Weekly digest: Health Literacy Month, ORCID webinars and the 2022 STM conference

Mark Elms

This week, we highlight the start of Health Literacy Month, with events taking place throughout October. We also call attention to some upcoming ORCID webinars and the 2022 STM conference in Frankfurt. We read about retractions at Hindawi, the need for easier data sharing, and the unresolved questions following the White House announcement on open access. Finally, we hear about the open access rates for publications related to COVID-19, and we listen to a podcast on the importance of health literacy.

To engage with:

October is Health Literacy Month! via Institute for Healthcare Advancement

The World Health Organization defines health literacy as “the achievement of a level of knowledge, personal skills and confidence to take action to improve personal and community health by changing personal lifestyles and living conditions”. Health literacy is therefore crucial to good health. To promote health literacy to the wider public, October has been recognized as Health Literacy Month for more than 20 years. This year, many events will be taking place throughout October to highlight the importance of health literacy in contemporary healthcare.

ORCID’s new webinar series via ORCID

ORCID, providers of persistent digital identifiers for researchers, have launched a brand new webinar series called iD & Me. The first session in this series will focus on the benefits of ORCID for researchers in the humanities and social sciences. The webinar will take place on 1 November 2022 and will feature Bridget Almas (Director of Data Innovation Strategy at the State University of New York), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University) and Michael Ullyot (Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary).

The 2022 STM conference ist am Main via STM

After a few years of virtual events, the STM Conference and Dinner returns to an in-person event in Frankfurt am Main on 17–18 October 2022! In the past, the STM conference has attracted leading figures in publishing to discuss a variety of hot topics from the publishing world. This year, the conference will focus on strategic thinking, public policy, business models, and key drivers shaping the future of science, technology and medicine. You can register for the conference here.

To read:

Over 500 retractions at Hindawi due to the discovery of peer review manipulations via Retraction Watch | 4-minute read

Following an investigation by their research integrity team, Hindawi have announced that it plans to retract 511 papers across 16 journals. The decision follows the discovery of manipulated peer reviews coming from so-called “peer-review rings”. These rings consist of reviewers and editors working together to fraudulently push manuscripts through to publication. This includes manuscripts originating from paper mills. Large-scale retractions due to manipulated peer review or paper mill origins have recently been announced by other publishers as well, including nearly 500 articles at IOP publishing and over 100 papers at PLOS.

Sharing is caring: making data sharing easier via Nature | 8-minute read

Journals are increasingly requesting that authors provide data alongside manuscript submissions or make data available to anyone who may request it. But a recent study of 1792 manuscripts with data availability statements showed that more must be done to encourage the practice because only 6.9% of corresponding authors actually shared data upon request. This article by Matthew Hutson argues that certain strategies and platforms can help simplify the task of data sharing for researchers to ensure they are able to easily adhere to best data sharing practices.

The unresolved questions of the Nelson Memo guidelines via Stat | 12-minute read

The White House’s announcement that all federally funded research in the USA must be made publicly available without embargo by the end of 2025, commonly referred to as the ‘Nelson Memo’, has been widely described as a triumph of the open access movement. But, according to this article by Brittany Trang, certain questions remain unresolved. Questions such as “to what extent will journals shift their business models as a result?” and “what approach will journals take to open access?” remain unanswered in the weeks following the memo’s release. Brittany argues that these questions must be resolved to understand the full impact of the Nelson Memo.

Evaluating the openness of COVID-19 research via JMIR Publications | 30-minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly highlighted why open and rapid access to research is critical for mitigating and responding to public health emergencies. This study, conducted at the Biodonostia Health Research Institute, the University Carlos III of Madrid and the Complutense University of Madrid, looked at the open access rates of 95 605 publications related to COVID-19. It found that, although 94.1% of the publications were open access, 44.8% of them were published with bronze open access, which limits their impact and usability. Encouragingly, the study found that the main topics of publications published with gold open access were related to international and cooperative strategies to combat COVID-19.

To listen to:

Health literacy: what, why and how? via Spotify | 35-minute listen

As part of Health Literacy Month, this podcast episode by Realistic Medicine focuses on what the term health literacy means to patients and healthcare providers. Hosted by Kate Arrow (Consultant Anaesthetist for National Health Service Highland), this episode features a discussion with recently retired general practitioner and former clinical lead for health literacy for the Scottish Government, Graham Kramer. Kate and Graham discuss why health literacy is so important and why time and money must be invested to improve people’s health literacy. Building on this, Kate and Graham also talk about methods for improving people’s health literacy and how medical communications should be tailored to improve patient involvement in decisions about their health.

Have you seen our commentary about user perspectives on plain language summaries? Read it here in Current Medical Research and Opinion.