bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒07‒11
fifteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Account Res. 2021 Jul 06.
      Previous research has found authors of retracted publications responsible for the vast majority of retractions. Although considerable research attention has been given to reasons for retraction, few studies have examined author-related reasons from a cross-disciplinary and a severity-based perspective. Drawing on data from the Web of Science Core Collection, this study examined 6,861 retraction notices published before 2020, in which authors were identified as the sole entities responsible for retraction. A close scrutiny identified 17 distinct reasons for retraction, with the three most frequent (i.e., plagiarism/self-plagiarism, unreliable data/findings, and data fabrication/falsification) accounting for 78.87% of the retraction notices. Based on the severity of the culpable actions involved, the 17 reasons were grouped into five categories: blatant misconduct (disclosed in 61.08% of the retraction notices), inappropriate conduct (18.18%), questionable conduct (0.95%), honest error (4.62%), and uncategorizable conduct (30.52%). Retraction notices in hard disciplines (i.e., natural sciences) were found more likely than those in soft disciplines (i.e., social sciences, arts, and the humanities) to disclose authorship issues, unreliable data/findings, uncategorizable conduct, and inappropriate conduct. Retraction notices in soft disciplines were more likely than those in hard disciplines to disclose unspecified misconduct and blatant misconduct.
    Keywords:  Web of Science; academic integrity; disciplinary variation; misconduct; reasons for retraction; research ethics; severity of reasons for retraction
  2. Learn Publ. 2021 Jun 01.
      The impact of COVID-19 has underlined the need for reliable information to guide clinical practice and policy. This urgency has to be balanced against disruption to journal handling capacity and the continued need to ensure scientific rigour. We examined the reporting quality of highly disseminated COVID-19 research papers using a bibliometric analysis examining reporting quality and risk of bias (RoB) amongst 250 top scoring Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) COVID-19 research papers between January and April 2020. Method-specific RoB tools were used to assess quality. After exclusions, 84 studies from 44 journals were included. Forty-three (51%) were case series/studies, and only one was an randomized controlled trial. Most authors were from institutions based in China (n = 44, 52%). The median AAS and impact factor was 2015 (interquartile range [IQR] 1,105-4,051.5) and 12.8 (IQR 5-44.2) respectively. Nine studies (11%) utilized a formal reporting framework, 62 (74%) included a funding statement, and 41 (49%) were at high RoB. This review of the most widely disseminated COVID-19 studies highlights a preponderance of low-quality case series with few research papers adhering to good standards of reporting. It emphasizes the need for cautious interpretation of research and the increasingly vital responsibility that journals have in ensuring high-quality publications.
    Keywords:  COVID‐19; altmetrics; coronavirus Infections; pandemics; publication impact; quality
  3. Learn Publ. 2021 Mar 08.
      The global crisis sparked collaboration between publishers and service providers to successfully address an immediate problem and demonstrated the possibility for future partnerships.Encouraging experts to join a reviewer pool and quickly review the preprint and journal submissions, we were able to publish COVID-19 research more quickly.The initiative confirmed little author uptake of inter-publisher journal transfer option.The collaboration showed wide consensus on open science practices which will ensure faster and more reliable research findings.
  4. Hist Philos Life Sci. 2021 Jul 09. 43(3): 87
      A pandemic of misinformation is said to spread alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. The need to properly inform the public is stronger than ever in the fight against misinformation, but what 'properly' means in this context is a quite controversial issue. In what follows, I discuss the challenges we face in communicating COVID-19 health information to the public, with the aim to shed light on some ethical and policy issues emerging in science (communication) in times of crises.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Science communication; Uncertainty
  5. Ir J Med Sci. 2021 Jul 07.
      Scholarly publishing currently is faced by an upsurge in low-quality, questionable "predatory/hijacked" journals published by those whose only goal is profit. Although there are discussions in the literature warning about them, most provide only a few suggestions on how to avoid these journals. Most solutions are not generalizable or have other weaknesses. Here, we use a novel information technology, i.e., blockchains, to expose and prevent the problems produced by questionable journals. Thus, this work presented here sheds light on the advantages of blockchain for producing safe, fraud-free scholarly publishing.
    Keywords:  Blockchains; Bogus impact factors; Decentralized systems; Hijacked journals; Predatory journals; Smart contracts
  6. Can J Psychiatry. 2021 Jul 05. 7067437211020613
    Keywords:  antiracism; editorial ethics; historical scientific racism; international code of ethics; pseudoscience; psychiatric publications
  7. Account Res. 2021 Jul 03.
      In its current mode of identification of scientific publications, the digital object identifier (DOI) is not more than a web linking of published material to their publishing sources. When a given DOI is searched in the DOI website (, we are redirected to the publishing websites, if the material is available, or an error message (Not Found) will appear if the DOI-associated content is not available or has moved to a new location. To bestow a worthwhile value to DOI assignations, I suggest the establishment of a unique persistent DOI database (for e.g., as a DOI hub, DOI library, or DOI indexer) in which all the DOI assigned by publishers and journals will be listed in one and same place with basics bibliographic metadata and complete citation information, including the DOI link itself, authors' names, manuscripts' titles, publishing source, date of publication, and ideally abstracts if available. As a result, when a DOI is searched in the DOI hub, full bibliographic information should be retrievable regardless of its status in the publishing source. Basic indexation information and metadata associated with published articles will be always accessible and findable independently from the publishing sources. A unique, general and long-term preserved DOI hub will make it easy to search, find and cite scientific literature from the various scientific fields even if a journal or publisher ceases its publishing activity.
