Post-publication peer review in biomedical journals: overcoming obstacles and disincentives to knowledge sharing

Authors : Valerie Matarese, Karen Shashok

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.

URL : Post-publication peer review in biomedical journals: overcoming obstacles and disincentives to knowledge sharing

DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.31229/osf.io/8kxyz

Reviewing the review process: Investigation of researchers’ opinions on different methods of peer review

Author : Carolin Anna Rebernig

Peer review is considered the gold standard of scientific publishing. Trust in the traditional system of editor – blind-reviewer – author is still high, but it’s authority is in decline and alternative methods are on the rise.

The current study investigates opinions of alternative peer review methods, the arguments for and against, and the reasons why academics are searching for new approaches. The opinions were analysed by applying qualitative content analysis to online discussions.

The findings were interpreted using two different sociological theories: the Mertonian sociology of science and social constructivism.

The results of the study show that the most discussed method was also the most traditional one: closed pre-publication peer review comprised of single blind, double-blind and open peer review (non blinded).

Discussions of open peer review (both open publishing of reports and open discussions) were also common. All other alternative methods were discussed much less. But the discussions were lively and each method was discussed in both positive and negative terms.

The reasons for preferring certain methods were also manifold, but dominant topics were bias and fairness, quality issues (regarding reviews and publications), issues concerning human resources and communication and exchange among people.

The results of this study demonstrate that while ethical norms seems to be a scientific ideal, human nature makes it impossible to accomplish this goal.

URN : http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn%3Anbn%3Ase%3Ahb%3Adiva-14607

Use of Twitter in Spanish Communication Journals

Authors : Victoria Tur-Viñes, Jesús Segarra-Saavedra, Tatiana Hidalgo-Marí

This is an exploratory study on the Twitter profiles managed by 30 Spanish Communication journals. The aim is to analyse the profile management, to identify the features of the most interactive content, and to propose effective practices motivating strategic management.

The management variables considered were the following: the launch date of the journal and launch of the Twitter profile; published content and frequency of publication; number of publications in 2016; number of Twitter followers.

The identification of the features of the most interactive tweets was performed in a 150-unit sample, taking into consideration the following factors: the number of retweets, likes, type of content (motivation), components forming the content, the date and time of publication, and origin of the publication (internal or unrelated).

The results reveal notable practices and certain deficiencies in the strategic management of social profiles. Twitter represents an innovative opportunity in scientific dissemination, and it establishes an inalienable strategy for creating and maintaining the brand-journal while retaining the need to strengthen followers’ reciprocity. Other potential uses are suggested.

URL : Use of Twitter in Spanish Communication Journals

Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/3/34

Universalizing science: alternative indices to direct research

Authors : Ari Melo Mariano, Maíra Rocha Santos

Measurement is a complicated but very necessary task. Many indices have been created in an effort to define the quality of knowledge produced but they have attracted strong criticism, having become synonymous with individualism, competition and mere productivity and, furthermore, they fail to head science towards addressing local demands or towards producing international knowledge by means of collaboration.

Institutions, countries, publishers, governments and authors have a latent need to create quality and productivity indices because they can serve as filters that influence far-reaching decision making and even decisions on the professional promotion of university teachers.

Even so, in the present-day context, the very creators of those indices admit that they were not designed for that purpose, given that different research areas, the age of the researcher, the country and the language spoken all have an influence on the index calculations.

Accordingly, this research sets out three indices designed to head science towards its universal objective by valuing collaboration and the dissemination of knowledge.

It is hoped that the proposed indices may provoke new discussions and the proposal of new, more assertive indicators for the analysis of scientific research quality.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.07595

Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States

Authors: Rachel Ann Miles, Stacy Konkiel, Sarah Sutton

INTRODUCTION

Academic librarians, especially in the field of scholarly communication, are often expected to understand and engage with research impact indicators. However, much of the current literature speculates about how academic librarians are using and implementing research impact indicators in their practice.

METHODS

This study analyzed the results from a 2015 survey administered to over 13,000 academic librarians at Carnegie-classified R1 institutions in the United States. The survey concentrated on academic librarians’ familiarity with and usage of research impact indicators.

RESULTS

This study uncovered findings related to academic librarians’ various levels of familiarity with research impact indicators and how they implement and use research impact indicators in their professional development and in their library job duties.

DISCUSSION

In general, academic librarians with regular scholarly communication support duties tend to have higher levels of familiarity of research impact indicators. In general, academic librarians are most familiar with the citation counts and usage statistics and least familiar with altmetrics.

During consultations with faculty, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and citation counts are more likely to be addressed than the author h-index, altmetrics, qualitative measures, and expert peer reviews.

The survey results also hint towards a growing interest in altmetrics among academic librarians for their professional advancement.

CONCLUSION

Academic librarians are continually challenged to keep pace with the changing landscape of research impact metrics and research assessment models. By keeping pace and implementing research impact indicators in their own practices, academic librarians can provide a crucial service to the wider academic community.

URL : Scholarly Communication Librarians’ Relationship with Research Impact Indicators: An Analysis of a National Survey of Academic Librarians in the United States

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2212

Do altmetrics assess societal impact in the same way as case studies? An empirical analysis testing the convergent validity of altmetrics based on data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Authors : Lutz Bornmann, Robin Haunschild, Jonathan Adams

Altmetrics have been proposed as a way to assess the societal impact of research. Although altmetrics are already in use as impact or attention metrics in different contexts, it is still not clear whether they really capture or reflect societal impact.

This study is based on altmetrics, citation counts, research output and case study data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), and peers’ REF assessments of research output and societal impact. We investigated the convergent validity of altmetrics by using two REF datasets: publications submitted as research output (PRO) to the REF and publications referenced in case studies (PCS).

Case studies, which are intended to demonstrate societal impact, should cite the most relevant research papers. We used the MHq’ indicator for assessing impact – an indicator which has been introduced for count data with many zeros.

The results of the first part of the analysis show that news media as well as mentions on Facebook, in blogs, in Wikipedia, and in policy-related documents have higher MHq’ values for PCS than for PRO.

Thus, the altmetric indicators seem to have convergent validity for these data. In the second part of the analysis, altmetrics have been correlated with REF reviewers’ average scores on PCS. The negative or close to zero correlations question the convergent validity of altmetrics in that context.

We suggest that they may capture a different aspect of societal impact (which can be called unknown attention) to that seen by reviewers (who are interested in the causal link between research and action in society).

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.03977

Scholarship as an Open Conversation: Utilizing Open Peer Review in Information Literacy Instruction

Author : Emily Ford

This article explores the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy’s frame, Scholarship as a Conversation. This frame asserts that information literate students have the disposition, skills, and knowledge to recognize and participate in disciplinary scholarly conversations.

By investigating the peer-review process as part of scholarly conversations, this article provides a brief literature review on peer review in information literacy instruction, and argues that by using open peer review (OPR) models for teaching, library workers can allow students to gain a deeper understanding of scholarly conversations.

OPR affords students the ability to begin dismantling the systemic oppression that blinded peer review and the traditional scholarly publishing system reinforce. Finally, the article offers an example classroom activity using OPR to help students enter scholarly conversations, and recognize power and oppression in scholarly publishing.

URL : http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/open-conversation/