bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒04‒05
twenty-six papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. Int J Epidemiol. 2020 Feb 01. 49(1): 281-288
    Ding D, Nguyen B, Gebel K, Bauman A, Bero L.
      BACKGROUND: Duplicate and salami publication are unethical, but are common practices with substantial consequences for science and society at large. Scientific journals are the 'gatekeepers' of the publication process. We investigated journal policies on duplicate and salami publication.METHODS: In 2018, we performed a content analysis of policies of journals in the disciplines of 'epidemiology and public health' and 'general and internal medicine'. Journal policies were searched, extracted, coded and cross-checked. The associations of disciplinary categories and journal impact factors with journal policies were examined using Poisson regression models with a robust error variance.
    RESULTS: A total of 209 journals, including 122 in epidemiology and public health and 87 in general and internal medicine, were sampled and their policies investigated. Overall, 18% of journals did not have any policies on either practice, 33% only referred to a generic guideline or checklist without explicit mention about either practice, 36% included policies on duplicate publication and only 13% included policies on both duplicate and salami publication. Having explicit journal policies did not differ by journal disciplinary categories (epidemiology and public health vs general and internal medicine) or impact factors. Further analysis of journals with explicit policies found that although duplicate publication is universally discouraged, policies on salami publication are inconsistent and lack specific definitions of inappropriate divisions of papers.
    CONCLUSIONS: Gaps exist in journal policies on duplicate and salami publication, characterized by an overall lack of explicit policies, inconsistency and confusion in definitions of bad practices, and lack of clearly defined consequences for non-compliance. Scientific publication and the academic reward systems must evolve to credit good research practice.
    Keywords:  Publication ethics; dual publication; duplicate publication; journal policies; least publishable unit; redundant publication; salami publication; salami slicing; smallest publishable unit
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyz187
  2. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2020 Apr;pii: S0889-5406(20)30070-6. [Epub ahead of print]157(4): 437-438
    Turpin DL.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2020.01.013
  3. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2020 Mar 29. pii: S1879-8500(20)30057-6. [Epub ahead of print]
    Lee WR.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2020.03.001
  4. Nature. 2020 Mar 30.
    Larson HJ.
      
