PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1426785)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  GENDER TRENDS IN RADIATION ONCOLOGY IN THE UNITED STATES: A 30 YEAR ANALYSIS 
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics  2013;88(1):10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.09.025.
Purpose/Objective
Although considerable research exists regarding the role of women in the medical profession in the United States, little work has described the participation of women in academic radiation oncology. We examined women’s participation in authorship of radiation oncology literature, a visible and influential activity that merits specific attention.
Methods and Materials
We examined the gender of first and senior U.S. physician-authors of articles published in the Red Journal in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2012. The significance of trends over time was evaluated using logistic regression. Results were compared to female representation in journals of general medicine and other major medical specialties. Findings were also placed in the context of trends in the representation of women among radiation oncology faculty and residents over the last three decades, using AAMC data.
Results
The proportion of women among Red Journal first authors increased from 13.4% in 1980 to 29.7% in 2012, and the proportion among senior authors increased from 3.2% to 22.6%. The proportion of women among radiation oncology full-time faculty increased from 11% to 26.7% from 1980 to 2012. The proportion of women among radiation oncology residents increased from 27.1% to 33.3% from 1980 to 2010.
Conclusion
Female first and senior authorship in the Red Journal has increased significantly, as has women’s participation among full-time faculty, but women remain under-represented among radiation oncology residents as compared to their representation in the medical student body. Understanding such trends is necessary to develop appropriately targeted interventions to improve gender equity in radiation oncology.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.09.025
PMCID: PMC3880121  PMID: 24189127
gender; radiation oncology; publications; career development; medical profession; medical education
2.  Incorporating Genomics into the Toolkit of Nematology 
Journal of Nematology  2012;44(2):191-205.
The study of nematode genomes over the last three decades has relied heavily on the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, which remains the best-assembled and annotated metazoan genome. This is now changing as a rapidly expanding number of nematodes of medical and economic importance have been sequenced in recent years. The advent of sequencing technologies to achieve the equivalent of the $1000 human genome promises that every nematode genome of interest will eventually be sequenced at a reasonable cost. As the sequencing of species spanning the nematode phylum becomes a routine part of characterizing nematodes, the comparative approach and the increasing use of ecological context will help us to further understand the evolution and functional specializations of any given species by comparing its genome to that of other closely and more distantly related nematodes. We review the current state of nematode genomics and discuss some of the highlights that these genomes have revealed and the trend and benefits of ecological genomics, emphasizing the potential for new genomes and the exciting opportunities this provides for nematological studies.
PMCID: PMC3578471  PMID: 23482088
ecological genomics; evolution; genomics; nematodes; phylogenetics; proteomics; sequencing
3.  A Position Paper on the Electronic Publication of Nematode Taxonomic Manuscripts 
Journal of Nematology  2006;38(3):305-311.
Several nematode species have now attained ‘model organism’ status, yet there remain many niches in basic biological inquiry for which nematodes would be ideal model systems of study. However, furthering the model system approach is hindered by lack of information on nematode biodiversity. The shortage of taxonomic resources to inventory and characterize biodiversity hinders research programs in invasion biology, ecosystem functioning, conservation biology, and many others. The disproportion between numbers of species to be described and numbers of available taxonomic specialists is greater for Nematoda than for any other metazoan phylum. A partial solution to the taxonomic impediment is the adoption of recent advances in electronic publishing. Electronic publishing has the potential to increase the rate at which taxonomic papers are published, the breadth of their distribution, and the type, quantity, quality, and accessibility of data. We propose that the Journal of Nematology implement the advantageous aspects of electronic publication as a means to help ameliorate the limitations of an underdeveloped taxonomy and empower the nematological disciplines currently hindered by it.
PMCID: PMC2586701  PMID: 19259533
data integration; digital multifocal images; electronic publication; nematode taxonomy; online descriptions; position paper
4.  Ghost Authorship in Industry-Initiated Randomised Trials 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e19.
Background
Ghost authorship, the failure to name, as an author, an individual who has made substantial contributions to an article, may result in lack of accountability. The prevalence and nature of ghost authorship in industry-initiated randomised trials is not known.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cohort study comparing protocols and corresponding publications for industry-initiated trials approved by the Scientific-Ethical Committees for Copenhagen and Frederiksberg in 1994–1995. We defined ghost authorship as present if individuals who wrote the trial protocol, performed the statistical analyses, or wrote the manuscript, were not listed as authors of the publication, or as members of a study group or writing committee, or in an acknowledgment. We identified 44 industry-initiated trials. We did not find any trial protocol or publication that stated explicitly that the clinical study report or the manuscript was to be written or was written by the clinical investigators, and none of the protocols stated that clinical investigators were to be involved with data analysis. We found evidence of ghost authorship for 33 trials (75%; 95% confidence interval 60%–87%). The prevalence of ghost authorship was increased to 91% (40 of 44 articles; 95% confidence interval 78%–98%) when we included cases where a person qualifying for authorship was acknowledged rather than appearing as an author. In 31 trials, the ghost authors we identified were statisticians. It is likely that we have overlooked some ghost authors, as we had very limited information to identify the possible omission of other individuals who would have qualified as authors.
Conclusions
Ghost authorship in industry-initiated trials is very common. Its prevalence could be considerably reduced, and transparency improved, if existing guidelines were followed, and if protocols were publicly available.
Of 44 industry-initiated trials, there was evidence of ghost authorship in 33, increasing to 40 when a person qualifying for authorship was acknowledged rather than appearing as an author.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Original scientific findings are usually published in the form of a “paper”, whether it is actually distributed on paper, or circulated via the internet, as this one is. Papers are normally prepared by a group of researchers who did the research and are then listed at the top of the article. These authors therefore take responsibility for the integrity of the results and interpretation of them. However, many people are worried that sometimes the author list on the paper does not tell the true story of who was involved. In particular, for clinical research, case histories and previous research has suggested that “ghost authorship” is commonplace. Ghost authors are people who were involved in some way in the research study, or writing the paper, but who have been left off the final author list. This might happen because the study “looks” more credible if the true authors (for example, company employees or freelance medical writers) are not revealed. This practice might hide competing interests that readers should be aware of, and has therefore been condemned by academics, groups of editors, and some pharmaceutical companies.
Why Was This Study Done?
This group of researchers wanted to get an idea of how often ghost authorship happened in medical research done by companies. Previous studies looking into this used surveys, whereby the researchers would write to one author on each of a group of papers to ask whether anyone else had been involved in the work but who was not listed on the paper. These sorts of studies typically underestimate the rate of ghost authorship, because the main author might not want to admit what had been going on. However, the researchers here managed to get access to trial protocols (documents setting out the plans for future research studies), which gave them a way to investigate ghost authorship.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In order to investigate the frequency and type of ghost authorship, these researchers identified every trial which was approved between 1994 and 1995 by the ethics committees of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg in Denmark. Then they winnowed this group down to include only the trials that were sponsored by industry (pharmaceutical companies and others), and only those trials that were finished and published. The protocols for each trial were obtained from the ethics committees and the researchers then matched up each protocol with its corresponding paper. Then, they compared names which appeared in the protocol against names appearing on the eventual paper, either on the author list or acknowledged elsewhere in the paper as being involved. The researchers ended up studying 44 trials. For 31 of these (75% of them) they found some evidence of ghost authorship, in that people were identified as having written the protocol or who had been involved in doing statistical analyses or writing the manuscript, but did not end up listed in the manuscript. If the definition of authorship was made narrower, and “ghost authorship” included people qualifying for authorship who were mentioned in the acknowledgements but not the author list, the researchers' estimate went up to 91%, that is 40 of the 44 trials. For most of the trials with missing authors, the ghost was a statistician (the person who analyzes the trial data).
What Do These Findings Mean?
In this study, the researchers found that ghost authorship was very common in papers published in medical journals (this study covered a broad range of peer-reviewed journals in many medical disciplines). The method used in this paper seems more reliable than using surveys to work out how often ghost authorship happens. The researchers aimed to define authorship using the policies set out by a group called the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the findings here suggest that the ICMJE's standards for authorship are very often ignored. This means that people who read the published paper cannot always accurately judge or trust the information presented within it, and competing interests may be hidden. The researchers here suggest that protocols should be made publicly available so that everyone can see what trials are planned and who is involved in conducting them. The findings also suggest that journals should not only list the authors of each paper but describe what each author has done, so that the published information accurately reflects what has been carried out.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040019.