    Keywords:  bibliography database; digital object identifier; doi; doi hub; doi indexer; doi library; persistent archive; science archive; science hub; science indexation
  8. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(7): e0254201
      'Public engagement with science' has become a 'buzzword' reflecting a concern about the widening gap between science and society and efforts to bridge this gap. This study is a comprehensive analysis of the development of the 'engagement' rhetoric in the pertinent academic literature on science communication and in science policy documents. By way of a content analysis of articles published in three leading science communication journals and a selection of science policy documents from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU), and South Africa (SA), the variety of motives underlying this rhetoric, as well as the impact it has on science policies, are analyzed. The analysis of the science communication journals reveals an increasingly vague and inclusive definition of 'engagement' as well as of the 'public' being addressed, and a diverse range of motives driving the rhetoric. Similar observations can be made about the science policy documents. This study corroborates an earlier diagnosis that rhetoric is running ahead of practice and suggests that communication and engagement with clearly defined stakeholder groups about specific problems and the pertinent scientific knowledge will be a more successful manner of 'engagement'.
  9. J Cheminform. 2021 Jul 07. 13(1): 50
      The ability to access chemical information openly is an essential part of many scientific disciplines. The Journal of Cheminformatics is leading the way for rigorous, open cheminformatics in many ways, but there remains room for improvement in primary areas. This letter discusses how both authors and the journal alike can help increase the FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability) of the chemical structural information in the journal. A proposed chemical structure template can serve as an interoperable Additional File format (already accessible), made more findable by linking the DOI of this data file to the article DOI metadata, supporting further reuse.
    Keywords:  Chemical database; Chemical deposition; Chemical information; Cheminformatics; Data archive; FAIR; Open access; Open repository; Open science; Supplementary material
  10. Sex Med Rev. 2021 Jul 01. pii: S2050-0521(21)00037-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      INTRODUCTION: This is a comprehensive history of the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and its founding organizations regarding the publications, including the journals and the publication committee, and the communication tools of the organization since its inception.OBJECTIVES: The object of this review is to provide a detailed and comprehensive history of the publication and communication tools of the ISSM and the people who have participated in production of these efforts.
    METHODS: Recorded Publication Committee minutes, filed letters, the various journals themselves, printed News bulletins, and Publishers reports to the society served as source documents to produce this history. The author has participated in many of the journal establishments and has kept an extensive personnel file of the events related in this history. All written history has not only relied on personal memories of these events but have been verified from the stored personal files. Printed and website stored journal and News bulletin have served as source material for this history. Also, Power Point presentations by the editors of the journals at the Publication Committee meetings have served as source material. Finally, annual, and semi-annual reports of the Publishers presented at Publication Committee meetings of the ISSM are source material.
    RESULTS: After extensive review of the historical material listed in the Methods section of this abstract, this comprehensive history of the communication efforts of this society has provided a rich and dynamic historical document for this society.
    CONCLUSION: This extensive, detailed, and comprehensive history of the communication tools of this society help us to record and remember the events and the people involved in this process. Sharing scientific information and information regarding the life of the International Society for Sexual Medicine have been an important function of this society from early. Lewis RW. Comprehensive History of the International Society for Sexual Medicine-Journals and Communication. Sex Med Rev 2021;xx:xx-xx.
    Keywords:  History; International Society for Sexual Medicine; Journals; Newsletters; Other communication Tools; People and Events; Publication Committee
  11. Med Arch. 2021 Apr;75(2): 88-93
      This year the journal "Medical Archives" celebrates 75 year of existing. "Medicinski Arhiv/Medical Archives" was founded in 1947 as official journal of the Association of Physicians (Sabor ljekara Bosne i Hercegovina) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the first Editorial board was consisted of academicans: Vladimir Cavka (Professor of Oftalmology), Blagoje Kovacevic (Professor of Surgery), Bogdan Zimonjic (Professor of Internal medicine), and Ibro Brkić (Professor of Internal medicine). Exactly the Medical Archives journal was a key milestone that helped in education of all academic and professional staff that became the foundation of Bosnian and Herzegovinian medicine as a science and health care as a profession. Medicinski Arhiv was included in largest bimedical database Medline in 1947 and till now in that database is deposited more than 7000 papers. Also this journal has highest h-Index in Scopus database ranked by SCImago rank. In Medicinski Arhiv journal authors from more than 60 countries from whole the world published their papers, some of them with very high Scopus h-Index.
    Keywords:  Academy of Medical Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Medicinski Arhiv/Medical Archives