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1.  Conflicts of Interest at Medical Journals: The Influence of Industry-Supported Randomised Trials on Journal Impact Factors and Revenue – Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000354.
Andreas Lundh and colleagues investigated the effect of publication of large industry-supported trials on citations and journal income, through reprint sales, in six general medical journals
Transparency in reporting of conflict of interest is an increasingly important aspect of publication in medical journals. Publication of large industry-supported trials may generate many citations and journal income through reprint sales and thereby be a source of conflicts of interest for journals. We investigated industry-supported trials' influence on journal impact factors and revenue.
Methods and Findings
We sampled six major medical journals (Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM]). For each journal, we identified randomised trials published in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 using PubMed, and categorized the type of financial support. Using Web of Science, we investigated citations of industry-supported trials and the influence on journal impact factors over a ten-year period. We contacted journal editors and retrieved tax information on income from industry sources. The proportion of trials with sole industry support varied between journals, from 7% in BMJ to 32% in NEJM in 2005–2006. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than trials with other types of support, and omitting them from the impact factor calculation decreased journal impact factors. The decrease varied considerably between journals, with 1% for BMJ to 15% for NEJM in 2007. For the two journals disclosing data, income from the sales of reprints contributed to 3% and 41% of the total income for BMJ and The Lancet in 2005–2006.
Publication of industry-supported trials was associated with an increase in journal impact factors. Sales of reprints may provide a substantial income. We suggest that journals disclose financial information in the same way that they require them from their authors, so that readers can assess the potential effect of different types of papers on journals' revenue and impact.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Medical journals publish many different types of papers that inform doctors about the latest research advances and the latest treatments for their patients. They publish articles that describe laboratory-based research into the causes of diseases and the identification of potential new drugs. They publish the results of early clinical trials in which a few patients are given a potential new drug to check its safety. Finally and most importantly, they publish the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). RCTs are studies in which large numbers of patients are randomly allocated to different treatments without the patient or the clinician knowing the allocation and the efficacy of the various treatments compared. RCTs are best way of determining whether a new drug is effective and have to be completed before a drug can be marketed. Because RCTs are very expensive, they are often supported by drug companies. That is, drug companies provide grants or drugs for the trial or assist with data analysis and/or article preparation.
Why Was This Study Done?
Whenever a medical journal publishes an article, the article's authors have to declare any conflicts of interest such as financial gain from the paper's publication. Conflict of interest statements help readers assess papers—an author who owns the patent for a drug, for example, might put an unduly positive spin on his/her results. The experts who review papers for journals before publication provide similar conflict of interest statements. But what about the journal editors who ultimately decide which papers get published? The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which produces medical publishing guidelines, states that: “Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues that they might judge.” However, the publication of industry-supported RCTs might create “indirect” conflicts of interest for journals by boosting the journal's impact factor (a measure of a journal's importance based on how often its articles are cited) and its income through the sale of reprints to drug companies. In this study, the researchers investigate whether the publication of industry-supported RCTs influences the impact factors and finances of six major medical journals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers determined which RCTs published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the British Medical Journal (BMJ), The Lancet, and three other major medical journals in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 were supported wholly, partly, or not at all by industry. They then used the online academic citation index Web of Science to calculate an approximate impact factor for each journal for 1998 and 2007 and calculated the effect of the published RCTs on the impact factor. The proportion of RCTs with sole industry support varied between journals. Thus, 32% of the RCTs published in the NEJM during both two-year periods had industry support whereas only 7% of the RCTs published in the BMJ in 2005–2006 had industry support. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than RCTs with other types of support and omitting industry-supported RCTs from impact factor calculations decreased all the approximate journal impact factors. For example, omitting all RCTs with industry or mixed support decreased the 2007 BMJ and NEJM impact factors by 1% and 15%, respectively. Finally, the researchers asked each journal's editor about their journal's income from industry sources. For the BMJ and The Lancet, the only journals that provided this information, income from reprint sales was 3% and 41%, respectively, of total income in 2005–2006.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the publication of industry-supported RCTs was associated with an increase in the approximate impact factors of these six major medical journals. Because these journals publish numerous RCTs, this result may not be generalizable to other journals. These findings also indicate that income from reprint sales can be a substantial proportion of a journal's total income. Importantly, these findings do not imply that the decisions of editors are affected by the possibility that the publication of an industry-supported trial might improve their journal's impact factor or income. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest, journals should live up to the same principles related to conflicts of interest as those that they require from their authors and should routinely disclose information on the source and amount of income that they receive.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Harvey Marcovitch
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides information about the publication of medical research, including conflicts of interest
The World Association of Medical Editors also provides information on conflicts of interest in medical journals
Information about impact factors is provided by Thomson Reuters, a provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals; Thomson Reuters also runs Web of Science
PMCID: PMC2964336  PMID: 21048986
2.  For 481 biomedical open access journals, articles are not searchable in the Directory of Open Access Journals nor in conventional biomedical databases 
PeerJ  2015;3:e972.
Background. Open access (OA) journals allows access to research papers free of charge to the reader. Traditionally, biomedical researchers use databases like MEDLINE and EMBASE to discover new advances. However, biomedical OA journals might not fulfill such databases’ criteria, hindering dissemination. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a database exclusively listing OA journals. The aim of this study was to investigate DOAJ’s coverage of biomedical OA journals compared with the conventional biomedical databases.
