bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒06‒23
twenty papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Pan Afr Med J. 2019 ;32 119
    Tarkang EE, Bain LE.
      Scholarly publication in a peer-reviewed journal is the highest form of disseminating research findings. However, the process of publishing in peer-reviewed journals remains a daunting task for researchers and academics in Africa. This commentary will assist authors in Africa to understand the peer-review process, to appreciate the length of time it takes for a manuscript to be published and to encourage them to publish in local peer-review journals. The authors argue that the peer-review process is essential because it acts as a quality control mechanism to ensure that valid and reliable research is published. Although peer review does not guarantee exclusive publication of reliable and valid research, it remains central in the scientific activity. Authors need to take the comments from reviewers and editors, even in cases of rejection seriously and in the positive sense, inorder to improve upon the quality of their work. Rejections by some journals happen not to be scientifically grounded. It happens that African authors suffer more from this flaw. This could justify why some naïve authors easily turn to publish in predatory journals. The authors argue that publishing in local journals is imperative for Africans scholars. Therefore, initiatives to encourage publication in these journals are highly needed.
    Keywords:  African academics and researchers; African journals; Peer-review; international journals; predatory journals
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2019.32.119.18351
  2. Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Jun 17.
    Shopovski J, Bolek C, Bolek M.
      Peer review is widely recognized as a mechanism for quality control of academic content. This research article aims at comparing the review reports and decisions of reviewers who are members of the editorial board of the European Scientific Journal (ESJ) with those reviewers suggested by the authors and who are not affiliated with the journal. 457 review reports on 378 papers submitted to the ESJ in the period of October-December 2017 were analysed. Statistical methods including OLS and Wilcoxon rank-sum test were applied based on the score approach toward the reviewers' assessments of the papers and their characteristics related to the country, gender, and time of revisions. Results show the difference between the decisions these two groups of reviewers made. Even though editor-suggested and author-suggested reviewers need equal time to review a paper, the former are less favourable towards the authors of the papers. It is also concluded that factors such as time and country of the reviewers influence their decisions. In this regard, the editors should avoid relying their decisions solely on review reports received from reviewers suggested by the authors. However, further research with larger sample sizes should be conducted.
    Keywords:  Academia; Academic publishing; Peer review; Review reports; Reviewers
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-019-00118-y
  3. Neuromuscul Disord. 2019 Jun;pii: S0960-8966(19)30356-6. [Epub ahead of print]29(6): 412
    Dubowitz V.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2019.06.007
  4. BMC Med. 2019 Jun 20. 17(1): 118
    Glonti K, Cauchi D, Cobo E, Boutron I, Moher D, Hren D.
      BACKGROUND: Although peer reviewers play a key role in the manuscript review process, their roles and tasks are poorly defined. Clarity around this issue is important as it may influence the quality of peer reviewer reports. This scoping review explored the roles and tasks of peer reviewers of biomedical journals.METHODS: Comprehensive literature searches were conducted in Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Educational Resources Information Center, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus and Web of Science from inception up to May 2017. There were no date and language restrictions. We also searched for grey literature. Studies with statements mentioning roles, tasks and competencies pertaining to the role of peer reviewers in biomedical journals were eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently performed study screening and selection. Relevant statements were extracted, collated and classified into themes.
    RESULTS: After screening 2763 citations and 600 full-text papers, 209 articles and 13 grey literature sources were included. A total of 1426 statements related to roles were extracted, resulting in 76 unique statements. These were grouped into 13 emergent themes: proficient experts in their field (3 items), dutiful/altruistic towards scientific community (7 items), familiar with journal (2 items), unbiased and ethical professionals (18 items), self-critical professionals (4 items), reliable professionals (7 items), skilled critics (15 items), respectful communicators (6 items), gatekeepers (2 items), educators (2 items), advocates for author/editor/reader (3 items) and advisors to editors (2 items). Roles that do not fall within the remit of peer reviewers were also identified (5 items). We also extracted 2026 statements related to peer reviewers' tasks, resulting in 73 unique statements. These were grouped under six themes: organisation and approach to reviewing (10 items), make general comments (10 items), assess and address content for each section of the manuscript (36 items), address ethical aspects (5 items), assess manuscript presentation (8 items) and provide recommendations (4 items).
