bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒10‒10
27 papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Anal Chem. 2021 Oct 07.
      Non-targeted analysis (NTA) workflows using mass spectrometry are gaining popularity in many disciplines, but universally accepted reporting standards are nonexistent. Current guidance addresses limited elements of NTA reporting-most notably, identification confidence-and is insufficient to ensure scientific transparency and reproducibility given the complexity of these methods. This lack of reporting standards hinders researchers' development of thorough study protocols and reviewers' ability to efficiently assess grant and manuscript submissions. To overcome these challenges, we developed the NTA Study Reporting Tool (SRT), an easy-to-use, interdisciplinary framework for comprehensive NTA methods and results reporting. Eleven NTA practitioners reviewed eight published articles covering environmental, food, and health-based exposomic applications with the SRT. Overall, our analysis demonstrated that the SRT provides a valid structure to guide study design and manuscript writing, as well as to evaluate NTA reporting quality. Scores self-assigned by authors fell within the range of peer-reviewer scores, indicating that SRT use for self-evaluation will strengthen reporting practices. The results also highlighted NTA reporting areas that need immediate improvement, such as analytical sequence and quality assurance/quality control information. Although scores intentionally do not correspond to data/results quality, widespread implementation of the SRT could improve study design and standardize reporting practices, ultimately leading to broader use and acceptance of NTA data.
  2. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2021 Oct;9(10): e3838
      Background: Prolonged publishing time in scientific journals can be discouraging for researchers because earlier publication can mean a higher h-index and more academic opportunities. In this study, we evaluated the publication time for articles in plastic surgery journals compared with journals in surgery and medicine. We also assessed correlations between publication speed and journal impact factors (IFs).Methods: The overall indexes of all plastic surgery journals were compared with journals in the discipline of surgery and medicine. In addition, we evaluated original articles published in all plastic surgical journals and the highest-ranking journals from various surgical subspecialties listed in the 2018 Journal Citation Report, assessing the time intervals from submission to publication, submission to acceptance, and acceptance to publication. Correlation between time interval and journal IF were analyzed.
    Results: A total of 18 plastic surgery journals were compared with 210 surgical journals. Our study found that the IFs of journals significantly affect submission-to-acceptance times of the articles (P < 0.05, Wilcoxon test). The median submission-to-publication time for all plastic surgery and all surgical journals was 29.7 weeks (IQR, 12.1 and 35.8) and 22.1 days (IQR,18.8 and 36.8), respectively.
    Conclusions: There is a significant submission to publication time lag in plastic surgery journals when compared with other nonplastic-surgery journals. There was a positive correlation between submission-to publication time and IF for plastic surgery journals but a negative correlation for surgery journals (Spearman Correlation). In the last 14 years, plastic surgery journals have remained slow in publishing articles.
  3. Braz J Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 08 06. 36(4): 453-460
      INTRODUCTION: Open access (OA) publishing often requires article processing charges (APCs). While OA provides opportunities for broader readership, authors able to afford APCs are more commonly associated with well-funded, high-income country institutions, skewing knowledge dissemination. Here, we evaluate publishing models, OA practices, and APCs in cardiology and cardiac surgery.METHODS: The InCites Journal Citation Reports 2019 directory by Clarivate Analytics was searched for "Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems" journals. Sister journals of included journals were identified. All journals were categorized as predominantly cardiology or cardiac surgery. Publishing models, APCs, and APC waivers were defined for all journals.
    RESULTS: One hundred sixty-one journals were identified (139 cardiology, 22 cardiac surgery). APCs ranged from $244 to $5,000 ($244-5,000 cardiology; $383-3,300 cardiac surgery), with mean $2,911±891 and median $3,000 (interquartile range [IQR]: $2,500-3,425) across 139 journals with non-zero available APCs ($2,970±890, median $3,000, IQR: $2,573-3,450, cardiology; $2,491±799, median $2,740, IQR: $2,300-3,000, cardiac surgery). Average APCs were $3,307±566 and median $3,250 (IQR: $3,000-3,500) for hybrid journals ($3,344±583, median $3,260, IQR: $3,000-3,690, cardiology; $2,983±221, median $2,975, IQR: $2,780-3,149, cardiac surgery) and $1,997±832 and median $2,100 (IQR: $1,404-2,538) for fully OA journals ($2,039±843, median $2,100, IQR: $1,419-2,604, cardiology; $1,788±805, median $2,000, IQR: $1,475-2,345, cardiac surgery). Waivers were available for 51 (86.4%) fully OA and 37 (37.4%) hybrid journals. Seventeen journals were fully OA without APCs, one journal did not yet release APCs, and four journals were subscription-only.