Methods. Information on all journals listed in four conventional biomedical databases (MEDLINE, PubMed Central, EMBASE and SCOPUS) and DOAJ were gathered. Journals were included if they were (1) actively publishing, (2) full OA, (3) prospectively indexed in one or more database, and (4) of biomedical subject. Impact factor and journal language were also collected. DOAJ was compared with conventional databases regarding the proportion of journals covered, along with their impact factor and publishing language. The proportion of journals with articles indexed by DOAJ was determined.
Results. In total, 3,236 biomedical OA journals were included in the study. Of the included journals, 86.7% were listed in DOAJ. Combined, the conventional biomedical databases listed 75.0% of the journals; 18.7% in MEDLINE; 36.5% in PubMed Central; 51.5% in SCOPUS and 50.6% in EMBASE. Of the journals in DOAJ, 88.7% published in English and 20.6% had received impact factor for 2012 compared with 93.5% and 26.0%, respectively, for journals in the conventional biomedical databases. A subset of 51.1% and 48.5% of the journals in DOAJ had articles indexed from 2012 and 2013, respectively. Of journals exclusively listed in DOAJ, one journal had received an impact factor for 2012, and 59.6% of the journals had no content from 2013 indexed in DOAJ.
Conclusions. DOAJ is the most complete registry of biomedical OA journals compared with five conventional biomedical databases. However, DOAJ only indexes articles for half of the biomedical journals listed, making it an incomplete source for biomedical research papers in general.
PMCID: PMC4451041  PMID: 26038727
DOAJ; Directory of Open Access JournalsDatabases; Literature; Open access; Biomedicine
3.  Knowledge Economy Core Journals: Identification through LISTA Database Analysis 
Acta Informatica Medica  2013;21(1):60-62.
Knowledge economy has become increasingly broad over the years and identification of core journals in this field can be useful for librarians in journal selection process and also for researchers to select their studies and finding Appropriate Journal for publishing their articles. Present research attempts to determine core journals of Knowledge Economy indexed in LISTA (Library and Information Science and Technology).
The research method was bibliometric and research population include the journals indexed in LISTA (From the start until the beginning of 2011) with at least one article a bout “knowledge economy”. For data collection, keywords about “knowledge economy”–were extracted from the literature in this area–have searched in LISTA by using title, keyword and abstract fields and also taking advantage of LISTA thesaurus. By using this search strategy, 1608 articles from 390 journals were retrieved. The retrieved records import in to the excel sheet and after that the journals were grouped and the Bradford’s coefficient was measured for each group. Finally the average of the Bradford’s coefficients were calculated and core journals with subject area of “Knowledge economy” were determined by using Bradford’s formula.
By using Bradford’s scattering law, 15 journals with the highest publication rates were identified as “Knowledge economy” core journals indexed in LISTA. In this list “Library and Information update” with 64 articles was at the top. “ASLIB Proceedings” and “Serials” with 51 and 40 articles are next in rank. Also 41 journals were identified as beyond core that “Library Hi Tech” with 20 articles was at the top.
Increased importance of knowledge economy has led to growth of production of articles in this subject area. So the evaluation of journals for ranking these journals becomes a very challenging task for librarians and generating core journal list can provide a useful tool for journal selection and also quick and easy access to information. Core journal list and beyond core journal list obtained from this study can be used by librarians and researchers in this field.
PMCID: PMC3610578  PMID: 23572865
core journals; Knowledge Economy; Bradford’s scattering law; Databases
4.  Medline-based bibliometric analysis of gastroenterology journals between 2001 and 2007 
AIM: To analyze the MEDLINE-indexed publications in gastroenterology specialty journals from 2001 to 2007. Special attention was paid to specific types of articles, the number of publications for individual authors and the author count in each journal.
METHODS: The bibliographic entries of papers belonging to journals listed under the subject heading of “gastroenterology” were downloaded from MEDLINE on the PubMed web site. The analysis was limited to journal articles published between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2007. The analytical dimensions of an article included journal, publication year, publication type, and author name (the last name and initials).
RESULTS: According to MEDLINE, 81 561 articles were published in 91 gastroenterology journals from 2001 to 2007. The number of articles increased from 9447 in 2001 to 13 340 in 2007. Only 12 journals had more than 2000 articles indexed in MEDLINE. The “World Journal of Gastroenterology” had the largest number of publications (5684 articles), followed by “Hepato-Gastroenterology” (3036) and “Gastrointestinal Endoscopy” (3005). Of all the articles published, reviews accounted for 17.2% and case reports for 15.4%. Only 3739 randomized controlled trials (4.6% of all articles) were published and their annual number increased from 442 in 2001 to 572 in 2007. Among 141 741 author names appearing in the articles of gastroenterology journals, 92 429 had published only in one journal, 22 585 in two journals, 9996 in three journals, and 16 731 in more than three journals. The “World Journal of Gastroenterology” had the greatest number of authors (17 838), followed by “Gastroenterology” (12 770), “Digestive Diseases and Sciences” (11 395), “American Journal of Gastroenterology” (10 889), and “Hepatology” (10 588).