    CONCLUSIONS: Peer reviewers are expected to perform a large number of roles and tasks for biomedical journals. These warrant further discussion and clarification in order not to overburden these key actors.
    Keywords:  Biomedical; Competencies; Journal; Peer reviewer; Roles; Scoping review; Tasks
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1347-0
  5. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2019 Jul 01. 46(4): 395-396
    Katz A.
      Along with my colleagues, I presented a number of sessions at the 2019 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress on publishing and how it contributes to career advancement and professional fulfillment. Ellen Carr, RN, MSN, AOCN®, editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Leslie McGee, MA, senior editorial manager at ONS, and I talked about various aspects of the publishing process and answered questions from enthusiastic audience members, many of whom had not published before. As we described the process of writing a manuscript, following the instructions for authors, and eventually finding a home for the work, I thought about the important role that editing plays.
    Keywords:  editing; peer-review process; publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1188/19.ONF.395-396
  6. Nurs Sci Q. 2019 Jul;32(3): 198-200
    Clarke PN.
      A wave of new publishing options has opened for nursing. This dialogue examines factors, such as quality and cost, that may influence new authors. There are numerous options for young scientists with many new journal titles and promises of a quick review and guaranteed publication. Choices between Open Access and conventional journals can be difficult since higher cost to the author does not correlate with higher quality.
    Keywords:  conventional publishing; nursing open access; open access; predatory journal risk
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318419845398
  7. BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 20. 9(6): e028655
    Ellison TS, Koder T, Schmidt L, Williams A, Winchester CC.
      OBJECTIVES: Academical and not-for-profit research funders are increasingly requiring that the research they fund must be published open access, with some insisting on publishing with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to allow the broadest possible use. We aimed to clarify the open access variants provided by leading medical journals and record the availability of the CC BY licence for commercially funded research.METHODS: We identified medical journals with a 2015 impact factor of ≥15.0 on 24 May 2017, then excluded from the analysis journals that only publish review articles. Between 29 June 2017 and 26 July 2017, we collected information about each journal's open access policies from their websites and/or by email contact. We contacted the journals by email again between 6 December 2017 and 2 January 2018 to confirm our findings.
    RESULTS: Thirty-five medical journals publishing original research from 13 publishers were included in the analysis. All 35 journals offered some form of open access allowing articles to be free-to-read, either immediately on publication or after a delay of up to 12 months. Of these journals, 21 (60%) provided immediate open access with a CC BY licence under certain circumstances (eg, to specific research funders). Of these 21, 20 only offered a CC BY licence to authors funded by non-commercial organisations and one offered this option to any funder who required it.
    CONCLUSIONS: Most leading medical journals do not offer to authors reporting commercially funded research an open access licence that allows unrestricted sharing and adaptation of the published material. The journals' policies are therefore not aligned with open access declarations and guidelines. Commercial research funders lag behind academical funders in the development of mandatory open access policies, and it is time for them to work with publishers to advance the dissemination of the research they fund.
    Keywords:  CC BY; Creative Commons; article processing charges; commercial; funding; open access; pharmaceutical
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028655
  8. Nurs Sci Q. 2019 Jul;32(3): 176-179
    Florczak KL.
      The necessity of having peer review is the subject of this column. To that end, the nature of truth, standards by which quantitative and qualitative research studies are judged, and predatory publishing are considered along with an example of the adverse impact of scientific misconduct. Finally, a call for more intense peer review is put forth.
    Keywords:  peer review; research methods; truth
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318419845403
  9. Nurs Sci Q. 2019 Jul;32(3): 180-181
    Milton CL.
      Predatory publishing is a contemporary term that refers to dubious open access publishing where there are questionable practices of marketing, business, and alteration of peer-review publishers' practices. This article begins a straight-thinking discussion with recommendations intended to inform present and future scholars of the discipline of nursing of these alarming developments in the publishing arena.
