bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒02‒16
nineteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. F1000Res. 2019 ;8 971
    Chiarelli A, Johnson R, Pinfield S, Richens E.
      Background: Since 2013, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of preprint servers available online. To date, little is known about the position of researchers, funders, research performing organisations and other stakeholders with respect to this fast-paced landscape. In this article, we explore the benefits and challenges of preprint posting, along with issues such as infrastructure and financial sustainability. We also discuss the definition of a 'preprint' in different communities, and the impact this has on further uptake. Methods: This study is based on 38 detailed semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders based on a purposive heterogeneous sampling approach. Interviews were undertaken between October 2018 and January 2019. These were recorded, transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis to identify trends. Interview questions were designed based on Innovation Diffusion Theory, which is also used to interpret the results of this study. Results: Our study is the first using empirical data to understand the new wave of preprint servers and found that early and fast dissemination is the most appealing feature of the practice. The main concerns are related to the lack of quality assurance and the 'Ingelfinger rule'. We identified trust as an essential enabler of preprint posting and stress the enabling role of Twitter in showcasing preprints and enabling comments on these. Conclusions: The preprints landscape is evolving fast and disciplinary communities are at different stages in the innovation diffusion process. The landscape is characterised by significant experimentation, which leads to the conclusion that a one-size-fits-all approach to preprints is not feasible. Cooperation and active engagement between the stakeholders involved will play an important role in the future. In our paper, we share questions for the further development of the preprints landscape, with the most important being whether preprint posting will develop as a publisher- or researcher-centric practice.
    Keywords:  innovation diffusion theory; peer-review; preprints; scholarly communication
  2. Sci Eng Ethics. 2020 Feb 11.
    Sigl L, Felt U, Fochler M.
      Building on group discussions and interviews with life science researchers in Austria, this paper analyses the narratives that researchers use in describing what they feel responsible for, with a particular focus on how they perceive the societal responsibilities of their research. Our analysis shows that the core narratives used by the life scientists participating in this study continue to be informed by the linear model of innovation. This makes it challenging for more complex innovation models [such as responsible research and innovation (RRI)] to gain ground in how researchers make sense of and conduct their research. Furthermore, the paper shows that the life scientists were not easily able to imagine specific practices that would address broader societal concerns and thus found it hard to integrate the latter into their core responsibilities. Linked to this, researchers saw institutional reward structures (e.g. evaluations, contractual commitments) as strongly focused on scientific excellence ("I am primarily paid for publishing…"). Thus, they saw reward structures as competing with-rather than incentivising-broader notions of societal responsibility. This narrative framing of societal responsibilities is indicative of a structural marginalisation of responsibility practices and explains the claim, made by many researchers in our sample, that they cannot afford to spend time on such practices. The paper thus concludes that the core ideas of RRI stand in tension with predominant narrative and institutional infrastructures that researchers draw on to attribute meaning to their research practices. This suggests that scientific institutions (like universities, professional communities or funding institutions) still have a core role to play in providing new and context-specific narratives as well as new forms of valuing responsibility practices.
    Keywords:  Communication; Diligence; Interaction; Narrative infrastructure; Responsible research and innovation; Societal relevance
  3. Nature. 2020 02;578(7794): 328
    Woolston C.
    Keywords:  Careers; Communication; Publishing
  4. Nature. 2020 02;578(7794): 200-201
    Van Noorden R.
    Keywords:  Peer review; Publishing
  5. Ann Transl Med. 2019 Dec;7(24): 805
    Liang H, Ye L, Liang W, Wang R, Ge F, Fan L, Zhu Y, Li GS, Wang SD, Phan K, Sihoe A, Zhang K, He J.
      Background: Editorials and commentaries (E/C) are common article categories and usually solicited by editors in many journals. However, not all experts accept invitation for an E/C essay for a variety of reasons. We conducted this study to explore the potential influence factors contributing whether an invitation to write E/C is accepted by a specialist.Methods: Data of invited E/C from all journals of AME Publishing Company between January 1st, 2018 and December 31st, 2018 were retrospectively identified and consecutively collected. Acceptance of writing E/C from experts was recorded as "positive", while acceptance without submission, refusal, or no response, were all recorded as "negative". Factors that could potentially affect invitation acceptance were generally categorized as being related to three areas: original studies, inviting journals, and experts.
