bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒03‒29
sixteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. PLoS Biol. 2020 Mar;18(3): e3000693
    Chambers CD.
      Prestigious scientific journals traditionally decide which articles to accept at least partially based on the results of research. This backloaded selectivity enforces publication bias and encourages authors to selectively report their most persuasive findings, even when they are misleading, biased, and unreliable. One answer to backloaded selectivity is to curtail editorial selectivity altogether, deciding publication on the basis of technical merit alone. However, this strategy is unlikely to win appeal among highly selective journals. A third way is to frontload selectivity-reaching editorial decisions based on rigorous evaluation of the research question and methodology but before the research is conducted and thus regardless of the eventual results. This model, now offered at PLOS Biology in the form of "Preregistered Research Articles" (or Registered Reports), allows a scientific journal to maintain high selectivity for the importance and rigor of research while simultaneously eliminating outcome bias by editors, reviewers, and authors. I believe the rise of Registered Reports among selective journals will change how research is evaluated and may trigger the realization that frontloaded selectivity is the most secure way of advancing knowledge.
  2. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(3): e0230281
    Christian TM, Gooch A, Vision T, Hull E.
      Despite the increase in the number of journals issuing data policies requiring authors to make data underlying reporting findings publicly available, authors do not always do so, and when they do, the data do not always meet standards of quality that allow others to verify or extend published results. This phenomenon suggests the need to consider the effectiveness of journal data policies to present and articulate transparency requirements, and how well they facilitate (or hinder) authors' ability to produce and provide access to data, code, and associated materials that meet quality standards for computational reproducibility. This article describes the results of a research study that examined the ability of journal-based data policies to: 1) effectively communicate transparency requirements to authors, and 2) enable authors to successfully meet policy requirements. To do this, we conducted a mixed-methods study that examined individual data policies alongside editors' and authors' interpretation of policy requirements to answer the following research questions. Survey responses from authors and editors along with results from a content analysis of data policies found discrepancies among editors' assertion of data policy requirements, authors' understanding of policy requirements, and the requirements stated in the policy language as written. We offer explanations for these discrepancies and offer recommendations for improving authors' understanding of policies and increasing the likelihood of policy compliance.
  3. J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 Mar 19. pii: S0895-4356(19)31023-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Rombey T, Puljak L, Allers K, Ruano J, Pieper D.
      OBJECTIVE: To explore views of authors of systematic reviews (SRs) registered in PROSPERO towards publishing SR protocols as peer-reviewed articles.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Contact persons of all PROSPERO records for non-Cochrane SRs registered in 2018 (N=12,531) were invited to participate in an anonymous 5-minute online survey that was administered through SurveyMonkey. The main question addressed SR authors' views towards publishing SR protocols as peer-reviewed articles. Data were analyzed descriptively.
    RESULTS: In total, 4,223/12,531 (33.7%) invitees responded, of which 3,739/4,223 (88.5%) completed the survey. Almost half of the international respondents had published or planned to publish a protocol for the SR described in their PROSPERO record as a peer-reviewed article (1,811/4,054; 44.7%). Most respondents agreed that publishing a protocol in a peer-reviewed journal increases SR quality as reviewers get external feedback from peer-reviewers (2,899/3,739; 77.5%) but at the same time agreed that it is not necessary if the SR is registered in PROSPERO (2,399/3,739; 64.2%).
    CONCLUSION: SR authors seem to have inconsistent views towards publishing protocols as peer-reviewed articles and many seem to consider registration in PROSPERO (without peer-review) sufficient. Hence, awareness about benefits of publishing protocols as a peer-reviewed article in addition to registration in PROSPERO should be raised.
    Keywords:  Methodological research; PROSPERO; Protocol; Registration; Survey; Systematic review
  4. Elife. 2020 Mar 25. pii: e57162. [Epub ahead of print]9
    Eisen MB, Akhmanova A, Behrens TE, Weigel D.
      eLife is making changes to its policies on peer review in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the scientific community.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; early-career researchers; peer review; preprints; scientific publishing
  5. R Soc Open Sci. 2020 Jan;7(1): 190207
    Šubelj L, Waltman L, Traag V, van Eck NJ.
      Citation networks of scientific publications offer fundamental insights into the structure and development of scientific knowledge. We propose a new measure, called intermediacy, for tracing the historical development of scientific knowledge. Given two publications, an older and a more recent one, intermediacy identifies publications that seem to play a major role in the historical development from the older to the more recent publication. The identified publications are important in connecting the older and the more recent publication in the citation network. After providing a formal definition of intermediacy, we study its mathematical properties. We then present two empirical case studies, one tracing historical developments at the interface between the community detection literature and the scientometric literature and one examining the development of the literature on peer review. We show both conceptually and empirically how intermediacy differs from main path analysis, which is the most popular approach for tracing historical developments in citation networks. Main path analysis tends to favour longer paths over shorter ones, whereas intermediacy has the opposite tendency. Compared to the main path analysis, we conclude that intermediacy offers a more principled approach for tracing the historical development of scientific knowledge.
    Keywords:  citation network; intermediacy; main path analysis; publication
  6. J Clin Epidemiol. 2020 Mar 18. pii: S0895-4356(19)30951-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bertizzolo L, Bossuyt PM, Atal I, Ravaud P, Dechartres A.
      OBJECTIVE: To explore contextual factors associated with high or low risk of bias judgement in case of incomplete or unclear information in study reports.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Research-on-research study, using matched case-control design, with a sample of 304 RCTs included in two Cochrane reviews for which there was disagreement on the risk of bias judgement related to incomplete or unclear information in the study report. A case was defined as an RCT judged at high or low risk of bias; a control was the same RCT judged at unclear risk. We used a conditional logistic regression model for analysis.