CONCLUSION: Global gastroenterology publications displayed a continuous growth in the new millennium. The change was most striking in certain journals. Regular bibliometric analyses on the trends and specific topics would help researchers publish more efficiently and allow editors to adjust the policy more accurately.
PMCID: PMC2699018  PMID: 19533822
Bibliographic databases; Bibliometrics; Biomedical research; Gastroenterology; MEDLINE
5.  Literature searches on Ayurveda: An update 
Ayu  2015;36(3):238-253.
The journals that publish on Ayurveda are increasingly indexed by popular medical databases in recent years. However, many Eastern journals are not indexed biomedical journal databases such as PubMed. Literature searches for Ayurveda continue to be challenging due to the nonavailability of active, unbiased dedicated databases for Ayurvedic literature. In 2010, authors identified 46 databases that can be used for systematic search of Ayurvedic papers and theses. This update reviewed our previous recommendation and identified current and relevant databases.
To update on Ayurveda literature search and strategy to retrieve maximum publications.
Author used psoriasis as an example to search previously listed databases and identify new. The population, intervention, control, and outcome table included keywords related to psoriasis and Ayurvedic terminologies for skin diseases. Current citation update status, search results, and search options of previous databases were assessed. Eight search strategies were developed. Hundred and five journals, both biomedical and Ayurveda, which publish on Ayurveda, were identified. Variability in databases was explored to identify bias in journal citation.
Five among 46 databases are now relevant – AYUSH research portal, Annotated Bibliography of Indian Medicine, Digital Helpline for Ayurveda Research Articles (DHARA), PubMed, and Directory of Open Access Journals. Search options in these databases are not uniform, and only PubMed allows complex search strategy. “The Researches in Ayurveda” and “Ayurvedic Research Database” (ARD) are important grey resources for hand searching. About 44/105 (41.5%) journals publishing Ayurvedic studies are not indexed in any database. Only 11/105 (10.4%) exclusive Ayurveda journals are indexed in PubMed.
AYUSH research portal and DHARA are two major portals after 2010. It is mandatory to search PubMed and four other databases because all five carry citations from different groups of journals. The hand searching is important to identify Ayurveda publications that are not indexed elsewhere. Availability information of citations in Ayurveda libraries from National Union Catalogue of Scientific Serials in India if regularly updated will improve the efficacy of hand searching. A grey database (ARD) contains unpublished PG/Ph.D. theses. The AYUSH portal, DHARA (funded by Ministry of AYUSH), and ARD should be merged to form single larger database to limit Ayurveda literature searches.
PMCID: PMC4895749  PMID: 27313409
Complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; library science; psoriasis; search engine; systematic review
6.  Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:73.
In the past few years there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the proliferation of open access (OA) publishing would damage the peer review system and put the quality of scientific journal publishing at risk. Our aim was to inform this debate by comparing the scientific impact of OA journals with subscription journals, controlling for journal age, the country of the publisher, discipline and (for OA publishers) their business model.
The 2-year impact factors (the average number of citations to the articles in a journal) were used as a proxy for scientific impact. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was used to identify OA journals as well as their business model. Journal age and discipline were obtained from the Ulrich's periodicals directory. Comparisons were performed on the journal level as well as on the article level where the results were weighted by the number of articles published in a journal. A total of 610 OA journals were compared with 7,609 subscription journals using Web of Science citation data while an overlapping set of 1,327 OA journals were compared with 11,124 subscription journals using Scopus data.
Overall, average citation rates, both unweighted and weighted for the number of articles per journal, were about 30% higher for subscription journals. However, after controlling for discipline (medicine and health versus other), age of the journal (three time periods) and the location of the publisher (four largest publishing countries versus other countries) the differences largely disappeared in most subcategories except for journals that had been launched prior to 1996. OA journals that fund publishing with article processing charges (APCs) are on average cited more than other OA journals. In medicine and health, OA journals founded in the last 10 years are receiving about as many citations as subscription journals launched during the same period.
Our results indicate that OA journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus are approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges.
PMCID: PMC3398850  PMID: 22805105
impact; open access; peer review; scientific publishing
7.  Fate of manuscripts rejected by a non-English-language general medical journal: a retrospective cohort study 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000147.
The objective of this study was to determine whether, where and when manuscripts were published following rejection by the Journal of the Danish Medical Association, a general medical journal published in Danish. Similar previous studies have focused on specialty/subspecialty journals published in English.
Manuscripts rejected during a 4-year period were searched for in PubMed and Embase in order to assess the percentage of manuscripts subsequently published in other journals. In addition, characteristics of both the published manuscripts and the journals in which they were evaluated.
Of 198 rejected manuscripts, 21 (10.6%) were eventually published after a median of 685 days (range 209–1463). The majority of these were original research, published in English-language specialty/subspecialty journals. The median number of citations per article was 2–3 (IQR 0.5–9.5, depending on the database searched).
10.6% of the rejected manuscripts were eventually published in other journals, mainly English-language specialty journals. This proportion was considerably lower than that for other journals that have studied the fate of rejected manuscripts. Manuscript translation could be a barrier for resubmitting to English-language journals with larger readerships, thus hindering the dissemination of knowledge to the international community.
