bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒11‒14
28 papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Account Res. 2021 Nov 06.
      Authorship can be a source of tension on research teams, in academic/industry collaborations, and between mentors/mentees. Authorship misconduct is prevalent among biomedical researchers, and disputes about authorship can generate tensions that have the potential to disrupt professional relationships and damage careers. Early-career researchers may experience particular challenges navigating authorship both because of inexperience and power differentials; in effect, they lack the language and confidence to have these conversations and may feel unwilling to challenge the status quo. The authors implemented an Authorship Agreement for use when collaborating on a manuscript and hypothesized that using this agreement would reduce authorship tensions and speed time to manuscript submission by helping early-career investigators manage authorship conversations more effectively. The authors surveyed trainees (n=65) on the prevalence of authorship-related tensions and compared the results from the first survey in 2017 to the final survey administered in 2020. The decrease in tensions around meeting deadlines was significant (z=2.59, p=0.010). The authors believe the effect of an Authorship Agreement on authorship-related tensions has not previously been investigated. This work extends what is known about the prevalence of commonly cited authorship tensions, and provides evidence of the effectiveness of steps that can be taken to alleviate them.
  2. Med Arch. 2021 Aug;75(4): 248-255
      Background: Although scientometry gradually became prevalent way of measuring one's research output, there are many inherent drawbacks in main indices that are used: impact factor, number of citations, number of published papers and Hirsch's index.Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze effects of inflated co-authorship on values of scientometric indices among authors in biomedicine who participated in published papers with more than 30 co-authors.
    Methods: The study was of cross-sectional type, based on 100 publications randomly extracted from the MEDLINE database. The inclusion criterion was publication with more than 30 authors. The studies with topics not related to humans were excluded from further analysis.
    Results: On average about 10% of papers published by the surveyed authors had more than 30 co-authors, but these papers brought more than 40% of all citations and more than 40% of Hirsch's index attributed to these authors. The duration of scientific activity was well correlated to number of citations, Hirsch's index and the number of publications themselves with 30 or less co-authors, while the correlation did not exist with number of citations, Hirsch's index and the number of publications with more than 30 authors. In summary, publications with > 30 authors carry more scientometric points than publications with less co-authors, and the researchers with shorter scientific activity had larger scientometric benefit from publications with more than 30 authors than senior researchers.
    Conclusion: Unjustified and prolific co-authorship is one of methods for inflation of scientometric indices that are not further reflecting true quality of research output of an individual. Further improvement of scientometric indicators may prevent unjustified co-authorship if it reflects the work invested in a research result.
    Keywords:  co-authorship; inflation; scientometric indices
  3. Nature. 2021 Nov 08.
    Keywords:  Publishing; Scientific community
  4. Nature. 2021 Nov 09.
    Keywords:  Careers; Institutions; Publishing; SARS-CoV-2
  5. Urology. 2021 Nov 06. pii: S0090-4295(21)01010-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of industry payments to authors of opinion articles on the Urolift and Rezum devices. We also examined the extent to which authors omitted acknowledgements of financial conflicts-of-interest.METHODS: We searched Google Scholar for all articles that cite either of the respective pivotal trials for these devices. Two blinded urologists coded the articles as favorable or neutral. A separate blinded researcher recorded industry payments from the manufacturers using the Open Payments Program database.
    RESULTS: We identified 29 articles written by 27 unique authors from an initial screening list of 235 articles. Of these articles, 15 (52%) were coded as positive and 14 (48%) were coded as neutral. 20 (74%) authors have accepted payments from the manufacturer of the device. Since 2014, these authors have collectively received $270,000 from NeoTract and $314,000 from Boston Scientific. Of the 20 authors with payments, 9 (45%) received more than $10,000 from either manufacturer. Of authors with payments, 65% (13/20) contributed to only positive articles. Authors who received payments had more than 4 times the number of article contributions than did authors without payments (42 vs. 10). Authors of at least one favorable article were more likely to have received payments from the device manufacturers than authors of neutral articles (P=0.014, Chi-squared test). Most (80%, 16/20) authors with payments did not report a relevant conflict-of-interest within any of their articles.
    CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest a relationship between payments from a manufacturer and positive published position on that company's device. There may be a critical lack of published editorial pieces by authors without financial conflicts of interest.
  6. J Food Sci. 2021 Nov;86(11): 4771
  7. Ecol Evol. 2021 Nov;11(21): 14344-14350
      Author-level metrics are a widely used measure of scientific success. The h-index and its variants measure publication output (number of publications) and research impact (number of citations). They are often used to influence decisions, such as allocating funding or jobs. Here, we argue that the emphasis on publication output and impact hinders scientific progress in the fields of ecology and evolution because it disincentivizes two fundamental practices: generating impactful (and therefore often long-term) datasets and sharing data. We describe a new author-level metric, the data-index, which values both dataset output (number of datasets) and impact (number of data-index citations), so promotes generating and sharing data as a result. We discuss how it could be implemented and provide user guidelines. The data-index is designed to complement other metrics of scientific success, as scientific contributions are diverse and our value system should reflect that both for the benefit of scientific progress and to create a value system that is more equitable, diverse, and inclusive. Future work should focus on promoting other scientific contributions, such as communicating science, informing policy, mentoring other scientists, and providing open-access code and tools.
    Keywords:  FAIR research data; author‐level metrics; bibliometrics; data citation; data metrics; data sharing; dataset repositories; h‐index; open science
  8. Trials. 2021 Nov 11. 22(1): 791
      BACKGROUND: Problems continue to exist with the reporting quality and risk of bias in search methods and strategies in systematic reviews and related review types. Peer reviewers who are not familiar with what is required to transparently and fully report a search may not be prepared to review the search components of systematic reviews, nor may they know what is likely to introduce bias into a search. Librarians and information specialists, who have expertise in searching, may offer specialized knowledge that would help improve systematic review search reporting and lessen risk of bias, but they are underutilized as methodological peer reviewers.METHODS: This study will evaluate the effect of adding librarians and information specialists as methodological peer reviewers on the quality of search reporting and risk of bias in systematic review searches. The study will be a pragmatic randomized controlled trial using 150 systematic review manuscripts submitted to BMJ and BMJ Open as the unit of randomization. Manuscripts that report on completed systematic reviews and related review types and have been sent for peer review are eligible. For each manuscript randomized to the intervention, a librarian/information specialist will be invited as an additional peer reviewer using standard practices for each journal. First revision manuscripts will be assessed in duplicate for reporting quality and risk of bias, using adherence to 4 items from PRISMA-S and assessors' judgements on 4 signaling questions from ROBIS Domain 2, respectively. Identifying information from the manuscripts will be removed prior to assessment.
    DISCUSSION: The primary outcomes for this study are quality of reporting as indicated by differences in the proportion of adequately reported searches in first revision manuscripts between intervention and control groups and risk of bias as indicated by differences in the proportions of first revision manuscripts with high, low, and unclear bias. If the intervention demonstrates an effect on search reporting or bias, this may indicate a need for journal editors to work with librarians and information specialists as methodological peer reviewers.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Open Science Framework. Registered on June 17, 2021, at .
    Keywords:  Librarians and information specialists; Literature searching; Peer review; Systematic reviews
  9. Perspect Clin Res. 2021 Oct-Dec;12(4):12(4): 229-233
      Preparation of manuscripts of original research for publication is the final and critical step in the conduct of clinical research. Most manuscripts are rejected because of flaws in design, methodology, interpretation, and writing. Understanding the reasons for rejection can help clinical researchers in avoiding common errors in all sections of manuscript - introduction, methods, results, and discussion. The article highlights the reasons for rejection of original research manuscripts and suggests approaches to improve the quality of the manuscript.
    Keywords:  errors; publication; rejection; research
  10. Virologie (Montrouge). 2021 Oct 01. 25(5): 74-77
    Keywords:  collaborative work; literature review; research training; scientific writing
  11. Hist Philos Life Sci. 2021 Nov 11. 43(4): 115
      Research, innovation, and progress in the life sciences are increasingly contingent on access to large quantities of data. This is one of the key premises behind the "open science" movement and the global calls for fostering the sharing of personal data, datasets, and research results. This paper reports on the outcomes of discussions by the panel "Open science, data sharing and solidarity: who benefits?" held at the 2021 Biennial conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), and hosted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL).
