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1.  DEAR1 Is a Dominant Regulator of Acinar Morphogenesis and an Independent Predictor of Local Recurrence-Free Survival in Early-Onset Breast Cancer 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(5):e1000068.
Ann Killary and colleagues describe a new gene that is genetically altered in breast tumors, and that may provide a new breast cancer prognostic marker.
Background
Breast cancer in young women tends to have a natural history of aggressive disease for which rates of recurrence are higher than in breast cancers detected later in life. Little is known about the genetic pathways that underlie early-onset breast cancer. Here we report the discovery of DEAR1 (ductal epithelium–associated RING Chromosome 1), a novel gene encoding a member of the TRIM (tripartite motif) subfamily of RING finger proteins, and provide evidence for its role as a dominant regulator of acinar morphogenesis in the mammary gland and as an independent predictor of local recurrence-free survival in early-onset breast cancer.
Methods and Findings
Suppression subtractive hybridization identified DEAR1 as a novel gene mapping to a region of high-frequency loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in a number of histologically diverse human cancers within Chromosome 1p35.1. In the breast epithelium, DEAR1 expression is limited to the ductal and glandular epithelium and is down-regulated in transition to ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early histologic stage in breast tumorigenesis. DEAR1 missense mutations and homozygous deletion (HD) were discovered in breast cancer cell lines and tumor samples. Introduction of the DEAR1 wild type and not the missense mutant alleles to complement a mutation in a breast cancer cell line, derived from a 36-year-old female with invasive breast cancer, initiated acinar morphogenesis in three-dimensional (3D) basement membrane culture and restored tissue architecture reminiscent of normal acinar structures in the mammary gland in vivo. Stable knockdown of DEAR1 in immortalized human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) recapitulated the growth in 3D culture of breast cancer cell lines containing mutated DEAR1, in that shDEAR1 clones demonstrated disruption of tissue architecture, loss of apical basal polarity, diffuse apoptosis, and failure of lumen formation. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining of a tissue microarray from a cohort of 123 young female breast cancer patients with a 20-year follow-up indicated that in early-onset breast cancer, DEAR1 expression serves as an independent predictor of local recurrence-free survival and correlates significantly with strong family history of breast cancer and the triple-negative phenotype (ER−, PR−, HER-2−) of breast cancers with poor prognosis.
Conclusions
Our data provide compelling evidence for the genetic alteration and loss of expression of DEAR1 in breast cancer, for the functional role of DEAR1 in the dominant regulation of acinar morphogenesis in 3D culture, and for the potential utility of an immunohistochemical assay for DEAR1 expression as an independent prognostic marker for stratification of early-onset disease.
Editors' Summary
Background
Each year, more than one million women discover that they have breast cancer. This type of cancer begins when cells in the breast that line the milk-producing glands or the tubes that take the milk to the nipples (glandular and ductal epithelial cells, respectively) acquire genetic changes that allow them to grow uncontrollably and to move around the body (metastasize). The uncontrolled division leads to the formation of a lump that can be detected by mammography (a breast X-ray) or by manual breast examination. Breast cancer is treated by surgical removal of the lump or, if the cancer has started to spread, by removal of the whole breast (mastectomy). Surgery is usually followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy. These “adjuvant” therapies are designed to kill any remaining cancer cells but can make patients very ill. Generally speaking, the outlook for women with breast cancer is good. In the US, for example, nearly 90% of affected women are still alive five years after their diagnosis.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although breast cancer is usually diagnosed in women in their 50s or 60s, some women develop breast cancer much earlier. In these women, the disease is often very aggressive. Compared to older women, young women with breast cancer have a lower overall survival rate and their cancer is more likely to recur locally or to metastasize. It would be useful to be able to recognize those younger women at the greatest risk of cancer recurrence so that they could be offered intensive surveillance and adjuvant therapy; those women at a lower risk could have gentler treatments. To achieve this type of “stratification,” the genetic changes that underlie breast cancer in young women need to be identified. In this study, the researchers discover a gene that is genetically altered (by mutations or deletion) in early-onset breast cancer and then investigate whether its expression can predict outcomes in women with this disease.