bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2019‒09‒22
sixteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Gac Sanit. 2019 Sep 14. pii: S0213-9111(19)30152-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Campos-Varela I, Villaverde-Castañeda R, Ruano-Raviña A.
      OBJECTIVE: To describe the biomedical journal characteristics that are associated with the retraction of papers.METHOD: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted. All papers retracted and indexed in PubMed from January 1st 2013 to December 31st, 2016 were included. We used nine main categories to classify retractions: aspects related with data, authors issues, plagiarism, unethical research, journal issues, review process, conflict of interest, other, and unknown. These categories were further classified as: misconduct, suspicion of misconduct, or no misconduct.
    RESULTS: The proportion of retraction was 2.5 per 10,000 publications. Retractions appeared in 611 journals. During the study period, retraction due to misconduct was more frequent among journals with low-impact factor. Within these retracted publications, among low-impact journals the presence of misconduct was higher with a 73% compared to 61% for the high-impact journals (p=0.001). There were differences in the percentage of retractions due to misconduct regarding the journal classification category (p<0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Retraction of publications is present in both high- and low-impact factor biomedical journals, but misconduct is more frequent among the papers retracted from lower impact journals. Measures before and after publication should be taken to limit misconduct.
    Keywords:  Factor de impacto; Fraud; Fraude; Impact factor; Mala conducta científica; Peer review; Plagiarism; Plagiarism detection systems; Plagio; Revisión por pares; Scientific misconduct; Sistemas de detección de plagio
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2019.05.008
  2. JAMA Surg. 2019 Sep 18.
    McClellan JM, Mansukhani N, Moe D, Derickson M, Chiu S, Kibbe MR, Martin MJ.
      Importance: Courtesy authorship is defined as including an individual who has not met authorship criteria as an author. Although most journals follow strict authorship criteria, the current incidence of courtesy authorship is unknown.Objective: To assess the practices related to courtesy authorship in surgical journals and academia.
    Design, Setting, and Participants: A survey was conducted from July 15 to October 27, 2017, of the first authors and senior authors of original articles, reviews, and clinical trials published between 2014 and 2015 in 8 surgical journals categorized as having a high or low impact factor.
    Main Outcomes and Measures: The prevalence of courtesy authorship overall and among subgroups of authors in high impact factor journals and low impact factor journals and among first authors and senior authors, as well as author opinions regarding courtesy authorship.
    Results: A total of 203 first authors and 254 senior authors responded (of 369 respondents who provided data on sex, 271 were men and 98 were women), with most being in academic programs (first authors, 116 of 168 [69.0%]; senior authors, 173 of 202 [85.6%]). A total of 17.2% of respondents (42 of 244) reported adding courtesy authors for the surveyed publications: 20.4% by first authors (32 of 157) and 11.5% by senior authors (10 of 87), but 53.7% (131 of 244) reported adding courtesy authorship on prior publications and 33.2% (81 of 244) had been added as a courtesy author in the past. Although 45 of 85 senior authors (52.9%) thought that courtesy authorship has decreased, 93 of 144 first authors (64.6%) thought that courtesy authorship has not changed or had increased (P = .03). There was no difference in the incidence of courtesy authorship for low vs high impact factor journals. Both first authors (29 of 149 [19.5%]) and senior authors (19 of 85 [22.4%]) reported pressures to add courtesy authorship, but external pressure was greater for low impact factor journals than for high impact factor journals (77 of 166 [46.4%] vs 60 of 167 [35.9%]; P = .04). More authors in low impact factor journals than in high impact factor journals thought that courtesy authorship was less harmful to academia (55 of 114 [48.2%] vs 34 of 117 [29.1%]). Overall, senior authors reported more positive outcomes with courtesy authorship (eg, improved morale and avoided author conflicts) than did first authors.
    Conclusions and Relevance: Courtesy authorship use is common by both first and senior authors in low impact factor journals and high impact factor journals. There are different perceptions, practices, and pressures to include courtesy authorship for first and senior authors. Understanding these issues will lead to better education to eliminate this practice.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2019.3140
  3. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2019 ;4 19
    Keserlioglu K, Kilicoglu H, Ter Riet G.
      Background: In their research reports, scientists are expected to discuss limitations that their studies have. Previous research showed that often, such discussion is absent. Also, many journals emphasize the importance of avoiding overstatement of claims. We wanted to see to what extent editorial handling and peer review affects self-acknowledgment of limitations and hedging of claims.Methods: Using software that automatically detects limitation-acknowledging sentences and calculates the level of hedging in sentences, we compared the submitted manuscripts and their ultimate publications of all randomized trials published in 2015 in 27 BioMed Central (BMC) journals and BMJ Open. We used mixed linear and logistic regression models, accounting for clustering of manuscript-publication pairs within journals, to quantify before-after changes in the mean numbers of limitation-acknowledging sentences, in the probability that a manuscript with zero self-acknowledged limitations ended up as a publication with at least one and in hedging scores.