Read the Perspective by Liz Wager, which discusses these findings in more depth
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is a group of general medical journal editors who have produced general guidelines for biomedical manuscripts; their definition of authorship is also described
The Committee on Publication Ethics is a forum for editors of peer-reviewed journals to discuss issues related to the integrity of the scientific record; the Web site lists anonymized problems and the committee's advice, not just regarding authorship, but other types of problems as well
Good Publication Practice for Pharmaceutical Companies outlines common standards for publication of industry-sponsored medical research, and some pharmaceutical companies have agreed to these
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040019
PMCID: PMC1769411  PMID: 17227134
5.  The Toxic Effects of Cigarette Additives. Philip Morris' Project Mix Reconsidered: An Analysis of Documents Released through Litigation 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001145.
Stanton Glantz and colleagues analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents and peer-reviewed published results of Philip Morris' Project MIX about research on cigarette additives, and show that this research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value.
Background
In 2009, the promulgation of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco regulation focused attention on cigarette flavor additives. The tobacco industry had prepared for this eventuality by initiating a research program focusing on additive toxicity. The objective of this study was to analyze Philip Morris' Project MIX as a case study of tobacco industry scientific research being positioned strategically to prevent anticipated tobacco control regulations.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents to identify internal strategies for research on cigarette additives and reanalyzed tobacco industry peer-reviewed published results of this research. We focused on the key group of studies conducted by Phillip Morris in a coordinated effort known as “Project MIX.” Documents showed that Project MIX subsumed the study of various combinations of 333 cigarette additives. In addition to multiple internal reports, this work also led to four peer-reviewed publications (published in 2001). These papers concluded that there was no evidence of substantial toxicity attributable to the cigarette additives studied. Internal documents revealed post hoc changes in analytical protocols after initial statistical findings indicated an additive-associated increase in cigarette toxicity as well as increased total particulate matter (TPM) concentrations in additive-modified cigarette smoke. By expressing the data adjusted by TPM concentration, the published papers obscured this underlying toxicity and particulate increase. The animal toxicology results were based on a small number of rats in each experiment, raising the possibility that the failure to detect statistically significant changes in the end points was due to underpowering the experiments rather than lack of a real effect.
Conclusion
The case study of Project MIX shows tobacco industry scientific research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value. The results demonstrate that toxins in cigarette smoke increase substantially when additives are put in cigarettes, including the level of TPM. In particular, regulatory authorities, including the FDA and similar agencies elsewhere, could use the Project MIX data to eliminate the use of these 333 additives (including menthol) from cigarettes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The tobacco industry in the United States has recognized that regulation of its products was inevitable as early as 1963 and devoted increasing attention to the likelihood of regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration in the mid-1990s, which finally became law in 2009. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which came into force in June 2003, includes provisions addressing the regulation of the contents of tobacco products and the regulation of tobacco product disclosures. Although these steps represent progress in tobacco control, the events of the past few decades show the determination of the tobacco industry to avoid regulation, including the regulation of additives. In the United States, executives of the tobacco company Philip Morris (PM) recognized the inevitability of regulation and responded by initiating efforts to shape legislation and regulation by reorganizing its internal scientific activities and conducting scientific research that could be used to shape any proposed regulations. For example, the company conducted “Project MIX,” a study of chemical constituents in and toxicity of smoke produced by burning cigarettes containing three different combinations of 333 cigarette additives that “were constructed to resemble typical commercial blended cigarettes.” The resulting four papers published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in January 2002 concluded that there was no evidence of substantial toxicity attributable to the cigarette additives studied.
Why Was This Study Done?
The use of cigarette additives is an important concern of the WHO, FDA, and similar national regulatory bodies around the world. Philip Morris has used the published Project MIX papers to assert the safety of individual additives and other cigarette companies have done similar studies that reached similar conclusions. In this study, the researchers used documents made public as a result of litigation against the tobacco industry to investigate the origins and design of Project MIX and to conduct their own analyses of the results to assess the reliability of the conclusions in the papers published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers systematically examined tobacco industry documents in the University of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (then about 60 million pages made publicly available as a result of litigation) and used an iterative process of searching, analyzing, and refining to identify and review in detail 500 relevant documents.
The researchers found that in the original Project MIX analysis, the published papers obscured findings of toxicity by adjusting the data by total particulate matter (TPM) concentration. When the researchers conducted their own analysis by studying additives per cigarette (as was specified in the original Project MIX protocol), they found that 15 carcinogenic chemicals increased by 20%. The researchers also reported that, for unexplained reasons, Philip Morris deemphasized 19 of the 51 chemicals tested in the presentation of results, including nine that were substantially increased in smoke on a per cigarette basis of additive-added cigarettes, compared to smoke of control cigarettes.
The researchers explored the possibility that the failure of Project MIX to detect statistically significant changes in the toxicity of the smoke from cigarettes containing the additives was due to underpowered experiments rather than lack of a real effect by conducting their own statistical analysis. This analysis suggests that a better powered study would have detected a much broader range of biological effects associated with the additives than was identified in Philip Morris' published paper, suggesting that it substantially underestimated the toxic potential of cigarette smoke and additives.
The researchers also found that Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal in which the four Project MIX papers were published, had an editor and 11 of its International Editorial Board with documented links to the tobacco industry. The scientist and leader of Project MIX Edward Carmines described the process of publication as “an inside job.”
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the tobacco industry scientific research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value: the results demonstrate that toxins in cigarette smoke increase substantially when additives are put in cigarettes. In addition, better powered studies would probably have detected a much broader range of adverse biological effects associated with the additives than identified to those identified in PM's published papers suggesting that the published papers substantially underestimate the toxic potential combination of cigarette smoke and additives.
Regulatory authorities, including the FDA and similar agencies elsewhere who are implementing WHO FCTC, should conduct their own independent analysis of Project MIX data, which, analyzed correctly, could provide a strong evidence base for the elimination of the use of the studied additives (including menthol) in cigarettes on public health grounds.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001145.
For PLoS Medicine's own policy on publishing papers sponsored by the tobacco industry see http://www.plosmedicine.org/static/policies.action#funders
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
The documents that the researchers reviewed in this paper can be found at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001145
PMCID: PMC3243707  PMID: 22205885
6.  The gender imbalance in academic medicine: a study of female authorship in the United Kingdom 
Summary
Objectives
A shortfall exists of female doctors in senior academic posts in the United Kingdom. Career progression depends on measures of esteem, including publication in prestigious journals. This study investigates gender differences in first and senior authorship in six peer-reviewed British journals and factors that are associated with publication rates.
Design and main outcome measures
Data was collected on United Kingdom first and senior authors who had published in the British Medical Journal, Lancet, British Journal of Surgery, Gut, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Archives of Diseases in Childhood. Authorship and gender were quantified for 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2004 (n=6457). In addition, selected questions from the Athena Survey of Science Engineering and Technology (ASSET2006), web-based doctor's self-report of publications were also analysed (n=1162).
Results
Female first authors increased from 10.5% in 1970 to 36.5% in 2004 (p<0.001) while female senior authors only increased from 12.3% to 16.5% (p=0.046). Within individual journals, the largest rise was in British Journal of Obstetric and Gynaecology with 4.5- and 3-fold increases for first and senior authors, respectively. In contrast, female senior authors marginally declined in Gut and Lancet by 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively. ASSET2006 identified that female respondents who were parents were less likely to have publications as sole (p=0.02) and joint authors (p<0.001) compared to male respondents. Female respondents with care responsibilities for parents/partner also had less publications as lead authors compared to those without carer responsibilities (p<0.001).
Conclusion
The increase in UK female first authors is encouraging. In contrast, there is considerable lag and in some specialties a decline in female senior authors. Factors that could narrow the gender gap in authorship should be sought and addressed.
doi:10.1258/jrsm.2009.080378
PMCID: PMC2726808  PMID: 19679736
7.  Child Mortality Estimation: Estimating Sex Differences in Childhood Mortality since the 1970s 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(8):e1001287.
