bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒07‒28
seventeen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Anaesthesia. 2019 Jul 23.
    Johannsson H, Selak T.
    Keywords:  Social media; Twitter; dissemination; tracheostomy care
  2. BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 23. 9(7): e029796
    Dal-Ré R, Caplan AL, Marusic A.
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the fulfilment of authors' and editors' individual disclosure of potential conflicts of interest in a group of highly influential medicine journals across a variety of specialties.DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis.
    SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Top-ranked five journals as per 2017 Journal Citation Report impact factor of 26 medical, surgery and imaging specialties.
    INTERVENTIONS: Observational analysis.
    PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentage of journals requiring disclosure of authors' and editors' individual potential conflicts of interest (CoI). Journals that were listed as followers of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations, members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and linked to a third party (ie, college, professional association/society, public institution).
    RESULTS: Although 99% (129/130) of journals required author's CoI disclosure, only 12% (16/130) reported individual editors' potential CoIs. Forty-five per cent (58/130) of journals were followers of the ICMJE Recommendations, and 73% (95/130) were COPE members. Most (69%; 90/130) were linked to a college, professional society/association or public institution. Only one journal did not have policies on individual authors' and editors' CoI disclosure.
    CONCLUSION: Very few high-impact medical journals disclosed their editorial teams' individual potential CoIs-conversely, almost all required disclosure of authors' individual CoIs. Journal followers of the ICMJE Recommendations should regularly disclose the editors' individual CoIs, as this is the only legitimate way to ask the same transparency of authors.
    Keywords:  COPE; ICMJE; authors; conflicts of interest; editors; medical journals
  3. Wellcome Open Res. 2019 ;4 56
    Bossema FG, Burger P, Bratton L, Challenger A, Adams RC, Sumner P, Schat J, Numans ME, Smeets I.
      Background This research is an investigation into the role of expert quotes in health news, specifically whether news articles containing a quote from an independent expert are less often exaggerated than articles without such a quote. Methods Retrospective quantitative content analysis of journal articles, press releases, and associated news articles was performed. The investigated sample are press releases on peer-reviewed health research and the associated research articles and news stories. Our sample consisted of 462 press releases and 668 news articles from the UK (2011) and 129 press releases and 185 news articles from The Netherlands (2015). We hand-coded all journal articles, press releases and news articles for correlational claims, using a well-tested codebook. The main outcome measures are types of sources that were quoted and exaggeration of correlational claims. We used counts, 2x2 tables and odds ratios to assess the relationship between presence of quotes and exaggeration of the causal claim. Results Overall, 99.1% of the UK press releases and 84.5% of the Dutch press releases contain at least one quote. For the associated news articles these percentages are: 88.6% in the UK and 69.7% in the Netherlands. Authors of the study are most often quoted and only 7.5% of UK and 7.0% of Dutch news articles contained a new quote by an expert source, i.e. one not provided by the press release. The relative odds that an article without an external expert quote contains an exaggeration of causality is 2.6. Conclusions The number of articles containing a quote from an independent expert is low, but articles that cite an external expert do contain less exaggeration.
    Keywords:  exaggeration; expert quotes; journalism; news articles; press releases; public health; science communication
  4. Nature. 2019 Jul;571(7766): 447
    Keywords:  Authorship; Human behaviour; Peer review; Psychology
  5. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019 Jul 23. pii: S1198-743X(19)30401-X. [Epub ahead of print]
    Cevik M.
    Keywords:  Twitter; medicine; science communication; scientific dialogue; social media
  6. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 14
    Evuarherhe O, Gattrell W, White R, Winchester CC.
      Background: Many authors choose to work with professional medical writers when reporting the results of clinical trials. We conducted a systematic review to examine the relationship between professional medical writing support (PMWS) and the quality, ethics and timeliness of publications reporting clinical trials.Methods: Using terms related to 'medical writer' and 'observational study', we searched MEDLINE and Embase (no date limits), as well as abstracts and posters from meetings of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP; 2014-2018). We also hand-searched the journals Medical Writing and The Write Stuff (2014-2018) and the bibliographies of studies identified in the electronic searches. We screened the results to identify studies that compared the quality, ethics and timeliness of clinical trial publications written with and without declared PMWS.
    Results: Our searches identified 97 potentially relevant studies, of which 89 were excluded during screening and full paper review. The remaining eight studies compared 849 publications with PMWS with 2073 articles developed without such support. In these eight studies, PMWS was shown to be associated with increased adherence to Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines (in 3/3 studies in which this was assessed), publication in journals with an impact factor (one study), a higher quality of written English (one study), and a lower likelihood of reporting non-pre-specified outcomes (one study). PMWS was not associated with increased adherence to CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines (one study) or with the impact of published articles (mean number of citations per year, mean number of article views per year and Altmetric score; one study). In studies that assessed timeliness of publication, PMWS was associated with a reduced time from last patient visit in clinical trials to primary publication (one study), whereas time from submission to acceptance showed inconsistent results (two studies).