    CONCLUSION: OA publishing is common in cardiology and cardiac surgery with substantial APCs. Waivers remain limited, posing barriers for unfunded and lesser-funded researchers.
    Keywords:  Access to Information; Cardiac Surgical Procedures; Cardiology; Open Access Publishing; Periodicals as Topic; Publishing
  4. Am Heart J Plus. 2021 Aug;pii: 100041. [Epub ahead of print]8
      In cardiovascular (CV) medicine, the use of social media (SoMe) has increased the dissemination of scientific knowledge, including the sharing of scientific journal articles. With the rapid growth of online methods for communicating scientific research, the critical question is whether online attention correlates with citations in academic journal articles. Traditionally, the performance of a scientific journal article has been determined by the number of times it has been cited. The impact factor and the number of citations in peer-reviewed journals are widely accepted measures of scientific impact. Social media platforms such as Twitter ( enable the development of novel article- or journal-level metrics for assessing effect and influence. Indeed, "alternative metrics" for journal article impact have been proposed, with the most frequently used being the Altmetric Attention Score (AAS; The relationship between these new metrics and established indicators such as citations has not been thoroughly investigated. We summarize numerous studies investigating associations between social media posts about journal articles and journal article citations. We then describe our own journal's social media strategy in light of these findings.
    Keywords:  Altmetrics; Cardiovascular medicine; Citation; Impact factor; Social media
  5. Account Res. 2021 Oct 07.
      Strong beliefs can influence the way we deal with emotionally charged topics. Researchers, editors, and reviewers are not an exception. Declaring such nonfinancial conflict of interest when handling or reviewing submitted articles is often obligatory; however, the declaration is not a license to submit a biased review with personal insults or to break the journal's guidelines. This kind of poor practice can be a clear sign of the seriousness of conflict of interest. In this article, I argue that hostile, unethical, and biased behavior of reviewers and editors often arises from a serious nonfinancial conflict of interest, which should not be ignored or undermined.
    Keywords:  Authors; Conflict of interest; Editors; Peer review
  6. PeerJ. 2021 ;9 e11999
      The peer-reviewing process has long been regarded as an indispensable tool in ensuring the quality of a scientific publication. While previous studies have tried to understand the process as a whole, not much effort has been devoted to investigating the determinants and impacts of the content of the peer review itself. This study leverages open data from nearly 5,000 PeerJ publications that were eventually accepted. Using sentiment analysis, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic modeling, mixed linear regression models, and logit regression models, we examine how the peer-reviewing process influences the acceptance timeline and contribution potential of manuscripts, and what modifications were typically made to manuscripts prior to publication. In an open review paradigm, our findings indicate that peer reviewers' choice to reveal their names in lieu of remaining anonymous may be associated with more positive sentiment in their review, implying possible social pressure from name association. We also conduct a taxonomy of the manuscript modifications during a revision, studying the words added in response to peer reviewer feedback. This study provides insights into the content of peer reviews and the subsequent modifications authors make to their manuscripts.
    Keywords:  Peer review system; Science of science; Science policy
  7. J Nepal Health Res Counc. 2021 Sep 06. 19(2): 434-436
      Good research writing and publication practices are important to identify, acknowledge, and generate awareness for ethical and credible science. Academic requirement for research thesis, and 'publish or perish' culture of academia for career evaluation of faculties contribute to authorship misconducts. The authorship criteria have been clearly outlined by international guidelines like International Committee of Medical Journals Editors, Committee on Publication Ethics, Council of Science Editors, World Association of Medical Editors. However, the practice of guide, co-guide as authors in students' thesis articles continues as inappropriate authorship. This is a topic which requires more debate in academia. Historical practices of academia, the power dynamics, and the guidelines of the journals vary and make this dispute even more complicated. In Nepal, we need to expand the discussion among stakeholders from academia, universities, monitoring bodies, ethical committees to journals for a consensus; to 'put to rest' this issue and be in line with the international guidelines. Keywords: Authorship guideline; journal article publication; research thesis guide co-guide supervisor.
