bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒08‒04
twenty papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. J Abnorm Psychol. 2019 Aug;128(6): 541-546
    Lynam DR, Hyatt CS, Hopwood CJ, Wright AGC, Miller JD.
      The Open Science Movement (OSM) emphasizes increased transparency at many of the steps in the scientific process and has improved psychological science. In the present article, we discuss whether such transparency should find its way into the review process. We discuss a priori thoughts and intuitions about the costs and benefits of signing reviews. In terms of benefits, these include greater alignment with OSM and greater accountability leading to increases in civility, care, and thoughtfulness of reviews. The most obvious cost is potential retaliation for negative reviews. To check these intuitions, we surveyed a sample of 358 faculty members about their experience and views on signing reviews. Results both underscored and extended the initial intuitions. Results suggest there are many benefits to increasing the incidence of reviewers signing their reviews. Fears of retaliation seem to be somewhat exaggerated. We discuss possible means of reducing the possibility of retaliation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  2. JACC Heart Fail. 2019 Aug;pii: S2213-1779(19)30483-4. [Epub ahead of print]7(8): 730
    O'Connor CM.
  3. Anaesthesia. 2019 Aug 02.
    Laycock H, Bailey CR.
      More than 50% of medical students and 45% of practising doctors are female in the UK. In the specialty of anaesthesia, 32% of consultants are female. However, compared with males, females are under-represented as authors of articles published in high-impact journals. We investigated the proportion of female first authors by examining the case reports submitted to Anaesthesia Cases since its inception in 2013. We defined authors by their sex (male or female), that is, biological characteristics, rather than their gender. There were a total of 802 submissions to Anaesthesia Cases over 4.5 years. Sixteen submissions were excluded and of the remaining 786 submissions, 279 were accepted and 507 rejected, an acceptance rate of 35.5%. Twenty (2.5%) authors' sex could not be identified. The overall proportion of female first authors was 37.1%. The proportion of female first authors of accepted case reports was 42.1% and females were first authors of rejected case reports in 34.4%. We found that, compared with previous studies on female sex and gender bias in publishing, there was a relatively high proportion of female first authors publishing in Anaesthesia Cases and female first authors were more likely to be accepted than male first authors. Authorship is considered to reflect career success and there continues to be sex/gender inequity that must be tackled at all levels, from application to medical school, through research funding, journals and Editorial Boards.
    Keywords:  females; gender; publishing; sex
  4. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(7): e0220229
    Iyandemye J, Thomas MP.
      Open access publication rates have been steadily increasing over time. In spite of this growth, academics in low income settings struggle to gain access to the full canon of research literature. While the vast majority of open access repositories and funding organizations with open access policies are based in high income countries, the geographic patterns of open access publication itself are not well characterized. In this study, we developed a computational approach to better understand the topical and geographical landscape of open access publications in the biomedical research literature. Surprisingly, we found a strong negative correlation between country per capita income and the percentage of open access publication. Open access publication rates were particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa, but vastly lower in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific. These effects persisted when considering papers only bearing authors from within each region and income group. However, papers resulting from international collaborations did have a higher percentage of OA than single-country papers, and inter-regional collaboration increased OA publication for all world regions. There was no clear relationship between the number of open access policies in a region and the percentage of open access publications in that region. To understand the distribution of open access across topics of biomedical research, we examined keywords that were most enriched and depleted in open access papers. Keywords related to genomics, computational biology, animal models, and infectious disease were enriched in open access publications, while keywords related to the environment, nursing, and surgery were depleted in open access publications. This work identifies geographic regions and fields of research that could be priority areas for open access advocacy. The finding that open access publication rates are highest in sub-Saharan Africa and low income countries suggests that factors other than open access policy strongly influence authors' decisions to make their work openly accessible. The high proportion of OA resulting from international collaborations indicates yet another benefit of collaborative research. Certain applied fields of medical research, notably nursing, surgery, and environmental fields, appear to have a greater proportion of fee-for-access publications, which presumably creates barriers that prevent researchers and practitioners in low income settings from accessing the literature in those fields.
