bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒06‒09
twenty-five papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Nature. 2019 Jun;570(7759): 36
    Cobb M.
    Keywords:  History; Publishing
  2. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2019 May 30. pii: S0365-6691(19)30129-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Pastor Jimeno JC.
  3. J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2019 ;pii: 20.1.7. [Epub ahead of print]20(1):
    Oliveira LMA, Bonatelli ML, Pinto TCA.
      Communication is fundamental in science. Among scientists, communication skills are required to write a comprehensible scientific manuscript or to prepare an attractive oral presentation. In addition, the ability to communicate successfully with the nonscientific community has been increasingly appreciated, as it represents the most effective way to promote popular scientific literacy. Nevertheless, students majoring in sciencerelated courses are not trained specifically for these purposes, and improving communication skills usually depends on tips and advice given by peers. To this end, we have launched DivulgaMicro, an initiative that aims to enhance science communication among early-career scientists in Brazil. DivulgaMicro relies on two major cornerstones: providing online resources via a dedicated website ( and promoting onsite workshops in universities located in different macro regions of the country. On the website, people can access a collection of fun activities designed to teach scientific concepts to a general audience, along with tips and news regarding public outreach events in Brazil. In the month following its launch, our website had 1,026 visitors from 10 different countries besides Brazil. Regarding the workshops, six were offered during 2018, with nearly 600 attendees. In the course, scientists are presented best practices for scientific writing and oral presentations, as well as techniques to improve communication with lay audiences, such as the use of storytelling structure and analogies. There is a high demand for science communication resources in Brazil, attesting to the importance of initiatives such as DivulgaMicro in our country.
  4. MBio. 2019 Jun 04. pii: e00411-19. [Epub ahead of print]10(3):
    Strinzel M, Severin A, Milzow K, Egger M.
      We aimed to develop an in-depth understanding of quality criteria for scholarly journals by analyzing journals and publishers indexed in blacklists of predatory journals and whitelists of legitimate journals and the lists' inclusion criteria. To quantify content overlaps between blacklists and whitelists, we employed the Jaro-Winkler string metric. To identify topics addressed by the lists' inclusion criteria and to derive their concepts, we conducted qualitative coding. We included two blacklists (Beall's and Cabells Scholarly Analytics') and two whitelists (the Directory of Open Access Journals' and Cabells Scholarly Analytics'). The number of journals per list ranged from 1,404 to 12,357, and the number of publishers ranged from 473 to 5,638. Seventy-two journals and 42 publishers were included in both a blacklist and a whitelist. Seven themes were identified in the inclusion criteria: (i) peer review; (ii) editorial services; (iii) policy; (iv) business practices; (v) publishing, archiving, and access; (vi) website; and (vii) indexing and metrics. Business practices accounted for almost half of the blacklists' criteria, whereas whitelists gave more emphasis to criteria related to policy. Criteria could be allocated to four concepts: (i) transparency, (ii) ethics, (iii) professional standards, and (iv) peer review and other services. Whitelists gave most weight to transparency. Blacklists focused on ethics and professional standards. Whitelist criteria were easier to verify than those used in blacklists. Both types gave little emphasis to quality of peer review. Overall, the results show that there is overlap of journals and publishers between blacklists and whitelists. Lists differ in their criteria for quality and the weight given to different dimensions of quality. Aspects that are central but difficult to verify receive little attention.IMPORTANCE Predatory journals are spurious scientific outlets that charge fees for editorial and publishing services that they do not provide. Their lack of quality assurance of published articles increases the risk that unreliable research is published and thus jeopardizes the integrity and credibility of research as a whole. There is increasing awareness of the risks associated with predatory publishing, but efforts to address this situation are hampered by the lack of a clear definition of predatory outlets. Blacklists of predatory journals and whitelists of legitimate journals have been developed but not comprehensively examined. By systematically analyzing these lists, this study provides insights into their utility and delineates the different notions of quality and legitimacy in scholarly publishing used. This study contributes to a better understanding of the relevant concepts and provides a starting point for the development of a robust definition of predatory journals.
