bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒05‒19
twenty-six papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. BMJ Open. 2019 May 15. 9(5): e027903
    Gerrits RG, Jansen T, Mulyanto J, van den Berg MJ, Klazinga NS, Kringos DS.
      OBJECTIVES: Explore the occurrence and nature of questionable research practices (QRPs) in the reporting of messages and conclusions in international scientific Health Services Research (HSR) publications authored by researchers from HSR institutions in the Netherlands.DESIGN: In a joint effort to assure the overall quality of HSR publications in the Netherlands, 13 HSR institutions in the Netherlands participated in this study. Together with these institutions, we constructed and validated an assessment instrument covering 35 possible QRPs in the reporting of messages and conclusions. Two reviewers independently assessed a random sample of 116 HSR articles authored by researchers from these institutions published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals in 2016.
    SETTING: Netherlands, 2016.
    SAMPLE: 116 international peer-reviewed HSR publications.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Median number of QRPs per publication, the percentage of publications with observed QRP frequencies, occurrence of specific QRPs and difference in total number of QRPs by methodological approach, type of research and study design.
    RESULTS: We identified a median of six QRPs per publication out of 35 possible QRPs. QRPs occurred most frequently in the reporting of implications for practice, recommendations for practice, contradictory evidence, study limitations and conclusions based on the results and in the context of the literature. We identified no differences in total number of QRPs in papers based on different methodological approach, type of research or study design.
    CONCLUSIONS: Given the applied nature of HSR, both the severity of the identified QRPs, and the recommendations for policy and practice in HSR publications warrant discussion. We recommend that the HSR field further define and establish its own scientific norms in publication practices to improve scientific reporting and strengthen the impact of HSR. The results of our study can serve as an empirical basis for continuous critical reflection on the reporting of messages and conclusions.
    Keywords:  health services research; questionable research practices; responsible research practices; scientific reporting
  2. Nature. 2019 May;569(7756): 307
    Keywords:  Media; Publishing
  3. ILAR J. 2019 May 16. pii: ilz007. [Epub ahead of print]
    MacArthur Clark J, Clifford P, Jarrett W, Pekow C.
      Animals play a key role in biomedical research and other areas of scientific inquiry. But public opinion plays a key role in influencing how this area of science is regulated and funded. Nevertheless, scientists have historically been reticent to speak openly about their animal research or to open their animal facilities to the public in any way. Consequently, most of the available information has come from those opposed to animal research. This imbalance has led to suspicion and lagging public support for this work. To reverse this effect, efforts are now being made in many parts of the world to increase openness and transparency in this sector. The authors firmly believe that encouraging more institutions to join this movement, focused on better and greater communication, is essential to preserve the research community's "permission" to perform justifiable studies involving animals. For the purposes of this article, we consider "the public" to include that cross-section of society who may be asked their views in opinion poll studies and who may vote in elections. It also includes other influential groups such as the media, scientists working in other disciplines, animal welfare groups, and politicians who may shape regulatory frameworks. Public opinion on this issue matters. The majority of funding for biomedical research comes, either directly or indirectly, from the public purse. In the case of pharmaceutical research, funding derives from selling medicines to consumers. We therefore all have a vested interest in this funding. Furthermore, legislation that covers the use of animals in research is permissive-it allows scientists to do things that might otherwise contravene animal welfare laws. But this permission is normally contingent on complying with strict protective measures designed to ensure the work stays within the ethical framework that public opinion has deemed appropriate. Open and transparent communication is the best way to promote public understanding. There is thus a responsibility on all those involved in animal research, whether scientists, animal care staff, physicians, veterinarians, members of ethics committees, or managers and leaders, to support and promote public awareness and trust in this work. Circumstantial evidence shows that, with such open dialogue, there is decreased targeting and harassment of individuals and job pride and satisfaction for all involved is improved.
