bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒03‒14
twenty-six papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2021 Mar;14 14-16
      Recently most of the journals charge a fee known as article processing charge (APC) for publication of an article. These charges can vary from journal to journal. This publication fee is often paid by the author, the author's institution, or their research funder organization. Though low- and middle-income countries are usually exempted from APC, India does not come under the category of waiver by most of the journals that ask for the APC. Most of the Indian institutes do not pay for publication and research thus individual researcher suffers huge financial burden due to APC. Hence, less affluent institutions, scholars, and students are unable to publish their work due to these barriers. These articles highlight the challenges faced by authors and solutions for publishers and journals to avoid APCs.
    Keywords:  Article processing charge; Finance; Open accesses; Publication fee; Publishing
  2. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0247553
      Journalists' health and science reporting aid the public's direct access to research through the inclusion of hyperlinks leading to original studies in peer-reviewed journals. While this effort supports the US-government mandate that research be made widely available, little is known about what research journalists share with the public. This cross-sectional exploratory study characterises US-government-funded research on cancer that appeared most frequently in news coverage and how that coverage varied by cancer type, disease incidence and mortality rates. The subject of analysis was 11436 research articles (published in 2016) on cancer funded by the US government and 642 news stories mentioning at least one of these articles. Based on Altmetric data, researchers identified articles via PubMed and characterised each based on the news media attention received online. Only 1.88% (n = 213) of research articles mentioning US government-funded cancer research included at least one mention in an online news publication. This is in contrast to previous research that found 16.8% (n = 1925) of articles received mention by online mass media publications. Of the 13 most common cancers in the US, 12 were the subject of at least one news mention; only urinary and bladder cancer received no mention. Traditional news sources included significantly more mentions of research on common cancers than digital native news sources. However, a general discrepancy exists between cancers prominent in news sources and those with the highest mortality rate. For instance, lung cancer accounted for the most deaths annually, while melanoma led to 56% less annual deaths; however, journalists cited research regarding these cancers nearly equally. Additionally, breast cancer received the greatest coverage per estimated annual death, while pancreatic cancer received the least coverage per death. Findings demonstrated a continued misalignment between prevalent cancers and cancers mentioned in online news media. Additionally, cancer control and prevention received less coverage from journalists than other cancer continuum stages, highlighting a continued underrepresentation of prevention-focused research. Results revealed a need for further scholarship regarding the role of journalists in research dissemination.
  3. Transl Oncol. 2021 Mar 08. pii: S1936-5233(21)00052-8. [Epub ahead of print]14(5): 101060
  4. Reumatologia. 2021 ;59(1): 3-8
      The peer review process is essential for quality checks and validation of journal submissions. Although it has some limitations, including manipulations and biased and unfair evaluations, there is no other alternative to the system. Several peer review models are now practised, with public review being the most appropriate in view of the open science movement. Constructive reviewer comments are increasingly recognised as scholarly contributions which should meet certain ethics and reporting standards. The Publons platform, which is now part of the Web of Science Group (Clarivate Analytics), credits validated reviewer accomplishments and serves as an instrument for selecting and promoting the best reviewers. All authors with relevant profiles may act as reviewers. Adherence to research reporting standards and access to bibliographic databases are recommended to help reviewers draft evidence-based and detailed comments.
    Keywords:  periodicals as topic; publication ethics; publishing; research peer review; rheumatology
  5. Med Sci Educ. 2021 Mar 02. 1-5
      Academic medicine professionals spend their careers striving for promotion and standing in their respective institutions and the global scientific community. Publishing in high-impact journals aids in that pursuit; yet, formal coursework and training rarely emphasize scientific writing, making it difficult to gain the skills necessary to succeed. The authors implemented an intramural peer-review service in the medical school of a preeminent university to offer guidance, resources, and hands-on writing assistance at no cost. This program model bridges a gap in scientific writing instruction, boosts academic productivity, and increases opportunities to publish in higher impact journals.Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40670-021-01251-9.
    Keywords:  Academic medicine; Peer-review; Publishing; Scholarly activity; Scientific writing
  6. Pak J Biol Sci. 2020 Jan;23(12): 1496-1499
    Keywords:  Asian Council of Science Editors; Peer review week 2020; preprints; publishing trends; scholarly communication; trust in peer review
  7. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2021 ;7(1): e000920
      Objective: To critically appraise the quality of published systematic reviews (SRs) of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in tendinopathy with regard to handling and reporting of results with special emphasis on strength of evidence assessment.Data sources: Medline from inception to June 2020.
    Study eligibility: All SRs of RCTs assessing the effectiveness of any intervention(s) on any location of tendinopathy.
    Data extraction and synthesis: Included SRs were appraised with the use of a 12-item tool devised by the authors arising from the Preferred Reporting Items in Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement and other relevant guidance. Subgroup analyses were performed based on impact factor (IF) of publishing journals and date of publication.
    Results: A total of 57 SRs were included published in 38 journals between 2006 and 2020. The most commonly used risk-of-bias (RoB) assessment tool and strength of evidence assessment tool were the Cochrane Collaboration RoB tool and the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group tool, respectively. The mean score on the appraisal tool was 46.5% (range 0%-100%). SRs published in higher IF journals (>4.7) were associated with a higher mean score than those in lower IF journals (mean difference 26.4%±8.8%, p=0.004). The mean score of the 10 most recently published SRs was similar to that of the first 10 published SRs (mean difference 8.3%±13.7%, p=0.54). Only 23 SRs (40%) used the results of their RoB assessment in data synthesis and more than half (n=30; 50%) did not assess the strength of evidence of their results. Only 12 SRs (21%) assessed their strength of evidence appropriately.
