bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2020‒09‒20
thirty papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2020 Sep 02. pii: S1551-7411(20)30156-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Disseminating research findings from global health collaborations is essential to advancing science. However, there are a number of ethical considerations and potential challenges to address to ensure thoughtful and non-exploitative reporting. The factors include the benefits and risks to publication, authorship criteria or values, and the accessibility of forums or journals in which to pursue publication. This paper provides commentary related to planning for writing, communicating intentions to publish, obtaining permissions to publish, risks in internationally collaborative work, authorship principles, and journal selection. Authors' and editors' knowledge of experienced individuals from both pharmacy literature, medical fields, and general publications is incorporated to provide an assessment of risks and benefits of publication of international global health research.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Ethical dilemmas; Global health; Health care ethics; Low- and middle-income countries; Pharmacy; Publication ethics
  2. Postgrad Med J. 2020 Sep 17. pii: postgradmedj-2020-138793. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  Biotechnology & bioinformatics; Information management; Medical journalism
  3. J Appl Biomech. 2020 Sep 12. pii: jab.2020-0069. [Epub ahead of print] 1-9
      The aim of this study was to investigate student experiences of publishing undergraduate research in biomechanics. A total of 29 former students with experience of publishing peer-reviewed undergraduate biomechanics research completed an online survey regarding their perceived benefits, level of involvement, and experiences in aspects of the research process. On average, students perceived their experiences to be "largely helpful" or greater in all aspects. Areas were identified corresponding to: the greatest perceived benefits (eg, understanding of the research process); the least perceived benefits (eg, statistical analysis skills); the greatest student involvement (eg, reading relevant literature); and the least student involvement (eg, developing hypotheses and/or methods). A thematic analysis of open question responses identified themes relating to: future career, skills, scientific process, intra- and interpersonal factors, and pedagogy. Common intended learning outcomes may be achieved through involvement in the research process independently of the level of staff involvement. Staff should be encouraged to involve students in publishable biomechanics research projects where this is possible without compromising research standards and should explore ways of recreating the publishing process internally for all students.
    Keywords:  dissertation; higher education; sports; student; teaching
  4. Account Res. 2020 Sep 16. 1-24
      Within the context of journal peer review, when high-quality referee input is coupled with appropriate editorial oversight from a journal's leadership, the result can be the selection and publication of high-quality manuscripts that are ideally targeted to the journal's readership's interests. However, in its worse forms, flawed referee input and indifferent- or misdirected journal leadership can result in damage to the quality of materials published and the relationships among, and careers of, the involved parties. This article identifies methods that journals can employ to select journal leaders and educate authors, referees, and editors in an attempt to prophylax against problematic peer review. The article then identifies 17 categories of inappropriate or flawed critiques. Next it outlines a plan of action: 1) to prevent potentially harmful reviews from reaching authors, and 2) for instructing authors on how to respond to perceived challenging or problematic reviews, or perceived erroneous journal decisions. Elsewhere, the article introduces an approach to diffuse hostilities that may follow the publication of controversial articles. The synthesis within this article approaches peer review as a continuous quality improvement exercise in which referees, authors, and journal leadership will gain a broader understanding of the standards of biomedical publication and professionalism.
    Keywords:  Authorship; conflict of interest; misconduct in research; peer review; publication; publication ethics
  5. Nurs Sci Q. 2020 Oct;33(4): 285
    Keywords:  bogus conferences; counterfeit conferences; scams
  6. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(9): e0238372
      The success of a scientist depends on their production of scientific papers and the impact factor of the journal in which they publish. Because most major scientific journals are published in English, success is related to publishing in this language. Currently, 98% of publications in science are written in English, including researchers from English as a Foreign Language (EFL) countries. Colombia is among the countries with the lowest English proficiency in the world. Thus, understanding the disadvantages that Colombians face in publishing is crucial to reducing global inequality in science. This paper quantifies the disadvantages that result from the language hegemony in scientific publishing by examining the additional costs that communicating in English creates in the production of articles. It was identified that more than 90% of the scientific articles published by Colombian researchers are in English, and that publishing in a second language creates additional financial costs to Colombian doctoral students and results in problems with reading comprehension, writing ease and time, and anxiety. Rejection or revision of their articles because of the English grammar was reported by 43.5% of the doctoral students, and 33% elected not to attend international conferences and meetings due to the mandatory use of English in oral presentations. Finally, among the translation/editing services reviewed, the cost per article is between one-quarter and one-half of a doctoral monthly salary in Colombia. Of particular note, we identified a positive correlation between English proficiency and higher socioeconomic origin of the researcher. Overall, this study exhibits the negative consequences of hegemony of English that preserves the global gap in science. Although having a common language is important for science communication, generating multilinguistic alternatives would promote diversity while conserving a communication channel. Such an effort should come from different actors and should not fall solely on EFL researchers.
