bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
23 papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 02 15. 32(4): 311-313
      For decades, universities, researchers, and libraries have sought a systemwide transition of scholarly publishing to open access (OA), but progress has been slow. There is now a potential for more rapid and impactful change, as new collaborative OA publishing models have taken shape. Cooperative publishing arrangements represent a viable path forward for society publishers to transition to OA as the default standard for disseminating research. The traditional article processing charge OA model has introduced sometimes unnavigable financial roadblocks, but cooperative arrangements premised on collective action principles can help to secure long-term stability and prevent the risk of free riding. Investment in cooperative arrangements does not require that cash-strapped libraries discover a new influx of money as their collection budgets continue to shrink, but rather that they purposefully redirect traditional subscription funds toward publishing support. These cooperative arrangements will require a two-way demonstration of trust: On one hand, libraries working together to provide assurances of sustained financial support, and on the other, societies' willingness to experiment with discarding subscriptions. Organizations such as Society Publishers Coalition and Transitioning Society Publications to Open Access are committed to education about and further development of scalable and cooperative OA publishing models.
  2. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Feb 20. e13633
      What may seem to be a marginal modification of calculating the impact factor provided by Journal Citation Reports, changes our publishing landscape quite a bit. What is new? Starting with the upcoming 2020 impact factor released this June, early access content will be taken as the initial publishing date. Early access is practiced by many publishers such as Wiley, which publishes Acta Physiologica, where it is referred to as Early View. There are good reasons to start counting citations to an article at this first stage of appearance. In site the call for providing scientific content as early as possible, some journals do not offer early access, which will negatively affect the impact factor of that journal. It takes weeks before a study is digested and cited.
  3. Eur J Heart Fail. 2021 Feb 20.
    Keywords:  Heart Failure; Impact Factor; Social Media
  4. Eye (Lond). 2021 Feb 16.
      BACKGROUND: To evaluate the frequency and reason for retraction of ophthalmology publications.METHODS: Two independent reviewers retrieved data from PubMed and Medline using appropriate keywords. Statistical analysis was carried out using Mann-Whitney U test. A total of 83 articles were selected for the analysis between 1994 and 2019. Articles were retracted after a median of 1 year (IQR 4.0), and 55 (66.3%) articles were published in the year 2010 or after.
    RESULTS: Forty-eight (57.8%) articles were original articles. The most common subspecialties involved were basic science (51.8%), followed by vitreoretinal diseases (13.3%) and cornea and external diseases (7.1%). Fraudulent data were the cause of retraction in 22 (26.5%) articles, and 14 articles (16.87%) were retracted because of plagiarism. Thirteen articles (15.7%) were retracted due to errors in the data calculations, and ten (12.04%) were found to be duplicate submissions of previously published articles by the same author, while five articles (6.02%) had authorship disputes. Thirty-nine (46.9%) retracted articles were published in a journal with an impact factor greater than 2. The median number of citations received by the retracted articles was 2.0 (IQR 9.0).
    CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the number of retractions in the ophthalmic literature have increased since 2010, though relatively limited information is available on the retracted articles. There is a need to strictly follow the current guidelines for providing the reasons for retraction and displaying retraction notices both in PubMed and on the journal websites.
  5. Mol Ther. 2021 Feb 12. pii: S1525-0016(21)00078-2. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. Scientometrics. 2021 Feb 07. 1-25
      Predatory publishing represents a major challenge to scholarly communication. This paper maps the infiltration of journals suspected of predatory practices into the citation database Scopus and examines cross-country differences in the propensity of scholars to publish in such journals. Using the names of "potential, possible, or probable" predatory journals and publishers on Beall's lists, we derived the ISSNs of 3,293 journals from Ulrichsweb and searched Scopus with them. 324 of journals that appear both in Beall's lists and Scopus with 164 thousand articles published over 2015-2017 were identified. Analysis of data for 172 countries in 4 fields of research indicates that there is a remarkable heterogeneity. In the most affected countries, including Kazakhstan and Indonesia, around 17% of articles fall into the predatory category, while some other countries have no predatory articles whatsoever. Countries with large research sectors at the medium level of economic development, especially in Asia and North Africa, tend to be most susceptible to predatory publishing. Arab, oil-rich and/or eastern countries also appear to be particularly vulnerable. Policymakers and stakeholders in these and other developing countries need to pay more attention to the quality of research evaluation.Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at (10.1007/s11192-020-03852-4).
