bims-skolko Biomed News
on Scholarly communication
Issue of 2022‒05‒01
eighteen papers selected by
Thomas Krichel
Open Library Society

  1. Lancet. 2022 04 23. pii: S0140-6736(21)02804-X. [Epub ahead of print]399(10335): 1601
  2. Diagn Interv Imaging. 2022 Apr 26. pii: S2211-5684(22)00071-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Keywords:  Processing time; Review time; Scholarly publishing
  3. Rev Saude Publica. 2022 ;pii: S0034-89102022000100600. [Epub ahead of print]56 30
      Epidemiological studies focused on public health have currently shown significant limitations regarding in-depth theoretical reports, overvaluing methodological aspects. The lack of theoretical explanation affects both the quality and reproducibility of studies. This study therefore reflected on the importance of in-depth theoretical reports considering the theoretical foundation used by researchers in the main sections of the manuscript (title, abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion) based on a review of the scientific literature on the subject. We believe that this article can help understand the importance and the development of in-depth theoretical reports in scientific articles, contributing to assessments, interpretations, and criticisms of reviewers and editors regarding the explanation and reporting of theoretical foundation in manuscripts submitted to scientific journals.
  4. Trials. 2022 Apr 27. 23(1): 359
      Crystal clear RCT protocols are of paramount importance. The reader needs to easily understand the trial methodology and know what is pre-planned. They need to know there are procedures in place if there are, for instance, protocol breaches and protocol amendments are required, there is loss to follow-up and missing data, and how solicited and spontaneous reported adverse events are dealt with. This plan is important for the trial and for the results that will be published when the data is analysed. After all, individuals have consented to participate in these trials, and their time and their well-being matter. The Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) provides guidance to structure RCT protocols and ensures all essential information is included. But sadly, not all trialists follow the guidance, and sometimes, the information is misunderstood. Using experience peer-reviewing for Trials over the last 2 years, we have prepared information to assist authors, peer reviewers, editors, and other current and future SPIRIT protocol editors to use the SPIRIT guidance and understand its importance.
    Keywords:  Editors; Peer reviewers; Protocol; Randomised controlled trials; SPIRIT; Structured template; Trialists
  5. Nature. 2022 Apr 28.
    Keywords:  Language; Machine learning; Peer review
  6. BMC Med Educ. 2022 Apr 27. 22(1): 326
      BACKGROUND: Infographics have become an increasingly popular method to present research findings and increase the attention research receives. As many scientific journals now use infographics to boost the visibility and uptake of the research they publish, infographics have become an important tool for medical education. It is unknown whether such infographics convey the key characteristics that are needed to make useful interpretations of the data such as an adequate description of the study population, interventions, comparators and outcomes; methodological limitations; and numerical estimates of benefits and harms. This study described whether infographics published in peer-reviewed health and medical research journals contain key characteristics that are needed to make useful interpretations of clinical research.METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we identified peer-reviewed journals listed in the top quintile of 35 unique fields of medicine and health research listed in the Journal Citation Reports database. Two researchers screened journals for the presence of infographics. We defined an infographic as a graphical visual representation of research findings. We extracted data from a sample of two of the most recent infographics from each journal. Outcomes were the proportion of infographics that reported key characteristics such as study population, interventions, comparators and outcomes, benefits, harms, effect estimates with measures of precision, between-group differences and conflicts of interest; acknowledged risk of bias, certainty of evidence and study limitations; and based their conclusions on the study's primary outcome.
    RESULTS: We included 129 infographics from 69 journals. Most infographics described the population (81%), intervention (96%), comparator (91%) and outcomes (94%), but fewer contained enough information on the population (26%), intervention (45%), comparator (20%) and outcomes (55%) for those components of the study to be understood without referring to the main paper. Risk of bias was acknowledged in only 2% of infographics, and none of the 69 studies that had declared a conflict of interest disclosed it in the infographics.
    CONCLUSIONS: Most infographics do not report sufficient information to allow readers to interpret study findings, including the study characteristics, results, and sources of bias. Our results can inform initiatives to improve the quality of the information presented in infographics.
    Keywords:  Infographics; Information Dissemination; Medical education; Visual abstracts
  7. Elife. 2022 Apr 27. pii: e78424. [Epub ahead of print]11
      Ensuring that public feedback on preprints is focused, appropriate, specific and transparent (or FAST) will help to develop a thriving culture for reviewing and commenting on preprints.
