bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2021‒11‒21
nineteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2021 Nov 14. 6(1): 14
      BACKGROUND: The amount and value of researchers' peer review work is critical for academia and journal publishing. However, this labor is under-recognized, its magnitude is unknown, and alternative ways of organizing peer review labor are rarely considered.METHODS: Using publicly available data, we provide an estimate of researchers' time and the salary-based contribution to the journal peer review system.
    RESULTS: We found that the total time reviewers globally worked on peer reviews was over 100 million hours in 2020, equivalent to over 15 thousand years. The estimated monetary value of the time US-based reviewers spent on reviews was over 1.5 billion USD in 2020. For China-based reviewers, the estimate is over 600 million USD, and for UK-based, close to 400 million USD.
    CONCLUSIONS: By design, our results are very likely to be under-estimates as they reflect only a portion of the total number of journals worldwide. The numbers highlight the enormous amount of work and time that researchers provide to the publication system, and the importance of considering alternative ways of structuring, and paying for, peer review. We foster this process by discussing some alternative models that aim to boost the benefits of peer review, thus improving its cost-benefit ratio.
    Keywords:  Academic publishers; Peer-review; Publication system
  2. BMJ Health Care Inform. 2021 Nov;pii: e100471. [Epub ahead of print]28(1):
      BMJ Health & Care Informatics (BMJHCI) is launching a partnership programme, where patients write articles and serve as peer reviewers on both patient-written and researcher-written articles. This article outlines the programme and describes the importance of public involvement in research and implementation in digital health. We think patients and carers should be funded to participate at this stage of research as well as other stages of research. The quality of peer review can be greatly improved by recruiting patients to peer review and improve readability and understanding of scientific literature and to ensure that research and other articles appropriately include what matters most to patients. Just as real-time communication is two-way communication, both healthcare providers and patients should have a voice in the literature, and involving patients in journals is an important step toward amplifying and supporting the balance of perspectives. Patients are the whole purpose of research and practice in health and care, so this rightly includes their role in the publication and review of health informatics literature as well as the publication of their own perspectives regarding access and delivery of healthcare. Patients and carers can provide valuable insights into research articles, and they can also serve as effective peer reviewers. The BMJHCI is excited to kick off the new partnership programme and encourages all interested patients and carers to apply to participate as authors and/or reviewers.
    Keywords:  BMJ health informatics; consumer health informatics; health communication; health services research; patient-centred care
  3. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2021 Nov 17.
      INTRODUCTION: Peer review processes are used to improve professional practice in health care, although no synthesis of existing studies has yet been undertaken. These processes are included in the UK professional revalidation processes for medical practitioners and nurses and midwives but not for allied health professionals. The purpose of this review was to identify, appraise, and synthesize the available qualitative evidence regarding health care professionals' experiences and views about peer review processes and to explore the implications for health care professionals in the United Kingdom.METHODS: Qualitative review using meta-ethnography, reported according to Meta-ethnography Reporting Guidance guidance. Search strategy was developed using MeSH headings. The following data sources were searched: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, MEDLINE, and Ovid full text (between May 2007 and May 2019) (one reviewer with librarian support) plus manual searching. Screening, data extraction, and evaluation were undertaken independently by two reviewers. Studies were independently appraised for quality by two reviewers to identify concepts which were compared and developed into a conceptual model by the team.
    RESULTS: Thirteen studies (937 participants) were included. Findings explored peer review processes and three key components, namely, purpose, process, and peers. Participants' perceptions of peer review processes were categorized by four main concepts: value/benefits, reflection/shared learning, anxiety about the process, and how to improve "buy-in."
    DISCUSSION: Evidence supports the introduction and use of peer review processes as a quality improvement tool. Further research exploring whether/how to incorporate peer review processes into the process of assessing continuing fitness to practice for allied health professionals seems appropriate. The time and resources required to implement peer review processes are considered barriers to implementation.