Article summary
Article focus
To determine whether, where and when manuscripts were published following rejection by a general medical journal published in a language other than English
Key messages
10.6% of the rejected manuscripts were eventually published in other journals, a proportion considerably lower than that for other journals that have studied the fate of rejected manuscripts
Manuscript translation could be a barrier for resubmitting to English-language journals with larger readerships. Scientific journals publishing in small languages should consider publishing original research in a major language such as English in order to facilitate the dissemination of scientific results
Strengths and limitations of this study
PubMed and Embase were used to search for rejected manuscript eventually published in other (indexed) journals; previous studies have searched only PubMed for rejected manuscripts. However, even when searching both databases, the number of search results (published manuscripts) would most likely be an underestimate, as some manuscripts could be published in non-indexed journals.
This study deals with a general medical journal published in a small language; previous studies have focused on specialty/subspecialty journals published in English.
PMCID: PMC3191426  PMID: 22021776
Medical journalism; medical ethics
8.  Ranking Predatory Journals: Solve the Problem Instead of Removing It! 
Predatory journals are a well-known issue for scholarly publishing and they are repositories for bogus research. In recent years, the number of predatory journals has risen and it is necessary to present a solution for this challenge. In this paper, we will discuss about a possible ranking of predatory journals. Our ranking approach is based on Beall’s criteria for detection of predatory journals and it can help editors to improve their journals or convert their questionable journals to non-predatory ones. Moreover, our approach could help young editors to protect their journals against predatory practice. Finally, we present a case study to clarify our approach.
PMCID: PMC4845555  PMID: 27123411
Predatory journals; Ranking predatory journalsJournal selection; Academic ethic; Journal quality; Predatory journal criteria
9.  Journal Metrics-Based Position of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal after the Change of Its Text Language to English 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2014;38(3):187-193.
After changing its language from Korean or English to English only in 2010, the journal metrics of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal (DMJ) were analyzed to assess whether this change in the journal policy was successful. The journal metric items that were analyzed were the following: impact factor; total citations; countries of authors; proportion of the articles funded out of the total number of original articles; and Hirsch-index (H-index). A retrospective, descriptive analysis was carried out using various databases, such as KoreaMed, Korean Medical Citation Index (KoMCI), KoreaMed Synapse, Web of Science, and Journal Citation Ranking. The journal's impact factor was 2.054, which corresponds to 83/122 (68.0%) out of the 2012 JCR endocrinology and metabolism category. The number of the journal's total citations was 330 in 2013. In addition to Korean authors, authors from 13 other countries published papers in the journal from 2010 to 2013. The number of funded papers from 2010 to 2013 was 65 out of 148 original articles (43.9%). The journal's H-index from KoreaMed Synapse was 7, and that from Web of Science was 9. It can be concluded that changing the journal's language to English was successful based on journal metrics. DMJ is currently positioned as an international journal based on the international diversity of authors and editors, its sufficiently high proportion of funded articles, its relatively high impact factor, and the number of total citations.
PMCID: PMC4083024  PMID: 25003071
Bibliometrics; Databases, bibliographic; Journal impact factor; Korea; Periodicals; PubMed
10.  Bibliometric Analysis of the Korean Journal of Parasitology: Measured from SCI, PubMed, Scopus, and Synapse Databases 
The Korean Journal of Parasitology  2009;47(Suppl):S155-S167.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology (KJP) is the official journal of the Korean Society for Parasitology which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009. To assess the contributions and achievements of the KJP, bibliometric analysis was conducted based on the citation data retrieved from 4 major databases; SCI, PubMed, Synapse, and Scopus. It was found that the KJP articles were constantly cited by the articles published in major international journals represented in these databases. More than 60% of 1,370 articles published in the KJP from 1963 to June 2009 were cited at least once by SCI articles. The overall average times cited by SCI articles are 2.6. The rate is almost 3 times higher for the articles published in the last 10 years compared to 1.0 for the articles of the 1960s. The SCI journal impact factor for 2008 is calculated as 0.871. It is increasing and it is expected to increase further with the introduction of the KJP in the database in 2008. The more realistic h-indixes were measured from the study data set covering all the citations to the KJP; 17 for SCI, 6 for PubMed, 19 for Synapse, and 17 for Scopus. Synapse extensively picked up the citations to the earlier papers not retrievable from the other 3 databases. It identified many papers published in the 1960s and in the 1980s which have been cited heavily, proving the central role of the KJP in the dissemination of the important research findings over the last 5 decades.
PMCID: PMC2769218  PMID: 19885331
Korean Journal of Parasitology; KJP; bibliometric analysis; citation analysis; journal impact factor; h-index; SCI; PubMed; PubMed Central; Synapse; Scopus; CrossRef; DOI
11.  The revised guidelines of the Medical Council of India for academic promotions: Need for a rethink 
Note: This editorial is being published simultaneously in the Indian Heart Journal, Indian Journal of Anaesthesia, Indian Journal of Gastroenterology, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology, Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Indian Journal of Urology, Indian Pediatrics, International Journal of Health Research & Medicolegal Practice, Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Journal of Clinical and Scientific Research, Journal of Conservative Dentistry, Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine, Journal of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, National Journal of Integrated Research in Medicine, and The National Medical Journal of India. It may also be published in forthcoming issues of other journals. This editorial is not endorsed by all members of the Indian Association of Medical Journal Editors (IAMJE).