    Conclusions: In light of the poor presentation of evidence identified by our review, we provide recommendations to increase transparency and reproducibility in future SRs.
    Keywords:  evidence based review; tendinopathy; tendon
  8. Acta Biomed. 2020 12 03. 92(1): e2021174
      This communication refers to the retractions of the two high profile COVID-19 papers of the top medical journals when the data analytics company declined to share the raw data of the papers. In this commentary, we emphasize that it is very pertinent for the journals to mandatorily ask the authors for sharing of the primary data. This will ensure data integrity and transparency of the research findings, and help in negating the publication frauds.
  9. Account Res. 2021 Mar 09.
      The use of respondent quotes to headline qualitative research papers is a popular literary device found in many academic journals. This practice has increased over the last four decades and now appears normalised within qualitative research writing. This article provides a critical analysis of this trend in academic writing and concomitant publishing. Content and framework analyses of 40 papers employing this literary device to summarise the respective studies identified (i) a lack of methodological rigour (ii) incomplete analysis, (iii) an overall mis-representation of the wider qualitative dataset and (iv) possible investigator bias associated with using respondent quotes as titles of qualitative research papers. This article questions the credibility of purposely selecting a single experience that reduces the wider collective experience into one deterministic statement. This article contends that such practice is antithetical to the principles of qualitative research. Recommendations are provided to better monitor this practice throughout the academy.
    Keywords:  Qualitative research; methodology and methods; research titles; respondent quotes
  10. Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Mar 11. e14140
      In this era of evidence-based practice, scholarly work such as peer-reviewed scientific publications plays a vital role in policy and decision-making at an individual, organisation and country-level. Alongside being considered an essential means of communicating scholarly work, scientific publications also investigate the specific domains that lack well-established literature and thereby inform scientists and researchers to thrive for the betterment of the publics' well-being. Thus, the main purpose of articulating the scientific, scholarly work should be to make it understandable and accessible to everyone, including the lay audience. However, oftentimes, researchers overlook the lay summaries while publishing the research findings.
  11. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2021 Mar 09. 141(4):
  12. Int J Psychophysiol. 2021 Mar 04. pii: S0167-8760(21)00074-X. [Epub ahead of print]164 52-63
      A combination of confirmation bias, hindsight bias, and pressure to publish may prompt the (unconscious) exploration of various methodological options and reporting only the ones that lead to a (statistically) significant outcome. This undisclosed analytic flexibility is particularly relevant in EEG research, where a myriad of preprocessing and analysis pipelines can be used to extract information from complex multidimensional data. One solution to limit confirmation and hindsight bias by disclosing analytic choices is preregistration: researchers write a time-stamped, publicly accessible research plan with hypotheses, data collection plan, and the intended preprocessing and statistical analyses before the start of a research project. In this manuscript, we present an overview of the problems associated with undisclosed analytic flexibility, discuss why and how EEG researchers would benefit from adopting preregistration, provide guidelines and examples on how to preregister data preprocessing and analysis steps in typical ERP studies, and conclude by discussing possibilities and limitations of this open science practice.
    Keywords:  EEG; ERP; Open science; Preregistration
  13. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021 Feb 13. pii: S1553-7250(21)00033-7. [Epub ahead of print]
  14. World J Hepatol. 2021 Feb 27. 13(2): 162-165
      The 2021 online editorial board meeting of the World Journal of Hepatology (WJH) was held on January 16, 2021. Xiang Li, Director of Production Office on behalf of the Baishideng Publishing Group, organized the meeting. Three Editors-in-Chiefs (EiCs) and 15 Baishideng Publishing Group staff attended the meeting. The meeting goal was to brief EiCs on journal performance and gather ideas for journal development in 2021. In 2020, WJH published 204 articles, a 20% increase compared to 2019, authors were from 32 countries and regions, and the average citation per article was three times. However, attracting high quality original article submissions remains a challenge. The EiCs provided feedback and suggestions centered on four topics: (1) Improve journal quality by building editorial; (2) Improve board engagement by establishing a clear policy and consistent internal communications; (3) Improve peer review quality and efficiency; and (4) Refine the current journal marketing strategy to increase visibility and discoverability.
    Keywords:  Baishideng; Editorial board meeting; Journal development; World Journal of Hepatology
  15. Mycopathologia. 2021 Mar 11.
      The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the publishing landscape. The 'pre-peer-review' publication model is likely to become common as a lag in publishing is not acceptable in a pandemic or other time! Mycopathologia is well placed to adopt such changes with its improved editorial processes, article formats, author engagements, and published articles' access and citation. Mycopathologia had an improved journal impact factor and article downloads in 2018-2019. A limited sampling suggested a slight decrease in the total submissions in 2019 (352 articles) compared to 2018 (371 articles). However, the acceptance rate improved to 30% in 2019 from 19% in 2018. Nearly half of all submissions in 2019 were rejected before peer-review or transferred to other Springer Nature journals. The published articles were contributed from 34 different countries, with authors from China, the USA, and Brazil among the top three contributors. An enhanced editorial oversight allowed peer-reviewers to focus on fewer articles that were well-matched to their expertise, which led to lower rejection rates post-peer-review. The introduction of MycopathologiaGENOME and MycopathologiaIMAGE article types received a good reception with notable downloads and citations.
  16. J Biol Chem. 2020 May 29. pii: S0021-9258(17)49471-3. [Epub ahead of print]295(22): 7814-7815