Psychologists have long been interested in the integrated specificity hypothesis, which maintains that stressors elicit fairly distinct behavioral, emotional, and biological responses, molded by selective pressures to meet specific demands from the environment. This issue of Psychological Bulletin features a meta-analytic review of the evidence for this proposition by Denson, Spanovic, and Miller (2009). It concludes that the meta-analytic findings support the “core concept behind the integrated specificity model (p. XX)” and reveal that “within the context of a stressful event, organisms produce an integrated and coordinated response at multiple levels (i.e., cognitive, emotional, physiological; p. XX).” In this commentary I argue that conclusions like this are unwarranted given the data. Aside from some effects for cortisol, in fact, there was little evidence of specificity, and most of the significant findings reported would be expected by chance alone. I also contend that Denson et al. fail to consider some important sources of evidence bearing on the specificity hypothesis, particularly how appraisals and emotions couple with autonomic nervous system endpoints and functional indices of immune response. If selective pressures did give rise to an integrated stress response, such pathways almost certainly would have been involved. By omitting such outcomes from the meta-analysis, the authors have overlooked what are probably the most definitive tests of the specificity hypothesis. As a result, the field is back where it started: with a lot of affection for the concept of integrated specificity, but little in the way of definitive evidence to refute or accept it.
The habitual "any other comments" general open question at the end of structured questionnaires has the potential to increase response rates, elaborate responses to closed questions, and allow respondents to identify new issues not captured in the closed questions. However, we believe that many researchers have collected such data and failed to analyse or present it.
General open questions at the end of structured questionnaires can present a problem because of their uncomfortable status of being strictly neither qualitative nor quantitative data, the consequent lack of clarity around how to analyse and report them, and the time and expertise needed to do so. We suggest that the value of these questions can be optimised if researchers start with a clear understanding of the type of data they wish to generate from such a question, and employ an appropriate strategy when designing the study. The intention can be to generate depth data or 'stories' from purposively defined groups of respondents for qualitative analysis, or to produce quantifiable data, representative of the population sampled, as a 'safety net' to identify issues which might complement the closed questions.
We encourage researchers to consider developing a more strategic use of general open questions at the end of structured questionnaires. This may optimise the quality of the data and the analysis, reduce dilemmas regarding whether and how to analyse such data, and result in a more ethical approach to making best use of the data which respondents kindly provide.
In February 2013, Biochemia Medica has joined CrossRef, which enabled us to implement CrossCheck plagiarism detection service. Therefore, all manuscript submitted to Biochemia Medica are now first assigned to Research integrity editor (RIE), before sending the manuscript for peer-review. RIE submits the text to CrossCheck analysis and is responsible for reviewing the results of the text similarity analysis. Based on the CrossCheck analysis results, RIE subsequently provides a recommendation to the Editor-in-chief (EIC) on whether the manuscript should be forwarded to peer-review, corrected for suspected parts prior to peer-review or immediately rejected. Final decision on the manuscript is, however, with the EIC. We hope that our new policy and manuscript processing algorithm will help us to further increase the overall quality of our Journal.
plagiarism; editorial policy; scientific misconduct
The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB) and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) have both established home pages on the World Wide Web. Their addresses are: http://www.envmed.rochester.edu/wwwrap/beh avior/jeab/jeabhome.htm http://www.envmed.rochester.edu/wwwrap/beh avior/jaba/jabahome.htm An important feature of these pages is a powerful program that permits rapid full-text searches of a database consisting of the nearly 5,000 abstracts that have accompanied articles published in JEAB since 1958 and in JABA since 1968. An electronic version of a single article from each issue of each journal is now made available soon after the paper edition of the journal appears.
Guest Editors of Thyroid Research supplement devoted to medullary thyroid cancer present the history on how the discussion about “Medullary Thyroid Cancer: management guidelines of the American Thyroid Association” was initiated and subsequently widely commented before and during European Thyroid Association – Cancer Research Network Meeting in Lisbon. It is explained why it has been decided to publish the manuscripts within the supplement – to document voices from the discussion and popularize them.
