Can Scientists Fill the Science Journalism Void? Online Public Engagement with Science Stories Authored by Scientists
In recent years traditional journalism has experienced a collapse, and science journalism has been a major casualty. This study suggests that filling the science news void by scientists as science reporters leads to normal levels of audience engagement.
Strengthening Capacity for Natural Sciences Research in African Research Institutions
A qualitative assessment to identify good practices, capacity gaps and investment priorities, whose results could serve as strategic investment targets for the joint efforts of national governments and international organisations that fund programmes for strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries.
Identifying Publications in Questionable Journals in the Context of Performance-based Research Funding
Study finds that the number of publications in open access journals rises every year, while the number of publications in questionable journals decreases from 2012 onwards. Both early career and more senior researchers publish in questionable journals.
Associations Between Industry Involvement and Study Characteristics at the Time of Trial Registration in Biomedical Research
Study investigates whether industry involvement in biomedical research affects trial design. A reduced use of active controls (such as alternate treatment or standard care) was found in trials with industry involvement, which can have the side effect of making results look more favourable than they actually are.
Scientific Output Scales with Resources. A Comparison of US and European Universities
A recent study finds a strong correlation between university revenues and their volume of publications and (field-normalized) citations. These results demonstrate empirically that international rankings are by and large richness measures and, therefore, can be interpreted only by introducing a measure of resources.
Regional, Institutional, and Departmental Factors Associated with Gender Diversity Among BS-level Chemical and Electrical Engineering Graduates
Engineering remains the least gender diverse of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Chemical engineering (ChE) and electrical engineering (EE) are exemplars of relatively high and low gender diversity, respectively. Here, we investigate departmental, institutional, and regional factors associated with gender diversity among BS graduates within the US, 2010-2016. For both fields, gender diversity was significantly higher at private institutions (p < 1x10-6) and at historically black institutions (p < 1x10-5). No significant association was observed with gender diversity among tenure-track faculty, PhD-granting status, and variations in departmental name beyond the standard "chemical engineering" or "electrical engineering". Gender diversity among EE graduates was significantly decreased (p = 8x10-5) when a distinct degree in computer engineering was available; no such association was observed between ChE gender diversity and the presence of biology-associated degrees. States with a highly gender diverse ChE workforce had a significantly higher degree of gender diversity among BS graduates (p = 3x10-5), but a significant association was not observed for EE. State variation in funding of support services for K-12 pupils significantly impacted gender diversity of graduates in both fields (p < 1x10-3), particularly in regards to instructional staff support (p < 5x10-4). Nationwide, gender diversity could not be concluded to be either significantly increasing or significantly decreasing for either field.
Economic Sanctions and Academia: Overlooked Impact and Long-term Consequences
Sanctions place "invisible barriers" for research by limiting access to necessary resources and curtailing their effective use. This paper presents a national survey of Sudanese academics focused on the impact of 20 years of economic sanctions. It identifies key areas that have been impacted by international sanctions, and highlights how the impact on academia is likely to persist long after they are formally lifted.
Assessing the Impact of a Research Funder's Recommendation to Consider Core Outcome Sets
Background Core outcome sets (COS) have the potential to reduce waste in research by improving the consistency of outcomes measured in trials of the same health condition. However, this reduction in waste will only be realised through the uptake of COS by clinical trialists. Without uptake, the continued development of COS that are not implemented may add to waste in research. Funders of clinical trials have the potential to have an impact on COS uptake by recommending their use to those applying for funding. The aim of our study was to assess the extent to which applicants followed the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme's recommendation to search for a COS to include in their clinical trial. Methods and findings We examined the outcomes section and detailed project descriptions of all 95 researcher-led primary research applications submitted to the NIHR HTA between January 2012, when the recommendation to search for a COS was included in the guidance for applicants, and December 2015 for evidence that a search for a COS had taken place and rationale for outcome choice in the absence of COS. A survey of applicants was conducted to further explore their use of COS and choice of outcomes with a response rate of 49%. Nine out of 95 applicants (10%) stated in their application that they had searched the COMET (Core Outcome Measures for Effectiveness Trials) Initiative database for a COS and another nine referred to searching for a COS using another method, e.g. a review of the literature. Of the 77 (81%) applicants that did not mention COMET or COS in their application, eight stated in the survey that they had searched the COMET database and ten carried out a search using another method. Some applicants who did not search for a COS gave reasons for their choice of outcomes including taking advice from patients and the public and choosing outcomes used in previous trials. Conclusion A funding body can have an impact on COS uptake by encouraging trialists to search for a COS. Funders could take further steps by putting processes in place to prompt applicants to be explicit about searching for COS in their application and notifying the funding board if a search has not taken place. The sources of information used by trialists to make decisions about outcomes in the absence of COS may suggest methods of dissemination for COS.