    Keywords:  FAST principles; Point of view; peer review; peer review of preprints; preprints
  8. F1000Res. 2021 ;10 989
      Online accounts to keep track of scientific publications, such as Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) or Google Scholar, can be time consuming to maintain and synchronize. Furthermore, the open access status of publications is often not easily accessible, hindering potential opening of closed publications. To lessen the burden of managing personal profiles, we developed a R shiny app that allows publication lists from multiple platforms to be retrieved and consolidated, as well as interactive exploration and comparison of publication profiles. A live version can be found at
    Keywords:  R shiny; open access; publication profiles
  9. Int J Cardiol. 2022 Apr 22. pii: S0167-5273(22)00569-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: Our study examines the association between the favorability of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and/or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) and the presence of conflicts of interest (COIs) among authors.METHODS: We used the "Citing Articles" tool on the New England Journal of Medicine website to identify editorials on the use of PCI/CABG for stable ischemic heart disease. Authors were rated as "supportive," "neutral," or "critical" of these interventions based on the content of their editorials. COIs for each author were identified using past publications found on Scopus, PubMed, or a general internet search.
    RESULTS: A total of 606 articles were identified, and data were extracted from 56 of them. Among the 149 authors, 64 (43.0%) had a COI. Of these 64 authors, 19 (29.7%) disclosed their COI, while 45 (70.3%) did not. Overall, among authors with a COI, there was no association between disclosed and undisclosed COIs and the authors' view of PCI/CABG [χ2 (2, N = 64) = 1.63, p = .44]. If an author was associated with Medtronic, Abbott, or Boston Scientific, they were more likely to favor PCI/CABG if they had an undisclosed COI relative to authors who disclosed COIs [χ2 (1, N = 31) = 5.04, p = .025]. Authors publishing in a cardiology journal were more likely to view PCI/CABG favorably relative to those publishing in a general medicine journal [χ2 (2, N = 62) = 7.17, p = .028].
    CONCLUSION: Editors should adopt policies to counteract the unbalancing effects that COIs have on medical opinions and evidence.
    Keywords:  Cardiology; Conflicts of interest; Editorials; Ischemic heart disease
  10. BMJ Open. 2022 Apr 26. 12(4): e060665
      INTRODUCTION: There is a notable under-representation of women in leadership positions in ophthalmology despite the increasing number of women as ophthalmologists. Gender inequality in editorial boards of ophthalmology journals has not been investigated on a global scale. This study will aim to evaluate the representation of women as editorial board members in ophthalmology journals across different regions, journal subspecialties and impact factors.METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This will be a cross-sectional study describing the gender composition of editorial boards in ophthalmology journals globally. Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and SCImago Journal & Country Rank will be used to comprehensively identify journals indexed with the keyword, 'ophthalmology'. All journals with active websites and lists of editorial boards will be included. Journals will be categorised according to the World Bank's 2021 classification of countries by income and region, and classified into ophthalmology subspecialties based on publication scope. Impact factors will be obtained from Journal Citation Reports. The gender and academic degrees of each editorial board member will be determined based on journal profiles, institutional websites or name query feature on an online interface. The research impact of each editorial board member will be ascertained from the author records on Web of Science. The gender proportion will be presented for all journals combined, and then for journals grouped by regions, subspecialties and impact factors. Editorial board member characteristics including academic degrees and research productivity measures will be compared between men and women. These comparisons will be made using the χ2 test for categorical variables and the independent samples t-test for continuous variables.
    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study did not require research ethics approval given the use of publicly available data and lack of human subjects. The results will be presented at scientific meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals.
    Keywords:  MEDICAL ETHICS; OPHTHALMOLOGY; Quality in health care
  11. Front Oral Health. 2022 ;3 871033
      Objective: We aimed to assess the adherence to transparency practices (data availability, code availability, statements of protocol registration and conflicts of interest and funding disclosures) and FAIRness (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) of shared data from open access COVID-19-related articles published in dental journals available from the Europe PubMed Central (PMC) database.Methods: We searched and exported all COVID-19-related open-access articles from PubMed-indexed dental journals available in the Europe PMC database in 2020 and 2021. We detected transparency indicators with a validated and automated tool developed to extract the indicators from the downloaded articles. Basic journal- and article-related information was retrieved from the PMC database. Then, from those which had shared data, we assessed their accordance with FAIR data principles using the F-UJI online tool (
    Results: Of 650 available articles published in 59 dental journals, 74% provided conflicts of interest disclosure and 40% funding disclosure and 4% were preregistered. One study shared raw data (0.15%) and no study shared code. Transparent practices were more common in articles published in journals with higher impact factors, and in 2020 than in 2021. Adherence to the FAIR principles in the only paper that shared data was moderate.
    Conclusion: While the majority of the papers had a COI disclosure, the prevalence of the other transparency practices was far from the acceptable level. A much stronger commitment to open science practices, particularly to preregistration, data and code sharing, is needed from all stakeholders.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; FAIR data principles; data; dental research; dentistry; open science; reproducibility; transparency