From the issue 23(1) we have implemented several major changes in the editorial policies and procedures. We hope that those changes will raise awareness of our potential authors and reviewers for research and publication integrity issues as well as to improve the quality of our submissions and published articles. Among those changes is the launch of a special journal section called Research Integrity Corner. In this section we aim to publish educational articles dealing with different research and publication misconduct issues. Moreover, we have done a comprehensive revision of our Instructions to authors. Whereas our former Instructions to authors have mostly been concerned with recommendations for manuscript preparation and submission, the revised document additionally describes the editorial procedure for all submitted articles and provides exact journal policies towards research integrity, authorship, copyright and conflict of interest. By putting these Guidelines into action, we hope that our main ethical policies and requirements are now visible and available to all our potential authors. We have also revised the former Authorship and copyright form which is now called the Author statement form. This form now contains statements on the authorship, originality of work, research ethics, patient privacy and confidentiality, and copyright transfer. Finally, Journal has adopted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. From this issue, for each submitted article, authors are requested to fill out the “ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest” as well as the Author statement form and upload those forms during the online manuscript submission process. We honestly believe that our authors and readers will appreciate such endeavors. In this Editorial article we briefly explain the background and the nature of those recent major editorial changes.
scientific misconduct; plagiarism; editorial policies
The editors of the journals listed have agreed to receive manuscripts prepared and submitted in accordance with the requirements described on the following pages. Authors must also consult the instructions printed in the journal to which they plan to submit their manuscripts for information as to what clinical or scientific material is suitable for that particular journal and the types of papers that may be submitted (e.g., original articles, review articles, case reports, and brief reports). In addition, the journal’s own instructions may contain important information concerning acceptable languages, length of articles, approved abbreviations besides those listed in this booklet, number of manuscripts to be submitted, and requirements for transfer of copyright.
Montrose Madison Wolf, who discovered the reinforcing power of adult attention for children and based on that discovery invented and named the nonviolent parenting procedure time-out; who discovered that absent speech and social development could be artificially created with operant conditioning techniques; who first engineered a token economy into a useful motivational system; who invented the good behavior game; who orchestrated the massive research program that developed and refined the Teaching-Family Model as a residential treatment solution for delinquent development; who reinvented field observation, repeated measurement, and single-subject research methods; who introduced and named the concept of social validity; and who led the founding of the discipline of problem-solving real-world research called applied behavior analysis, died of Huntington's disease on March 19, 2004, at his home in Lawrence, Kansas.
The Journal of Nematology is a publication of the very highest quality for communicating the most recent discoveries in the science of nematology. The authors of this Viewpoint article desire to maintain the status of the journal while lessening the burden placed on the editorial staff. A few simple steps taken by authors during the manuscript preparation phase can greatly improve the quality of their papers. Authors should carefully review the "Author's Publication Handbook and Style Manual" before and during the preparation of a manuscript intended for publication in the Journal of Nematology. In addition, authors should submit a completed "Author's Checklist for Preparation of Papers" with each manuscript submitted to the journal. Reviewers should provide thorough reviews, return mantlscripts in a timely manner, and clearly define statements regarding revisions.
editor; manuscript; publication; reviewer; style manual
Biochemia Medica has just established the Research integrity editor who will act as the Editorial team member responsible for all matters related to the various aspects of scientific misconduct. The major reason for this is the increasing number of various types of scientific misconduct in manuscripts submitted to our Journal. Research integrity editor will: a) strive to continuously raise awareness for research and publication integrity issues; b) educate our authors, reviewers and readers, by providing educational articles on various topics related to responsible research and writing; c) aim to prevent unethical research and publication practices; and d) responsibly deal with research and publication misconduct attempts in accordance with internationally accepted policies and recommendations. This initiative provides firm evidence of our commitment and respect for publishing ethical and responsible research. By this we hope to further increase the scientific quality of the journal content as well as the quality of the editorial work.
scientific misconduct; plagiarism; editorial policies
In 1990 Congress formed the U.S. Global Change Research Program and required it to conduct a periodic national assessment of the potential impacts of climate variability and change on all regions and select economic/resource sectors of the United States. Between 1998 and 2000, a team of experts collaborated on a health impacts assessment that formed the basis for the first National Assessment's analysis of the potential impacts of climate on human health. The health impacts assessment was integrated across a number of health disciplines and involved a search for and qualitative expert judgment review of data on the potential links between climate events and population health. Accomplishments included identification of vulnerable populations, adaptation strategies, research needs, and data gaps. Experts, stakeholders, and the public were involved. The assessment is reported in five articles in this issue; a summary was published in the April 2000 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The assessment report will enhance understanding of ways human health might be affected by various climate-associated stresses and of the need for further empirical and predictive research. Improved understanding and communication of the significance and inevitability of uncertainties in such an assessment are critical to further research and policy development.
