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Freedom and responsibility in medical publication: setting the balance right

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... On sait très bien, par exemple, que certaines personnes peu scrupuleuses n'hésitent pas à co-signer des travaux sans que le caractère modeste, voire inexistant, de leur contribution ne soit indiqué aux lecteurs. De même, il est arrivé à certains auteurs de se faire dérober tout ou partie de leur travail par des reviewers malhonnêtes [1,4,6]. Ce dernier point milite contre l'anonymat des peer reviews, voire même pour leur disparition, du moins dans leur forme actuelle. ...
... Ce dernier point milite contre l'anonymat des peer reviews, voire même pour leur disparition, du moins dans leur forme actuelle. Aucune méthode scientifique incontestable, tel un essai contrôlé randomisé, n'a jamais été mise en oeuvre pour comparer, par exemple, les peer reviews avec un système où les comités de rédaction publieraient tout ce qui leur opinion abc Ann Biol Clin 2004, 62 : [5][6] Ann Biol Clin, vol. 62, n°1, janvier-février 2004 serait proposé, laissant ensuite les lecteurs commenter et critiquer librement les travaux publiés, au travers de colonnes consacrées à ce type de correspondance. ...
... adoptent une autre solution : tous les travaux y sont publiés avec leur historique, c'està-dire la (ou les) version(s) préliminaire(s), les peer reviews signées, et les réponses des auteurs. Il est bien sûr envisageable d'associer ces deux approches, de façon à permettre aux manuscrits, aux peer reviews et aux autres commentaires, d'être publiés sans anonymat et sans délais, au fur et à mesure de leur création [1,2,5,6]. Cela ne pourrait qu'accroître la motivation des auteurs, des reviewers, comme des comités de rédaction, à ne pas travailler de manière trop désinvolte, voire malhonnête. En outre, les meilleurs reviewers pourraient ainsi être identifiés par un public beaucoup plus large, ce qui ne serait que justice. ...
... 1. The identity of authors is revealed to reviewers, but not vice versa (Rennie, 1998;Ware, 2008;Clark, 2012); this allows the reviewers to freely evaluate and comment on submissions. The names and credentials of authors, their institution, country, or area of research can sometimes bias reviews. ...
... In open review, authors and reviewers know each other's identities. This approach has ethical advantages, as all parties are informed and take responsibility for the quality of their work, which reduces conflicts of interest (Rennie, 1998;Godlee, 2002;Walsh et al., 2000). 4. Electronic media also allow a new form of review: through a website, researchers can offer their articles; editors can search for those that are most relevant and offer to publish them (Campanario, 2002). ...
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Introduction The process of publication is influenced by a pressure on researchers to demonstrate their competence and productivity by publishing large numbers of articles in indexed journals. But there is a great deal of ignorance regarding the ethical obligations in scientific publication; worse, ethical considerations are often seen as mere formalities in the process of publishing an article. Objective This article discusses the ethical practices related to the publication of a scientific article. It encompasses those defined by forms of external regulation and those that might be identified as forms of self-regulation, and it argues for the greater effectiveness of the latter in scientific publication. Method We performed a literature review and a critical analysis of the information. Results There are negative factors that range from plagiarism and the duplication of articles to the fabrication and falsification of data. Researchers look for convenient solutions, taking refuge in practices condoned, paradoxically, by the very scientific community that condemns them. Rather than avoiding these forms of misconduct, the scientific community even justifies them at times, which means that the practices continue. Discussion and conclusion Self-regulation in scientific publication is a preferable goal: it allows participants in the process to assume their obligations freely and with a greater sense of responsibility.
... Of late there has been a growing concern about ''bad practices'' in academic research collaborations (e.g., Rennie 1998;Shrum et al. 2001;Levsky et al. 2007) and such concerns are validated in studies based on interviews or questionnaires (e.g., Shrum et al. 2001;Bozeman et al. 2012). At the conceptual level, we define ''bad practices'' as consisting of routine problems owing to the sort of human failings one finds in any realm or group work, including poor communication, late or incomplete delivery of work, and personality issues such as self-aggrandizement and boorish behaviour. ...
... One response has been a focus on ''contributorship,'' defined as authors declaring in detail, in advance of publication, their individual contributions to scholarly papers (Rennie et al. 2000(Rennie et al. , p. 1274. Several journal and a few professional associations have adopted contributorship standards, particularly in fields related to medical research (Rennie 1998). Contributorship policies and norms are viewed as increasing transparency and fairness. ...
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Co-authorship has become common practice in most science and engineering disciplines and, with the growth of co-authoring, has come a fragmentation of norms and practices, some of them discipline-based, some institution-based. It becomes increasingly important to understand these practices, in part to reduce the likelihood of misunderstanding in collaborations among authors from different disciplines and fields. Moreover, there is also evidence of widespread satisfaction with collaborative and co-authoring experiences. In some cases the dissatisfactions are more in the realm of bruised feelings and miscommunication but in others there is clear exploitation and even legal disputes about, for example, intellectual property. Our paper is part of a multiyear study funded by the U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and draws its data from a representative national survey of scientists working in 108 Carnegie Doctoral/Research Universities-Very High Research Activity (n = 641). The paper tests hypotheses about the determinants of collaboration effectiveness. Results indicate that having an explicit discussion about co-authorship reduces the odds of a bad collaboration on a recent scholarly article. Having co-authors from different universities also reduces the odds of a bad collaboration, while large numbers of co-authors have the reverse effect. The results shed some systematic, empirical light on research collaboration practices, including not only norms and business-as-usual, but also routinely bad collaborations.
... Cuando se somete algo para publicación en general éste es inicialmente visto por alguno de los editores de la revista y posteriormente enviado a una serie de revisores a quienes se les considera expertos en el campo de estudio del escrito. 6 Tanto la opinión del primero como de los segundos interviene en la decisión de publicar o no el trabajo. Aunque se ha criticado mucho, el sistema de revisión por pares sigue siendo la mejor forma de tratar de mantener la calidad y veracidad de lo que se publica. ...
... Ésta es la razón por la que se escribe al final. 3,[5][6][7]9,16,19,21 Título. Debe ser claro y llamar la atenció,n ya que frecuentemente será lo único que será leído. ...
Article
ARTÍCULO ESPECIAL RESUMEN. En una profesión cada vez más competiti-va, el realizar investigación tanto básica como clínica y ser capaz de publicar los resultados puede ser la dife-rencia para tener éxito. Tener las bases para escribir un buen artículo, que transmita de forma clara y eficiente sus descubrimientos es indispensable. Pretendemos ofre-cer una guía general sobre lo que debe constituir el con-tenido de un escrito para publicación y cuáles son los errores que más frecuentemente se cometen. Saber esto puede llegar a ser la diferencia entre lograr publicar o no su trabajo. Palabras clave: escrito científico, revisión por pares, manuscritos aceptados y rechazados.
