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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 10.17605/OSF.IO/W4CK2 .
Titan's surface was revealed by Cassini's instruments, showing the presence of liquid hydrocarbons in lakes, and features like dry riverbed. In order to study the sediment transport in Titan's channels and to map distribution of the water-ice signature in these terrains, we use a radiative transfer model to retrieve the surface albedo, after we estimated VIMS error with an original method. We also establish a criteria related to the intensity of the water ice signature. The tuning of the radiative transfer model shows that the fractal dimension of Titan's aerosols is higher than previously thought, around 2.3–2.4. We find spots of high signal of water ice downstream, at the margins of Tui Regio, that could correspond to alluvial fans, deltas or crater rims. We also observe a very low water ice signal on Tui Regio, with a positive gradient between the central region and the boundary of the area, possibly due to the thickness variation of an evaporitic layer. The riverbeds show within the error bars a decreasing grain size from the top to the bottom of the channels. This reinforces the hypothesis of sediment transport via these river channels.
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, first published in 2009 [1], was developed in an attempt to increase the clarity, transparency, quality and value of these reports [2]. The 27-item checklist and four-phase flow diagram have become the hallmark of academic rigour in the publication of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, having been cited by over 60,000 papers [3]. These are frequently endorsed by journals in their ‘Instructions to Authors’ [4]. Developments in the methodology and terminology used when conducting systematic reviews [5], alongside the identification of limitations responsible for poor adherence, such as the use of ambiguous wording [6], have warranted an update to the PRISMA statement. The PRISMA 2020 statement, therefore, is intended to reflect this recent evolution in the identification, selection, appraisal and synthesis of research [7]. Here, we present an interpretive analysis of the updated statement, with a view towards encouraging its adoption by both journals and authors in the pursuit of advancing evidence-based medicine.
Objectives: To investigate authors' awareness and use of authorship guidelines, and to assess their perceptions of the fairness of authorship decisions. Design: A cross-sectional online survey. Setting and participants: Corresponding authors of research papers submitted in 2014 to 18 BMJ journals. Results: 3859/12 646 (31%) researchers responded. They worked in 93 countries and varied in research experience. Of these, 1326 (34%) reported their institution had an authorship policy providing criteria for authorship; 2871 (74%) were 'very familiar' with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' authorship criteria and 3358 (87%) reported that guidelines were beneficial when preparing manuscripts. Furthermore, 2609 (68%) reported that their use was 'sometimes' or 'frequently' encouraged in their research setting. However, 2859 respondents (74%) reported that they had been involved in a study at least once where someone was added as an author who had not contributed substantially (honorary authorship), and 1305 (34%) where someone was not listed as an author but had contributed substantially (ghost authorship). Only 740 (19%) reported that they had never experienced either honorary or ghost authorship; 1115 (29%) reported that they had experienced both at least once. There was no clear pattern in experience of authorship misappropriation by continent. For their last coauthored article, 2187 (57%) reported that explicit authorship criteria had been used to determine eligibility, and 3088 (80%) felt that the decision made was fair. When institutions frequently encouraged use of authorship guidelines, authorship eligibility was more likely to be discussed early (817 of 1410, 58%) and perceived as fairer (1273 of 1410, 90%) compared with infrequent encouragement (974 of 2449, 40%, and 1891 of 2449, 74%). Conclusions: Despite a high level of awareness of authorship guidelines and criteria, these are not so widely used; more explicit encouragement of their use by institutions may result in more favourable use of guidelines by authors.
Reproducible science requires transparent reporting. The ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) were originally developed in 2010 to improve the reporting of animal research. They consist of a checklist of information to include in publications describing in vivo experiments to enable others to scrutinise the work adequately, evaluate its methodological rigour, and reproduce the methods and results. Despite considerable levels of endorsement by funders and journals over the years, adherence to the guidelines has been inconsistent, and the anticipated improvements in the quality of reporting in animal research publications have not been achieved. Here, we introduce ARRIVE 2.0. The guidelines have been updated and information reorganised to facilitate their use in practice. We used a Delphi exercise to prioritise and divide the items of the guidelines into 2 sets, the “ARRIVE Essential 10,” which constitutes the minimum requirement, and the “Recommended Set,” which describes the research context. This division facilitates improved reporting of animal research by supporting a stepwise approach to implementation. This helps journal editors and reviewers verify that the most important items are being reported in manuscripts. We have also developed the accompanying Explanation and Elaboration document, which serves (1) to explain the rationale behind each item in the guidelines, (2) to clarify key concepts, and (3) to provide illustrative examples. We aim, through these changes, to help ensure that researchers, reviewers, and journal editors are better equipped to improve the rigour and transparency of the scientific process and thus reproducibility.
