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1.  Licensing the future: report on BioMed Central’s public consultation on open data in peer-reviewed journals 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:318.
We report the outcomes of BioMed Central’s public consultation on implementing open data-compliant licensing in peer-reviewed open access journals. Respondents (42) to the 2012 consultation were six to one in favor (29 in support; 5 against; 8 abstentions) of changing our authors’ default open access copyright license agreement, to introduce the Creative Commons CC0 public domain waiver for data published in BioMed Central’s journals. We summarize the different questions we received in response to the consultation and our responses to them – matters such as citation, plagiarism, patient privacy, and commercial use were raised. In light of the support for open data in our journals we outline our plans to implement, in September 2013, a combined Creative Commons Attribution license for published articles (papers) and Creative Commons CC0 waiver for published data.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-318
PMCID: PMC3751723  PMID: 23962139
2.  Creative Commons licenses and the non-commercial condition: Implications for the re-use of biodiversity information 
ZooKeys  2011;127-149.
The Creative Commons (CC) licenses are a suite of copyright-based licenses defining terms for the distribution and re-use of creative works. CC provides licenses for different use cases and includes open content licenses such as the Attribution license (CC BY, used by many Open Access scientific publishers) and the Attribution Share Alike license (CC BY-SA, used by Wikipedia, for example). However, the license suite also contains non-free and non-open licenses like those containing a “non-commercial” (NC) condition. Although many people identify “non-commercial” with “non-profit”, detailed analysis reveals that significant differences exist and that the license may impose some unexpected re-use limitations on works thus licensed. After providing background information on the concepts of Creative Commons licenses in general, this contribution focuses on the NC condition, its advantages, disadvantages and appropriate scope. Specifically, it contributes material towards a risk analysis for potential re-users of NC-licensed works.
doi:10.3897/zookeys.150.2189
PMCID: PMC3234435  PMID: 22207810
Creative Commons; Open Access; Open Content; Licensing; Non-profit; Open Educational Resources; Data Sharing; Software Licenses; Europeana
3.  Article processing charges, funding, and open access publishing at Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction 
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction is an Open Access, online, electronic journal published by BioMed Central with full contents available to the scientific and medical community free of charge to all readers. Authors maintain the copyright to their own work, a policy facilitating dissemination of data to the widest possible audience without requiring permission from the publisher. This Open Access publishing model is subsidized by authors (or their institutions/funding agencies) in the form of a single £330 article processing charge (APC), due at the time of manuscript acceptance for publication. Payment of the APC is not a condition for formal peer review and does not apply to articles rejected after review. Additionally, this fee is waived for authors whose institutions are BioMed Central members or where genuine financial hardship exists. Considering ordinary publication fees related to page charges and reprints, the APC at Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction is comparable to costs associated with publishing in some traditional print journals, and is less expensive than many. Implementation of the APC within this Open Access framework is envisioned as a modern research-friendly policy that supports networking among investigators, brings new research into reach rapidly, and empowers authors with greater control over their own scholarly publications.
doi:10.1186/1743-1050-2-1
PMCID: PMC546227  PMID: 15649322
4.  Publication Ethics in Biomedical Journals from Countries in Central and Eastern Europe 
Science and Engineering Ethics  2013;20(1):99-109.
Publication ethics is an important aspect of both the research and publication enterprises. It is particularly important in the field of biomedical science because published data may directly affect human health. In this article, we examine publication ethics policies in biomedical journals published in Central and Eastern Europe. We were interested in possible differences between East European countries that are members of the European Union (Eastern EU) and South-East European countries (South-East Europe) that are not members of the European Union. The most common ethical issues addressed by all journals in the region were redundant publication, peer review process, and copyright or licensing details. Image manipulation, editors’ conflicts of interest and registration of clinical trials were the least common ethical policies. Three aspects were significantly more common in journals published outside the EU: statements on the endorsement of international editorial standards, contributorship policy, and image manipulation. On the other hand, copyright or licensing information were more prevalent in journals published in the Eastern EU. The existence of significant differences among biomedical journals’ ethical policies calls for further research and active measures to harmonize policies across journals.
doi:10.1007/s11948-013-9431-x
PMCID: PMC3933755  PMID: 23456142
Publication ethics; Ethical criteria; Central and Eastern Europe; Research ethics
5.  Authors attain comparable or slightly higher rates of citation publishing in an open access journal (CytoJournal) compared to traditional cytopathology journals - A five year (2007-2011) experience 
CytoJournal  2014;11:10.