    Results: A total of 5,091 invitations were sent to 4,788 experts from 79 different countries or areas to write E/C on 695 research papers from 43 journals, with a total positive acceptance rate of 18.88%. Greece (40.54%), India (36.8%), and Brazil (35.42%) were the top three countries for acceptance rate. Surgeons (surgeons 23.80% vs. non-surgeons 17.05%; P<0.001) and oncologists (oncologists 22.57% vs. non-oncologists 17.58%; P=0.029) were more likely to accept the E/C invitations. The acceptance rate decreased with the increasing number of published articles of an expert (P=0.005). The acceptance rate was the highest (28.03%) when an inviting journal was indexed in both SCIE and PubMed. ABS, VATS and JTD ranked as the top three journals with the highest invitation acceptance rate. The impact factor of journals on which original papers were published had a negative correlation with the invitation acceptance rate (P=0.015). Database-related studies had the highest acceptance rate (21.66%), while translational (16.49%) and basic studies (16.56%) had a significantly lower acceptance rate among all study types.
    Conclusion: Original studies, inviting journals, and expert-related factors were all influence factors on the acceptance rate/willingness to write of E/C from invitations.
    Keywords:  AME Publishing Company; Editorials; academic communication; commentary
  6. J Prof Nurs. 2020 Jan - Feb;36(1):pii: S8755-7223(19)30082-1. [Epub ahead of print]36(1): 85-91
    Sharifi C, Buccheri RK.
      BACKGROUND: Identifying the most appropriate journal for a manuscript can be challenging for both experienced and novice nurse authors. Several factors should be considered when selecting a journal (e.g., peer-reviewed, target audience, type of manuscripts accepted, type of copyright and publishing model used). Selecting the most appropriate journal can save time for both authors and publishers.PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to provide nurses, particularly those new to scholarly publishing, with clear, plain language guidance on the processes and considerations involved in selecting a journal for publication.
    METHODS: A librarian and a nurse educator collaborated to develop an innovative 4-step process to help authors select the most appropriate journal for their manuscript.
    RESULTS: A case study is used to illustrate the process, and a worksheet is provided to guide the reader through the selection of an appropriate journal for their manuscript.
    CONCLUSIONS: This manuscript can be used by individual nurse authors to find the most appropriate journal for their manuscript, as a teaching tool for nurse educators, and for others mentoring nurse authors who are new to publishing.
    Keywords:  Journals; Manuscripts; Publishing; Writing for publication
  7. Nature. 2020 02;578(7794): 199-200
    Viglione G.
    Keywords:  Animal behaviour; Publishing; Research data; Scientific community
  8. BMJ Open. 2020 Feb 13. 10(2): e034463
    Catalá-López F, Caulley L, Ridao M, Hutton B, Husereau D, Drummond MF, Alonso-Arroyo A, Pardo-Fernández M, Bernal-Delgado E, Meneu R, Tabarés-Seisdedos R, Repullo JR, Moher D.
      INTRODUCTION: There has been a growing awareness of the need for rigorously and transparent reported health research, to ensure the reproducibility of studies by future researchers. Health economic evaluations, the comparative analysis of alternative interventions in terms of their costs and consequences, have been promoted as an important tool to inform decision-making. The objective of this study will be to investigate the extent to which articles of economic evaluations of healthcare interventions indexed in MEDLINE incorporate research practices that promote transparency, openness and reproducibility.METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is the study protocol for a cross-sectional comparative analysis. We registered the study protocol within the Open Science Framework ( We will evaluate a random sample of 600 cost-effectiveness analysis publications, a specific form of health economic evaluations, indexed in MEDLINE during 2012 (n=200), 2019 (n=200) and 2022 (n=200). We will include published papers written in English reporting an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio in terms of costs per life years gained, quality-adjusted life years and/or disability-adjusted life years. Screening and selection of articles will be conducted by at least two researchers. Reproducible research practices, openness and transparency in each article will be extracted using a standardised data extraction form by multiple researchers, with a 33% random sample (n=200) extracted in duplicate. Information on general, methodological and reproducibility items will be reported, stratified by year, citation of the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement and journal. Risk ratios with 95% CIs will be calculated to represent changes in reporting between 2012-2019 and 2019-2022.