... Critics of scientific journal peer review have claimed that ethical transgressions, such a breach of confidentiality, theft of ideas, personal attacks, and bias, frequently undermine the quality and integrity of the review process1234. A number of different solutions to these problems have been proposed, including using open (or unmasked) peer review, providing additional education and training for reviewers, disclosing conflicts of interest, and developing codes of ethics for reviewers and editors123456789. ...
... Critics of scientific journal peer review have claimed that ethical transgressions, such a breach of confidentiality, theft of ideas, personal attacks, and bias, frequently undermine the quality and integrity of the review process1234. A number of different solutions to these problems have been proposed, including using open (or unmasked) peer review, providing additional education and training for reviewers, disclosing conflicts of interest, and developing codes of ethics for reviewers and editors123456789. Although most scientists agree that ethical problems can occur in journal peer review, evidence has been anecdotal, consisting of personal accounts published in news stories, letters, or commentaries [3,4,10,11,12]. ...
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This article reports the results of an anonymous survey of researchers at a government research institution concerning their perceptions about ethical problems with journal peer review. Incompetent review was the most common ethical problem reported by the respondents, with 61.8% (SE = 3.3%) claiming to have experienced this at some point during peer review. Bias (50.5%, SE = 3.4%) was the next most common problem. About 22.7% (SE = 2.8%) of respondents said that a reviewer had required them to include unnecessary references to his/her publication(s), 17.7% (SE = 2.6%) said that comments from reviewers had included personal attacks, and 9.6% (SE = 2.0%) stated that reviewers had delayed publication to publish a paper on the same topic. Two of the most serious violations of peer review ethics, breach of confidentiality (6.8%, SE = 1.7%) and using ideas, data, or methods without permission (5%, SE = 1.5%) were perceived less often than the other problems. We recommend that other investigators follow up on our exploratory research with additional studies on the ethics of peer review.
... Es importante señalar también que para emplear el índice de impacto como un elemento a considerar en evaluaciones científicas en comisiones o en revisiones por pares ("peer review"), se debería conocer a fondo qué es un índice de impacto, cómo se obtiene y que significa en concreto el dato obtenido. Esto debería ser especialmente sistemático -y quizá preceptivo-cuando se evalúan curricula para la promoción de investigadores y su posible contratación temporal o indefinida (21,22,23,24). La utilización del índice de impacto por personas que no conocen bien qué es y cómo se obtiene y que lo pretenden utilizar como un dato objetivo de evaluación de calidad, puede llevar a decisiones no ajustadas a la realidad del valor concreto de la investigación realizada y, por lo tanto, a una consideración injusta de un trabajo científico y de la persona o personas que se juzgan. ...
Article
:En este artículo se presentan algunas consideraciones sobre la utilización del índice de impacto como medida de calidad en la investigación. Después de hacer una referencia histórica del con cepto de índice de impacto, se analizan algunos aspectos a tener en cuenta cuando se utiliza esta medida de las citaciones. También se comentan algu nas críticas a su uso como parámetro de evaluación de calidad de una investigación individual o de curric ula en la promoción y contratación de investigadores y en la concesión de ayudas científicas.
... Their functioning could then be contrasted across journals (e.g., comparing journal-level inter-rater reliability scores, acceptance/rejection rates, number of methodological/statistical errors identified). Cases of frank abuse (e.g., fraudulent peer review, editorial pressure to engage in journal self-citation practices), bias, subjectivity (e.g., Lock, 1994), or otherwise inappropriate behavior (e.g., lack of substantive or methodological expertise) among reviewers would be made public and held more accountable (Godlee, 2002;Rennie, 1998). 10 Critical analysis of these processes would help improve the integrity of the overall peer review system (Lee & Moher, 2017) and give readers of these journals greater faith in what they read. ...
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Peer review serves an essential role in the cultivation, validation, and dissemination of social work knowledge and scholarship. Nevertheless, the current peer review system has many limitations. It is charged as being unreliable, biased, ineffective, and unaccountable, among numerous other issues. That said, peer review is still commonly viewed as the best possible system of knowledge governance, given the relevant alternatives. In this research note, I scrutinize this assumption. Although peer review can sometimes be effective, it is not therefore a rigorous or even dependable system. Indeed, the practice of peer review in social work is overwhelmingly closed and opaque, and assurances of its rigor are speculative at best. Given that social work research informs policies and practices that have real world consequences for clients and communities, it is imperative that our research – and its appraisal – be held to the strictest of standards. This includes our system(s) of peer review. After highlighting common criticisms of traditional peer review, I articulate a research agenda on “open peer review” which can reform how peer review is performed, provide feedback to editors and reviewers, and help make the process more rigorous, transparent, and evidence-based. Implications for social work education are explored and discussed.
... No matter the scientific area, editors rely on the expertise, availability, and support of notable experts who contribute to maintaining a high standard of the scientific content in the published works. This is not a recent trend; it is a wellestablished practice that certifies the fact that research results are thoroughly verified before being released to the public (Rennie, 1998). ...
Article
Publishing procedures in all scientific areas have been in constant flux to ensure articles’ formal unity and most importantly significant contribution to respective research fields. Scientists but more specifically higher education professionals across the globe have joined a race for “points” to warrant their standing in academic communities or to comply with promotion or tenure requirements. Publishing scientific/ academic work in high-ranking journals is today the norm in most universities worldwide which has imposed on editorial teams methods of selection relying almost exclusively on the authority of reviewers. This article will present a brief overview of recent concerns regarding the peer review practice in different publishing fields and the issue of less than collegial behaviours that have also emerged. The paper examines the importance of unbiased feedback of specialists which ensures the quality of published materials and highlights authors’ apprehension about bullying in peer review processes. The present critique will also mention the need for golden rules of conduct for peer reviewers and the necessity of editorial boards to supervise and address inappropriate aggressive comments from reviewers.
... With all of its imperfections, carefully constructed mechanisms of peer review remain an important professional tool for assessing the merits of scholarly research, identifying weaknesses in evidence, argumentation, and research methods, detecting important research findings, and providing journal editors with useful recommendations concerning how manuscripts might be improved. (Rennie 1998, cited in Turner 2003 Turner goes on to write: ...