Background:
The era of Open Access (OA) publication, a platform which serves to better disseminate scientific knowledge, is upon us, as more OA journals are in existence than ever before. The idea that peer-reviewed OA publication leads to higher rates of citation has been put forth and shown to be true in several publications. This is a significant benefit to authors and is in addition to another relatively less obvious but highly critical component of the OA charter, i.e. retention of the copyright by the authors in the public domain. In this study, we analyzed the citation rates of OA and traditional non-OA publications specifically for authors in the field of cytopathology.
Design:
We compared the citation patterns for authors who had published in both OA and traditional non-OA peer-reviewed, scientific, cytopathology journals. Citations in an OA publication (CytoJournal) were analyzed comparatively with traditional non-OA cytopathology journals (Acta Cytologica, Cancer Cytopathology, Cytopathology, and Diagnostic Cytopathology) using the data from web of science citation analysis site (based on which the impact factors (IF) are calculated). After comparing citations per publication, as well as a time adjusted citation quotient (which takes into account the time since publication), we also analyzed the statistics after excluding the data for meeting abstracts.
Results:
Total 28 authors published 314 publications as articles and meeting abstracts (25 authors after excluding the abstracts). The rate of citation and time adjusted citation quotient were higher for OA in the group where abstracts were included (P < 0.05 for both). The rates were also slightly higher for OA than non-OA when the meeting abstracts were excluded, but the difference was statistically insignificant (P = 0.57 and P = 0.45).
Conclusion
We observed that for the same author, the publications in the OA journal attained a higher rate of citation than the publications in the traditional non-OA journals in the field of cytopathology over a 5 year period (2007-2011). However, this increase was statistically insignificant if the meeting abstracts were excluded from the analysis. Overall, the rates of citation for OA and non-OA were slightly higher to comparable.
doi:10.4103/1742-6413.131739
PMCID: PMC4058908  PMID: 24987441
Citations; impact; open access; publication
6.  Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11273.
Background
The Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8,5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11,9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20,4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.
Conclusions/Significance
The results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011273
PMCID: PMC2890572  PMID: 20585653
7.  Open Access: A New Model for Publishing in the Pharmacological Sciences 
CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (CPT:PSP) is an online-only, open access (OA) journal, which means that anyone, anywhere in the world, can access, download, print out, and read articles published here immediately upon publication on the journal's website at Nature and simultaneous deposit in the public-access repository, PubMed Central. Using a Creative Commons license for authors, CPT:PSP permits authors to retain copyright in their articles and permits readers to download and reuse (with attribution) tables, data, and other elements of a paper. This Perspective provides an introduction to authors and readers of this new ASCPT journal about this approach to publishing.
doi:10.1038/psp.2012.7
PMCID: PMC3603472  PMID: 23835887
8.  The Relationship of Previous Training and Experience of Journal Peer Reviewers to Subsequent Review Quality 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e40.
Background
Peer review is considered crucial to the selection and publication of quality science, but very little is known about the previous experiences and training that might identify high-quality peer reviewers. The reviewer selection processes of most journals, and thus the qualifications of their reviewers, are ill defined. More objective selection of peer reviewers might improve the journal peer review process and thus the quality of published science.
Methods and Findings
306 experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with a specialty journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences postulated to improve peer review skills. Reviewers performed 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, all prospectively rated on a standardized quality scale by editors. Multivariable analysis revealed that most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training). Being on an editorial board and doing formal grant (study section) review were each predictors for only one of our two comparisons. However, the predictive power of all variables was weak.
Conclusions
Our study confirms that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict reviewer performance. Skill in scientific peer review may be as ill defined and hard to impart as is “common sense.” Without a better understanding of those skills, it seems unlikely journals and editors will be successful in systematically improving their selection of reviewers. This inability to predict performance makes it imperative that all but the smallest journals implement routine review ratings systems to routinely monitor the quality of their reviews (and thus the quality of the science they publish).
