bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2022‒04‒24
23 papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Scientometrics. 2022 Apr 09. 1-23
      The primary aims of peer review are to detect flaws and deficiencies in the design and interpretation of studies, and ensure the clarity and quality of their presentation. However, it has been questioned whether peer review fulfils this function. Studies have highlighted a stronger focus of reviewers on critiquing methodological aspects of studies and the quality of writing in biomedical sciences, with less focus on theoretical grounding. In contrast, reviewers in the social sciences appear more concerned with theoretical underpinnings. These studies also found the effect of peer review on manuscripts' content to be variable, but generally modest and positive. I qualitatively analysed 1430 peer reviewers' comments for a sample of 40 social science preprint-publication pairs to identify the key foci of reviewers' comments. I then quantified the effect of peer review on manuscripts by examining differences between the preprint and published versions using the normalised Levenshtein distance, cosine similarity, and word count ratios for titles, abstracts, document sections and full-texts. I also examined changes in references used between versions and linked changes to reviewers' comments. Reviewers' comments were nearly equally split between issues of methodology (30.7%), theory (30.0%), and writing quality (29.2%). Titles, abstracts, and the semantic content of documents remained similar, although publications were typically longer than preprints. Two-thirds of citations were unchanged, 20.9% were added during review and 13.1% were removed. These findings indicate reviewers equally attended to the theoretical and methodological details and communication style of manuscripts, although the effect on quantitative measures of the manuscripts was limited.Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11192-022-04357-y.
    Keywords:  Peer review; Preprints; Qualitative analysis; References; Reviewer report; Semantic
  2. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jan;20(1): e120366
      Getting feedback from the journals' editorial office upon the peer-review process, revising the manuscript, and responding to reviewers' comments are the essential parts of scientific publishing. The process of revising seems cumbersome and time-consuming as authors must be engaged probably with many comments and requested changes. Authors are advised to approach the reviewer as a consultant rather than an adversary. They should carefully read and understand comments and then decide how to proceed with each requested change/suggestion. In the case of serious disagreement with reviewer comments or misunderstanding, authors can defer the issue to the editor. Preparing a scientific and well-organized "response to reviews" and the revised version of the manuscript can increase the chance of acceptance. Here, we provide a practical guide on dealing with different types of comments (i.e., minor or major revisions, conflicting comments, or those that authors disagree with or cannot adhere to) and how to craft a response to reviews. We also provide the dos and don'ts for making a successful revision.
    Keywords:  Response to Reviewers; Revision; Writing
  3. Brain Nerve. 2022 Apr;74(4): 335-340
      We outlined the logical argumentation of scientific reasoning, focusing on peer-reviewed rebuttal letters. Initially, we compared the argumentation in the peer review process with that in writing papers, and distinguished between commonly used argumentation and those that are characteristic of rebuttal letters. First, commonly used forms of logical argumentation, such as deductive and inductive argumentation, are introduced, followed by examples of typical errors in reasoning. Subsequently, we explain the forms of logical argumentation characteristic of the peer review process, including the issue of incommensurability and the error of double standards. This article aims to improve our skills in responding to peer-review comments by being more aware of the logical argumentation used in peer review.
  4. Hist Cienc Saude Manguinhos. 2022 Jan-Mar;29(1):pii: S0104-59702022000100007. [Epub ahead of print]29(1): 7-12
  5. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2022 Apr 14. pii: S2589-9333(22)00080-5. [Epub ahead of print] 100645
      OBJECTIVE: To assess changes in the acceptance rates in double- vs single -blind peer review systems.DATA SOURCES: The search was conducted using Medline, Embase and databases as electronic databases from the inception of each database to June 2021. No restrictions for language or geographic location were applied.
    STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Selection criteria included randomized controlled trails (RCTs) comparing double- and single-blind peer review process.
    STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: The primary outcome was manuscripts acceptance rates. The summary measures were reported as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using the random effects model meta-analyses. Between-study heterogeneity was explored using the I2 statistic.
