bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒04‒04
fifteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Nature. 2021 Mar 31.
    Keywords:  Intellectual-property rights; Publishing
  2. Int J Surg. 2021 Mar 25. pii: S1743-9191(21)00052-2. [Epub ahead of print] 105918
      The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, first published in 2009 [1], was developed in an attempt to increase the clarity, transparency, quality and value of these reports [2]. The 27-item checklist and four-phase flow diagram have become the hallmark of academic rigour in the publication of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, having been cited by over 60,000 papers [3]. These are frequently endorsed by journals in their 'Instructions to Authors' [4]. Developments in the methodology and terminology used when conducting systematic reviews [5], alongside the identification of limitations responsible for poor adherence, such as the use of ambiguous wording [6], have warranted an update to the PRISMA statement. The PRISMA 2020 statement, therefore, is intended to reflect this recent evolution in the identification, selection, appraisal and synthesis of research [7]. Here, we present an interpretive analysis of the updated statement, with a view towards encouraging its adoption by both journals and authors in the pursuit of advancing evidence-based medicine.
  3. Rev Bras Enferm. 2021 Mar 24. pii: S0034-71672021000100101. [Epub ahead of print]74(1): e740102
  4. PLoS Biol. 2021 Apr 02. 19(4): e3000959
      The world continues to face a life-threatening viral pandemic. The virus underlying the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused over 98 million confirmed cases and 2.2 million deaths since January 2020. Although the most recent respiratory viral pandemic swept the globe only a decade ago, the way science operates and responds to current events has experienced a cultural shift in the interim. The scientific community has responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing over 125,000 COVID-19-related scientific articles within 10 months of the first confirmed case, of which more than 30,000 were hosted by preprint servers. We focused our analysis on bioRxiv and medRxiv, 2 growing preprint servers for biomedical research, investigating the attributes of COVID-19 preprints, their access and usage rates, as well as characteristics of their propagation on online platforms. Our data provide evidence for increased scientific and public engagement with preprints related to COVID-19 (COVID-19 preprints are accessed more, cited more, and shared more on various online platforms than non-COVID-19 preprints), as well as changes in the use of preprints by journalists and policymakers. We also find evidence for changes in preprinting and publishing behaviour: COVID-19 preprints are shorter and reviewed faster. Our results highlight the unprecedented role of preprints and preprint servers in the dissemination of COVID-19 science and the impact of the pandemic on the scientific communication landscape.
  5. Br J Anaesth. 2021 Mar 29. pii: S0007-0912(21)00141-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  COVID-19; medical publishing; peer review; perioperative medicine; preprint
  6. Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2021 Mar 31.
      PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had profound impacts upon scientific discourse in our field, most prominently through the abrupt transition of malignant hematology conferences to all-digital formats. These virtual components will likely be incorporated into future iterations of these conferences even as in-person attendance is reincorporated. In this review, we discuss ways in which usage of the social networking platform Twitter has expanded in the past year during virtual conferences as a method to facilitate-and, in some ways, democratize-information flow and professional networking.RECENT FINDINGS: Emerging Twitter-based tools in malignant hematology include presenter-developed #tweetorials, conference-specific "poster walks," and disease-specific online journal clubs. Twitter is also increasingly being used for networking across institutional and international lines, allowing for conversations to continue year-round as a first step toward multicenter collaborations as well as in-person #tweetups at subsequent meetings. The ability of Twitter to enable uninterrupted information exchange has reinforced its central role in medical and scientific communication in a way that will certainly outlive the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Conferences; Disease-specific hashtags; Social media; Twitter
  7. Int J Psychophysiol. 2021 Mar 24. pii: S0167-8760(21)00101-X. [Epub ahead of print]164 103-111
      Barriers to accessing scientific findings contribute to knowledge inequalities based on financial resources and decrease the transparency and rigor of scientific research. Recent initiatives aim to improve access to research as well as methodological rigor via transparency and openness. We sought to determine the impact of such initiatives on open access publishing in the sub-area of human electrophysiology and the impact of open access on the attention articles received in the scholarly literature and other outlets. Data for 35,144 articles across 967 journals from the last 20 years were examined. Approximately 35% of articles were open access, and the rate of publication of open-access articles increased over time. Open access articles showed 9 to 21% more PubMed and CrossRef citations and 39% more Altmetric mentions than closed access articles. Green open access articles (i.e., author archived) did not differ from non-green open access articles (i.e., publisher archived) with respect to citations and were related to higher Altmetric mentions. These findings demonstrate that open-access publishing is increasing in popularity in the sub-area of human electrophysiology and that open-access articles enjoy the "open access advantage" in citations similar to the larger scientific literature. The benefit of the open access advantage may motivate researchers to make their publications open access and pursue publication outlets that support it. In consideration of the direct connection between citations and journal impact factor, journal editors may improve the accessibility and impact of published articles by encouraging authors to self-archive manuscripts on preprint servers.
    Keywords:  Citation advantage; Event-related potentials (ERPs); Human electrophysiology (EEG); Open access; Preprints
  8. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Mar 06. pii: S0278-2391(21)00217-2. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Account Res. 2021 Mar 31.