A survey of experienced reviewers, asked about training they had received in peer review, found there are no easily identifiable types of formal training and experience that predict reviewer performance.
Editors' Summary
Background.
When medical researchers have concluded their research and written it up, the next step is to get it published as an article in a journal, so that the findings can be circulated widely. These published findings help determine subsequent research and clinical use. The editors of reputable journals, including PLoS Medicine, have to decide whether the articles sent to them are of good quality and accurate and whether they will be of interest to the readers of their journal. To do this they need to obtain specialist advice, so they contact experts in the topic of the research article and ask them to write reports. This is the process of scientific peer review, and the experts who write such reports are known as “peer reviewers.” Although the editors make the final decision, the advice and criticism of these peer reviewers to the editors is essential in making decisions on publication, and usually in requiring authors to make changes to their manuscript. The contribution that peer reviewers have made to the article by the time it is finally published may, therefore, be quite considerable.
Although peer review is accepted as a key part of the process for the publishing of medical research, many people have argued that there are flaws in the system. For example, there may be an element of luck involved; one author might find their paper being reviewed by a reviewer who is biased against the approach they have adopted or who is a very critical person by nature, and another author may have the good fortune to have their work considered by someone who is much more favorably disposed toward their work. Some reviewers are more knowledgeable and thorough in their work than others. The editors of medical journals try to take in account such biases and quality factors in their choice of peer reviewers or when assessing the reviews. Some journals have run training courses for experts who review for them regularly to try to make the standard of peer review as high as possible.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is hard for journal editors to know who will make a good peer reviewer, and there is no proven system for choosing them. The authors of this study wanted to identify the previous experiences and training that make up the background of good peer reviewers and compare them with the quality of the reviews provided. This would help journal editors select good people for the task in future, and as a result will affect the quality of science they publish for readers, including other researchers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors contacted all the regular reviewers from one specialist journal (Annals of Emergency Medicine). A total of 306 of these experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with the journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences that might be expected to improve peer review skills. These reviewers had done 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, and during this time the quality of the reviews had been rated by the journal's editors. Surprisingly, most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training), and even these were only weak predictors.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study suggest that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict peer reviewer performance, although it is clear that some reviewers (and reviews) are better than others. The authors suggest that it is essential therefore that journals routinely monitor the quality of reviews submitted to them to ensure they are getting good advice (a practice that is not universal).
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
• WAME is an association of editors from many countries who seek to foster international cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals
• The Fifth International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication is one of a series of conferences on peer review
• The PLoS Medicine guidelines for reviewers outline what we look for in a review
• The Council of Science Editors promotes ethical scientific publishing practices
• An editorial also published in this issue of PLoS Medicine discusses the peer review process further
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
PMCID: PMC1796627  PMID: 17411314
9.  Funding free and universal access to Journal of Neuroinflammation 
Journal of Neuroinflammation is an Open Access, online journal published by BioMed Central. Open Access publishing provides instant and universal availability of published work to any potential reader, worldwide, completely free of subscriptions, passwords, and charges. Further, authors retain copyright for their work, facilitating its dissemination. Open Access publishing is made possible by article-processing charges assessed "on the front end" to authors, their institutions, or their funding agencies. Beginning November 1, 2004, the Journal of Neuroinflammation will introduce article-processing charges of around US$525 for accepted articles. This charge will be waived for authors from institutions that are BioMed Central members, and in additional cases for reasons of genuine financial hardship. These article-processing charges pay for an electronic submission process that facilitates efficient and thorough peer review, for publication costs involved in providing the article freely and universally accessible in various formats online, and for the processes required for the article's inclusion in PubMed and its archiving in PubMed Central, e-Depot, Potsdam and INIST. There is no remuneration of any kind provided to the Editors-in-Chief, to any members of the Editorial Board, or to peer reviewers; all of whose work is entirely voluntary. Our article-processing charge is less than charges frequently levied by traditional journals: the Journal of Neuroinflammation does not levy any additional page or color charges on top of this fee, and there are no reprint costs as publication-quality pdf files are provided, free, for distribution in lieu of reprints. Our article-processing charge will enable full, immediate, and continued Open Access for all work published in Journal of Neuroinflammation. The benefits from such Open Access will accrue to readers, through unrestricted access; to authors, through the widest possible dissemination of their work; and to science and society in general, through facilitation of information availability and scientific advancement.