  7. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2020 Sep 11.
  8. Nat Cancer. 2020 Sep 11. 1-2
      The need to address COVID-19 is placing huge demands on biomedical research and regulatory processes. Under pressure, it is essential to uphold high bioethical principles and rigorous standards for the development and approval of medicines.
  9. Public Underst Sci. 2020 Sep 14. 963662520954370
      Several meta-analytical attempts to reproduce results of empirical research have failed in recent years, prompting scholars and news media to diagnose a "replication crisis" and voice concerns about science losing public credibility. Others, in contrast, hoped replication efforts could improve public confidence in science. Yet nationally representative evidence backing these concerns or hopes is scarce. We provide such evidence, conducting a secondary analysis of the German "Science Barometer" ("Wissenschaftsbarometer") survey. We find that most Germans are not aware of the "replication crisis." In addition, most interpret replication efforts as indicative of scientific quality control and science's self-correcting nature. However, supporters of the populist right-wing party AfD tend to believe that the "crisis" shows one cannot trust science, perhaps using it as an argument to discredit science. But for the majority of Germans, hopes about reputational benefits of the "replication crisis" for science seem more justified than concerns about detrimental effects.
    Keywords:  attitudes toward science; replicability; representative survey; secondary analysis; trust in science
  10. Nordisk Alkohol Nark. 2020 Feb;37(1): 3-5
    Keywords:  NAD journal; Nordic Welfare Centre; University of Helsinki; open access; publishing
  11. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2020 Sep 16.
      INTRODUCTION: During the first three years of its work, Cochrane Rehabilitation was faced with the challenge of defining the inclusion and exclusion criteria of what is rehabilitation on four different occasions: when we worked on classifying all Cochrane Systematic Reviews (CSRs) for relevance to rehabilitation, when we checked for newly published CSRs, when we started the process to set up the reporting guidelines for the Randomised Controlled Trials Rehabilitation Checklist (RCTRACK) project, and during our collaboration with the World Health Organization for the Package of Rehabilitation Interventions. The aim of this paper is to check how the word "rehabilitation" gets used by researchers in the health field.METHODS: This overview of reviews included all CSRs that used the term "rehabilitation" in the title. They were compared with the authors' judgement (AJ) and with the contents of two main sources: CSRs identified by Cochrane Rehabilitation as relevant to rehabilitation (CRDB), and PubMed MeSH term "rehabilitation". We also performed a content analysis classifying all CSRs by field and type of intervention and checked the internal coherence of the two databases in order to verify whether all CSRs on interventions in a specific rehabilitation field were included in the databases or not.
    RESULTS: Out of 14,816 PubMed entries, we analyzed 89 CSRs. We found four reviews that were judged by all classifications as not rehabilitation: they were related to mouth, nutritional, penile and schizophrenia rehabilitation. While CRDB and AJ included 94% and 91% of CSRs respectively, PubMed included only 50%. One CSR about cardiac rehabilitation was excluded only by CRDB and four by AJ. In the 50% CSRs excluded by PubMed, we found that all CSRs on cancer and vestibular rehabilitation, and those on cognitive and neuropsychological interventions, were always omitted, even if all other CSRs on neurological rehabilitation were included.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results clearly highlight the need for a comprehensive rehabilitation definition that is able to point out what should be included and excluded from rehabilitation interventions. This will consequently inform all of Cochrane Rehabilitation's work and will serve the wider community of research and rehabilitation.
  12. Public Underst Sci. 2020 Sep 15. 963662520957252
      Experts increasingly use social media to communicate with the wider public, prompted by the need to demonstrate impact and public engagement. While previous research on the use of social media by experts focused on single topics and performed sentiment analysis, we propose to extend the scope by investigating experts' networks, topics and communicative styles. We perform social and semantic network as well language analysis of top tweeting scientists and economists. We find that economists tweet less, mention fewer people and have fewer Twitter conversations with members of the public than scientists. Scientists use a more informal and involved style and engage wider audiences through multimedia contents, while economists use more jargon, and tend to favour traditional written media. The results point to differences in experts' communicative practices online, and we propose that disciplinary ways of 'talking' may pose obstacles to an effective public communication of expert knowledge.
    Keywords:  Twitter; communicative style; expert communication; involvement; networks; sentiment
  13. J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2020 Sep;50(3): 316-321
      BACKGROUND: A well-written manuscript published in a reputable journal is the deserved end-point of good research. It is important for postgraduates to be trained in scientific writing for their academic progression as well as the advancement of science.METHODS: A day-long workshop on scientific writing and publication was conducted at Raipur, India in February 2020. The medical postgraduate (UK equivalent: Core Medical Trainee) participants were engaged with lectures, discussions and a practical session requiring critical appraisal of a manuscript. The lectures also discussed publication ethics and the perils of falling prey to predatory journals. Pre and post-workshop surveys were given to the participants to assess the impact of the workshop on the baseline knowledge of scientific writing and publishing.
