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A Disclosure Form for Work Submitted to Medical Journals (Papers Editorial: Darren B. Taichman, et al | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 31, 2020
 

A Proposal From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

Many factors, including professional and personal relationships and activities, can influence the design, conduct, and reporting of the clinical science that informs health care decisions. The potential for conflict of interest exists when these relationships and activities may bias judgment.1 Many stakeholders—editors, peer reviewers, clinicians, educators, policy makers, patients, and the public—rely on the disclosure of authors’ relationships and activities to inform their assessments. Trust in the transparency, consistency, and completeness of these disclosures is essential.

Ten years ago, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) adopted the “ICMJE Form for the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest” as a uniform mechanism for collecting and reporting authors’ relationships and activities that readers might consider relevant to a published work.2 The goal was to avoid the confusion (and often ensuing controversy) created when journals vary in how they collect and report this information. We believe a uniform disclosure form has been helpful, but problems remain. First, the software supporting the current form is increasingly problematic, making its use difficult or impossible for an increasing number of authors. More important, however, is that many authors and readers misunderstand, misapply, or misinterpret the disclosures.

Although some individuals violate the public trust by purposefully hiding relevant relationships and activities, we believe most authors are committed to transparent reporting and consider it as vital to the advancement of clinical science. Nonetheless, disagreement, confusion, and controversy regarding authors’ disclosures arise when opinions differ over which relationships and activities to report. An author might not report an item that others deem important because of a difference in opinion regarding what is “relevant,” confusion over definitions, or a simple oversight. Some authors may be concerned that readers will interpret the listing of any item as a “potential conflict of interest” as indicative of problematic influence and wrongdoing, a concern often raised regarding the requirement to report publicly funded grants. For their part, some readers fail to recognize that their own relationships and activities influence how they assess the work of others and what they deem to be a “conflict” for others or themselves.

Taichman, D.B., Backus, J., Baethge, C., Bauchner, H., Flanagin, A., Florenzano, F., Frizelle,  F. A., Godlee, F., Gollogly, L., Haileamlak, A., Hong, S., Horton, R., James, A., Laine, C., Miller, P. W., Pinborg, A., Rubin, E. J., Sahni, P.,(2020) A Disclosure Form for Work Submitted to Medical JournalsA Proposal From the International Committee of Medical Journal EditorsJAMA. 2020;323(11):1050–1051. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22274
Publisher: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2759826

Kinder publishing practices should become the new normal – Times Higher Education (Phil Emmerson | April 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 12, 2020
 

Varying personal circumstances highlight the need for accommodations that outlive the coronavirus, says Phil Emmerson

The impact on teaching of the forced closure of university campuses around the world has understandably dominated institutional and
press attention, with lecturers scrambling to learn new technologies and pedagogies so that disruption is minimised.

But the implications of the coronavirus-related shutdown on research is also huge. Limited or no access to labs and research participants
combined with the need to share home workspaces with other family members present considerable challenges to productivity.

Moreover, many academics are overwhelmed by worry. Some have family members who are unwell, or are unwell themselves. Some have had to take over the primary care of loved ones. Many are also having to home-school their children. These caring roles mostly fall to women.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

 

10 Types of Plagiarism in Research – Wiley (Helen Eassom | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on March 25, 2020
 

A useful typology of plagiarism that points to the varying forms that exist (not just unattributed copying).

Last year, we wrote about the steps Wiley is taking to target plagiarism. For each manuscript submitted to a Wiley Open Access journal using the ScholarOne submission system, an automatic report is generated using the iThenticate anti-plagiarism software, a process that benefits authors and editors alike by ensuring high ethical standards across the open access programme. Plagiarism however, continues to be a huge problem in scientific publishing. In order to address these ongoing issues, a deeper knowledge and understanding of the nature of plagiarism is required. With this in mind, iThenticate have conducted a survey of scientific researchers, in which respondents were asked to both rate the severity and commonness of ten forms of plagiarism. The following infographic (used with permission from iThenticate) shows the ten types, along with percieved commonness and seriousness. You can also view the survey summary here.

Access the graphic

Eleven tips for working with large data sets – Nature (Anna Nowogrodzki | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on January 22, 2020
 

Big data are difficult to handle. These tips and tricks can smooth the way.

Big data are everywhere in research, and the data sets are only getting bigger — and more challenging to work with. Unfortunately, says Tracy Teal, it’s a kind of labour that’s too often left out of scientific training.

“It’s a mindset,” says Teal, “treating data as a first-class citizen.” She should know: Teal was until last month the executive director of The Carpentries, an organization in Oakland, California, that teaches coding and data skills to researchers globally. She says there’s a tendency in the research community to dismiss the time and effort needed to manage and share data, and not to regard it as a real part of science. But, she suggests, “we can shift our mindset to valuing that work as a part of the research process”, rather than treating it as an afterthought.

Here are 11 tips for making the most of your large data sets.

Read the rest of this discussion piece

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