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1.  Accelerated publication versus usual publication in 2 leading medical journals 
Background
A number of medical journals have developed policies for accelerated publication of articles judged by the authors, the editors or the peer reviewers to be of special importance. However, the validity of these judgements is unknown. We therefore compared the importance of articles published on a “fast track” with those published in the usual way.
Methods
We identified 12 “case” articles — 6 articles from the New England Journal of Medicine that were prereleased on the journal's Web site before publication in print and 6 “fast-tracked” articles from The Lancet. We then identified 12 “control” articles matched to the case articles according to journal, disease or procedure of focus, theme area and year of publication. Forty-two general internists rated the articles, using 10-point scales, on dimensions addressing the articles' importance, ease of applicability and impact on health outcomes.
Results
For each dimension, the mean score for the case articles was significantly higher than the mean score for the control articles: importance to clinical practice 7.6 v. 7.1 respectively (p = 0.001), importance from a public health perspective 6.5 v. 6.0 (p < 0.001), contribution to advancement of medical knowledge 6.2 v. 5.8 (p < 0.001), ease of applicability in practice 7.0 v. 6.5 (p < 0.001), potential impact on health outcomes 6.5 v. 5.9 (p < 0.001). Despite these general findings, in 5 of the 12 matched pairs of articles the control article had a higher mean score than the case article across all the dimensions.
Interpretation
The accelerated publication practices of 2 leading medical journals targeted articles that, on average, had slightly higher importance scores than similar articles published in the usual way. However, our finding of higher importance scores for control articles in 5 of the 12 matched pairs shows that current journal practices for selecting articles for expedited publication are inconsistent.
PMCID: PMC102352  PMID: 12000245
2.  What we are watching—five top global infectious disease threats, 2012: a perspective from CDC’s Global Disease Detection Operations Center 
Emerging Health Threats Journal  2013;6:10.3402/ehtj.v6i0.20632.
Disease outbreaks of international public health importance continue to occur regularly; detecting and tracking significant new public health threats in countries that cannot or might not report such events to the global health community is a challenge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Global Disease Detection (GDD) Operations Center, established in early 2007, monitors infectious and non-infectious public health events to identify new or unexplained global public health threats and better position CDC to respond, if public health assistance is requested or required. At any one time, the GDD Operations Center actively monitors approximately 30–40 such public health threats; here we provide our perspective on five of the top global infectious disease threats that we were watching in 2012: (1) avian influenza A (H5N1), (2) cholera, (3) wild poliovirus, (4) enterovirus-71, and (5) extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
doi:10.3402/ehtj.v6i0.20632
PMCID: PMC3701798  PMID: 23827387
epidemic intelligence; disease detection; epidemiology; global health; emergency response; CDC
3.  International Breastfeeding Journal: Introducing a new journal 
International Breastfeeding Journal is a new open access peer-reviewed journal with a multidisciplinary focus. The aim of International Breastfeeding Journal is to contribute to understanding all aspects of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recognized as an important public health issue with enormous social and economic implications. In order to help women breastfeed successfully there is a need to understand both the physiology of lactation and the social and cultural context within which breastfeeding occurs. International Breastfeeding Journal invites manuscripts from around the world, which address all of these aspects, including the impediments to breastfeeding, the health effects of not breastfeeding for infants and their mothers, and the management of breastfeeding problems.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-1-1
PMCID: PMC1436019  PMID: 16722586
4.  Fast, linked, and open – the future of taxonomic publishing for plants: launching the journal PhytoKeys  
PhytoKeys  2010;1-14.
The paper describes the focus, scope and the rationale of PhytoKeys, a newly established, peer-reviewed, open-access journal in plant systematics. PhytoKeys is launched to respond to four main challenges of our time: (1) Appearance of electronic publications as amendments or even alternatives to paper publications; (2) Open Access (OA) as a new publishing model; (3) Linkage of electronic registers, indices and aggregators that summarize information on biological species through taxonomic names or their persistent identifiers (Globally Unique Identifiers or GUIDs; currently Life Science Identifiers or LSIDs); (4) Web 2.0 technologies that permit the semantic markup of, and semantic enhancements to, published biological texts. The journal will pursue cutting-edge technologies in publication and dissemination of biodiversity information while strictly following the requirements of the current International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN).
doi:10.3897/phytokeys.1.642
PMCID: PMC3174424  PMID: 22171165
E-publications; open access; semantic tagging; semantic enhancements; plant systematics
5.  Evaluation Criteria for Publishing in Top-Tier Journals in Environmental Health Sciences and Toxicology 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2011;119(7):896-899.
