bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒02‒14
twenty-five papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Account Res. 2021 Feb 09.
      Scientific publications with compromised integrity should be retracted. Papers citing retracted publications might need cosrrection if findings depend on the retracted publication. While many studies have reported on post-retraction citations, few have focused on citations made before the retraction. We investigated the citation profile for a research group with 113 published concerns regarding publication integrity (CRPI). We identified 376 of their source publications that were cited by 5577 articles, and whether the source publication had a published CRPI. Of 6926 references to a source publication in these citing articles, for 3925 (57%) the source article had a published CRPI, while for 3001 (43%) it did not. Of these 3925 references, 3688 were in citing articles published before the source article CRPI was published. 166 citing articles containing 198 references to source publications were published after the corresponding source article CRPI was published (range 1-5 such references/article; 19/166 (11%) articles had >1 reference). In summary, many articles cite retracted publications, with the majority of these references occurring before the retraction. However, very few publications assess the impact of the retracted citations, even though the findings of many might be altered, at least in part, by removal of the retracted citation.
    Keywords:  Citation; Expression of Concern; Publication integrity; Retraction
  2. Innovation (N Y). 2020 May 21. 1(1): 100012
  3. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021 Jan 28. pii: S1525-8610(21)00124-9. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Endocrinology. 2021 Mar 01. pii: bqaa225. [Epub ahead of print]162(3):
      This Perspective presents comments intended for junior researchers by Carol A. Lange, Editor-in-Chief, Endocrinology, and Stephen R. Hammes, former Editor-in-Chief, Molecular Endocrinology, and former co-Editor-in-Chief, Endocrinology.PRINCIPAL POINTS: 1. Know when you are ready and identify your target audience.2. Select an appropriate journal.3. Craft your title and abstract to capture your key words and deliver your message.4. Tell a clear and impactful story.5. Review, polish, and perfect your manuscript.
    Keywords:  abstract; editing; impact factor; manuscript; peer-review; publish; title
  5. J Cutan Med Surg. 2021 Jan-Feb;25(1):25(1): 16-17
  6. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(2): e0243664
      The way in which we assess researchers has been under the radar in the past few years. Critics argue that current research assessments focus on productivity and that they increase unhealthy pressures on scientists. Yet, the precise ways in which assessments should change is still open for debate. We circulated a survey with Flemish researchers to understand how they work, and how they would rate the relevance of specific indicators used in research assessments. We found that most researchers worked far beyond their expected working schedule. We also found that, although they spent most of their time doing research, respondents wished they could dedicate more time to it and spend less time writing grants and performing other activities such as administrative duties and meetings. When looking at success indicators, we found that indicators related to openness, transparency, quality, and innovation were perceived as highly important in advancing science, but as relatively overlooked in career advancement. Conversely, indicators which denoted of prestige and competition were generally rated as important to career advancement, but irrelevant or even detrimental in advancing science. Open comments from respondents further revealed that, although indicators which indicate openness, transparency, and quality (e.g., publishing open access, publishing negative findings, sharing data, etc.) should ultimately be valued more in research assessments, the resources and support currently in place were insufficient to allow researchers to endorse such practices. In other words, current research assessments are inadequate and ignore practices which are essential in contributing to the advancement of science. Yet, before we change the way in which researchers are being assessed, supporting infrastructures must be put in place to ensure that researchers are able to commit to the activities that may benefit the advancement of science.