    Keywords:  Communication; Infection; Policy
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00920-w
  5. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2020 Mar 31. 140(5):
    Brean A.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.4045/tidsskr.20.0236
  6. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2020 Apr 02.
    Hagberg JM.
      In 2005 the scientific misconduct case of a noted researcher concluded with, among other things, the retraction of 10 papers. However, these articles continue to be cited at relatively high rates. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to track the retraction process of these papers, (2) to assess the impact of retraction on subsequent citation rates of these papers, and (3) to compare the citation history of these retracted articles and five other high-profile retraction cases. For Objective #1, all 5 articles to be Retracted were retracted and of the 4 to be Corrected, 2 were Retracted and 2 were Corrected. Eight PubMed and journal sites were identified where retraction messages could be conveyed; the number of retraction messages averaged 3.4+2.5 for these 9 articles. For Objective #2, an absolute "cleansing" did not occur. While it initially appears there was a relative "cleansing", as citation rates for these articles did decrease after retraction, the reductions in citation rates for these articles (-28%) were the same as those for matched non-retracted publications both by the same author (-28%) and by another investigator (-29%) over the same time frame. Relative to Objective #3, the results for this case are quite different from the 5 other cases assessing this issue, perhaps because of this investigator's "citation inertia" as a result of the small percentage of hisr papers that were retracted and the large number of citations to the articles prior to their retraction and to all of his published articles.
    Keywords:  citation histories; fraud; retractions; scientific misconduct
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00003.2020
  7. Clin Exp Dent Res. 2020 Mar 31.
    Rapani A, Lombardi T, Berton F, Del Lupo V, Di Lenarda R, Stacchi C.
      OBJECTIVES: The present systematic review aimed to perform an in-depth analysis of the different features of retracted publications in the dental field.MATERIAL AND METHODS: This review has been recorded in the PROSPERO database (CRD42017075634). Two independent reviewers performed an electronic search (Pubmed, Retraction Watch) for retracted articles in dental literature up to December 31, 2018.
    RESULTS: 180 retracted papers were identified, the first published in 2001. Retractions increased by 47% in the last four-year period (2014-2018), when compared with 2009-2013 (94 and 64 retracted publications, respectively). Author misconduct was the most common reason for retraction (65.0%), followed by honest scientific errors (12.2%) and publisher-related issues (10.6%). The majority of retracted research was conducted in Asia (55.6%), with 49 papers written in India (27.2%). 552 researchers (89%) are listed as authors in only one retracted article, while 10 researchers (1.6%) are present in five or more retracted publications. Retracted articles were cited 530 times after retraction: the great majority of these citations (89.6%) did not consider the existence of the retraction notice and treated data from retracted articles as reliable.
    CONCLUSIONS: Retractions in dental literature have constantly increased in recent years, with the majority of them due to misconduct and fraud. The publication of unreliable research has many negative consequences. Studies derived from such material are designed on potentially incorrect bases, waste funds and resources, and most importantly, increase risk of incorrect treatment for patients. Citation of retracted papers represents a major issue for the scientific community.
    Keywords:  citations; retracted publication; scientific misconduct
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/cre2.292
  8. J Hand Surg Am. 2020 Mar 31. pii: S0363-5023(20)30114-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ross PR, Wood SM, Chung KC.
      PURPOSE: Accurate financial disclosure is essential to prevent bias in scientific reporting. We aimed (1) to document the extent of industry financial payments to hand surgery literature authors and (2) to uncover discrepancies in author self-declared conflict of interest (COI).METHODS: We screened all scientific and review articles published in 2017 from the American editions of 4 peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Hand Surgery [JHS], Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [JBJS], Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [PRS], and Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons [JAAOS]) to identify authors of hand, wrist, elbow, and peripheral nerve topics. We compared self-reported disclosures with industry-reported payments on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Open Payments Database (OPD) for 3 years prior to publication or per journal policy. We individually examined each for relevance of the corporate payer to the article's subject matter.
    RESULTS: We found 630 eligible authors from 395 articles. The total amount of industry-reported payments over 3 years prior to publication was $24,396,607.80. The median total payments per author per year was $118.40, with interquartile range from $0 to $1,364; 68% of authors received some industry payment; the most common being food and beverage (66% of authors). Senior authors received significantly more industry payments (median, $2,985.67/y) than first and middle authors ($70.27 and $113.17, respectively). Of all authors examined, 58% had undisclosed payments, but only 14% were relevant to the article subject matter. Authors in JAAOS & JBJS, senior authors, and those receiving more than $500,000 from industry were less likely to accurately report all payments.
    CONCLUSIONS: Industry payments to hand surgery authors were lower than those reported to other orthopedic specialties and tended to be concentrated in a few authors receiving large amounts. Relevant COI disclosure inaccuracies are infrequent within hand surgery literature. Uniform policies of complete disclosure across journals may remove author judgment regarding payment relevance to published material and help eliminate remaining COI errors. Authors may reference the OPD prior to submitting disclosures to prevent potential discrepancies and identify errors within the database.
    CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Relationships with industry offer opportunities for innovation, education, and research, but overlooking COI self-reporting may erode confidence in the academic integrity of the hand surgery literature.
    Keywords:  Conflict of interest; financial disclosures; hand surgery; industry relationships; open payments data
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsa.2020.02.017
  9. Cell. 2020 Mar 30. pii: S0092-8674(20)30280-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Rouleau G.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.03.018
  10. J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Mar 28.
    Barrett JS.
      
    Keywords:  collaboration; data sharing; honest broker; open data
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/jcph.1607
  11. Nature. 2020 Apr;580(7801): 8
      