    Results: Four hundred forty-six manuscript-publication pairs were analyzed. The median number of manuscripts per journal was 10.5 (interquartile range 6-18). The average number of distinct limitation sentences increased by 1.39 (95% CI 1.09-1.76), from 2.48 in manuscripts to 3.87 in publications. Two hundred two manuscripts (45.3%) did not mention any limitations. Sixty-three (31%, 95% CI 25-38) of these mentioned at least one after peer review. Changes in mean hedging scores were negligible.
    Conclusions: Our findings support the idea that editorial handling and peer review lead to more self-acknowledgment of study limitations, but not to changes in linguistic nuance.
    Keywords:  Before-after study; Hedging; Linguistic spin; Peer review; Randomized trial; Scientific reporting; Study limitations; Transparency
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-019-0078-2
  4. Biomedica. 2019 06 15. 39(2): 323-329
    Zafra-Tanaka JH, Roca C, Canari-Casano JL, Vargas-Calla A.
      Introduction. Unjustified authorship or “gift authorship” is an inadequate practice of authorship that consists of naming as authors people who do not meet the authorship criteria. Reports of scientific research are often published as original articles in scientific journals and may present these inappropriate practices. Objectives. Determine the prevalence of gift authorship in original articles for publication. Materials and methods. Descriptive study in which the authorship contributions section of all the articles published between 2013 and the first quarter of 2017 in a Peruvian magazine was reviewed. Gift authorship was considered when an author did not meet at least one of the criteria established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Results. Of the 209 original articles published, 11 were excluded because they did not report authorship contributions. The prevalence of gift authorship was 53.5% (106). The critreria least met were the final approval of the manuscript (23.2%) and the writing and critical review of this manuscript. (16.8%). Conclusions. It is necessary that educational institutions train researchers to distinguish between authorship and contribution. In addition, it is necessary that the journals request and corroborate the reported contributions.
    Keywords:  authorship; writing; journal article; bibliometrics; Perú
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7705/biomedica.v39i3.4316
  5. Teach Learn Med. 2019 Sep 18. 1-11
    Oshiro J, Caubet SL, Viola KE, Huber JM.
      Phenomenon: Many researchers have difficulty transforming raw data into publishable full-length manuscripts. Among studies presented at professional meetings, registered as clinical trials, or declined from specific journals, nonpublication rates are estimated to range from 25% to 60%. We aimed to characterize major barriers to manuscript preparation, beyond lack of time, for academics from a broad range of specialties at a tertiary academic medical institution. We explored whether major barriers evolved with increasing publishing experience. Approach: We surveyed registrants of 12 noncompulsory workshops on scientific publishing (April 2009-November 2015). Survey respondents indicated how many of their coauthored papers were accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals in the past 5 years and stated what they found most difficult about preparing a manuscript, other than lack of time. Two investigators performed a content analysis of the reported barriers; mean agreement between coders was 98% (SD = 2%), and the mean Scott π coefficient for interrater reliability was 0.81 (SD = 0.26). We used a multimethod analytic approach to determine whether the perceived barriers varied with level of publishing experience. Findings: Surveys were returned by 201 of 256 registrants (79%). Thirty-eight percent of respondents had lower publishing experience (0-4 papers published in peer-reviewed journals in the past 5 years), 26% had medium experience (5-10 papers), and 35% had higher experience (>10 papers). Many respondents (57%) listed multiple barriers, but 5% listed zero barriers. The content analysis of the 370 reported barrier items identified 8 categories covering 38 concepts. The most common concerns (i.e., organization, writing, following journal format, defining the article scope, disliking writing, responding to reviewers) were not affected by author experience level. However, significantly more academics with higher experience expressed concerns about data presentation. Insights: Academics commonly reported barriers such as uncertainty about how to organize content, difficulty with developing succinct text, and frustration about meeting journal-specific formatting requirements. Greater experience in scientific publishing did not appear to mitigate these barriers. Academic institutions can provide targeted support for persistent challenges to scholarly productivity.
    Keywords:  Authorship; education; language barriers; publication; scholarly communication
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2019.1659144
  6. eNeuro. 2019 Sep-Oct;6(5):pii: ENEURO.0362-19.2019. [Epub ahead of print]6(5):
    Bernard C.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0362-19.2019
  7. Eur J Clin Invest. 2019 Sep 18. e13171
    Heinzl H, Benner A.