Sharing data and code are important components of reproducible research. Data sharing in research is widely discussed in the literature; however, there are no well-established evidence-based incentives that reward data sharing, nor randomized studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of data sharing policies at increasing data sharing. A simple incentive, such as an Open Data Badge, might provide the change needed to increase data sharing in health and medical research. This study was a parallel group randomized controlled trial (protocol registration: doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/PXWZQ) with two groups, control and intervention, with 80 research articles published in BMJ Open per group, with a total of 160 research articles. The intervention group received an email offer for an Open Data Badge if they shared their data along with their final publication and the control group received an email with no offer of a badge if they shared their data with their final publication. The primary outcome was the data sharing rate. Badges did not noticeably motivate researchers who published in BMJ Open to share their data; the odds of awarding badges were nearly equal in the intervention and control groups (odds ratio = 0.9, 95% CI [0.1, 9.0]). Data sharing rates were low in both groups, with just two datasets shared in each of the intervention and control groups. The global movement towards open science has made significant gains with the development of numerous data sharing policies and tools. What remains to be established is an effective incentive that motivates researchers to take up such tools to share their data.
This report presents the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) extension for the stepped wedge cluster randomised trial (SW-CRT). The SW-CRT involves randomisation of clusters to different sequences that dictate the order (or timing) at which each cluster will switch to the intervention condition. The statement was developed to allow for the unique characteristics of this increasingly used study design. The guideline was developed using a Delphi survey and consensus meeting; and is informed by the CONSORT statements for individual and cluster randomised trials. Reporting items along with explanations and examples are provided. We include a glossary of terms, and explore the key properties of the SW-CRT which require special consideration in their reporting.
Objective The extent to which biomedical authors have received training in publication ethics, and their attitudes and opinions about the ethical aspects of specific behaviours, have been understudied. We sought to characterise the knowledge and attitudes of biomedical authors about common issues in publication ethics. Design Cross-sectional online survey. Setting and participants Corresponding authors of research submissions to 20 journals. Main outcome measure(s) Perceived level of unethical behaviour (rated 0 to 10) presented in five vignettes containing key variables that were experimentally manipulated on entry to the survey and perceived level of knowledge of seven ethical topics related to publishing (prior publication, author omission, self-plagiarism, honorary authorship, conflicts of interest, image manipulation and plagiarism). Results 4043/10 582 (38%) researchers responded. Respondents worked in 100 countries and reported varying levels of publishing experience. 67% (n=2700) had received some publication ethics training from a mentor, 41% (n=1677) a partial course, 28% (n=1130) a full course and 55% (n=2206) an online course; only a small proportion rated training received as excellent. There was a full range (0 to 10 points) in ratings of the extent of unethical behaviour within each vignette, illustrating a broad range of opinion about the ethical acceptability of the behaviours evaluated, but these opinions were little altered by the context in which it occurred. Participants reported substantial variability in their perceived knowledge of seven publication ethics topics; one-third perceived their knowledge to be less than ‘some knowledge’ for the sum of the seven ethical topics and only 9% perceived ‘substantial knowledge’ of all topics. Conclusions We found a large degree of variability in espoused training and perceived knowledge, and variability in views about how ethical or unethical scenarios were. Ethical standards need to be better articulated and taught to improve consistency of training across institutions and countries.
Brazil’s Sistema Único de Saúde, or Unified Health System policy, has delivered major improvements in health coverage and outcomes, but challenges remain, including the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and variations in quality of care across the country. Some of these challenges may be met through the adaptation and implementation of a South African primary care strategy, the Practical Approach to Care Kit (PACK). Developed by the University of Cape Town’s Knowledge Translation Unit (KTU), PACK is intended for in-country adaptation by employing a mentorship model. Using this approach, the PACK Adult guide and training materials were localised for use in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, as part of an initiative to reform primary care, expand care for NCDs and make services more accessible and equitable. The value of the collaboration between the KTU and Florianópolis municipality is the transfer of skills and avoidance of duplication of effort involved in de-novo guide development, while ensuring that materials are locally acceptable and applicable. The collaboration has informed the development of the KTU’s PACK mentorship package and led to a relationship between the groups of developers, ensuring ongoing learning and research, with the potential of assisting the further scale-up of PACK in Brazil.
In thirteen years, infrared observations from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard Cassini provided significant hints about the spectral and geological diversity of Titan's surface. The analysis of the infrared signature of spectral units enables constraining the surface composition, which is crucial for understanding possible interactions between Titan’s interior, surface and atmosphere. Here, we investigate a selection of areas in the equatorial regions, imaged by Cassini’s instruments, which exhibit an apparent transition from the VIMS IR-bright to the IR-blue and IR-brown units (from false-color composites using red: 1.57/1.27 μm, green: 2.01/1.27 μm, and blue: 1.27/1.08 μm). By applying an updated radiative transfer model, we extract the surface albedo of IR-units identified in these regions. Then, we compare them with synthetic mixtures of two expected components on Titan’s surface, namely water ice and laboratory tholins. This allows us to reconnect the derived composition and grain size information to the geomorphology observed from RADAR/SAR images. We interpret IR-bright units as hills and plains coated by organic material and incised by fluvial networks. Erosion products are transported downstream to areas where IR-blue units are seen near the IR-bright units. These units, enriched in water ice, are most likely outwash plains hosting debris from fluvial erosion. Farther away from the IR-bright units, the IR-brown units are dominantly made of organics with varied grain sizes, ranging from dust- to sand-sized particles that form the dune fields. The transition areas therefore exhibit trends in water ice content and grain size supported by geomorphological observations.
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