Background: Trying to publish a paper in a top-rated peer-reviewed journal can be a difficult and frustrating experience for authors. It is important that authors understand the general review process before submitting manuscripts for publication.
Objectives: Editors-in-chief and associate editors from top-tier journals such as Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), Toxicological Sciences, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Chemical Research in Toxicology were asked to provide guidance concerning the writing and submission of papers to their journals.
Discussion: The editors reviewed the manuscript review process for their journals, elaborated on the evaluation criteria for reviewing papers, and provided advice for future authors in preparing their papers.
Conclusions: The manuscript submission process was similar for all of the journals with the exception of EHP that includes an initial screening in which about two-thirds of submitted papers are returned to the authors without review. The evaluation criteria used by the journals were also similar. Papers that are relevant to the scope of the journal, are innovative, significantly advance the field, are well written, and adhere to the instructions to authors have a higher likelihood of being accepted. The editors advised potential authors to ensure that the topic of the paper is within the scope of the journal, represents an important problem, is carefully prepared according to the instructions to authors, and to seek editorial assistance if English is not the primary language of the authors.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1003280
PMCID: PMC3222983  PMID: 21414890
environmental health sciences; evaluation criteria; peer review; top-tier journals; toxicology
6.  A review of electronic journal acquisition, management, and use in health sciences libraries 
Purpose: The paper describes patterns of electronic journal usage in health sciences libraries during the past decade.
Method: The paper presents a case study, documenting the pattern of acquisition, management, and usage at the Louis Calder Memorial Library of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Results: Health sciences journals were early to offer electronic alternatives to print. As a result, health sciences libraries, their patrons, and the public at large were early to embrace the new versions and continue to embrace the significant changes in scholarly communication they enable. Although the patterns of electronic journals among health sciences libraries and other special and academic libraries have similarities, they also have differences. Broad studies of electronic journals in non–health sciences libraries have been published, but a retrospective review of electronic journals in health sciences libraries has not.
PMCID: PMC1324774  PMID: 16404472
7.  PUBLISHING YOUR WORK IN A JOURNAL: UNDERSTANDING THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS 
Manuscripts have been subjected to the peer review process prior to publication for over 300 years. Currently, the peer review process is used by almost all scientific journals, and The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is no exception. Scholarly publication is the means by which new work is communicated and peer review is an important part of this process. Peer review is a vital part of the quality control mechanism that is used to determine what is published, and what is not. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a description of the peer review process, both generally, and as utilized by The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. It is the hope of the authors that this will assist those who submit scholarly works to understand the purpose of the peer review process, as well as to appreciate the length of time required for a manuscript to complete the process and move toward publication.
PMCID: PMC3474310  PMID: 23091777
Peer review; quality control; research publication
8.  Preparing raw clinical data for publication: guidance for journal editors, authors, and peer reviewers 
Trials  2010;11:9.
In recognition of the benefits of transparent reporting, many peer-reviewed journals require that their authors be prepared to share their raw, unprocessed data with other scientists and/or state the availability of raw data in published articles. But little information on how data should be prepared for publication - or sharing - has emerged. In clinical research patient privacy and consent for use of personal health information are key considerations, but agreed-upon definitions of what constitutes anonymised patient information do not appear to have been established. We aim to address this issue by providing practical guidance for those involved in the publication process, by proposing a minimum standard for de-identifying datasets for the purposes of publication in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal, or sharing with other researchers. Basic advice on file preparation is provided along with procedural guidance on prospective and retrospective publication of raw data, with an emphasis on randomised controlled trials.
In order to encourage its wide dissemination this article is freely accessible on the BMJ and Trials journal web sites.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-9
PMCID: PMC2825513  PMID: 20113465
9.  Lessons from the History of Quarantine, from Plague to Influenza A 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(2):254-259.
The complex and controversial history of this centuries-old public health strategy offers guidance for its future use.