      The scientific peer review of medical research papers often entails the assessment of statistical results. Medical reviewers may sometimes feel overburdened by a task for which they are usually not specifically trained for. We offer three pieces of non-technical statistical advice.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.13171
  8. Hist Cienc Saude Manguinhos. 2019 Sep 16. pii: S0104-59702019000300723. [Epub ahead of print]26(3): 723-726
    Silva AFCD.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-59702019000300001
  9. Cell. 2019 Sep 19. pii: S0092-8674(19)30962-6. [Epub ahead of print]179(1): 1-2
    Narasimhan SD.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.043
  10. Clin Ther. 2019 Sep 13. pii: S0149-2918(19)30394-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    DeTora LM, Citrome L.
      PURPOSE: Confusion exists around the nature and best practices for authors in biomedical fields seeking to disclose conflicts of interest (COIs) and other information that can produce bias. Guidelines often provide principles for action and to avoid granularity that can limit their general usefulness. Journal editors must also interpret various guidelines to produce and enhance their own disclosure and COI policies. We discussion COIs and present heuristics that can enhance disclosure practices by individual authors and inform policy and practice among medical journal editors.METHODS: The authors reviewed the biomedical literature and drew on professional and academic experience to develop examples and a suggested matrix for decision making.
    FINDINGS: Most COI commentary centers on financial relationships. Disagreement still exists about the nature and impact of various forms of COI, making critical reasoning essential when making and interpreting disclosures. Journal editors, authors, critics, and other experts express varying opinions about best practices regarding COIs. Policy decisions should be balanced and reasonable. Narrative context may help readers understand the meaning and relevance of disclosures and COIs.
    IMPLICATIONS: A balance of personal responsibility and critical thinking can enhance disclosure practices as well as confidence in the medical literature. Using a heuristic to think through possible areas of conflict can help authors provide more complete disclosure information. Providing narrative context can ease the burden of peer reviewers, editors, and readers trying to understand disclosures.
    Keywords:  conflict of interest; disclosure; ethics; journal policies; transparency
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2019.07.020
  11. Tunis Med. 2019 Feb;97(2): 273-285
    Ben Saad H.
      The quality of an original scientific article depends, in addition to the relevance of the subject and the validity of the method, on the conformity to the principles of the scientific medical writing (SMW) with regard to both structure and style. For the structure, the IMR@D® plan (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References) is often used. For the style, the C2PS rule (concise, clear, precise and simple) is essential. This paper provides tips / recommendations for authors considering submitting an original scientific paper for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The following points were addressed: concision, clarity, precision, simple writing, passive voice, use of the first person, specificity of scientific medical English, strength of verbs in the SMW, Latin terminology, ethics of the SMW, recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals.
  12. Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Sep 15. 30(20): 2537-2542
    Walter P, Mullins D.
      Two 17th century institutions-learned societies and scientific journals-transformed science in ways that still dominate our professional lives today. Learned societies like the American Society for Cell Biology remain relevant because they provide forums for sharing results, discussing the practice of science, and projecting our voices to the public and the policy makers. Scientific journals still disseminate our work, but in the Internet-connected world of the 21st century, this is no longer their critical function. Journals remain relevant almost entirely because they provide a playing field for scientific and professional competition: to claim credit for a discovery, we publish it in a peer-reviewed journal; to get a job in academia or money to run a lab, we present these published papers to universities and funding agencies. Publishing is so embedded in the practice of science that whoever controls the journals controls access to the entire profession. We must reform our methods for evaluating the contributions of younger scientists and deflate the power of a small number of "elite" journals. More generally, given the recent failure of research institutions around the world to strike satisfactory deals with publishing giant Elsevier, the time has come to examine the motives and methods of those to whom we have entrusted the keys to the kingdom of science.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E19-03-0147
  13. Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2019 Sep 17. pii: S1879-7296(19)30143-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Laccourreye O, Maisonneuve H.
      The present review article details developments in medical writing and the ongoing transformation of the scientific medical press. With these twin revolutions, French-language scientific medical journals are at a crossroads: are they going to become vehicles of teaching, of popularization, of liaison between members of medical societies, of general public information contributing to decision-making in the field of public health? Or will they maintain their scientific status? Under certain conditions, a move toward French/English bilingualism could be the solution to maintain and advertise their scientific level, while contributing to the quality of medical teaching in French and to the worldwide influence of the French language.
    Keywords:  Ethics; Impact factor; Medical writing; Open access
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anorl.2019.09.002