Article
Early Career Researchers (ECRs) can learn a great deal from the insights of philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates, although most would not necessarily wish to emulate Socrates’ aggravation of the Athenian proletariat and subsequent execution (by poisoning) for stirring the status quo. While some similarities may appear between academic gatekeepers and the ancient Athenian hegemony, early career researchers are by definition trying to establish themselves; however, biting the hand that feeds you is a cardinal sin in both publishing and academia, as well as a poor option in achieving fulfilment of life choices. In this reflection based on my active practitioner perspective as a PhD in writing candidate and established children’s writer, I wish to explore some of the factors affecting an early career researcher’s ability to find publishing outlets and forums for their work and interests. I will in turn highlight the importance of having accessible and encouraging support structures for ECRs, the body academic and publishing forums associated with the arts and writing faculty.
... of who did what. 24 Concretely, a Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) has emerged, listing 14 distinct ways in which an individual can contribute to scholarly work, including conceptualisation, methodology and various other factors. 25 Although authorship has not yet been replaced, many leading medical journals now require authors to specify who did what. ...
Article
To advance healthcare and promote public trust, the integrity of medical research must be a high priority. Guest authorship (here encompassing gift, honorary, courtesy and coercive authorship) lists as ‘authors’ people who have not made substantial contributions to the work. It can occur: as fealty to supervisors, such as department chairs, laboratory directors or grant coordinators, who become authors on articles without making substantive contributions; as a means to enhance the esteem a paper receives by adding a preeminent name to the author list; or as a means to hide the publication’s origin in industry, as when a drug/device company designs, executes and writes a study’s report—without identifying its employees as authors in the resulting journal publication— then invites prominent physician(s) to serve as lead ‘author(s).’ Here, the physicians are guest authors while company employees are ghost authors. Although both guest and ghost authorship are roundly decried, previous publications have deemed them detrimental research practices that nevertheless are not quite research misconduct. Here, we focus on guest authorship, arguing that it falls squarely within the definition of ‘research misconduct.’ We then present options for academic institutions and medical journals to discourage guest authorship, thereby reinforcing integrity in medical science.
... The role of language and its power to reflect science in the written format (25) were in perspective, too. In medicine, this growth was significantly admitted and almost all scholarly journals and conferences stressed on the accuracy of submitted manuscripts by careful scrutiny (26). Therefore, from 2000 onwards, expressions such as technical writing, formal languages, writing, posters (interval 2000-2005), interpersonal communication and peer review (interval 2011-2017) emerged in our search results. ...
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The present study used scientometrics and word co-occurrence analysis to identify the most important topics and to assess trends in English for medical purposes over time. Documents indexed in Scopus and Web of Science were used to examine various indicators such as keywords, countries, organizations, and authors. Search results were preprocessed through BibExcel to create a file for mapping, and word co-occurrence analysis was applied to evaluate the publications. Also, scientific maps, author’s network, and country contributions were depicted using VOSviewer and NetDraw. The most productive authors and countries were determined. Re-garding the trend analysis, highly frequent words were examined at six-year intervals. The findings indicated that 81 countries, 1,304 authors, and 799 organizations have contributed to the scientific mobility of this field. Keyword co-occurrence analysis indicated that topics have shifted from language-specific foci to interactive domains. These findings offer evidence-based information about the past and present trends in EMP research topics and trends, as well as its future directions, moving from linear patterns (solely related to linguistic components) towards a more interrelated pattern of issues clustering around a medical education and learning topics. Key words: English for medical purposes (EMP), English for specific purposes (ESP), medical English, scientometrics, word co-occurrence analysis
... There are anecdotal reports of reviewers who have ''sat" on manuscripts so that they may submit their own similar paper first elsewhere. Even worse, van Rooyen et al. said reports exist that anonymous reviewers have appropriated ideas from manuscripts they have reviewed [16,17]. ...
Article
Embarking on conducting peer reviews for academic journals can present a new and exciting challenge for early career researchers. This article offers succinct guidance about peer review: not only "what to do" (the Good) but also "what not to do" (the Bad) and "what to never do" (the Ugly). It outlines models of peer review and provides an overview of types of reviewer bias, including conflict of interest. More recent developments in journal peer review, such as author-suggested reviewers as well as manipulation of the peer review process are also discussed. A new position of Editorial Fellow at Heart, Lung and Circulation will provide aspiring researchers the opportunity for multi-faceted involvement with peer review at the Journal.
... Widespread agreement on the importance of PPPR is grounded on the view that "real" peer review begins after publication, when the entire community of experts rather than a small, possibly nonrepresentative selection of pre-publication reviewers (Rennie 1998;Jefferson and Shashok 2003) can debate the strengths and weaknesses of published research reports. Although international organizations involved in science publishing support PPPR, journals may not facilitate this type of scientific exchange, and institutions appear not to encourage it. ...
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The importance of post-publication peer review (PPPR) as a type of knowledge exchange has been emphasized by several authorities in research publishing, yet biomedical journals do not always facilitate this type of publication. Here we report our experience publishing a commentary intended to offer constructive feedback on a previously published article. We found that publishing our comment required more time and effort than foreseen, because of obstacles encountered at some journals. Using our professional experience as authors’ editors and our knowledge of publication policies as a starting point, we reflect on the probable reasons behind these obstacles, and suggest ways in which journals could make PPPR easier. In addition, we argue that PPPR should be more explicitly valued and rewarded in biomedical disciplines, and suggest how these publications could be included in research evaluations. Eliminating obstacles and disincentives to PPPR is essential in light of the key roles of post-publication analysis and commentary in drawing attention to shortcomings in published articles that were overlooked during pre-publication peer review.
... Widespread agreement on the importance of PPPR is grounded on the view that "real" peer review begins after publication, when the entire community of experts rather than a small, possibly nonrepresentative selection of pre-publication reviewers (Rennie 1998;Jefferson and Shashok 2003) can debate the strengths and weaknesses of published research reports. Although international organizations involved in science publishing support PPPR, journals may not facilitate this type of scientific exchange, and institutions appear not to encourage it. ...
Full-text available
Preprint
The importance of post-publication peer review (PPPR) as a type of knowledge exchange has been emphasized by several authorities in research publishing, yet biomedical journals do not always facilitate this type of publication. Here we report our experience publishing a commentary intended to offer constructive feedback on a previously published article. We found that publishing our comment required more time and effort than foreseen, because of obstacles encountered at some journals. Using our professional experience as authors’ editors and our knowledge of publication policies as a starting point, we reflect on the probable reasons behind these obstacles, and suggest ways in which journals could make PPPR easier. In addition, we argue that PPPR should be more explicitly valued and rewarded in biomedical disciplines, and suggest how these publications could be included in research evaluations. Eliminating obstacles and disincentives to PPPR is essential in light of the key roles of post-publication analysis and commentary in drawing attention to shortcomings in published articles that were overlooked during pre-publication peer review.
