Publication Rate and Journal Review Time of COVID-19–Related Research – Mayo Clinic Proceedings

“The academic community has responded swiftly to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Anecdotally, academic researchers have noticed a reduction in the amount of time journals require to review COVID-19 manuscripts. In this letter we describe the growth of this literature and the review time of COVID-19–related manuscripts….”

[Free Webinar] Increasing transparency and trust in preprints: Steps journals can take

“What steps can academic journals take to help scholars and the general public (especially the mainstream media) more easily determine preprint quality and distinguish peer-reviewed preprints from unvetted ones?

We explored this question during Scholastica’s recent panel-style webinar, “Increasing transparency and trust in preprints: Steps journals can take“ as part of Peer Review Week 2020, themed “Trust in Peer Review.” …”

Full article: Promoting scientific integrity through open science in health psychology: results of the Synergy Expert Meeting of the European health psychology society

Abstract:  The article describes a position statement and recommendations for actions that need to be taken to develop best practices for promoting scientific integrity through open science in health psychology endorsed at a Synergy Expert Group Meeting. Sixteen Synergy Meeting participants developed a set of recommendations for researchers, gatekeepers, and research end-users. The group process followed a nominal group technique and voting system to elicit and decide on the most relevant and topical issues. Seventeen priority areas were listed and voted on, 15 of them were recommended by the group. Specifically, the following priority actions for health psychology were endorsed: (1) for researchers: advancing when and how to make data open and accessible at various research stages and understanding researchers’ beliefs and attitudes regarding open data; (2) for educators: integrating open science in research curricula, e.g., through online open science training modules, promoting preregistration, transparent reporting, open data and applying open science as a learning tool; (3) for journal editors: providing an open science statement, and open data policies, including a minimal requirements submission checklist. Health psychology societies and journal editors should collaborate in order to develop a coordinated plan for research integrity and open science promotion across behavioural disciplines.

 

A Lesson of the Pandemic: All Prints Should Be Preprints

“As of this week, roughly 10,000 preprints about the novel coronavirus were available on the preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv alone, a remarkable feat given that this virus has existed for less than a year. Collectively, these preprints have put vital research information into circulation much faster than would have been possible under the traditional academic publishing model, in which emerging knowledge is sequestered until it clears peer review. Although peer review has long been held up as the gold standard of academic publication, the flowering of preprints during the pandemic gives the lie to the fiction that pre-publication peer review is essential to ensuring scholarly rigor. In a fast-moving era of digital information, preprints should become the new normal….

Moreover, the pandemic has inspired the emergence of several third-party services that review or curate published preprints. PreLights, a preprint review site supported by the not-for-profit publisher The Company of Biologists, maintains a running timeline of what they deem to be “landmark” preprints about the biology and transmission of the novel coronavirus. Each entry gives a brief description of why the preprint is important, along with a direct link to the paper. As of this writing, they have highlighted approximately 125 preprints, providing a useful filtration system for the thousands of preprints that have been published about the coronavirus….”

PsyArXiv Preprints | Questionable and open research practices: attitudes and perceptions among quantitative communication researchers

Abstract:  Recent contributions have questioned the credibility of quantitative communication research. While questionable research practices are believed to be widespread, evidence for this claim is primarily derived from other disciplines. Before change in communication research can happen, it is important to document the extent to which QRPs are used and whether researchers are open to the changes proposed by the so-called open science agenda. We conducted a large survey among authors of papers published in the top-20 journals in communication science in the last ten years (N=1039). A non-trivial percent of researchers report using one or more QRPs. While QRPs are generally considered unacceptable, researchers perceive QRPs to be common among their colleagues. At the same time, we find optimism about the use of open science practices in communication research. We end with a series of recommendations outlining what journals, institutions and researchers can do moving forward.

Open access in the age of a pandemic – Alemneh – 2020 – Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  The COVID?19 pandemic highlighted the importance of transparency, open, and timely access to information. Open Access (OA) has the potential to increase the exposure and use of not only published research but also authoritative and reliable information. The Coronavirus (COVID?19) impacted the work of journalists, scientists, and doctors while ordinary citizens are seeking trusted information sources and the truth about the new virus. Government and private institutions worldwide are reacting to the new situation where researchers, educators, students, and staff are trying to adjust to remote teaching and learning as well as telecommuting. In March 2020, a message from the White House was sent to the Scholarly Publishing Community asking them to make all COVID?19 papers openly available and machine readable. Considering the evolving and unresolved issues around OA and scholarly communications, together with the UN 2030 Agenda (a plan of action for sustainable, universal development), this panel brings together diverse perspectives to review the current landscape of OA and shed light on the role it plays in such crises. The panel will also discuss the future implications and impact of the pandemic in the overall advancement of scholarship in general.