PMCID: PMC4776596  PMID: 26985403
12.  Tackling the growth of the obesity literature: obesity evidence spreads across many journals 
This study identified the journals with the highest yield of clinical obesity research articles and surveyed the scatter of such studies across journals. The study exemplifies an approach to establishing a journal collection that is likely to contain most new knowledge about a field.
Design and methods
All original studies that were cited in 40 systematic reviews about obesity topics (“included studies”) were compiled and journal titles of where they were published were extracted. The journals were ranked by the number of included studies. The highest yielding journals for clinical obesity and the scatter across journal titles were determined. A subset of these journals was created in MEDLINE (PubMed) to test search recall and precision for high quality studies of obesity treatment (i.e., articles that pass predetermined methodology criteria, including random allocation of participants to comparison groups, assessment of clinical outcomes, and at least 80% follow-up).
Articles in 252 journals were cited in the systematic reviews. The three highest yielding journals specialized in obesity but they published only 19.2% of the research, leaving 80.8% scattered across 249 non-obesity journals. The MEDLINE journal subset comprised 241 journals (11 journals were not indexed in MEDLINE) and included 82% of the clinical obesity research articles retrieved by a search for high quality treatment studies (“recall” of 82%) and 11% of the articles retrieved were about clinical obesity care (“precision” of 11%), compared with precision of 6% for obesity treatment studies in the full MEDLINE database.
Obesity journals captured only a small proportion of the literature on clinical obesity care. Those wishing to keep up in this field will need to develop more inclusive strategies than reading these specialty journals. A journal subset based on these findings may be useful when searching large electronic databases to increase search precision.
PMCID: PMC2888815  PMID: 20029378
obesity; health informatics; clinical trials
13.  Assessing availability of scientific journals, databases, and health library services in Canadian health ministries: a cross-sectional study 
Evidence-informed health policymaking logically depends on timely access to research evidence. To our knowledge, despite the substantial political and societal pressure to enhance the use of the best available research evidence in public health policy and program decision making, there is no study addressing availability of peer-reviewed research in Canadian health ministries.
To assess availability of (1) a purposive sample of high-ranking scientific journals, (2) bibliographic databases, and (3) health library services in the fourteen Canadian health ministries.
From May to October 2011, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among librarians employed by Canadian health ministries to collect information relative to availability of scientific journals, bibliographic databases, and health library services. Availability of scientific journals in each ministry was determined using a sample of 48 journals selected from the 2009 Journal Citation Reports (Sciences and Social Sciences Editions). Selection criteria were: relevance for health policy based on scope note information about subject categories and journal popularity based on impact factors.
We found that the majority of Canadian health ministries did not have subscription access to key journals and relied heavily on interlibrary loans. Overall, based on a sample of high-ranking scientific journals, availability of journals through interlibrary loans, online and print-only subscriptions was estimated at 63%, 28% and 3%, respectively. Health Canada had a 2.3-fold higher number of journal subscriptions than that of the provincial ministries’ average. Most of the organisations provided access to numerous discipline-specific and multidisciplinary databases. Many organisations provided access to the library resources described through library partnerships or consortia. No professionally led health library environment was found in four out of fourteen Canadian health ministries (i.e. Manitoba Health, Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services, Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services and Yukon Department of Health and Social Services).
There is inequity in availability of peer-reviewed research in the fourteen Canadian health ministries. This inequity could present a problem, as each province and territory is responsible for formulating and implementing evidence-informed health policies and services for the benefit of its population.
PMCID: PMC3616812  PMID: 23514333
Health care; Information science; Library science; Knowledge transfer; Research evidence
14.  Bibliometrics of NIHR HTA monographs and their related journal articles 
BMJ Open  2015;5(2):e006595.
A bibliometric analysis of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) monographs and their related journal articles by: (1) exploring the differences in citations to the HTA monographs in Google Scholar (GS), Scopus and Web of Science (WoS), and (2) comparing Scopus citations to the monographs with their related journal articles.
A study of 111 HTA monographs published in 2010 and 2011, and their external journal articles.
Main outcome measures
Citations to the monographs in GS, Scopus and WoS, and to their external journal articles in Scopus.
The number of citations varied among the three databases, with GS having the highest and WoS the lowest; however, the citation-based rankings among the databases were highly correlated. Overall, 56% of monographs had a related publication, with the highest proportion for primary research (76%) and lowest for evidence syntheses (43%). There was a large variation in how the monographs were cited, compared to journal articles, resulting in more frequent problems, with unlinked citations in Scopus and WoS. When comparing differences in the number of citations between monograph publications with their related journal articles from the same project, we found that monographs received more citations than their journal articles for evidence syntheses and methodology projects; by contrast, journal articles related to primary research monographs were more highly cited than their monograph.