  8. Nat Commun. 2021 Oct 05. 12(1): 5840
      To gain insight into changes of scholarly journals' recommendations, we conducted a systematic review of studies that analysed journals' Instructions to Authors (ItAs). We summarised results of 153 studies, and meta-analysed how often ItAs addressed: 1) authorship, 2) conflicts of interest, 3) data sharing, 4) ethics approval, 5) funding disclosure, and 6) International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts. For each topic we found large between-study heterogeneity. Here, we show six factors that explained most of that heterogeneity: 1) time (addressing of topics generally increased over time), 2) country (large differences found between countries), 3) database indexation (large differences found between databases), 4) impact factor (topics were more often addressed in highest than in lowest impact factor journals), 5) discipline (topics were more often addressed in Health Sciences than in other disciplines), and 6) sub-discipline (topics were more often addressed in general than in sub-disciplinary journals).
  9. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021 Oct 01. pii: S1546-1440(21)00581-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      A core principle of ethical data sharing is maintaining the security and anonymity of the data, and care must be taken to ensure medical records and images cannot be reidentified to be traced back to patients or misconstrued as a breach in the trust between health care providers and patients. Once those principles have been observed, those seeking to share data must take the appropriate steps to curate the data in a way that organizes the clinically relevant information so as to be useful to the data sharing party, assesses the ensuing value of the data set and its annotations, and informs the data sharing contracts that will govern use of the data. Embarking on a data sharing partnership engenders a host of ethical, practical, technical, legal, and commercial challenges that require a thoughtful, considered approach. In 2019 the ACR convened a Data Sharing Workgroup to develop philosophies around best practices in the sharing of health information. This is Part 2 of a Report on the workgroup's efforts in exploring these issues.
    Keywords:  Contracting; data science; data sharing; informatics; valuation
  10. BMC Med Ethics. 2021 10 06. 22(1): 136
      BACKGROUND: Rapid data sharing can maximize the utility of data. In epidemics and pandemics like Zika, Ebola, and COVID-19, the case for such practices seems especially urgent and warranted. Yet rapidly sharing data widely has previously generated significant concerns related to equity. The continued lack of understanding and guidance on equitable data sharing raises the following questions: Should data sharing in epidemics and pandemics primarily advance utility, or should it advance equity as well? If so, what norms comprise equitable data sharing in epidemics and pandemics? Do these norms address the equity-related concerns raised by researchers, data providers, and other stakeholders? What tensions must be balanced between equity and other values?METHODS: To explore these questions, we undertook a systematic scoping review of the literature on data sharing in epidemics and pandemics and thematically analyzed identified literature for its discussion of ethical values, norms, concerns, and tensions, with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on equity. We wanted to both understand how equity in data sharing is being conceptualized and draw out other important values and norms for data sharing in epidemics and pandemics.
    RESULTS: We found that values of utility, equity, solidarity, and reciprocity were described, and we report their associated norms, including researcher recognition; rapid, real-time sharing; capacity development; and fair benefits to data generators, data providers, and source countries. The value of utility and its associated norms were discussed substantially more than others. Tensions between utility norms (e.g., rapid, real-time sharing) and equity norms (e.g., researcher recognition, equitable access) were raised.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study found support for equity being advanced by data sharing in epidemics and pandemics. However, norms for equitable data sharing in epidemics and pandemics require further development, particularly in relation to power sharing and participatory approaches prioritizing inclusion. Addressing structural inequities in the wider global health landscape is also needed to achieve equitable data sharing in epidemics and pandemics.