 

 

 

Preprints Involving Medical Research—Do the Benefits Outweigh the Challenges? | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA | JAMA Network

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, and perhaps thereafter, investigators may continue to want their findings released and shared as rapidly as possible, but such speed to widespread public dissemination vs sharing within a community of specialists most likely to understand the complexities of the science and concerns to public health or without rigorous editorial evaluation and peer review before publication does not come without consequences and potential for harm.29,30 For many investigators, preprints may be considered an initial step along the scientific dissemination and publication pathway, just as abstract, poster, and video research presentations at in-person and virtual scientific meetings have a role in the early sharing and discussion of studies among specialist communities before publication in a journal. While manuscripts previously posted as preprints may be improved following formal submission to a journal and undergoing editorial evaluation, peer review, revision, and editing, others may not be suitable for formal publication because of methodologic flaws, biases, and important limitations. Authors should share preprints during the processes of manuscript submission to journals, just as they do with study protocols and registration reports, to aid journal editors in the evaluation of the quality of the reporting of the study and prioritization for publication. Preprints and preprint servers are here to stay, but perhaps in the immediate future a more selective use of these sites may be warranted, with clinical investigators exercising caution when the focus of a study is on drugs, vaccines, or medical devices and the results of a study may directly affect treatment of patients.”

Why is uploading clinical trial results onto trial registries so important?

“Some university researchers still believe that if their clinical trial publishes its outcomes in a peer-reviewed journal, they do not also have to upload its summary results onto trial registries.

 

That is wrong. Here are the facts:

 

Both EU regulations and US law require the results of many (though not all) clinical trial results to be uploaded onto trial registries within 12 months of trial completion.

Best practices set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) require the results of all clinical trials to be uploaded onto a trial registry within that timeframe.

Posting results onto registries accelerates medical progress because the 12-month timeline permits far more rapid results sharing than the slow academic publication process allows.

Posting results onto registries minimises the risk of a trial never reporting its results and becoming research waste, which can happen when a principal investigator dies or leaves their post during the prolonged process of submitting an academic paper to a succession of medical journals.

Results posted on registries are easier to locate and are open access.

Research shows that trial results posted on registries typically give a more comprehensive and accurate picture of patient-relevant trial outcomes than corresponding journal articles do.

Registry reporting facilitates comparison of trial outcomes with a trial’s originally stated aims, and thus discourages harmful research malpractices such as the ‘silent’ suppression, addition, or switching of selected outcomes, HARKing, and p-hacking.

Results on trial registries enable the more rapid and reliable identification of potential safety risks posed by medicines already on the market. …”

Why is uploading clinical trial results onto trial registries so important?

“Some university researchers still believe that if their clinical trial publishes its outcomes in a peer-reviewed journal, they do not also have to upload its summary results onto trial registries.

 

That is wrong. Here are the facts:

 

Both EU regulations and US law require the results of many (though not all) clinical trial results to be uploaded onto trial registries within 12 months of trial completion.

Best practices set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) require the results of all clinical trials to be uploaded onto a trial registry within that timeframe.

Posting results onto registries accelerates medical progress because the 12-month timeline permits far more rapid results sharing than the slow academic publication process allows.

Posting results onto registries minimises the risk of a trial never reporting its results and becoming research waste, which can happen when a principal investigator dies or leaves their post during the prolonged process of submitting an academic paper to a succession of medical journals.

Results posted on registries are easier to locate and are open access.

Research shows that trial results posted on registries typically give a more comprehensive and accurate picture of patient-relevant trial outcomes than corresponding journal articles do.

Registry reporting facilitates comparison of trial outcomes with a trial’s originally stated aims, and thus discourages harmful research malpractices such as the ‘silent’ suppression, addition, or switching of selected outcomes, HARKing, and p-hacking.

Results on trial registries enable the more rapid and reliable identification of potential safety risks posed by medicines already on the market. …”