    Keywords:  Benefit sharing; Data sharing; Governance; Open science
  12. CMAJ Open. 2021 Oct-Dec;9(4):9(4): E980-E987
      BACKGROUND: As Canada increases requirements for research data management and sharing, there is value in identifying how research data are shared and what has been done to make them findable and reusable. This study aimed to understand Canada's data-sharing landscape by reviewing how data funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are shared and comparing researchers' data-sharing practices to best practices for research data management and sharing.METHODS: We performed a descriptive analysis of CIHR-funded publications from PubMed and PubMed Central published between 1946 and Dec. 31, 2019, that indicated that the research data underlying the results of the publication were shared. We analyzed each publication to identify how and where data were shared, who shared data and what documentation was included to support data reuse.
    RESULTS: Of 4144 CIHR-funded publications identified, 1876 (45.2%) included accessible data, 935 (22.6%) stated that data were available via request or application, and 300 (7.2%) stated that data sharing was not applicable or possible; we found no evidence of data sharing in 1558 publications (37.6%). Frequent data-sharing methods included via a repository (1549 [37.4%]), within supplementary files (1048 [25.3%]) and via request or application (935 [22.6%]). Overall, 554 publications (13.4%) included documentation that would facilitate data reuse.
    INTERPRETATION: Publications funded by the CIHR largely lack the metadata, access instructions and documentation to facilitate data discovery and reuse. Without measures to address these concerns and enhanced support for researchers seeking to implement best practices for research data management and sharing, much CIHR-funded research data will remain hidden, inaccessible and unusable.
  13. PeerJ. 2021 ;9 e12407
      The inauguration of President Trump in the United States led to the active restriction of science communication from federal agencies, resulting in the creation of many unofficial "alt" Twitter accounts to maintain communication. Alt accounts had many followers (e.g., 15 accounts had > 100,000) and received a large amount of media attention, making them ideal for better understanding how differences in messaging can affect public engagement with science on microblogging platforms. We analyzed tweets produced by alt and corresponding official agency accounts to compare the two groups and determine if specific features of a tweet made them more likely to be retweeted or liked to help the average scientist potentially reach a broader audience on Twitter. We found adding links, images, hashtags, and mentions, as well as expressing angry and annoying sentiments all increased retweets and likes. Evidence-based terms such as "peer-review" had high retweet rates but linking directly to peer-reviewed publications decreased attention compared to popular science websites. Word choice and attention did not reflect official or alt account types, indicating topic is more important than source. The number of tweets generated and attention received by alt accounts has decreased since their creation, demonstrating the importance of timeliness in science communication on social media. Together our results show potential pathways for scientists to increase efficacy in Twitter communications.
    Keywords:  Mixed models; Social media; Targeted outreach; Text sentiment; Web 2.0
  14. MedEdPORTAL. 2021 ;17 11197
      Introduction: MedEdPORTAL is an open-access journal for health professions educators to publish their educational activities. The Educational Summary Report (ESR) is the manuscript that represents scholarly expression of those activities, aligned with Glassick's criteria for scholarship; however, prospective authors face challenges in writing ESRs, which can lead to rejection.Methods: We developed a conference workshop to teach health professions educators how to write an ESR by reviewing a sample ESR in small groups. The workshop began with a didactic on best practices in crafting each section of an ESR. We then divided participants into small groups to review an assigned section of a sample ESR using a reviewer's checklist and completing a templated flip chart. Each small group then reported out in a large-group discussion. A conference evaluation was distributed online to solicit perceptions of the workshop's effectiveness.
    Results: The 90-minute workshop was presented by separate teams of two facilitators at three national conferences. Approximately 35 participants attended the first workshop, and 50 attended the second and third workshops. Survey feedback from 19 respondents (38%) to the evaluation survey at the third workshop was representative of the previous two iterations and demonstrated that workshop content and materials were helpful.
    Discussion: A workshop enabling educators to serve as group peer reviewers of a sample ESR for a MedEdPORTAL submission was well received. Associate editors, faculty mentors, and other experienced faculty development leaders can use these materials to support future authors in submitting to MedEdPORTAL while providing opportunities for national presentations.