doi:10.1186/1742-2094-1-19
PMCID: PMC528856  PMID: 15485579
10.  ETHICAL ASPECTS AND DILEMMAS OF PREPARING, WRITING AND PUBLISHING OF THE SCIENTIFIC PAPERS IN THE BIOMEDICAL JOURNALS 
Acta Informatica Medica  2012;20(3):141-148.
Introduction:
In this paper author discussed about preparing and submitting manuscripts - scientific, research, professional papers, reviews and case reports. Author described it from the Editor’s perspective, and specially talked about ethical aspects of authorship, conflict of interest, copyright, plagiarism and duplicate publication from the point of view of his experiences as Editor-in-Chief of several biomedical journals and Chief of Task Force of European Federation of Medical Informatics journals and member of Task Force of European Cardiology Society journals. The scientific process relies on trust and credibility. The scientific community demands high ethical standards to conduct biomedical research and to publish scientific contents. During the last decade, disclosure of conflicts of interest (COI ), (also called competing loyalties, competing interests or dual commitments), has been considered as a key element to guarantee the credibility of the scientific process. Biases in design, analysis and interpretation of studies may arise when authors or sponsors have vested interests. Therefore, COI should be made clear to the readers to facilitate their own judgment and interpretation of their relevance and potential implications.
Results and Discussion:
Authors are responsible to fully disclose potential COI . In October 2009 the ICMJE proposed an electronic “uniform” format for COI disclosure. Four main areas were addressed: authors´ associations with entities that supported the submitted manuscript (indefinite time frame), associations with commercial entities with potential interest in the general area of the manuscript (time frame 36 months), financial association of their spouse and children and, finally, non-financial associations potentially relevant to the submitted manuscript. Consumers of medical scholarship expect a reliable system of disclosure in which journals and authors make disclosures appropriately and consistently. There is a stigma surrounding the reporting of COI that should be progressively overcome. Further actions are required to increase awareness of the importance of COI disclosure and to promote policies aimed to enhance transparency in biomedical research. In this article author discuss about important ethical dilemmas in preparing, writing and publishing of scientific manuscripts in biomedical journals.
doi:10.5455/aim.2012.20.141-148
PMCID: PMC3508847  PMID: 23322969
medical science; biomedical journals; ethics; authorship; acknowledgement; conflict of interest; copyright; plagiarism; duplicate publication.
11.  Achieving Open Access to Conservation Science 
Conservation Biology  2014;28(6):1550-1557.
Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees.
Obtención de Acceso Abierto a la Ciencia de la Conservación
Resumen
La ciencia de la conservación es una disciplina de crisis en la que los resultados del cuestionamiento científico deben hacerse disponibles de manera rápida para quienes están implementando el manejo. Evaluamos la extensión a la cual está disponible para el público la investigación científica publicada desde el año 2000 en 20 revistas de ciencia de la conservación. De los 19, 207 artículos publicados, 1, 667 (8.68%) están libres para descargar de un repositorio oficial. Además, sólo 938 artículos (4.88%) cumplen con la definición estándar de acceso abierto en la cual el material puede reutilizarse libremente siempre y cuando se le dé atribución a los autores. Esto se compara pobremente con un conjunto comparable de 20 revistas de biología evolutiva, donde 31.93% de los artículos están libres para descargar y el 7.94% son de acceso abierto. Diecisiete de las 20 revistas de conservación ofrecen una opción de acceso abierto, pero menos del 5% de los artículos están disponibles por medio del acceso abierto. El costo de acceder al cuerpo completo de la ciencia de la conservación llega a estar entre los miles de dólares por año para suscriptores institucionales, y muchos practicantes de la conservación no pueden acceder a la ciencia de paga en sus lugares de trabajo. Sin embargo, iniciativas importantes como Research4Life están poniendo a la ciencia a disponibilidad de organizaciones en países en desarrollo. Urgimos a los autores de la ciencia de la conservación que paguen por acceso abierto en una base por artículo o que escojan publicar en revistas de acceso abierto, tomando en consideración asegurar que la licencia permita reutilizar siempre y cuando se proporcione atribución. Actualmente, costaría $51 millones hacer que toda la ciencia de la conservación publicada desde 2000 esté disponible libremente al pagar las cuotas de acceso abierto que actualmente impuestas a los autores. Los publicadores de revistas de la conservación pueden considerar modelos más rentables para el acceso abierto y las organizaciones orientadas a la conservación que administran revistas podrían considerar un campo más amplio de opciones de acceso abierto para quienes no son miembros, como el patrocinio de acceso abierto por medio de pagos de membrecía
doi:10.1111/cobi.12346
PMCID: PMC4241051  PMID: 25158824
communications; ethics; funding; governance; philanthropy; policy; comunicación; ética; filantropía; financiamiento; gobernanza; política
12.  Timing and Completeness of Trial Results Posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and Published in Journals 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(12):e1001566.