Medicine and the Media: Medical Experts' Problems and Solutions While Working with Journalists
Medical experts are one of the main sources used by journalists in reporting on medical science. This study aims to identify problems that medical experts encounter in contacts with the media representatives, elucidate their attitudes about interactions with journalists and reflect on solutions that could improve the quality of medical journalism.
Scientific Sinkhole: The Pernicious Price of Formatting
Objective To conduct a time-cost analysis of formatting in scientific publishing. Design International, cross-sectional study (one-time survey). Setting Internet-based self-report survey, live between September 2018 and January 2019. Participants Anyone working in research, science, or academia and who submitted at least one peer-reviewed manuscript for consideration for publication in 2017. Completed surveys were available for 372 participants from 41 countries (60% of respondents were from Canada). Main outcome measure Time (hours) and cost (wage per hour x time) associated with formatting a research paper for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Results The median annual income category was US$61,000-80,999, and the median number of publications formatted per year was four. Manuscripts required a median of two attempts before they were accepted for publication. The median formatting time was 14 hours per manuscript, or 52 hours per person, per year. This resulted in a median calculated cost of US$477 per manuscript or US$1,908 per person, per year. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the cost of manuscript formatting in scientific publishing. Our results suggest that scientific formatting represents a loss of 52 hours, costing the equivalent of US$1,908 per researcher per year. These results identify the hidden and pernicious price associated with scientific publishing and provide evidence to advocate for the elimination of strict formatting guidelines, at least prior to acceptance.
Does Increased Interdisciplinary Contact Among Hard and Social Scientists Help or Hinder Interdisciplinary Research?
For interdisciplinary projects to flourish, scientists must recognise the potential contribution of other disciplines in answering key research questions. Recent research suggested that social sciences may be appreciated less than hard sciences overall.
Citation Gaming Induced by Bibliometric Evaluation: A Country-level Comparative Analysis
Article proposes a new inwardness indicator able to gauge the degree of scientific self-referentiality of a country. A comparative analysis of the trends for the G10 countries in the years 2000-2016 reveals a net increase of the Italian inwardness.
Engaging Policy in Science Writing: Patterns and Strategies
Translating scientific research and findings into policy discussion often requires an understanding of the institutional complexities of policy processes. This study developed a set of metrics to examine how researchers have undertaken that challenge.
Speeding Up the Publication Process at PLOS ONE | EveryONE: The PLOS ONE Blog
At PLOS ONE we like to speed up the publication process wherever we can. We like science to be out in the open, and publication of peer-reviewed research to take place without undue delays, so that others can use and build upon the findings. Aligned with our founding mission, we aim to be as fast as we can while remaining true to our publication criteria and without compromising the quality of the peer review process.
Data Sharing in PLOS ONE: An Analysis of Data Availability Statements
Only about 20% of statements indicate that data are deposited in a repository, which the PLOS policy states is the preferred method. More commonly, authors state that their data are in the paper itself or in the supplemental information, though it is unclear whether these data meet the level of sharing required in the PLOS policy.
Peer Review of Health Research Funding Proposals: A Systematic Map and Systematic Review of Innovations for Effectiveness and Efficiency
Virtual peer review using videoconferencing or teleconferencing appears promising for reducing costs by avoiding the need for reviewers to travel, but again any consequences for quality have not been adequately assessed.
High-Impact and Transformative Science Metrics: Definition, Exemplification, and Comparison
A novel set of text- and citation-based metrics that can be used to identify high-impact and transformative works. The 11 metrics can be grouped into seven types: Radical-Generative, Radical-Destructive, Risky, Multidisciplinary, Wide Impact, Growing Impact, and Impact (overall).
Does Bibliometric Research Confer Legitimacy to Research Assessment Practice? a Sociological Study of Reputational Control, 1972-2016
A growing gap exists between an academic sector with little capacity for collective action and increasing demand for routine performance assessment by research organizations and funding agencies. This gap has been filled by database providers. By selecting and distributing research metrics, these commercial providers have gained a powerful role in defining de-facto standards of research excellence without being challenged by expert authority.
Assessing Scientists for Hiring, Promotion, and Tenure
A growing number of scientific leaders believe the current system of faculty incentives and rewards is misaligned with the needs of society. Here we propose six principles for assessing scientists and associated research and policy implications.