    RESULTS: Eleven RCTs including 3,477 reviewers, and 3,784 manuscripts were identified. The manuscripts acceptance rates were significantly lower in the double-blind (200/1,413, 14.2%) compared to the single-blind (194/1,019, 19.0%) peer review processes (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.70-0.97; n=5 RCTs). Only one RCT assessed Authors' and/or institutions' prestige on acceptance rates with results not statistically significant. Only two RCTs assessed manuscript origin (US or non-US) effect on acceptance rates with results not statistically significant. Gender of the manuscript authors' were assessed by only one RCT and while blinding or not female authors' names made no statistical difference, blinding of male authors' names was associated with a significant decrease in acceptance rate (139/1,266, 11.0%, vs 190/1,266, 15.0%; RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.59-0.90). Double-blind peer review was deemed successful by reviewers in only about 52% of the cases (n=5 RCTs).
    CONCLUSIONS: Double blind peer review process seems to be associated with a 18% lower manuscript acceptance rate than single-blind. However, in view of the large heterogeneity among the included studies, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to elucidate those factors which can affect acceptance rate in double- and single-blind peer review.
    Keywords:  double-blind review; peer review; randomized; randomized controlled trials; single-blind review
  6. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2022 Apr 18.
      BACKGROUND: Predatory journals have exploited the open access publishing model and are considered as a major threat to the integrity of scientific research. The goal of this study was to characterize predatory publishing practices in plastic surgery.METHODS: To identify potentially predatory journals in the field of plastic surgery, the authors searched the Cabells' Predatory Reports and Beall's List using preidentified keywords. For presumed legitimate open access journals, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was queried. The characteristics of potentially predatory journals were compared to those of legitimate open access plastic surgery journals.
    RESULTS: The authors identified a total of 25 plastic surgery-focused journals. Out of the 25 potentially predatory journals, only 15 journals had articles published within the last 5 years, with a mean number of articles of 33 ± 39 (range, 2 to 159 articles). The mean number of predatory violations according to Cabells' criteria was 6.8 ± 1.4 (range, 3 to 9). Using the DOAJ database, the authors identified a total of 24 plastic surgery-related journals. Compared to potentially predatory journals, journals from the DOAJ were more likely to be indexed in PubMed (0 versus 50 percent, respectively, p < 0.0001). Time to publication was significantly higher in journals from the DOAJ (17 ± 7 versus 4 ± 1 weeks; p = 0.006). Despite higher article processing charges in the DOAJ group, this difference was not statically significant ($1425 ± $717 versus $1071 ± $1060; p = 0.13).
    CONCLUSIONS: Predatory journals are pervasive in the medical literature and plastic surgery is no exception. Plastic surgeons should practice due diligence when choosing a target journal for their articles. Journals with predatory practices should be distinguished from legitimate open access publication platforms.
  7. J Med Libr Assoc. 2022 Apr 01. 110(2): 233-239
      The moral panic over the impact of so-called predatory publishers continues unabated. It is important, however, to resist the urge to simply join in this crusade without pausing to examine the assumptions upon which such concerns are based. It is often assumed that established journals are almost sacrosanct, and that their quality, secured by peer review, is established. It is also routinely presumed that such journals are immune to the lure of easy money in return for publication. Rather than looking at the deficits that may be apparent in the practices and products of predatory publishers, this commentary invites you to explore the weaknesses that have been exposed in traditional academic journals but are seldom discussed in the context of predatory publishing. The inherent message for health and medical services staff, researchers, academics, and students is, as always, to critically evaluate all sources of information, whatever their provenance.
