bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒05‒26
seventeen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. BMJ Open. 2019 May 19. 9(5): e027928
    Wilkinson TA, Russell CJ, Bennett WE, Cheng ER, Carroll AE.
      OBJECTIVE: To investigate the scope of academic spam emails (ASEs) among career development grant awardees and the factors associated with the amount of time spent addressing them.DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of career development grant investigators via an anonymous online survey was conducted. In addition to demographic and professional information, we asked investigators to report the number of ASEs received each day, how they determined whether these emails were spam and time they spent per day addressing them. We used bivariate analysis to assess factors associated with the amount of time spent on ASEs.
    SETTING: An online survey sent via email on three separate occasions between November and December 2016.
    PARTICIPANTS: All National Institutes of Health career development awardees funded in the 2015 fiscal year.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Factors associated with the amount of time spent addressing ASEs.
    RESULTS: A total of 3492 surveys were emailed, of which 206 (5.9%) were returned as undeliverable and 96 (2.7%) reported an out-of-office message; our overall response rate was 22.3% (n=733). All respondents reported receiving ASEs, with the majority (54.4%) receiving between 1 and 10 per day and spending between 1 and 10 min each day evaluating them. The amount of time respondents reported spending on ASEs was associated with the number of peer-reviewed journal articles authored (p<0.001), a history of publishing in open access format (p<0.01), the total number of ASEs received (p<0.001) and a feeling of having missed opportunities due to ignoring these emails (p=0.04).
    CONCLUSIONS: ASEs are a common distraction for career development grantees that may impact faculty productivity. There is an urgent need to mitigate this growing problem.
    Keywords:  open access publishing; predatory journals; publishing; time management
  2. West J Emerg Med. 2019 May;20(3): 460-465
    Al Hamzy M, de Villiers D, Banner M, Lamprecht H, Bruijns SR.
      Introduction: Unrestricted access to journal publications speeds research progress, productivity, and knowledge translation, which in turn develops and promotes the efficient dissemination of content. We describe access to the 500 most-cited emergency medicine (EM) articles (published between 2012 and 2016) in terms of publisher-based access (open access or subscription), alternate access routes (self-archived or author provided), and relative cost of access.Methods: We used the Scopus database to identify the 500 most-cited EM articles published between 2012 and 2016. Access status was collected from the journal publisher. For studies not available via open access, we searched on Google, Google Scholar, Researchgate,, and the Unpaywall and Open Access Button browser plugins to locate self-archived copies. We contacted corresponding authors of the remaining inaccessible studies for a copy of each of their articles. We collected article processing and access costs from the journal publishers, and then calculated relative cost differences using the World Bank purchasing power parity index for the United States (U.S.), Germany, Turkey, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Australia. This allows costs to be understood relative to the economic context of the countries from which they originated.
    Results: We identified 500 articles for inclusion in the study. Of these, 167 (33%) were published in an open access format. Of the remaining 333 (67%), 204 (61%) were available elsewhere on the internet, 18 (4%) were provided by the authors, and 111 (22%) were accessible by subscription only. The mean article processing and access charges were $2,518.62 and $44.78, respectively. These costs were 2.24, 1.75, 2.28 and 1.56 times more expensive for South African, Chinese, Turkish, and Brazilian authors, respectively, than for U.S. authors (p<0.001 all).
    Conclusion: Despite the advantage of open access publication for knowledge translation, social responsibility, and increased citation, one in five of the 500 EM articles were accessible only via subscription. Access for scientists from upper-middle income countries was significantly hampered by cost. It is important to acknowledge the value this has for authors from low- and middle-income countries. Authors should also consider the citation advantage afforded by open access publishing when deciding where to publish.
  3. J Exp Psychol Appl. 2019 May 20.
    Donnelly K, McKenzie CRM, Müller-Trede J.
      Using psychology professors as participants, the present study investigates how publications in low-impact psychology journals affect evaluations of a hypothetical tenure-track psychology job applicant. Are "weak" publications treated as evidence for or against a candidate's ability? Two experiments revealed that an applicant was rated as stronger when several weak publications were added to several strong ones and was rated as weaker when the weak publications were removed. A third experiment showed that the additional weak publications were not merely viewed as a signal of additional strong publications in the future; instead, the weak publications themselves appear to be valued. In a fourth and final experiment, we found that adding a greater number of weak publications also strengthened the applicant, but not more so than adding just a few. The study further suggests that the weak publications may signal ability, as applicants with added weak publications were rated as both more hardworking and more likely to generate innovative research ideas. Advice for tenure-track psychology applicants: Do not hesitate to publish in even the weakest journals, as long as it does not keep you from publishing in strong journals. Implications of the market rewarding publications in low-impact journals are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  4. J Med Internet Res. 2019 May 24. 21(5): e12957
    Feng X, Zhang H, Ren Y, Shang P, Zhu Y, Liang Y, Guan R, Xu D.
      BACKGROUND: It is of great importance for researchers to publish research results in high-quality journals. However, it is often challenging to choose the most suitable publication venue, given the exponential growth of journals and conferences. Although recommender systems have achieved success in promoting movies, music, and products, very few studies have explored recommendation of publication venues, especially for biomedical research. No recommender system exists that can specifically recommend journals in PubMed, the largest collection of biomedical literature.OBJECTIVE: We aimed to propose a publication recommender system, named Pubmender, to suggest suitable PubMed journals based on a paper's abstract.
    METHODS: In Pubmender, pretrained word2vec was first used to construct the start-up feature space. Subsequently, a deep convolutional neural network was constructed to achieve a high-level representation of abstracts, and a fully connected softmax model was adopted to recommend the best journals.