    Keywords:  3Rs; advocacy; concordat; openness; public opinion; public outreach; science communication; transparency
  4. Subst Use Misuse. 2019 May 13. 1-9
    Parmar A, Kumar Dubey D, Singh Balhara YP, Kumar Mishra A.
      INTRODUCTION: Well-structured instructions for authors in journals help researchers in reporting unbiased results, which subsequently facilitates the review process. There have been reports of systematic evaluations of instructions for authors from journals in various medical specialties. However, precise information on the nature and extent of these instructions for authors in addiction science is lacking. Hence, this study systematically evaluated the instructions for authors for journals in addiction science.METHODS: A total of 1139 journal titles were retrieved across multiple databases. Finally, 88 exclusive titles fulfilling the eligibility criteria were considered in this study. The four domains evaluated were journal characteristics, reporting, statistical reporting, and ethical requirements.
    RESULTS: More than half of the journals were published by academic institutions or professional societies. Less than one-fourth of the journals endorsed adherence to various reporting guidelines and endorsed the Consolidated Statements on Randomized Controlled Trials guidelines to the maximum level (14.8%). Approximately, half (48.9%) of the journals had a separate section on "statistical analysis." The various parameters of statistical reporting were suboptimally endorsed. Conclusion/Importance: The instructions for authors in addiction science journals provide insufficient information in various domains. There is an urgent need to improve the author instructions segment of addiction science journals so that the process of research dissemination can occur more effectively. A higher rate of endorsement of various reporting guidelines and statistical reporting may help to minimize reporting bias as well as prevent unnecessary delays in the publication of important research findings.
    Keywords:  Addiction science; addiction psychiatry; clinical trial registration; medical research; reporting
  5. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 May 09.
    Tvina A, Spellecy R, Palatnik A.
      Peer review is the major method used by the scientific community to evaluate manuscripts and decide what is suitable for publication. However, this process in its current design is not bulletproof and is prone to reviewer and editorial bias. Its lack of objectivity and transparency raise concerns that manuscripts might be judged based on interests irrelevant to the content itself and not on merit alone. This commentary reviews some of the most common biases that could potentially affect objective evaluation of a manuscript and proposes alternatives to the current single-blind peer review process that is being used by most scientific journals, including Obstetrics & Gynecology. By rethinking and tackling the shortcomings of the current methodology for peer review, we hope to create a discussion that will eventually lead to improving research and, ultimately, patient care.
  6. J Perinat Educ. 2019 Jan 01. 28(1): 3-5
    Budin WC.
      In this column, the editor of The Journal of Perinatal Education (JPE) discusses the peer-review process utilized by JPE and why it is essential for quality. The editor also describes the contents of this issue, which offer a broad range of resources, research, and inspiration for childbirth educators in their efforts to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth.
    Keywords:  evidence-based practice; healthy birth; labor support; natural birth; normal birth; peer review; perinatal education; physiological childbirth education; safe birth
  7. J Eval Clin Pract. 2019 May 16.
    Bartelmann K, Gaskins M, Dressler C, Nast A.
      RATIONALE AND AIM: External review is important when developing clinical practice guidelines. Involving pharmaceutical companies may influence guideline recommendations in their favour and is therefore controversial. Our study aimed to measure stakeholder participation in the external review of the 2016 European acne guideline and assess the extent to which comments submitted by pharmaceutical companies suggested changes favouring their own products.METHODS: Retrospective, partially blinded case study using qualitative analysis of comments submitted during external review.
    RESULTS: Four stakeholder groups participated in the review: pharmaceutical company representatives (five out of five invited), professional association members (2/222), journal reviewers (n = 2), and visitors to the project website (n = 1). Of 78 comments submitted, 48 were from company representatives, 24 from journal reviewers, and six from others. Each comment suggested one change to the guideline. Of the comments submitted by companies, 41.7% related to "writing or formatting," 16.7% to "presentation of results," 12.5% to "background information for main recommendations," and 12.5% to the "strength of treatment recommendation". In 54.2% (26/48) of these comments, a change was suggested that put the companies' own products in a more positive light. Five of these changes were implemented by the guideline authors in the way suggested by the company representatives.