... The methods of PR followed by individual journals can be vastly different; It can be completely open where both authors and reviewers know each other's identity, SBPR (Single Blinded Peer Review) in which reviewers know the identity of the author(s) but not vice versa, and DBPR (Double Blinded Peer Review) where neither of them is aware of the other's identity. By and large, SBPR is the practice most commonly followed by biomedical journals 5,7 . SBPR has a potential for bias against new ideas, women, young scientists, and scientists from developing countries and/ or from less prestigious institutions 5,8 . ...
... Nuffield Foundation 1989 Altman, 1996 Rennie, 1998a Rennie, , 1998b Rennie, , 2003 Smith & Rennie, 1995 NIHNSF1970 1980 Burnham et al., 1987 Chubin & Hackett, 1990ChubinHackett 1990 20 Bornmann & Daniel, 2005 Lamont, 2009; Langfeldt, 2001; Marsh, Jayasinghe, & Bond, 2008; Wood & Wessely, 2003 Cummings & Finkelstein, 2012 Brooks, 1988 Weiser, 20121990 Becher & Trowler, 2001; Harley & Acord, 2011; Harley et al., 2010; Weinbach & Randolph, 1984 () ...
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Article
Peer review is a self-regulation mechanism for scientific inquiry. Institutionalized and incorporated into the structure and operation of science, it has received considerable support in the academic setting. The legitimacy of peer review is based on trust and integrity. In various ways, it allocates scarce resources such as journal space, research funding, faculty recruitment, recognition, and rewards for academic achievements. But there are growing indications that peer review has yet to fulfill its potential functions, leading to negative assessments as to whether it is effective, efficient, or reliable. Many studies have found links between potential sources of bias and judgments in peer review and expressed reservations over the fairness of the process. It is, therefore, important that the peer review process should be subjected to serious scrutiny and regular evaluation that would lead to better quality and greater fairness. This study presents a systematic review of the empirical literature on peer review of journal manuscripts, grant applications, and faculty appointments and promotions. Historical and contextual information is provided as a basis for interpreting this review. Finally, the authors discuss international recommendations for good practice in peer review and the potential and problems of peer review and bibliometrics. [Article content in Chinese]
... The BMJ is a strong advocate of open peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are known to the authors [18][19][20][21]. Fiona Godlee, the editor of the BMJ, states that the main argument is an ethical one. ...
... It is essential to prevent research-led error, harm, and futile studies. But there is a vital positive ''yang'' aspect, too, incorporating research aftercare [11]. Answers to questions may be critical for other studies, for adequate research assessment and synthesis, and for considering practice and policy implications [12]. ...
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Article
Hilda Bastian considers post-publication commenting and the cultural changes that are needed to better capture this intellectual effort. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
... If they are dishonest, these reviewers can urge an editor to reject a paper and then claim the hypothesis as their own. 20 Thus, despite the proposed comprehensive approach, as should be obvious from the discussion above, there remains a lack of consensus on several areas regarding what constitutes misconduct. Ethicists frequently turn to such documents as the Declaration of Helsinki or the Belmont Report when grappling with questions about research on human subjects. ...
... Drummond Rennie, the former Editor at JAMA and an advocate of open peer-review (where authors and reviewers identities are revealed) argues: "The editors, assisted by the reviewers, are judges … we have an ample history to tell us that justice is ill served by secrecy." [12] Lack of transparency can also affect the perceptions if not the reality; recent examples include the FIFA world cup bidding process and whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Shining light on a process tends to improve it e be it expenses claims by a Member of Parliament or phone hacking by the press. ...
... Faced with such a loss of the informative value of authorship, another organization, the Council of Science Editors, set up in 1998 an ''Authorship Task Force,'' which in turn proposed quite radical recommendations, now embraced by leading medical journals such as JAMA, Lancet, British Medical Journal, Radiology, and Journal of Public Health (Biagioli et al. 1999;Rennie 1998;Hackett 2005). Authors who publish on those journals are now required to classify their individual contributions to the published article according to a grid proposed by the editor, and to specify who among them take responsibility for the integrity of the entire study. ...
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Article
Background: Authorship and inventorship are the key attribution rights that contribute to a scientist's reputation and professional achievement. This article discusses the concepts of coinventorship and coauthorship in the legal and sociological literature, as well as journals' publication guidelines and technology transfer offices' recommendations. It discusses also the relative importance of social and legal norms in the allocation of scientific credit. Method: This article revises critically the literature on inventorship and authorship in academic science and derives some policy implications on the institutional mechanisms allocating scientific credit. It reports and assesses the recent empirical evidence on the importance of social norms for the attribution of inventorship and authorship in teams of scientists. Finally, it discusses those norms from a social welfare perspective. Result: The social norms that regulate the distribution of authorship and inventorship do not reflect exclusively the relative contribution of each team member but also the members' relative seniority or status. In the case of inventorship, such social norms appear to be as important as the legal norms whose respect is often invoked by technology transfer officers. Conclusion: Authorship and inventorship appear to be obsolete because they do not capture the increasing division of labor and responsibility typical of contemporary scientific research teams. The informative value of both authorship and inventorship attributions may be much more limited than assumed by recent evaluation exercises.
... Some steps in the direction of abandoning authorship have been undertaken by several scientific journals, especially in the medical sciences, which now require authors not merely to identify themselves as such, but also to specify the exact contents of their contribution, according to pre-determined categories. "Contributorship" is suggested as an alternative to authorship (Rennie, 1998;Biagioli et al., 1999;Hwang, 2003). ...
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Article
Authorship and inventorship are “attribution rights” upon which individual scientists build their reputation and career. Social and legal norms concerning their distribution within research teams are currently criticized for failing to inform third parties on individual contributions. We examine the case of teams engaged in the “double disclosure” of their research results through both publications and patents, and model the negotiation process taking place between junior or female team members and the senior (male) ones. We suggest that the former may give up inventorship in order to secure authorship, even when entitled to the both. Based on a sample of 680 “patent–publication pairs” (related sets of patents and publications) we show that, very frequently, one or more authors of a publication do not appear as inventors of a related patent. This is less likely to happen for first and last authors, which is in accordance both with our model and the prevailing legal norms on inventorship. However, the probability of exclusion from inventorship also declines with seniority, and increases for women, which is compatible with our model only.
