bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒03‒08
seventeen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Gait Posture. 2020 Feb 26. pii: S0966-6362(20)30080-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    Butler EE, Dominy NJ.
      BACKGROUND: Fifty years ago, the groundbreaking British sketch series Monty Python's Flying Circus premiered on BBC One and forever changed the world of comedy. The humour transcended mere absurdity by poking a subversive finger in the eye of buttoned-up British society. Here, we commemorate this cultural milestone and simultaneously call attention to an emerging concept in the health sciences, termed simplified peer review. The union of these disparate subjects motivates a formal gait analysis based on one of the troupe's most iconic sketches, "The Ministry of Silly Walks", a satire of bureaucratic inefficiency.RESEARCH QUESTION: The sketch portrays peer review as exceedingly efficient, lasting all of 20 s. But was it fair? The answer depends on how one measures silliness. If silly walking can be defined as deviations from typical walking, then it can be quantified using video-based gait analysis.
    METHODS: To assess the quality of peer review at the Ministry of Silly Walks, we measured knee flexion in the sagittal plane of motion and calculated the Gait Variable Score (GVS) for three gait cycles, those of the Minister (n = 2) and Mr. Pudey (n = 1), an applicant for a Research Fellowship.
    RESULTS: For the Minister, we found large deviations from typical walking across two gait cycles (GVSknee(1) = 33.6, GVSknee(2) = 23.3), whereas the gait of Mr Pudey produced an intermediate score (GVSknee = 16.3). By this measure, Mr Pudney's walk is 3.3 times more variable than typical walking, whereas an exemplary silly walk is 6.7 and 4.7 times more variable, respectively, than typical walking.
    SIGNIFICANCE: Our analysis corroborates the Minister's assessment: Mr Pudey is a promising applicant and deserving of a Research Fellowship to advance his silly walk. We suggest that the sketch holds special resonance and uncanny prescience for researchers in the health sciences today.
    Keywords:  Gait Variable Score; Gait analysis; Knee kinematics; Peer review
  2. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 Mar;pii: S0025-6196(19)30764-5. [Epub ahead of print]95(3): 441-444
    Leung JG, Wieruszewski PM, Stee L, Takala CR, Palmer BA.
  3. Sci Eng Ethics. 2020 Mar 02.
    Gorman DM.
      Although data sharing is one of the primary measures proposed to improve the integrity and quality of published research, studies show it remains the exception not the rule. The current study examines the availability of data in papers reporting the results of analyses of empirical data from original research in high-impact addiction journals. Thirteen high-impact journals with data sharing policies were selected from those included in the substance abuse category of the 2018 Clarivate Analytics' Journal Citation Report. The first 10 full or short original research reports that included empirical data in the most recent complete issue of each journal were electronically searched and reviewed for reference to where their data can be obtained and for a formal data sharing statement. Only eight of the 130 papers contained a data sharing statement in their text or supplementary online materials, and just one contained a direct link to the data analyzed. Data sharing was rare in the 13 high-impact addiction journals reviewed. The nature of the data reported in addiction journals might partly explain this. Currently, data sharing is not a procedure likely to improve the quality and integrity of published addiction research.
    Keywords:  Data sharing; High-impact addiction journals; Research integrity; Research transparency
  4. BMJ Glob Health. 2020 ;5(2): e002323
    Busse C, August E.
      The contextual knowledge and local expertise that researchers from low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) contribute to studies in these settings enrich the research process and subsequent publications. However, health researchers from LMICs are under-represented in the scientific literature. Distally, power imbalances between LMICs and high-income countries, which provide funding and set priorities for research in LMICs, create structural inequities that inhibit these authors from publishing. More proximally, researchers from LMICs often lack formal training in research project management and in publishing peer-reviewed research. Though academic journals may value research from LMICs conducted by local researchers, they have limited time and financial resources to support writing, causing them to reject manuscripts with promising results if they lack development. Pre-Publication Support Service (PREPSS) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that works to meet this need. PREPSS provides onsite training, peer-review and copy editing services to researchers in LMICs who wish to publish their health research in peer-reviewed journals. Authors are not charged for these services. After receiving PREPSS services, authors submit their manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. The PREPSS model is one of many interventions necessary to restructure global health research to better support health researchers in LMICs and reduce current power imbalances.
    Keywords:  health policy
  5. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Mar 05.
    Verma AA, Detsky AS.
      Big data promises to spark new discoveries but may also distort clinical research. Large datasets that permit numerous analyses could increase the number of spurious findings and threaten the reproducibility and validity of clinical research. The publication of unreproducible research is incentivized by a scientific culture that rewards novelty over rigor. Introducing preprint publication to clinical research could change the culture. The first clinical preprint platform, medRxiv, allows researchers to publish working papers in advance of peer-review to more easily share preliminary findings. Preprint publishing aims to be fast and frictionless, which fundamentally changes the incentive structure of academic publishing. Preprints offer a relatively weak reward (a preprint publication) for substantially less effort than peer-review publication. By reducing barriers to publication, preprints may help encourage scientists to publish null findings, which could mitigate publication bias. By enabling scientists to share preliminary work and publish evolving versions of manuscripts, preprints may also facilitate "workshopping" of ideas and detailed methodological review. This would better reflect the iterative nature of observational research than peer-reviewed publications, which immutably document the "final" results of a study. Preprint platforms are a timely innovation that may buffer the undesired effects of big data on clinical research.
  6. Nature. 2020 03;579(7797): 29
    Johansson MA, Saderi D.
    Keywords:  Peer review; Publishing; Research data
  7. Nature. 2020 03;579(7797): 18
    Mallapaty S.
    Keywords:  Funding; Policy; Publishing
  8. Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7797): 8
    Keywords:  Funding; Policy; Publishing; Research management
  9. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2020 Mar 06. e13462
    Persson PB.
      Would beauty come with impact factors, the queen's vain enquiry would probably have remained unanswered. Nonetheless, when it comes to physiology journals, we cannot resist asking the mirror, which of our periodicals is best.[2, 3] Yet, all attempts remain futile. Misguided generosity may lead to choosing the parameter best suited for one's favorite journal. Bennet et al. summed up important confounding factors.[2] For instance, review journals and highly specialized journals cannot be compared with those covering the entire field of physiology.
  10. J Adv Nurs. 2020 Mar 06.
    Gray R, Mackay B.
      Prospective registration of clinical trials helps minimise publication and selective outcome reporting bias (Dickersin & Rennie, 2003). It has been a requirement of trials published in ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) journals since 2005 (De Angelis et al., 2004).
  11. J Bras Pneumol. 2020 Mar 02. pii: S1806-37132020000100101. [Epub ahead of print]46(1): e20190431
    Baldi BG.
  12. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2020 Mar;50(3): 116-117
    Cleland JA, Boumil M.
      The integrity of published scientific literature relies on transparency. There are processes in place to promote transparency and enhance the trustworthiness of study results. Journals, including the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT), require full disclosure of competing interests when authors submit manuscripts for publication. A competing interest is "a financial or intellectual relationship that may impact an individual's ability to approach a scientific question with an open mind." The purpose of this editorial is to discuss the types of competing interests that may influence the work of authors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020;50(3):116-117. doi:10.2519/jospt.2020.0103.
    Keywords:  JOSPT; conflict of interest; research; scholarly publishing