  7. Eur J Psychol. 2019 Jun;15(2): 329-341
      Publishing one's research in peer-reviewed journals is generally acknowledged to be a valuable enterprise. This is particularly the case for academic and research psychologists who rely on publications for career status, stability, and advancement. Psychological researchers can devote extensive amounts of time to planning, conducting, writing up, and getting their research published in respected psychology journals, yet their work efforts in this regard have heretofore never been quantified monetarily. This article introduces the concept of a monetary equivalent value (MEV) of a published article in psychology. An initial basic linear equation is introduced that sets the dollar (or Euro) value of an article based on the median number of hours involved in publishing an article, the mean hourly wage of psychologists, and the 5-year Impact Factor (IF) of the journal in which the article is published. MEVs were calculated for the full range of journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA) that have IF ratings. MEV values varied widely, from a low of $4,562 for an article published in the journal "Dreaming", to a high of $131,613 for an article appearing in "Psychological Bulletin". This article represents the first to explore the MEV as an additional metric to understand the impact of published articles, and as such this exploratory study has numerous limitations. Chief among these is the study's reliance on the controversial Journal Citation Reports (JCR) journal impact factor metric, as well as its extrapolation from a limited medical literature on the average number of hours involved in publishing a study.
    Keywords:  impact factor; monetary equivalent value (MEV); psychologists’ salaries; psychologists’ work hours; research
  8. Aesthet Surg J. 2021 Feb 09. pii: sjab078. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. J Eval Clin Pract. 2021 Feb 13.
      RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every facet of society, including medical research. This paper is the second part of a series of articles that explore the intricate relationship between the different challenges that have hindered biomedical research and the generation of novel scientific knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first part of this series, we demonstrated that, in the context of COVID-19, the scientific community has been faced with numerous challenges with respect to (1) finding and prioritizing relevant research questions and (2) choosing study designs that are appropriate for a time of emergency.METHODS: During the early stages of the pandemic, research conducted on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) sparked several heated debates with respect to the scientific methods used and the quality of knowledge generated. Research on HCQ is used as a case study in both papers. The authors explored biomedical databases, peer-reviewed journals, pre-print servers and media articles to identify relevant literature on HCQ and COVID-19, and examined philosophical perspectives on medical research in the context of this pandemic and previous global health challenges.
    RESULTS: This second paper demonstrates that a lack of research prioritization and methodological rigour resulted in the generation of fleeting and inconsistent evidence that complicated the development of public health guidelines. The reporting of scientific findings to the scientific community and general public highlighted the difficulty of finding a balance between accuracy and speed.
    CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges in terms of (3) evaluating evidence for the purpose of making evidence-based decisions and (4) sharing scientific findings with the rest of the scientific community. This second paper demonstrates that the four challenges outlined in the first and second papers have often compounded each other and have contributed to slowing down the creation of novel scientific knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords:  epistemology; evidence-based medicine; medical research; philosophy of medicine
  10. J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Feb 09. pii: S0895-4356(21)00043-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: To compare two strategies for requesting additional information for systematic reviews (SR) from study authors.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomised study within a SR of hospital volume-outcome relationships in total knee arthroplasty. We sent personalised email requests for additional information to study authors as either email text ('Email' group) or attachment with self-developed, personalised data request forms ('Attachment' group). The primary outcome was the response rate, the secondary outcomes were the data completeness rate and the reviewer time invested in author contact.
    RESULTS: Of 57 study authors, 29 were randomised to the Email group and 28 to the Attachment group. The response rate was 93% for Email and 75% for Attachment (odds ratio 4.5, 95% confidence interval [0.9-24.0]). Complete data were provided by 55% (Email) versus 36% (Attachment) of authors (odds ratio 2.2 [0.8-6.4]). The mean reviewer time was shorter in the Email (mean ± standard deviation of 20.2±14.4 minutes/author) than the Attachment group (31.8±14.4 minutes/author) with a mean difference of 11.6 [4.1-19.1] minutes/author.
    CONCLUSION: Personalised email requests elicited high response but only moderate data completeness rates regardless of the method (email text or attachment). Email requests as text took less reviewer time than creating attachments.
    Keywords:  author contact; methodology; missing data; reporting; study within a review; systematic review
  11. Hist Sci. 2021 Feb 11. 73275320987414
      In 1820, a Handbook of the Flora of Scandinavia by Carl Hartman was published in Stockholm by Zacharias Haeggström. The Handbook was a successful project for both author and publisher: similar enough to textbooks and academic publications to appeal in educational settings, yet ostensibly written for the general public. The Handbook went through eleven editions, becoming the standard reference flora for Swedish botanists - academic as well as others - before being succeeded after 1879 by a range of specialized floras aimed at schoolboys, students, or academic botanists. The trajectory of Hartman's Handbook through the nineteenth century highlights the changing conditions of Swedish botanical publication. It draws attention to authorship as a scientific career tool, and, conversely, the significance of scientific texts in the emergence of commercial publishing in the first half of the nineteenth century.