In the new millennium, the centuries-old strategy of quarantine is becoming a powerful component of the public health response to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. During the 2003 pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the use of quarantine, border controls, contact tracing, and surveillance proved effective in containing the global threat in just over 3 months. For centuries, these practices have been the cornerstone of organized responses to infectious disease outbreaks. However, the use of quarantine and other measures for controlling epidemic diseases has always been controversial because such strategies raise political, ethical, and socioeconomic issues and require a careful balance between public interest and individual rights. In a globalized world that is becoming ever more vulnerable to communicable diseases, a historical perspective can help clarify the use and implications of a still-valid public health strategy.
doi:10.3201/eid1902.120312
PMCID: PMC3559034  PMID: 23343512
infectious diseases; epidemics; public health measures; quarantine; isolation; maritime quarantine; sanitary cordons; lazarettos; public health emergencies; political issues; economic issues; social issues; ethical issues; viruses; bacteria; discrimination; stigmatization; prejudice; border controls; communicable diseases; influenza; cholera; Black Death; SARS; severe acute respiratory syndrome
10.  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
11.  Under-representation of developing countries in the research literature: ethical issues arising from a survey of five leading medical journals 
BMC Medical Ethics  2004;5:5.
Background
It is widely acknowledged that there is a global divide on health care and health research known as the 10/90 divide.
Methods
A retrospective survey of articles published in the BMJ, Lancet, NEJM, Annals of Internal Medicine & JAMA in a calendar year to examine the contribution of the developing world to medical literature. We categorized countries into four regions: UK, USA, Other Euro-American countries (OEAC) and (RoW). OEAC were European countries other than the UK but including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. RoW comprised all other countries.
Results
The average contribution of the RoW to the research literature in the five journals was 6.5%. In the two British journals 7.6% of the articles were from the RoW; in the three American journals 4.8% of articles were from RoW. The highest proportion of papers from the RoW was in the Lancet (12%). An analysis of the authorship of 151 articles from RoW showed that 104 (68.9%) involved authorship with developed countries in Europe or North America. There were 15 original papers in these journals with data from RoW but without any authors from RoW.
Conclusions
There is a marked under-representation of countries in high-impact general medical journals. The ethical implications of this inequity and ways of reducing it are discussed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-5-5
PMCID: PMC524359  PMID: 15461820
12.  Chiropractic & Osteopathy. A new journal 
Both chiropractic and osteopathy are over a century old. They are now regarded as complementary health professions. There is an imperative for both professions to research the principles and claims that underpin them, and the new journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy provides a scientific forum for the publication of such research.
doi:10.1186/1746-1340-13-1
PMCID: PMC1151649  PMID: 15967045
13.  Fluids and Barriers of the CNS: a new journal encompassing Cerebrospinal Fluid Research 
This article celebrates the re-launch of Cerebrospinal Fluid Research in its new format as Fluids and Barriers of the CNS. Editors-in Chief, Hazel Jones and Tetsuya Terasaki, anticipate that this expanded journal will provide a unique and specialist platform for the publication of research in cerebrospinal fluid and all brain barriers and fluid systems in both health and disease.
doi:10.1186/2045-8118-8-1
PMCID: PMC3039835  PMID: 21349146
14.  A new age of peer reviewed scientific journals 
The principles of peer reviewed scientific publications date back two and one-half centuries to the origins of Medical Essays and Observations published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1731). This year (2012) is notable in that perhaps the most prestigious and best-known medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, crossed the second century mark. The methodologies of peer review have undeniably served medicine well and helped to usher in unimaginable advances in human health. Despite such illustrious history, the winds of change are in the air.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.103889
PMCID: PMC3515965  PMID: 23230526
Crowd sourcing; medical journals; peer review; scientific journals
15.  A student-run peer-reviewed journal: an educational tool for students in the health sciences 
Students at the University of Ottawa, many of whom were targeting a career in medicine, were surveyed to determine their attitudes and expectations regarding a new student-run peer-reviewed journal for the health sciences. A number of students reported that the existence of the journal would make them more likely to take a class with a written component, while a majority would work harder on that assignment. Those intending to pursue postgraduate or professional studies were most likely to recognize the value to their careers of having a publication history. We argue that student-run medical communication endeavors such as this are beneficial both for enhancing student careers and for contributing to a more thorough educational experience.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S27149
PMCID: PMC3650866  PMID: 23761997
journal; literacy; publication; student; undergraduate; education
16.  Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors at the Forefront of Improving the Quality and Indexing Chances of its Member Journals 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(5):648-650.