    Keywords:  Elsevier; academic journals; academic quality; peer review; predatory publishing; scientific misconduct
  8. Saudi J Anaesth. 2022 Apr-Jun;16(2):16(2): 204-207
      The academic mantra, to the point of cliché, is "publish or perish." Academia is generally too preoccupied with research and publishing to stand back and consider the driving forces behind the actual processes and systems involved. Indeed, academics are generally unaware of the factors that influence one's ability to publish: The drive to publish itself, readers' information overload, and editors' desire to increase journals' impact factors. This paper will detail these forces, and it behooves potential researchers to keep this veritable tripod of forces in mind since understanding the tripod may facilitate publication chances through the invocation and active implementation of news media theory. Media writers' remuneration is dependent on readers clicking on their articles. The media reel in readers by displaying an intriguing/bold/provocative headline and then keep the readers interested and hooked with initial sentences that not only give information but also tantalize with the promise of more to come. A paper's title and abstract should adhere to these precepts so as to increase the chances of avoiding immediate rejection at editorial or initial reviewer level.
    Keywords:  *journal impact factor; *periodicals as topic; Bibliometrics; biomedical research; humans; publishing/*statistics and numerical data
  9. Am J Health Promot. 2022 Apr 20. 8901171221097849
      Now in its 36th year of publication, The American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP) is privileged to attract worldwide manuscript submissions from highly accomplished researchers and practitioners. Getting published in this journal has gotten quite competitive with less than 20% of submissions making it through our review process and into print. Our current impact score of 2.870 makes getting research published in AJHP well worth the effort for those with a goal of wide dissemination and frequent citations. This editorial aims to increase your chances of getting published in this journal by summarizing those issues that most often lead to a paper's rejection, even for an otherwise well executed study. Though our submission guidelines are detailed and clear, we find contributors, particularly those with less publishing experience, often neglect fastidious adherence to our author instructions and writing standards.
    Keywords:  author instructions; peer review; publishing; submission guidelines; writing standards
  10. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2022 ;46 e25
      Objective: To describe the editorial processing time of published COVID-19 research articles and compare this with a similar topic, human influenza, and analyze the number of publications, withdrawals, and retractions.Methods: A descriptive-analytical study using PubMed on research articles with the MeSH terms human influenza and COVID-19. Time to acceptance (from submission to acceptance) and time to publication (from acceptance to publication) were compared. Retractions and withdrawals were reviewed both qualitatively and quantitatively.
    Results: There were 31 319 research articles on COVID-19 and 4 287 on human influenza published during 2020. The median time to acceptance for COVID-19 was lower than that for human influenza (8 vs. 92 days). The median time to publication for COVID-19 articles was shorter than those on human influenza (12 vs. 16 days); 47.0% of COVID-19 research articles were accepted within the first week of submission, and 19.5% within one day. There were 82 retractions and withdrawals for COVID-19 articles, 1 for human influenza, and 5 for articles that contain both terms; these were mainly related to ethical misconduct, and 27 (31.0%) were published by the same group of authors in one highest-quartile journal.
    Conclusions: The conundrum between fast publishing and adequate standards is shown in this analysis of COVID-19 research articles. The speed of acceptance for COVID-19 manuscripts was 11.5 times faster than for human influenza. The high number of acceptances within a day or week of submission and the number of retractions and withdrawals of COVID-19 papers might be a warning sign about the possible lack of a quality control process in scientific publishing and the peer review process.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Pandemics; health communication; influenza, human; retraction of publication as topic; scientific misconduct; scientific publication ethics
  11. Cureus. 2022 Mar;14(3): e23184
      INTRODUCTION: Difficulty in finding the appropriate journal, adherence to the formatting differences between various journals, publication fees, delay in acceptance/rejection, etc., are a few reasons due to which much research is not published or when published the data in the research may become outdated. There are no studies to find out the issues which affect the time delay between study completion, submission to the journal, acceptance by the journal, and publication. With this background, we conducted this study.METHODS: This study was exempted by the Ethics committee as it was based on online data. Journal Citation Reports (JCR) 2020 (Clarivate analytics), CiteScore, and Google Scholar were used to sort the high-, moderate-, and low-impact factor journals. Forty-five journals each from high-, medium- and low-impact factors (h-index median, Google Scholar Metrics h5-index) were selected. Similarly, 15 predatory scientific journals were chosen. Journals with medical science backgrounds were chosen by randomization. Only original research articles were included. From each journal, five articles were chosen randomly from the latest issue pre-pandemic. The search was performed from April 2021 to June 2021. Variables analyzed were indexing of the journal, publication fees, level of impact factor, specialty domain, number of editors, frequency per year, date of study completion, date of submission, date of acceptance, date of publication, and h-index median. Data were compiled in Microsoft Excel Workbook (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and analyzed using IBM Corp. Released 2019. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 26.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Variables of time were represented as median and interquartile range, and the number of journals and processing fees for publication were descriptively analyzed.
