Weekly digest: publication metrics, chatbot authorship, and French open science

Mark Elms

This week, we read another article from the December 2022 issue of Medical Writing, this time focusing on alternative metrics and other article-level metrics for evaluating the impact of publications. We hear about WAME recommendations on whether chatbots like ChatGPT can be authors and how their use in publications should be reported. We also read a report from the French National Fund for Open Science, an article on a growing issue of paid-for authorship and an opinion piece on whether researchers should be trained to review preprints. We also highlight some of our work that was presented at ISMPP EU 2023 this week, with a poster analysing ORCID uptake in pharma-sponsored research. Finally, we share two upcoming meetings and conferences – EMWA’s special interest group Meet & Share and the United Nation’s 3rd Open Science Conference.

To read:

Quantifying the impact of scientific publications via Medical Writing | 6-minute read

Journal impact factor (JIF) has been used for many years as the standard metric to measure publication success. But JIF has many disadvantages for this purpose, not least that it provides journal-level metrics rather than article-level metrics. Alternative metrics (or altmetrics) and other article-level metrics provide quantifiable measures of an individual publication’s impact. This article, written by Open Pharma’s very own Tomas Rees, discusses what we can learn and what data we can gather from altmetrics and other article-level metrics to better understand the impact of individual publications.

Can artificial intelligence chatbots be authors? via World Association of Medical Editors | 10-minute read

In short, no. At least, that is, according to the latest World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) recommendations on the use of chatbots, such as ChatGPT, in research publications. The recommendations state that chatbots “cannot meet the requirements for authorship” as they can’t understand the authorship role, they can’t take responsibility for the research, and they can’t fulfil International Committee of Medical Journal Editors authorship criteria. The recommendations go on to say that any use of chatbots during writing should be made explicitly clear, and that authors should take all responsibility for any chatbot outputs used. WAME also notes that editors and publishers are now going to need tools that can detect content that has been created or altered by chatbots.

Activity report from France’s National Fund for Open Science via The Committee for Open Science | 1-minute read

The French National Fund for Open Science (FNSO) was launched in 2019 as one of the first achievements of the French National Plan for Open Science. Now, 4 years later, the FNSO has released its first activity report about the progress it has made between 2019 and 2021. During this period, the FNSO has raised around 12.3 million euros to further open science practices in France and has funded 49 open science projects, with 172 more candidate projects in the pipeline. You can read the full activity report here!

Money for authorship: a dirty deal via Nature | 5-minute read

Journals have started to retract papers over suspicions that people have paid money to be named as authors, despite not having participated in any way in the research. These retractions come following the discovery of online adverts offering people the opportunity to buy authorship on manuscripts that are being published in high impact journals. This article by Holly Else (Reporter at Nature) discusses the current landscape of paid-for authorship, what can be done to combat this practice, and the evolving nature of contemporary research fraud and malpractice.

Should PhD students and postdocs be trained to review preprints? via Nature | 5-minute read

Many PhD students and postdoctoral researchers are pursuing careers outside of academic research for various reasons, with many leaving for pharma, medical writing and journal editing. But often researchers leave the research bench without having an evidential set of transferable skills that would set them in good stead for their new career. This is the view of Richard Sever (Assistant Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and Co-Founder of BioRxiv and MedRxiv), who proposes that a way to give researchers a tangible opportunity to gain transferable skills is through reviewing preprints. Richard argues that this would give researchers “material evidence of transferable skills” that could open up new career avenues to them.

To engage with:

ORCID uptake in pharma-sponsored research via Open Pharma

There are over 13 million ORCID iDs in use, with researchers and scholars from around the world making use of these persistent digital identifiers. But do pharma employees have ORCID iDs? And are ORCID iDs used in pharma-sponsored publications? We at Open Pharma wanted to find out! In this study, presented at the 2023 European Meeting of ISMPP, we looked at the levels of ORCID iD registrations by employees of 14 pharma companies that are Members and Supporters of Open Pharma, and we also evaluated how ORCID use in pharma-sponsored publications has changed over time. Take a look at our poster to find out the results of the analysis!

MedComms Special Interest Group Meet & Share via EMWA

The MedComms Special Interest Group of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) will be hosting a Meet & Share event on 22 February 2023 at 5:30 pm CET. Join the co-chairs Slávka Baróniková and Andrea Rossi as they discuss the topic of copyright and what this means in the medical communications world. You can register for the session here!

The third UN Open Science Conference via United Nations

The United Nations will host its third Open Science Conference from 8 to 10 February 2023 in New York City, USA. Titled Accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals, Democratizing the Record of Science, the conference will bring together policy makers, intergovernmental organization representatives, researchers, librarians, publishers and many others! You can read more about what to expect at the conference in the programme, and you can register for virtual attendance here.

Have you read the December 2022 issue of Medical Writing about Open Science and Open Pharma? Read the full issue here!