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used “suppression subtractive hybridization” to identify a new gene in a region of human Chromosome 1 where loss of heterozygosity (LOH; a genetic alteration associated with cancer development) frequently occurs. They called the gene DEAR1 (ductal epithelium-associated RING Chromosome 1) to indicate that it is expressed in ductal and glandular epithelial cells and encodes a “RING finger” protein (specifically, a subtype called a TRIM protein; RING finger proteins such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been implicated in early cancer development and in a large fraction of inherited breast cancers). DEAR1 expression was reduced or lost in several ductal carcinomas in situ (a local abnormality that can develop into breast cancer) and advanced breast cancers, the researchers report. Furthermore, many breast tumors carried DEAR1 missense mutations (genetic changes that interfere with the normal function of the DEAR1 protein) or had lost both copies of DEAR1 (the human genome contains two copies of most genes). To determine the function of DEAR1, the researchers replaced a normal copy of DEAR1 into a breast cancer cell that had a mutation in DEAR1. They then examined the growth of these genetically manipulated cells in special three-dimensional cultures. The breast cancer cells without DEAR1 grew rapidly without an organized structure while the breast cancer cells containing the introduced copy of DEAR1 formed structures that resembled normal breast acini (sac-like structures that secrete milk). In normal human mammary epithelial cells, the researchers silenced DEAR1 expression and also showed that without DEAR1, the normal mammary cells lost their ability to form proper acini. Finally, the researchers report that DEAR1 expression (detected “immunohistochemically”) was frequently lost in women who had had early-onset breast cancer and that the loss of DEAR1 expression correlated with reduced local recurrence-free survival, a strong family history of breast cancer and with a breast cancer subtype that has a poor outcome.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that genetic alteration and loss of expression of DEAR1 are common in breast cancer. Although laboratory experiments may not necessarily reflect what happens in people, the results from the three-dimensional culture of breast epithelial cells suggest that DEAR1 may regulate the normal acinar structure of the breast. Consequently, loss of DEAR1 expression could be an early event in breast cancer development. Most importantly, the correlation between DEAR1 expression and both local recurrence in early-onset breast cancer and a breast cancer subtype with a poor outcome suggests that it might be possible to use DEAR1 expression to identify women with early-onset breast cancer who have an increased risk of local recurrence so that they get the most appropriate treatment for their cancer.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000068.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Senthil Muthuswamy
The US National Cancer Institute provides detailed information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of breast cancer, including information on genetic alterations in breast cancer (in English and Spanish)
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia provides information for patients about breast cancer; MedlinePlus also provides links to many other breast cancer resources (in English and Spanish)
The UK charities Cancerbackup (now merged with MacMillan Cancer Support) and Cancer Research UK also provide detailed information about breast cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000068
PMCID: PMC2673042  PMID: 19536326
2.  Endorsement of the CONSORT Statement by high impact factor medical journals: a survey of journal editors and journal 'Instructions to Authors' 
Trials  2008;9:20.
Background
The CONSORT Statement provides recommendations for reporting randomized controlled trials. We assessed the extent to which leading medical journals that publish reports of randomized trials incorporate the CONSORT recommendations into their journal and editorial processes.
Methods
This article reports on two observational studies. Study 1: We examined the online version of 'Instructions to Authors' for 165 high impact factor medical journals and extracted all text mentioning the CONSORT Statement or CONSORT extension papers. Any mention of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) or clinical trial registration were also sought and extracted. Study 2: We surveyed the editor-in-chief, or editorial office, for each of the 165 journals about their journal's endorsement of CONSORT recommendations and its incorporation into their editorial and peer-review processes.
Results
Study 1: Thirty-eight percent (62/165) of journals mentioned the CONSORT Statement in their online 'Instructions to Authors'; of these 37% (23/62) stated this was a requirement, 63% (39/62) were less clear in their recommendations. Very few journals mentioned the CONSORT extension papers. Journals that referred to CONSORT were more likely to refer to ICMJE guidelines (RR 2.16; 95% CI 1.51 to 3.08) and clinical trial registration (RR 3.67; 95% CI 2.36 to 5.71) than those journals which did not.
Study 2: Thirty-nine percent (64/165) of journals responded to the on-line survey, the majority were journal editors. Eighty-eight percent (50/57) of journals recommended authors comply with the CONSORT Statement; 62% (35/56) said they would require this. Forty-one percent (22/53) reported incorporating CONSORT into their peer-review process and 47% (25/53) into their editorial process. Eighty-one percent (47/58) reported including CONSORT in their 'Instructions to Authors' although there was some inconsistency when cross checking information on the journal's website. Sixty-nine percent (31/45) of journals recommended authors comply with the CONSORT extension for cluster trials, 60% (27/45) for harms and 42% (19/45) for non-inferiority and equivalence trials. Few journals mentioned these extensions in their 'Instructions to Authors'.
Conclusion
Journals should be more explicit in their recommendations and expectations of authors regarding the CONSORT Statement and related CONSORT extensions papers.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-9-20
PMCID: PMC2359733  PMID: 18423021
3.  Life and times of the impact factor: retrospective analysis of trends for seven medical journals (1994-2005) and their Editors' views 
Objective (1) To analyse trends in the journal impact factor (IF) of seven general medical journals (Ann Intern Med, BMJ, CMAJ, JAMA, Lancet, Med J Aust and N Engl J Med) over 12 years; and (2) to ascertain the views of these journals' past and present Editors on factors that had affected their journals' IFs during their tenure, including direct editorial policies.
