bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒08‒11
twenty-six papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Wilderness Environ Med. 2019 Aug 06. pii: S1080-6032(19)30111-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Pollock NW.
  2. Surgery. 2019 Jul 31. pii: S0039-6060(19)30415-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Özden S, Er S, Tez M.
  3. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2019 Aug;10(4): 777-782
    AlRyalat SA, Nassar AA, Tamimi F, Al-Fraihat E, Assaf L, Ghareeb R, Masoudi M, Al-Essa M.
      Background: The field of oncology is among the highest productive fields in medicine, with the highest impact journals. The impact of open access (OA) journals is still understudied in the field of oncology. In this study, we aim to study the open-access status of oncology journals and the impact of the open-access status on journal indices.Methods: We collected data on the included journals from Scopus Source List on 1st of November 2018. We filtered the list for oncology journals for the years from 2011 to 2017. OA journals covered by Scopus are indicated as OA if the journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and/or the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD).
    Results: There were 318 oncology journals compared to 260 in 2011, an increase by about 24.2%, and the percentage of OA journals has increased from 19.6% to 23.9%. Although non-OA journals have significantly higher scholarly output (P=0.001), percent cited and source normalized impact per paper (SNIP) were higher for OA journals.
    Conclusions: Publishing in oncology OA journals will yield more impact, in term of citations, and will reach boarder audience.
    Keywords:  Oncology; bibliometry; cancer; journals; open access (OA)
  4. J Surg Res. 2019 Aug 03. pii: S0022-4804(19)30503-7. [Epub ahead of print]243 567-573
    Leaphart DM, Cronley AC, Brothers TE.
      BACKGROUND: The present study was undertaken to ascertain the prevalence of published data with errors in the numerical significant figures in established surgical and medical journals in 2017. The frequency of errors was not only summarized but was also correlated to the published journal impact factor for the seven journals reviewed.METHODS: All original investigations and other analysis reporting quantitative statistical results published in seven surgical and medical journals in 2017 were electronically reviewed for errors in reporting significant figures of the published statistical findings. Errors in significant figures were placed into one of three author defined categories: calculated significant figure errors, interval precision errors, and P value reporting errors. Tests for intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility were conducted blindly to ensure validity and reproducibility between different readers.
    RESULTS: A total of 1675 articles published in 2017 were identified and reviewed. In total, 730 articles (44%) were reported to have an error in one category, with error rates ranging from 25% to 68% depending on publishing journal. The error rate for each journal were easily reproduced by different observers (κ coefficient range: 0.55-0.81) and correlated with its 2016 impact factor (r = 0.97, R2 = 0.95, P < 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Published findings are frequently reported incorrectly in the surgical and medical literature and can be potentially misleading. The pervasiveness of errors correlates to fewer citations as measured by the lower impact factor.
    Keywords:  Confidence interval; Impact factor; P value; Significant figure; Statistical reporting; error
  5. J Oncol Pract. 2019 Aug 06. JOP1900125
    Hannum SM, Dy SM, Smith KC, Kamal AH.
      Oncology has made significant advances in standardizing how clinical research is conducted and reported. The advancement of such research that improves oncology practice requires an expansion of not only our research questions but also the research methods we deploy to address them. In particular, there is increasing recognition of the value of qualitative research methods to develop more comprehensive understandings of phenomena of interest and to describe and explain underlying motivations and potential causes of specific outcomes. However, qualitative researchers in oncology have lacked guidance to produce and evaluate methodologically rigorous qualitative publications. In this review, we highlight characteristics of high-quality, methodologically rigorous reports of qualitative research, provide criteria for readers and reviewers to appraise such publications critically, and proffer guidance for preparing publications for submission to Journal of Oncology Practice. Namely, the quality of qualitative research in oncology practice is best assessed according to key domains that include fitness of purpose, theoretical framework, methodological rigor, ethical concerns, analytic comprehensives, and the dissemination/application of findings. In particular, determinations of rigor in qualitative research in oncology practice should consider definitions of the appropriateness of qualitative methods for the research objectives against the setting of current literature, use of an appropriate theoretical framework, inclusion of a rigorous and innovative measurement plan, application of appropriate analytic techniques, and clear explanation and dissemination of the research findings.