    Keywords:  Academic misconduct; Beall’s list; Open access; Predatory journal; Research policy; Research system
  7. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2021 Feb 16. 6(1): 4
      Our recent paper ( ) reported that 43% of reviewer comment sets (n=1491) shared with authors contained at least one unprofessional comment or an incomplete, inaccurate of unsubstantiated critique (IIUC). Publication of this work sparked an online (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit) conversation surrounding professionalism in peer review. We collected and analyzed these social media comments as they offered real-time responses to our work and provided insight into the views held by commenters and potential peer-reviewers that would be difficult to quantify using existing empirical tools (96 comments from July 24th to September 3rd, 2020). Overall, 75% of comments were positive, of which 59% were supportive and 16% shared similar personal experiences. However, a subset of negative comments emerged (22% of comments were negative and 6% were an unsubstantiated critique of the methodology), that provided potential insight into the reasons underlying unprofessional comments were made during the peer-review process. These comments were classified into three main themes: (1) forced niceness will adversely impact the peer-review process and allow for publication of poor-quality science (5% of online comments); (2) dismissing comments as not offensive to another person because they were not deemed personally offensive to the reader (6%); and (3) authors brought unprofessional comments upon themselves as they submitted substandard work (5%). Here, we argue against these themes as justifications for directing unprofessional comments towards authors during the peer review process. We argue that it is possible to be both critical and professional, and that no author deserves to be the recipient of demeaning ad hominem attacks regardless of supposed provocation. Suggesting otherwise only serves to propagate a toxic culture within peer review. While we previously postulated that establishing a peer-reviewer code of conduct could help improve the peer-review system, we now posit that priority should be given to repairing the negative cultural zeitgeist that exists in peer-review.
    Keywords:  Mental health; Peer review; Toxic culture
  8. Wilderness Environ Med. 2021 Feb 12. pii: S1080-6032(21)00002-8. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. J Sch Psychol. 2021 Feb;pii: S0022-4405(20)30063-7. [Epub ahead of print]84 74-94
      Although meta-analyses are often used to inform practitioners and researchers, the resulting effect sizes can be artificially inflated due to publication bias. There are a number of methods to protect against, detect, and correct for publication bias. Currently, it is unknown to what extent scholars publishing meta-analyses within school psychology journals use these methods to address publication bias and whether more recently published meta-analyses more frequently utilize these methods. A historical review of every meta-analysis published to date within the most prominent school psychology journals (N = 10) revealed that 88 meta-analyses were published from 1980 to early 2019. Exactly half of them included grey literature, and 60% utilized methods to detect and correct for publication bias. The most common methods were visual analysis of a funnel plot, Orwin's failsafe N, Egger's regression, and the trim and fill procedure. None of these methods were used in more than 20% of the studies. About half of the studies incorporated one method, 20% incorporated two methods, 7% incorporated three methods, and none incorporated all four methods. These methods were most evident in studies published recently. Similar to other fields, the true estimates of effects from meta-analyses published in school psychology journals may not be available, and practitioners may be utilizing interventions that are, in fact, not as strong as believed. Practitioners, researchers employing meta-analysis techniques, education programs, and editors and peer reviewers in school psychology should continue to guard against publication bias using these methods.
    Keywords:  Meta-analysis; Publication bias; School psychology
  10. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2021 Feb 16. pii: S2589-9333(21)00029-X. [Epub ahead of print] 100334
      BACKGROUND: Most retractions of ob-gyn manuscripts are due to scientific misconduct. It would be preferable to prevent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with scientific misconduct from ever appearing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, rather than to have to retract them later.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the policies of ob-gyn and top medical journals in their author guidelines and electronic submission systems regarding prospective RCT registration, ethics committee approval, research protocols, CONSORT guidelines, and data sharing, and to detect the most common quality criteria requested for RCTs in these journals.
    STUDY DESIGN: Author guidelines were identified via on-line Google searches from the websites of selected peer-reviewed medical journals. Journals in ob-gyn were selected from the list of journals with impact factors (IF) based on Journal Citation Report (JCR) released by Clarivate Analytics on June 29, 2020, focusing on those publishing original clinical research in obstetrics, in particular RCTs. In addition, four of the top IF peer-reviewed general medical journals publishing RCTs were included. The requirements for selected quality criteria for RCTs analyzed in the author guidelines for each journal were details of five general issues: prospective RCT registration (four subcategories); ethics committee approval (four subcategories); research protocol (three subcategories); CONSORT guidelines (three subcategories); and data sharing (three subcategories). To evaluate the requirements within the electronic submission system, a mock submission of an RCT was also done for each journal, and the same criteria were assessed on the online software for submission. The primary outcome was the overall percentage for each of the quality criteria that were listed as required within the author guidelines or required in the submission system amongst all journals. Planned subgroup analyses were top general medicine versus ob-gyn journals and top four ob-gyn versus other ob-gyn journals.