Agnes Dechartres and colleagues searched ClinicalTrials.gov for completed drug RCTs with results reported and then searched for corresponding studies in PubMed to evaluate timeliness and completeness of reporting.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The US Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act requires results from clinical trials of Food and Drug Administration–approved drugs to be posted at ClinicalTrials.gov within 1 y after trial completion. We compared the timing and completeness of results of drug trials posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and published in journals.
Methods and Findings
We searched ClinicalTrials.gov on March 27, 2012, for randomized controlled trials of drugs with posted results. For a random sample of these trials, we searched PubMed for corresponding publications. Data were extracted independently from ClinicalTrials.gov and from the published articles for trials with results both posted and published. We assessed the time to first public posting or publishing of results and compared the completeness of results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov versus published in journal articles. Completeness was defined as the reporting of all key elements, according to three experts, for the flow of participants, efficacy results, adverse events, and serious adverse events (e.g., for adverse events, reporting of the number of adverse events per arm, without restriction to statistically significant differences between arms for all randomized patients or for those who received at least one treatment dose).
From the 600 trials with results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov, we randomly sampled 50% (n = 297) had no corresponding published article. For trials with both posted and published results (n = 202), the median time between primary completion date and first results publicly posted was 19 mo (first quartile = 14, third quartile = 30 mo), and the median time between primary completion date and journal publication was 21 mo (first quartile = 14, third quartile = 28 mo). Reporting was significantly more complete at ClinicalTrials.gov than in the published article for the flow of participants (64% versus 48% of trials, p<0.001), efficacy results (79% versus 69%, p = 0.02), adverse events (73% versus 45%, p<0.001), and serious adverse events (99% versus 63%, p<0.001).
The main study limitation was that we considered only the publication describing the results for the primary outcomes.