Cheryl Sawyer uses new methods to generate estimates of sex differences in child mortality which can be used to pinpoint areas where these differences in mortality merit closer examination.
Introduction
Producing estimates of infant (under age 1 y), child (age 1–4 y), and under-five (under age 5 y) mortality rates disaggregated by sex is complicated by problems with data quality and availability. Interpretation of sex differences requires nuanced analysis: girls have a biological advantage against many causes of death that may be eroded if they are disadvantaged in access to resources. Earlier studies found that girls in some regions were not experiencing the survival advantage expected at given levels of mortality. In this paper I generate new estimates of sex differences for the 1970s to the 2000s.
Methods and Findings
Simple fitting methods were applied to male-to-female ratios of infant and under-five mortality rates from vital registration, surveys, and censuses. The sex ratio estimates were used to disaggregate published series of both-sexes mortality rates that were based on a larger number of sources. In many developing countries, I found that sex ratios of mortality have changed in the same direction as historically occurred in developed countries, but typically had a lower degree of female advantage for a given level of mortality. Regional average sex ratios weighted by numbers of births were found to be highly influenced by China and India, the only countries where both infant mortality and overall under-five mortality were estimated to be higher for girls than for boys in the 2000s. For the less developed regions (comprising Africa, Asia excluding Japan, Latin America/Caribbean, and Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand), on average, boys' under-five mortality in the 2000s was about 2% higher than girls'. A number of countries were found to still experience higher mortality for girls than boys in the 1–4-y age group, with concentrations in southern Asia, northern Africa/western Asia, and western Africa. In the more developed regions (comprising Europe, northern America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand), I found that the sex ratio of infant mortality peaked in the 1970s or 1980s and declined thereafter.
Conclusions
The methods developed here pinpoint regions and countries where sex differences in mortality merit closer examination to ensure that both sexes are sharing equally in access to health resources. Further study of the distribution of causes of death in different settings will aid the interpretation of differences in survival for boys and girls.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2000, world leaders agreed to eradicate extreme poverty by 2015. To help track progress towards this global commitment, eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set. MDG 4, which aims to reduce child mortality, calls for a reduction in under-five mortality (the number of children who die before their fifth birthday) to a third of its 1990 level of 12 million by 2015. The under-five mortality rate is also denoted in the literature as U5MR and 5q0. Progress towards MDG 4 has been substantial, but with only three years left to reach it, efforts to strengthen child survival programs are intensifying. Reliable estimates of trends in childhood mortality are pivotal to these efforts. So, since 2004, the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) has used statistical regression models to produce estimates of trends in under-five mortality and infant mortality (death before age one year) from data about childbearing and child survival collected by vital registration systems (records of all births and deaths), household surveys, and censuses.
Why Was This Study Done?
In addition to estimates of overall childhood mortality trends, information about sex-specific childhood mortality trends is desirable to monitor progress towards MDG 4, although the interpretation of trends in the relative mortality of girls and boys is not straightforward. Newborn girls survive better than newborn boys because they are less vulnerable to birth complications and infections and have fewer inherited abnormalities. Thus, the ratio of infant mortality among boys to infant mortality among girls is greater than one, provided both sexes have equal access to food and medical care. Beyond early infancy, girls and boys are similarly vulnerable to infections, so the sex ratio of deaths in the 1–4-year age group is generally lower than that of infant mortality. Notably, as living conditions improve in developing countries, infectious diseases become less important as causes of death. Thus, in the absence of sex-specific differences in the treatment of children, the sex ratio of childhood mortality is expected be greater than one and to increase as overall under-five mortality rates in developing countries decrease. In this study, the researcher evaluated national and regional changes in the sex ratios of childhood mortality since the 1970s to investigate whether girls and boys have equal access to medical care and other resources.
What Did the Researcher Do and Find?
The researcher developed new statistical fitting methods to estimate trends in the sex ratio of mortality for infants and young children for individual countries and world regions. When considering individual countries, the researcher found that for 92 countries in less developed regions, the median sex ratio of under-five mortality increased between the 1970s and the 2000s, in line with the expected changes just described. However, the average sex ratio of under-five mortality for less developed regions, weighted according to the number of births in each country, did not increase between the 1970s and 2000s, at which time the average under-five mortality rate of boys was about 2% higher than that of girls. This discrepancy resulted from India and China—the two most populous developing countries—having sex ratios for both infant and under-five mortality that remained constant or declined over the study period and were below one in the 2000s, a result that indicates excess female mortality. In China, for example, infant mortality was found to be 12% higher for boys than for girls in the 1970s, but 24% lower for boys than for girls in the 2000s. Finally, although in the less developed regions (excluding India and China) girls went from having a slight survival disadvantage at ages 1–4 years in the 1970s, on average, to having a slight advantage in the 2000s, girls remained more likely to die than boys in this age group in several Asian and African countries.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although the quality of the available data is likely to affect the accuracy of these findings, in most developing countries the ratio of male to female under-five mortality has increased since the 1970s, in parallel with the decrease in overall childhood mortality. Notably, however, in a number of developing countries—including several each in sub-Saharan Africa, northern Africa/western Asia, and southern Asia—girls have higher mortality than boys at ages 1–4 years, and in India and China girls have higher mortality in infancy. Thus, girls are benefitting less than boys from the overall decline in childhood mortality in India, China, and some other developing countries. Further studies are needed to determine the underlying reasons for this observation. Nevertheless, the methods developed here to estimate trends in sex-specific childhood mortality pinpoint countries and regions where greater efforts should be made to ensure that both sexes have equal access to health care and other important resources during early life.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001287.
This paper is part of a collection of papers on Child Mortality Estimation Methods published in PLOS Medicine
The United Nations Childrens Fund works for children's rights, survival, development, and protection around the world; it provides information on Millennium Development Goal 4, and its Childinfo website provides detailed statistics about child survival and health, including a description of the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation; the 2011 UN IGME report Levels & Trends in Child Mortality is available
The World Health Organization also has information about Millennium Development Goal 4 and provides estimates of child mortality rates (some information in several languages)
Further information about the Millennium Development Goals is available
A 2011 report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs entitled Sex Differentials in Childhood Mortality is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001287
PMCID: PMC3429399  PMID: 22952433
8.  The Fall and Rise of US Inequities in Premature Mortality: 1960–2002 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(2):e46.
Background
Debates exist as to whether, as overall population health improves, the absolute and relative magnitude of income- and race/ethnicity-related health disparities necessarily increase—or derease. We accordingly decided to test the hypothesis that health inequities widen—or shrink—in a context of declining mortality rates, by examining annual US mortality data over a 42 year period.
Methods and Findings
Using US county mortality data from 1960–2002 and county median family income data from the 1960–2000 decennial censuses, we analyzed the rates of premature mortality (deaths among persons under age 65) and infant death (deaths among persons under age 1) by quintiles of county median family income weighted by county population size. Between 1960 and 2002, as US premature mortality and infant death rates declined in all county income quintiles, socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities in premature mortality and infant death (both relative and absolute) shrank between 1966 and 1980, especially for US populations of color; thereafter, the relative health inequities widened and the absolute differences barely changed in magnitude. Had all persons experienced the same yearly age-specific premature mortality rates as the white population living in the highest income quintile, between 1960 and 2002, 14% of the white premature deaths and 30% of the premature deaths among populations of color would not have occurred.
Conclusions
The observed trends refute arguments that health inequities inevitably widen—or shrink—as population health improves. Instead, the magnitude of health inequalities can fall or rise; it is our job to understand why.
Nancy Krieger and colleagues found evidence of decreasing, and then increasing or stagnating, socioeconomic and racial inequities in US premature mortality and infant death from 1960 to 2002.
Editors' Summary
Background
One of the biggest aims of public health advocates and governments is to improve the health of the population. Improving health increases people's quality of life and helps the population be more economically productive. But within populations are often persistent differences (usually called “disparities” or “inequities”) in the health of different subgroups—between women and men, different income groups, and people of different races/ethnicities, for example. Researchers study these differences so that policy makers and the broader public can be informed about what to do to intervene. For example, if we know that the health of certain subgroups of the population—such as the poor—is staying the same or even worsening as the overall health of the population is improving, policy makers could design programs and devote resources to specifically target the poor.