Design Retrospective analysis of IF data from ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports—Science Edition, 1994 to 2005, and interviews with Editors-in-Chief.
Setting Medical journal publishing.
Participants Ten Editors-in-Chief of the journals, except Med J Aust, who served between 1999 and 2004.
Main outcome measures IFs and component numerator and denominator data for the seven general medical journals (1994 to 2005) were collected. IFs are calculated using the formula: (Citations in year z to articles published in years x and y)/(Number of citable articles published in years x and y), where z is the current year and x and y are the previous two years. Editors' views on factors that had affected their journals' IFs were also obtained.
Results IFs generally rose over the 12-year period, with the N Engl J Med having the highest IF throughout. However, percentage rises in IF relative to the baseline year of 1994 were greatest for CMAJ (about 500%) and JAMA (260%). Numerators for most journals tended to rise over this period, while denominators tended to be stable or to fall, although not always in a linear fashion. Nine of ten eligible editors were interviewed. Possible reasons given for rises in citation counts included: active recruitment of high-impact articles by courting researchers; offering authors better services; boosting the journal's media profile; more careful article selection; and increases in article citations. Most felt that going online had not affected citations. Most had no deliberate policy to publish fewer articles (lowering the IF denominator), which was sometimes the unintended result of other editorial policies. The two Editors who deliberately published fewer articles did so as they realized IFs were important to authors. Concerns about the accuracy of ISI counting for the IF denominator prompted some to routinely check their IF data with ISI. All Editors had mixed feelings about using IFs to evaluate journals and academics, and mentioned the tension between aiming to improve IFs and ‘keeping their constituents [clinicians] happy.’
Conclusions IFs of the journals studied rose in the 12-year period due to rising numerators and/or falling denominators, to varying extents. Journal Editors perceived that this occurred for various reasons, including deliberate editorial practices. The vulnerability of the IF to editorial manipulation and Editors' dissatisfaction with it as the sole measure of journal quality lend weight to the need for complementary measures.
PMCID: PMC1809163  PMID: 17339310
4.  Scientific Value of Systematic Reviews: Survey of Editors of Core Clinical Journals 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e35732.
Background
Synthesizing research evidence using systematic and rigorous methods has become a key feature of evidence-based medicine and knowledge translation. Systematic reviews (SRs) may or may not include a meta-analysis depending on the suitability of available data. They are often being criticised as ‘secondary research’ and denied the status of original research. Scientific journals play an important role in the publication process. How they appraise a given type of research influences the status of that research in the scientific community. We investigated the attitudes of editors of core clinical journals towards SRs and their value for publication.
Methods
We identified the 118 journals labelled as “core clinical journals” by the National Library of Medicine, USA in April 2009. The journals’ editors were surveyed by email in 2009 and asked whether they considered SRs as original research projects; whether they published SRs; and for which section of the journal they would consider a SR manuscript.
Results
The editors of 65 journals (55%) responded. Most respondents considered SRs to be original research (71%) and almost all journals (93%) published SRs. Several editors regarded the use of Cochrane methodology or a meta-analysis as quality criteria; for some respondents these criteria were premises for the consideration of SRs as original research. Journals placed SRs in various sections such as “Review” or “Feature article”. Characterization of non-responding journals showed that about two thirds do publish systematic reviews.
Discussion
Currently, the editors of most core clinical journals consider SRs original research. Our findings are limited by a non-responder rate of 45%. Individual comments suggest that this is a grey area and attitudes differ widely. A debate about the definition of ‘original research’ in the context of SRs is warranted.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035732
PMCID: PMC3341385  PMID: 22563469
5.  “Hardly worth the effort”? Medical journals’ policies and their editors’ and publishers’ views on trial registration and publication bias: quantitative and qualitative study 
Objectives To determine the proportion of medical journals requiring trial registration and to understand their reasons for adopting (or not adopting) such policies and other measures designed to reduce publication bias.
Design Quantitative study of journals’ instructions to authors (in June 2012) and qualitative study of editors’ and publishers’ views on trial registration and publication bias (carried out in Autumn 2012).
Setting Random selection of 200 medical journals publishing clinical trials identified from the Cochrane CENTRAL database.
Participants Editors (n=13) and publishers (n=3) of journals with different policies on trial registration (and with recently changed policies) identified from the survey of their instructions to authors.
Results Only 55/200 journals (28%) required trial registration according to their instructions and a further three (2%) encouraged it. The editors and publishers interviewed explained their journals’ reluctance to require registration in terms of not wanting to lose out to rival journals, not wanting to reject otherwise sound articles or submissions from developing countries, and perceptions that such policies were not relevant to all journals. Some interviewees considered that registration was unnecessary for small or exploratory studies.