The review of ‘The problem surgical colleague’ by Mr John Mosley is both timely and relevant. All surgeons are naturally concerned about the mechanisms in place, both locally and through the General Medical Council (GMC) to deal with fitness-to-practise issues. It is inevitable that criticisms, often unfounded, are voiced by the profession. Most surgeons welcome a fair and transparent system to deal with such matters whilst maintaining the principle of self-regulation. We must accept that there are a small number of surgeons whose practice is impaired to such a degree that they represent a serious patient-safety risk and they must be dealt with appropriately.
As a GMC medical case examiner since 2003, and having dealt with over 600 fitness-to-practise cases, I wish to comment on some of the important issues raised by Mr Mosley, specifically in relation to the surgeon and his or her practice. In doing so, I will set out the investigative process to be followed when fitness-to-practise concerns are brought to the attention of the GMC.
Sleep must serve an essential, universal function, one that offsets the risk of being disconnected from the environment. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY) is an attempt to identify this essential function. Its core claim is that sleep is needed to reestablish synaptic homeostasis, which is challenged by the remarkable plasticity of the brain. In other words, sleep is “the price we pay for plasticity.” In this issue, M. G. Frank reviewed several aspects of the hypothesis and raised several issues. The comments below provide a brief summary of the motivations underlying SHY and clarify that SHY is a hypothesis not about specific mechanisms, but about a universal, essential function of sleep. This function is the preservation of synaptic homeostasis in the face of a systematic bias toward a net increase in synaptic strength—a challenge that is posed by learning during adult wake, and by massive synaptogenesis during development.
In a recent issue of Cognitive Neurodynamics Farwell (Cogn Neurodyn 6:115–154, 2012) published a comprehensive tutorial review of the use of Event Related Brain Potentials (ERP) in the detection of concealed information. Farwell’s review covered much of his own work employing his “brain fingerprinting” technology. All his work showed a 100 % accuracy rate in detecting concealed information. We argue in this comment that Farwell (Cogn Neurodyn 6:115–154, 2012) is misleading and misrepresents the scientific status of brain fingerprinting technology.
Concealed information test (CIT); Guilty knowledge test (GKT); Brain fingerprinting; P300
In reaction to a previous critique (Opthof and Leydesdorff, J Informetr 4(3):423–430, 2010), the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in Leiden proposed to change their old “crown” indicator in citation analysis into a new one. Waltman (Scientometrics 87:467–481, 2011a) argue that this change does not affect rankings at various aggregated levels. However, CWTS data is not publicly available for testing and criticism. Therefore, we comment by using previously published data of Van Raan (Scientometrics 67(3):491–502, 2006) to address the pivotal issue of how the results of citation analysis correlate with the results of peer review. A quality parameter based on peer review was neither significantly correlated with the two parameters developed by the CWTS in the past citations per paper/mean journal citation score (CPP/JCSm) or CPP/FCSm (citations per paper/mean field citation score) nor with the more recently proposed h-index (Hirsch, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102(46):16569–16572, 2005). Given the high correlations between the old and new “crown” indicators, one can expect that the lack of correlation with the peer-review based quality indicator applies equally to the newly developed ones.