To study health disparities, researchers use both relative and absolute measures. Relative inequities refer to ratios, while absolute inequities refer to differences. For example, if one group's average income level increases from $1,000 to $10,000 and another group's from $2,000 to $20,000, the relative inequality between the groups stays the same (i.e., the ratio of incomes between the two groups is still 2) but the absolute difference between the two groups has increased from $1,000 to $10,000.
Examining the US population, Nancy Krieger and colleagues looked at trends over time in both relative and absolute differences in mortality between people in different income groups and between whites and people of color.
Why Was This Study Done?
There has been a lot of debate about whether disparities have been widening or narrowing as overall population health improves. Some research has found that both total health and health disparities are getting better with time. Other research has shown that overall health gains mask worsening disparities—such that the rich get healthier while the poor get sicker.
Having access to more data over a longer time frame meant that Krieger and colleagues could provide a more complete picture of this sometimes contradictory story. It also meant they could test their hypothesis about whether, as population health improves, health inequities necessarily widen or shrink within the time period between the 1960s through the 1990s during which certain events and policies likely would have had an impact on the mortality trends in that country.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In order to investigate health inequities, the authors chose to look at two common measures of population health: rates of premature mortality (dying before the age of 65 years) and rates of infant mortality (death before the age of 1).
To determine mortality rates, the authors used death statistics data from different counties, which are routinely collected by state and national governments. To be able to rank mortality rates for different income groups, they used data on the median family incomes of people living within those counties (meaning half the families had income above, and half had incomes below, the median value). They calculated mortality rates for the total population and for whites versus people of color. They used data from 1960 through 2002. They compared rates for 1966–1980 with two other time periods: 1960–1965 and 1981–2002. They also examined trends in the annual mortality rates and in the annual relative and absolute disparites in these rates by county income level.
Over the whole period 1960–2002, the authors found that premature mortality (death before the age of 65) and infant mortality (death before the age of 1) decreased for all income groups. But they also found that disparities between income groups and between whites and people of color were not the same over this time period. In fact, the economic disparities narrowed then widened. First, they shrank between 1966 and 1980, especially for Americans of color. After 1980, however, the relative health inequities widened and the absolute differences did not change. The authors conclude that if all people in the US population experienced the same health gains as the most advantaged did during these 42 years (i.e., as the whites in the highest income groups), 14% of the premature deaths among whites and 30% of the premature deaths among people of color would have been prevented.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings provide an overview of the trends in inequities in premature and infant mortality over a long period of time. Different explanations for these trends can now be tested. The authors discuss several potential reasons for these trends, including generally rising incomes across America and changes related to specific diseases, such as the advent of HIV/AIDS, changes in smoking habits, and better management of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But they find that these do not explain the fall then rise of inequities. Instead, the authors suggest that explanations lie in the social programs of the 1960s and the subsequent roll-back of some of these programmes in the 1980s. The US “War on Poverty,” civil rights legislation, and the establishment of Medicare occurred in the mid 1960s, which were intended to reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequalities and improve access to health care. In the 1980s there was a general cutting back of welfare state provisions in America, which included cuts to public health and antipoverty programs, tax relief for the wealthy, and worsening inequity in the access to and quality of health care. Together, these wider events could explain the fall then rise trends in mortality disparities.
The authors say their findings are important to inform and help monitor the progress of various policies and programmes, including those such as the Healthy People 2010 initiative in America, which aims to increase the quality and years of healthy life and decrease health disparities by the end of this decade.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed. 0050046.
Healthy People 2010 was created by the US Department of Health and Human Services along with scientists inside and outside of government and includes a comprehensive set of disease prevention and health promotion objectives for the US to achieve by 2010, with two overarching goals: to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities
Johan Mackenbach and colleagues provide an overview of mortality inequalities in six Western European countries—Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England/Wales, and Italy—and conclude that eliminating mortality inequalities requires that more cardiovascular deaths among lower socioeconomic groups be prevented, as well as more attention be paid to rising death rates of lung cancer, breast cancer, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease, and injuries among women and men in the lower income groups.
The WHO Health for All program promotes health equity
A primer on absolute versus relative differences is provided by the American College of Physicians
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050046
PMCID: PMC2253609  PMID: 18303941
9.  Trend towards multiple authorship in occupational medicine journals 
Background
There is an established trend towards an increasing number of authors per article in prestigious journals for medicine and health sciences. It is uncertain whether a similar trend occurs to the same extent in journals for specific medical specialties.
Methods
Journals focusing on occupational medicine were selected for analysis with regard to single or multiple-authorship per peer-reviewed paper. Data were collected from PubMed for publications between 1970 and 2007. These were analysed to calculate the average number of authors per multiple-author article per year and the percentage of single-author articles per year. The slope and average of these journals were then compared with that of previously studied non-occupational medicine journals.
Results
The results confirm a trend towards a linear increase in the average number of authors per article and a linear decrease in the percentage of single-author articles. The slope for the average number of authors for multiple-author articles was significantly higher in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine than in the other occupational medicine journals. Computational analysis of all articles published showed that Occupational Medicine (Oxford) had a significantly higher percentage of single-author articles than the other occupational medicine journals as well as major journals previously studied.
Conclusion
The same trend towards multiple authorship can be observed in medical specialty journals as in major journals for medicine and health sciences. There is a direct relationship between occupational journals with higher impact factors and a higher average number of authors per article in those journals.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-4-3
PMCID: PMC2645424  PMID: 19203357
10.  What Every Author and Reviewer Should Know about the Publication Process in the Journal of Nematology 
Journal of Nematology  1997;29(4S):619-624.
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.
PMCID: PMC2619833  PMID: 19274261
editor; manuscript; publication; reviewer; style manual
11.  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
Background
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.
Conclusions
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000354.
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
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000354
PMCID: PMC2964336  PMID: 21048986
12.  Prevalence and Correlates of Antipsychotic Polypharmacy: A Systematic Review and Meta-regression of Global and Regional Trends from the 1970s to 2009 
Schizophrenia Research  2012;138(1):18-28.
Objective
To assess the prevalence and correlates of antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP) across decades and regions.
Methods
Electronic PubMed/Google Scholar search for studies reporting on APP, published from 1970-05/2009. Median rates and interquartile ranges (IQR) were calculated and compared using non-parametric tests. Demographic and clinical variables were tested as correlates of APP in bivariate and meta-regression analyses.
Results
Across 147 studies (1,418,163 participants, 82.9% diagnosed with schizophrenia [IQR=42–100%]), the median APP rate was 19.6% (IQR=12.9–35.0%). Most common combinations included first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs)+second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) (42.4%, IQR=0.0–71.4%) followed by FGAs+FGAs (19.6%, IQR=0.0–100%) and SGAs+SGAs (1.8%, IQR=0.0–28%). APP rates were not different between decades (1970–1979:28.8%, IQR=7.5–44%; 1980–1989:17.6%, IQR=10.8–38.2; 1990–1999:22.0%, IQR=11–40; 2000–2009:19.2% IQR=14.4–29.9, p=0.78), but between regions, being higher in Asia and Europe than North America, and in Asia than Oceania (p<0.001). APP increased numerically by 34% in North America from the 1980s 12.7%) to 2000s (17.0%) (p=0.94) and decreased significantly by 65% from 1980 (55.5%) to 2000 (19.2%) in Asia (p=0.03), with non-significant changes in Europe. APP was associated with inpatient status (p<0.001), use of FGAs (p<0.0001) and anticholinergics (<0.001), schizophrenia (p=0.01), less antidepressant use (p=0.02), greater LAIs use (p=0.04), shorter follow-up (p=0.001) and cross-sectional vs. longitudinal study design (p=0.03). In a meta-regression, inpatient status (p<0.0001), FGA use (0.046), and schizophrenia diagnosis (p=0.004) independently predicted APP (N=66, R2=0.44, p<0.0001).
Conclusions
APP is common with different rates and time trends by region over the last four decades. APP is associated with greater anticholinergic requirement, shorter observation time, greater illness severity and lower antidepressant use.
doi:10.1016/j.schres.2012.03.018
PMCID: PMC3382997  PMID: 22534420
Combinations; Schizophrenia; Polypharmacy; Cotreatment; Meta-regression
13.  A White Paper on Nematode Comparative Genomics 
Journal of Nematology  2005;37(4):408-416.