Conclusions Although many major medical journals state that they will only publish clinical trials that have been prospectively registered, and such policies have been associated with a dramatic increase in the number of trials being registered, most smaller journals have not adopted such policies. Editors and publishers may be reluctant to require registration because they do not understand its benefits or because they fear that adopting such a policy would put their journal at a disadvantage to competitors.
doi:10.1136/bmj.f5248
PMCID: PMC3805489  PMID: 24014339
6.  Effect of editors’ implementation of CONSORT guidelines on the reporting of abstracts in high impact medical journals: interrupted time series analysis  
Objective To investigate the effect of the CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines, and different editorial policies used by five leading general medical journals to implement the guidelines, on the reporting quality of abstracts of randomised trials.
Design Interrupted time series analysis.
Sample We randomly selected up to 60 primary reports of randomised trials per journal per year from five high impact, general medical journals in 2006-09, if indexed in PubMed with an electronic abstract. We excluded reports that did not include an electronic abstract, and any secondary trial publications or economic analyses. We classified journals in three categories: those not mentioning the guidelines in their instructions to authors (JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine), those referring to the guidelines in their instructions to authors but with no specific policy to implement them (BMJ), and those referring to the guidelines in their instructions to authors with an active policy to implement them (Annals of Internal Medicine and Lancet). Two authors extracted data independently using the CONSORT for Abstracts checklist.
Main outcome Mean number of CONSORT items reported in selected abstracts, among nine items reported in fewer than 50% of the abstracts published across the five journals in 2006.
Results We assessed 955 reports of abstracts of randomised trials. Journals with an active policy to enforce the guidelines showed an immediate increase in the level of mean number of items reported (increase of 1.50 items; P=0.0037). At 23 months after publication of the guidelines, the mean number of items reported per abstract for the primary outcome was 5.41 of nine items, a 53% increase compared with the expected level estimated on the basis of pre-intervention trends. The change in level or trend did not increase in journals with no policy to enforce the guidelines (BMJ, JAMA, and New England Journal of Medicine).
Conclusion Active implementation of the CONSORT for Abstracts guidelines by journals can lead to improvements in the reporting of abstracts of randomised trials.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e4178
PMCID: PMC3382226  PMID: 22730543
7.  A survey of the awareness, knowledge, policies and views of veterinary journal Editors-in-Chief on reporting guidelines for publication of research 
Background
Wider adoption of reporting guidelines by veterinary journals could improve the quality of published veterinary research. The aims of this study were to assess the knowledge and views of veterinary Editors-in-Chief on reporting guidelines, identify the policies of their journals, and determine their information needs. Editors-in-Chief of 185 journals on the contact list for the International Association of Veterinary Editors (IAVE) were surveyed in April 2012 using an online questionnaire which contained both closed and open questions.
Results
The response rate was 36.8% (68/185). Thirty-six of 68 editors (52.9%) stated they knew what a reporting guideline was before receiving the questionnaire. Editors said they had found out about reporting guidelines primarily through articles in other journals, via the Internet and through their own journal. Twenty of 57 respondents (35.1%) said their journal referred to reporting guidelines in its instructions to authors. CONSORT, REFLECT, and ARRIVE were the most frequently cited. Forty-four of 68 respondents (68.2%) believed that reporting guidelines should be adopted by all refereed veterinary journals. Qualitative analysis of the open questions revealed that lack of knowledge, fear, resistance to change, and difficulty in implementation were perceived as barriers to the adoption of reporting guidelines by journals. Editors suggested that reporting guidelines be promoted through communication and education of the veterinary community, with roles for the IAVE and universities. Many respondents believed a consensus policy on guideline implementation was needed for veterinary journals.
Conclusions
Further communication and education about reporting guidelines for editors, authors and reviewers has the potential to increase their adoption by veterinary journals in the future.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-10
PMCID: PMC3922819  PMID: 24410882
Veterinary journals; Veterinary research; Reporting guidelines; Reporting quality; Editors; Editorial policies; Views; Barriers
8.  Evaluating adherence to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ policy of mandatory, timely clinical trial registration 
Objective
To determine whether two specific criteria in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) created by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)—namely, including the trial ID registration within manuscripts and timely registration of trials, are being followed.
Materials and methods
Observational study using computerized analysis of publicly available Medline article data and clinical trial registry data. We analyzed a purposive set of five ICMJE founding journals looking at all trial articles published in those journals during 2010–2011, and data from the ClinicalTrials.gov (CTG) trial registry. We measured adherence to trial ID inclusion policy as the percentage of trial journal articles that contained a valid trial ID within the article (journal-based sample). Adherence to timely registration was measured as the percentage of trials that registered the trial before enrolling the first participant within a 60-day grace period. We also examined timely registration rates by year of all phase II and higher interventional trials in CTG (registry-based sample).
