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Why perform a meta-analysis?

A meta-analysis is a powerful statistical procedure for combining and comparing data from multiple studies that have all tested a particular hypothesis with the objective of identifying patterns among the results. The meta-analysis can then be used for a variety of purposes: Read more

New tool helps authors find the right reporting guideline for their manuscript

Reporting guidelines help and guide authors in the preparation and accurate reporting of research studies, e.g., CONSORT for randomized trials, STROBE for observational studies, PRISMA for systematic reviews, STARD for diagnostic accuracy studies, and CARE for case reports. Editors of biomedical journals will often ask authors to provide evidence that they used and adhered to the appropriate reporting guidelines, and may ask for guideline specific checklists during submission, and include guideline flow diagrams in the published manuscript (e.g., CONSORT, PRISMA, STARD). Journal editors, reviewers, and readers use these guidelines as a tool in assessing the quality and reliability of reported research. Many guidelines have been developed for different study types, and it is important that authors identify and implement the correct guidelines for their research.

The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network is Read more

Selecting reviewers for your submitted manuscript

Many peer-review journals now request reviewer recommendations during the submission process. Selecting suitable reviewer(s) is critical to facilitating and surviving the peer-review process. The recommended reviewer must be someone who is an expert within your speciality, is still active, and has recently published within your particular area of research.

Selection Strategies.

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics revisited

I posted previously on reporting of scientific studies by the popular press. Diet related topics seem to be particularly prone to problems, I guess because they are particularly newsworthy. Diabetes also makes a good headline? A story from 2012 comes to mind, as a number of patients asked me about it. This study was published…

Top 10 tips to increase the readership of your research article

Publishing in an open access journal is one of the best strategies an author can employ to increase the readership of an article, and there is now increasing evidence to support the idea that free access to research increases both visibility and citation. However, there are a number of other simple techniques that an author can use to improve an article’s impact. Here’s our top 10 tips: Read more

The Chocolate Question: Lies, damned lies, and statistics

I read with interest reports of a recent ‘study’ by a scientist and journalist who managed to get a flawed piece of research published in a (non-refereed) scientific journal from where it was taken up by the popular press (http://io9.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800). The ‘research’ claimed to demonstrate that chocolate was a beneficial addition to weight reducing diets.…

Robust, novel, innovating, unprecedented – words to avoid to publish in high impact factor medical journals

Study finds that the words robust, novel, innovating, and unprecedented have a 15000% relative increase in frequency over the last 40 years.

A recent study1 in the BMJ Christmas issue investigated the use of positive and negative words in the scientific literature. The study included a retrospective analysis of PubMed titles and abstracts between 1974 and 2014, and found that Read more

Online Journal Selection Tools

Choosing the right journal for your research manuscript is a crucial step in the publication process. There are many factors to consider such as scope of study, type of study, type of article, journal audience, indexing, impact factor, processing timeframe, accessibility, and fees. Several online tools have been developed to help researchers with this task. The following is a brief summary of some of the currently available tools; this list is not exhaustive, and is not in any particular order.

JournalGuide is a freely accessible tool developed and funded by Research Square that allows researchers to evaluate scholarly journals, mainly in the biomedical field. It allows 4 search options: by paper match (title, abstract, keywords), by journal name or ISSN, by publisher, and by category. Further filtering options include open access features. Researchers can then simultaneously compare up to 3 journals to assess impact, Read more

Open access journals and their role in disseminating research outcomes

Articles published in most open access journals are immediately and permanently free for anyone to read and download. Some even allow researchers to re-use material dependent on their Creative Commons license. For authors and researchers this translates into the increased visibility and impact of their work. Published research is now available to the masses, regardless of economic background; all that is required is a decent Internet connection. With more content reaching more readers of open access journals, over time this will lead to increased citation and even wider dissemination of research outcomes. Read more