    Keywords:  Covid-19; Data sharing; Epidemic; Equity; Ethics; Pandemic; Utility
  11. Account Res. 2021 Oct 02. 1-26
      Growing concerns about the credibility of scientific findings have sparked a debate on new transparency and openness standards in research. Management and organization studies scholars generally support the new standards, while emphasizing the unique challenges associated with their implementation in this paradigmatically diverse discipline. In this study, I analyze the costs to authors and journals associated with the implementation of new transparency and openness standards, and provide a progress report on the implementation level thus far. Drawing on an analysis of the submission guidelines of 60 empirical management journals, I find that the call for greater transparency was received, but resulted in implementations that were limited in scope and depth. Even standards that could have been easily adopted were left unimplemented, producing a paradoxical situation in which research designs that need transparency standards the most are not exposed to any, likely because the standards are irrelevant to other research designs.
    Keywords:  Research integrity; editorial policy; management and organization studies; open science; science policy; transparency
  12. Acta Ophthalmol. 2021 Oct 05.
      PURPOSE: There are concerns in the academic publishing community that it is becoming more difficult to secure reviews for scientific manuscripts. This study examines trends in editorial and peer review processes in an ophthalmological journal over the last decade.METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed of editorial data from the journal Acta Ophthalmologica containing all manuscript submissions between 2010 and 2020.
    RESULTS: The number of yearly submissions grew between 2010 and 2019 from 1014 to 1623, and in 2020, the number of submissions increased to 2449. In total, the number of submissions increased by 142% between 2010 and 2020. Similarly, the proportion of desk-rejected manuscripts increased from 48% to 67% during the period 2010-2020. The number of invitations needed to obtain one review showed an increase from 1.9 to 2.6 between 2010 and 2019, but remained stable between 2019 and 2020. However, the number of reviewers per reviewed manuscript, reviewed manuscripts per reviewer and time from invitation to completed review assignment remained almost constant between 2010 and 2020. Researchers based in North American were disproportionally often invited to review (18%) compared to their share of published articles (7%), and they also declined review invitation more frequently compared to scholars in other parts of the world.
    CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed an increase in submitted manuscripts to an ophthalmological journal over the last decade, with a further increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of reviewer invitations needed to obtain one review grew during the study period but remained constant between 2019 and 2020, despite a vast increase in submitted manuscripts. Hence, the burden for unique reviewers did not increase. Instead, the proportion of desk-rejected manuscripts grew, and the reviewer pool expanded, which allowed the annual average number of reviews by individual reviewers to remain stable.
    Keywords:  academic journal; authorship; desk rejection; editorial boards; pandemic; peer review; reviewer fatigue; reviewers; scholarly communication
  13. Synth Biol (Oxf). 2021 ;6(1): ysab028
      Sharing research data is an integral part of the scientific publishing process. By sharing data, authors enable their readers to use their results in a way that the textual description of the results does not allow by itself. In order to achieve this objective, data should be shared in a way that makes it as easy as possible for readers to import them in computer software where they can be viewed, manipulated and analyzed. Many authors and reviewers seem to misunderstand the purpose of the data sharing policies developed by journals. Rather than being an administrative burden that authors should comply with to get published, the objective of these policies is to help authors maximize the impact of their work by allowing other members of the scientific community to build upon it. Authors and reviewers need to understand the purpose of data sharing policies to assist editors and publishers in their efforts to ensure that every article published complies with them.
    Keywords:  data management; open access; open science; peer-review; scientific publishing
  14. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2021 Sep 10. pii: S1053-0770(21)00798-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: No systematic studies on retractions in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia exist. The aim of this analysis was to identify characteristics and trends of retractions in this field over the past three decades.DESIGN: A search of the Retraction Watch Database for retracted articles published between 1990 and 2020 in the field of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia was performed.
    SETTING: A bibliometric study.
    PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand three hundred forty-four retractions with the term "medicine" in the subject code were selected. Retractions of full-length English articles reporting findings in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia were included.
    MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A total of 63 articles published in 31 journals from January 1990 to August 2020 were retracted. The majority were original articles (n = 60, 95.2%) and retracted for scientific misconduct (n = 50, 79.4%). The percentage of retractions due to misconduct increased from 2010, with a spike in 2011 (n = 26/50, 52.0%), and reached a plateau in 2014. The three most common reasons for retraction were misconduct by the author (n = 31, 49.2%), duplication (n = 12, 19.0%), and errors within the manuscript (n = 11, 17.5%). The median time from publication to retraction was 4.3 years (IQR: 1.7-9.4) and decreased significantly over time (p < 0.001). The median impact factor (IF) of the journals that published retracted articles was 3.5 (IQR 2.0-4.5) and decreased significantly over the study period (p < 0.001).