    Keywords:  ethics; nursing; predatory publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318419845400
  10. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2019 Jul;43(3): 139-140
    Field-Fote EE.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1097/NPT.0000000000000285
  11. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Jul;4(7): 1065
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0508-4
  12. Nurs Sci Q. 2019 Jul;32(3): 182-186
    Yancey NR.
      In this era of exponential growth of technology, new opportunities seem to arise daily for doing the work of teaching-learning more efficiently and effectively. However, each new opportunity also has inherent risks and challenges that concurrently restrict such work. With technology providing the opportunity for scholars and researchers to connect across time, space, and artificial boundaries, two relatively newer phenomena have emerged: open access publishing and networked science. In this column, these phenomena are explored. Although rich with opportunities, these phenomena are fraught with potential dangers for nurse scientists and faculty. Clearly, as new possibilities unfold in nursing science and publishing, wisdom is needed to assure the integrity and rigor of the research being conducted and what is published.
    Keywords:  networked science; nursing; open access; teaching-learning; technology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318419845397
  13. R Soc Open Sci. 2019 May;6(5): 190161
    Hopf H, Krief A, Mehta G, Matlin SA.
      Computers, the Internet and social media enable every individual to be a publisher, communicating true or false information instantly and globally. In the 'post-truth' era, deception is commonplace at all levels of contemporary life. Fakery affects science and social information and the two have become highly interactive globally, undermining trust in science and the capacity of individuals and society to make evidence-informed choices, including on life-or-death issues. Ironically, drivers of fake science are embedded in the current science publishing system intended to disseminate evidenced knowledge, in which the intersection of science advancement and reputational and financial rewards for scientists and publishers incentivize gaming and, in the extreme, creation and promotion of falsified results. In the battle for truth, individual scientists, professional associations, academic institutions and funding bodies must act to put their own house in order by promoting ethics and integrity and de-incentivizing the production and publishing of false data and results. They must speak out against false information and fake science in circulation and forcefully contradict public figures who promote it. They must contribute to research that helps understand and counter false information, to education that builds knowledge and skills in assessing information and to strengthening science literacy in society.
    Keywords:  fake science; knowledge crisis; trust in science
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190161
  14. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2019 Jun 18. pii: fnz132. [Epub ahead of print]
    Argüelles JC, Argüelles-Prieto R.
      The assessment of scientific research is essentially based on several metric parameters, the so-termed impact factor perhaps being the predominant one. Despite well-founded criticisms and the wide opposition of reputed scientists, this procedure has become a tool of scientific policy, and is applied in editorial procedures for scientific publication, the evaluation of research groups, the concession of grants, fellowships or even academic positions. Indeed, cutting-edge research is today a competitive and exigent task, where the legitimacy and restrictions of such metric factors remain a preoccupation. However, whatever the policy of evaluation implemented, most breakthroughs are revolutionary, and involve a change in a given paradigm, usually being made by unorthodox scientists, whose scholarly reputation may be questioned by the establishment, and who may often be excluded as a result of the current system of highly productive research.
    Keywords:  Impact factor; communication; editorial rules; research policy; scholarly reputation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnz132
  15. Hand (N Y). 2019 Jun 18. 1558944719856632
    Peake M, Rotatori RM, Ovalle F, Gobble RM.
      Background: Abstract presentation at scientific meetings grants attendees early access to innovation within the field, and ultimate journal publication serves as marker of research quality. This study aims to assess the publication conversion rate of abstracts presented at the American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) annual conference over 5 years and examine variables related to publication. Methods: Abstract information for oral and poster presentations from the 2012 to 2016 AAHS annual meetings was obtained through the AAHS website. A comprehensive literature search was conducted for journal publications correlating with abstracts based on titles, authors, and key words. Variables analyzed included study type, time to publication, and journal of publication. Results: In all, 1135 abstracts were reviewed from the 5-year period, consisting of 535 oral presentations and 600 posters. Overall, 532 articles (47%) were published. The publication conversion rate was 49% for oral presentations and 45% for posters. Mean time to publication was 11 months, with most publications occurring within 2 years (87%). The most common journals for publication were Journal of Hand Surgery (30%), HAND (21%), and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (7%). Conclusions: About half of the studies presented at the annual AAHS meeting become published, with similar rates between oral and poster formats. Most of the successful abstracts achieved publication within 2 years from presentation, demonstrating the need for timely completion of manuscripts. The publication conversion rate increased in recent years, emphasizing the continued improvement of the scientific quality of presentations at the AAHS meeting.