... He calls for open peer review, in which the identity of the author and reviewers are known to each other (Rennie 1998). Others, fearing biased reviewers, advocate a double-blind system, wherein the identity of the author and reviewers are withheld from each other during the editorial process (Mainguy et al. 2005). ...
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Article
Despite the centrality of peer review to the development of a scholarly community, very little is known about the biblical basis and Christian conduct of peer review. We find that peer review is rooted in several Christian virtues, such as reflecting Christ, being honest, seeking wisdom, humbly submitting, showing Christian love, correcting error, and being accountable. Given these principles, we recommend that creationists use a double-blind peer review system, wherein the identities of the author and peer reviewers are confidential. Additionally, we recommend that creationist publishers develop a regular public audit of their peer-review process.
... There is a need for more controlled studies examining authorship practices, institutional involvement, and the impact of existing guidelines. Increased awareness [70] and a buy-in to consensus views by non-editor groups including managers in research organizations, authors, technical staffs, reviewers and scientific societies are urgently needed [66,71,72]. There is a need for editors to express a greater understanding of authors' dilemmas and in some areas exhibit greater flexibility. ...
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Article
One challenge for most scientists is avoiding and resolving issues that center around authorship and the publishing of scientific manuscripts. While trying to place the research in proper context, impart new knowledge, follow proper guidelines, and publish in the most appropriate journal, the scientist often must deal with multi-collaborator issues like authorship allocation, trust and dependence, and resolution of publication conflicts. Most guidelines regarding publications, commentaries, and editorials have evolved from the ranks of editors in an effort to diminish the issues that faced them as editors. For example, the Ingelfinger rule attempts to prevent duplicate publications of the same study. This paper provides a historical overview of commonly encountered scientific authorship issues, a comparison of opinions on these issues, and the influence of various organizations and guidelines in regards to these issues. For example, a number of organizations provide guidelines for author allocation; however, a comparison shows that these guidelines differ on who should be an author, rules for ordering authors, and the level of responsibility for coauthors. Needs that emerge from this review are (a) a need for more controlled studies on authorship issues, (b) an increased awareness and a buy-in to consensus views by non-editor groups, e.g., managers, authors, reviewers, and scientific societies, and (c) a need for editors to express a greater understanding of authors’ dilemmas and to exhibit greater flexibility. Also needed are occasions (e.g., an international congress) when editors and others (managers, authors, etc.) can directly exchange views, develop consensus approaches and solutions, and seek agreement on how to resolve authorship issues. Open dialogue is healthy, and it is essential for scientific integrity to be protected so that younger scientists can confidently follow the lead of their predecessors.
... Allowing authors to pick their own reviewers would provide the opportunity to choose reviewers who they feel are qualified to review their research and allows authors to prevent exposing sensitive research to their competitors [47]. There have been documented cases of reviewers stealing ideas from the manuscripts they are reviewing, and this was the case in the 1980s when an anonymous peer reviewer was found to be stealing ideas from unsuspecting authors [34]. Reviewers may also be more critical towards manuscripts within their area of expertise because they are better equipped to review these topics. ...
Article
The usefulness of peer review has been expressed as a method to improve the quality of published work. However, there has been a lack of systematic reviews to date to highlight the essential themes of the peer-review process. We performed a search of the English language literature published prior to October 2011 using PubMed to identify articles regarding peer review. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed a priori. Data were extracted and then analyzed for the prevalence of peer-review themes contained within the literature. Of the 941 articles found during our original literature search, 37 were selected for review. The majority were commentary/editorial articles. The themes in our search included the structure and process of the peer-review system, the criteria for papers, ethics, and the different forms of the peer-review process. The criteria for submission will vary, but our systematic review provides a comprehensive overview of what reviewers expect from authors. Our systematic review also highlighted ethical considerations for both authors and reviewers during the peer-review process. Although the topic of peer review is expansive and its process may vary from journal to journal, the understanding of the themes outlined in this paper will help authors recognize how to write a more successful paper. Also, more research must be carried out to establish the efficacy of the different styles of peer review, and it would be presumptuous to draw conclusions until further research is established.
... Masked reviewing is a precarious example of privilege and power (that of the reviewer over the fate of the author's manuscript ) being dislocated from accountability. In contrast , openness strengthens the link between power and accountability because when reviewers know their names will appear at the end of their reviews, one may be sure that they will be constructive and will attempt to back up their statements (Rennie 1998). Accountability in the reviewing process is essential because it is so important to publish in ''good'' (i.e. ...
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Peer review procedures and citation statistics are important yet often neglected components of the scientific publication process. Here I discuss fundamental consequences of such quality measures for the scientific community and propose three remedial actions: (1) use of a ‘‘Combined Impact Estimate’’ as a measure of citation statistics, (2) adoption of an open reviewing policy and (3) acceleration of the publication process in order to raise the reputation of the entire discipline (in our case: behavioural science). Authors, reviewers and editors are invited to contribute to the improvement of publication practice.
... Several persons have advocated for open peer review (Rennie, 1998;Hearse, 1994;Fabiato, 1994;Lock, 1994;Smith, 1994), and a number of An extension of peer review beyond the date of publication is Open Peer Commentary, in which expert commentaries are invited on already published papers, and the authors are asked to respond. One such journal is Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, which has a two-stage publication process. ...
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Publication of scientific research in print is traditionally peer reviewed anonymously prior to publication, which is a time-tested process but has serious limitations. The advent of the Internet permits postpublication open review online after minimal review by the editors or the author-selected reviewers, which can be quick, that permits the authors to revise the content. Most meritorious articles published online may be selected for publication in print as annual or biennial collections.
... Problems with journals are reported less often and then only by 'big guns' 11,12 , perhaps because less well known authors are unable to kick up a fuss. Few journals would be willing to confess their own sins, or have them revealed by authors anxious to publish. ...
... It is said that " as the pressures on researchers grow – bureaucracy from institutions and funding agencies, incentives to apply the outcomes of research – the very motivation to do a conscientious job of peer review is itself under pressure " (Anonymous, 2007). Anonymous peer review has been labeled as 'power without accountability' and as 'malice's wonderland' (Rennie, 1998; Osmond, 1983). Referees themselves may be competitors in the intense competition for scarce resources (research funds or space in top quality journals). ...
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Editorial peer review has remained the gold standard for evaluation of scientific research for nearly two centuries.Its importance has increased all the more due to the currently prevailing ‘publish or perish’ culture. This articlereviews the drawbacks in the current peer-review practices and the suggested methods to overcome suchdrawbacks. A universally acceptable method of peer-review is yet to be designed because of the practicaldifficulties in the objective analysis of a complex human behaviour such as the peer-review.
