bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒04‒18
twenty-one papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Nature. 2021 Apr 14.
    Keywords:  Communication; Conferences and meetings
  2. Account Res. 2021 Apr 11. 1-9
      In this short commentary, the author reflects on his experience working with researchers from developing nations and argues that it is the professional responsibility of those researchers privileged by conducting research in a developed, English-speaking nation to pursue collaboration with researchers in more disadvantageous positions. As noted in a recent article from Matthews et al., researchers from developing countries experience tremendous barriers to identifying collaborators and publishing in top research journals. This commentary notes that researchers from developed countries have both humanitarian and symbiotic rationales for seeking international collaborations with researchers from developing countries. These relationships support the growth of research fields and help deconstruct a western hemispheric hegemony present in much of existing research approaches and thought and publishing practices.
    Keywords:  International; collaboration; developing countries; publishing; research
  3. Public Underst Sci. 2021 Apr 10. 9636625211005334
      The coronavirus pandemic created a situation in which virological and epidemiological science became highly politically relevant but was uncertain and fragmented. This raises the question as to how science could inform policymaking and public debate on societal crisis management. Based on an online survey of Germans (N = 1513) representative for age, gender, education, and place of residence, we investigate citizens' prescriptive views of the relationships between science, policymaking, and the media. Views differ depending on their informational needs and epistemic beliefs. People with a need for definite information and a view of scientific knowledge as static wanted scientists to dominate policymaking and journalists to deliver definite information about the coronavirus. People with an informational need to construct their own opinions wanted journalists to question policy and scientific advice. Furthermore, they rejected the idea of scientists dominating policymaking. Results are discussed with reference to theories of science and democracy.
    Keywords:  interaction experts/publics; media and science; media representations; policy and science; risk communication; science communication; science in democracy; science journalism
  4. Public Underst Sci. 2021 Apr 16. 9636625211005106
      This article explores science communication and discussion about genetically modified food on Zhihu, the biggest Chinese knowledge-sharing social network, through the methods of online ethnography and discourse analysis. The long-term online ethnography finds a new group emerging: citizen science communicators - those members of the public without a professional scientific background who actively assume the role of communicators. The discoursal and behavioural characteristics of citizen science communicators effectively eliminate the boundaries between scientists and the public, scientific discourse and that of non-scientists, as well as the 'exclusive legitimacy' of science and scientists in the online science communication process. By eliminating boundaries and 'exclusive legitimacy', the authority of Chinese scientists has also been challenged and deconstructed in online science communication on Zhihu.
    Keywords:  boundary work; discourse analysis; discourse authority; exclusive legitimacy; online ethnography; online science communication
  5. Med Educ Online. 2021 Dec;26(1): 1912879
      Letters to the Editor offer ways for readers to engage with authors' publications. Letters are the shortest manuscript for medical students to publish and medical-education journals are best suited. The UK Foundation Programme rewards medical students achieving PubMed ID publications and we hypothesise that this is a main motivation for medical students to submit Letters to the Editor. A review of 15 medical-education journals with an impact factor was conducted to identify numbers and percentages of Letters to the Editor by medical students between July 2018 and June 2020. Affiliation of medical students was collected. Our results show over two years, 299 letters were published by medical students equating to 45.9% of total letters. There was a 60% overall increase in letters by medical students published in the first 12 months compared to second 12 months. During this period overall numbers of letters published increased by 27%. 86% of the letters published by medical students over the two-year period were from UK medical schools. Five schools accounted for 60.5% of these letters. The three medical schools with highest numbers of letters published were King's College London, Imperial College London and University of Oxford for both 2018/19 and 2019/20. The increase in letters published overall with greater numbers published by students, may indicate greater awareness of Letters to the Editor as means of dissemination amongst medical students. UK medical schools published large numbers of letters, perhaps reflecting increasing importance to students of publications due to impacting on subsequent jobs. Results from our quantitative research revealing: large numbers of letters by medical students, increase in letters published from 2018/19 to 2019/20 and overrepresentation of UK medical students supports the hypothesis that medical students are publishing letters to achieve PubMed IDs. Further qualitative research is required to test our hypothesis.