  4. Nature. 2021 Nov;599(7885): 372
    Keywords:  Funding; Publishing; Research data
  5. Cien Saude Colet. 2021 ;pii: S1413-81232021001705183. [Epub ahead of print]26(suppl 3): 5183-5186
      Scientific journals play a fundamental role in the development of science. However, in Brazil, there are major challenges for their sustainability, as well as for the sustainability of the SciELO Program. The article reports a worrying scenario of low public funding and lack of strategic planning for long-term funding for scientific publication, contrary to the development of Brazilian journals and the SciELO Program. This scenario places great pressure on journals, with reports of situations of closure of activities, or implementation of fees charged to authors, while bringing financial insecurity to the SciELO Program. The actions taken by Brazilian scientific societies and the position of the Forum of Editors of Public Health Journals are aligned with that of the Advisory Committee of the SciELO Brazil Collection, namely that the publication of scientific journals edited in Brazil is strategic and, therefore, should be fostered through public policies and supported with public financing from the sponsoring institutions and grants from the research funding institutions.
  6. Res Integr Peer Rev. 2021 Nov 18. 6(1): 13
      BACKGROUND: Open peer review practices are increasing in medicine and life sciences, but in social sciences and humanities (SSH) they are still rare. We aimed to map out how editors of respected SSH journals perceive open peer review, how they balance policy, ethics, and pragmatism in the review processes they oversee, and how they view their own power in the process.METHODS: We conducted 12 pre-registered semi-structured interviews with editors of respected SSH journals. Interviews consisted of 21 questions and lasted an average of 67 min. Interviews were transcribed, descriptively coded, and organized into code families.
    RESULTS: SSH editors saw anonymized peer review benefits to outweigh those of open peer review. They considered anonymized peer review the "gold standard" that authors and editors are expected to follow to respect institutional policies; moreover, anonymized review was also perceived as ethically superior due to the protection it provides, and more pragmatic due to eased seeking of reviewers. Finally, editors acknowledged their power in the publication process and reported strategies for keeping their work as unbiased as possible.
    CONCLUSIONS: Editors of SSH journals preferred the benefits of anonymized peer review over open peer and acknowledged the power they hold in the publication process during which authors are almost completely disclosed to editorial bodies. We recommend journals to communicate the transparency elements of their manuscript review processes by listing all bodies who contributed to the decision on every review stage.
    Keywords:  Ethics; Journalology; Open Science; Peer review; Social sciences and humanities
  7. Indian J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Nov;37(6): 621-622
  8. Cien Saude Colet. 2021 Nov 15. pii: S1413-81232021001704810. [Epub ahead of print]26(suppl 3): 4810
  9. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Nov 18. e13740
      The recent global pandemic has lead to a surge in biomedical publications (1), which came at a time when a rather intense discussion on quality control for research results was already ongoing. The scientific community had just seen a huge increase in predatory journals and conference offers (aka the kind of email invitations you delete on autopilot while having your first cup of tea in the morning), a situation which was apparently notably aggravated in early 2020. Undoubtedly, the need for information on Covid-19 from experts trying to keep on top of the latest results, political decision makers and the public in an age of immediately-available information was unprecedented and tipped the balance of supply and demand as it had not been before. Almost two years later, it may be time for a careful look at the effects of the pandemic on biomedical publishing.
  10. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2021 Nov;pii: S1877-1297(21)00247-1. [Epub ahead of print]13(11): 1389-1392
      INTRODUCTION: Collaborative educational research and scholarship is a powerful tool to help schools/colleges of pharmacy learn from and with each other to continuously improve by sharing best practices.COMMENTARY: There are significant advantages including developing projects with more generalizability and impact, leveraging different and complementary expertise, informal mentorship of junior faculty researchers, task sharing, and group accountability. There are also challenges such as managing multiple participants, sticking to productivity goals and timelines, and scheduling virtual meetings across multiple time zones.
    IMPLICATIONS: For a number of years, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's Assessment Special Interest Group has intentionally created opportunities for new connections with the purpose of fostering scholarship projects to pursue interesting questions and engage in educational research with other like-minded colleagues. The purpose of this commentary is to share with members of the academy several practical tips for leading and engaging in group projects of educational scholarship.
    Keywords:  Brainstorming; Publishing; Scholarship
  11. Nat Hum Behav. 2021 Nov 15.
      Registered Reports are a form of empirical publication in which study proposals are peer reviewed and pre-accepted before research is undertaken. By deciding which articles are published based on the question, theory and methods, Registered Reports offer a remedy for a range of reporting and publication biases. Here, we reflect on the history, progress and future prospects of the Registered Reports initiative and offer practical guidance for authors, reviewers and editors. We review early evidence that Registered Reports are working as intended, while at the same time acknowledging that they are not a universal solution for irreproducibility. We also consider how the policies and practices surrounding Registered Reports are changing, or must change in the future, to address limitations and adapt to new challenges. We conclude that Registered Reports are promoting reproducibility, transparency and self-correction across disciplines and may help reshape how society evaluates research and researchers.