... In movie-making, for example, it is taken for granted that a division of labour exists between the various professional figures, so that specialized credits are awarded to each of them (directors, screenwriters, choreographers, sound-makers….); this does not prevent the existence of some prestige ranking (think of directors and stars, as opposed to more technical figures), but it allows due credit to be distributed to all participants in the creative act. Some steps in the same direction have been undertaken by several scientific journals, especially in medical sciences (JAMA, Lancet, British Medical Journal, Radiology and the Journal of Public Health among others), which now require scientists not merely to identify themselves as " authors " , but also to specify the exact contents of their contribution according to predetermined categories, as recommended by the 'Authorship Task Force' set up by the Council of Science Editors in 1998 (Rennie, 1998 Biagioli et al., 1999; Hwang, 2003). A key argument put forward by the task force was precisely that in modern science the concept of 'authorship' is irreparably obsolete, and that 'contributorship' should replace it. ...
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Authorship and inventorship are attribution rights that contribute to the reputation of individual scientists, but have to be distributed across several individuals, due to the importance of teamwork in both science and technology. For academic teams that both publish and patent their research results, we can compare the social and legal norms that regulate the joint distribution of these two types of attribution rights. We use text-mining techniques to identify 681 “patent-publication pairs” (related sets of patents and publications), for a sample of Italian academic scientists. On average, the number of coauthors is larger than the number of co-inventors, especially in medical-related fields. First and last authors have a lower probability of being excluded from inventorship, as suggested by patent laws. However, the probability of exclusion also declines with seniority, as expected from social norms. Longlasting doubts on the reliability of authorship as a tool for allocating scientific credit are reinforced, and can be extended to inventorship.
... A weakness yet to be resolved is the absence of pressure on authors to respond to criticisms. 28 For such journals there is uncertainty about which version is definitive. Although the BMJ considers bmj.com to be the definitive version, 29 only the letters that appear in the print journal are indexed on MEDLINE. ...
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The aim of medical research is to advance scientific knowledge and hence—directly or indirectly—lead to improvements in the treatment and prevention of disease. Each research project should continue systematically from previous research and feed into future research. Each project should contribute beneficially to a slowly evolving body of research. A study should not mislead; otherwise it could adversely affect clinical practice and future research. In 1994 I observed that research papers commonly contain methodological errors, report results selectively, and draw unjustified conclusions. Here I revisit the topic and suggest how journal editors can help.
... There is a need for more controlled studies examining authorship practices, institutional involvement, and the impact of existing guidelines. Increased awareness [70] and a buy-in to consensus views by non-editor groups including managers in research organizations, authors, technical staffs, reviewers and scientific societies are urgently needed [66,71,72]. There is a need for editors to express a greater understanding of authors' dilemmas and in some areas exhibit greater flexibility. ...
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One challenge for most scientists is avoiding and resolving issues that center around authorship and the publishing of scientific manuscripts. While trying to place the research in proper context, impart new knowledge, follow proper guidelines, and publish in the most appropriate journal, the scientist often must deal with multi-collaborator issues like authorship allocation, trust and dependence, and resolution of publication conflicts. Most guidelines regarding publications, commentaries, and editorials have evolved from the ranks of editors in an effort to diminish the issues that faced them as editors. For example, the Ingelfinger rule attempts to prevent duplicate publications of the same study. This paper provides a historical overview of commonly encountered scientific authorship issues, a comparison of opinions on these issues, and the influence of various organizations and guidelines in regards to these issues. For example, a number of organizations provide guidelines for author allocation; however, a comparison shows that these guidelines differ on who should be an author, rules for ordering authors, and the level of responsibility for coauthors. Needs that emerge from this review are (a) a need for more controlled studies on authorship issues, (b) an increased awareness and a buy-in to consensus views by non-editor groups, e.g., managers, authors, reviewers, and scientific societies, and (c) a need for editors to express a greater understanding of authors' dilemmas and to exhibit greater flexibility. Also needed are occasions (e.g., an international congress) when editors and others (managers, authors, etc.) can directly exchange views, develop consensus approaches and solutions, and seek agreement on how to resolve authorship issues. Open dialogue is healthy, and it is essential for scientific integrity to be protected so that younger scientists can confidently follow the lead of their predecessors.
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Quality peer-review remains central to current international scientific and technical publishing and proposal assessment methods. As incompetent review and perceived bias remain the most cited problems with peer review processes commonly employed in scientific review of manuscript and proposals, the creation and maintenance of quality pools of engaged, responsive and qualified peer reviewers is essential to scientific publishing and dissemination. An important operational principle for the peer reviewing system is that all who utilize this publishing system should then also review a commensurate load on behalf of the system. This would also imply that those who compose and submit technical manuscripts are competent to assess and levy fair criticism of other's work in their field. Given the large and rapid expansion in numbers of submitted manuscripts from non-traditional sources, including many developing countries, expansion of the peer-reviewing pool to these sources is necessary both to accommodate their respective, newly imposed reviewing burdens on the already over-burdened system, and to engage new communities in the traditional process of vetting and validating scientific and technical works. Effective peer review must enforce the many elements of reviewer technical proficiency, professional conduct, bias and ethics considerations, and responsibility in this process and the competitive international system in which it sits. Reviewers require training, oversight, control, expectations, and continual guidance. Validation of peerreview's overall efficacy requires follow-on policing of published literature to assert its accuracy and content through consensus and experimental reproduction. As former developing countries now contribute increasing numbers of new manuscripts to the technical peer-review system, they should also actively seek to officially train such contributors to also be visible, effective peer-reviewers for international journals, editors and funding agencies. This is not a passive endeavor, requiring expectations, recruitment and training, and the associated resources to make accommodations as rapidly as their contributions are encumbered within the current publishing systems. Collective responsibilities as researchers, contributors, reviewers, readers and enforcers of the integrity and safekeeping of this essential quality control process traditionally rely on individual professional integrity and conscientious effort. Extension of this effort to continually recruit new pools of competent, trained and qualified reviewers in the current publishing era is essential.