  5. J Abnorm Psychol. 2019 Aug;128(6): 510-516
    Nutu D, Gentili C, Naudet F, Cristea IA.
      We conducted an audit of 60 clinical psychology journals, covering the first 2 quartiles by impact factor on Web of Science. We evaluated editorial policies in 5 domains crucial to reproducibility and transparency (prospective registration, data sharing, preprints, endorsement of reporting guidelines and conflict of interest [COI] disclosure). We examined implementation in a randomly selected cross-sectional sample of 201 articles published in 2017 in the "best practice" journals, defined as having explicit supportive policies in 4 out of 5 domains. Our findings showed that 15 journals cited prospective registration, 40 data sharing, 15 explicitly permitted preprints, 28 endorsed reporting guidelines, and 52 had mandatory policies for COI disclosure. Except for COI disclosure, few policies were mandatory: registration in 15 journals, data sharing in 1, and reporting guidelines for randomized trials in 18 and for meta-analyses in 15. Seventeen journals were identified as "best practice." An analysis of recent articles showed extremely low compliance for prospective registration (3% articles) and data sharing (2%). One preprint could be identified. Reporting guidelines were endorsed in 19% of the articles, though for most articles this domain was rated as nonapplicable. Only half of the articles included a COI disclosure. Desired open science policies should become clear and mandatory, and their enforcement streamlined by reducing the multiplicity of guidelines and templates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  6. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(8): e0220497
    Ruhl JB, Posner SM, Ricketts TH.
      Many scientific researchers aspire to engage policy in their writing, but translating scientific research and findings into policy discussion often requires an understanding of the institutional complexities of legal and policy processes and actors. To examine how researchers have undertaken that challenge, we developed a set of metrics and applied them to articles published in one of the principal academic publication venues for science and policy-Science magazine's Policy Forum. We reviewed each Policy Forum article published over a five-year period (2011-15), 220 in all. For each article, we assessed the level of policy content based on presence of a stated policy proposal or position and identification of the relevant policy actors and actions, and recorded attributes such as field of science, field of policy, number of references to legal and policy sources, number of authors from law and policy institutions, and number of citations. We find that a handful of science fields dominate publication frequency, but that all fields have produced publications with high policy engagement. Of the attributes, number of references to law and policy sources is correlated positively with level of engagement, whereas number of law and policy authors was fairly constant across all depths of engagement. Surprisingly, level of policy engagement was negatively correlated with the number of citations an article subsequently received. We offer possible explanations for these results and thoughts for authors, editors, and research institutions interested in facilitating robust engagement of policy in scientific writing.
  7. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(7): e0219688
    Bex RT, Lundgren L, Crippen KJ.
      The field of paleontology, which is based principally on observations of the natural world, includes an active community that is engaged across multiple social media platforms, consisting of museums, academic researchers, amateur fossil collectors, paleontological artists, and commercial fossil dealers. As such, it represents an ideal environment for examining the people, interactions, and flow of scientific information. Using interactions involving the four most popular Twitter hashtags for paleontology, this embedded mixed methods study defined the members of this social world and investigated how they influenced and controlled the flow of information, as well as how their expression of scientific practice was related to their identity. Results provide further evidence for the diversity of people and practice involved in this domain of science and indicate that the magnitude and breadth of the public's impact may be larger than previously projected. Certain types of messages were shown to be effective for different segments of the community, but news posts, essentially media outlet stories, were ineffective for generating any form of engagement. This study adds to our understanding of the important scientific contribution being made by members of the public as they interact with professional scientists and educators as peers in an open social media platform that supports a diverse and active community.
  8. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2019 ;pii: S1807-59322019000100104. [Epub ahead of print]74 e1312
    Rode SM, Pennisi PRC, Beaini TL, Curi JP, Cardoso SV, Paranhos LR.
  9. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2019 Jul 31.
    Persson AB, Persson PB, Kramer A.