  6. Clin Chem. 2019 Aug 09. pii: clinchem.2019.310268. [Epub ahead of print]
    Annesley T, Anderson K, Cochran A, Crotty D, Gallagher R, Hinchliffe LJ.
  7. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2019 Aug 05. pii: bmjebm-2019-111176. [Epub ahead of print]
    Jellison S, Roberts W, Bowers A, Combs T, Beaman J, Wayant C, Vassar M.
      We have identified 'spin' in abstracts of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with nonsignificant primary endpoints in psychiatry and psychology journals. This is a cross-sectional review of clinical trials with nonsignificant primary endpoints published in psychiatry and psychology journals from January 2012 to December 2017. The main outcome was the frequency and manifestation of spin in the abstracts. We define spin as the 'use of specific reporting strategies, from whatever motive, to highlight that the experimental treatment is beneficial, despite a statistically nonsignificant difference for the primary outcome, or to distract the reader from statistically nonsignificant results'. We have also assessed the relationship between industry funding and spin. Of the 486 RCTs examined, 116 were included in our analysis of spin. Spin was identified in 56% (n=65) of those included. Spin was found in 2 (2%) titles, 24 (21%) abstract results sections and 57 (49.1%) abstract conclusion sections. Evidence of spin was simultaneously identified in both results and conclusions sections in 15% of RCTs (n=17). Twelve articles reported industry funding (10%). Industry funding was not associated with increased odds of spin in the abstract (unadjusted OR: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.3 to 3.2). We found no relationship between industry funding and spin in abstracts. These findings raise concerns about the effects spin may have on clinicians. Further steps could be taken to address spin, including inviting reviewers to comment on the presence of spin and updating Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines to contain language discouraging spin.
    Keywords:  bias; data reporting; psychiatry; psychiatry in literature; research methodology
  8. Indian J Anaesth. 2019 Jul;63(7): 571-584
    Saikia P, Thakuria B.
      Background and Aims: Various aspects of retracted articles authored by Yoshitaka Fujii and their retraction notices have been examined. Yuhji Saitoh has coauthored many articles with Yoshitaka Fujii which were subsequently retracted. Japanese Society of Anesthesiology (JSA) recommends retraction of various articles by Yuhji Saitoh, but various attributes of those and their retraction notices have not been examined.Methods: A list of retracted articles was retrieved from PubMed, Retraction Watch Database and relevant journals. Their retraction notices were obtained from the journal's webpage. Predefined characteristics of the retracted articles and their retraction notices were evaluated against those proposed by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
    Results: Fifteen such articles were retracted. Two of them were not identified as retracted in the journal webpage. Half of the papers mentioned by JSA are yet to be retracted. Among those retracted, only 13.3% retraction notices were in line with the guidelines published by the COPE. Two retracted articles are yet to be flagged as retracted in PubMed. The median (interquartile range) time required for retraction from the date of declaration of being eligible for retraction is 14 (3) months. Data were analysed with Microsoft Excel™ (2007).
    Conclusion: Even after more than 1 year of recommendation, many articles containing evidence of scientific misconduct are yet to be retracted. Among those retracted, the relevant authority failed to follow the prevalent and well-regarded standards of ethics in scholarly publication.
    Keywords:  Committee on Publication Ethics; research misconduct; retracted publication; retraction notice
  9. Indian J Pharmacol. 2019 May-Jun;51(3):51(3): 208-211
    Sharma K, Rani M, Sharma L.