Conclusions
Our results highlight the need to search ClinicalTrials.gov for both unpublished and published trials. Trial results, especially serious adverse events, are more completely reported at ClinicalTrials.gov than in the published article.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
When patients consult a doctor, they expect to be recommended what their doctor believes is the most effective treatment with the fewest adverse effects. To determine which treatment to recommend, clinicians rely on sources that include research studies. Among studies, the best evidence is generally agreed to come from systematic reviews and randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs), studies that test the efficacy and safety of medical interventions by comparing clinical outcomes in groups of patients randomly chosen to receive different interventions. Decision-making based on the best available evidence is called evidence-based medicine. However, evidence-based medicine can only guide clinicians if trial results are published in a timely and complete manner. Unfortunately, underreporting of trials is common. For example, an RCT in which a new drug performs better than existing drugs is more likely to be published than one in which the new drug performs badly or has unwanted adverse effects (publication bias). There can also be a delay in publishing the results of negative trials (time-lag bias) or a failure to publish complete results for all the prespecified outcomes of a trial (reporting bias). All three types of bias threaten informed medical decision-making and the health of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
One initiative that aims to prevent these biases was included in the 2007 US Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving drugs and devices that are marketed in the US. The FDAAA requires that results from clinical trials of FDA-approved drugs and devices conducted in the United States be made publicly available at ClinicalTrials.gov within one year of trial completion. ClinicalTrials.gov—a web-based registry that includes US and international clinical trials—was established in 2000 in response to the 1997 FDA Modernization Act, which required mandatory registration of trial titles and designs and of the conditions and interventions under study. The FDAAA expanded these mandatory requirements by requiring researchers studying FDA-approved drugs and devices to report additional information such as the baseline characteristics of the participants in each arm of the trial and the results of primary and secondary outcome measures (the effects of the intervention on predefined clinical measurements) and their statistical significance (an indication of whether differences in outcomes might have happened by chance). Researchers of other trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov are welcome to post trial results as well. Here, the researchers compare the timing and completeness (i.e., whether all relevant information was fully reported) of results of drug trials posted at ClinicalTrials.gov with those published in medical journals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers searched ClinicalTrials.gov for reports of completed phase III and IV (late-stage) RCTs of drugs with posted results. For a random sample of 600 eligible trials, they searched PubMed (a database of biomedical publications) for corresponding publications. Only 50% of trials with results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov had a matching published article. For 202 trials with both posted and published results, the researchers compared the timing and completeness of the results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and of results reported in the corresponding journal publication. The median time between the study completion date and the first results being publicly posted at ClinicalTrials.gov was 19 months, whereas the time between completion and publication in a journal was 21 months. The flow of participants through trials was completely reported in 64% of the ClinicalTrials.gov postings but in only 48% of the corresponding publications. Results for the primary outcome measure were completely reported in 79% and 69% of the ClinicalTrials.gov postings and corresponding publications, respectively. Finally, adverse events were completely reported in 73% of the ClinicalTrials.gov postings but in only 45% of the corresponding publications, and serious adverse events were reported in 99% and 63% of the ClinicalTrials.gov postings and corresponding publications, respectively.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the reporting of trial results is significantly more complete at ClinicalTrials.gov than in published journal articles reporting the main trial results. Certain aspects of this study may affect the accuracy of this conclusion. For example, the researchers compared the results posted at ClinicalTrials.gov only with the results in the publication that described the primary outcome of each trial, even though some trials had multiple publications. Importantly, these findings suggest that, to enable patients and physicians to make informed treatment decisions, experts undertaking assessments of drugs should consider seeking efficacy and safety data posted at ClinicalTrials.gov, both for trials whose results are not published yet and for trials whose results are published. Moreover, they suggest that the use of templates to guide standardized reporting of trial results in journals and broader mandatory posting of results may help to improve the reporting and transparency of clinical trials and, consequently, the evidence available to inform treatment of patients.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001566.
Wikipedia has pages on evidence-based medicine and on publication bias (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The US Food and Drug Administration provides information about drug approval in the US for consumers and health-care professionals, plus detailed information on the 2007 Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act
ClinicalTrials.gov provides information about the US National Institutes of Health clinical trial registry, including background information about clinical trials, and a fact sheet detailing the requirements of the 2007 Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act
PLOS Medicine recently launched a Reporting Guidelines Collection, an open access collection of reporting guidelines, commentary, and related research on guidelines from across PLOS journals that aims to help advance the efficiency, effectiveness, and equitability of the dissemination of biomedical information; a 2008 PLOS Medicine editorial discusses the 2007 Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001566
PMCID: PMC3849189  PMID: 24311990
13.  A Study of Innovative Features in Scholarly Open Access Journals 
Background
The emergence of the Internet has triggered tremendous changes in the publication of scientific peer-reviewed journals. Today, journals are usually available in parallel electronic versions, but the way the peer-review process works, the look of articles and journals, and the rigid and slow publication schedules have remained largely unchanged, at least for the vast majority of subscription-based journals. Those publishing firms and scholarly publishers who have chosen the more radical option of open access (OA), in which the content of journals is freely accessible to anybody with Internet connectivity, have had a much bigger degree of freedom to experiment with innovations.
Objective
The objective was to study how open access journals have experimented with innovations concerning ways of organizing the peer review, the format of journals and articles, new interactive and media formats, and novel publishing revenue models.