      Predation is a biological interaction in a community of species. For over a decade, fraudulent 'publishers', have targeted the scientific community, with no end in sight (1). Starting with a relatively small number of "black sheep" (2), the market has increased tremendously, and expanded, now offering predatory meetings and conferences. Ripping off science is now an industry, a business model, hence the term 'predatory publishing'. If the model were not profitable, it would most likely have gone out of business. Instead, researchers still fall victim to surreptitious publishing.
  10. Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Jul 30.
    Manojlovic-Gacic E, Dotlic J, Gazibara T, Terzic T, Skender-Gazibara M.
      The purpose of this study was to evaluate recognition of pathologists and radiologists as coauthors in case reports in the field of surgical oncology. The MEDLINE database was searched for all full free text case reports involving human material published from April 1, 2011 until March 31, 2016, using search terms: "case report" + "tumors" + "surgery" + "malignant". The search strategy identified a total of 1427 case reports of which 907 were included in this analysis. Of 807 articles with histopathological images and/or descriptions, 352 (43.6%) did not acknowledge or include the pathologist as a coauthor. Of 662 case reports with radiographic images and/or their description, 537 (81.1%) did not list the radiologist as coauthor nor acknowledge them. In case reports containing histopathological images, significantly more pathologists were either listed as coauthors or acknowledged compared to those who were not (Z = 5.128; p = 0.001). However, among case reports containing radiographic images, there were significantly less articles either listing radiologists as coauthors or acknowledging them compared to a larger proportion of articles in which radiologists were omitted (Z = - 22.646; p = 0.001). In conclusion, pathologists and radiologists are underrecognized as coauthors in surgical oncology case reports in spite of obvious proof of their contribution to manuscript preparation. When involved in research and publishing, all physicians should be aware of fair and honest collaboration with specialists in other clinical and non-clinical disciplines to better serve the scientific community.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Case report; Pathologists; Radiologists; Surgical oncology; Underrecognition
  11. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 15
    Suliman S, van den Heuvel L, Suryapranata A, Bisson JI, Seedat S.
      Background: Although a large number of clinical trials on interventions demonstrating efficacy (or lack thereof) are conducted annually, much of this evidence is not accessible to scientists and clinicians.Objectives: We aimed to determine the publication rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trials that have been registered in clinical trial registries, and the factors associated with publication.
    Methods: Trials, completed on January 15, 2015, were identified via the US National Institutes of Health clinical trials registry, the European Union Clinical Trials Register and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. A systematic search for publications (published by the end of March 2018) related to each of the registered trials were then performed.
    Results: Four hundred and thirty-eight of 1982 potentially eligible trials were included. Only 34% of interventional trials were registered prior to initiation, 9% were registered within 2 months of starting and 20% after trial completion. Of the 438 included trials, 72% had generated peer-reviewed publications, while an additional 7% had disseminated results in some other form (such as on the trial database), 26 months after trial completion. Randomisation of a trial was the only factor individually associated with publication, in logistic regression analysis (p < 0.001). Intervention type, university as sponsor and study registration prior to completion were factors that influenced the time to publication, using Cox regression (p < 0.001).
    Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of timely and accurate publication and dissemination of trial results, in order to avoid the potential waste of resources and to ensure research integrity and patient safety. We suggest that authors and journal editors adhere to conditions set out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and that more diligent data sharing is encouraged through prospective trial registration and trial reporting websites.
    Keywords:  Posttraumatic stress disorder; Publication; Trial registry
  12. Breastfeed Med. 2019 Jul 31.
    Dinour LM.
