bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒09‒26
thirty-one papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Learn Publ. 2021 Jul 21.
      The abstract is known to be a promotional genre where researchers tend to exaggerate the benefit of their research and use a promotional discourse to catch the reader's attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted intensive research and has changed traditional publishing with the massive adoption of preprints by researchers. Our aim is to investigate whether the crisis and the ensuing scientific and economic competition have changed the lexical content of abstracts. We propose a comparative study of abstracts associated with preprints issued in response to the pandemic relative to abstracts produced during the closest pre-pandemic period. We show that with the increase (on average and in percentage) of positive words (especially effective) and the slight decrease of negative words, there is a strong increase in hedge words (the most frequent of which are the modal verbs can and may). Hedge words counterbalance the excessive use of positive words and thus invite the readers, who go probably beyond the 'usual' audience, to be cautious with the obtained results. The abstracts of preprints urgently produced in response to the COVID-19 crisis stand between uncertainty and over-promotion, illustrating the balance that authors have to achieve between promoting their results and appealing for caution.
    Keywords:  COVID‐19; abstract; academic writing
  2. ArXiv. 2021 Sep 17. pii: arXiv:2109.08633v1. [Epub ahead of print]
      The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the rapid dissemination of papers and preprints investigating the disease and its associated virus, SARS-CoV-2. The multifaceted nature of COVID-19 demands a multidisciplinary approach, but the urgency of the crisis combined with the need for social distancing measures present unique challenges to collaborative science. We applied a massive online open publishing approach to this problem using Manubot. Through GitHub, collaborators summarized and critiqued COVID-19 literature, creating a review manuscript. Manubot automatically compiled citation information for referenced preprints, journal publications, websites, and clinical trials. Continuous integration workflows retrieved up-to-date data from online sources nightly, regenerating some of the manuscript's figures and statistics. Manubot rendered the manuscript into PDF, HTML, LaTeX, and DOCX outputs, immediately updating the version available online upon the integration of new content. Through this effort, we organized over 50 scientists from a range of backgrounds who evaluated over 1,500 sources and developed seven literature reviews. While many efforts from the computational community have focused on mining COVID-19 literature, our project illustrates the power of open publishing to organize both technical and non-technical scientists to aggregate and disseminate information in response to an evolving crisis.
  3. IEEE Comput Graph Appl. 2021 Sep 24. PP
      Peer review is a widely utilized feedback mechanism for engaging students. As a pedagogical method, it has been shown to improve educational outcomes, but we have found limited empirical measurement of peer review in visualization courses. In addition to increasing engagement, peer review provides diverse feedback and reinforces recently-learned course concepts through critical evaluation of others' work. We discuss the construction and application of peer review in two visualization courses from different colleges at the University of South Florida. We then analyze student projects and peer review text via sentiment analysis to infer insights for visualization educators, including the focus of course content, engagement across student groups, student mastery of concepts, course trends over time, and expert intervention effectiveness. Finally, we provide suggestions for adapting peer review to other visualization courses to engage students and increase instructor understanding of the peer review process.
  4. Nature. 2021 Sep 20.
    Keywords:  Careers; Funding; Publishing
  5. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2021 ;12 1021-1031
      Background: Authorship is a pinnacle activity in academic medicine that often involves collaboration and a mentor-mentee relationship. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors criteria for authorship (ICMJEc) are intended to prevent abuses of authorship and are used by more than 5500 medical journals. However, the binary ICMJEc have not yet been quantified.Aim: To develop a numeric scoring rubric for the ICMJEc to corroborate the authenticity of authorship claims.
    Methods: The four ICMJEc were separated into the nine authorship components of conception, design, data acquisition, data analysis, interpretation of data, draft, revision, final approval and accountability. In spring 2021, members of an international association of medical editors rated the importance of each authorship component using an 11-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (no importance) to 10 (most important). The median component scores were used to calibrate the pairwise comparisons in an analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The AHP priority weights were multiplied against a four-level perceived effort/capability grade to calculate an authorship score.