Results
To determine trial ID inclusion, we analyzed 698 clinical trial articles in five journals. A total of 95.8% (661/690) of trial journal articles included the trial ID. In 88.3% the trial-article link is stored within a structured Medline field. To evaluate timely registration, we analyzed trials referenced by 451 articles from the selected five journals. A total of 60% (272/451) of articles were registered in a timely manner with an improving trend for trials initiated in later years (eg, 89% of trials that began in 2008 were registered in a timely manner). In the registry-based sample, the timely registration rates ranged from 56% for trials registered in 2006 to 72% for trials registered in 2011.
Discussion
Adherence to URM requirements for registration and trial ID inclusion increases the utility of PubMed and links it in an important way to clinical trial repositories. This new integrated knowledge source can facilitate research prioritization, clinical guidelines creation, and precision medicine.
Conclusions
The five selected journals adhere well to the policy of mandatory trial registration and also outperform the registry in adherence to timely registration. ICMJE's URM policy represents a unique international mandate that may be providing a powerful incentive for sponsors and investigators to document clinical trials and trial result publications and thus fulfill important obligations to trial participants and society.
doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001501
PMCID: PMC3715364  PMID: 23396544
clinical trials as topic/legislation; registries; cross-sectional analysis; Databases; publication policy; trial registration
9.  A survey of orthopaedic journal editors determining the criteria of manuscript selection for publication 
Background
To investigate the characteristics of editors and criteria used by orthopaedic journal editors in assessing submitted manuscripts.
Methods
Between 2008 to 2009 all 70 editors of Medline listed orthopaedic journals were approached prospectively with a questionnaire to determine the criteria used in assessing manuscripts for publication.
Results
There was a 42% response rate. There was 1 female editor and the rest were male with 57% greater than 60 years of age. 67% of the editors worked in university teaching hospitals and 90% of publications were in English.
The review process differed between journals with 59% using a review proforma, 52% reviewing an anonymised manuscript, 76% using a routine statistical review and 59% of journals used 2 reviewers routinely. In 89% of the editors surveyed, the editor was able to overrule the final decision of the reviewers.
Important design factors considered for manuscript acceptance were that the study conclusions were justified (80%), that the statistical analysis was appropriate (76%), that the findings could change practice (72%). The level of evidence (70%) and type of study (62%) were deemed less important. When asked what factors were important in the manuscript influencing acceptance, 73% cited an understandable manuscript, 53% cited a well written manuscript and 50% a thorough literature review as very important factors.
Conclusions
The editorial and review process in orthopaedic journals uses different approaches. There may be a risk of language bias among editors of orthopaedic journals with under-representation of non-English publications in the orthopaedic literature.
doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-19
PMCID: PMC3095562  PMID: 21527007
editor; orthopaedic
10.  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
11.  Appropriate Roles for the Subscriber, Publisher, Editor, Author, and Reviewer in the Archives of Plastic Surgery 
Archives of Plastic Surgery  2013;40(6):663-665.
Authors, editors and reviewers, publishers, and subscribers all play their role in scientific journals. These 5 stakeholders are essential to journals. In this paper, firstly, I briefly summarize the role of each journal stakeholder and their respective goals. Secondly, the status of each participant in the Archives of Plastic Surgery is described. Finally, I propose an appropriate role and plan for each of them. Specific roles and responsibilities include the following: subscribers should welcome and submit the critiques of published papers in letters to the editor. Publishers should trust editors and provide them with adequate financial support for ongoing quality improvement of the journal. The editor-in-chief should be given a sufficient period of time-several years-to build up journal quality and train the incoming editor. The editors, including section editors, are also responsible for increasing the author pool. One editor might be designated a 'devil's referee', that is, a kind of devil's advocate with the responsibility of examining the originality of the manuscript, taking a skeptical view of the manuscript, and looking for holes in the methods and results of reported experiments. Authors' responsibilities include submitting manuscripts with scientific integrity and being ready to take responsibility for their articles even long after publication. Finally, reviewers' responsibilities include identifying similar articles not cited. Reviewers are also welcome to write a discussion on the article they review.
doi:10.5999/aps.2013.40.6.663
PMCID: PMC3840171  PMID: 24286037
Journal article; Publishing; Role; Editorial policies
12.  Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors 
Croatian Medical Journal  2013;54(6):600-608.