    Keywords:  biostatistics; epidemiology; evaluation; health policy; outcomes; research and health outcomes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1558944719856632
  16. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2019 ;70(2): 111-117
    Ćwiek-Ludwicka K.
      The article presents the genesis of the foundation and development of ‘Roczniki Panstwowego Zakładu Higieny’ [Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene] since 1950 to 2019, scientific peer-reviewed journal devoted to research studies on the food and water safety, nutrition, environmental hygiene, toxicology and health risk assessment, and public health. It also shows the difficulties that this journal had initially to struggle with, and its achievements in recent years, aiming to improve its international position. The article discusses the stages of journal’s development and activity in terms of scientific, editorial and publishing.
    Keywords:  scientific journal; Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny; Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene; Poland; open access journal; National Institute of Hygiene (PZH)
  17. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 12
    Hair K, Macleod MR, Sena ES, .
      Background: The ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) guidelines are widely endorsed but compliance is limited. We sought to determine whether journal-requested completion of an ARRIVE checklist improves full compliance with the guidelines.Methods: In a randomised controlled trial, manuscripts reporting in vivo animal research submitted to PLOS ONE (March-June 2015) were randomly allocated to either requested completion of an ARRIVE checklist or current standard practice. Authors, academic editors, and peer reviewers were blinded to group allocation. Trained reviewers performed outcome adjudication in duplicate by assessing manuscripts against an operationalised version of the ARRIVE guidelines that consists 108 items. Our primary outcome was the between-group differences in the proportion of manuscripts meeting all ARRIVE guideline checklist subitems.
    Results: We randomised 1689 manuscripts (control: n = 844, intervention: n = 845), of which 1269 were sent for peer review and 762 (control: n = 340; intervention: n = 332) accepted for publication. No manuscript in either group achieved full compliance with the ARRIVE checklist. Details of animal husbandry (ARRIVE subitem 9b) was the only subitem to show improvements in reporting, with the proportion of compliant manuscripts rising from 52.1 to 74.1% (X 2 = 34.0, df = 1, p = 2.1 × 10-7) in the control and intervention groups, respectively.
    Conclusions: These results suggest that altering the editorial process to include requests for a completed ARRIVE checklist is not enough to improve compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines. Other approaches, such as more stringent editorial policies or a targeted approach on key quality items, may promote improvements in reporting.
    Keywords:  ARRIVE; Randomised controlled trial; Reporting guidelines
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0069-3
  18. Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2019 Jun 19. 1-6
    Remschmidt H, Schmidt MH.
      The history and development of the Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie - Review and outlook on the occasion of its 45th anniversary Abstract. This article is based on archived documents and provides an overview of the founding of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and its precursor, the Yearbook of Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. The first volume of this journal appeared in 1973, 5 years after child and adolescent psychiatry had become an independent specialty in the Federal Republic of Germany. The founders of the journal and its first Editors-in-Chief were Hermann Stutte (1909-1982) and Hubert Harbauer (1019-1980). The Co-Editors and later Editors-in-Chief were Helmut Remschmidt and Martin Schmidt, who continued to edit the journal for the next 30 years. The Director of the publishing company at that time (Hans Huber, Bern), Walter Jäger (1916-2001), was a major factor in nurturing the journal. In 1975, he received an honorary doctorate from the Medical Faculty of the Philipps University of Marburg. Since the beginning, the journal has incorporated progressive developments and can be considered the leading organ in German-language child and adolescent psychiatry. With a current impact factor of 1.206, it holds rank 100 on the list of 142 international psychiatric journals.
    Keywords:  Gründungsgeschichte; Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Weiterentwicklung; Zeitschrift für Kinder und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie; founding history; further development
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1024/1422-4917/a000676