    Results: Sixty-six decision-making medical editors completed the survey. The components had the median scores/AHP weights: conception 7.5/5.3%; design 8/8.9%; data acquisition 7/3.6%; data analysis 7/3.6%; interpretation of data 8/8.9%; draft 8/8.9%; revision 8/8.9%; final approval 9/20.1%; and accountability 10/31.8%, with Kruskal-Wallis Chi2 = 65.11, p < 0.001.
    Conclusion: The editors rated accountability as the most important component of authorship, followed by the final approval of the manuscript; data acquisition had the lowest median importance score for authorship. The scoring rubric ( transforms the binary tetrad ICMJEc into 9 quantifiable components of authorship, providing a transparent method to objectively assess authorship contributions, determine authorship order and potentially decrease the abuse of authorship. If desired, individual journals can survey their editorial boards and use the AHP method to derive customized weightings for an ICMJEc-based authorship index.
    Keywords:  ICMJE; academic medicine; analytic hierarchy process; authorship; ethics; medical editors; survey
  6. J For Res (Harbin). 2021 Sep 16. 1-20
      Are you a student at a higher institution or an early-career researcher who is striving to understand and master the peer review process so to increase the odds of getting a paper published in the Journal of Forestry Research or another reputable, peer-reviewed, scientific journal? In this paper, a young, senior editor provides a handbook of the peer review process based on his decadal experience in scientific publishing. He covers major information you need to know during the entire process, from selecting journals to completing the proofing of your accepted paper. He introduces key points for consideration, such as avoidance of predatory journals, dubious research practices and ethics, interaction with peers, reviewers, and editors, and the pursuit of aretê. Finally, he points out some common statistical errors and misconceptions, such as P hacking and incorrect effect size inference. He hopes that this paper will enhance your understanding and knowledge of the peer-review process.
    Keywords:  Academic editor; Article publishing; Manuscript status; Science communication; Scientific writing
  7. Cell. 2021 Sep 18. pii: S0092-8674(21)01064-3. [Epub ahead of print]
  8. Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Sep 20. pii: S2214-109X(21)00443-5. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Reumatologia. 2021 ;59(3): 132-137
      Plagiarism is an ethical misconduct affecting the quality, readability, and trustworthiness of scholarly publications. Improving researcher awareness of plagiarism of words, ideas, and graphics is essential for avoiding unacceptable writing practices. Global editorial associations have publicized their statements on strategies to clean literature from redundant, stolen, and misleading information. Consulting related documents is advisable for upgrading author instructions and warning plagiarists of academic and other consequences of the unethical conduct. A lack of creative thinking and poor academic English skills are believed to compound most instances of redundant and "copy-and-paste" writing. Plagiarism detection software largely relies on reporting text similarities. However, manual checks are required to reveal inappropriate referencing, copyright violations, and substandard English writing. Medical researchers and authors may improve their writing skills and avoid the same errors by consulting the list of retractions due to plagiarism which are tracked on the PubMed platform and discussed on the Retraction Watch blog.
    Keywords:  plagiarism; publication ethics; publishing; rheumatology
  10. Biol Futur. 2021 Jul 28.
      Scientific writing is an important skill in both academia and clinical practice. The skills for writing a strong scientific paper are necessary for researchers (comprising academic staff and health-care professionals). The process of a scientific research will be completed by reporting the obtained results in the form of a strong scholarly publication. Therefore, an insufficiency in scientific writing skills may lead to consequential rejections. This feature results in undesirable impact for their academic careers, promotions and credits. Although there are different types of papers, the original article is normally the outcome of experimental/epidemiological research. On the one hand, scientific writing is part of the curricula for many medical programs. On the other hand, not every physician may have adequate knowledge on formulating research results for publication adequately. Hence, the present review aimed to introduce the details of creating a strong original article for publication (especially for novice or early career researchers).
    Keywords:  Abstracting and indexing; Academic training; Clinical medicine; Medical publications; Peer review; Publications; Scientific research
  11. J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Sep 19. pii: S0895-4356(21)00313-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  ResearchGate; journal citations; zombie publications
  12. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2021 Sep;82(5): 595-601
      OBJECTIVE: One research group has recently published three articles on the ways in which alcohol companies and industry social aspects organizations (SAOs) communicate with the public. These articles show how the information produced by the alcohol industry works to produce doubt and uncertainty. Replies from SAOs were published in the respective scientific journals. This article examines these "moments of controversy," asking in what ways, on which grounds, do the SAOs contest the claims made about them?METHOD: Three moments of controversy were examined, prompted by articles on SAO information on cancer, on use of Twitter, and on pregnancy and fertility. The articles (n = 3), the responses from the SAOs (n = 8), and the replies by authors Petticrew and colleagues (n = 4), were analyzed, identifying the rhetorical repertoires at work.