      Journal impact factors, publication charges and assessment of quality and accuracy of scientific research are critical for researchers, managers, funders, policy makers, and society. Editors and publishers compete for impact factor rankings, to demonstrate how important their journals are, and researchers strive to publish in perceived top journals, despite high publication and access charges. This raises questions of how top journals are identified, whether assessments of impacts are accurate and whether high publication charges borne by the research community are justified, bearing in mind that they also collectively provide free peer-review to the publishers. Although traditional journals accelerated peer review and publication during the COVID-19 pandemic, preprint servers made a greater impact with over 30,000 open access articles becoming available and accelerating a trend already seen in other fields of research. We review and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of a range of assessment methods and the way in which they are used by researchers, managers, employers and publishers. We argue that new approaches to assessment are required to provide a realistic and comprehensive measure of the value of research and journals and we support open access publishing at a modest, affordable price to benefit research producers and consumers.
    Keywords:  Journal Impact Factor; Metrics; Open Access; Publication Costs
  10. Korean J Anesthesiol. 2021 Apr;74(2): 115-119
      General medical journals such as the Korean Journal of Anesthesiology (KJA) receive numerous manuscripts every year. However, reviewers have noticed that the tables presented in various manuscripts have great diversity in their appearance, resulting in difficulties in the review and publication process. It might be due to the lack of clear written instructions regarding reporting of statistical results for authors. Therefore, the present article aims to briefly outline reporting methods for several table types, which are commonly used to present statistical results. We hope this article will serve as a guideline for reviewers as well as for authors, who wish to submit a manuscript to the KJA.
    Keywords:  Comparative study; Guideline; Publication formats; Research report; Statistics; Tables.
  11. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2021 Mar 30. pii: bmjebm-2021-111670. [Epub ahead of print]
      During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rush to scientific and political judgements on the merits of hydroxychloroquine was fuelled by dubious papers which may have been published because the authors were not independent from the practices of the journals in which they appeared. This example leads us to consider a new type of illegitimate publishing entity, 'self-promotion journals' which could be deployed to serve the instrumentalisation of productivity-based metrics, with a ripple effect on decisions about promotion, tenure and grant funding, but also on the quality of manuscripts that are disseminated to the medical community and form the foundation of evidence-based medicine.
    Keywords:  ethics
  12. Injury. 2021 Mar 17. pii: S0020-1383(21)00249-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The sudden increase of questionable or predatory journals has raised concerns in the medical literature. The aims of this study were to identify potentially legitimate and questionable trauma journals and to assess the applicability of criteria previously proposed in the literature to distinguish them.METHODS: A comprehensive search strategy was developed to identify journals using keywords and controlled vocabulary. Presumed legitimate journals were identified using nine databases (Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed, Web of Science, etc.). Presumed questionable journals were identified using Google Search/Scholar, emails received and former Beall's lists. Scientific active English journals whose titles contained the words injury or trauma were eligible. Two reviewers independently selected journals and extracted information from their websites. Criteria to differentiate journals status were based on two lists proposed by Shamseer et al. (2017; salient characteristics) and Wicherts (2016; transparency of peer review's items) and treated as dichotomous variables. Applicability of criteria to distinguish journal status was assessed using Fisher's exact test.
    RESULTS: Following duplicate removal, 54 potentially legitimate and 30 potentially questionable active English journals were included. Among 13 salient characteristics, seven were found to distinguish potentially legitimate from potentially questionable trauma journals: the presence of fuzzy images or spelling and grammar errors on the website, homepages targeting authors, request to submit manuscripts by email, the absence of a retraction policy, promise of rapid publication and copyright claims. However, only 3/14 of Wicherts' items were associated with journal status: journal's website highlights issues of publication ethics, the journal has clear guidelines concerning sharing and availability of research data, and journal allows authors to indicate names of (non-) desired reviewers.
    CONCLUSIONS: Eighty-four active English trauma journals were identified. Among 27 criteria, 10 were found to determine trauma journals status related to their scientific legitimacy. Though no single criteria is foolproof, these criteria may be helpful to authors, readers, and reviewers when assessing potential legitimacy of scientific trauma journals.
    Keywords:  Injury; Open access; Predatory publishing; Review; Trauma
  13. Cell. 2021 Apr 01. pii: S0092-8674(21)00073-8. [Epub ahead of print]184(7): 1654-1656
      Many scientists spend unnecessary time reformatting papers to submit them to different journals. We propose a uniform submission format that we hope journals will include in their options for submission. Widespread adoption of this uniform submission format could shorten the submission and publishing process, freeing up time for research.
  14. Child Dev. 2021 Mar;92(2): 451-465
      If you have come here in search of the submission requirements at Child Development, this is perhaps not the editorial you are looking for. Consider visiting instead our revised instructions to authors. Nor does this essay simply detail the priorities of the incoming board and the initiatives we will be implementing over the next 6 years, though these are summarized in Table 1. Rather, this editorial was written to articulate clearly the scientific values underlying current plans and policies at the journal in support of publishing the highest quality and highest impact research on child development. I emphasize two interrelated themes: (a) our plans for continuing to emphasize and enhance diversity and inclusion in research on child development and (b) our policies that remove impediments to cumulative developmental science. Discussion focuses primarily on how we are incentivizing efforts to achieve these widely held yet too often neglected goals, taking as its point of departure emerging challenges to a fair and efficient editorial process at the journal. In so doing, I mean to highlight the essential work of continuously cultivating editorial structures that firmly embed in developmental science fundamental scientific values, principles that make it possible for research on child development to flourish in both the best and worst of times.