    Keywords:  Medical education; letters to editor; medical student; uk foundation programme; uk medical schools
  6. J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2021 Apr 15. 10783903211009154
  7. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2021 Apr 15. 6(1): 6
      BACKGROUND: Inaccurate, false or incomplete research publications may mislead readers including researchers and decision-makers. It is therefore important that such problems are identified and rectified promptly. This usually involves collaboration between the research institutions and academic journals involved, but these interactions can be problematic.METHODS: These recommendations were developed following discussions at World Conferences on Research Integrity in 2013 and 2017, and at a specially convened 3-day workshop in 2016 involving participants from 7 countries with expertise in publication ethics and research integrity. The recommendations aim to address issues surrounding cooperation and liaison between institutions (e.g. universities) and journals about possible and actual problems with the integrity of reported research arising before and after publication.
    RESULTS: The main recommendations are that research institutions should: 1) develop mechanisms for assessing the integrity of reported research (if concerns are raised) that are distinct from processes to determine whether individual researchers have committed misconduct; 2) release relevant sections of reports of research integrity or misconduct investigations to all journals that have published research that was investigated; 3) take responsibility for research performed under their auspices regardless of whether the researcher still works at that institution or how long ago the work was done; 4) work with funders to ensure essential research data is retained for at least 10 years. Journals should: 1) respond to institutions about research integrity cases in a timely manner; 2) have criteria for determining whether, and what type of, information and evidence relating to the integrity of research reports should be passed on to institutions; 3) pass on research integrity concerns to institutions, regardless of whether they intend to accept the work for publication; 4) retain peer review records for at least 10 years to enable the investigation of peer review manipulation or other inappropriate behaviour by authors or reviewers.
    CONCLUSIONS: Various difficulties can prevent effective cooperation between academic journals and research institutions about research integrity concerns and hinder the correction of the research record if problems are discovered. While the issues and their solutions may vary across different settings, we encourage research institutions, journals and funders to consider how they might improve future collaboration and cooperation on research integrity cases.
    Keywords:  Fabrication; Falsification; Journals; Misconduct; Peer review; Plagiarism; Research institutions; Research integrity; Research reporting
  8. Health Psychol. 2021 Apr;40(4): 227-229
      The Editors are pleased to announce that Health Psychology has adopted the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines (Center for Open Science, 2021). We and the other core American Psychological Association (APA) journals are implementing these guidelines at the direction of the APA Publications and Communications Board. Their decision was made with the support of the APA Council of Editors and the APA Open Science and Methodology Committee. The TOP Guidelines were originally published in Science (Nosek et al. 2015) to encourage journals to incentivize open research practices. They are being implemented by a wide range of scientific publications, including some of the leading behavioral and medical research journals. The TOP guidelines for Health Psychology are outlined in our recently revised Instructions to Authors. We are implementing most of the standards at TOP Level 1, which means that adherence is required. We are implementing other standards at Level 2, which means that authors are encouraged to adhere to them and required to disclose whether and how they have done so. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
  9. Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2021 Apr 12. pii: S1983-14472021000100200. [Epub ahead of print]42 e20210030
  10. BJS Open. 2021 Mar 05. pii: zraa064. [Epub ahead of print]5(2):
      BACKGROUND: Despite women constituting over half of new doctors, gender disparity remains an issue. Surgery has shown particularly slow progress towards gender parity. This study aimed to quantify gender representation within editorial boards of the highest ranking international general surgery journals.METHODS: Surgical journals were collated using two indices: SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and Journal Impact Factor (JIF). Non-general surgery journals were excluded. Journals were contacted, requesting gender editorial team demographics. Editorial board data were collected via journal websites on 28 November 2019.
    RESULTS: The top 25 general surgery journals according to SJR and JIF ranking methods were determined, identifying 28 unique journals. Editorial board data were publicly available for 27 of these 28 surgical journals, and were examined. Women accounted for 20.2 per cent (568 of 2816) of total editorial board positions. Women constituted 11 per cent (4 of 36) of editor-in-chief positions, 32 per cent (29 of 92) of deputy editors, and 19.1 per cent (369 of 1935) of general editorial board positions.
    CONCLUSION: The findings demonstrate gender disparity within editorial boards of the most prominent general surgery journals.
