The effects of an editor serving as one of the reviewers during the peer-review process

Authors : Marco Giordan, Attila Csikasz-Nagy, Andrew M. Collings

Background

Publishing in scientific journals is one of the most important ways in which scientists disseminate research to their peers and to the wider public.

Pre-publication peer review underpins this process, but peer review is subject to various criticisms and is under pressure from growth in the number of scientific publications.

Methods

Here we examine an element of the editorial process at eLife, in which the Reviewing Editor usually serves as one of the referees, to see what effect this has on decision times, decision type, and the number of citations.

We analysed a dataset of 8,905 research submissions to eLife since June 2012, of which 2,750 were sent for peer review, using R and Python to perform the statistical analysis.

Results

The Reviewing Editor serving as one of the peer reviewers results in faster decision times on average, with the time to final decision ten days faster for accepted submissions (n=1,405) and 5 days faster for papers that were rejected after peer review (n=1,099).

There was no effect on whether submissions were accepted or rejected, and a very small (but significant) effect on citation rates for published articles where the Reviewing Editor served as one of the peer reviewers.

Conclusions

An important aspect of eLife’s peer-review process is shown to be effective, given that decision times are faster when the Reviewing Editor serves as a reviewer. Other journals hoping to improve decision times could consider adopting a similar approach.

URL : The effects of an editor serving as one of the reviewers during the peer-review process

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.8452.1

Dealing with Big Data

Authors : Tobias Blanke, Andrew Prescott

This book chapter attempts to counter anxieties in the humanities and social science about the role of big data in research by focusing on approaches which, by being firmly grounded in the traditional values of disciplines, enhance existing methods to produce fruitful research.

Big data poses many methodological challenges, but these pressures should prompt scholars to pay much closer attention to methodological issues than they have in the past.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.06354

Produire un rapport d’activité : Pourquoi ? Comment ?

Auteur/author : Thomas Violet

L’environnement culturel, institutionnel, économique et technologique en mutation incite les bibliothèques à produire un rapport annuel d’activité afin de disposer d’un document de référence et de promouvoir leurs activités.

Si elles possèdent depuis longtemps une tradition de collecte des données d’activité, basée sur les différentes enquêtes ministérielles, elle ne produisent pas toutes un document synthétique autonome.

À la croisée des problématiques d’évaluation et de communication, les différentes pratiques des bibliothèques françaises éclairent les possibilités et enjeux d’un tel document, ses objectifs, les difficultés de sa fabrication ainsi que son circuit de diffusion.

URL : Produire un rapport d’activité : Pourquoi ? Comment ?

Alternative location : http://www.enssib.fr/bibliotheque-numerique/notices/66455-produire-un-rapport-d-activite-pourquoi-comment

Quality Assessment of Studies Published in Open Access and Subscription Journals: Results of a Systematic Evaluation

Authors : Sonja Milovanovic, Jovana Stojanovic, Ljupcho Efremov, Rosarita Amore, Stefania Boccia

Introduction

Along with the proliferation of Open Access (OA) publishing, the interest for comparing the scientific quality of studies published in OA journals versus subscription journals has also increased.

With our study we aimed to compare the methodological quality and the quality of reporting of primary epidemiological studies and systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in OA and non-OA journals.

Methods

In order to identify the studies to appraise, we listed all OA and non-OA journals which published in 2013 at least one primary epidemiologic study (case-control or cohort study design), and at least one systematic review or meta-analysis in the field of oncology.

For the appraisal, we picked up the first studies published in 2013 with case-control or cohort study design from OA journals (Group A; n = 12), and in the same time period from non-OA journals (Group B; n = 26); the first systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in 2013 from OA journals (Group C; n = 15), and in the same time period from non-OA journals (Group D; n = 32).

We evaluated the methodological quality of studies by assessing the compliance of case-control and cohort studies to Newcastle and Ottawa Scale (NOS) scale, and the compliance of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) scale.

The quality of reporting was assessed considering the adherence of case-control and cohort studies to STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklist, and the adherence of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) checklist.