      BACKGROUND: As the list of predatory journals is burgeoning, the researchers should have knowledge of calculating the predatory rate (PR) for the journals, in which they aim to publish their work and self-guard them from publishing in bogus journals.AIM AND OBJECTIVES: Our aim is to find out the predatory rate for various Pharmacology journals.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Here, we have examined the recently updated list (in 2017) of standalone predatory journals created and maintained by Beall, pertinent to all auspices of pharmacology including pharmacy, pharmaceutical, and pharmacognosy. The PR of various journals was calculated.
    RESULTS: Of 131 journals, pertinent to the pharmacology field, 45.03% of them had the PR between 0.72 and 0.84. 98.5% of journals were classified as predatory, whereas only 2 (1.53%) journals were classified in the category of predatory practice.
    CONCLUSION: It should be an eye-opener to the researchers, and they should deliberately select the journals to get real recognition of their work.
    Keywords:  Beall's list; pharmacology journals; predatory rate
  10. J Clin Epidemiol. 2019 Aug 06. pii: S0895-4356(19)30499-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Sharp MK, Bertizzolo L, Rius R, Wager E, Gómez G, Hren D.
      OBJECTIVE: To identify factors affecting the use of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement, specifically authors' attitudes towards and experiences with it.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: An online survey was distributed to authors of observational studies recruited via social media, personal network snowballing, and mass-mailings using targeted search strategies. Data on demographics, awareness, motivators, and usage were collected in conjunction with a modified Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) scale on which confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed.
    RESULTS: 1015 participants completed the survey. Of these, 185 (18.2%) indicated they had never heard of STROBE nor used it previously, 195 (19.2%) had heard of it but never used it, and 635 (62.6%) had used it. Journals promoting STROBE were both key motivators and awareness mechanisms; peers and educational workshops were also important influencing factors to a lesser degree. The internal consistency of the modified UTAUT scale was strong (Cronbach's alpha = 0.94). CFA supported a 4-factor model with 23 questions.
    CONCLUSION: The endorsement of STROBE by journals is key to authors' awareness and use of the guideline. We tested and validated our scale which can guide future research on reporting guidelines.
    Keywords:  Epidemiologic research design; Guidelines as topic; Information dissemination/methods; Observational studies; STROBE
  11. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019 Aug 05. 19(1): 170
    Barcot O, Boric M, Poklepovic Pericic T, Cavar M, Dosenovic S, Vuka I, Puljak L.
      BACKGROUND: Assessing the risk of bias (RoB) in included studies is one of the key methodological aspects of systematic reviews. Cochrane systematic reviews appraise RoB of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with the Cochrane RoB tool. Detailed instructions for using the Cochrane RoB tool are provided in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (The Cochrane Handbook). The purpose of this study was to analyse whether Cochrane authors use adequate judgments about the RoB for random sequence generation of RCTs included in Cochrane reviews.METHODS: We extracted authors' judgments (high, low or unclear RoB) and supports for judgments (comments accompanying judgments which explain the rationale for a judgment) for random sequence generation of included RCTs from RoB tables of Cochrane reviews using automated data scraping. We categorised all supporting comments, analysed the number and type of various supporting comments and assessed adequacy of RoB judgment for randomisation in line with recommendations from the Cochrane Handbook.
    RESULTS: We analysed 10,103 RCTs that were included in 704 Cochrane reviews. For 5,706 RCTs, randomisation was not described, but for the remaining RCTs, it was indicated that randomisation was performed using computer/software/internet (N = 2,850), random number table (N = 883), mechanical method (N = 359) or it was incomplete/inappropriate (N = 305). Overall, 1,220/10,103 trials (12%) did not have a RoB judgment in line with Cochrane Handbook guidance about randomisation. The highest proportion of misjudgements was found for trials with high RoB (28%), followed by those with low (20%) or unclear (3%). Therefore, one in eight judgments for the analysed domain in Cochrane reviews was not in line with Cochrane Handbook, and one in four if the judgment was "high risk".