    CONCLUSION: Participation of professional societies, patients, and the general public in the external review of the 2016 European acne guideline was unacceptably low. This is in concordance with reports of low participation of these groups in other European dermatology guidelines. While involving the pharmaceutical industry in the review substantially increased the number of comments received, many of these sought changes that would have put companies' own products in a more favourable light. Our findings underscore the need to manage reviewer comments in a robust and transparent fashion. Solutions to encourage participation of all relevant stakeholders are needed.
    Keywords:  clinical practice guideline; dermatology; external review; pharmaceutical industry; quality
  8. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(5): e0216789
    Hara N, Abbazio J, Perkins K.
      Originally, online public engagement with science tended to be one directional-from experts to the general population via news media. Such an arrangement allowed for little to no direct interaction between the public and scientists. However, the emergence of social media has opened the door to meaningful engagement between scientists and the general public. The current study examines scientists' perspectives on the interactions between laypeople and scientists by asking questions and sharing information on social media platforms, specifically, through Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions on Reddit's "Science" subreddit (r/science). By analyzing the content of six different r/science AMAs and surveying scientists who participated as r/science AMA hosts, our research attempts to gain a richer understanding of direct communication between scientists and lay audiences online. We had three main questions: (1) who are the participant scientists hosting r/science AMAs, (2) what are their experiences like as hosts, and (3) what type of discussions do they have on this platform? Survey results suggested that these scientists recognize the promising interactive nature of Reddit and are interested in continuing to use this platform as a tool for public engagement. Survey respondents generally had positive experiences as AMA hosts, but further research is needed to examine negative experiences. Overall, this study has significant implications for how scientists can engage public audiences online and more effectively communicate scientific findings to the general populace.
  9. Nature. 2019 May;569(7756): 318-319
    de Oliveira Andrade R.
    Keywords:  Lab life; Medical research; Peer review
  10. Nature. 2019 May;569(7756): 316-317
    Cyranoski D.
    Keywords:  Databases; Peer review; Technology
  11. Nature. 2019 May;569(7756): S18-S19
    Arora A, Belenzon S, Cohen W, Patacconi A.
    Keywords:  Funding; Industry; Medical research; Policy
  12. Nature. 2019 May;569(7756): 445-447
    Popkin G.
    Keywords:  Careers; Databases; Technology
  13. Clin Rheumatol. 2019 May 16.
    Pineda C, Pérez-Neri I, Sandoval H.
      Social media has become a key component of contemporary medicine, and the rheumatology subspecialty is not an exemption. We found that just six of the 40 key peer-reviewed rheumatology journals have found it sensible to incorporate the new appointment of a Social Media Editor-or a similar designation-into their Editorial Boards. We propose that the role of a social media editor is a trinomial: not only a technological work to promote digital engagement but also an activity of ethical guidance and a cultural challenge dealing with worldwide cultural and mindset diversity.
    Keywords:  Publishing; Rheumatology; Social media; Trends
  14. Rev Chil Pediatr. 2019 Apr;pii: S0370-41062019005000606. [Epub ahead of print]90(2): 217-221
    Schonhaut B L.
      Editorial Boards of mainstream journals occasionally face ethical misconducts in received manus cripts. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) provides recommendations for editors on how to deal with suspected ethical misconduct in either received or published manuscripts. The manus cript is rejected when malpractice is observed during the peer review process, however, if the mis conduct is detected after the publication, the publication will be retracted. The Revista Chilena de Pediatría (Chilean Journal of Pediatrics) has not been exempt from these type of conflicts. In this article, we analyze different aspects regarding the lack of integrity in publications, such as authorship, plagiarism, and conflict of interest. We can conclude that malpractices take place mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the authors rather than intent to defraud. It is expected that this article will suc ceed in instructing and sensitizing our researchers on good practices in research and publication, and contribute, as far as possible, to prevent this actions in the manuscripts sent to our Journal.