    RESULTS: Out of 69 participants, there were 67 (response rate 97%) and 41 (response rate 59%) respondents to the pre and post-workshop surveys respectively. The former identified a lack of baseline knowledge ranging from 6% for determining the components of the individual sections of the manuscript such as Introduction or Methods, 40% for the use of acronyms, and 55% for knowledge of different referencing styles, to 61% for knowledge of indexing agencies. The post-workshop survey revealed improvement in participants' knowledge of the contents of various sections of the manuscript and their knowledge about referencing styles and indexing agencies. In the post-workshop survey, 20% of respondents said that they would be open to engaging with predatory journals, which underscored the need to educate them continuously regarding the demerits of such practice. Participants expressed the need for longer workshops, preferably spread over two days, with discussion on research methodology and statistical analysis, and more 'hands-on' sessions.
    CONCLUSION: This survey underscores the need for structured training in scientific writing. Its inclusion in the medical postgraduate curriculum appears desirable.
    Keywords:  indexed journals; journal selection; manuscript writing; paper writing; predatory journals; publishing
  14. J Dent. 2020 Sep 12. pii: S0300-5712(20)30217-7. [Epub ahead of print] 103471
      OBJECTIVES: To assess and compare the reporting quality of systematic review (SR) abstracts in operative dentistry published before and after the release of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Abstracts (PRISMA-A), and to identify factors associated with reporting quality.METHODS: PubMed was searched for abstracts published during 2010-2012 (Pre-PRISMA period) and 2017-2019 (Post-PRISMA period). Reporting quality was assessed and scored using a modified 13-item PRSIMA-A checklist. Risk ratio (RR) was used to compare the adequate reporting rate of each item between the two periods. Univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with reporting quality.
    RESULTS: A total of 160 abstracts were included and assessed. Only four items ('objective', 'results of main outcomes', 'description of the effect' and 'interpretation') were adequately reported in most abstracts (>75 %). According to the multivariable analysis, greater word count (P = 0.001), being published in the Post-PRISMA period (P = 0.025) and geographic origin from Asia (P = 0.025) or South America (P = 0.015) were significantly associated with higher reporting quality.
    CONCLUSIONS/CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The reporting quality of SR abstracts in operative dentistry had improved significantly after the publication of PRISMA-A, but was still suboptimal. Researchers, reviewers and journal editors in operative dentistry need to be familiar with the PRISMA-A checklist, and make concerted efforts to improve the reporting of SR abstracts.
    Keywords:  Abstracts; Operative dentistry; Quality; Reporting; Systematic review
  15. Shock. 2020 May 14.
      THE ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines were endorsed by the Shock Society in 2012, but to date there has been no systematic evaluation of research reporting quality for Shock. We systematically assessed 100 randomly selected animal-based research articles published between 2014 and 2018 for reporting quality and statistical practice, compared to 40 pre-ARRIVE studies. More than half of surveyed papers omitted verifiable ethical oversight information and basic animal descriptive information. Few papers reported best-practice methods, such as sample size justification (10%), randomization (43%), randomization method (7%), blinding (23%). Only one paper reported effect sizes to interpret study results. Most troubling was inadequate reporting of welfare-related information (anesthesia, analgesia, humane endpoints, euthanasia). Almost a decade after ARRIVE endorsement, our findings show that reporting deficiencies have persisted with little sign of correction. There is a clear need for investigators to increase transparency of research methods reporting, and drastically improve skills in experimental design. Improvement in standards and greater attention paid to reporting will lead to improvement in reproducibility, replicability, and research quality. It is incumbent upon the research community to improve reporting practices; accurate and transparent reporting is integral to producing rigorous and ethical science.
  16. J Chiropr Educ. 2020 Aug 19.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to all areas of education. Educators have been required to rise to the occasion and manage the crisis in an inordinately short period of time. Despite this, peer reviewers of the journal have graciously continued to review papers. This editorial acknowledges the editorial board and peer reviewers and their service to the journal during a tumultuous time.