This article overviews evidence on common instances of conflict of interest (COI) in research publications from general and specialized fields of biomedicine. Financial COIs are viewed as the most powerful source of bias, which may even distort citation outcomes of sponsored publications. The urge to boost journal citation indicators by stakeholders of science communication is viewed as a new secondary interest, which may compromize the interaction between authors, peer reviewers, and editors. Comprehensive policies on disclosure of financial and non-financial COIs in scholarly journals are presented as proxies of their indexing in evidence-based databases, and examples of successful medical journals are discussed in detail. Reports on clinical trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and clinical practice guidelines may be unduly influenced by author-pharmaceutical industry relations, but these publications do not always contain explicit disclosures to allow the readers to judge the reliability of the published conclusions and practice-changing recommendations. The article emphasizes the importance of adhering to the guidance on COI from learned associations such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). It also considers joint efforts of authors, peer reviewers, and editors as a foundation for appropriately defining and disclosing potential COIs.
doi:10.3325/cmj.2013.54.600
PMCID: PMC3893982  PMID: 24382859
13.  How Should Journal Editors Respond to Cases of Suspected Misconduct? 
Journals and institutions have important complementary roles to play in cases of suspected research and publication misconduct. Journals should take responsibility for everything they publish and should alert institutions to cases of possible serious misconduct but should not attempt to investigate such cases. Institutions should take responsibility for their researchers and for investigating cases of possible misconduct and for ensuring journals are informed if they have published unreliable or misleading articles so that these can be retracted or corrected. Journals and institutions should have policies in place for handling such cases and these policies should respect their different roles.
doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.829
PMCID: PMC4278465  PMID: 25574266
14.  What do the JAMA editors say when they discuss manuscripts that they are considering for publication? Developing a schema for classifying the content of editorial discussion 
Background
In an effort to identify previously unrecognized aspects of editorial decision-making, we explored the words and phrases that one group of editors used during their meetings.
Methods
We performed an observational study of discussions at manuscript meetings at JAMA, a major US general medical journal. One of us (KD) attended 12 editorial meetings in 2003 as a visitor and took notes recording phrases from discussion surrounding 102 manuscripts. In addition, editors attending the meetings completed a form for each manuscript considered, listing the reasons they were inclined to proceed to the next step in publication and reasons they were not (DR attended 4/12 meetings). We entered the spoken and written phrases into NVivo 2.0. We then developed a schema for classifying the editors' phrases, using an iterative approach.
Results
Our classification schema has three main themes: science, journalism, and writing. We considered 2,463 phrases, of which 87 related mainly to the manuscript topic and were not classified (total 2,376 classified). Phrases related to science predominated (1,274 or 54%). The editors, most of whom were physicians, also placed major weight on goals important to JAMA's mission (journalism goals) such as importance to medicine, strategic emphasis for the journal, interest to the readership, and results (729 or 31% of phrases). About 16% (n = 373) of the phrases used related to writing issues, such as clarity and responses to the referees' comments.
Conclusion
Classification of editorial discourse provides insight into editorial decision making and concepts that need exploration in future studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-7-44
PMCID: PMC2121101  PMID: 17894854
15.  Representation of authors and editors from countries with different human development indexes in the leading literature on tropical medicine: survey of current evidence 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7450):1229-1232.
Objective To assess the current international representation of members of editorial and advisory boards and authors in the leading peer reviewed literature on tropical medicine.
Design Systematic review.
Main outcome measures Country affiliations, as classified by the human development index, of editorial and advisory board members of all tropical medicine journals referenced by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) as of late 2003 and of all contributing authors of full articles published in the six leading journals on tropical medicine in 2000-2.
Results Sixteen (5.1%) of the 315 editorial and advisory board members from the 12 ISI referenced journals on tropical medicine are affiliated to countries with a low human development index and 223 (70.8%) to countries with a high index. Examination of the 2384 full articles published in 2000-2 in the six highest ranking tropical medicine journals showed that 48.1% of contributing authors are affiliated to countries with a high human development index, whereas the percentage of authors from countries with a low index was 13.7%. Articles written exclusively by authors from low ranked countries accounted for 5.0%. Our data indicate that research collaborations between a country with a high human development index and one that has either a medium or a low index are common and account for 26.5% and 16.1% of all full articles, respectively.
Conclusion Current collaborations should be transformed into research partnerships, with the goals of mutual learning and institutional capacity strengthening in the developing world.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38069.518137.F6
PMCID: PMC416596  PMID: 15059851
16.  Characteristics of highly successful orthopedic surgeons: a survey of orthopedic chairs and editors 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2013;56(3):192-198.
Background
Highly successful orthopedic surgeons are a small group of individuals who exert a large influence on the orthopedic field. However, the characteristics of these leaders have not been well-described or studied.
Methods
Orthopedic surgeons who are departmental chairs, journal editors, editorial board members of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British edition), or current or past presidents of major orthopedic associations were invited to complete a survey designed to provide insight into their motivations, academic backgrounds and accomplishments, emotional and physical health, and job satisfaction.