    Conclusions: This systematic review of eight observational studies suggests that PMWS is positively associated with measures of overall quality of reporting of clinical trials and may improve the timeliness of publication.
    Keywords:  Adherence; Clinical trials transparency; Medical writer; Medical writing; Reporting guidelines
  7. Cell Syst. 2019 Jul 24. pii: S2405-4712(19)30233-9. [Epub ahead of print]9(1): 1-2
    Justman Q.
  8. JB JS Open Access. 2019 Apr-Jun;4(2):4(2): e0055
    Scott J, Checketts JX, Cooper CM, Boose M, Wayant C, Vassar M.
      Background: Statistical analysis of systematic reviews allows the results of previous studies to be combined and synthesized to assess the overall health effect of the intervention in question. Systematic reviews can also be used to guide the creation of clinical practice guidelines and are considered to have a high level of evidence. Thus, it is important that their methodological quality is of the highest standard. Publication bias presents 2 problems: (1) studies with significant results may be overrepresented in systematic reviews and meta-analyses ("false positives") and (2) studies without significant results may not be included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses ("false negatives") because each study, on its own, was underpowered, meaning that some treatment options that may have clinical benefit will not be adopted.Methods: We performed a study to evaluate the techniques used by authors to report and evaluate publication bias in the top 10 orthopaedic journals as well as 3 orthopaedic-related Cochrane groups. Two authors independently screened the titles and abstracts to identify systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We assessed publication bias in the systematic reviews that did not assess publication bias themselves.
    Results: Our final sample included 694 systematic reviews or meta-analyses that met our inclusion criteria. Our review included 502 studies (72%) that focused on clinical outcomes, with the majority of the remaining studies focused on predictive and prognostic accuracy (20%) or diagnostic accuracy (5%). Publication bias was discussed in 295 (42.5%) of the included studies and was assessed in 135 (19.5%). Of the studies that assessed publication bias, 31.9% demonstrated evidence of publication bias. Only 43% and 22% of studies that involved use of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines discussed and assessed publication bias, respectively.
    Conclusions: Publication bias is infrequently discussed and assessed in the high-impact orthopaedic literature. Furthermore, nearly one-third of the studies that assessed for publication bias demonstrated evidence of publication bias. In addition to these shortcomings, fewer than half of these studies involved use of the PRISMA guidelines and yet only one-fourth of the studies assessed for publication bias.
    Clinical Relevance: By understanding the degree to which publication bias is discussed and presented in high-impact orthopaedic literature, changes can be made by journals and researchers alike to improve the overall quality of research produced and reported.
  9. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2019 ;12 4
    Mardani A, Nakhoda M, Noruzi A, Shamsi Gooshki E.
      The national guidelines for biomedical research ethics are approved by the "National Committee for Ethics in Biomedical Research" at the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education as the regulatory body for biomedical research in the country. The focus of these guidelines should be on the ethical issues related to different stages of the research process, which would lead to increased research integrity and better supervision of research activities. The present study analyzed the contents of these national guidelines to clarify the ethical considerations connected to the five stages of a research process including 1) proposing, 2) approval, 3) operation, 4) documentation and 5) publishing. The findings showed that the assessed guidelines laid more emphasis on the ethical considerations related to the research operation stage rather than the proposal stage. In other words, activities such as identification of the research problem, formulation of hypotheses and questions, financial evaluation, data analysis and data interpretation did not receive adequate attention in these guidelines. Most of the guidelines presented subject categories such as the rights of participants and supervisory considerations in the "research operation stage", ethical considerations in the "evaluation and approval procedure stage", and editorial responsibilities in the "research review and publication stage". In general, despite noticeable content for guiding researchers for ethical conduction of research the national guidelines are not adequately developed to cover comprehensive and sufficient ethical considerations regarding all the activities of research.
    Keywords:  Ethical considerations; Research ethics; Research ethics guideline; Research process
  10. Toxicol Res (Camb). 2019 Jul 01. 8(4): 480-488
    Walker ES, Roberts RA, Gill JH.