    Keywords:  Chiropractic; Education; Peer Review
  17. Account Res. 2020 Sep 15. 1-5
      Aim of this work is to explore authorship patterns in COVID-19 case reports. As of August 2020, i.e. 6 months after the first COVID-19 publication was released, more than 40000 articles have been published in Medline, the 1552 being indexed as case reports (COVID Group). During the same period, a Medline search for case reports about infectious diseases excluding COVID-19 (ID Group), identified 496 publications. The two groups were compared in terms of authorship. COVID-19 case reports had a mean of 6.1 authors per manuscript (median 5, SD 3.8), compared to 6.2 (median 5, SD 3.3) in the other group (p = .43). The COVID-19 group had 51 cases (3.3%) authored from 15 or more authors, compared to 1.4% (7 cases) in the ID group (p = .03). Fourteen percent of all COVID-19 case reports have 10 or more authors and 13 manuscripts (1%) have been authored by 20 or more persons. We conclude that COVID-19 case reports reflect the modern trend of authorship proliferation with two-page case reports being authored from >15 scientists.
    Keywords:  Authorship; COVID-19; ICMJE guidelines; case report; medical publication
  18. Forensic Sci Res. 2020 ;5(2): 174-187
      Scientific integrity is a learned skill. When researchers and students learn integrity in laboratories or in the classroom, they are empowered to use similar principles in other aspects of their lives. This commentary reviews the concepts related to scientific integrity at a time when science faces important challenges related to the increase number of articles produced regarding research on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has ignited another parallel viral pandemic, with science ranging from robust studies to dishonest studies being conducted, posted, and shared at an unprecedented rate. A balance is needed between the benefits of the rapid access to new scientific data and the threat of causing panic or erroneous clinical decisions based on mistakes or misconduct. The truth is that the "scientific research has changed the world" but now, and more than ever, "it needs to change itself". A pandemic with a "paperdemic" will be even more complicated to manage if it progresses in an uncontrolled manner and is not properly scrutinized.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pandemic; paperdemic; peer review; research and academic integrity
  19. Acta Biomed. 2020 09 07. 91(3): e2020020
      COVID-19 first presented in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Since then, it has rapidly spread across the world, and is now formally considered a pandemic. As of 4th of May more than 3.2 million people have been infected and over 250,000 people has died. Since the very start, scientists and researchers have tried to utilize this case to publish academic experiences and suggestions toward fighting this virus, which is lethal in some cases. To date, more than 9,000 academic papers have been published since December 2019. The quality of publications varies from a plane letter to editor to randomized studies. This review aims to analyse the current published literature related to COVID-19 and assess the quality of such articles.
  20. Fem Leg Stud. 2020 Sep 04. 1-19
      It has been quite a year so far(!) and as the wenches we are, we have been taking our time to collect our thoughts and reflections before sharing them at the start of this issue of the journal. In this editorial we think through the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on the world, on our lives and on our editorial processes. We renew our commitment to improving our operations as a journal and its health along with our own as we deploy wench tactics to restore, sustain and slow down to negotiate this new reality, this new world. We conclude with an introduction to the fascinating contents of this issue along with a collaborative statement of values on open access as part of a collective of intersectional feminist and social justice editors. Through all of the pain and suffering we focus our gaze on hope: hope that we can come through this global crisis together engaging in critical conversations about how we can be better and do better as editors, academics and individuals for ourselves, our colleagues and our journal.
  21. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(9): e0239283
      Both sharing and using open research data have the revolutionary potentials for forwarding scientific advancement. Although previous research gives insight into researchers' drivers and inhibitors for sharing and using open research data, both these drivers and inhibitors have not yet been integrated via a thematic analysis and a theoretical argument is lacking. This study's purpose is to systematically review the literature on individual researchers' drivers and inhibitors for sharing and using open research data. This study systematically analyzed 32 open data studies (published between 2004 and 2019 inclusively) and elicited drivers plus inhibitors for both open research data sharing and use in eleven categories total that are: 'the researcher's background', 'requirements and formal obligations', 'personal drivers and intrinsic motivations', 'facilitating conditions', 'trust', 'expected performance', 'social influence and affiliation', 'effort', 'the researcher's experience and skills', 'legislation and regulation', and 'data characteristics.' This study extensively discusses these categories, along with argues how such categories and factors are connected using a thematic analysis. Also, this study discusses several opportunities for altogether applying, extending, using, and testing theories in open research data studies. With such discussions, an overview of identified categories and factors can be further applied to examine both researchers' drivers and inhibitors in different research disciplines, such as those with low rates of data sharing and use versus disciplines with high rates of data sharing plus use. What's more, this study serves as a first vital step towards developing effective incentives for both open data sharing and use behavior.
  22. J Chem Inf Model. 2020 Sep 16.
      Many high-profile scientific journals have established policies mandating the release of code accompanying papers that describe computational methods. Unfortunately, the majority of journals that publish papers in Computational Chemistry and Cheminformatics have yet to define such guidelines. This Viewpoint reviews the current state of reproducibility for the field and makes a case for the inclusion of code with computational papers.