Results
In all, 152 surgeons completed the questionnaire. We identified several characteristics of highly successful surgeons. Many have contributed prolific numbers of publications and book chapters and obtained considerable funding for research. They were often motivated by a “desire for personal development (interesting challenge, new opportunities),” whereas “relocating to a new institution, financial gain, or lack of alternative candidates” played little to no role in their decisions to take positions of leadership. Most respondents were happy with their specialty choice despite long hours and high levels of stress. Despite challenges to their time, successful orthopedic surgeons made a strong effort to maintain their health; compared with other physicians, they exercise more, are more likely to have a primary care physician and feel better physically.
Conclusion
Departmental chairs, journal editors and presidents of orthopedic associations cope with considerable demands of clinical, administrative, educational and research duties while maintaining a high level of health, happiness and job satisfaction.
doi:10.1503/cjs.017511
PMCID: PMC3672433  PMID: 23706848
17.  Are the Editors faced with e-problems performing their duties and responsibilities satisfactorily? 
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences  2013;29(5):1087-1092.
Astonishing revolution in information technology, developments in electronic publishing and availability of manuscript management software’s has provided lot of facilities to authors, reviewers as well as editors but it has also given birth to lot of e-problems. This communication highlights some of these e-problems besides discussing the manuscript management system practiced by Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences through modified Open Journal System. It also cautions the editors of small journals faced with financial and human resource constraints to keep themselves abreast of all these developments, go for automation in e publishing gradually as all the stake holders i.e. authors, reviewers and office management staff learns these and become used to it.
PMCID: PMC3858938  PMID: 24353696
Electronic publishing; Manuscript Management Software’s; e-problems
18.  Are reviewers suggested by authors as good as those chosen by editors? Results of a rater-blinded, retrospective study 
BMC Medicine  2006;4:13.
Background
BioMed Central (BMC) requires authors to suggest four reviewers when making a submission. Editors searching for reviewers use these suggestions as a source. The review process of the medical journals in the BMC series is open – authors and reviewers know each other's identity – although reviewers can make confidential comments to the editor. Reviews are published alongside accepted articles so readers may see the reviewers' names and recommendations.
Our objective was to compare the performance of author-nominated reviewers (ANR) with that of editor-chosen reviewers (ECR) in terms of review quality and recommendations about submissions in an online-only medical journal.
Methods
Pairs of reviews from 100 consecutive submissions to medical journals in the BMC series (with one author-nominated and one editor-chosen reviewer and a final decision) were assessed by two raters, blinded to reviewer type, using a validated review quality instrument (RQI) which rates 7 items on 5-point Likert scales. The raters discussed their ratings after the first 20 pairs (keeping reviewer type masked) and resolved major discrepancies in scoring and interpretation to improve inter-rater reliability. Reviewers' recommendations were also compared.
Results
Reviewer source had no impact on review quality (mean RQI score (± SD) 2.24 ± 0.55 for ANR, 2.34 ± 0.54 for ECR) or tone (mean scores on additional question 2.72 ANR vs 2.82 ECR) (maximum score = 5 in both cases). However author-nominated reviewers were significantly more likely to recommend acceptance (47 vs 35) and less likely to recommend rejection (10 vs 23) than editor-chosen reviewers after initial review (p < 0.001). However, by the final review stage (i.e. after authors had responded to reviewer comments) ANR and ECR recommendations were similar (65 vs 66 accept, 10 vs 14 reject, p = 0.47). The number of reviewers unable to decide about acceptance was similar in both groups at both review stages.
Conclusion
Author-nominated reviewers produced reviews of similar quality to editor-chosen reviewers but were more likely to recommend acceptance during the initial stages of peer review.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-4-13
PMCID: PMC1482713  PMID: 16734897
19.  Maurice Campbell: first editor of Heart 
Heart  2003;89(12):1379-1381.
Maurice Campbell was the first editor of the British Heart Journal, now Heart, and was called the journal’s progenitor and formative influence, an untiring editor who virtually produced each issue single handedly. Campbell was also valued for his scholarly opinions, organisational and editorial skills, and for his careful statistical work which was advanced for its time and of great importance in the early understanding and treatment of congenital heart disease and arrhythmias. In addition, his collaboration with Russell Brock was instrumental in developing surgery for rheumatic and congenital heart disease at Guy’s Hospital.
PMCID: PMC1767969  PMID: 14617535
Campbell; editor; mitral surgery; natural history
20.  Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. 
In the 13 years since it was first published the "Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals" (the Vancouver style), developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, has been widely accepted by both authors and editors; over 400 journals have stated that they will consider manuscripts that conform to its requirements. This is the fourth edition of the "Uniform requirements."
PMCID: PMC1486225  PMID: 8287338
21.  Consensus and contention regarding redundant publications in clinical research: cross-sectional survey of editors and authors 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2003;29(2):109-114.
Objectives: To examine the perspectives of journal editors and authors on overlapping and redundant publications in clinical research.