The numbers of citations to the HTA monographs differed considerably between the databases, but were highly correlated. When a HTA monograph had a journal article from the same study, there were more citations to the journal article for primary research, but more to the monographs for evidence syntheses. Citations to the related journal articles were more reliably recorded than citations to the HTA monographs.
PMCID: PMC4336455  PMID: 25694457
bibliometrics; health technology assessment; bibliographic databases; citations
15.  CONSORT in China: past development and future direction 
Trials  2015;16:243.
The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement was published in 1996, and first introduced to China in 2001. Although CONSORT has been widely accepted in high-quality international journals, we still need to have more investigation on how many Chinese journals have adopted the CONSORT Statement, and whether the quality of reporting has improved. A systematic search of the “Instructions to authors” in all Chinese medical journals in China Academic Journals (CAJ) Full-text Database was conducted up to February 2012 and only 7 journals officially listed the requirements of the CONSORT Statement. The research articles about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 from journals which had specifically adopted the CONSORT Statement, and from 30 top journals based on the Chinese Science Citation Index (CSCI) 2011 as the control group, were identified. The quality of both cohorts of articles was assessed using the revised CONSORT Checklist and Jadad scale. A total of 1221 Chinese medical journals was identified. Only seven journals stated clearly in the “Instructions to authors” that authors should adopt the CONSORT requirement in the clinical trial paper. None of these journals is among the control group in the CSCI 2011. In the selected years, a total of 171 articles from 7 journals which had adopted CONSORT and 232 articles in the control were identified as including RCT trials. The average scores according to the revised CONSORT Checklist were 29.47 for the CONSORT-adopting journals and 25.57 for the control group; while the average scores based on the Jadad scale were 2.53 for CONSORT-adopting journals and 1.97 for the control group. Few journals among Chinese medical journals have adopted the CONSORT Statement. The overall quality of RCT reports in the 7 journals which have adopted CONSORT was better than those in the top 30 journals which have not adopteded CONSORT. The quality of RCT reports in Chinese journals needs further improvement, and the CONSORT Statement could be a very helpful guideline.
PMCID: PMC4467063  PMID: 26026311
Randomized controlled trials; Quality assessment; CONSORT Statement; Reporting guideline
16.  Targeted journal curation as a method to improve data currency at the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database 
The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) is a public resource that promotes understanding about the effects of environmental chemicals on human health. CTD biocurators read the scientific literature and manually curate a triad of chemical–gene, chemical–disease and gene–disease interactions. Typically, articles for CTD are selected using a chemical-centric approach by querying PubMed to retrieve a corpus containing the chemical of interest. Although this technique ensures adequate coverage of knowledge about the chemical (i.e. data completeness), it does not necessarily reflect the most current state of all toxicological research in the community at large (i.e. data currency). Keeping databases current with the most recent scientific results, as well as providing a rich historical background from legacy articles, is a challenging process. To address this issue of data currency, CTD designed and tested a journal-centric approach of curation to complement our chemical-centric method. We first identified priority journals based on defined criteria. Next, over 7 weeks, three biocurators reviewed 2425 articles from three consecutive years (2009–2011) of three targeted journals. From this corpus, 1252 articles contained relevant data for CTD and 52 752 interactions were manually curated. Here, we describe our journal selection process, two methods of document delivery for the biocurators and the analysis of the resulting curation metrics, including data currency, and both intra-journal and inter-journal comparisons of research topics. Based on our results, we expect that curation by select journals can (i) be easily incorporated into the curation pipeline to complement our chemical-centric approach; (ii) build content more evenly for chemicals, genes and diseases in CTD (rather than biasing data by chemicals-of-interest); (iii) reflect developing areas in environmental health and (iv) improve overall data currency for chemicals, genes and diseases.
Database URL:
PMCID: PMC3515863  PMID: 23221299
17.  Sample size determination for bibliographic retrieval studies 
Research for developing search strategies to retrieve high-quality clinical journal articles from MEDLINE is expensive and time-consuming. The objective of this study was to determine the minimal number of high-quality articles in a journal subset that would need to be hand-searched to update or create new MEDLINE search strategies for treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis studies.
The desired width of the 95% confidence intervals (W) for the lowest sensitivity among existing search strategies was used to calculate the number of high-quality articles needed to reliably update search strategies. New search strategies were derived in journal subsets formed by 2 approaches: random sampling of journals and top journals (having the most high-quality articles). The new strategies were tested in both the original large journal database and in a low-yielding journal (having few high-quality articles) subset.
For treatment studies, if W was 10% or less for the lowest sensitivity among our existing search strategies, a subset of 15 randomly selected journals or 2 top journals were adequate for updating search strategies, based on each approach having at least 99 high-quality articles. The new strategies derived in 15 randomly selected journals or 2 top journals performed well in the original large journal database. Nevertheless, the new search strategies developed using the random sampling approach performed better than those developed using the top journal approach in a low-yielding journal subset. For studies of diagnosis and prognosis, no journal subset had enough high-quality articles to achieve the expected W (10%).
The approach of randomly sampling a small subset of journals that includes sufficient high-quality articles is an efficient way to update or create search strategies for high-quality articles on therapy in MEDLINE. The concentrations of diagnosis and prognosis articles are too low for this approach.