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Quality peer-review remains central to current international scientific and technical publishing and proposal assessment methods. As incompetent review and perceived bias remain the most cited problems with peer review processes commonly employed in scientific review of manuscript and proposals, creating and maintaining a quality pool of engaged, responsive and qualified peer reviewers is essential to scientific publishing and dissemination. An important operational principle for the peer reviewing system is that all who utilize this publishing system should then also review a commensurate load on behalf of the system. This would also imply that those who compose and submit technical manuscripts are competent to assess and levy fair criticism of other's work in their field. Given the large and rapid expansion in numbers of submitted manuscripts from nontraditional sources, including many developing countries, expansion of the peer-reviewing pool to these sources is necessary both to accommodate their respective, newly imposed reviewing burdens on the already over-burdened system, and to engage new communities in the traditional process of vetting and validating scientific and technical works. Effective peer review must enforce the many elements of reviewer technical proficiency, professional conduct, bias, ethics and responsibility in this process and the competitive system in which it sits internationally. Reviewers require training, oversight, control, expectations, and continual guidance. Validation of peer-review's overall efficacy requires follow-on policing of published literature to assert its accuracy and content through consensus and reproduction. As former developing countries now contribute an increasing number of new manuscripts to the technical peer-review system, they should also actively seek to officially train such contributors to also be visible, effective peer-reviewers for international journals, editors and funding agencies. This is not a passive endeavor, requiring expectations, recruitment and training, and the associated resources to make accommodations as rapidly as their contributions are encumbered within the current publishing systems. Collective responsibilities as researchers, contributors, reviewers, readers and enforcers of the integrity and safekeeping of this essential quality control process traditionally rely on individual professional integrity and conscience effort. Extension of this effort to recruit new pools of competent, trained and qualified reviewers in the current publishing era is essential.
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To do nursing research effectively requires an understanding of fundamental principles of statistical methods. In this article, some key statistical methods which are commonly used in nursing research are identified and summarized.
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Peer review of manuscripts has recently become a subject of academic research and ethical debate. Critics of the review process argue that it is a means by which powerful members of the scientific community maintain their power, and achieve their personal and communal aspirations, often at others' expense. This qualitative study aimed to generate a rich, empirically-grounded understanding of the process of manuscript review, with a view to informing strategies to improve the review process. Open-ended interviews were carried out with 35 journal editors and peer reviewers in the United Kingdom, the USA and Australia. It is clear from this research that relations of power and epistemic authority in manuscript review are complex and dynamic, and may have positive and negative features, and that even where power is experienced as controlling, restrictive and illegitimate, it can also be resisted. In conclusion, the manuscript review process is best thought of not in terms of simple dominance of reviewers and editors over authors, but rather as a shifting “net” of power relations. These complex power relations need to be understood if reviewers are to be encouraged to participate in the process and to do so in the the most ethical and effective manner.
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Este artigo oferece um apanhado geral de diferentes aspectos – antecedentes históricos, elementos teóricos, conceituais e empíricos – relativos aos processos de avaliação por pares na ciência. Em particular, são revisadas as diferentes modalidades de julgamento por pares, desde suas origens nas primeiras associações científicas no século XVII até nossos dias. Apresentam-se também alguns dos seus desdobramentos e as principais críticas que o processo tem recebido. O argumento que se desenvolve é que as formas adotadas nos diferentes momentos e nas várias instituições resultam de processos de negociação, historicamente localizados, entre atores sociais variados. Conseqüentemente, mudanças nos contexto levam a novas negociações – o que está ocorrendo neste momento. Assim, o final do artigo reflete sobre que futuro (ou futuros) se pode esperar para o sistema de revisão por pares.
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In 1962, with the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn changed forever how we view progress in scientific fields and made “paradigm shift” a household term. Unlike Hegel‘s construct, in which thesis and antithesis clash only to resolve in a new thesis, inadequate scientific paradigms are replaced by newer scientific paradigms that answer the questions and problems better than its predecessor. A paradigm not only provides the theory and foundation under which a science operates, but also determines the questions that need answering and the rules and structure governing the approach to this problem-solving. A paradigm reigns until anomalies for which the paradigm has no explanation accumulate and a new theoretical construct is needed to explain these previously unaccounted for findings. Until a new paradigm replaces the old, science is in a state of crisis. Scientists will align themselves with either one of the competing paradigms until the crisis resolves and a new paradigm determines how science should operate.
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Manuscript peer review has been studied extensively and the drawbacks of the process in its current form are well known. Many alternatives to the traditional peer-review process have been suggested; most of these focus on increasing the accountability of the reviewers. Little has been done regarding improving incentives for reviewers. Making the process more attractive to the reviewers improves the efficiency of the process and benefits everyone involved in it. It is perhaps not enough to keep harping on the altruistic values of peer review. Personal profit motives should be addressed as well. This article examines the possibility of offering co-authorship of the manuscript to the reviewers.
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Peer review is an important component of scholarly research. Long a black box whose practical mechanisms were unknown to researchers and readers, peer review is increasingly facing demands for accountability and improvement. Numerous studies address empirical aspects of the peer review process. Much less consideration is typically given to normative dimensions of peer review. This paper considers what authors, editors, reviewers, and readers ought to expect from the peer review process. Integrity in the review process is vital if various parties are to have trust, or faith, in the credibility of peer review mechanisms. Trust in the quality of peer review can increase or diminish in response to numerous factors. Five core elements of peer review are identified. Constitutive elements of scholarly peer review include: fairness in critical analysis of manuscripts; the selection of appropriate reviewers with relevant expertise; identifiable, publicly accountable reviewers; timely reviews, and helpful critical commentary. The F.A.I.T.H. model provides a basis for linking conceptual analysis of the core norms of peer review with empirical research into the adequacy and effectiveness of various processes of peer review. The model is intended to describe core elements of high-quality peer review and suggest what factors can foster or hinder trust in the integrity of peer review.
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Peer review of manuscripts for biomedical journals has become a subject of intense ethical debate. One of the most contentious issues is whether or not peer review should be anonymous. This study aimed to generate a rich, empirically-grounded understanding of the values held by journal editors and peer reviewers with a view to informing journal policy. Qualitative methods were used to carry out an inductive analysis of biomedical reviewers’ and editors’ values. Data was derived from in-depth, open-ended interviews with journal editors and peer reviewers. Data was “read for” themes relevant to reviewer anonymisation and interactions among editors, reviewers, and authors. Editors and peer reviewers provided three arguments that would support a more open and interactive peer-review process. First, a number of participants emphasised the importance of not only ensuring the scientific quality of published research but also nurturing their colleagues and supporting their communities. Second, many spoke about the ongoing moral responsibilities that reviewers and editors felt toward authors. Finally, participants spoke at length about their enjoyment of social interactions and of the value of collective, rather than isolated, reasoning processes. Whether or not journal editors decide to allow anonymous review, the values of editors and reviewers need to be seriously addressed in codes of publication ethics, in the management of biomedical journals, and in the establishment of journal policies. KeywordsPeer review–Social values–Qualitative research–Research ethics–Bioethics: Medical ethics–Research (humans)
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Biomedical research has increased in magnitude over the last two decades. Increasing number of researchers has led to increase in competition for scarce resources. Researchers have often tried to take the shortest route to success which may involve performing fraudulent research. Science suffers from unethical research as much time, effort and cost is involved in exposing fraud and setting the standards right. It is better for all students of science to be aware of the methods used in fraudulent research so that such research can be detected early. Biomedical research is one area that seems to have attracted maximum numbers of fraudulent researchers; hence this article devotes itself to biomedical research scenario.