    RESULTS: Review authors being also authors of the RCT were more likely to assess an item at low risk of bias than unclear (OR 11.71 (95% CI 1.39-98.76). Earlier trials in a review were more often assigned a low risk (OR 0.37 [0.15-0.96]). Review groups and authors that had completed a lower number of reviews slightly more often assigned a low risk whereas others reported "unclear" (OR 0.97 (95% CI 0.95-0.99) for groups) and 0.97 (95% CI 0.95-0.998) for authors).
    CONCLUSIONS: Risk-of-bias assessment of RCTs in case of incomplete or unclear information may be affected by contextual factors.
    Keywords:  Risk of bias; matched case-control; reporting; research on research; systematic reviews
  7. Sci Eng Ethics. 2020 Mar 25.
    Tang L, Hu G, Sui Y, Yang Y, Cao C.
      The last two decades have witnessed the rising prevalence of both co-publishing and retraction. Focusing on research collaboration, this paper utilizes a unique dataset to investigate factors contributing to retraction probability and elapsed time between publication and retraction. Data analysis reveals that the majority of retracted papers are multi-authored and that repeat offenders are collaboration prone. Yet, all things being equal, collaboration, in and of itself, does not increase the likelihood of producing flawed or fraudulent research, at least in the form of retraction. That holds for all retractions and also retractions due to falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism (FFP). The research also finds that publications with authors from elite universities are less likely to be retracted, which is particularly true for retractions due to FFP. China stands out with the fastest retracting speed compared to other countries. Possible explanations, limitations, and policy implications are also discussed.
    Keywords:  Diffusion of responsibility; Research collaboration; Retraction; Scientific misconduct
  8. J Prof Nurs. 2020 Mar - Apr;36(2):pii: S8755-7223(20)30032-6. [Epub ahead of print]36(2): 1-4
    Morton PG.
  9. Am J Nurs. 2020 Apr;120(4): 7
    Kennedy MS.
      We need to be vigilant against fake journals.
  10. Acta Inform Med. 2019 Dec;27(5): 348-354
    Magdalinou A, Mantas J, Montandon L, Weber P, Gallos P.
      Introduction: Dissemination benefits come from the outputs integration and implementation by the key audience, who will also determine the relevance and usability of the disseminated content.Aim: One of the CrowdHEALTH project's objectives is the transition from patient health records towards the Holistic Health Records (HHRs) and Social HHR. The CrowdHEALTH project aims at integrating high volumes of health-related data collected from various sources to support policy-making decisions.
    Methods: The European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) supports the development of an effective Communication and Collaboration Plan identifying the messages, the tools and channels in disseminating the project and its outcomes to the target audience based on the McGuire approach.
    Results: The process for defining the dissemination strategy is a cyclic one as shown in the following figure involving review of each step periodically The next step was to define the four dimension dissemination approach based on McGuire attributes of persuasive communication. The objectives, target groups, key messages, the tools and channels where defined at this stage.
    Conclusion: The CrowdHEALTH project and its outcomes were disseminated with a variety of tools and channels such as scientific journals, conferences, exhibitions and social media communication.
    Keywords:  Diffusion; Knowledge Dissemination
  11. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 Mar 19.
    Asaad M, Rajesh A, Tarabishi AS, Sakkal N, Banuelos J, Vyas KS, Tran NV.
      BACKGROUND: Presentation of research at scientific conferences provides an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their work and gain peer-feedback. However, much of the presented work is never published in peer-reviewed journals. We aimed to analyze the conversion rate of abstracts presented at three national plastic surgery meetings.METHODS: Abstracts presented at the American Association of Plastic Surgeons(AAPS), American Society of Plastic Surgeons(ASPS), and Plastic Surgery Research Council(PSRC) annual meetings in 2014 and 2015 were identified to analyze the rates of successful conversion into full-text publications. Meeting administrators were contacted to obtain the respective acceptance rates of submitted abstracts.
    RESULTS: A total of 1174 abstracts were analyzed. The overall conversion rate was 65%. AAPS was the meeting with the highest conversion rate(73%) followed by PSRC(66%) and ASPS(61%). Conversely, AAPS had a lower acceptance rate(28%) compared to ASPS(42%) and PSRC(49%). The conversion rate was significantly higher for abstracts from native English-speaking countries while no significant differences were noted between oral and poster presentations. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(PRS) was the journal with the highest percentage of published manuscripts(34%). Abstracts presented at PSRC had the highest mean impact factor for the journal of publication. First authors changed in 31% and last authors in 18% of publications. The overall median time to publication from the date of presentation was 13 months.
    CONCLUSION: Almost two-thirds of abstracts presented at AAPS, ASPS, and PSRC successfully converted into full-text publications. Plastic surgery departments/divisions should follow unpublished work in their institutions to benefit both patients and the scientific community.
  12. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2020 Mar 23. 1010539520913189
    Binns C, Low WY.
  13. Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7800): 471-472
    Keywords:  Diseases; Infection; Public health; Publishing; Research management
  14. J Clin Invest. 2020 Mar 23. pii: 138305. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ahima RS, Jackson S, Casadevall A, Semenza GL, Tomaselli G, Collins KL, Lieberman AP, Martin DM, Reddy P.
      The editors of JCI and JCI Insight are revisiting our editorial processes in light of the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic places on the worldwide scientific community. Here, we discuss adjustments to our decision framework in light of restrictions placed on laboratory working conditions for many of our authors.