Results

Among case-control and cohort studies published in OA and non-OA journals, we did not observe significant differences in the median value of NOS score (Group A: 7 (IQR 7–8) versus Group B: 8 (7–9); p = 0.5) and in the adherence to STROBE checklist (Group A, 75% versus Group B, 80%; p = 0.1).

The results did not change after adjustment for impact factor. The compliance with AMSTAR and adherence to PRISMA checklist were comparable between systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in OA and non-OA journals (Group C, 46.0% versus Group D, 55.0%; p = 0.06), (Group C, 72.0% versus Group D, 76.0%; p = 0.1), respectively).

Conclusion

The epidemiological studies published in OA journals in the field of oncology approach the same methodological quality and quality of reporting as studies published in non-OA journal.

URL : Quality Assessment of Studies Published in Open Access and Subscription Journals: Results of a Systematic Evaluation

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154217

Sciences de gestion : comment la quête d’excellence freine la libre circulation des savoirs

Auteur/Author : Marie-France Lebouc, Anne Chartier

Professeures dans une école de gestion, nous menons, depuis des années, un dialogue réflexif sur nos pratiques de recherche et de publication. La gestion est un domaine de plus en plus populaire et où la concurrence entre écoles s’exacerbe.

Les gestionnaires et les chercheurs des écoles de gestion ressentent un besoin stratégique d’excellence et de bonne réputation, ce qui passe, bien sûr, par la publication. Comment les contraintes actuelles de publication pèsent-elles sur nous, les chercheurs ? Quels savoirs produisons-nous dorénavant et pour qui ?

Nous tenterons de répondre à partir d’un examen de nos propres pratiques. Notamment, nous verrons que des barrières empêchent l’accès à ces savoirs. Comment sortir de ces problèmes ?

Toujours à partir de notre compréhension personnelle de l’intériorisation et de l’institutionnalisation des contraintes de publication, nous émettrons une opinion plutôt pessimiste sur les chances de l’accès libre de libérer la circulation des savoirs en sciences de gestion.

URL : http://ethiquepublique.revues.org/2248

A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals

Authors : Bo-Christer Björk, Cenyu Shen, Mikael Laakso

Open Access (OA) is nowadays increasingly being used as a business model for the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals, both by specialized OA publishing companies and major, predominantly subscription-based publishers.

However, in the early days of the web OA journals were mainly founded by independent academics, who were dissatisfied with the predominant print and subscription paradigm and wanted to test the opportunities offered by the new medium.

There is still an on-going debate about how OA journals should be operated, and the volunteer model used by many such ‘indie’ journals has been proposed as a viable alternative to the model adopted by big professional publishers where publishing activities are funded by authors paying expensive article processing charges (APCs).

Our longitudinal quantitative study of 250 ‘indie’ OA journals founded prior to 2002, showed that 51% of these journals were still in operation in 2014 and that the median number of articles published per year had risen from 11 to 18 among the survivors.

Of these surviving journals, only 8% had started collecting APCs. A more detailed qualitative case study of five such journals provided insights into how such journals have tried to ensure the continuity and longevity of operations.

URL : A longitudinal study of independent scholar-published open access journals

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1990

Research Data Sharing and Reuse Practices of Academic Faculty Researchers: A Study of the Virginia Tech Data Landscape

Author : Yi Shen

This paper presents the results of a research data assessment and landscape study in the institutional context of Virginia Tech to determine the data sharing and reuse practices of academic faculty researchers.

Through mapping the level of user engagement in “openness of data,” “openness of methodologies and workflows,” and “reuse of existing data,” this study contributes to the current knowledge in data sharing and open access, and supports the strategic development of institutional data stewardship.

Asking faculty researchers to self-reflect sharing and reuse from both data producers’ and data users’ perspectives, the study reveals a significant gap between the rather limited sharing activities and the highly perceived reuse or repurpose values regarding data, indicating that potential values of data for future research are lost right after the original work is done.

The localized and sporadic data management and documentation practices of researchers also contribute to the obstacles they themselves often encounter when reusing existing data.

URL : Research Data Sharing and Reuse Practices of Academic Faculty Researchers: A Study of the Virginia Tech Data Landscape

Alternative location : http://www.ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/10.2.157