    RESULTS: The majority of the studied peer-reviewed journals listed in their author guidelines seven specific criteria for submission of RCTs: prospective registration and registration number; statement of ethical approval with name of approving committee and statement of informed consent; statement of adherence to CONSORT guidelines; and data sharing statement. For the majority of journals, the submission software did not require these or any other criteria for submission. There were minimal differences in criteria listed for top medical journals versus other ob-gyn journals, and among top versus other ob-gyn journals.
    CONCLUSIONS: Prospective registration and registration number; statement of ethical approval with name of approving committee and statement of informed consent; statement of adherence to CONSORT guidelines; and data sharing statement are the RCT quality criteria requested by leading medical and ob-gyn journals. These ob-gyn journals agree to make, as much as possible, these criteria uniform and mandatory in author guidelines, and also through improved submission software.
    Keywords:  CONSORT guidelines; author guidelines; data sharing; ethical approval; informed consent; ob-gyn journals; quality criteria; randomized controlled trial; registration
  11. Asian J Psychiatr. 2021 Feb 11. pii: S1876-2018(21)00058-7. [Epub ahead of print] 102602
  12. World J Hepatol. 2021 Jan 27. 13(1): 1-5
      The World Journal of Hepatology (WJH) was launched in October 2009. It mainly publishes articles reporting research findings in the field of hepatology, covering a wide range of topics, including viral hepatitis B and C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune and chronic cholestatic liver disease, drug-induced liver injury, cirrhosis, liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, coronavirus disease 2019-related liver conditions, etc. As of December 31, 2020, the WJH has published 1349 articles, among which, the total cites is 18995 and the average cites per article is 14. In celebrating the New Year, we are pleased to share with you special a New Year's greeting from the WJH Editors-in-Chief, along with a detailed overview of the journal's submission, peer review and publishing metrics from 2020. In all, we are appreciative for the substantive support and submissions from authors worldwide, and the dedicated efforts and expertise provided by our invited reviewers and editorial board members.
    Keywords:  Baishideng Publishing Group Inc; Editorial Board; Editors-in-Chief; Highly influential scientists; New Year’s greeting message; World Journal of Hepatology
  13. J Electr Bioimpedance. 2019 Jan;10(1): 1
      The first issue of the Journal of Electrical Bioimpedance saw the light in 2010 by the personal initiative of two men from the University of Oslo, Prof. Sverre Grimnes and Prof. Ørjan G. Martinsen, who has been the editor-in-chief of our Journal during all these ten years. With the sense of gratitude, we hope that he continues his persistent work also during the approaching next decade in the new conditions with a growing number of bioimpedance publications worldwide. However, every success creates new problems, some of which are discussed below.
    Keywords:  Bioimpedance; applications; problems; publications
  14. Moscow Univ Biol Sci Bull. 2020 ;75(4): 159-163
      The point of view of the author of this article, who participates in the work of several scientific journals, on the current situation with publishing articles by scientists of various specialties is presented. Two approaches to this problem are considered: "informal" (focused only on the quality of published manuscripts) and "formal" (taking into account mainly the scientometric indicators of both authors and journals). The continuous commercialization of this process, associated with the emergence of a huge number of publications that require significant article processing charges from scientists to publish the results of their research, is noted. At the same time, the financial interests of publishers promote reducing the requirements for reviewing and editing articles submitted to the editorial board. It is emphasized the need for the appropriate formal scientometric indicators for researchers applying for grants as well as for the corresponding positions and titles, which has arisen at the present stage. According to the author, excessive attention to such formal rankings does not improve the effectiveness of scientific publications, negatively affecting, in particular, the process of blind peer reviewing, grammar and style of manuscripts, statistical processing of data given in articles, design of illustrations, as well as the quality of reference lists.
    Keywords:  article downloads; editorial policy; paid publications; peer review; reference lists; scientific publications; scientists’ ranking; scientometric indicators