    RESULTS: Out of 60 journals selected, 300 original articles were analyzed. There were 26 specialty-wise journals; the commonest was multispecialty journals. The fastest time from study completion to submission, submission to acceptance, submission to publication, and acceptance to publication was 15.5, 30, 61, and 0 days, respectively, and the slowest duration was 1636, 452, 615, and 456 days, respectively. PubMed indexed journals had a higher number of editors, h5-index, and h5 median, and slower time for acceptance and publication compared to non-PubMed indexed journals (p<0.05). Predatory journals had a lower h5-index and h5 median along with faster time to acceptance and publication compared to high and moderate impact factor journals (p<0.05). Journal with faster acceptance had faster publication as well (r=0.85), but no impact of the number of editors, number of issues per year (frequency), and publication fees with time to acceptance and publication.
    CONCLUSION: Though PubMed indexed journals with a greater number of editors and high fees are slower to publish articles but they are a safe option for researchers. The impact factor does not effect the speed of publication for non-predatory journals. Paying high fees and choosing a journal with more issues per year does not ensure quick publication to the researchers.
    Keywords:  journal citation report; journal impact factor; journal rank; published in pubmed journal; research and publication
  12. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2022 Apr 22. pii: hyac052. [Epub ahead of print]
  13. Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2022 ;32(1): 103-126
      Medical epistemology lately has seen a strengthening of the view that the construction of evidence should be sensitive to the social context in which it is produced. A poignant illustration of this is the undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry on research results and reporting. I challenge a particular application of this view by examining a common practice in the medical and scientific community: mandatory author disclosure of conflicts of interest (COIs) in published articles. In illustrating problems with COI disclosure policies in biomedical publishing, including unappreciated shortcomings of the scant empirical data supporting mandatory disclosure, I hope to demonstrate that the value given to journal COI disclosure policies as a way to protect the reliability of medical evidence might well be misplaced. Rather than extract away the "messy" details of the real world, the analysis is ultimately more responsive to how medical knowledge is produced and disseminated.
  14. Curr Med Res Opin. 2022 Apr 19. 1-8
    International Society for Medical Publication Professionals Authorship Task Force
      BACKGROUND: Many biomedical journals follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations and criteria for authorship. ICMJE criterion 1 provides the basis for selecting authors according to their substantial contributions to the work reported in the publication. Identifying substantial contributions and their application for author selection can be challenging, especially for multicenter studies with large numbers of investigators and contributors. Contributions are not frequently documented during study conduct and authorship decisions may lack transparency, objectivity, and context.METHODS: The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) Authorship Task Force surveyed members on authorship practices, reviewed the literature defining substantial contributions to ICMJE criterion 1, and assessed existing tools or algorithms for determining authorship in industry-sponsored research. Contributions were categorized under the four sub-categories of ICMJE criterion 1: study concept and design, acquisition of data, data analysis, and data interpretation.
    RESULTS: Survey findings and literature review confirmed the need for clear and consistent interpretation, application, and documentation of ICMJE criterion 1 for transparent decisions about authorship. The Task Force reached consensus on definitions of substantial contributions to be considered when selecting authors of industry-sponsored research. The subsequent recommendations were grouped according to the sub-categories of ICMJE criterion 1. In addition, the Task Force developed recommendations regarding contributions that do not merit authorship designation.
    CONCLUSIONS: The Task Force recommendations for objective and consistent interpretation of ICMJE criterion 1 will facilitate an author selection process grounded in the core principles of substantial intellectual contribution to the work's conception or design, or to the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data. While these recommendations are focused on author selection practices for industry-sponsored research, they may be applicable to publications in other areas of scientific and biomedical research.