    CONCLUSION: Scientific misconduct represents the most common reason for retraction in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia. The median time to retraction and journal IF decreased significantly over time. While this is promising, future efforts should be made to screen for falsified data and standardize the processes after retraction to highlight problematic manuscripts.
    Keywords:  cardiothoracic anesthesia; misconduct; retractions; vascular anesthesia
  15. Account Res. 2021 Oct 06.
      Retraction is a mechanism for eliminating and correcting serious problems in the scientific literature and increasing awareness among members of the scientific community about unreliable literature. The objectives of this study were to identify the characteristics and reasons for retraction, analyze citations, and describe the scientific, altmetrics, and technological impacts of hematology retracted papers. Retracted papers were searched using the hematology category of the Web of Science database. The search yielded 101 retracted papers in WoS. Statistics methods such as frequency, mean, interquartile range (IQR), and Pearson's Correlation were used for data analysis. The findings showed the retracted papers were published in 28 different hematology journals. The majority of retracted documents were in Article type (n=81). The mean time interval of the retracted papers from the first publication to retraction was 50.83 months. The largest number of retracted papers belonged to the United States (n= 46). The most frequently reported reason for retraction was misconduct (n= 55). The findings of this study provide a landscape into the characteristics and citations of retracted papers before and after retraction in addition to the scientific, technological, and altmetrics impacts of hematology retracted papers in the scientific community.
    Keywords:  Hematology; Publication ethics; Retracted papers; Scientific misconduct
  16. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2021 Sep;pii: S2211-0348(21)00493-4. [Epub ahead of print]54 103226
    Keywords:  Impact factor; Multiple sclerosis; Writing style
  17. Nature. 2021 Oct;598(7879): 224-225
    Keywords:  Communication; Publishing
  18. Am J Surg. 2021 Sep 29. pii: S0002-9610(21)00553-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic exposed racism as a public health crisis embedded in structural processes. Editors of surgical research journals pledged their commitment to improve structure and process through increasing diversity in the peer review and editorial process; however, little benchmarking data are available.METHODS: A survey of editorial board members from high impact surgical research journals captured self-identified demographics. Analysis of manuscript submissions from 2016 to 2020 compared acceptance for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-focused manuscripts to overall rates.
    RESULTS: 25.6% of respondents were female, 2.9% Black, and 3.3% Hispanic. There was variation in the diversity among journals and in the proportion of DEI submissions they attract, but no clear correlation between DEI acceptance rates and board diversity.
    CONCLUSIONS: Diversity among board members reflects underrepresentation of minorities seen among surgeons nationally. Recruitment and retention of younger individuals, representing more diverse backgrounds, may be a strategy for change. DEI publication rates may benefit from calls for increasing DEI scholarship more so than changes to the peer review process.
    Keywords:  Diversity; Editorial boards; Gender; Race; Surgical research
  19. Acta Radiol. 2021 Oct 08. 2841851211051017
      This review article is written as a contribution to the special issue presented in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Acta Radiologica.An overview is given of what has happened with and in the journal during the 15 years from 2003 to 2017 and a resume is provided concerning the handling and flow of manuscripts, manuscript publication, scientific prizes awarded by the journal, and finally the process leading up to establishing the new open-access journal Acta Radiologica Short Reports/Acta Radiologica Open.
    Keywords:  History; radiology
  20. Nature. 2021 Oct;598(7879): 13
    Keywords:  Climate change; Politics; Publishing
  21. Rev Invest Clin. 2021 ;73(5): 280-285
      I was the Editor-in-Chief of the Revista de Investigación Clínica (RIC) from December 1999-May 2014. In this article, I present a review about how I initiated my experience in the RIC as an author, how I became the Editor-in-Chief, the philosophy of the RIC during my time, the type of publications we had and the citations these papers have received today, the special issues and consensus we published and how the RIC became the official publication of the Mexican Institutes of Health.
    Keywords:  Editor-in-Chief; RIC; Revista de Investigación Clínica