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To assess whether a standardization exercise prior to commencing a fetal growth study involving multiple sonographers can reduce interobserver variation. In preparation for an international study assessing fetal growth, nine experienced sonographers from eight countries participated in a standardization exercise consisting of theoretical and practical sessions. Each performed a set of seven standard fetal measurements on pregnant volunteers at 20-37 weeks' gestation, and these were repeated by the lead sonographer; all measurements were taken in a blinded fashion. After this the sonographers had hands-on practice and feedback sessions on other volunteers. This process was repeated three times. Measurement differences between sonographers and the lead sonographer, expressed as a gestational-age-specific Z-score, between the first and third scans were compared using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test, and variance was assessed using Pitman's test. Interobserver agreement was also assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and all images were scored for quality in a blinded fashion. At baseline the level of agreement and image scoring were high. A significant reduction in the differences between sonographers and the lead sonographer were seen for fetal biometry overall (head circumference, abdominal circumference and femur length) between the first and third scans (median Z-scores, 0.46 and 0.24; P = 0.005), and a reduction in the variance was also observed (P < 0.001). The ICCs for measurement pairs for every fetal measurement showed a clear trend of increasing ICC (better agreement) with consecutive training scan sessions, although no improvement in image scores was seen. Even for experienced sonographers, a standardization exercise before starting a study of fetal biometry can improve consistency of measurements. This could be of relevance for studies assessing fetal growth in multicenter sites.
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To see whether telling peer reviewers that their signed reviews of original research papers might be posted on the BMJ's website would affect the quality of their reviews. Randomised controlled trial. A large international general medical journal based in the United Kingdom. 541 authors, 471 peer reviewers, and 12 editors. Consecutive eligible papers were randomised either to have the reviewer's signed report made available on the BMJ's website alongside the published paper (intervention group) or to have the report made available only to the author-the BMJ's normal procedure (control group). The intervention was the act of revealing to reviewers-after they had agreed to review but before they undertook their review-that their signed report might appear on the website. The main outcome measure was the quality of the reviews, as independently rated on a scale of 1 to 5 using a validated instrument by two editors and the corresponding author. Authors and editors were blind to the intervention group. Authors rated review quality before the fate of their paper had been decided. Additional outcomes were the time taken to complete the review and the reviewer's recommendation regarding publication. 558 manuscripts were randomised, and 471 manuscripts remained after exclusions. Of the 1039 reviewers approached to take part in the study, 568 (55%) declined. Two editors' evaluations of the quality of the peer review were obtained for all 471 manuscripts, with the corresponding author's evaluation obtained for 453. There was no significant difference in review quality between the intervention and control groups (mean difference for editors 0.04, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.17; for authors 0.06, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.20). Any possible difference in favour of the control group was well below the level regarded as editorially significant. Reviewers in the intervention group took significantly longer to review (mean difference 25 minutes, 95% CI 3.0 to 47.0 minutes). Telling peer reviewers that their signed reviews might be available in the public domain on the BMJ's website had no important effect on review quality. Although the possibility of posting reviews online was associated with a high refusal rate among potential peer reviewers and an increase in the amount of time taken to write a review, we believe that the ethical arguments in favour of open peer review more than outweigh these disadvantages.
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Este artigo oferece um apanhado geral de diferentes aspectos - antecedentes históricos, elementos teóricos, conceituais e empíricos - relativos aos processos de avaliação por pares na ciência. Em particular, são revisadas as diferentes modalidades de julgamento por pares, desde suas origens nas primeiras associações científicas no século XVII até nossos dias. Apresentam-se também alguns dos seus desdobramentos e as principais críticas que o processo tem recebido. O argumento que se desenvolve é que as formas adotadas nos diferentes momentos e nas várias instituições resultam de processos de negociação, historicamente localizados, entre atores sociais variados. Conseqüentemente, mudanças nos contexto levam a novas negociações - o que está ocorrendo neste momento. Assim, o final do artigo reflete sobre que futuro (ou futuros) se pode esperar para o sistema de revisão por pares.
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Medical education research and medical education practice both involve being methodical, innovative, self-observing, forward-looking, and open to peer review, and both are scholarly activities. For these reasons, distinguishing between these two activities is often difficult. There are three important reasons to clarify the distinctions: the moral difference between education research and education practice; federal regulations governing education research that require more safeguards than often exist in education practice; and the fact that student participants in research have characteristics in common with members of special populations. The authors explain why attention to issues of safeguards in education research and practice is likely to grow at academic health centers, yet maintain that these issues are neglected in the medical education literature. They demonstrate this with findings from their review of 424 education research reports published in 1988 and 1989 and in 1998 and 1999 in two major medical education journals. Each article was evaluated for documentation of six ethically important safeguards and features (e.g., informed consent). The rates of reporting the six features and safeguards were relatively low (3-27%). Nearly half (47%) of the empirical reports offered no indication of ethically important safeguards or features, and no article mentioned all six. Furthermore, those rates did not increase substantially after ten years. The authors discuss a number of implications of their findings for faculty, training institutions, students, and editors and peer reviewers, and conclude with the hope that their findings will raise awareness of these neglected issues in medical education and will stimulate all those involved to reflect upon the issues and set standards on the ethical aspects of research and scholarly practice.
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With the turn of the year 2006, we have taken another step in the series of reforms of this journal that Johan Mackenbach outlined in his editorial ‘New wine in new bottles’ about a year ago.1 The editorial office has moved to Stockholm from Karlstad at the same time as we have gone over to electronic handling of manuscripts. We owe a great thanks to Per-Gunnar Svensson, who founded the journal in 1991 and was its first editor in chief, as well as Staffan Jansson and Anita Kallin, editor and managing editor of the journal since a number of years. With support from the County Council, the Karlstad University, and the Swedish Council for Social Research, the Karlstad team has been responsible for the day-to-day running of the journal's manuscript handling during all these years. … * Correspondence: Peter Allebeck, e-mail: peter.allebeck{at}phs.ki.se
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