    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Due to the nature of the proposed study, no ethical approval will be required. All data will be deposited in a cross-disciplinary public repository. It is anticipated the study findings could be relevant to a variety of audiences. Study findings will be disseminated at scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
    Keywords:  cost-effectiveness analysis; data sharing; methodology; quality; reporting; reproducibility
  9. Med Phys. 2020 Feb 10.
    Low D, Lamb J, Cai J.
      Open access (OA) publishing has become an important alternative to the conventional subscription-based peer-reviewed journal publication model for scientific research results dissemination. There has been an enormous growth in the number of OA journals in recent years, including many in medical physics related fields. OA has advantages of wide dissemination and quick publication, hence potentially increased visibility and higher citations. While some are optimistic about the future of OA journals, others have concerns about OA journals for its financial stability and quality. This is the premise debated in this month's Point/Counterpoint.
  10. BMJ Open. 2020 Feb 09. 10(2): e035561
    Cukier S, Lalu M, Bryson GL, Cobey KD, Grudniewicz A, Moher D.
      OBJECTIVE: To conduct a Delphi survey informing a consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers.DESIGN: This is a modified three-round Delphi survey delivered online for the first two rounds and in-person for the third round. Questions encompassed three themes: (1) predatory journal definition; (2) educational outreach and policy initiatives on predatory publishing; and (3) developing technological solutions to stop submissions to predatory journals and other low-quality journals.
    PARTICIPANTS: Through snowball and purposive sampling of targeted experts, we identified 45 noted experts in predatory journals and journalology. The international group included funders, academics and representatives of academic institutions, librarians and information scientists, policy makers, journal editors, publishers, researchers involved in studying predatory journals and legitimate journals, and patient partners. In addition, 198 authors of articles discussing predatory journals were invited to participate in round 1.
    RESULTS: A total of 115 individuals (107 in round 1 and 45 in rounds 2 and 3) completed the survey on predatory journals and publishers. We reached consensus on 18 items out of a total of 33 to be included in a consensus definition of predatory journals and publishers. We came to consensus on educational outreach and policy initiatives on which to focus, including the development of a single checklist to detect predatory journals and publishers, and public funding to support research in this general area. We identified technological solutions to address the problem: a 'one-stop-shop' website to consolidate information on the topic and a 'predatory journal research observatory' to identify ongoing research and analysis about predatory journals/publishers.
    CONCLUSIONS: In bringing together an international group of diverse stakeholders, we were able to use a modified Delphi process to inform the development of a definition of predatory journals and publishers. This definition will help institutions, funders and other stakeholders generate practical guidance on avoiding predatory journals and publishers.
    Keywords:  medical education & training; medical journalism; statistics & research methods
  11. Arch Iran Med. 2020 Feb 01. 23(2): 113-116
    Angadi PV, Kaur H.
      The desperation to publish among the scientific and academic community has reached new pinnacles and a new threat to academic integrity has surfaced in the form of predatory journals. These journals try to attract the young researchers with aggressive advertisements promising an early turnaround time for publication which is through absence of peer review and comes at a cost in the form of article processing fees. Predatory journals are an increasing menace affecting research integrity since they assist in author misconduct. They exploit its very foundation which aims at conducting and reporting the research in a truthful way that in turn builds trust and confidence for science in the society. This review gives an overview of predatory journals, their modus operandi, the ethical concerns associated with them and means to curb this menace.
    Keywords:  Academic misconduct; Beall list; Open access journals; Predatory journals; Research integrity
  12. Sci Eng Ethics. 2020 Feb 10.
    Moldoveanu B, Cuciureanu G.
      This paper analyses the way articles are published in scientific journals in the field of law in the Republic of Moldova, including an experiment with a previously published article. Lack of compliance with journal publishing standards, including peer reviewing of articles, leads to the fact that virtually any article can be published. The examined journals do not perform their natural functions, but are rather used by researchers to report that they have scientific outcomes. The study allows us to consider that publishing in scientific journals is an indicator of the quality of scientific research, as well as an indicator of compliance with scientific research ethical principles. Scientific misconduct and lack of scientific meritocracy that are characteristic of some of the post-Soviet science, are very well reflected in the law field in the Republic of Moldova.
    Keywords:  Journal functions; Law; Moldovan journals; Peer review; Predatory publishing; Publishing standards; Scientific misconduct