In response to the new opportunities for genome sequencing and comparative genomics, the Society of Nematology (SON) formed a committee to develop a white paper in support of the broad scientific needs associated with this phylum and interests of SON members. Although genome sequencing is expensive, the data generated are unique in biological systems in that genomes have the potential to be complete (every base of the genome can be accounted for), accurate (the data are digital and not subject to stochastic variation), and permanent (once obtained, the genome of a species does not need to be experimentally re-sampled). The availability of complete, accurate, and permanent genome sequences from diverse nematode species will underpin future studies into the biology and evolution of this phylum and the ecological associations (particularly parasitic) nematodes have with other organisms. We anticipate that upwards of 100 nematode genomes will be solved to varying levels of completion in the coming decade and suggest biological and practical considerations to guide the selection of the most informative taxa for sequencing.
PMCID: PMC2620993  PMID: 19262884
Caenorhabditis elegans; comparative genomics; genome sequencing; systematics
14.  Effects of Author Contribution Disclosures and Numeric Limitations on Authorship Trends 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2010;85(10):920-927.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether editorial policies designed to eliminate gratuitous authorship (globally referred to as authorship limitation policies), including author contribution disclosures and/or numeric restrictions, have significantly affected authorship trends during a 20-year period.
METHODS: We used a custom PERL-based algorithm to extract data, including number of authors, publication date, and article subtype, from articles published from January 1, 1986, through December 31, 2006, in 16 medical journals (8 with explicit authorship guidelines restricting authorship and 8 without formal authorship policies), comprising 307,190 articles. Trends in the mean number of authors per article, sorted by journal type, article subtype, and presence of authorship limitations, were determined using Sen's slope analysis and compared using analysis of variance and matched-pair analysis. Trend data were compared among the journals that had implemented 1 or both of these formal restrictive authorship policies and those that had not in order to determine their effect on authorship over time.
RESULTS: The number of authors per article has been increasing among all journals at a mean ± SD rate of 0.076±0.057 authors per article per year. No significant differences in authorship rate were observed between journals with and without authorship limits before enforcement (F=1.097; P=.30). After enforcement, no significant change in authorship rates was observed (matched pair: F=0.425; P=.79).
CONCLUSION: Implementation of authorship limitation policies does not slow the trend of increasing numbers of authors per article over time.
Data from articles published from 1986 through 2006 show that implementation of authorship limitation policies did not slow the trend of increasing numbers of authors per article.
doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0291
PMCID: PMC2947964  PMID: 20884825
15.  Anatomy of the Epidemiological Literature on the 2003 SARS Outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto: A Time-Stratified Review 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000272.
Weijia Xing and colleagues reviewed the published epidemiological literature on SARS and show that less than a quarter of papers were published during the epidemic itself, suggesting that the research published lagged substantially behind the need for it.
Background
Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, especially those of a global nature, require rapid epidemiological analysis and information dissemination. The final products of those activities usually comprise internal memoranda and briefs within public health authorities and original research published in peer-reviewed journals. Using the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic as an example, we conducted a comprehensive time-stratified review of the published literature to describe the different types of epidemiological outputs.
Methods and Findings
We identified and analyzed all published articles on the epidemiology of the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong or Toronto. The analysis was stratified by study design, research domain, data collection, and analytical technique. We compared the SARS-case and matched-control non-SARS articles published according to the timeline of submission, acceptance, and publication. The impact factors of the publishing journals were examined according to the time of publication of SARS articles, and the numbers of citations received by SARS-case and matched-control articles submitted during and after the epidemic were compared. Descriptive, analytical, theoretical, and experimental epidemiology concerned, respectively, 54%, 30%, 11%, and 6% of the studies. Only 22% of the studies were submitted, 8% accepted, and 7% published during the epidemic. The submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic period were significantly shorter than the corresponding intervals of matched-control non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively). The differences of median submission-to-acceptance intervals and median acceptance-to-publication intervals between SARS articles and their corresponding control articles were 106.5 d (95% confidence interval [CI] 55.0–140.1) and 63.5 d (95% CI 18.0–94.1), respectively. The median numbers of citations of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic and over the 2 y thereafter were 17 (interquartile range [IQR] 8.0–52.0) and 8 (IQR 3.2–21.8), respectively, significantly higher than the median numbers of control article citations (15, IQR 8.5–16.5, p<0.05, and 7, IQR 3.0–12.0, p<0.01, respectively).
Conclusions
A majority of the epidemiological articles on SARS were submitted after the epidemic had ended, although the corresponding studies had relevance to public health authorities during the epidemic. To minimize the lag between research and the exigency of public health practice in the future, researchers should consider adopting common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments to improve timeliness, and thus, relevance, in addition to standardizing comparability across studies. To facilitate information dissemination, journal managers should reengineer their fast-track channels, which should be adapted to the purpose of an emerging outbreak, taking into account the requirement of high standards of quality for scientific journals and competition with other online resources.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every now and then, a new infectious disease appears in a human population or an old disease becomes much more common or more geographically widespread. Recently, several such “emerging infectious diseases” have become major public health problems. For example, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have all emerged in the past three decades and spread rapidly round the world. When an outbreak (epidemic) of an emerging infectious disease occurs, epidemiologists (scientists who study the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in populations) swing into action, collecting and analyzing data on the new threat to human health. Epidemiological studies are rapidly launched to identify the causative agent of the new disease, to investigate how the disease spreads, to define diagnostic criteria for the disease, to evaluate potential treatments, and to devise ways to control the disease's spread. Public health officials then use the results of these studies to bring the epidemic under control.
Why Was This Study Done?
Clearly, epidemics of emerging infectious diseases can only be controlled rapidly and effectively if the results of epidemiological studies are made widely available in a timely manner. Public health bulletins (for example, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention) are an important way of disseminating information as is the publication of original research in peer-reviewed academic journals. But how timely is this second dissemination route? Submission, peer-review, revision, re-review, acceptance, and publication of a piece of academic research can be a long process, the speed of which is affected by the responses of both authors and journals. In this study, the researchers analyze how the results of academic epidemiological research are submitted and published in journals during and after an emerging infectious disease epidemic using the 2003 SARS epidemic as an example. The first case of SARS was identified in Asia in February 2003 and rapidly spread around the world. 8,098 people became ill with SARS and 774 died before the epidemic was halted in July 2003.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified more than 300 journal articles covering epidemiological research into the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, China, and Toronto, Canada (two cities strongly affected by the epidemic) that were published online or in print between January 1, 2003 and July 31, 2007. The researchers' analysis of these articles shows that more than half them were descriptive epidemiological studies, investigations that focused on describing the distribution of SARS; a third were analytical epidemiological studies that tried to discover the cause of SARS. Overall, 22% of the journal articles were submitted for publication during the epidemic. Only 8% of the articles were accepted for publication and only 7% were actually published during the epidemic. The median (average) submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles submitted during the epidemic were 55 and 77.5 days, respectively, much shorter intervals than those for non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues. After the epidemic was over, the submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles was similar to that of non-SARS articles.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, although the academic response to the SARS epidemic was rapid, most articles on the epidemiology of SARS were published after the epidemic was over even though SARS was a major threat to public health. Possible reasons for this publication delay include the time taken by authors to prepare and undertake their studies, to write and submit their papers, and, possibly, their tendency to first submit their results to high profile journals. The time then taken by journals to review the studies, make decisions about publication, and complete the publication process might also have delayed matters. To minimize future delays in the publication of epidemiological research on emerging infectious diseases, epidemiologists could adopt common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments, which would improve timeliness and ensure comparability across studies, suggest the researchers. Journals, in turn, could improve their fast-track procedures and could consider setting up online sections that could be activated when an emerging infectious disease outbreak occurred. Finally, journals could consider altering their review system to speed up the publication process provided the quality of the final published articles was not compromised.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on emerging infectious diseases
The US Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases also provides information about emerging infectious diseases, including links to other resources, and information on SARS
Wikipedia has a page on epidemiology (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The World Health Organization has information on SARS (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272
PMCID: PMC2864302  PMID: 20454570
16.  Characteristics and Trends of Orthopedic Publications between 2000 and 2009 
Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery  2011;3(3):225-229.
