bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒06‒14
twenty-two papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. BMJ Open. 2020 Jun 08. 10(6): e035604
    Superchi C, Hren D, Blanco D, Rius R, Recchioni A, Boutron I, González JA.
      OBJECTIVE: To develop a tool to assess the quality of peer-review reports in biomedical research.METHODS: We conducted an online survey intended for biomedical editors and authors. The survey aimed to (1) determine if participants endorse the proposed definition of peer-review report quality; (2) identify the most important items to include in the final version of the tool and (3) identify any missing items. Participants rated on a 5-point scale whether an item should be included in the tool and they were also invited to comment on the importance and wording of each item. Principal component analysis was performed to examine items redundancy and a general inductive approach was used for qualitative data analysis.
    RESULTS: A total of 446 biomedical editors and authors participated in the survey. Participants were mainly male (65.9%), middle-aged (mean=50.3, SD=13) and with PhD degrees (56.4%). The majority of participants (84%) agreed on the definition of peer-review report quality we proposed. The 20 initial items included in the survey questionnaire were generally highly rated with a mean score ranging from 3.38 (SD=1.13) to 4.60 (SD=0.69) (scale 1-5). Participants suggested 13 items that were not included in the initial list of items. A steering committee composed of five members with different expertise discussed the selection of items to include in the final version of the tool. The final checklist includes 14 items encompassed in five domains (Importance of the study, Robustness of the study methods, Interpretation and discussion of the study results, Reporting and transparency of the manuscript, Characteristics of peer reviewer's comments).
    CONCLUSION: Assessment of Review reports with a Checklist Available to eDItors and Authors tool could be used regularly by editors to evaluate the reviewers' work, and also as an outcome when evaluating interventions to improve the peer-review process.
    Keywords:  epidemiology; protocols & guidelines; public health; statistics & research methods
  2. Animals (Basel). 2020 Jun 06. pii: E993. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
    Calver MC, Fleming PA.
      Trap-Neuter-Return and its variants (hereafter TNR) aims to control unowned cat populations. Papers on this topic form a useful case study of how how an area of literature grows, papers become influential, and citation networks form, influencing future study as well as public perceptions of the science. We analysed 145 TNR studies published 2002-2019. Common topics, identified by frequently used language, were population control, interactions with wildlife, disease transmission (including implications for pets, wildlife and humans), free-roaming cats, and feral and domestic cat management. One or more papers on each of these topics was judged influential because of high citations overall, high average citations/year, or frequent mentions in social media. Open Access papers were more influential in social media, raising greater public awareness than studies published in journals that were less accessible. While divergent views exist on a range of topics, the network analysis of the TNR literature indicated potential for forming self-reinforcing groups of authors. While it is encouraging that diverse views are expressed, there is a risk of reduced dialogue interactions between groups, potentially constraining dialogue to refine arguments, share information, or plan research. Journal editors could encourage communication by choosing reviewers from different camps to assess manuscripts and by asking authors to acknowledge alternative views.
    Keywords:  TNR; citation bias; citation network
  3. Nature. 2020 Jun;582(7811): 149
    Vuong QH.
    Keywords:  Communication; Publishing
  4. Cytotherapy. 2020 Jun 08. pii: S1465-3249(20)30615-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Phinney DG.
  5. Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2020 Jun 11. 1534734620924349
    Lazarides MK, Georgiadis GS, Papanas N.
      Peer review has been the principal way of evaluating scientific articles, ensuring that publications meet standards of methodology, integrity, and ethics. Occasionally, however, reviews are suboptimal, especially those by inexperienced reviewers. Therefore, this article offers suggestions on how to review a scientific article. Some of the most important suggestions include submitting the review in a timely fashion without undue delay, not breeching confidentiality, focusing mainly on the methodology, following specific format, and avoiding embarrassing comments to the authors.
    Keywords:  medical writing; paper; recommendations; reviewer
  6. Nature. 2020 Jun;582(7811): 175-176
    de Rijcke S.
    Keywords:  Lab life; Politics; Publishing; Research management
  7. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2020 Jun 26. 378(2174): 20190524
    Ranford P.
      Lucasian Professor Sir George Gabriel Stokes was appointed joint-Secretary of the Royal Society in 1854, a post he held for the unprecedented period of 31 years, relinquishing the role when he succeeded T.H. Huxley as President in 1885. An eminent scientist of the Victorian era, Stokes explained fluorescence (he also coined the word) and his hydrodynamical formulae (the 'Navier-Stokes equations') remain ubiquitous today in the physics of any phenomenon involving fluid flows, from pipelines to glaciers to large-scale atmospheric perturbations. He also made seminal advances in optics and mathematics, and formulae that bear his name remain widely used today. The historiography however appears to understate Stokes's significant impact on science as unacknowledged collaborator on a wide range of scientific developments. His scientific peers regarded him as a mentor, advisor, designer of crucial experiments and, as editor of the Royal Society's scientific journals, arbiter of the standards of excellence in scientific communication to be attained before publication would be considered. Three brief case studies on Stokes's correspondence with Lord Kelvin, Sir William Crookes and the chemist Arthur Smithells exemplify how his impact was conveyed through the work of other scientists. This paper also begins consideration of why the character and worldview of Stokes led him to eschew personal reputation and profit for the sake of science and the Royal Society, and of how the development of the discipline of history of science has impacted on historiography relating to Stokes and others. This article is part of the theme issue 'Stokes at 200 (Part 1)'.