    RESULTS: We collected 880,165 papers from 1130 journals in PubMed Central and extracted abstracts from these papers as an empirical dataset. We compared different recommendation models such as Cavnar-Trenkle on the Microsoft Academic Search (MAS) engine, a collaborative filtering-based recommender system for the digital library of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and CiteSeer. We found the accuracy of our system for the top 10 recommendations to be 87.0%, 22.9%, and 196.0% higher than that of MAS, ACM, and CiteSeer, respectively. In addition, we compared our system with Journal Finder and Journal Suggester, which are tools of Elsevier and Springer, respectively, that help authors find suitable journals in their series. The results revealed that the accuracy of our system was 329% higher than that of Journal Finder and 406% higher than that of Journal Suggester for the top 10 recommendations. Our web service is freely available at
    CONCLUSIONS: Our deep learning-based recommender system can suggest an appropriate journal list to help biomedical scientists and clinicians choose suitable venues for their papers.
    Keywords:  PubMed; biomedical literature; convolutional neural network; deep learning; recommender system
  5. Public Underst Sci. 2019 May 19. 963662519850086
    Füchslin T.
      Science communication scholars are publishing more and more segmentation analyses as they further our understanding of different audiences and their characteristics. They follow different aims, are therefore difficult to compare and do not lend themselves to more generalisable and theoretical knowledge production. Our field has the potential to follow a demand for more systematic efforts by taking advantage of our high-quality representative data sets focusing on public perceptions of science. Beforehand, however, science communication scholars using segmentation analyses have to identify common goals and overcome a number of hurdles concerning variable selection, methodological approaches, and transparency. Ultimately, a collaborative and systematic application of segmentation analyses could result in truly relevant insights for our field.
    Keywords:  cluster analysis; public understanding of science; science communication; segmentation; survey research
  6. PLoS Biol. 2019 May;17(5): e3000234
      This Editorial describes PLOS Biology's experiment with contextualised publication, whereby potentially controversial studies are published with an Editor's Note and an accompanying Primer in which the Academic Editor guides the reader, dissects the study, and lays out the thinking behind the decision to publish.
  7. Lancet. 2019 May 18. pii: S0140-6736(19)31040-2. [Epub ahead of print]393(10185): 2036
    Rose-Clarke K, Fellmeth G.
  8. J Vis Commun Med. 2019 May 23. 1-7
    Bryson D.
      Research and research publications are key elements in continuing professional development (CPD) as part of the mix of learning and development activities we undertake to keep ourselves current in our practice. Papers published in journals can be used by colleagues to support their evidence based practice. Posters and presentations seen and heard at a conferences can prompt ideas and developments at other organisations. In this way research is more than the publication of a piece of work it is about dissemination and its impact; for our CPD this is about how it benefits us and our patients.
    Keywords:  CPD; PDP ; Research; online; profile; publications
  9. Ugeskr Laeger. 2019 May 13. pii: V02190117. [Epub ahead of print]181(20):
    Frandsen TF, Eriksen MB.
      The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of tools, which health-science researchers can use when assessing, whether a journal is legitimate or questionable. Researchers are regularly contacted by journals encouraging them to submit manuscripts. Many of these contacts are phishing e-mails sent by questionable journals, who offer the publication of manuscripts for a fee but without performing peer review or carrying out other processes normally associated with a scientific journal. Determining whether a journal is questionable or legitimate can be challenging.
  10. Epidemiol Prev. 2019 Jan-Feb;43(1):43(1): 55-59
    Crocetti E.
      BACKGROUND: the employment relationship with a public health service foresees a remuneration that in many cases is the main income, it takes place within a hierarchical structure, whose top management is nominated by politics. Therefore, objectives and priorities can change according to the prevailing policy.OBJECTIVES: to verify the existence of the perception of a potential conflict of interest in the employment relationship with a public health service.
    DESIGN: descriptive study. SETTING E PARTICIPANTS: authors of the papers published in the years 2016-2017 in Epidemiologia&Prevenzione (E&P).
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: numbers of authors and of declarations of conflict of interest.
    RESULTS: in the 12 issues published by E&P in the two years under review, 144 contributions, drawn up by 630 authors, were evaluated; 16% of the contributions did not have the declaration of conflict of interest; the authors declared the existence of some conflict of interest in 10 contributions (6.9%). Thirteen of the 630 authors (2.0%) declared a conflict. Two of these declarations (2/630; 0.3%) referred to their employment relationship.
    CONCLUSIONS: This context does not seem to foster the independence of thought: only 0.3% of the authors indicated the working relationship among their conflicts of interest. In general, the declaration of the conflict of interest involved 2% of the authors. The need to discuss the conflict of interest, its awareness and its control should be a priority action of the scientific community, scientific associations, and scientific journals.
  11. AoB Plants. 2019 Jun;11(3): plz025
    Jackson MB.
      AoB PLANTS is a not-for-profit, open access, plant science journal and one of three peer-reviewed journals owned and managed by the Annals of Botany Company. This article explains events and thinking that led to the starting of AoB PLANTS and how the unique features of the Journal came to be formalized prior to its launch in September 2009. The article also describes how the Journal's management developed over the first 10 years and summarizes the Journal's achievements in a decade where open access journals have proliferated despite subscription journals continuing to dominate the publishing of peer-reviewed botanical science.
    Keywords:  Annals of Botany Company; AoB PLANTS; Oxford University Press; botanical journals; open access publishing; publishing history