  12. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2021 Nov 19.
      PURPOSE: While nurse editors carry great responsibility for the scientific literature in the nursing profession, little has been published about this unique role. The purpose of this study was to examine contemporary nurse editors' roles and practices.DESIGN: In early 2019, a sample of 129 nurse editors participated in a cross-sectional study using survey methods.
    METHODS: The online survey was based on an instrument used in a prior study and included 43 primarily multiple-choice questions. Findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
    FINDINGS: Beyond the expected roles of journal management, editorial decision making, leadership for the profession, and specific journal focus, some aspects of the nurse editor role have remained unchanged. The role continues to be learned mostly on the job and nurse editors still find satisfaction in helping other nurses publish and disseminate their work. Nurse editors are older and better educated. They also are receiving more manuscripts submitted to their journals and perceive this role as hard work but worth it. This is also the first study to report on the role of other levels of editors.
    CONCLUSION: This study provides a description of the current roles and practices of nurse editors. Nurse editors can bring more attention to the role and encourage more nurses to consider this role as an attainable and a satisfying one.
    CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Being a nurse editor is a leadership role and one that many nurses may not consider as a career goal. Nurse editors can increase the visibility of this role and engage, encourage, and support nurses who are interested in this role.
    Keywords:  leadership; mentor; nurse editor; nursing journal
  13. J Pak Med Assoc. 2021 Nov;71(11): 2492-2494
  14. Scientometrics. 2021 Nov 08. 1-5
      Short communications are an integral part of academic journal publishing since they serve as a forum for scholarly debate on recently published journal articles. Their prestige and popularity, however, have been declining in the present academic setting. In this short note, we offer several reasons for this phenomenon.
    Keywords:  Citation; Commentaries; Indexing; Letters to the editor; Peer review; Short communications
  15. Front Res Metr Anal. 2021 ;6 740297
      Although established forms of peer review are often criticized for being slow, secretive, and even unfair, they are repeatedly mentioned by academics as the most important indicator of quality in scholarly publishing. In many countries, the peer review of books is a less codified practice than that of journal articles or conference papers, and the processes and actors involved are far from uniform. In Sweden, the review process of books has seldom been formalized. However, more formal peer review of books has been identified as a response to the increasing importance placed on streamlined peer-reviewed publishing of journal articles in English, which has been described as a direct challenge to more pluralistic publication patterns found particularly in the humanities. In this study, we focus on a novel approach to book review, Kriterium, where an independent portal maintained by academic institutions oversees the reviewing of academic books. The portal administers peer reviews, providing a mark of quality through a process which involves reviewers, an academic coordinator, and an editorial board. The paper studies how this process functions in practice by exploring materials concerning 24 scholarly books reviewed within Kriterium. Our analysis specifically targets tensions identified in the process of reviewing books with a focus on three main themes, namely the intended audience, the edited volume, and the novel role of the academic coordinator. Moreover, we find that the two main aims of the portal-quality enhancement (making research better) and certification (displaying that research is of high quality)-are recurrent in deliberations made in the peer review process. Consequently, we argue that reviewing procedures and criteria of quality are negotiated within a broader discussion where more traditional forms of publishing are challenged by new standards and evaluation practices.
    Keywords:  Sweden; books; edited volumes; humanities; monographs; peer review; publishing; social sciences
  16. Trends Ecol Evol. 2021 Nov 12. pii: S0169-5347(21)00285-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Many barriers exist in academia. Shedding light on scholars from marginalized groups is important for scientific publishing and policy-science dialogs to ensure equity, beyond merely aiming to increase the numbers to achieve equality. Achieving diversity, inclusiveness, and equality in academia is not the goal, but an essential means of realizing a sustainable future.
    Keywords:  academic expert; cultural barrier; gender barrier; linguistic barrier; science–policy interface
  17. Cell Syst. 2021 Nov 17. pii: S2405-4712(21)00337-9. [Epub ahead of print]12(11): 1023-1025
      One snapshot of the peer review process for "Mapping the dynamic transfer functions of eukaryotic gene regulation" (Lee et al., 2021) appears below.