Most popular ESE articles in November

In our monthly look at the top five most read papers from our journal European Science Editing, we have our ever-present peer review training card exchange game, and four new entries. Two articles come from the latest issue of the journal; the EASE endorsement of the Joint Position Statement (JPS) on the Role of Professional Medical Writers, and a research article investigating Journal guidelines about title, abstract and keywords.  Two older papers address statistical mistakes in manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals, and aspects of scientific misconduct among Iranian academic members.

Common statistical mistakes in manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals
Farrokh Habibzadeh
Issue: 39(4) November 2013. Essays

Statistical methods have rapidly developed over the past decades and become instrumental in data analysis of research articles, so that currently most journals ask the authors to describe in detail the statistical methods used for the analysis of their data in a separate section in the methodology. This is helpful, as it allows the internal validity of the findings presented in the article to be examined. In this review, based on more than 20 years of experience as an editor and reviewer, I will describe the most common mistakes I have encountered in manuscripts submittted to biomedical journals. I found these mistakes with more or less similar frequency in the submissions to both prestigious and small medical journals. Many of these mistakes can also be found in published articles, which means even some editors are not aware of these points.

The development and uptake of the Joint Position Statement on the role of professional medical writers
Art Gertel, Christopher Winchester, Karen Woolley, and Yvonne Yarker
Issue: 44(4) November 2018. Viewpoint

Members of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and professional medical writers share a common goal – to publish research that readers trust and value. Medical writers can help EASE members as they strive to follow the EASE Golden Rules for Scholarly Journal Editors. Various guidelines are available regarding the role of professional medical writers, and adherence to these guidelines is best accomplished if the fundamental points are presented concisely and widely endorsed. This has been achieved with the release of the Joint Position Statement (JPS) on the Role of Professional Medical Writers, which has been endorsed by leading medical writing associations from around the world and other key stakeholders. The purpose of this article is to highlight to editors the development and uptake of the JPS, and how this guideline aligns with and supports the EASE Golden Rules.

Journals’ guidelines about title, abstract and keywords: an overview of Information Science and Communication Science areas
Issue: 44(4) November 2018. Original articles
Mariângela Spotti Lopes Fujita, María-del-Carmen Agustín-Lacruz, and Ana Lúcia Terra

Objective: The purpose of this exploratory study was to observe and analyse guidelines for authors on writing their papers’ title, abstract and keywords.
Methods: The sample consisted of 64 journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR): 32 (50%) Library & Information Science (LIS) journals and 32 (50%) Communication Science (CS) journals. A spreadsheet was used for data collection, containing 36 items grouped into four categories: identification data, guidelines for the title, the abstract, and the keywords of the scientific article. Then, in each category, the LIS journals were compared with CS journals, to verify how specific aspects of knowledge organisation and representation are reflected in editorial policies.
Results: Majority of CS journals (27, 84%) and less than a quarter of LIS journals (7, 22%) referred to a style guide on their website. Specific guidelines for the title were presented in 17 (53%) LIS journals and in 23 (72%) of CS journals, mainly concerning the word number. Twenty three (72%) LIS journals and 31 (97%) CS journals included guidelines for writing abstracts, focusing on word number and the structure of abstracts. Instructions for keywords were presented in 21 (66%) LIS journals and 28 (88%) CS journals, defining the number of keywords and the use of controlled vocabulary.
Conclusion: There is a tendency to standardise general indications and criteria about titles, abstracts and keywords. Guidelines on writing abstracts, titles and keywords have smaller presence in editorial policies of LIS journals, than of CS journals.

Different aspects of scientific misconduct among Iranian academic members
Issue: 44(2) May 2018. Original article
Maryam Saberi-Karimian et al.

Objective: Publications and research experiments are a major part of daily activities of the university academic members. Research misconduct, specifying its frequency and identifying the related behaviours is controversial. In recent years, there have been reports of scientific misconduct by Iranian academics. We examined the frequency of research misconduct by academic members in Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
Method: 157 academic members participated in this study. A validated questionnaire according to Martinson study was used.
Results: Our results showed that the most frequently admitted research misconduct was “inaccurate assignment of authorship credit” by 35% of academic members and 54.8% of their colleagues. All the respondents mostly emphasized their colleagues’ engagement in research misconduct rather than themselves. Almost 43% of the respondents had engaged in at least one of the top ten scientific plagiaristic behaviours listed in the table of results.
Conclusion: Nearly 43% of the Iranian academic members had engaged in at least one of the top ten misbehaviours over the past three years. A relatively high proportion of misconduct behaviours should be addressed in the scientific community by all relevant institutions and factors and by scientific journal editors.

A peer review card exchange game
Ružica Tokalić & Ana Marušić
Issue 44(3) August 2018. Original Article
Introduction: Peer review aims to ensure the quality of research and help journal editors in the publication process. COST action PEERE, which explores peer review, including its efficiency, transparency and accountability, organised a peer review school endorsed by EASE. We developed a card exchange game based on responsibility and integrity in peer review for a hands-on training session.
Methods: We used the approach for the development of training materials about responsible research and innovation developed by the HEIRRI project, and the principles of the card game for the popularisation of the philosophy of science.
Results: We created 32 card statements about peer review, distributed across 6 domains: Responsiveness, Competence, Impartiality, Confidentiality, Constructive criticism and Responsibility to science. We adapted the instructions for the game and tested the game during the peer review school at the University of Split School of Medicine, Croatia, May 2018. The feedback by the participants was very positive.
Conclusions: The Peer Review Card Exchange Game could be used as an introductory activity for teaching integrity and ethics in peer review training.