PMCID: PMC2569926  PMID: 18823538
Acta Informatica Medica  2012;20(2):72-84.
Most of medical journals now has it’s electronic version, available over public networks. Although there are parallel printed and electronic versions, and one other form need not to be simultaneously published. Electronic version of a journal can be published a few weeks before the printed form and must not has identical content. Electronic form of a journals may have an extension that does not contain a printed form, such as animation, 3D display, etc., or may have available fulltext, mostly in PDF or XML format, or just the contents or a summary. Access to a full text is usually not free and can be achieved only if the institution (library or host) enters into an agreement on access. Many medical journals, however, provide free access for some articles, or after a certain time (after 6 months or a year) to complete content. The search for such journals provide the network archive as High Wire Press, Free Medical It is necessary to allocate PubMed and PubMed Central, the first public digital archives unlimited collect journals of available medical literature, which operates in the system of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda (USA). There are so called on- line medical journals published only in electronic form. It could be searched over on-line databases. In this paper authors shortly described about 30 data bases and short instructions how to make access and search the published papers in indexed medical journals.
PMCID: PMC3544328  PMID: 23322957
medical journals; on-line databases.
Acta Informatica Medica  2012;20(2):113-117.
The aim of the paper is to overview the leading information processing domain in Russia and Eastern Europe, namely All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI ) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Russian science structure is different from that in the Western Europe and the US. The main aim of VINITI is to collect, process and disseminate scientific information on various fields of science and technology, published in 70 countries in 40 languages, selected from books, journals, conference proceedings, and patents. A special attention is given to the journal selection and depositing manuscripts (a kind of grey literature), an important source for Russian research. VINITI has created the largest database containing about 30 million records dating back to 1980. About 80,000-100,000 new records are added monthly. VINITI publishes the Journal Abstract (JA) on 19 fields of science, including medicine, containing about a million publications annually. Two thirds of these records are foreign and 36.7% – Russian sources.
PMCID: PMC3544321  PMID: 23322964
Russian database; VINITI; journal selection; science structure; journal abstract; information service; biomedicine.
20.  The influence of Iranian scientific journals in disseminating medical information 
Scientific journals are the most credible and updated information resources for valid information in the various fields of science and technology. The present study investigates the status of Iranian scientific journals in disseminating medical information to the world of science.
Materials and Methods:
Total 163 Iranian medical journals accredited by national medical journals commission of Iranian ministry of health and medical education were evaluated through a cross-sectional study. The results were represented in descriptive statistics in the form of table and chart.
The study showed that 89.6% of Iranian medical journals were covered by regional information databases. Web of Science database indexed 22 (13.5%) Iranian journals in the field of medical science. Only six (6.7%) journals were indexed by Medline. Fifty-eight (35.6%) journals were in English, 102 (62.6%) in Persian, and three (1.8%) were bilingual which published their articles both in Persian and English languages. The highest Impact factor belonged to Iranian Journal of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
Improving scientific credibility of Iranian scholarly journals and their influence in disseminating medical information calls for a precise scientific and executive administration in publishing standards and also in the quality of content.
PMCID: PMC3525037  PMID: 23264793
Bibliographic databases; biomedical research; information dissemination; knowledge management; periodicals
21.  A study on literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ 
One of the methods of identifying core and popular resources is by citation evaluation. Using citation evaluation, the librarians of the Acquisition Department can use quantitative methods to indentify core and popular resources among numerous information resources and make serious savings in the library's budget, by acquiring these core resources and eliminating useless ones. The aim of this study is assessing literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
Materials and Methods:
This study is a descriptive and cross-sectional survey that uses citation analysis. Sampling is objective sampling from all documents from years 1364 (1985) to 1385 (2006), and the population comprises of 6342 citations of the articles published in ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’. Data collection is done through referring to the original documents and the data is analyzed using the Excel software, and for descriptive and analytical statistics the cost-benefit formula and Bradford law formula are used.
Findings showed that the average citation for each document in the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ was 15.81. The average citation to international sources was 14.37, and the average citation to national sources was 1.44. The literature obsolescence of Farsi documents in this study was 15 years, while it was equal to 20 years for English documents. The highly cited Farsi journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’, ‘Daroudarman’, ‘Nabz,’ and ‘Journal of Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences’. The highly cited English journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Pediatrics’, ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, ‘Gastroenterology’ and ‘Medicine’. All of these four journals are part of the ISI database and have good impact factors in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Also their cost-benefit was reasonable based on the frequency of their use.
The authors of the investigated journal were more inclined to use international references. The resources used by the authors of this journal are relatively obsolete and the authors ought to use more up-to-date resources. The subscription for high citation English and Farsi journals is still available in this university. Also the authors of this journal have used accredited ISI journals as their resource, which is a sign of the credibility for the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
PMCID: PMC4165098  PMID: 25250359
Bradford Law; citation analysis; core journals; cost-benefit; literature obsolescence; Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz
22.  Publication of Original Research in Urologic Journals – A Neglected Orphan? 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52420.