  15. Am Psychol. 2019 May 13.
    Odic D, Wojcik EH.
      Women are notably underrepresented in the academic sciences. Psychology is a pertinent case study of gender inequality in science, because women make up over three quarters of undergraduate and graduate students but only a third of all full professors. Here, publication records from 125 high-impact, peer-reviewed psychology journals are analyzed to describe nuanced patterns about how men and women contribute to research psychology. To determine gender, we classified over 750,000 authors on 200,000 unique publications by comparing the 1st name of each author to openly available census data. The data replicate previous reports of publication and citation gender gaps in psychology and significantly extend these results by showing that these gaps are persistent across subdiscipline and time but are mediated by various contextual factors. For example, although the size of the publication and citation gaps are not explained by the university affiliation of the authors' and frequency of coauthorship, the gaps are larger in high-impact journals and at the last-author position. These patterns have remained largely unchanged since at least 2003. These results provide a detailed look at the variety of factors contributing to the differences in how men and women publish in research psychology and provide free and openly available tools for assessing publication and citation differences across time, journals, and other academic disciplines. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  16. Med Arch. 2019 Feb;73(1): 4-5
    Hozo I, Masic I.
      Medical Archives is the oldest biomedical journal in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all important individuals of medical clinical practice have been published in the Medical Archives, and even today, in index and citation databases: Medline, PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, open access variants, is the main advertiser of medical sciences in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Medical Archives in the future would like to become a free-of-charge journal, which will publish open access articles, because finally, the financial component should be a deciding factor whether the article will be published or not. The journal opened the door to PhD students, which should also be an incentive for further progress. The main goal of the journal is to continuously raise the quality, with the addition of establishment as a source of quality science.
    Keywords:  Bosnia and Herzegovina; journal; publishing; science
  17. Women Birth. 2019 May 10. pii: S1871-5192(19)30289-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bogossian F, McLelland G.
  18. Rev Med Chil. 2019 Feb;pii: S0034-98872019000200238. [Epub ahead of print]147(2): 238-242
    Reyes B H.
      Young authors may benefit by some advices on how to proceed when they decide to write a manuscript and submit it to a medical journal. They should start by selecting the journal considering the topic and nature of their study, how relevant the results seem and the interest it may have in editors and readers. A reasonable choice should consider new journals that publish good papers selected after external peer review. Then they should study and follow the Instructions to Authors of the chosen journal. A strong call is given to recognize and avoid "predatory journals". Specific statements refer to Instructions to Authors and language requirements by the journal, the need to follow "ICMJE Recommendations", the correct assignment of authorship, and a strict observance of ethical regulations in biomedical and clinical research. Special mention is given to provide a good abstract, in English, either descriptive or structured depending on the nature of their study. These advices may be useful as well as a reminder to older authors on how to improve their manuscripts before submitting them to a mainstream medical journal.
  19. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019 May 12. pii: S1551-7411(19)30467-X. [Epub ahead of print]
    Desselle SP, Chen AM, Amin M, Aslani P, Dawoud D, Miller MJ, Norgaard LS.
      In spite of concerns about the lack of recognition for its conduct, peer review remains the backbone of scientific evaluation and advancement of scientific knowledge. Given the challenges and evolution in the peer review system, collegiality among authors, reviewers, editors, and even consumers of content is more important than ever. While general guidance has been provided recently in the pharmacy literature, this commentary provides both philosophical underpinnings and specific mechanics for enhancing effectiveness of reviews and improving the quality of writing for authors concurrently, thus examining each major section in an original research contribution. Generosity, courtesy, diligence, thoroughness, and empathy are required of us all to advance the scientific paradigm of our discipline and profession.
  20. J Med Imaging Radiat Sci. 2019 May 09. pii: S1939-8654(19)30269-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Di Prospero L.
  21. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019 May 14. pii: S1198-743X(19)30212-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Leibovici L.
    Keywords:  Clinical Microbiology; Infection; editor; open call; peer-review