    Keywords:  Faculty Development; Leadership Development/Skills; Mentoring/Coaching; Publishing/Scholarship
  15. Nurse Educ Today. 2021 Nov 04. pii: S0260-6917(21)00449-4. [Epub ahead of print]108 105192
      BACKGROUND: Development of scholarly writing skills in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students is essential to their capacity to advance nursing science after graduation.OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to inform instructional design choices and teaching strategies for DNP writing courses by examining student viewpoints before and after completing a scholarly writing course.
    DESIGN: Q methodology was used to explore student self-perceptions of scholarly writing skills.
    SETTING: An online scholarly writing course at a large university in the midwestern United States.
    PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six DNP students with either a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing.
    METHODS: Before and after a scholarly writing course, students ranked 34 writing competency statements according to how well the statements described them.
    RESULTS: Three pre-course and four post-course factors represented student viewpoints of their scholarly writing knowledge, skills, and attitudes before and after a writing course.
    CONCLUSIONS: Effective instruction in scholarly writing for DNPs should include explicitly directed pre-writing activities, frequent opportunities to give and receive feedback, and training on management of emotional aspects of writing.
    Keywords:  Academic writing; Authorship; Peer review; Professional competence; Q-Sort; Scholarly communication; Self-assessment
  16. Nat Hum Behav. 2021 Nov 11.
      We argue that statistical practice in the social and behavioural sciences benefits from transparency, a fair acknowledgement of uncertainty and openness to alternative interpretations. Here, to promote such a practice, we recommend seven concrete statistical procedures: (1) visualizing data; (2) quantifying inferential uncertainty; (3) assessing data preprocessing choices; (4) reporting multiple models; (5) involving multiple analysts; (6) interpreting results modestly; and (7) sharing data and code. We discuss their benefits and limitations, and provide guidelines for adoption. Each of the seven procedures finds inspiration in Merton's ethos of science as reflected in the norms of communalism, universalism, disinterestedness and organized scepticism. We believe that these ethical considerations-as well as their statistical consequences-establish common ground among data analysts, despite continuing disagreements about the foundations of statistical inference.
  17. Int J Drug Policy. 2021 Nov 06. pii: S0955-3959(21)00418-7. [Epub ahead of print]100 103505
      BACKGROUND: The EU promotes 'Open Science' as a public good. Complementary to its implementation is Citizen Science, which redefines the relationship between the scientific community, civic society and the individual. Open Science and Citizen Science poses challenges for the substance use and addictions research community but may provide positive opportunities for future European addiction research. This paper explores both current barriers and potential facilitators for the implementation of Open Science and Citizen Science in substance use and addictions research.METHODOLOGY: A scoping review was used to examine barriers and facilitators identified in the substance use and addiction research literature for the adoption of Open Science and Citizen Science.
    RESULTS: 'Technical' facilitators included the pre-registration of study protocols; publication of open-source datasets; open peer review and online tools. 'Motivational' facilitators included enhanced reputation; embracing co-creation; engaged citizenship and gamification. 'Economic' facilitators included the use of free tools and balanced remuneration of crowdworkers. 'Political' facilitators included better informed debates through the 'triple helix' approach and trust-generating transparency. 'Legal' facilitators included epidemiologically informed law enforcement; better policy surveillance and the validation of other datasets. 'Ethical' facilitators included the 'democratisation of science' and opportunities to explore new concepts of ethics in addiction research.
    CONCLUSION: Open Science and Citizen Science in substance use and addictions research may provide a range of benefits in relation to the democratisation of science; transparency; efficiency and the reliability/validity of data. However, its implementation raises a range of research integrity and ethical issues that need be considered. These include issues related to participant recruitment; privacy; confidentiality; security; cost and industry involvement. Progressive journal policies to support Open Science practices; a shift in researcher norms; the use of free tools and the greater availability of methodological and ethical standards are likely to increase adoption in the field.