The pathophysiologic mechanisms behind urologic disease are increasingly being elucidated. The object of this investigation was to evaluate the publication policies of urologic journals during a period of progressively better understanding and management of urologic disease. Based on the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports and the PubMed database, the number and percentage of original experimental, original clinical, review or commentarial articles published between 2002–2010 in six leading urologic journals were analyzed. “British Journal of Urology International”, “European Urology”, “Urologic Oncology-Seminars and Original Investigations” (“Urologic Oncology”), “Urology”, “The Journal of Urology”, and “World Journal of Urology” were chosen, because these journals publish articles in all four categories. The publication policies of the six journals were very heterogeneous during the time period from 2002 to 2010. The percentage of original experimental and original clinical articles, related to all categories, remained the same in “British Journal of Urology International”, “Urologic Oncology”, “Urology” and “The Journal of Urology”. The percentage of experimental reports in “World Journal of Urology” between 2002–2010 significantly increased from 10 to 20%. A distinct elevation in the percentage of commentarial articles accompanied by a reduction of clinical articles became evident in “European Urology” which significantly correlated with a large increase in the journal’s impact factor. No clearly superior policy could be identified with regard to a general increase in the impact factors from all the journals. The publication policy of urologic journals does not expressly reflect the increase in scientific knowledge, which has occurred over the period 2002–2010. One way of increasing the exposure of urologists to research and expand the interface between experimental and clinical research, would be to enlarge the percentage of experimental articles published. There is no indication that such policy would be detrimental to a journal’s impact factor.
PMCID: PMC3526592  PMID: 23285032
24.  Where to publish 
“If you want to make an impact among your colleagues, look especially at the journals that they’re reading and publishing in”
Dr H Goldman, Chief Editor of Polar Research
Writing medical articles is highly competitive. Many hours are expended conducting research, and even more hours writing and rewriting the manuscript. Furthermore, countless hours are spent chasing references and performing complex statistics. However, when it comes to understanding the target audience, are authors guilty of not investing as much effort to get maximum impact from the fruits of their labour?
The issue of where to send your manuscript has never been more critical. Most clinicians receive daily invitations via email to submit work to journals that sound legitimate and valid. But are they? Although many journals are reputable, many others are not. This stems partly from the sharp decline in paper journals and the parallel exponential rise in digital journals. With intense pressure to publish, it is hard not to be seduced by online journal marketing ploys. For instance, one researcher used to make up an article and submitted it to 37 open access journals over a period of 2 weeks.1 At least 17 accepted his work and agreed to publish his article once a $500 ‘processing fee’ had been paid.
Investing time and effort in ‘where to publish’ is time well spent. It is an exercise in understanding the target audience that will benefit most from the publication. Doing this at an early stage in the publishing process saves valuable time and resources. More importantly, this increases the chances of acceptance.
So what are the tips for checking journal legitimacy and avoiding the trap of predatory journals? >Check the journal website and look through a recent issue.>Is the journal indexed? Check journal databases like PubMed Central® or the Web of Science®. Is there a link on the journal web pages to the spoof>Check the name of the editor-in-chief and associated board members.>Check the registered address on Google Maps®.>Have your colleagues and friends read, reviewed or published in the journal?>Is the journal identified in Jeffrey Beall’s list of potential predatory journals?2
Finally, a word about blogs and social media. As the internet revolutionises the whole business of publishing and makes information easy to access, are blogs and self-publishing a way forward for scholarly publications? Such open narratives encourage comments and dialogue with readers, leading to an open and transparent form of peer review. This process itself leads to change, revision and expansion. Is this the future?
In this article, Anna Sharman, who launched Cofactor in 2014, provides readers with some useful insights into where to publish. Anna did a PhD degree in biology and then entered the world of journal publishing. She worked for publishers such as BMJ, Public Library of Science, BioMed Central and Nature Publishing Group. Her latest venture, Cofactor, is a company that offers editing advice and training for scientific researchers to help them publish their work more effectively.
Commissioning Editor
PMCID: PMC5096572  PMID: 26264081
25.  Mapping the literature of health care chaplaincy 
This study examined citation patterns and indexing coverage from 2008 to 2010 to determine (1) the core literature of health care chaplaincy and (2) the resources providing optimum coverage for the literature.
Citations from three source journals (2008–2010 inclusive) were collected and analyzed according to the protocol created for the Mapping the Literature of Allied Health Professions Project. An analysis of indexing coverage by five databases was conducted. A secondary analysis of self-citations by source journals was also conducted.
The 3 source journals—Chaplaincy Today, the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, and the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling—ranked as the top 3 journals in Zone 1 and provided the highest number of most frequently cited articles for health care chaplaincy. Additional journals that appeared in this highly productive zone covered the disciplines of medicine, psychology, nursing, and religion, which were also represented in the Zones 2 and 3 journals. None of the databases provided complete coverage for the core journals; however, MEDLINE provided the most comprehensive coverage for journals in Zones 1 and 2, followed by Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and ATLA. Self-citations for the source journals ranged from 9% to 16%.
Health care chaplaincy draws from a diverse body of inter-professional literature. Libraries wishing to provide access to journal literature to support health care chaplaincy at their institutions will be best able to do this by subscribing to databases and journals that cover medical, psychological, nursing, and religion- or spirituality-focused disciplines.
PMCID: PMC3738080  PMID: 23930090

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