      To ascertain attitudes to resourcing, collaboration and publication in toxicology, a survey was developed and distributed to British Toxicology Society (BTS) members. The survey comprised 14 questions with 5 response options (strongly agree; agree; conflicted; disagree; strongly disagree) and a free text box. One hundred completed surveys were received by the cut-off date for data analysis. Unsurprisingly, 60% of participants disagreed or strongly disagreed that toxicology research is adequately funded in the UK; only 12% agreed with this statement. A similar proportion of participants (53%) disagreed with the statement that funding councils give equal opportunity to toxicology whereas 31% were conflicted on this point. An overwhelming 97% of respondents agreed that collaboration is important in driving toxicology research whereas only 38% agreed that competition is important. When this question was broadened out beyond the discipline of toxicology, a similar profile was seen suggesting that participants held similar views on toxicology versus other types of research. Many respondents were conflicted regarding the role of competition both in toxicology and in other research disciplines. Free text comments suggested that some competition is good to drive quality but can be counterproductive when competing for limited resources. Most participants were in favour of making toxicology research data openly available (86%) and in favour of open access publication (89%) although there were reservations about the cost of open access. Many (60%) thought the current system of peer review is fair but 65% also supported the idea of double-blind peer review (where both reviewer and author are anonymized). Others suggested a step in the opposite direction towards increased transparency (revealing and holding reviewers to account) would be preferable. Overall, there was a broad theme in free text responses that the need for experienced toxicologists has increased at a time when training and investment in the discipline has declined. However, not all respondents held that view with some noting that toxicology both as a research and as an applied discipline is strong within the UK scientific community.
  11. BMC Med Ethics. 2019 Jul 25. 20(1): 53
    Robson G, Gibson N, Thompson A, Benatar S, Denburg A.
      BACKGROUND: The field of bioethics has evolved over the past half-century, incorporating new domains of inquiry that signal developments in health research, clinical practice, public health in its broadest sense and more recently sensitivity to the interdependence of global health and the environment. These extensions of the reach of bioethics are a welcome response to the growth of global health as a field of vital interest and activity.METHODS: This paper provides a critical interpretive review of how the term "global health ethics" has been used and defined in the literature to date to identify ethical issues that arise and need to be addressed when deliberating on and working to improve the discourse on ethical issues in health globally.
    RESULTS: Selected publications were analyzed by year of publication and geographical distribution, journal and field, level of engagement, and ethical framework. Of the literature selected, 151 articles (88%) were written by authors in high-income countries (HIC), as defined by the World Bank country classifications, 8 articles (5%) were written by authors in low- or middle-income countries (LMIC), and 13 articles (7%) were collaborations between authors in HIC and LMIC. All of the articles selected except one from 1977 were published after 1998. Literature on global health ethics spiked considerably from the early 2000s, with the highest number in 2011. One hundred twenty-seven articles identified were published in academic journals, 1 document was an official training document, and 44 were chapters in published books. The dominant journals were the American Journal of Bioethics (n = 10), Developing World Bioethics (n = 9), and Bioethics (n = 7). We coded the articles by level of engagement within the ethical domain at different levels: (1) interpersonal, (2) institutional, (3) international, and (4) structural. The ethical frameworks at use corresponded to four functional categories: those examining practical or narrowly applied ethical questions; those concerned with normative ethics; those examining an issue through a single philosophical tradition; and those comparing and contrasting insights from multiple ethical frameworks.
    CONCLUSIONS: This critical interpretive review is intended to delineate the current contours and revitalize the conversation around the future charge of global health ethics scholarship.
    Keywords:  Critical interpretive review; Ethics; Global health
  12. BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jul 19. 19(1): 271
    Al-Busaidi IS, Wells CI, Wilkinson TJ.
      BACKGROUND: Medical student journals play a critical role in promoting academic research and publishing amongst medical students, but their impact on students' future academic achievements has not been examined. We aimed to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of publication in the New Zealand Medical Student Journal (NZMSJ) through examining rates of post-graduation publication, completion of higher academic degrees, and pursuing an academic career.METHODS: Student-authored original research publications in the NZMSJ during the period 2004-2011 were retrospectively identified. Gender-, university- and graduation year-matched controls were identified from publicly available databases in a 2:1 ratio (two controls for each student authors). Date of graduation, current clinical scope of practice, completion of higher academic degrees, and attainment of an academic position for both groups were obtained from Google searches, New Zealand graduate databases, online lists of registered doctors in New Zealand and Australia, and author affiliation information from published articles. Pre- and post-graduation PubMed®-indexed publications were identified using standardised search criteria.
    RESULTS: Fifty publications authored by 49 unique students were identified. The median follow-up period after graduation was 7.0 years (range 2-12 years). Compared with controls, student-authors were significantly more likely to publish in PubMed®-indexed journals (OR 3.09, p = 0.001), obtain a PhD (OR 9.21, p = 0.004) or any higher degree (OR 2.63, p = 0.007), and attain academic positions (OR 2.90, p = 0.047) following graduation.
    CONCLUSION: Publication in a medical student journal is associated with future academic achievement and contributes to develop a clinical academic workforce. Future work should aim to explore motivators and barriers associated with these findings.
    Keywords:  Academic medicine; Medical student; Medical student journal; Undergraduate research