    Keywords:  journal whitelists and blacklists; open access; peer review; predatory publishing; publishing ethics; scholarly communication; transparency
  5. Eur J Hosp Pharm Sci Pract. 2017 Jul;24(4): 195
    Wiffen P.
    Keywords:  AUDIT; Anaesthesia; BASIC SCIENCES; Intensive & critical care; Pain management
  6. Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Jun 03.
    Smith E, Williams-Jones B, Master Z, Larivière V, Sugimoto CR, Paul-Hus A, Shi M, Resnik DB.
      Scientific authorship serves to identify and acknowledge individuals who "contribute significantly" to published research. However, specific authorship norms and practices often differ within and across disciplines, labs, and cultures. As a consequence, authorship disagreements are commonplace in team research. This study aims to better understand the prevalence of authorship disagreements, those factors that may lead to disagreements, as well as the extent and nature of resulting misbehavior. Methods include an international online survey of researchers who had published from 2011 to 2015 (8364 respondents). Of the 6673 who completed the main questions pertaining to authorship disagreement and misbehavior, nearly half (46.6%) reported disagreements regarding authorship naming; and discipline, rank, and gender had significant effects on disagreement rates. Paradoxically, researchers in multidisciplinary teams that typically reflect a range of norms and values, were less likely to have faced disagreements regarding authorship. Respondents reported having witnessed a wide range of misbehavior including: instances of hostility (24.6%), undermining of a colleague's work during meetings/talks (16.4%), cutting corners on research (8.3%), sabotaging a colleague's research (6.4%), or producing fraudulent work to be more competitive (3.3%). These findings suggest that authorship disputes may contribute to an unhealthy competitive dynamic that can undermine researchers' wellbeing, team cohesion, and scientific integrity.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Disagreement; Misbehavior; Norms; Research integrity; Research misconduct
  7. Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Jun 04.
    Smith E, Williams-Jones B, Master Z, Larivière V, Sugimoto CR, Paul-Hus A, Shi M, Diller E, Caudle K, Resnik DB.
      Authorship is commonly used as the basis for the measurement of research productivity. It influences career progression and rewards, making it a valued commodity in a competitive scientific environment. To better understand authorship practices amongst collaborative teams, this study surveyed authors on collaborative journal articles published between 2011 and 2015. Of the 8364 respondents, 1408 responded to the final open-ended question, which solicited additional comments or remarks regarding the fair distribution of authorship in research teams. This paper presents the analysis of these comments, categorized into four main themes: (1) disagreements, (2) questionable behavior, (3) external influences regarding authorship, and (4) values promoted by researchers. Results suggest that some respondents find ways to effectively manage disagreements in a collegial fashion. Conversely, others explain how distribution of authorship can become a "blood sport" or a "horror story" which can negatively affect researchers' wellbeing, scientific productivity and integrity. Researchers fear authorship discussions and often try to avoid openly discussing the situation which can strain team interactions. Unethical conduct is more likely to result from deceit, favoritism, and questionable mentorship and may become more egregious when there is constant bullying and discrimination. Although values of collegiality, transparency and fairness were promoted by researchers, rank and need for success often overpowered ethical decision-making. This research provides new insight into contextual specificities related to fair authorship distribution that can be instrumental in developing applicable training tools to identify, prevent, and mitigate authorship disagreement.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Collaboration; Ethics; Misbehavior; Professional ethics
  8. Eur J Hosp Pharm Sci Pract. 2019 Jan;26(1): 1
    Wiffen P.
    Keywords:  basic sciences
  9. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 10
    Master Z, Tenenbaum E.
