publication ethics; transparency
  4. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(4): e0214272
    Stavale R, Ferreira GI, Galvão JAM, Zicker F, Novaes MRCG, Oliveira CM, Guilhem D.
      BACKGROUND: Measures to ensure research integrity have been widely discussed due to the social, economic and scientific impact of research integrity. In the past few years, financial support for health research in emerging countries has steadily increased, resulting in a growing number of scientific publications. These achievements, however, have been accompanied by a rise in retracted publications followed by concerns about the quality and reliability of such publications.OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to investigate the profile of medical and life sciences research retractions from authors affiliated with Brazilian academic institutions. The chronological trend between publication and retraction date, reasons for the retraction, citation of the article after the retraction, study design, and the number of retracted publications by author and affiliation were assessed. Additionally, the quality, availability and accessibility of data regarding retracted papers from the publishers are described.
    METHODS: Two independent reviewers searched for articles that had been retracted since 2004 via PubMed, Web of Science, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (BVS) and Google Scholar databases. Indexed keywords from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Descritores em Ciências da Saúde (DeCS) in Portuguese, English or Spanish were used. Data were also collected from the Retraction Watch website ( This study was registered with the PROSPERO systematic review database (CRD42017071647).
    RESULTS: A final sample of 65 articles was retrieved from 55 different journals with reported impact factors ranging from 0 to 32.86, with a median value of 4.40 and a mean of 4.69. The types of documents found were erratum (1), retracted articles (3), retracted articles with a retraction notice (5), retraction notices with erratum (3), and retraction notices (45). The assessment of the Retraction Watch website added 8 articles that were not identified by the search strategy using the bibliographic databases. The retracted publications covered a wide range of study designs. Experimental studies (40) and literature reviews (15) accounted for 84.6% of the retracted articles. Within the field of health and life sciences, medical science was the field with the largest number of retractions (34), followed by biological sciences (17). Some articles were retracted for at least two distinct reasons (13). Among the retrieved articles, plagiarism was the main reason for retraction (60%). Missing data were found in 57% of the retraction notices, which was a limitation to this review. In addition, 63% of the articles were cited after their retraction.
    CONCLUSION: Publications are not retracted solely for research misconduct but also for honest error. Nevertheless, considering authors affiliated with Brazilian institutions, this review concluded that most of the retracted health and life sciences publications were retracted due to research misconduct. Because the number of publications is the most valued indicator of scientific productivity for funding and career progression purposes, a systematic effort from the national research councils, funding agencies, universities and scientific journals is needed to avoid an escalating trend of research misconduct. More investigations are needed to comprehend the underlying factors of research misconduct and its increasing manifestation.
  5. ACS Chem Biol. 2018 Dec 21. 13(12): 3217-3218
    Karbstein K.
  6. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2019 May;pii: S1701-2163(19)30087-8. [Epub ahead of print]41(5): 579-580
    Tulandi T, Balayla J.
  7. Biotechniques. 2019 Apr;66(4): 107
  8. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Apr 15. pii: S0885-3924(19)30171-X. [Epub ahead of print]
    Cortegiani A, Giarratano A.
    Keywords:  Open access; Palliative care; Predatory; Publishing models; Scientific publishing; Supportive care