Background
This study was undertaken to investigate the trends of orthopedic publications during the last decade, and to document the country of origin, journal, funding source, and language of contribution using PubMed.
Methods
Orthopedic articles published between 2000 and 2009 were retrieved from PubMed using the following search terms: "orthopaedic[Affiliation] AND ("2000/1/1"[PDAT]: "2009/12/31"[PDAT])" and "orthopedic[Affiliation] AND ("2000/1/1"[PDAT]: "2009/12/31"[PDAT])." The articles were downloaded in XML file format, which contained the following information: article title, author names, journal names, publication dates, article types, languages, authors' affiliations and funding sources. These information was extracted, sorted, and rearranged using the database's management software. We investigated the annual number of published orthopedic articles worldwide and the annual rate of increase. Furthermore, the country of publication origin, journal, funding source, and language of contribution were also investigated.
Results
A total of 46,322 orthopedic articles were published and registered in PubMed in the last 10 years. The worldwide number of published orthopedic articles increased from 2,889 in 2000 to 6,909 in 2009, showing an annual increase of 384.6 articles, or an annualized compound rate of 10.2%. The United States ranked highest in the number of published orthopedic articles, followed by Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Republic of Korea. Among the orthopedic articles published worldwide during the last 10 years, 37.9% pertained studies performed in the United States. Fifty-seven point three percent (57.3%) of articles were published in journals established in the United States. Among the published orthopaedic articles, 4,747 articles (10.2%) disclosed financial support by research funds, of which 4,688 (98.8%) articles utilized research funds from the United States. Most articles were published in English (97.2%, 45,030 articles).
Conclusions
The number of published orthopedic articles has been increasing over the last decade. The number of orthopedic articles, journals publication, and funding sources were dominated by research conducted in the United States, while share and growth of Asian countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China were notable.
doi:10.4055/cios.2011.3.3.225
PMCID: PMC3162203  PMID: 21909470
Bibliometrics; Orthopedics; Research trend; Periodicals as topics
17.  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.
doi:10.3748/wjg.15.2933
PMCID: PMC2699018  PMID: 19533822
Bibliographic databases; Bibliometrics; Biomedical research; Gastroenterology; MEDLINE
18.  Changes in Association between Previous Therapeutic Abortion and Preterm Birth in Scotland, 1980 to 2008: A Historical Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001481.
Gordon C. Smith and colleagues used national databases to investigate the association between previous termination of pregnancy and preterm birth in Scotland between 1980 to 2008, and whether the type of procedure was an important factor.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Numerous studies have demonstrated that therapeutic termination of pregnancy (abortion) is associated with an increased risk of subsequent preterm birth. However, the literature is inconsistent, and methods of abortion have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. We hypothesized that the association between previous abortion and the risk of preterm first birth changed in Scotland between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 2008.
Methods and Findings
We studied linked Scottish national databases of births and perinatal deaths. We analysed the risk of preterm birth in relation to the number of previous abortions in 732,719 first births (≥24 wk), adjusting for maternal characteristics. The risk (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]) of preterm birth was modelled using logistic regression, and associations were expressed for a one-unit increase in the number of previous abortions. Previous abortion was associated with an increased risk of preterm birth (1.12 [1.09–1.16]). When analysed by year of delivery, the association was strongest in 1980–1983 (1.32 [1.21–1.43]), progressively declined between 1984 and 1999, and was no longer apparent in 2000–2003 (0.98 [0.91–1.05]) or 2004–2008 (1.02 [0.95–1.09]). A statistical test for interaction between previous abortion and year was highly statistically significant (p<0.001). Analysis of data for abortions among nulliparous women in Scotland 1992–2008 demonstrated that the proportion that were surgical without use of cervical pre-treatment decreased from 31% to 0.4%, and that the proportion of medical abortions increased from 18% to 68%.
Conclusions
Previous abortion was a risk factor for spontaneous preterm birth in Scotland in the 1980s and 1990s, but the association progressively weakened and disappeared altogether by 2000. These changes were paralleled by increasing use of medical abortion and cervical pre-treatment prior to surgical abortion. Although it is plausible that the two trends were related, we could not test this directly as the data on the method of prior abortions were not linked to individuals in the cohort. However, we speculate that modernising abortion methods may be an effective long-term strategy to reduce global rates of preterm birth.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Therapeutic termination of pregnancy is relatively common, with an estimated 40 million procedures performed worldwide every year. Until two decades ago, most terminations were performed as a surgical procedure, but now the majority of terminations are medically induced with a combination of drugs—selective progesterone receptor antagonists, such as mifepristone, and prostaglandins—that cause less damage to the woman's cervix. Although surgical terminations are still performed, nowadays prostaglandins are also used to help prevent damage to the cervix. Protecting the woman's cervix can help to reduce the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks gestation) in subsequent pregnancies. As many women who have abortions go on to have subsequent births, the widespread use of termination may be a significant factor in the high global rates of preterm delivery.
Why Was This Study Done?
A previous meta-analysis (a study that combines information from several studies) showed that the risk of preterm delivery was higher in women who had had a previous termination compared to women who had not. Based on this meta-analysis, UK guidelines on the care of women requesting a termination currently recommend that they be informed of the increased risk of subsequent preterm birth. However, it is biologically plausible that women undergoing medical termination or current practice for surgical termination (using prostaglandins to protect and prepare the cervix) may not have an increased risk of subsequent preterm delivery, because such approaches may cause less trauma to the cervix than traditional surgical termination. So in this study, the researchers used a large dataset from Scotland with three decades of information about previous terminations and subsequent preterm deliveries to test this possibility.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers linked two national databases—the Scottish Morbidity Record 02 (SMR02), which records the clinical and demographic characteristics and outcomes of all patients giving birth in Scottish maternity hospitals, and the Scottish Stillbirth and Infant Death Survey (SSBIDS), which classifies all perinatal deaths in Scotland. SMR02 data were available from 1980 onwards and also recorded each woman's self-reported total number of previous abortions, and SSBIDS data were available from 1985. Then the researchers used information from NHS National Services Scotland to examine secular trends in terminations over the past few decades, specifically, whether a recorded termination was surgical or medical, and also whether surgical abortion was preceded by cervical preparation.
Using these methods, the researchers identified that there were 757,060 live, singleton first births between 1980 and 2008 and that 56,816 women reported one previous termination, 5,790 women reported two previous terminations, and 822 women reported three previous terminations. In their analysis (adjusted for maternal characteristics) the researchers found that there was an independent association of spontaneous preterm birth, but not induced preterm birth, with previous termination. The researchers calculated that the chance (odds) of spontaneous preterm birth for one, two, and three or more previous abortions was 1.17, 1.51, and 1.64, after adjusting for maternal characteristics, including smoking. Over the time period, the researchers found that the proportion of surgical terminations without use of cervical pre-treatment decreased from 31% in 1992 to 0.4% in 2008, and over the same period the proportion of medical terminations increased from 18% to 68%. These trends are important, because in their analysis by year of delivery, the researchers found that the association between preterm delivery and previous termination was strongest in 1980–1983, progressively declined between 1984 and 1999, and was no longer present from 2000 to 2008.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support the established association between previous termination and preterm delivery. But most importantly, the changes in this association over the past two decades—from strong in 1980–1983 to nonexistent in 2000–2008—a period in which the use of medical termination and pre-treatment of the cervix for surgical termination increased dramatically in Scotland, suggest that surgical termination without cervical pre-treatment is responsible for the increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth: the decrease in the proportion of this procedure over the study period may have led to the disappearance of the established association between previous termination and preterm delivery from 2000 onwards. However, these findings are limited in that the researchers could not directly test whether the two trends were related because they did not have information on the method of previous termination linked to subsequent birth outcome for individual women. However, based on the findings of this study, it is possible that using modern methods of termination of pregnancy (rather than purely surgical methods) could be a factor in reducing global rates of spontaneous preterm delivery in the future.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001481.