      A recent commentary argued for arbitration to resolve authorship disputes within academic research settings explaining that current mechanisms to resolve conflicts result in unclear outcomes and institutional power vested in senior investigators could compromise fairness. We argue here that arbitration is not a suitable means to resolve disputes among researchers in academia because it remains unclear who will assume the costs of arbitration, the rules of evidence do not apply to arbitration, and decisions are binding and very difficult to appeal. Instead of arbitration, we advocate for peer-based approaches involving a peer review committee and research ethics consultation to help resolve authorship disagreements. We describe the composition of an institutional peer review committee to address authorship disputes. Both of these mechanisms are found, or can be formed, within academic institutions and offer several advantages to researchers who are likely to shy away from legalistic processes and gravitate towards those handled by their peers. Peer-based approaches are cheaper than arbitration and the experts involved have knowledge about academic publishing and the culture of research in the specific field. Decisions by knowledgeable and neutral experts could reduce bias, have greater authority, and could be appealed. Not only can peer-based approaches be leveraged to resolve authorship disagreements, but they may also enhance collegiality and promote a healthy team environment.
    Keywords:  Arbitration; Authorship; Authorship disagreement; Peer review; Research ethics consultation
  10. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2019 Jun 03. 111 413-0
    Cienfuegos JA, Pérez-Cuadrado Martínez E.
      Scientific publications are the main medium for distributing scientific contributions, be they original studies, reviews, clinical guidelines, editorials or consensus statements promoted by scientific societies, and they may be privately-, state- or industry-funded. The relationship between authors and sources of funding must be expressed transparently, truthfully and completely always ensuring a climate of reciprocal trust between journals and readers.
  11. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2019 Jun 06. e13326
    Strugala N, Persson PB.
      Never submitting Friday is a soft skill in publishing, as are being meticulous in spelling author names, affiliations and degrees, providing informative cover letters, AND suggesting reviewers. Why? Because editors are human. Acta Physiologica is receiving more submissions by the year, far too many for publishing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  12. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 Jul 01. pii: S0360-3016(19)30401-8. [Epub ahead of print]104(3): 486-487
    Braverman LC, Yom SS, Zietman AL.
  13. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2019 Jun 04.
    Jakhar D, Kaur I.
      Presenting the research work at an international conference can be a highlight of academic career for a researcher. Invitation to attend a conference as a faculty/presenter, rather than a delegate, is a dream every researcher dreams. Nothing seems better when such a dream becomes reality in the form of an invitation mail to attend an international conference as an esteemed faculty in an exotic city. But wait! Is the sender of the mail a non-profit organizer with conspicuous name and incomplete contact details? Is the organizer asking you to register for the conference, to book the hotel at a discounted price, to accept the abstract without peer-review and promising to publish the work in an open access journal. If that is the case, then there is a possibility that one might be falling into the trap of a predatory conference. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  14. Vnitr Lek. 2019 ;65(5): 338-347
    Kratochvíl J, Plch L, Koriťáková E.
      This study examined compliance with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME in Biomedical Open Access journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports (JCR). 259 Open Access journals were drawn from the JCR database and on the basis of their websites their compliance with 14 criteria for transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing was verified. Journals received penalty points for each unfulfilled criterion when they failed to comply with the criteria defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME. The average number of obtained penalty points was 6, where 149 (57.5%) journals received 6 points and 110 (42.5%) journals 7 points. Only 4 journals met all criteria and did not receive any penalty points. Most of the journals did not comply with the criteria declaration of Creative Commons license (164 journals), affiliation of editorial board members (116), unambiguity of article processing charges (115), anti-plagiarism policy (113) and the number of editorial board members from developing countries (99). The research shows that JCR cannot be used as a whitelist of journals that comply with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing.
    Keywords:  Journal Citation Reports; Web of Science; biomedical journals; ethical rules of scientific publishing; open access; predatory journals
  15. PLoS Biol. 2019 Jun;17(6): e3000273
    Sever R, Eisen M, Inglis J.
      Preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv represent a highly successful and relatively low cost mechanism for providing free access to research findings. By decoupling the dissemination of manuscripts from the much slower process of evaluation and certification by journals, preprints also significantly accelerate the pace of research itself by allowing other researchers to begin building on new results immediately. If all funding agencies were to mandate posting of preprints by grantees-an approach we term Plan U (for "universal")-free access to the world's scientific output for everyone would be achieved with minimal effort. Moreover, the existence of all articles as preprints would create a fertile environment for experimentation with new peer review and research evaluation initiatives, which would benefit from a reduced barrier to entry because hosting and archiving costs were already covered.
  16. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019 May 30. pii: S2215-0366(19)30185-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Omer J, Mohammed SH, Salih RQ, Kakamad FH, Mikael TM, Mohammed KK, Aziz MS, Hussein DA, Qadr GA, Salih AM.
  17. MNI Open Res. 2019 ;pii: 1. [Epub ahead of print]2
    Poline JB.
      Data sharing, i.e. depositing data in research community accessiblerepositories, is not becoming as rapidly widespread across the life scienceresearch community as hoped or expected. I consider the sociological and cultural context of research and lay out why the community should instead move to data publishing with a focus on neuroscience data, and outline practical steps that can be taken to realize this goal.
    Keywords:  Data sharing; FAIR principles; data publishing
  18. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2019 May 30.
    Rynecki ND, Krell ES, Potter JS, Ranpura A, Beebe KS.
      BACKGROUND: Recent studies indicate that women are substantially underrepresented as orthopaedic surgeons and residents compared with other specialties in medicine and medical school. The reasons for this are multifactorial and not completely understood, but previous studies suggest that women may be attracted to fields in which they have female role models. Given that women interested in academia and research may use female editorship and authorship as a proxy for female representation in orthopaedic surgery, we wanted to examine the proportion of women represented in orthopaedic journals and determine if it reflects the distribution of women in orthopaedic surgery as a field. We further wanted to understand if this representation has changed over time in the setting of a slowly shifting gender landscape within orthopaedic surgery.QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: (1) How are women orthopaedic surgeons and residents represented in orthopaedic journals compared with men? (2) Have these proportions changed in the past two decades in light of relatively new efforts to recruit women to the field of orthopaedic surgery?
    METHODS: The gender composition of editorial boards and first and last authors were obtained from the 1997, 2007, and 2017 volumes of the following journals: The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS), the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® (CORR®). Gender neutral names were searched to obtain a picture to ensure proper tallies.
    RESULTS: The total combined amount of women first and last authors increased from 88 of 1450 (6%) in 1997 to 152 of 1912 (8%) in 2007 to 723 of 5391 (13%) in 2017. Similarly, three of 113 (3%) editorial board members were women in 1997, three of 105 (3%) were women in 2007 and 10 of 107 (9%) editors were women in 2017. Of note, 0 out of 9 editors-in-chief were women.
    CONCLUSIONS: Based on the current percentage of women orthopaedic surgeons and residents, women are represented equally or in greater numbers as editors and authors in JAAOS, JBJS, and CORR. This may be in part due to women orthopaedic surgeons entering academic medicine at a greater rate than males.
    CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Orthopaedic surgeons serving as mentors to prospective female applicants can cite female representation on editorial boards and as authors as an example of gender parity in the field. Additionally, active orthopaedic surgeons who are women interested in these leadership positions should be encouraged that these opportunities exist, regardless of gender.
  19. Acta Med Port. 2019 May 31. 32(5): 330-331
    Guerra M.
    Keywords:  Editorial Policies; Periodicals as Topic; Portugal; Publishing
  20. Nature. 2019 Jun;570(7759): 27-29
    Stall S, Yarmey L, Cutcher-Gershenfeld J, Hanson B, Lehnert K, Nosek B, Parsons M, Robinson E, Wyborn L.
    Keywords:  Databases; Policy; Publishing; Research management
  21. Eur J Hosp Pharm Sci Pract. 2018 Mar;25(2): 65
    Wiffen P.
    Keywords:  anaesthesia; audit; basic sciences; pain management