Methods
The features of 24 open access journals were studied. The journals were chosen in a nonrandom manner from the approximately 7000 existing OA journals based on available information about interesting journals and include both representative cases and highly innovative outlier cases.
Results
Most early OA journals in the 1990s were founded by individual scholars and used a business model based on voluntary work close in spirit to open-source development of software. In the next wave, many long-established journals, in particular society journals and journals from regions such as Latin America, made their articles OA when they started publishing parallel electronic versions. From about 2002 on, newly founded professional OA publishing firms using article-processing charges to fund their operations have emerged. Over the years, there have been several experiments with new forms of peer review, media enhancements, and the inclusion of structured data sets with articles. In recent years, the growth of OA publishing has also been facilitated by the availability of open-source software for journal publishing.
Conclusions
The case studies illustrate how a new technology and a business model enabled by new technology can be harnessed to find new innovative ways for the organization and content of scholarly publishing. Several recent launches of OA journals by major subscription publishers demonstrate that OA is rapidly gaining acceptance as a sustainable alternative to subscription-based scholarly publishing.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1802
PMCID: PMC3278101  PMID: 22173122
Scholarly publishing; open access; Internet; peer review
14.  Do submissions entitled to an auto-waiver take more time to be accepted by open access journals? 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:238.
Background
Open access initiative is a “talk of the town” in scientific community in recent years. Many open access publishers have an auto-waiver policy for resource limited countries. It is still not documented that whether submissions from auto- and non-waiver countries take the same time to be accepted by the editorial office or a sense of priority works for non-waiver groups.
Findings
Analyzing 248 articles published in BMC Research Notes in 2013 we have found that average 143.8 ± 5.134 and 138.4 ± 12.01 days respectively for non-waiver and auto-waiver countries were required by the editorial office to accept a submission (p = 0.6983).
Conclusion
From this current investigation it is quite evident that both categories of submissions, coming from auto- and non-waiver countries, are equally treated by the for-profit open access journals and thus it can be concluded that no sense of priority works in case of submissions those come from non-waiver countries.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-238
PMCID: PMC3996499  PMID: 24731776
Article processing charge; OA publication; Publication ethics; Transparency
15.  Where on earth to publish? A sample survey comparing traditional and open access publishing in the oncological field 
Background
The paper intends to help scientific authors to make the best choice of journals in which to publish, by describing and comparing journal features in the area of oncology. For this purpose, the authors identified impact factor (IF) ranking, cost options and copyright conditions offered to authors wishing to publish in full open access (OA), subscription-based or hybrid journals.
Methods
Data referring to articles published in 2010 by three Italian research institutions (National Institute of Health – Rome (ISS), Regina Elena National Cancer Institute – Rome (IRE), National Cancer Institute – Milan (INT) in journals (78) managed according to different business models, all listed in the Journal Citation Reports, subject category Oncology, were collected and analysed. The journals surveyed were ranked according to IF, position in quartiles, publication charges, usage rights in published articles, self-archiving conditions in OAI-compliant repositories digital archives.
Results
Almost half (34) the journals surveyed were included in the first quartile, thus revealing authors’ preference for journals with a high IF. The prevalent journal business model was the hybrid formula (based on subscriptions but also offering a paid OA option) with 51 journals, followed by subscription-based only journals accounting for 22, while just 5 full OA journals were identified. In general, no relationship was found between IF and article publication charges, in terms of correspondence between more expensive fees and higher IF.
Conclusions
The issue of OA journals as compared with traditional subscription-based journals is highly debated among stakeholders: library administrators facing financial restrictions, authors seeking to locate the best outlet for their research, publishers wishing to increase their revenues by offering journals with wider appeal. Against this background, factors such as the quest for alternatives to high-cost business models, investments in setting up institutional repositories hosting the published versions of articles and efforts to overcome copyright barriers and gain free access to scientific literature are all crucial.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-32-4
PMCID: PMC3618298  PMID: 23339627
Open access publishing; Scientific publications; Oncology; Surveys; Italy
16.  Anatomy of the Epidemiological Literature on the 2003 SARS Outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto: A Time-Stratified Review 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000272.
