Weekly digest: the future of publishing, gender bias in citations and spotting fake data

Aimee Jones and Rachael Huntly

This week, we take a look at disrupting the traditional publishing model and potential problems with preprint servers. We also explore gender bias and fraudulent data in medical publications, and say CHEERS to the updated health economic evaluation reporting guidelines.

To read:

Traditional publishing model is detrimental to scholarship via Research Professional News | 4-minute read

This opinion piece highlights three key impacts on scholarly publishing of the monopoly-like status of journals: reliability (traditional peer review is often opaque and may be unreliable), affordability (about a tenth of the money institutions pay to publishers goes towards publishing) and functionality (a lack of modernization and unnecessary delays).

Replacing publisher monopolies via sOApbox | 5-minute read

Little progress has occurred over the past 20 years to replace the traditional publishing model, despite general agreement on the need to do so. This inaction is linked to the social dilemma faced by every stakeholder; researchers, libraries and institutions are all at a disadvantage if they make the first move. This article discusses potential solutions and incentives to establish a new framework in which service providers can compete and innovate under the governance of the scholarly community.

ArXiv reaches 2 million paper milestone via Scientific American | 11-minute read

The preprint server arXiv  now contains over 2 million papers. Life sciences preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv were inspired by arXiv, which began in 1989 as an email distribution list among a handful of scientists. The ability to communicate research freely and quickly has clear advantages, but this report also highlights some of the problems associated with the arXiv model, including issues with transparency, funding and representation among moderators – the majority being men from US-based institutions.

Gender bias in medical journal citations via The Publication Plan | 2-minute read

A significant gender bias in journal citations was recently identified by the authors of a JAMA Network Open study, with female first authors who published in leading medical journals receiving a third fewer citations than male first authors. This article outlines the researchers’ suggestions for increasing the visibility of women in the medical field, such as open access publishing.

Who is responsible for spotting false clinical data? via Nature | 5-minute read

Reviewers, journals, publishers and research institutions all have an important role to play in combating fabricated data. In this piece, Lisa Bero (Senior Research Integrity Editor at Cochrane and Chief Scientist at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) provides her opinion on how the publication community must work together to prevent false clinical data from being published. Cochrane is committed to research integrity and provides tools to help reviewers identify fraudulent or misused data.

CHEERS 2022 Statement via Journal of Medical Economics | 15-minute read

A new Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) statement was published this week. The statement supersedes the previous CHEERS 2013, which was established to ensure health economic evaluations were reported consistently and were easy to interpret. The 28-item checklist in CHEERS 2022 can now be more readily applied to all types of health economic evaluations. Other key updates reflect the development of new evaluation methods and models and the increased involvement of patients, the public and service recipients as stakeholders.

Have you read our recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications? Find out more here and join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #PlainLanguageSummaries!