The article overviews some achievements and problems of Korean medical journals published in the highly competitive journal environment. Activities of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) are viewed as instrumental for improving the quality of Korean articles, indexing large number of local journals in prestigious bibliographic databases and launching new abstract and citation tracking databases or platforms (eg KoreaMed, KoreaMed Synapse, the Western Pacific Regional Index Medicus [WPRIM]). KAMJE encourages its member journals to upgrade science editing standards and to legitimately increase citation rates, primarily by publishing more great articles with global influence. Experience gained by KAMJE and problems faced by Korean editors may have global implications.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.5.648
PMCID: PMC3653074  PMID: 23678253
Periodicals as Topic; Medicine; Learned Associations; Journal Indexing; Science Communication; Korea
17.  Relation between randomized controlled trials published in leading general medical journals and the global burden of disease 
Background
More than two-thirds of the world's population live in low-income countries, where health priorities are different from those of people living in more affluent parts of the world. We evaluated the relation between the global burden of disease and conditions or diseases studied in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in general medical journals.
Methods
A MEDLINE search identified 373 RCTs that had been published in 6 international peer-reviewed general medical journals in 1999. Manual review excluded non-RCTs, brief reports and trials in which the unit of randomization was not the patient; 286 RCTs remained eligible for analysis. We identified the RCTs that studied any of the 40 leading causes of the global burden of disease. Five of these conditions were considered unsuitable for study with an RCT design and were excluded from subsequent analysis. To provide a practical perspective, we asked 12 experts working with international health organizations to rate the relevance to global health of the articles that studied any of the top 10 causes of the global burden of disease, as measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and mortality, using a 5-point Likert scale.
Results
Among the 286 RCTs in our sample, 124 (43.4%) addressed 1 of the 35 leading causes of the global burden of disease. Of these, ischemic heart disease, HIV/AIDS and cerebrovascular disease were the most commonly studied conditions. Ninety articles (31.5%) studied 1 of the top 10 causes of the global burden of disease. The mean rating (and standard deviation) for international health relevance assigned by experts was 2.6 (1.5) out of 5. Only 14 (16%) of the 90 trials received a rating of 4 or greater, indicating high relevance to international health. Almost half of the 40 leading causes of the global burden of disease were not studied by any trial.
Interpretation
Many conditions or diseases common internationally are underrepresented in RCTs published in leading general medical journals. Trials published in these journals that studied one of these high-priority conditions were generally rated as being of little relevance to international health.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.1031006
PMCID: PMC408507  PMID: 15159365
18.  Hand searching the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health as part of th Cochrane Collaboration. 
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and to explore the contribution of these to the evaluation of public health issues. DESIGN: Hand searching of the journal by both authors with independent assessment of topics of the reports and of their relevance to the Cochrane Collaboration. Agreement was assessed using kappa scores. SETTING: All papers and letters published in the journal from the first issue to the end of 1994. SUBJECTS: Reports that might be RCTs were collected and classified into seven categories: definitely/probably/possibly RCTs or quasi-RCTs; or none of these. MAIN RESULTS: Eighty two definite RCTs were identified and a further 23 were probably/possibly RCTs or quasi-RCTs. Most reports dealt with health education, drug treatments, or "other" health service interventions. Both authors failed to identify a number of trials on hand searching. CONCLUSIONS: The journal has published many trials of importance to the development of evidence-based public health policy. Hand searching may need to be done independently by more than one person.
PMCID: PMC1060249  PMID: 8762385
19.  The evolution of Indian psychiatric research: An examination of the early decades of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry 
Indian Journal of Psychiatry  2010;52(Suppl1):S19-S25.
Research in psychiatry has travelled far since the inception of the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (IJP) in 1949. We reviewed publications in the IJP during its initial three decades to identify path breaking articles and trends in research. We present the evolution of research design in the IJP from cases studies to randomized controlled trials. We identify the earliest studies in different fields, ranging from drug trials to social interventions, and from women’s mental health to geriatric psychiatry. We consider special issues such as the measurement of psychopathology specific to the Indian context, studies of treatments specific to Indian traditions, epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in India, and innovations in service delivery. Students interested in the history of Indian psychiatric research will be rewarded by the richness and variety of thought evidenced in the publications in the early decades of the IJP.
doi:10.4103/0019-5545.69199
PMCID: PMC3146197  PMID: 21836678
Indian Psychiatric research; Research methodology; Indian Journal of Psychiatry
20.  Clinical Microbiology Reviews: Genesis of a Journal 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  1999;12(2):183-186.