    Keywords:  History of scientific publication; Sweden; history of botany; history of education; nineteenth century; scientific authorship
  12. BJPsych Bull. 2021 Feb 09. 1-2
      Two recent papers on a controversial topic in this journal attracted significant criticism from readers. This editorial addresses these criticisms and describes changes to be made to the journal's editorial and review procedures in light of the complaints received.
    Keywords:  Editorial policy; gender identity; gender incongruence; publishing ethics
  13. Toxicol Pathol. 2021 Feb 12. 192623321992305
      Toxicologic Pathology is the official journal of the Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP), the British Society of Toxicological Pathology, and the European STP (ESTP). Toxicologic Pathology publishes articles related to topics in various aspects of toxicologic pathology such as anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, experimental pathology, and biomarker research. Publications include society-endorsed Best Practice/Position and Points to Consider publications and ESTP Expert Workshop articles that are relevant to toxicologic pathology and scientific regulatory processes, Opinion articles under the banner of the STP Toxicologic Pathology Forum, Original Articles, Review Articles (unsolicited/contributed, mini, and invited), Brief Communications, Letters to the Editor, Meeting Reports, and Book Reviews. This article provides details on the various publication categories in Toxicologic Pathology and will serve as a reference for authors and readers.
    Keywords:  ESTP expert workshop; best practice articles; opinion articles; original articles; points to consider articles; publication categories; toxicologic pathology
  14. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2021 Feb 11. 21(1): 33
      BACKGROUND: To evaluate the completeness of reporting abstracts of systematic reviews (SRs) before and after the publication of the PRISMA-A checklist in 2013 and to assess if an association exists between abstract characteristics and the completeness of reporting.METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in the PubMed and Scopus databases in March 2020. The search focused on the SRs of evaluations of interventions published since 2002 in the field of periodontology. The abstracts of the selected SRs were divided into two groups before and after publication of the PRISMA-A checklist in 2013, and compliance with the 12 items reported in the checklist was evaluated by three calibrated evaluators.
    RESULTS: A set of 265 abstracts was included in the study. The total score before (mean score, 53.78%; 95% CI, 51.56-55.90%) and after (mean score, 56.88%; 95% CI, 55.39-58.44%) the publication of the PRISMA-A statement exhibited a statistically significant improvement (P = 0.012*). Nevertheless, only the checklist items included studies and synthesis of the results displayed a statistically significant change after guideline publication. The total PRISMA-A score was higher in the meta-analysis group and in articles authored by more than four authors.
    CONCLUSIONS: The impact of the PRISMA-A was statistically significant, but the majority of the items did not improve after its introduction. The editors and referees of periodontal journals should promote adherence to the checklist to improve the quality of the reports and provide readers with better insight into the characteristics of published studies.
    Keywords:  Abstracts; PRISMA; Periodontology; Reporting quality; Systematic reviews
  15. Toxicol Pathol. 2021 Feb 11. 192623321989644
      To address the challenges posed by large-scale development, validation, and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in pathology, we have constituted a consortium of academics, small enterprises, and pharmaceutical companies and proposed the BIGPICTURE project to the Innovative Medicines Initiative. Our vision is to become the catalyst in the digital transformation of pathology by creating the first European, ethically compliant, and quality-controlled whole slide imaging platform, in which both large-scale data and AI algorithms will exist. Our mission is to develop this platform in a sustainable and inclusive way, by connecting the community of pathologists, researchers, AI developers, patients, and industry parties based on creating value and reciprocity in use based on a community model as the mechanism for ensuring sustainability of the platform.
    Keywords:  computational pathology; public–private partnership