Wikipedia gives more information about termination of pregnancy (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
More information is available about the SMR02 dataset used in this study
The World Health Organization gives information on preterm birth
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001481
PMCID: PMC3706322  PMID: 23874161
19.  Quality and quantity of research publications by Iranian neurosurgeons: Signs of scientific progress over the past decades 
Background:
This is an analysis of papers published by Iranian neurosurgeons while working in Iran until the year 2010.
Methods:
We collected bibliometric data and assigned a level of evidence (LOE) for each paper and compared neurosurgical research productivity across three time periods (before 1990, between 1991 and 2000, and after 2000). For further illustration, the annual growth rates of Iranian publications were calculated for all papers published after 1995.
Results:
We found a total of 1196 papers by 422 Iranian neurosurgeons. Five authors accounted for 22.9% of the papers. The average number of authors for each published manuscript was 3.48 and increased significantly from 2.0 to 4.0 across the three investigated periods (P < 0.001). 58.9% of Iranian papers were published in local journals only. A total of 74.6% articles were published after 2000, which was a significant increase compared with the decades before (P < 0.001). Original articles and case reports accounted for 63.8% and 31.1% of the publications, respectively. The proportion of case reports decreased while the proportion of original articles increased across the three time periods (P < 0.001). The adjusted growth rate for the total number of publications, original articles, case reports, clinical trials, and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were 14.4%, 16.6%, 10.7%, 13.46%, and 14.7% per year, respectively. Overall, the four most frequently investigated topics were spine (27.3%), trauma (22.3%), tumor (19.1%), and vascular diseases (13.5%). The mean impact factor for journals publishing these studies and average number of citations for each paper (obtained from web of science) were found to be 1.2 and 5.46, respectively. A partitioning of these publications into assigned categories reflecting the LOE of each paper yielded the following LOE distribution for all assessed publications: Ib: 6.02%, Ic: 0.3%, IIa: 0.2%, IIb: 5.4%, IIc: 0.41%, IIIb: 4.8%, IV: 22.5%, and V: 1.2%. The relative number of publications categorized into higher LOE classes increased over the three investigated periods (P = 0.003). Based on growth curve model, the rate of increase in total numbers of publications following each position change from nonuniversity affiliated neurosurgeon to university affiliated and from university affiliated neurosurgeon to chairman university affiliated neurosurgeon was 81%.
Conclusions:
A considerable increase in amount and quality of Iranian papers was observed during the past decade as reflected in a higher number of papers categorized in upper LOE classes.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.109651
PMCID: PMC3622377  PMID: 23607060
Iran; level of evidence; neurosurgery; publication
20.  Trends in female representation in published ophthalmology literature, 2000–2009 
Purpose
To examine trends in female first and last authors in clinical ophthalmology literature published from January 2000 to December 2009.
Methods
A total of 3760 articles in American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO), 2347 articles in Archives of Ophthalmology (Archives), and 3838 articles in Ophthalmology spanning 10 years of published ophthalmology peer-reviewed literature were examined. All original research articles and brief reports indexed online were included. Author gender was determined by an exhaustive Internet search. Articles were excluded if the sex of the author could not be determined or was not applicable (for example, articles by a study group rather than an individual author).
Results
Gender information was identified in 86.8% of articles for first authors and 86% for last authors. The number of female first authors (P < 0.0001) and last authors (P = 0.005) increased significantly in the study period in all journals examined, with a significant association between the sex of the first and last authors (OR = 2.19; 95% CI, 1.96–2.46; P < 0.0001), when examining all articles. Female representation increased for last authors significantly only in Ophthalmology. There was a significant correlation between gender of the first author and total number of authors that was not observed with last-author sex.
Conclusions
Female first authorship has increased from 2000 to 2009 and is correlated with the gender of the last author; however, there were fewer female last authors compared to female first authors in the same period.
doi:10.5693/djo.01.2013.07.002
PMCID: PMC3899803  PMID: 24459456
21.  Promotional Tone in Reviews of Menopausal Hormone Therapy After the Women's Health Initiative: An Analysis of Published Articles 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(3):e1000425.
Adriane Fugh-Berman and colleagues analyzed a selection of published opinion pieces on hormone therapy and show that there may be a connection between receiving industry funding for speaking, consulting, or research and the tone of such opinion pieces.
Background
Even after the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) found that the risks of menopausal hormone therapy (hormone therapy) outweighed benefit for asymptomatic women, about half of gynecologists in the United States continued to believe that hormones benefited women's health. The pharmaceutical industry has supported publication of articles in medical journals for marketing purposes. It is unknown whether author relationships with industry affect promotional tone in articles on hormone therapy. The goal of this study was to determine whether promotional tone could be identified in narrative review articles regarding menopausal hormone therapy and whether articles identified as promotional were more likely to have been authored by those with conflicts of interest with manufacturers of menopausal hormone therapy.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed tone in opinion pieces on hormone therapy published in the four years after the estrogen-progestin arm of the WHI was stopped. First, we identified the ten authors with four or more MEDLINE-indexed reviews, editorials, comments, or letters on hormone replacement therapy or menopausal hormone therapy published between July 2002 and June 2006. Next, we conducted an additional search using the names of these authors to identify other relevant articles. Finally, after author names and affiliations were removed, 50 articles were evaluated by three readers for scientific accuracy and for tone. Scientific accuracy was assessed based on whether or not the findings of the WHI were accurately reported using two criteria: (1) Acknowledgment or lack of denial of the risk of breast cancer diagnosis associated with hormone therapy, and (2) acknowledgment that hormone therapy did not benefit cardiovascular disease endpoints. Determination of promotional tone was based on the assessment by each reader of whether the article appeared to promote hormone therapy. Analysis of inter-rater consistency found moderate agreement for scientific accuracy (κ = 0.57) and substantial agreement for promotional tone (κ = 0.65). After discussion, readers found 86% of the articles to be scientifically accurate and 64% to be promotional in tone. Themes that were common in articles considered promotional included attacks on the methodology of the WHI, arguments that clinical trial results should not guide treatment for individuals, and arguments that observational studies are as good as or better than randomized clinical trials for guiding clinical decisions. The promotional articles we identified also implied that the risks associated with hormone therapy have been exaggerated and that the benefits of hormone therapy have been or will be proven. Of the ten authors studied, eight were found to have declared payment for speaking or consulting on behalf of menopausal hormone manufacturers or for research support (seven of these eight were speakers or consultants). Thirty of 32 articles (90%) evaluated as promoting hormone therapy were authored by those with potential financial conflicts of interest, compared to 11 of 18 articles (61%) by those without such conflicts (p = 0.0025). Articles promoting the use of menopausal hormone therapy were 2.41 times (95% confidence interval 1.49–4.93) as likely to have been authored by authors with conflicts of interest as by authors without conflicts of interest. In articles from three authors with conflicts of interest some of the same text was repeated word-for-word in different articles.
Conclusion
There may be a connection between receiving industry funding for speaking, consulting, or research and the publication of promotional opinion pieces on menopausal hormone therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Over the past three decades, menopausal hormones have been heavily promoted for preventing disease in women. However, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study—which enrolled more than 26,000 women in the US and which was published in 2004—found that estrogen-progestin and estrogen-only formulations (often prescribed to women around the age of menopause) increased the risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis, dementia, and incontinence. Furthermore, this study found that the estrogen-progestin therapy increased rates of breast cancer. In fact, the estrogen-progestin arm of the WHI study was stopped in 2002 due to harmful findings, and the estrogen-only arm was stopped in 2004, also because of harmful findings. In addition, the study also found that neither therapy reduced cardiovascular risk or markedly benefited health-related quality of life measures.