    Keywords:  Citizen science; Open data; Open peer review; Open science; Open source
  18. Front Psychol. 2021 ;12 761168
      Open data, the practice of making available to the research community the underlying data and analysis codes used to generate scientific results, facilitates verification of published results, and should thereby reduce the expected benefit (and hence the incidence) of p-hacking and other forms of academic dishonesty. This paper presents a simple signaling model of how this might work in the presence of two kinds of cost. First, reducing the cost of "checking the math" increases verification and reduces falsification. Cases where the author can choose a high or low verification-cost regime (that is, open or closed data) result in unraveling; not all authors choose the low-cost route, but the best do. The second kind of cost is the cost to authors of preparing open data. Introducing these costs results in that high- and low-quality results being published in both open and closed data regimes, but even when the costs are independent of research quality open data is favored by high-quality results in equilibrium. A final contribution of the model is a measure of "science welfare" that calculates the ex-post distortion of equilibrium beliefs about the quality of published results, and shows that open data will always improve the aggregate state of knowledge.
    Keywords:  academic dishonesty and misconduct; academic dishonesty behaviors; esteem; open data; replication crisis; replication crisis in psychology; research ethics; signaling game model
  19. Nature. 2021 Nov;599(7884): 201
    Keywords:  History; Publishing
  20. Acta Inform Med. 2021 Sep;29(3): 224-230
      Background: In the early 20th century some unfavorable conditions and trends in science and publishing in R. Macedonia and other countries in the South Eastern Europe (SEE) Region were recognized and it became necessary to act to protect the integrity of science and publishing. The increasing number of scientific journals in biomedicine and published papers in them has not always been matched by increased quality in publishing due to lack of information and education of the scientific community, especially of the young scientists, about ethical principles in research and publishing. In addition, some unethical behavior, fraud and attempts by experts for increasing their scientific productivity in research and publishing their results in scientific journals was recognized.Objective: To present the initiatives, chronology of activities and leading role of Academician Momir Polenakovic towards the establishment and initial development of the Macedonian Association of Medical Editors (MAME) which has a mission for advancing the integrity of science and publishing.
    Method: A retrospective study based on review of the relevant literature, archive materials, minutes from organizational meetings and workshops and other documentation related to activities in the initial process for establishing and defining the mission and objectives of MAME.
    Results: The expansion of higher education and inappropriate implementation of the Bologna Declaration and the European Credit Transfer System in R. Macedonia from 2004/2005 contributed to a decline of the study criteria for obtaining higher education diplomas and postgraduate education degrees, as well as numerous frauds in scientific research and publishing activities in biomedicine and other fields. The first meeting of the Initiative Board for organizing an SEE Conference on research and publishing integrity and a workshop for editors of scientific journals was held in the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MASA) on Nov. 1st, 2013. In April 2014 two preparatory meetings of the Organizational Board were held and the Workshop for editors of scientific journals and the Constitutional meeting for establishing MAME were held on Apr. 25, 2014. The first President of MAME (with a two-year mandate) was Academician Momir Polenakovic and in 2016 he was elected as the first Honorary President of MAME.
    Conclusion: The establishment of MAME in April 2014 was an important initiative and strategic decision toward raising awareness among editors of scientific journals and other stakeholders for preventing scientific and publishing misconduct and for educating the scientific community for creating an ethical research environment.
    Keywords:  Scientific journals; publishing; research and publication ethics; research fraud
  21. Infant Ment Health J. 2021 Nov 07.
      The Infant Mental Health Journal is committed to ending systemic racism and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic publishing. IMHJ unequivocally denounces all forms of racism and white supremacy, including systemic racism in academic publishing. We commit to investigating and working to terminate the ways in which systemic racism has become normalized in academic publishing, including examining our practices and processes at IMHJ. We invite you to join us in intentional, anti-racist work through your scholarship. As part of this effort, IMHJ has updated the author guidelines to include new information regarding how authors can express the ways in which they are engaging with intention in diverse, anti-racist research. These guidelines are available under the author guidelines section on the IMHJ website ( As a second immediate response relative to promoting diverse, equitable, and inclusive research, IMHJ is releasing the following Call to Action, focusing on centering Blackness in infant and early childhood mental health research. This call is designed as a first step in our efforts, and IMHJ looks forward to coming initiatives aimed at disrupting systemic racism in infant and early childhood mental health research for the many scholars studying and working with diverse populations marginalized by racism and systemic inequities.
    Keywords:  blackness; diversity, equity, and inclusion; racism; systemic racism