    CONCLUSION: Authors of Cochrane reviews often make judgments about the RoB related to random sequence generation that are not in line with instructions given in the Cochrane Handbook, which compromises the reliability of the systematic reviews. Our results can help authors of both Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews which use Cochrane RoB tool to avoid making common mistakes when assessing RoB in included trials.
    Keywords:  Cochrane; Randomisation; Risk of bias; Selection bias; Sequence generation; Systematic reviews
  12. Elife. 2019 Aug 06. pii: e50527. [Epub ahead of print]8
    Sanes JR.
      Many authors start with the figures when writing a scientific paper, but it is easier to tell a good story if you start with the Introduction and the Results, and leave the figures to later.
    Keywords:  point of view; scientific publishing; writing
  13. Clin Biochem. 2019 Aug 01. pii: S0009-9120(19)30759-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Fiala C, Diamandis EP.
  14. Braz J Phys Ther. 2019 Jul 29. pii: S1413-3555(19)30516-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Nascimento DP, Costa LOP.
  15. Nature. 2019 Aug;572(7768): 171-172
    Ruxton GD, Mulder T.
    Keywords:  Ethics; Publishing
  16. Med Ref Serv Q. 2019 Jul-Sep;38(3):38(3): 260-270
    Tyler Nix A, Smith JE.
      Informationists at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, formed a research impact consultation and education initiative in early 2017 to increase engagement with the health sciences community around the informed, responsible use of a range of citation and alternative metrics and associated tools. So far, the Research Impact Core has primarily entailed developing training content and cultivating partnerships related to publication metrics and associated best practices. This article reports on progress from the first two years of the Research Impact Core, including a snapshot of information session registrants, and a broader discussion of collaborative partnerships around research impact in the health sciences and library system.
    Keywords:  Alternative metrics; altmetrics; collaboration; research impact
  17. Matern Child Health J. 2019 Aug 05.
    Kamath-Rayne BD, Surkan PJ, Vinturache A, Dye T.
      The Editors of the Maternal and Child Health Journal offer an inside look at publishing in the journal, including advice for potential authors and reviewers.
    Keywords:  Author; Publication; Reviewer
  18. J Glob Oncol. 2019 Aug;5 1-7
    Qureshi BM, Mansha MA, Karim MU, Hafiz A, Ali N, Mirkhan B, Shaukat F, Tariq M, Abbasi AN.
      PURPOSE: To evaluate and report the frequency of changes in radiation therapy treatment plans after peer review in a simulation review meeting once a week.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between July 1 and August 31, 2016, the radiation plans of 116 patients were discussed in departmental simulation review meetings. All plans were finalized by the primary radiation oncologist before presenting them in the meeting. A team of radiation oncologists reviewed each plan, and their suggestions were documented as no change, major change, minor change, or missing contour. Changes were further classified as changes in clinical target volume, treatment field, or dose. All recommendations were stratified on the basis of treatment intent, site, and technique. Data were analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and are presented descriptively.
    RESULTS: Out of 116 plans, 26 (22.4%) were recommended for changes. Minor changes were suggested in 15 treatment plans (12.9%) and a major change in 10 (8.6%), and only one plan was suggested for missing contour. The frequency of change recommendations was greater in radical radiation plans than in palliative plans (92.3% v 7.7%). The head and neck was the most common treatment site recommended for any changes (42.3%). Most of the changes were recommended in the technique planned with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (50%). Clinical target volume (73.1%) was identified as the most frequent parameter suggested for any change, followed by treatment field (19.2%) and dose (0.08%).
    CONCLUSION: Peer review is an important tool that can be used to overcome deficiencies in radiation treatment plans, with a goal of improved and individualized patient care. Our study reports changes in up to a quarter of radiotherapy plans.
  19. Recenti Prog Med. 2019 Jul-Aug;110(7):110(7): 317-322
    Addis A, De Fiore L.