Citation; Indicator; h-index; Quality; Excellence; Selection
The papers of this special issue have the dual focus of reviewing research, especially clinical trials, testing self-determination theory (SDT) and of discussing the relations between SDT and motivational interviewing (MI). Notably, trials are reviewed that examined interventions either for behaviors such as physical activity and smoking cessation, or for outcomes such as weight loss. Although interventions were based on and intended to test the SDT health-behavior-change model, authors also pointed out that they drew techniques from MI in developing the interventions. The current paper refers to these studies and also clarifies the meaning of autonomy, which is central to SDT and has been shown to be important for effective change. We clarify that the dimension of autonomy versus control is conceptually orthogonal to the dimension of independence versus dependence, and we emphasize that autonomy or volition, not independence, is the important antecedent of effective change. Finally, we point out that SDT and MI have had much in common for each has emphasized autonomy. However, a recent MI article seems to have changed MI's emphasis from autonomy to change talk as the key ingredient for change. We suggest that change talk is likely to be an element of effective change only to the degree that the change talk is autonomously enacted and that practitioners facilitate change talk in an autonomy supportive way.
Summary comments on the psychosocial aspects of the International Conference on Radiation and Health highlighted the issues that were salient in the conference. There was a broad consensus that long-term psychosocial effects may turn out to be the most significant source of morbidity. In addressing health concerns there is a need to consider psychological responses, as they may be the source of the high rate of morbidity and use of health services. The public's response to radiation is one of anxiety, fear, and concerns about lack of control over modern technology. Aside from stress there may be alternative mechanisms that explain the high rates of morbidity, such as direct biological effects of radiation on the cardiovascular system. The issue of social stigma is not addressed in most studies of affected populations but may be a potent social force. There is a need for concerned scientists to reach a better consensus about the health effects of radiation and to communicate effectively with the lay public. We need more cross-cultural research on psychosocial aspects and how to more effectively help affected populations. There are auspicious beginnings in this direction.
Within the last 2 years the bulk of information on evidence based treatments in ADHD was reviewed quite intensively and new empirical studies could be added. This update reports comprehensively about actual and essential facts in the field related to brain development and sensitive periods, predictors of treatment, safety of medication, value of naturalistic studies, new drugs and complementary medicine, behavioral interventions including neurofeedback and psychosocial treatment, treatment of comorbidity, and ethical considerations including preventive aspects. The updated combination of well selected evidence based treatments (ie, pharma plus non-pharma) seems to be clinically and ethically recommended as also suggested by the European and American guidelines on ADHD.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; ADHD; Children; Adolescents; Treatment; Drugs; Behaviour therapy; Ethics; Ethical considerations
Epidemiologic and experimental research on the potential carcinogenic effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) has now been conducted for over two decades. Cancer epidemiology studies in relation to EMF have focused primarily on brain cancer and leukemia, both from residential sources of exposure in children and adults and from occupational exposure in adult men. Because genotoxic effects of EMF have not been shown, most recent laboratory research has attempted to show biological effects that could be related to cancer promotion. In this report, we briefly review residential and occupational EMF studies on brain cancer. We also provide a general review of experimental studies as they relate both to the biological plausibility of an EMF-brain cancer relation and to the insufficiency of such research to help guide exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies. We conclude from our review that no recent research, either epidemiologic or experimental, has emerged to provide reasonable support for a causal role of EMF on brain cancer.
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) and more recently the European Thyroid Association (ETA) Guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) have provided an excellent tool which was formerly lacking in the field of management of MTC. However, some relevant clinical questions, as the use of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of MTC and the management of pregnant patients with MTC, which were recommended in the guidelines, have been lately extensively revised. Moreover the current issue whether GLP-1 (a glucagon-like peptide-1) analogue is associated with MTC has only superficially been analyzed.
Publications have been retrieved in MEDLINE at Pubmed (there is no fix date retrospectively) up to October 2012 using the terms “medullary thyroid carcinoma”, “somatostatin”, “pregnancy” and “incretins”. The recommendations made by ATA and ETA were considered.
There are no data supporting the application of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of MTC, while thyroid cancer during or after pregnancy has no impact on the prognosis of disease or on the outcome of pregnancy. However, women with MEN 2 should be carefully controlled before any planned or during any unplanned pregnancy. In contrast to animal studies, there are no consistent human data supporting a stimulatory effect of GLP-1 receptor activation by liraglutide, an incretin mimetic, on calcitonin levels, though establishment of a registry and further studies are required to exclude any association between GLP-1 analogue and MTC.