    Keywords:  Crookes; Kelvin; Smithells; Stokes; historiography; journals
  8. Eur J Clin Invest. 2020 Jun 07.
    Papes D, Jeroncic A, Ozimec E.
      Despite the seriousness of the current pandemic, logical and critical thinking, common sense and method remain the mainstay of biomedicine. Unfortunately, the panic caused by the disease has led many to abandon those principles. Some scientists have used the situation to publish substandard articles that would never get published in normal times as journals publish quickly (and gain citations), without proper review and level of criticism. This situation has been used by medical equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical industry as well, to promote publication of biased sponsored articles.
  9. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2020 Jun 08.
    Cook KD.
      This is an invited Account and Perspective, providing observations and advice derived from a 40-year academic career that has included over 14 years' service as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and 27 years of service as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. This work describes the program officer's perspective, with observations on what reviewers look for in proposals, and what are some of the more common, best avoided mistakes. Emphasis is on NSF guidelines, but many elements are general and intended for use by both proposal authors and reviewers.
  10. Nature. 2020 Jun 09.
    Ettinger J.
    Keywords:  Careers; Communication; Media
  11. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2020 Jun 07. pii: jech-2019-213257. [Epub ahead of print]
    Holub A.
    Keywords:  ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE; Communication; EPIDEMIOLOGY; Epidemiological methods; Public health; Science communication
  12. J Clin Apher. 2020 Jun 12.
    Weinstein R.
      Writing a manuscript for peer review is an art for which little formal preparation is provided during the education of physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals. At the same time, publishing their work may be central to their career ambitions. This article provides an explanation of the purpose and expected content of the components of a peer review manuscript and advice regarding how to go about writing one. It aims to somewhat demystify the process of scientific writing and render it accessible to more members of the American Society for Apheresis.
    Keywords:  apheresis; plasmapheresis; publication; scholarly writing; scientific article
  13. Neurologia. 2020 05;pii: S0213-4853(20)30102-X. [Epub ahead of print]35(4): 223-225
    Matias-Guiu J.
  14. Acta Med Port. 2020 06 01. 33(6): 357-358
    Villanueva T, Donato H, Escada P, Sousa C, Matos R, Reis M.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Editorial Policies; Manuscripts as Topic; Pandemics; Periodicals as Topic; Portugal; Publishing
  15. J Pak Med Assoc. 2020 May;70(Suppl 3)(5): S166-S168
    Memon AR, Rathore FA.
      The coronavirus disease-2019 outbreak has spread rapidly affecting 1.4 million people across the world in only four months. Healthcare fraternity is struggling to circumvent the consequences of this fast spreading infection and communicating their scientific discoveries through research publications. As a result, the scientific output on COVID-19 is growing rapidly and both the journal editors and authors are interested to publish results on scientific discoveries about it as soon as possible. However, novice and improperly trained authors are at high risk for getting duped by deceptive journals , which might keep their research unnoticed by the scientific and general community. This paper discusses these potential risks posed by deceptive (predatory) journals, for prospective authors and scientific community, during the COVID-19 outbreak. It also presents ways to address those risks and the role of journal editors and academic organisations.
    Keywords:  COVID-19, 2019-nCoV disease, Disease outbreak, Open Access Publishing, Periodicals, Publications.
  16. Account Res. 2020 Jun 06. 1-6
    Sotomayor-Beltran C.
      Predatory open access journals and predatory conferences' main purpose is to make profit rather than promoting good science. In Peru, the University Law 30220 asks that professors and lecturers undertake research duties at universities. Hence, nowadays part of this academic staff is required to write scientific articles. However, not all of them are experienced on how to write a scholarly paper. Thus, in the rush to comply with the publication requirements that their individual institutions demand from them, a great number of these professors and lecturers are likely to fall prey of predatory publishing, which already is happening in other developing nations. This publishing method is not only unethical because it produces low-quality articles but also is an egregious mismanagement of the resources that universities allocate to fund research. Moreover, the time and effort that the academic staff put to the production of low-quality papers also completely go to waste. Professors and lecturers who follow these bad practices should be penalized; this also avoids the emergence of fraudulent research authorities. Thus, vice-rectorates for research in Peruvian universities should take corrective or preventive measures to promote the production of high-quality papers by part of their academic staff.
    Keywords:  Predatory publishing; fraudulent researchers; low quality papers; measures; professors and lecturers; research ethics