    RESULTS: The responses by SAOs use two main strategies: 1. Posing narrow questions of accuracy rather than engaging with the overall findings of the articles on the context and framing of information; and 2. Making normative claims about what it is to do good science, suggesting that the articles and their findings are not. The second strategy questions the very legitimacy of research examining SAOs. The credibility of being published in the scientific literature affords the responses themselves a rhetorical function, a resource for later use to signal doubt and uncertainty.
    CONCLUSIONS: The SAO interventions in the scientific literature generate controversies. Furthermore, the published traces they leave in the scientific literature enhance SAOs' ability to make credible claims that the original findings were controversial.
  13. Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2021 Sep 20. pii: S0363-0188(21)00138-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Over the last few decades, the authenticity and confidence of scientific work from around the world has been systematically corrupted by predatory journals and their affiliated publication houses. These journals predominantly prey on both aspiring and established academics and researchers from around the world, but primarily on individuals from developing countries, by aggressively soliciting manuscripts for a nominal publication fee without providing a robust editorial service or peer review system and ultimately promising fast track publication in a few days to weeks. Such journals may also diminish the opportunity for authors in developing countries from getting their original work published in legitimate journals. A majority of the work published in these pseudo journals aside from being incorrect and mundane, provide no advancement to science. But more importantly, the negative impact of these journals can have direct implications on patient health care and research.
  14. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(9): e0257841
      Selecting a target journal is a universal decision faced by authors of scientific papers. Components of the decision, including expected turnaround time, journal acceptance rate, and journal impact factor, vary in terms of accessibility. In this study, I collated recent turnaround times and impact factors for 82 journals that publish papers in the field of fisheries sciences. In addition, I gathered acceptance rates for the same journals when possible. Findings indicated clear among-journal differences in turnaround time, with median times-to-publication ranging from 79 to 323 days. There was no clear correlation between turnaround time and acceptance rate nor between turnaround time and impact factor; however, acceptance rate and impact factor were negatively correlated. I found no field-wide differences in turnaround time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, though some individual journals took significantly longer or significantly shorter to publish during the pandemic. Depending on their priorities, authors choosing a target journal should use the results of this study as guidance toward a more informed decision.
  15. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Sep 19. pii: ocab195. [Epub ahead of print]
      Qualitative research, the analysis of nonquantitative and nonquantifiable data through methods such as interviews and observation, is integral to the field of biomedical and health informatics. To demonstrate the integrity and quality of their qualitative research, authors should report important elements of their work. This perspective article offers guidance about reporting components of the research, including theory, the research question, sampling, data collection methods, data analysis, results, and discussion. Addressing these points in the paper assists peer reviewers and readers in assessing the rigor of the work and its contribution to the literature. Clearer and more detailed reporting will ensure that qualitative research will continue to be published in informatics, helping researchers disseminate their understanding of people, organizations, context, and sociotechnical relationships as they relate to biomedical and health data.
    Keywords:  biases; data analysis; data collection; qualitative methods; qualitative research; reliability
  16. Int J Eat Disord. 2021 Sep 23.
      This editorial seeks to encourage the increased application of three open science practices in eating disorders research: Preregistration, Registered Reports, and the sharing of materials, data, and code. For each of these practices, we introduce updated International Journal of Eating Disorders author and reviewer guidance. Updates include the introduction of open science badges; specific instructions about how to improve transparency; and the introduction of Registered Reports of systematic or meta-analytical reviews. The editorial also seeks to encourage the study of open science practices. Open science practices pose considerable time and other resource burdens. Therefore, research is needed to help determine the value of these added burdens and to identify efficient strategies for implementing open science practices.