  11. West J Emerg Med. 2021 Mar 02. 22(2): 353-359
      INTRODUCTION: Our goal in this study was to determine female representation on editorial boards of high-ranking emergency medicine (EM) journals. In addition, we examined factors associated with gender disparity, including board members' academic rank, departmental leadership position, h-index, total publications, total citations, and total publishing years.METHODS: In this retrospective study, we examined EM editorial boards with an impact factor of 1 or greater according to the Clarivate Journal Citations Report for a total of 16 journals. All board members with a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree, or international equivalent were included, resulting in 781 included board members. We analyzed board members' gender, academic rank, departmental leadership position, h-index, total publications, total citations, and total publishing years.
    RESULTS: Gender disparity was clearly notable, with men holding 87.3% (682/781) of physician editorial board positions and women holding 12.7% (99/781) of positions. Only 6.6% (1/15) of included editorial board chiefs were women. Male editorial board members possessed higher h-indices, total citations, and more publishing years than their female counterparts. Male board members held a greater number of departmental leadership positions, as well as higher academic ranks.
    CONCLUSION: Significant gender disparity exists on EM editorial boards. Substantial inequalities between men and women board members exist in both the academic and departmental realms. Addressing these inequalities will likely be an integral part of achieving gender parity on editorial boards.
  12. Cad Saude Publica. 2021 Apr 07. pii: S0102-311X2021000400101. [Epub ahead of print]37(4): e00063121
  13. J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 08. pii: S0895-4356(21)00112-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: To summarize the reporting quality of healthcare abstracts and inconsistencies between abstracts and full texts.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: This systematic review included overviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews (SRs) that summarized data of healthcare abstracts on reporting of abstracts and consistency of abstracts with the full text. Searches were performed in PubMed, CENTRAL, Cochrane Library and EMBASE databases from 1900 to February 2019. Two authors screened the overviews and extracted the data. All analyses were descriptive and divided into two main groups: abstracts' reporting quality and abstracts' consistency with the full text. Abstracts were considered poorly reported and inconsistent with the full text if more than 5% of abstracts' information was not fully reported or not consistent with the full text.
    RESULTS: 27 overviews analyzing 5,194 RCTs and 866 SRs were retrieved for reporting quality of abstracts. A total of 22 overviews analyzing 2,025 RCTs and 551 SRs were included for consistency of abstracts with the full text. Abstracts across all healthcare areas presented poor reporting quality and were inconsistent with the full texts, with results and conclusions as the most inconsistent sections.
    CONCLUSION: Abstracts of healthcare RCTs and SRs have shown a large room for improvement in reporting quality and consistency with the full text. Authors, journal editors and reviewers need to give the highest priority to this matter.
    Keywords:  Abstracts; Consistency; Healthcare; Interpretation; Reporting quality; Spin
  14. Cell Immunol. 2021 Feb 25. pii: S0008-8749(21)00038-1. [Epub ahead of print] 104319
  15. IUBMB Life. 2021 Apr 16.
    Keywords:  IUBMB; IUBMB Life; Science Publishing
  16. Sci Eng Ethics. 2021 Apr 12. 27(2): 27
      While much of the scholarly work on ethics relating to academic authorship examines the fair distribution of authorship credit, none has yet examined situations where a researcher contributes significantly to the project, but whose contributions do not make it into the final manuscript. Such a scenario is commonplace in collaborative research settings in many disciplines and may occur for a number of reasons, such as excluding research in order to provide the paper with a clearer focus, tell a particular story, or exclude negative results that do not fit the hypothesis. Our concern in this paper is less about the reasons for including or excluding data from a paper and more about distributing credit in this type of scenario. In particular, we argue that the notion 'substantial contribution', which is part of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship criteria, is ambiguous and that we should ask whether it concerns what ends up in the paper or what is a substantial contribution to the research process leading up to the paper. We then argue, based on the principles of fairness, due credit, and ensuring transparency and accountability in research, that the latter interpretation is more plausible from a research ethics point of view. We conclude that the ICMJE and other organizations interested in authorship and publication ethics should consider including guidance on authorship attribution in situations where researchers contribute significantly to the research process leading up to a specific paper, but where their contribution is finally omitted.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Authorship criteria; Ethics; Negative results; Substantial contribution