bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒09‒06
twenty-five papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society


  1. J BUON. 2020 May-Jun;25(3):25(3): 1274-1276
    Moris D.
      Abbreviations are commonly used in medical literature. Despite the obvious advantages of facilitation and simplification of communication, their use can be a cause of medical errors, irritation, misunderstanding and even alienation. There are strict guidelines for their use. There are scarce data about the adherence of authors and editors to these guidelines. However, the few studies that have assessed this question showed discouraging results. The poor understanding of abbreviations highlights the value of minimizing their use and defining abbreviations when they are used.
  2. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2020 ;5 12
    Gorman DM, Ferdinand AO.
      Background: The rigor and integrity of the published research in nutrition studies has come into serious question in recent years. Concerns focus on the use of flexible data analysis practices and selective reporting and the failure of peer review journals to identify and correct these practices. In response, it has been proposed that journals employ editorial procedures designed to improve the transparency of published research.Objective: The present study examines the adoption of editorial procedures designed to improve the reporting of empirical studies in the field of nutrition and dietetics research.
    Design: The instructions for authors of 43 journals included in Quartiles 1 and 2 of the Clarivate Analytics' 2018 Journal Citation Report category Nutrition and Dietetics were reviewed. For journals that published original research, conflict of interest disclosure, recommendation of reporting guidelines, registration of clinical trials, registration of other types of studies, encouraging data sharing, and use of the Registered Reports were assessed. For journals that only published reviews, all of the procedures except clinical trial registration were assessed.
    Results: Thirty-three journals published original research and 10 published only reviews. Conflict of interest disclosure was required by all 33 original research journals. Use of guidelines, trial registration and encouragement of data sharing were mentioned by 30, 27 and 25 journals, respectively. Registration of other studies was required by eight and none offered Registered Reports as a publication option at the time of the review. All 10 review journals required conflict of interest disclosure, four recommended data sharing and three the use of guidelines. None mentioned the other two procedures.
    Conclusions: While nutrition journals have adopted a number of procedures designed to improve the reporting of research findings, their limited effects likely result from the mechanisms through which they influence analytic flexibility and selective reporting and the extent to which they are properly implemented and enforced by journals.
    Keywords:  Conflict of interest; Data transparency; Nutrition and dietetics research; Research integrity; Study guidelines; Study registration
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-020-00098-9
  3. Behav Res Methods. 2020 Sep 01.
    Vuorre M, Crump MJC.
      A consensus on the importance of open data and reproducible code is emerging. How should data and code be shared to maximize the key desiderata of reproducibility, permanence, and accessibility? Research assets should be stored persistently in formats that are not software restrictive, and documented so that others can reproduce and extend the required computations. The sharing method should be easy to adopt by already busy researchers. We suggest the R package standard as a solution for creating, curating, and communicating research assets. The R package standard, with extensions discussed herein, provides a format for assets and metadata that satisfies the above desiderata, facilitates reproducibility, open access, and sharing of materials through online platforms like GitHub and Open Science Framework. We discuss a stack of R resources that help users create reproducible collections of research assets, from experiments to manuscripts, in the RStudio interface. We created an R package, vertical, to help researchers incorporate these tools into their workflows, and discuss its functionality at length in an online supplement. Together, these tools may increase the reproducibility and openness of psychological science.
    Keywords:  Open data; Open science; R; Reproducibility; Research methods
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-020-01436-x
  4. J Crit Care. 2020 May 30. pii: S0883-9441(20)30569-4. [Epub ahead of print]60 202-208
    Rietdijk W, Mandigers L, Bakker J.
      PURPOSE: Perceived Honorary Authors (PHAs) are defined as authors on manuscripts who did not contribute enough. The association between PHAs and publication chance in journals is unknown. As a start, our aim was to examine the prevalence of PHAs in the Journal of Critical Care (JCC). Furthermore, we investigated whether PHAs influences publication chance in the JCC. Also, we attempt to replicate factors associated with the prevalence of PHAs found in earlier studies.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 2018 and March 2019, we invited 1310 corresponding authors of submissions after the final editorial decision to complete a survey. Descriptive statistics and multinomial and binary logistic regressions were used in data analysis.
    RESULTS: Among the 475 respondents (response rate: 36%), we found a prevalence of PHAs of 13%. There was no significant association between PHAs and editorial decisions. Furthermore, if a senior member of the department who is automatically an author was present, our multivariate analysis showed a positive association with PHAs (OR 3.86, 95% CI 1.99-7.54). However, such senior department member was not associated with the editorial decision in the multivariate analysis.
    CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of PHAs was conform other studies 13%, and did not influence publication chance.
    Keywords:  Critical care; Editorial decision-making; Honorary authors; Journal policy; Medical journal editors
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.05.010
  5. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2020 Aug 29. pii: fnaa146. [Epub ahead of print]
    Maicas S, Sánchez-Fresneda R, Argüelles JC.
      Scientific journals have played an essential role in the diffusion of research breakthroughs. For many years there was no competition between journals, but, in recent decades they have become categorized by a careful assessment of their published contents based on several metric parameters. Of greater note, the 'prestige index' has become an essential tool used by public and private institutions to develop their scientific policy. Thus, the evaluation of research staffs, the concession of grants or fellowships, and even the scholarly reputation and academic positions are mainly founded on a given journal's 'quality'. As a consequence, the prestige of some journals has gone up, based on the assumption that they publish cutting-edge science, while the reputation of others has gone down. Within the field of Microbiology, we have carried out a direct analysis by monitoring several representative classic journals according to customary metric parameters over twenty years. This analysis also covers another set of journals of recent appearance (novel journals). Although a direct comparison between both groups is not possible, this approach serves to perceive the trends of publication among microbiologists. Our preliminary conclusion is that the continued existence of many so-termed classic journals devoted to Microbiology is seriously threatened.
    Keywords:  citations; classic journals; impact factor; metric parameters; microbiology; novel journals
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fnaa146
  6. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 Sep 02. 1-3
    Crim J.
      OBJECTIVE. Open access publishing has grown exponentially and can be a means of increasing availability of scientific knowledge to readers who cannot afford to pay for access. This article discusses problems that can occur with open access and offers suggestions for ameliorating the problems facing radiology research because of poor-quality journals. CONCLUSION. Open access literature has loosed an avalanche of information into the radiology world, much of which has not been validated by careful peer review. To maintain academic integrity and serve our colleagues and patients, radiologists need to guard against shoddy science published in deceptive journals.
    Keywords:  deceptive journal; open access; peer review; predatory journal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2214/AJR.20.22835
  7. J Law Med. 2020 Aug;27(4): 779-789
    Freckelton I.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment highly conducive to substandard and fraudulent research. The incentives and temptations for the unethical are substantial. The articles published during 2020 in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine that were based on spurious datasets, allegedly hosted by a cloud-based health care analytics platform, are deeply confronting for research integrity. They illustrate the perils of precipitate publication, inadequate peer-reviewing and co-authorship without proper assumption of responsibility. A period of crisis such as that in existence during the COVID-19 pandemic calls for high-quality research that is robustly evaluated. It is not a time for panic to propel premature publication or for relaxation in scholarly standards. Any other approach will replicate errors of the past and result in illusory research breakthroughs to global detriment.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; co-authorship; integrity; pandemic; peer-reviewing; research; research misconduct; retractions; scholarly publishing
  8. J Law Med. 2020 Aug;27(4): 901-913
    Aboyeji FO.
      The outbreak of COVID-19 in China and the resulting global pandemic have necessitated vigorous research into how this new virus works, how it can be cured and prevented, what kind of vaccine will work, and various other issues. To facilitate this research and enable quick scientific progress, rapid and immediate knowledge sharing among researchers globally became essential, including access to existing and new coronavirus-related research publications. This article discusses international responses to the need for immediate and rapid access to global health and medical research to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and demonstrates how the exercise of copyright control restricts widespread access to knowledge, especially when published in journals. Ultimately, it recommends open access publishing as an effective way of circumventing copyright restrictions on health and medical research.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; copyright; health; knowledge; medical research; open access
  9. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2020 Aug 30. 1010539520956439
    Mansourzadeh MJ, Shamsi A.
      The need to know more about COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) has led to a rapid increase in scientific publications on this virus in a short period of time. Rapidity in publishing can accelerate the achievement of the ultimate goal of answering our questions about COVID-19 but there may be concerns. One of our concerns is the carelessness to research ethics in COVID-19 studies, which may sacrifice research ethics for high-speed publishing. In this article, we address some of the concerns about research ethics in the study of COVID-19.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; citations; research ethic; retraction; scientific misconduct
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1010539520956439
  10. Nature. 2020 Sep 01.
    Clements JC.