Despite these results, two years after the results of WHI study were published, a survey of over 700 practicing gynecologists—the specialists who prescribe the majority of menopausal hormone therapies—in the US found that almost half did not find the findings of the WHI study convincing and that 48% disagreed with the decision to stop the trial early. Furthermore, follow-up surveys found similar results.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is unclear why gynecologists and other physicians continue to prescribe menopausal hormone therapies despite the results of the WHI. Some academics argue that published industry-funded reviews and commentaries may be designed to convey specific, but subtle, marketing messages and several academic analyses have used internal industry documents disclosed in litigation cases. So this study was conducted to investigate whether hormone therapy–promoting tone could be identified in narrative review articles and if so, whether these articles were more likely to have been authored by people who had accepted funding from hormone manufacturers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a comprehensive literature search that identified 340 relevant articles published between July 2002 and June 2006—the four years following the cessation of the estrogen-progestin arm of the women's health initiative study. Ten authors had published four to six articles, 47 authored two or three articles, and 371 authored one article each. The researchers focused on authors who had published four or more articles in the four-year period under study and, after author names and affiliations were removed, 50 articles were evaluated by three readers for scientific accuracy and for tone. After individually analyzing a batch of articles, the readers met to provide their initial assessments, to discuss them, and to reach consensus on tone and scientific accuracy. Then after the papers were evaluated, each author was identified and the researchers searched for authors' potential financial conflicts of interest, defined as publicly disclosed information that the authors had received payment for research, speaking, or consulting on behalf of a manufacturer of menopausal hormone therapy.
Common themes in the 50 articles included arguments that clinical trial results should not guide treatment for individuals and suggestions that the risks associated with hormone therapy have been exaggerated and that the benefits of hormone therapy have been or will be proven. Furthermore, of the ten authors studied, eight were found to have received payment for research, speaking or consulting on behalf of menopause hormone manufacturers, and 30 of 32 articles evaluated as promoting hormone therapy were authored by those with potential financial conflicts of interest. Articles promoting the use of menopausal hormone therapy were more than twice as likely to have been written by authors with conflicts of interest as by authors without conflicts of interest. Furthermore, Three authors who were identified as having financial conflicts of interest were authors on articles where sections of their previously published articles were repeated word-for-word without citation.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that there may be a link between receiving industry funding for speaking, consulting, or research and the publication of apparently promotional opinion pieces on menopausal hormone therapy. Furthermore, such publications may encourage physicians to continue prescribing these therapies to women of menopausal age. Therefore, physicians and other health care providers should interpret the content of review articles with caution. In addition, medical journals should follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, which require that all authors submit signed statements of their participation in authorship and full disclosure of any conflicts of interest.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000425.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more information on the Womens Health Initiative
The US National Institutes of Health provide more information about the effects of menopausal hormone replacement therapy
The Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides information on menopausal hormone therapy
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts presents Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts published in biomedical journals
The National Womens Health Network, a consumer advocacy group that takes no industry money, has factsheets and articles about menopausal hormone therapy
PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center project, has many resources on pharmaceutical marketing practices
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000425
PMCID: PMC3058057  PMID: 21423581
22.  Korea's Contribution to Radiological Research Included in Science Citation Index Expanded, 1986-2010 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2012;13(5):523-529.
Objective
To evaluate scientific papers published by Korean radiologists in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) radiology journals, between 1986 and 2010.
Materials and Methods
The Institute for Scientific Information Web of Knowledge-Web of Science (SCIE) database was searched for all articles published by Korean radiologists, in SCIE radiology journals, between 1986 and 2010. We performed the analysis by typing "Korea" and "radiol" in the address section and selecting the subject area of "Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Medical Imaging" with the use of the general search function of the software. Analyzed parameters included the total number of publications, document types, journals, and institutions. In addition, we analyzed where Korea ranks, compared to other countries, in terms of the number of published articles. All these data were analyzed according to five time periods: 1986-1990, 1991-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005, and 2006-2010.
Results
Overall, 4974 papers were published by Korean radiologists, in 99 different SCIE journals, between 1986 and 2010, of which 4237 (85.2%) were article-type papers. Of the total 115395 articles, worldwide, published in radiology journals, Korea's share was 3.7%, with an upward trend over time (p < 0.005). The journal with the highest number of articles was the American Journal of Roentgenology (n = 565, 13.3%). The institution which produced the highest number of publications was Seoul National University (n = 932, 22.0%).
Conclusion
The number of scientific articles published by Korean radiologists in the SCIE radiology journals has increased significantly between 1986 and 2010. Korea was ranked 4th among countries contributing to radiology research during the last 5 years.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2012.13.5.523
PMCID: PMC3435847  PMID: 22977317
Citation analysis; Publication; Radiologic research; Korea
23.  Applied Biotechnology in Nematology 
Journal of Nematology  1993;25(4S):719-730.
During the past two decades, rapid advances in biotechnology and molecular biology have affected the understanding and treatment of human and plant diseases. The human and Caenorhabditis elegans genome-sequencing projects promise further techniques and results useful to applied nematology. Of course, biotechnology is not a panacea for nematological problems, but it provides many powerful tools that have potential use in applied biology and nematode management. The tools will facilitate research on a range of previously intractable problems in nematology, from identification of species and pathotypes to the development of resistant cultivars that have been inaccessible because of technical limitations. However, to those unfamiliar or not directly involved with the new technologies and their extensive terminology, the benefits of the advances in biotechnology may not be readily discerned. The sustainable agriculture of the future will require ecology-based management, and successful integrated nematode management will depend on combinations of control tactics to reduce nematode numbers. In this review we discuss how biotechnology may influence nematode management, define terminology relative to potential applications, and present current and future avenues of research in applied nematology, including species identification, race and pathotype identification, development of resistant cultivars, definition of nematode-host interactions, nematode population dynamics, establishment of optimal rotations, the ecology of biological control and development of useful biological control agents, and the design of novel nematicides.
PMCID: PMC2619462  PMID: 19279831
agriculture; applied biotechnology; biological control; biotechnology; identification; management; molecular biology; nematode
24.  Temporal Trends in the Impact Factor of European versus USA Biomedical Journals 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16300.
Background
The impact factors of biomedical journals tend to rise over time. We sought to assess the trend in the impact factor, during the past decade, of journals published on behalf of United States (US) and European scientific societies, in four select biomedical subject categories (Biology, Cell Biology, Critical Care Medicine, and Infectious Diseases).
Methods
We identified all journals included in the above-mentioned subject categories of Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® for the years 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. We selected those that were published on behalf of US or European scientific societies, as documented in journal websites.
Results
We included 167 journals (35 in the subject category of Biology, 79 in Cell Biology, 27 in Critical Care Medicine, and 26 in Infectious Diseases). Between 1999 and 2008, the percentage increase in the impact factor of the European journals was higher than for the US journals (73.7±110.0% compared with 39.7±70.0%, p = 0.049). Regarding specific subject categories, the percentage change in the factor of the European journals tended to be higher than the respective US journals for Cell Biology (61.7% versus 16.3%), Critical Care Medicine (212.4% versus 65.4%), Infectious Diseases (88.3% versus 48.7%), whereas the opposite was observed for journals in Biology (41.0% versus 62.5%).
Conclusion
Journals published on behalf of European scientific societies, in select biomedical fields, may tend to close the “gap” in impact factor compared with those of US societies.
What's Already Known About This Topic?
The impact factors of biomedical journals tend to rise through years. The leading positions in productivity in biomedical research are held by developed countries, including those from North America and Western Europe.
What Does This Article Add?
The journals from European biomedical scientific societies tended, over the past decade, to increase their impact factor more than the respective US journals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016300
PMCID: PMC3036587  PMID: 21347409
25.  Plant and Soil Nematodes: Societal Impact and Focus for the Future. 
Journal of Nematology  1994;26(2):127-137.
Plant and soil nematodes significandy impact our lives. Therefore, we must understand and manage these complex organisms so that we may continue to develop and sustain our food production systems, our natural resources, our environment, and our quality of life. This publication looks specifically at soil and plant nematology. First, the societal impact of nematodes and benefits of nematology research are briefly presented. Next, the opportunities facing nematology in the next decade are outlined, as well as the resources needed to address these priorities. The safety and sustainability of U.S. food and fiber production depends on public and administrative understanding of the importance of nematodes, the drastic effects of nematodes on many agricultural and horticultural crops, and the current research priorities of nematology.
PMCID: PMC2619488  PMID: 19279875
alternative management tactics; behavior; benefit to society; beneficial nematodes; biochemistry; biological control; constraints in nematology; control; crop rotation; cultural practice; ecology; education; environment; extension; diagnostics; funding; genetics; host-parasite interaction; information transfer; molecular genetics; nematicide; nematode; nematology; nematode management; nutrient cycling; pesticide; plant parasites; research goals; research priorities; resistance; resource; science of nematology; society; spread; sustainable agriculture; systematics

Results 1-25 (1426785)