    Keywords:  Authorship; ICMJE; ISMPP; recommendations; substantial contribution
  15. Front Res Metr Anal. 2022 ;7 747846
      The article unpacks the publishing practices and focuses on the curating work carried out by the editors of chemistry journals. Based on a qualitative analysis of multiple sources in two publishing houses (the American Chemical Society, ACS and Nature Research), it first shows that the role of editor-in-chief covers a wide range of realities and is far from being limited to that of a gatekeeper (the most common metaphor in the literature). In journals that are part of the Nature Research portfolio, in-house editors, who are no longer active scientists, work full time for the journals. The article describes the professional trajectories and skills required to join the publishing house. Interviews highlight collective identity-based actions, attention to the growth and the flow of manuscripts, but also specific epistemic properties of outputs in chemistry. Besides tasks that editors outline "as really the same as they were 100 years ago," as they spend most of their time handling manuscripts and providing quality assurance, they also travel to conferences to support journals and encourage submissions, visit labs where researchers pitch their work or ask questions about journals, and "educate the actors themselves" about new fields. In both cases studied, the publishing houses partner with institutions to offer events (ACS on Campus programme, Nature masterclass) that a university or department can freely host or buy, where editors organize workshops on all aspects of manuscript preparation. Second, publishing houses, whether non-for-profit or commercial, have embraced a catalog logic, where the journals are not necessarily in competition and have an assumed place and hierarchy. At Nature Research, editors-in-chief head business units inscribed in the company's organization. Despite standardized processes imposed by the procedural chain, there is still room to maneuver in these relatively autonomous structures that are ultimately evaluated on their results (the annual production of a certain number of high-quality papers). On the other hand, ACS is seen as a vessel whose course cannot easily be deviated. The conclusion calls for extending this type of investigation to other contexts or types of journals.
    Keywords:  American Chemical Society; Nature Research; chemistry journals; editorship; scientific publishing
  16. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Apr 15. pii: S0003-9993(22)00343-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Rasch Reporting Guideline for Rehabilitation Research (RULER) provides peer-reviewed, evidence-based, transparent, and consistent recommendations for reporting studies that apply Rasch Measurement (RM) Theory in a rehabilitation context. The purpose of the guideline is to ensure that authors, reviewers, and editors have uniform guidance about how to write and evaluate research on rehabilitation outcome assessments. The RULER statement includes an organizing framework and a checklist of 59 recommendations. This companion manuscript supports the RULER statement by providing details about the framework, rationale for the domains and recommendations in the checklist and explaining why these considerations are important for improving consistency and transparency in reporting the results of RM studies. This manuscript is not intended to describe how to conduct RM studies but provides rationale for the essential elements that authors should address in each domain. Consistency and transparency in reporting RM studies will advance rehabilitation research if authors consider these issues when planning their study and include the checklist when they submit their manuscript for peer-review. A copy of the checklist can be found at: [link on Archives website to be inserted upon publication].
    Keywords:  guideline; outcome measures; rehabilitation outcome; reliability; validity
  17. Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Apr;10(4): 981-984
      Based on a series of well-recognized workshops around the world conducted by the author with more than 15 years of EIC experience, this article highlights the essence and spirit of publishing scholarly outcomes for authors in science and engineering. It is vital for all scientists who intend to upgrade their publications to bear in mind that, additional to KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward), the contents of a manuscript should be prepared based on the core concept of ART and LOGIC, namely: Thoroughness (be thorough when compiling) oComplete the sentence, paragraph, and articleReadability (keep the expression readable) oKnow what you mean and mean what you knowArticulateness (be articulate in wording) oBe polite yet firm, when necessary, with controversies and Lock one in ASAP oIdentify and be identical with the readersOffer useful information oJustification and reasoning are most criticalGain confidence oPut forth best methodology and know-howIndication of good will oBe constructive even when criticism is neededConclusive statement oProvide solid conclusion with proper outlook.