    Keywords:  History; Publishing; Society
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00925-5
  12. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(4): e0230043
    Wu C, Fuller S, Shi Z, Wilkes R.
      Subtle gender dynamics in the publishing process involving collaboration, peer-review, readership, citation, and media coverage disadvantage women in academia. In this study we consider whether commenting on published work is also gendered. Using all the comments published over a 16-year period in PNAS (N = 869) and Science (N = 481), we find that there is a gender gap in the authorship of comment letters: women are less likely than men to comment on published academic research. This disparity is greater than gender differences in the publication of research articles. There is also a gendered pattern in commenting: women comment writers are relatively less likely to engage with men's research. If left unaddressed, these patterns in academic commenting could impede scholarly exchange between men and women and further marginalize women within the scientific community.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0230043
  13. Glob Public Health. 2020 Mar 31. 1-16
    Hodges S, Garnett E.
      For the past several decades, global health research and policy have raised the alarm about the growing threat of counterfeit and low-quality drugs (henceforth 'fakes'). These high-profile and regularly-repeated claims about 'fake drugs' pepper scholarly publications, grey literature, and popular writing. We reviewed much of this work and found that it shares two characteristics that sit awkwardly alongside one another. First, it asserts that fake drugs constitute an urgent threat to lives. Second, it reports trouble with 'gaps' in the evidence on which their claims are based; that data is weaker and less conclusive than anticipated. Given the ubiquity of and urgency with these claims are made, we found this juxtaposition perplexing. To understand this juxtaposition better, we undertook a close reading of the strategies authors employed to negotiate and overcome data and evidence 'gaps' and asked questions about the cultures of scholarly publishing in global health research. We argue that a scholarly commitment to studying fakes despite--rather than because of-the evidence functions to support the continuation of similar research. It also works against asking different questions-for instance regarding the lack of easy access to pharmacological data that might make it possible to know fakes differently.
    Keywords:  Fake; culture of scientific knowledge; evidence; global health publishing; pharmaceuticals
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1744678
  14. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2020 Mar 31.
    Oral A, Arienti C, Lazzarini SG, Grubisic F, Kiekens C, Negrini S.
      Cochrane Rehabilitation (CR) is pursuing the goal of disseminating Cochrane evidence, in line with the Cochrane Knowledge Translation (KT) strategy theme 2: "Packaging, push, and support implementation", through several projects: the CR eBook project, blogshots, and Cochrane Corners. A Cochrane Corner is a KT vehicle in which the contents of the Cochrane Library are summarized and presented by a rehabilitation professional, using the qualitative statements proposed by Cochrane Norway to communicate the magnitude of rehabilitation intervention effects on specific outcomes, based on the certainty of evidence, and followed by a section on "clinical implication for rehabilitation professionals" (both for clinical and research practice). Our Cochrane Corners aim to inform about evidence produced by Cochrane in the field of rehabilitation from a rehabilitation professional perspective. After setting internal rules for Cochrane Corners, designing a template and preparing a guide for authors, the production of Cochrane Corners started. As of December 2019, CR signed Publication Agreements with 13 rehabilitation relevant Journals, contributed to Editorials as introductory articles for the launch of Cochrane Corners in some of these Journals and published 34 Cochrane Corners, in print or ahead of print, whereas 7 additional Cochrane Corners have been submitted to the Journals and will be published soon. This initiative provided a significant opportunity for CR to communicate with members of other groups within Cochrane as well as with journal editors. The impact of Cochrane Corners on the readers will need to be evaluated in the future: unfortunately, we have no instruments to measure it at present.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06258-9
  15. Stem Cell Reports. 2020 Apr 01. pii: S2213-6711(20)30112-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Pera M.
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.03.022
  16. Nature. 2020 Apr;580(7801): 154-155
    Perkel JM.
      
    Keywords:  Communication; Publishing; Software
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00916-6
  17. Medwave. 2020 Mar 26. 20(2): e7859
    Aucar N, Viteri-García A, Simancas-Racines D, Franco JVA.
      Cochrane is an international collaboration whose mission is to promote evidence-based decision-making on health. This is done by conducting high-quality, relevant and accessible systematic reviews, as well as through other forms of summarized scientific evidence. Knowledge translation promotes the real use of scientific knowledge and Cochrane has been developing various projects within this theme. One of those projects includes a collaboration with Wikipedia to improve the quality of information provided in the medical articles published in this digital encyclopaedia. This article summarizes the main characteristics of these initiatives.
    Keywords:   Cochrane; Students; Systematic Review (MeSH); Wikipedia; Translational Medical Research (MeSH)
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.5867/medwave.2020.02.7859
  18. Nature. 2020 Apr;580(7801): 151-153
    Kwok R.
      
    Keywords:  Careers; Communication; Publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00917-5
  19. PLoS Comput Biol. 2020 Apr;16(4): e1007742
    Medvedev P.
      Conferences are great venues for disseminating algorithmic bioinformatics results, but they unfortunately do not offer an opportunity to make major revisions in the way that journals do. As a result, it is not possible for authors to fix mistakes that might be easily correctable but nevertheless can cause the paper to be rejected. As a reviewer, I wish that I had the opportunity to tell the authors, "Hey, you forgot to do this really important thing, without which it is hard to accept the paper, but if you could go back and fix it, you might have a great paper for the conference." This lack of a back and forth can be especially problematic for first-time submitters or those from outside the field, e.g., biologists. In this article, I outline Ten Simple Rules to follow when writing an algorithmic bioinformatics conference paper to avoid having it rejected.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007742