bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒02‒23
eighteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Nature. 2020 Feb;578(7795): 363
    Ward-Fear G, Pauly GB, Vendetti JE, Shine R.
    Keywords:  Publishing; Research data
  2. J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 Feb 13. pii: S0895-4356(19)30417-2. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ellwanger JH, Bogo Chies JA.
      Reviewer refusal is a phenomenon associated with different causes, including reviewer fatigue, lack of time, dissatisfaction with the editorial system, among other reasons. This article discusses the main factors involved in the reviewer refusal and the "peer-review crisis" from a broad perspective. In addition, reasons that make a researcher accept or not a review invitation are also described. This article provides some alternatives that can help in the reversal of peer-review crisis and decrease high reviewer refusal rates, and which may also engage experienced reviewers in the peer-review process. Carefully selecting reviewers, publicly acknowledge them, and offering non-monetary rewards appear to be good strategies for engaging reviewers. In addition, highly productive reviewers should be recognized by the journals.
    Keywords:  Peer-review; Reviewer fatigue; Reviewers; Rewards; Scholarly journals; Scientific publication
  3. Elife. 2020 Feb 21. pii: e54867. [Epub ahead of print]9
    Marder E.
      Many of the words used by scientists when reviewing manuscripts, job candidates and grant applications - words such as incremental, novelty, mechanism, descriptive and impact - have lost their meaning.
    Keywords:  Living Science; evaluation; impact; language; mechanism; peer review
  4. FEBS Lett. 2020 Feb 17.
    Byrne JA, Christopher J.
      In recent years, it has been proposed that unrealistic requirements for academics and medical doctors to publish in scientific journals, combined with monetary publication rewards, have led to forms of contract cheating offered by organizations known as paper mills. Paper mills are alleged to offer products ranging from research data through to ghostwritten fraudulent or fabricated manuscripts and submission services. While paper mill operations remain poorly understood, it seems likely that paper mills need to balance product quantity and quality, such that they produce or contribute to large numbers of manuscripts that will be accepted for publication. Producing manuscripts at scale may be facilitated by the use of manuscript templates, which could give rise to shared features such as textual and organizational similarities, the description of highly generic study hypotheses and experimental approaches, digital images that show evidence of manipulation and/or reuse, and/or errors affecting verifiable experimental reagents. Based on these features, we propose practical steps that editors, journal staff, and peer reviewers can take to recognize and respond to research manuscripts and publications that may have been produced with undeclared assistance from paper mills.
  5. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jan-Mar;39(1):39(1): 1-14
    Lopez E, Gaspard CS.
      Predatory publishing tactics are well-documented in the literature; however, the way in which academic librarians handle questions about these deceptive practices is not. A thorough review of the literature revealed a need for true decision-making tools that were easy to use and share. Based on this evidence, the authors developed Scholarly Tools Opposing Predatory Practices (STOPP) to empower librarians to make informed decisions by providing the appropriate context and tools for appraising journals, websites, conferences, and thesis converters. While geared toward academic medical librarians, these tools are built to evolve and adapt across disciplines as predatory practices evolve and adapt.
    Keywords:  Decision-making tools; predatory publishing; scholarly communication
  6. Daru. 2020 Feb 19.
    Mousavi T, Abdollahi M.
      BACKGROUND: In the new era of publication, scientific misconduct has become a focus of concern including extreme variability of plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, authorship issues, peer review manipulation, etc. Along with, overarching theme of "retraction" and "predatory journals" have emphasized the importance of studying related infrastructures.METHODS: Information used in this review was provided through accessing various databases as Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, Nature Index, Publication Ethics and Retraction Watch. Original researches, expert opinions, comments, letters, editorials, books mostly published between 2010 and 2020 were gathered and categorized into three sections of "Common types of misconduct"," Reasons behind scientific misconduct" and "Consequences". Within each part, remarkable examples from the past 10 years cited in Retraction Watch are indicated. At last, possible solution on combating misconduct are suggested.
    RESULTS: The number of publications are on the dramatic rise fostering a competition under which scholars are pushed to publish more. Consequently, due to several reasons including poor linguistic and illustration skills, not adequate evaluation, limited experience, etc. researchers might tend toward misbehavior endangering the health facts and ultimately, eroding country, journal/publisher, and perpetrator's creditability. The reported incident seems to be enhanced by the emergence of predatory with publishing about 8 times more papers in 2014 than which is in 2010. So that today, 65.3% of paper retraction is solely attributing to misconduct, with plagiarism at the forefront. As well, authorship issues and peer-review manipulation are found to have significant contribution besides further types of misconduct in this duration.
    CONCLUSION: Given the expansion of the academic competitive environment and with the increase in research misconduct, the role of any regulatory sector, including universities, journals/publishers, government, etc. in preventing this phenomenon must be fully focused and fundamental alternation should be implemented in this regard.
    Keywords:  Consequences; Medical sciences; Misconduct; Publications
  7. Mol Brain. 2020 Feb 21. 13(1): 24
    Miyakawa T.