  18. Trials. 2022 Apr 21. 23(1): 330
      BACKGROUND: Clinical research should provide reliable evidence to clinicians, health policy makers, and researchers. The reliability of evidence will be assured once study planning, conducting, and reporting of results are transparent. The present research investigates publication rates, time until publication, and characteristics of clinical trials on medicinal products associated with timely publication of results, measures of scientific impact, authorship, and open access publication.METHODS: Clinical trials authorized in Hungary in 2012 were followed until publication and/or June 2020. Corresponding scientific publications were searched via clinical trial registries, PubMed (MEDLINE), and Google.
    RESULTS: Overall, 330 clinical trials were authorized in 2012 of which 232 trials were completed for more than 1 year in June 2020. The proportion of industry initiation was high (97%). Time to publication was 21 (22) months [median (IQR)]. Time to publication was significantly shorter when trials involved both European and non-European countries (26 vs 69 months [median]; hazard ratio = 0.38, 95% CI 0.22-0.66, p< 0.001), and were registered in both EU CTR and (27 vs 88 months; hazard ratio = 0.24, 95% CI 0.11-0.54; p< 0.001) based on survival analyses. A significant amount (24.1%) of unpublished clinical trial results were accessible in a trial register. The majority of available publications were published "open access" (70.93%). A minority of identified publications had a Hungarian author (21.5%).
    CONCLUSIONS: We encourage academic researchers to plan, register and conduct trials on medicinal products. Registries should be considered as an important source of information of clinical trial results. Publications with domestic co-authors contribute to the research output of a country. Measurable domestic scientific impact of trials on medicinal products needs further improvement.
    Keywords:  Authorship; Evidence-based medicine; Publication rates; Research impact; Time to publication; Trial registration
  19. Brain Nerve. 2022 Apr;74(4): 319-328
      Writing a scientific paper is a time-consuming task that requires enormous effort, especially for beginners. However, novel scientific discoveries or useful clinical information obtained from a single patient may not be shared with the scientific and medical community if they are not published. This short article is intended to inform beginners and their tutors on how to write a scientific paper/case report in the field of neuroscience in Japanese. In addition, the methods used to conduct the peer review process are briefly mentioned. To write a scientific article, authors are required to use simple and direct expressions to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. The introduction section must be attractive and flow from providing general to specific information, and the final discussion section should pertain to specific matter and end with general statements. A paper will be successful if the readers appreciate this "scientific arch" as a cardinal message of the article. Intensive reading of colleagues' papers also helps develop the beginners' writing skills. Although young researchers/physicians have rare opportunities to review scientific articles, peer-review experiences are useful for writing papers in the future.
  20. J Med Libr Assoc. 2022 Apr 01. 110(2): 156-158
      The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) conducted a readership survey in 2020 to gain a deeper understanding of our readers, their reading habits, and their satisfaction with JMLA's content, website functionality, and overall quality. A total of 467 readers responded to the survey, most of whom were librarians/information specialists (85%), worked in an academic (62%) or hospital/health care system (27%) library, and were current Medical Library Association members (80%). Most survey respondents (46%) reported reading JMLA articles on a quarterly basis. Over half of respondents (53%) said they used social media to follow new research or publications, with Twitter being the most popular platform. Respondents stated that Original Investigations, Case Reports, Knowledge Syntheses, and Resource Reviews articles were the most enjoyable to read and important to their research and practice. Almost all respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied (94%) with the JMLA website. Some respondents felt that the content of JMLA leaned more toward academic librarianship than toward clinical/hospital librarianship and that there were not enough articles on collection management or technical services. These opinions and insights of our readers help keep the JMLA editorial team on track toward publishing articles that are of interest and utility to our audience, raising reader awareness of new content, providing a website that is easy to navigate and use, and maintaining our status as the premier journal in health sciences librarianship.
  21. Rev Esp Cir Ortop Traumatol. 2022 Apr 19. pii: S1888-4415(22)00061-3. [Epub ahead of print]
  22. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2022 Apr 17. pii: S1553-4650(22)00147-9. [Epub ahead of print]