    Keywords:  clinical trial preregistration; data sharing; eating disorder; material sharing; open access; open science; registered report; replication; reproducibility; transparency
  17. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 09 28. pii: e2102945118. [Epub ahead of print]118(39):
      Unbiased science dissemination has the potential to alleviate some of the known gender disparities in academia by exposing female scholars' work to other scientists and the public. And yet, we lack comprehensive understanding of the relationship between gender and science dissemination online. Our large-scale analyses, encompassing half a million scholars, revealed that female scholars' work is mentioned less frequently than male scholars' work in all research areas. When exploring the characteristics associated with online success, we found that the impact of prior work, social capital, and gendered tie formation in coauthorship networks are linked with online success for men, but not for women-even in the areas with the highest female representation. These results suggest that while men's scientific impact and collaboration networks are associated with higher visibility online, there are no universally identifiable facets associated with success for women. Our comprehensive empirical evidence indicates that the gender gap in online science dissemination is coupled with a lack of understanding the characteristics that are linked with female scholars' success, which might hinder efforts to close the gender gap in visibility.
    Keywords:  STEM; computational social science; gender inequality; scholarly communication; social networks
  18. Iran J Public Health. 2021 Jun;50(6): 1260-1265
      Background: Peer based evaluation is a qualitative assessment done in different fields and levels. The aim of this study was to express the results of peer review evaluation in selected Iranian clinical research centers.Methods: Four main domains consist of Leadership and governance, Structure, Knowledge products and Impact in thirty Iranian clinical research centers were evaluated based on peer review in 2019. Strengths and weak points with peer's suggestions were extracted based on qualitative analysis.
    Results: Governance and impact domains have been more weak points than others. Equipment, facilities, physical space and human resource have been desirable in many research centers, and also there were some good developments in research publication. The most important suggestion was pay more attention to technology in planning, infra-structure and impact levels.
    Conclusion: Review missions of clinical research centers with more emphasis on health impact is necessary to clinical improvement.
    Keywords:  Clinical field; Governance; Impact; Peer evaluation; Research center; Structure
  19. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2021 Sep 21. 1745691621997530
      Are APA journal articles getting longer or shorter over time? Earlier work that examined changes over time in article length in 24 APA journals (1986-2005) found that pages per article increased over time for the average journal, peaking around 2001, and then plateaued thereafter. But have these trends continued during the past 14 years? The current research extends prior work by adding additional years (1986-2019) and four additional journals (28 journals, 34 years, and 865 total observations). Multilevel growth curve analyses revealed a cubic effect of time on average article length, showing an increase in the 1980s and 1990s, a plateau or slight decline in the 2000s, and a slight increase again in the 2010s. Journal impact factors (JIFs) moderated linear growth over time; journals with higher JIFs had larger linear increases in article length. Exploratory multilevel interrupted time-series analyses suggested that the average linear increase in pages per article over time was greater after the start of psychology's credibility crisis (2012-2019) than before it (1986-2011), which may relate to an increased emphasis on reporting details and transparency. We discuss implications for article length in the contexts of publishing and psychology's ongoing credibility crisis.
    Keywords:  APA journals; article length; credibility crisis; growth curve modeling; impact factor; multilevel models; publication trends
  20. FEBS J. 2021 09;288(18): 5228-5230
      In this special interview series, we profile members of The FEBS Journal editorial board to highlight their research and perspectives on the journal and more. Albert Heck is Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Utrecht University, Scientific Director of the Netherlands Proteomics Center, and Head of the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group in Utrecht University since September 1998. He has served as Editorial Board Member of The FEBS Journal since 2020.
  21. FEBS Open Bio. 2021 Sep 21.
      Stuart Ferguson has been on the Editorial Board of FEBS Open Bio since its inception, and his expertise, dedication, and support have been invaluable for the journal's growth and success. Stuart Ferguson received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oxford, before taking up a faculty position at the University of Birmingham and later returning to Oxford, where he is currently Emeritus Fellow at St Edmund Hall but still teaching and pursuing his research interests. Stuart is also a long-term member of the Editorial Board of our fellow FEBS Press journal, FEBS Letters. Stuart has kindly volunteered to be the second member of our Editorial Board to be interviewed, in celebration of the journal's upcoming 10th anniversary.