      A reproducibility crisis is a situation where many scientific studies cannot be reproduced. Inappropriate practices of science, such as HARKing, p-hacking, and selective reporting of positive results, have been suggested as causes of irreproducibility. In this editorial, I propose that a lack of raw data or data fabrication is another possible cause of irreproducibility.As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Brain, I have handled 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial decisions categorized as "Revise before review," requesting that the authors provide raw data. Surprisingly, among those 41 manuscripts, 21 were withdrawn without providing raw data, indicating that requiring raw data drove away more than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts because of insufficient raw data. Thus, more than 97% of the 41 manuscripts did not present the raw data supporting their results when requested by an editor, suggesting a possibility that the raw data did not exist from the beginning, at least in some portions of these cases.Considering that any scientific study should be based on raw data, and that data storage space should no longer be a challenge, journals, in principle, should try to have their authors publicize raw data in a public database or journal site upon the publication of the paper to increase reproducibility of the published results and to increase public trust in science.
    Keywords:  Data fabrication; Misconduct; Open data; Open science; Raw data; Reproducibility
  8. Med Ref Serv Q. 2020 Jan-Mar;39(1):39(1): 84-89
    Hoy MB.
      Scientific publishing is a complex and time-consuming process. Submitting an article to a journal, waiting for review, and revising can take months or even years. Authors can speed up parts of this process by posting early versions their articles online to gather feedback and improve them prior to submission to a journal. These early versions are referred to as "preprints." Preprints have been common practice in some disciplines for decades, but are a relatively new phenomenon in biology and medicine. This column will provide a brief history of article preprints and their use in different scientific disciplines. It will also discuss the advantages of and problems with preprints. A list of popular preprint servers is also included.
    Keywords:  arXiv; bioRxiv; medRxiv; peer review; preprints; publishing
  9. Eur J Clin Invest. 2020 Feb 18. e13215
    Calvache JA, Vera-Montoya M, Ordoñez D, Hernandez AV, Altman D, Moher D.
      INTRODUCTION: Case reports represent a relevant, timely, and important study design in advancing medical scientific knowledge. They allow integration between clinical practice and clinical epidemiology. We aimed to assess the completeness of reporting of case reports published in high impact journals. We assessed the completeness of reporting (COR) of case reports using the CARE guidelines.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We selected three high-impact journals and one journal specialized in publishing case reports, in which we included all published case reports from July to December 2017. Median COR score was calculated per study, and CORs were compared between journals with and without endorsement of CARE guidelines.
    RESULTS: One hundred and fourteen case reports were included. Overall median COR was 81%, IQR [63%-96%]. Sections with the highest COR (84% to 100%) were patient information, clinical findings, therapeutic intervention, follow-up and outcomes, discussion and informed consent. Sections with the lowest COR were title, keywords, timeline and patient perspective (2% to 34%). COR was higher in journals endorsing in comparison to those not endorsing CARE guidelines (77% vs 65%) respectively, median difference = -12% 95%CI [-16% to -7%].
    DISCUSSION: Overall completeness of case reports in included journals is high especially for CARE endorsing and dedicated journals but reporting of some items could be improved. Ongoing and future evaluations of endorsement status of reporting guidelines in medical journals should be assessed to improve completeness and reduce waste of clinical research, including case reports.
    Keywords:  Case report; Editorial policies; Guideline adherence; Guidelines as topics; Publishing/standards
  10. Nature. 2020 Feb;578(7795): 349
    Mallapaty S.
    Keywords:  Peer review; Publishing
  11. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2020 Jan;13(1): 12-17
    Nestor MS, Fischer D, Arnold D, Berman B, Del Rosso JQ.
      Clinical and experimental literature search has changed significantly over the past few decades, and with it, the way in which we value information. Today, our need for immediate access to relevant and specific literature, regardless of specialty, has led to a growing demand for open access to publications. The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) has been a long-time standard for representing the quality or "prestige" of a journal, but it appears to be losing its relevance. Here, we define the JIF and deconstruct its validity as a modern measure of a journal's quality, discuss the current models of academic publication, including their advantages and shortcomings, and discuss the benefits and shortcomings of a variety of open-access models, including costs to the author. We have quantified a nonsubscribed physician's access to full articles associated with dermatologic disease and aesthetics cited on PubMed. For some of the most common dermatology conditions, 23.1 percent of citations (ranging from 17.2% for melasma to 31.9% for malignant melanoma) were available as free full articles, and for aesthetic procedures, 18.9 percent of citations (ranging from 11.9% for laser hair removal to 27.9% for botulinum toxin) were available as free full articles. Finally, we discuss existing alternative metrics for measuring journal impact and propose the adoption of a superior publishing model, one that satisfies modern day standards of scholarly knowledge pursuit and dissemination of scholarly publications for dermatology and all of medical science.
    Keywords:  IF; JIF; Journal impact factor; OA bronze; OA gold; OA green; hybrid gold; hybrid model; impact factor; open access; open-access; publishing
  12. J Adv Nurs. 2020 Feb 17.
    Iob G, Visintini C, Palese A.
      Our attention has recently been drawn to two JAN editorials published late in 2019 where the question discussed substantially regarded the role of empirical research as editorials, and the JAN policies regarding editorials (Clifton and Banks, 2019; Watson, 2019). Reading this debate was also really interesting because it was an example of how an academic journal can promote and develop a discussion. However, alongside the question discussed, it was visible that in the analysis regarding editorials-their inclusive or exclusive approach (under the authorship of the editorial board of the journal vs.
  13. Dis Model Mech. 2020 Jan 24. pii: dmm044172. [Epub ahead of print]13(1):
    Hackett R.
  14. ChemistryOpen. 2020 Jan;9(1): 4-7
    Novara FR.
      Starting 2020 with an open mind! The new Editor-in-Chief of ChemistryOpen Francesca Novara looks back on her first year with the journal and discusses the increasingly strong position of ChemistryOpen in a developing open access world.