      Health communication must be based on open and multi-dimensional dialogue involving all stakeholders: public and private institutions, health professionals, industries, associations and, above all, citizens. Currently, communication suffers many problems related to bad research (unethical research, falsification of data, conflict of interest, incomplete reporting, spin and plagiarism) and to the limits of an academic system that does rewards quantity more than quality. A turnaround is needed, based on five major changes: establishing rules that can actually be followed; improve the quality of scientific information; accept and encourage open confrontation; allow citizens to be able to express and assert their needs; transform uncertainty from limit to value. The "Liberati's principles" must be reaffirmed: an honest communication must make the results of the research accessible to those who have to make decisions that affect their health; researchers must engage in studies that promise benefits to citizens and are not just useful to one's career or industry; before opening up new research fronts it is necessary to exhaust the potential of research already started; the definition of research priorities must be a transparent and shared process; the best evidence is the most relevant for citizens and patients. These principles and all ethical issues related should be part of educational programs for all health operators and researchers.
  20. Implement Sci. 2019 Aug 06. 14(1): 77
    Sales AE, Wilson PM, Wensing M, Aarons GA, Armstrong R, Flottorp S, Hutchinson AM, Presseau J, Rogers A, Sevdalis N, Squires J, Straus S, Weiner BJ.
      In the 13 years since the inception of Implementation Science, we have witnessed a continued rise in the number of submissions, reflecting the growing global interest in methods to enhance the uptake of research findings into healthcare practice and policy. We now receive over 800 submissions annually, and there is a large gap between what is submitted and what gets published. To better serve the needs of the research community, we announce our plans to introduce a new journal, Implementation Science Communications, which we believe will support publication of types of research reports currently not often published in Implementation Science. In this editorial, we state both journals' scope and current boundaries and set out our expectations for the scientific reporting, quality, and transparency of the manuscripts we receive.
  21. Account Res. 2019 Aug 03.
    Yi N, Nemery B, Dierickx K.
      Research misconduct has been a threat to Chinese biomedical research. Despite many publications dealing with research integrity in China, little empirical data is available concerning Chinese biomedical researchers' perceptions of research integrity and misconduct. To learn more about this issue, we interviewed Chinese biomedical researchers in Europe to investigate their perceptions of this issue. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants until data saturation was reached. The findings indicate that certain aspects of research integrity need elaboration among Chinese biomedical researchers. Participants had a vague understanding of general concepts related to research integrity. Data fabrication, data falsification and plagiarism were perceived as the most severe deviance. Inappropriate authorship (especially gift authorship) and ghost writing were regarded as the most prevalent types of research misconduct in Chinese biomedical research. The harms of certain practices, such as inappropriate authorship, salami publication and multiple submission, were not well recognized. Attitudes towards research misconduct were divided. The current scientific evaluation system, pressures of promotion, motives for fame and other factors were perceived as the main reasons for research misconduct. Participants suggested various measures in addition to existing safeguards to improve research integrity in Chinese biomedical research.
    Keywords:  Chinese biomedical research; Europe; academic morality; research integrity; research misconduct
  22. Homeopathy. 2019 Aug 05.
    Bellavite P, Marzotto M.
      In June 2019, the journal PLoS ONE retracted an original research article, published in 2016, which described the effects of homeopathic Arnica montana on interleukin-4 treated human macrophages. The results showed an increase in extracellular matrix gene expression, including the gene encoding fibronectin, which is one of the main proteins involved in connective tissue healing. Here, the authors of the article discuss the critical points raised by the journal in the retraction note, with a focus on the specific methodological aspects of research on high dilutions of natural compounds. The editorial arguments made to justify the retraction did not prove any methodological errors, nor scientific misconduct. As a general rule, when a study published by a group of researchers raises scientific doubts because the results appear at variation with the commonly accepted knowledge in a field, the study is repeated by other scholars and any contrasting results are published and/or discussed. Therefore, retraction of the Arnica m. study by PLoS ONE is a violation of the conventions of scientific publication and knowledge-sharing methods derived from honest experimental method.