In 1986 planning for a new ASM review journal, Clinical Microbiology Reviews (CMR), began. CMR would publish articles primarily of interest to persons concerned with pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, epidemiology, and control of human and veterinary pathogens. The first issue was published in January 1988, with quarterly publication since then. The journal quickly became successful in terms of subscribers and impact on the field, earning a strong national and international reputation. The achievements of CMR are owed to many persons, including the editorial board, the production team, and especially the contributing authors.
PMCID: PMC88913  PMID: 10194455
21.  ExaCT: automatic extraction of clinical trial characteristics from journal publications 
Background
Clinical trials are one of the most important sources of evidence for guiding evidence-based practice and the design of new trials. However, most of this information is available only in free text - e.g., in journal publications - which is labour intensive to process for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and other evidence synthesis studies. This paper presents an automatic information extraction system, called ExaCT, that assists users with locating and extracting key trial characteristics (e.g., eligibility criteria, sample size, drug dosage, primary outcomes) from full-text journal articles reporting on randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Methods
ExaCT consists of two parts: an information extraction (IE) engine that searches the article for text fragments that best describe the trial characteristics, and a web browser-based user interface that allows human reviewers to assess and modify the suggested selections. The IE engine uses a statistical text classifier to locate those sentences that have the highest probability of describing a trial characteristic. Then, the IE engine's second stage applies simple rules to these sentences to extract text fragments containing the target answer. The same approach is used for all 21 trial characteristics selected for this study.
Results
We evaluated ExaCT using 50 previously unseen articles describing RCTs. The text classifier (first stage) was able to recover 88% of relevant sentences among its top five candidates (top5 recall) with the topmost candidate being relevant in 80% of cases (top1 precision). Precision and recall of the extraction rules (second stage) were 93% and 91%, respectively. Together, the two stages of the extraction engine were able to provide (partially) correct solutions in 992 out of 1050 test tasks (94%), with a majority of these (696) representing fully correct and complete answers.
Conclusions
Our experiments confirmed the applicability and efficacy of ExaCT. Furthermore, they demonstrated that combining a statistical method with 'weak' extraction rules can identify a variety of study characteristics. The system is flexible and can be extended to handle other characteristics and document types (e.g., study protocols).
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-10-56
PMCID: PMC2954855  PMID: 20920176
22.  Launching the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research: Why a new journal? Why now? Why open access? 
The Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (IJHPR) is a new, open access journal. IJHPR seeks to promote intensive intellectual interactions among scholars and practitioners from Israel and other countries regarding all aspects of health policy, with particular attention to Israel. The ultimate aim of these interactions is to contribute to the development of health policy in Israel, and also to foster wider communication between health scientists and policy analysts in Israel and their colleagues around the world. This inaugural editorial provides an overview of the new journal's rationale and its key features.
doi:10.1186/2045-4015-1-1
PMCID: PMC3415129  PMID: 22913408
23.  Reporting Characteristics of Cancer Pain: A Systematic Review and Quantitative Analysis of Research Publications in Palliative Care Journals 
Objective:
A common disorder requiring symptom palliation in palliative and end-of-life care is cancer. Cancer pain is recognized as a global health burden. This paper sought to systematically examine the extent to which there is an adequate scientific research base on cancer pain and its reporting characteristics in the palliative care journal literature.
Materials and Methods:
Search conducted in MEDLINE and CINAHL sought to locate all studies published in 19 palliative/ hospice/ supportive/ end-of-life care journals from 2009 to 2010. The journals included were: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, BMC Palliative Care, Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, End of Life Care Journal, European Journal of Palliative Care, Hospice Management Advisor, Indian Journal of Palliative Care, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Internet Journal of Pain Symptom Control and Palliative Care, Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, Journal of Palliative Care, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Journal of Social Work in End-of-life and Palliative Care, Journal of Supportive Oncology, Palliative Medicine, Palliative and Supportive Care, and Supportive Care in Cancer. Journal contents were searched to identify studies that included cancer pain in abstract.
Results:
During the years 2009 and 2010, of the selected 1,569 articles published in the journals reviewed, only 5.86% (92 articles) were on cancer pain.