      
    Keywords:  Careers; Ethics; Publishing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02512-0
  11. Nature. 2020 Sep;585(7823): 149-150
    Perkel JM.
      
    Keywords:  Authorship; Lab life; Publishing; Research management
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02491-2
  12. Chirurgia (Bucur). 2020 Jul-Aug;115(4):pii: 2. [Epub ahead of print]115(4): 432-440
    Botea F, Popescu I.
      One of the main goals of clinicians is to constantly improve the healthcare by spreading their expertise and by introducing innovations in medical science. Therefore, publishing is of utmost importance. Moreover, publishing helps authors in developing their academic carrier. Learning how to properly write and submit a manuscript should be a goal for all medical students, residents, clinicians and researchers. Everyone, from students to senior physicians and surgeons, advance in their carrier by publishing papers and by getting their work cited by others. The aim of this paper, published in three parts, is to enable the readers to write and publish their work effectively; the current part is addressing the actual writing process of a clinical paper.
    Keywords:  clinicalpaper; scientificarticle; writingskills
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.21614/chirurgia.115.4.432
  13. S Afr Med J. 2020 Jul 07. 110(7): 640-641
    Abratt RP.
      The basis of a manuscript is the research question, which is reported within a standard publication structure. The 'Background' section clarifies the question. The 'Methods' section describes what was done in the study. The 'Results' section describes the data observed and the analysis of these data. The 'Discussion' section describes how findings of the study relate to current knowledge and the practical implications of the results, and suggests future studies. This structure differs from that of a thesis, the aims of which are broader than reporting on a specific research question.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14679
  14. Cell. 2020 Sep 03. pii: S0092-8674(20)30937-5. [Epub ahead of print]182(5): 1067-1071
    Morrison M, Merlo K, Woessner Z.
      We can maximize the impact of scientific conferences by uploading all conference presentations, posters, and abstracts to highly trafficked public repositories for each content type. Talks can be hosted on sites like YouTube and Youku, posters can be published on Figshare, and papers and abstracts can become open access preprints.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.07.029
  15. BMC Health Serv Res. 2020 Sep 03. 20(1): 828
    Gerrits RG, Mulyanto J, Wammes JD, van den Berg MJ, Klazinga NS, Kringos DS.
      BACKGROUND: Health Services Research findings (HSR) reported in scientific publications may become part of the decision-making process on healthcare. This study aimed to explore associations between researcher's individual, institutional, and scientific environment factors and the occurrence of questionable research practices (QRPs) in the reporting of messages and conclusions in scientific HSR publications.METHODS: We employed a mixed-methods study design. We identified factors possibly contributing to QRPs in the reporting of messages and conclusions through a literature review, 14 semi-structured interviews with HSR institutional leaders, and 13 focus-groups amongst researchers. A survey corresponding with these factors was developed and shared with 172 authors of 116 scientific HSR publications produced by Dutch research institutes in 2016. We assessed the included publications for the occurrence of QRPs. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify factors within individual, institutional, and environmental domains. Next, we conducted bivariate analyses using simple Poisson regression to explore factors' association with the number of QRPs in the assessed HSR publications. Factors related to QRPs with a p-value < .30 were included in four multivariate models tested through a multiple Poisson regression.
    RESULTS: In total, 78 (45%) participants completed the survey (51.3% first authors and 48.7% last authors). Twelve factors were included in the multivariate analyses. In all four multivariate models, a higher score of "pressure to create societal impact" (Exp B = 1.28, 95% CI [1.11, 1.47]), was associated with higher number of QRPs. Higher scores on "specific training" (Exp B = 0.85, 95% CI [0.77-0.94]) and "co-author conflict of interest" (Exp B = 0.85, 95% CI [0.75-0.97]) factors were associated with a lower number of QRPs. Stratification between first and last authors indicated different factors were related to the occurrence of QRPs for these groups.
    CONCLUSION: Experienced pressure to create societal impact is associated with more QRPs in the reporting of messages and conclusions in HSR publications. Specific training in reporting messages and conclusions and awareness of co-author conflict of interests are related to fewer QRPs. Our results should stimulate awareness within the field of HSR internationally on opportunities to better support reporting in scientific HSR publications.
    Keywords:  Health services research; Questionable research practices; Reporting checklist; Reporting guidelines; Scientific reporting
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05624-5
  16. Nat Methods. 2020 Sep;17(9): 863
      
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-020-0954-1