      The term "breastfeeding" has recently been critiqued for its ambiguity, as it has come to mean both (1) feeding an infant at the breast and (2) feeding expressed human milk to an infant. In addition, "breastfeeding" is nearly always associated with mothers and women, yet there are individuals who feed their infants human milk and do not identify as such. By using gendered language when conducting and publishing lactation-related research, we risk both alienating an already marginalized population and inhibiting our ability to gather valid, high-quality surveillance data. For example, of 15 U.S. surveys measuring breastfeeding rates, practices, and public opinions, 33% only sampled mothers, and another 33% made assumptions regarding the gender or sex identity of the person giving birth or breastfeeding. In addition, a review of 20 scholarly journals that publish lactation-related research found that only one requires specific language for breastfeeding in their instructions for authors. In response, I recommend several additions to recently proposed terms that describe human milk feeding and associated behaviors. Acceptance and consistent usage of these linguistically inclusive or nongendered terms by researchers will further enhance the quality of future data collection and research dissemination through the representation of all individuals choosing to provide human milk to their infants.
    Keywords:  breastfeeding; chestfeeding; gender; human milk; lactation; research
  13. Sci Eng Ethics. 2019 Jul 29.
    Gallo SA, Thompson LA, Schmaling KB, Glisson SR.
      Scientific peer reviewers play an integral role in the grant selection process, yet very little has been reported on the levels of participation or the motivations of scientists to take part in peer review. The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) developed a comprehensive peer review survey that examined the motivations and levels of participation of grant reviewers. The survey was disseminated to 13,091 scientists in AIBS's proprietary database. Of the 874 respondents, 76% indicated they had reviewed grant applications in the last 3 years; however, the number of reviews was unevenly distributed across this sample. Higher review loads were associated with respondents who had submitted more grant proposals over this time period, some of whom were likely to be study section members for large funding agencies. The most prevalent reason to participate in a review was to give back to the scientific community (especially among frequent grant submitters) and the most common reason to decline an invitation to review was lack of time. Interestingly, few suggested that expectation from the funding agency was a motivation to review. Most felt that review participation positively influenced their careers through improving grantsmanship and exposure to new scientific ideas. Of those who reviewed, respondents reported dedicating 2-5% of their total annual work time to grant review and, based on their self-reported maximum review loads, it is estimated they are participating at 56-87% of their capacity, which may have important implications regarding the sustainability of the system. Overall, it is clear that participation in peer review is uneven and in some cases near capacity, and more needs to be done to create new motivations and incentives to increase the future pool of reviewers.
    Keywords:  Grant applications; Motivation; Participation; Peer review; Research funding; Survey; Sustainability
  14. Pak J Med Sci. 2019 Jul-Aug;35(4):35(4): 1013-1017
    Shah FA, Ali MA, Nazar Z, Rasheed HU.
      Objective: To analyze the contents and format of peer review proforma of Medical journals of Pakistan.Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology Lady reading Hospital Peshawar Pakistan from 3rd August 2018 to 9th February 2019.An email was sent to the chief editors of all the medical journals listed on the official website ( of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC).They were requested to send peer review proformas of their journals. The received proformas were analyzed for major contents and format or style. The proforma had a structured format when each portion of the manuscript i.e, title, abstract, key words, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion and references were individually sectioned for evaluation. Whereas in the unstructured proformas the reviewer was asked to assess the manuscript as a whole.
    Results: We received 41 proformas via emails. Majority (82.9%) of the proformas were structured while 17% were unstructured. A scoring or rating system for the manuscript was present in 31.7% of the proformas while 43.9% of the proformas were without any scoring system. Guidelines for the peer reviewers were given in 58.5% of the proformas. The peer review policy (closed or open) was mentioned in only 7.3%.About 9.7% of the proformas asked the reviewers to disclose conflict of interests.
    Conclusion: A spectrum of contents and format of peer review proformas of medical journals were observed. We found structured peer review proforma with a scoring scale comprehensive and more appropriate for peer review.
    Keywords:  Analysis; article; journal; manuscript; peer review; publication
  15. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 Jul 30.
    Carta MG.
      The excessive bureaucracy and complexity of the Horizon calls appears to be an obstacle to research cooperation in Europe. Funding agencies of the European Union emphasize competitiveness, but do not recognize that publishing scientific papers increases competitiveness. Even the distribution of funds appears very far from recognizing the proper value of scientific publications. In this context, I am not surprised that some (not all) UK researchers have no confidence in European cooperative research.