Conclusion:
While researchers in the field of palliative care have studied cancer pain, the total percentage for studies is still a low 5.86%. To move the field of palliative care forward so that appropriate guidelines for cancer pain management can be developed, it is critical that more research be reported upon which to base cancer pain therapy in an evidence-based palliative care model.
doi:10.4103/0973-1075.78451
PMCID: PMC3098545  PMID: 21633623
Cancer pain; Palliative care research; Reporting characteristics
24.  Scientific Publications in Nephrology and Urology Journals from Chinese Authors in East Asia: A 10-Year Survey of the Literature 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e14781.
Background
Diseases of the kidneys and genitourinary tract are common health problems that affect people of all ages and demographic backgrounds. In this study, we compared the quantity and quality of nephrological and urological articles published in international journals from the three major regions of China: the mainland (ML), Hong Kong (HK), and Taiwan (TW).
Methods
Nephrological and urological articles originating from ML, TW, and HK that were published in 61 journals from 1999–2008 were retrieved from the PubMed database. We recorded the numbers of total articles, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, case reports, impact factors (IF), citations, and articles published in the leading general-medicine journals. We used these data to compare the quantity and quality of publication output from the three regions.
Results
The total number of articles increased significantly from 1999 to 2008 in the three regions. The number of articles from ML has exceeded that from HK since 2004, and surpassed that from TW in 2008. Publications from TW had the highest accumulated IF, total citations of articles, and the most articles published in leading general-medicine journals. However, HK publications had the highest average IF. Although ML produced the largest quantity of articles, it exhibited the lowest quality among the three regions.
Conclusion
The number of nephrological and urological publications originating from the three major regions of China increased significantly from 1999 to 2008. The annual number of publications by ML researchers exceeded those from TW and HK. However, the quality of articles from TW and HK was higher than that from ML.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014781
PMCID: PMC3072969  PMID: 21494662
25.  Innoversity in knowledge-for-action and adaptation to climate change: the first steps of an ‘evidence-based climatic health’ transfrontier training program 
It has become increasingly clear to the international scientific community that climate change is real and has important consequences for human health. To meet these new challenges, the World Health Organization recommends reinforcing the adaptive capacity of health systems. One of the possible avenues in this respect is to promote awareness and knowledge translation in climatic health, at both the local and global scales. Within such perspective, two major themes have emerged in the field of public health research: 1) the development of advanced training adapted to ‘global environment’ change and to the specific needs of various groups of actors (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, health care managers, public service managers, local communities, etc) and 2) the development of strategies for implementing research results and applying various types of evidence to the management of public health issues affected by climate change. Progress on these two fronts will depend on maximum innovation in transdisciplinary and transsectoral collaborations. The general purpose of this article is to present the program of a new research and learning chair designed for this double set of developmental objectives – a chair that emphasizes ‘innoversity’ (the dynamic relationship between innovation and diversity) and ‘transfrontier ecolearning for adaptive actions’. The Écoapprentissages, santé mentale et climat collaborative research chair (University of Montreal and Quebec National Public Health Institute) based in Montreal is a center for ‘transdisciplinary research’ on the transfrontier knowledge-for-action that can aid adaptation of the public health sector, the public mental health sector, and the public service sector to climate change, as well as a center for complex collaborations on evidence-based climatic health ‘training’. This program-focused article comprises two main sections. The first section presents the ‘general’ and ‘specific contexts’ in which the chair emerged. The ‘general context’ pertains to the health-related challenge of finding ways to integrate, transfer, and implement knowledge, a particularly pointed challenge in Canada. The ‘specific context’ refers to the emerging research field of adaptation of public health to climate change. In the second section, the characteristics of the research chair are more extensively detailed (the vision of ‘innoversity’ and ‘ transfrontier knowledge-for-action,’ the approach of shared responsibility and complex collaboration, objectives, and major axes of research). We conclude with a call for complex collaboration toward knowledge-for-action in public health services/mental health services/public services’ adaptation to climate change: this call is aimed at individual and institutional actors in the North and South/West and East concerned by these issues.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S14027
PMCID: PMC3643138  PMID: 23745068
global changing environment; climatic health; adaptation to climate change; adaptive capacity; innoversity; diversity; complex collaboration; transdisciplinary knowledge-for-action; transfrontier training; andragogy; continuing education; ecocompetency; public health; mental health; health professional; public service manager; knowledge translation; implementation science; ecolearning; ecomanagement; eco-decision-making

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