Design: Pretested cross-sectional survey, containing both forced choice and open ended questions, administered by mail to the senior editors (N=99) and one randomly selected author (N=99) from all journals in the Abridged Index Medicus (1996) that published clinical research.
Main measurements: The views of editors and authors about the extent of redundant publications, why they occur, how to prevent and respond to cases, and when the publication of overlapping manuscripts is justified.
Results: Seventy two per cent (N=71) of editors and 65% (N=64) of authors completed the survey. There was consensus between both groups that redundant publications occur because authors feel the pressure to publish and journals do not do enough to publicise, criticise, and punish cases, and that the publication of most types of overlapping articles is unacceptable. Sixty seven per cent of authors but only 31% of editors felt, however, that it was justified to publish an overlapping article in a non-peer reviewed symposium supplement, and 68% of editors but 39% of authors supported imposing restrictions on guilty authors' future submissions. In written comments, 15% to 30% of both groups emphasised that it was justified to publish overlapping articles when there were different or non-English-speaking audiences, new data, strengthened methods, or disputed findings.
Conclusions: Editors, authors, and other academic leaders should together develop explicit guidelines that clarify points of contention and ambiguity regarding overlapping manuscripts.
doi:10.1136/jme.29.2.109
PMCID: PMC1733707  PMID: 12672892
22.  How to write a letter to the editor: an author's guide 
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine  2006;5(4):144-147.
Abstract
A letter to the editor provides a means of communication between the author of an article and the reader of a journal, allowing continued dialog about journal content to take place. Although not original research per se, a letter may provide new insight, make corrections, offer alternate theories, or request clarification about content printed in the journal. By providing additional information, the evidence may be strengthened. This paper provides first time writers some insight into the process of writing a letter to the editor.
doi:10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60147-5
PMCID: PMC2647072  PMID: 19674686
23.  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
24.  Do Author-Suggested Reviewers Rate Submissions More Favorably than Editor-Suggested Reviewers? A Study on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13345.
Background
Ratings in journal peer review can be affected by sources of bias. The bias variable investigated here was the information on whether authors had suggested a possible reviewer for their manuscript, and whether the editor had taken up that suggestion or had chosen a reviewer that had not been suggested by the authors. Studies have shown that author-suggested reviewers rate manuscripts more favorably than editor-suggested reviewers do.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Reviewers' ratings on three evaluation criteria and the reviewers' final publication recommendations were available for 552 manuscripts (in total 1145 reviews) that were submitted to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an interactive open access journal using public peer review (authors' and reviewers' comments are publicly exchanged). Public peer review is supposed to bring a new openness to the reviewing process that will enhance its objectivity. In the statistical analysis the quality of a manuscript was controlled for to prevent favorable reviewers' ratings from being attributable to quality instead of to the bias variable.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results agree with those from other studies that editor-suggested reviewers rated manuscripts between 30% and 42% less favorably than author-suggested reviewers. Against this backdrop journal editors should consider either doing without the use of author-suggested reviewers or, if they are used, bringing in more than one editor-suggested reviewer for the review process (so that the review by author-suggested reviewers can be put in perspective).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013345
PMCID: PMC2954795  PMID: 20976226
25.  The publication of ethically uncertain research: attitudes and practices of journal editors 
BMC Medical Ethics  2012;13:4.
Background
Publication of ethically uncertain research occurs despite well-published guidelines set forth in documents such as the Declaration of Helsinki. Such guidelines exist to aide editorial staff in making decisions regarding ethical acceptability of manuscripts submitted for publication, yet examples of ethically suspect and uncertain publication exist. Our objective was to survey journal editors regarding practices and attitudes surrounding such dilemmas.
Methods
The Editor-in-chief of each of the 103 English-language journals from the 2005 Abridged Index Medicus list publishing original research were asked to complete a survey sent to them by email between September-December 2007.
Results
A response rate of 33% (n = 34) was obtained from the survey. 18% (n = 6) of respondents had published ethically uncertain or suspect research within the last 10 years. 85% (n = 29) of respondents stated they would always reject ethically uncertain articles submitted for publication on ethical grounds alone. 12% (n = 4) of respondents stated they would approach each submission on a case-by-case basis. 3% (n = 1) stated they would be likely to publish such research, but only with accompanying editorial. Only 38% (n = 13) give reviewers explicit instruction to reject submissions on ethical grounds if found wanting.
Conclusions
Editorial compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki in rejecting research that is conducted unethically was difficult to ascertain because of a poor response rate despite multiple attempts using different modalities. Of those who did respond, the majority do reject ethically suspect research but few explicitly advise reviewers to do so. In this study editors did not take advantage of the opportunity to describe their support for the rejection of the publication of unethical research.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-13-4
PMCID: PMC3378458  PMID: 22494972
Editors; Ethics; Publication ethics

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