Weijia Xing and colleagues reviewed the published epidemiological literature on SARS and show that less than a quarter of papers were published during the epidemic itself, suggesting that the research published lagged substantially behind the need for it.
Background
Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, especially those of a global nature, require rapid epidemiological analysis and information dissemination. The final products of those activities usually comprise internal memoranda and briefs within public health authorities and original research published in peer-reviewed journals. Using the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic as an example, we conducted a comprehensive time-stratified review of the published literature to describe the different types of epidemiological outputs.
Methods and Findings
We identified and analyzed all published articles on the epidemiology of the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong or Toronto. The analysis was stratified by study design, research domain, data collection, and analytical technique. We compared the SARS-case and matched-control non-SARS articles published according to the timeline of submission, acceptance, and publication. The impact factors of the publishing journals were examined according to the time of publication of SARS articles, and the numbers of citations received by SARS-case and matched-control articles submitted during and after the epidemic were compared. Descriptive, analytical, theoretical, and experimental epidemiology concerned, respectively, 54%, 30%, 11%, and 6% of the studies. Only 22% of the studies were submitted, 8% accepted, and 7% published during the epidemic. The submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic period were significantly shorter than the corresponding intervals of matched-control non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively). The differences of median submission-to-acceptance intervals and median acceptance-to-publication intervals between SARS articles and their corresponding control articles were 106.5 d (95% confidence interval [CI] 55.0–140.1) and 63.5 d (95% CI 18.0–94.1), respectively. The median numbers of citations of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic and over the 2 y thereafter were 17 (interquartile range [IQR] 8.0–52.0) and 8 (IQR 3.2–21.8), respectively, significantly higher than the median numbers of control article citations (15, IQR 8.5–16.5, p<0.05, and 7, IQR 3.0–12.0, p<0.01, respectively).
Conclusions
A majority of the epidemiological articles on SARS were submitted after the epidemic had ended, although the corresponding studies had relevance to public health authorities during the epidemic. To minimize the lag between research and the exigency of public health practice in the future, researchers should consider adopting common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments to improve timeliness, and thus, relevance, in addition to standardizing comparability across studies. To facilitate information dissemination, journal managers should reengineer their fast-track channels, which should be adapted to the purpose of an emerging outbreak, taking into account the requirement of high standards of quality for scientific journals and competition with other online resources.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every now and then, a new infectious disease appears in a human population or an old disease becomes much more common or more geographically widespread. Recently, several such “emerging infectious diseases” have become major public health problems. For example, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have all emerged in the past three decades and spread rapidly round the world. When an outbreak (epidemic) of an emerging infectious disease occurs, epidemiologists (scientists who study the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in populations) swing into action, collecting and analyzing data on the new threat to human health. Epidemiological studies are rapidly launched to identify the causative agent of the new disease, to investigate how the disease spreads, to define diagnostic criteria for the disease, to evaluate potential treatments, and to devise ways to control the disease's spread. Public health officials then use the results of these studies to bring the epidemic under control.
Why Was This Study Done?
Clearly, epidemics of emerging infectious diseases can only be controlled rapidly and effectively if the results of epidemiological studies are made widely available in a timely manner. Public health bulletins (for example, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention) are an important way of disseminating information as is the publication of original research in peer-reviewed academic journals. But how timely is this second dissemination route? Submission, peer-review, revision, re-review, acceptance, and publication of a piece of academic research can be a long process, the speed of which is affected by the responses of both authors and journals. In this study, the researchers analyze how the results of academic epidemiological research are submitted and published in journals during and after an emerging infectious disease epidemic using the 2003 SARS epidemic as an example. The first case of SARS was identified in Asia in February 2003 and rapidly spread around the world. 8,098 people became ill with SARS and 774 died before the epidemic was halted in July 2003.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified more than 300 journal articles covering epidemiological research into the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, China, and Toronto, Canada (two cities strongly affected by the epidemic) that were published online or in print between January 1, 2003 and July 31, 2007. The researchers' analysis of these articles shows that more than half them were descriptive epidemiological studies, investigations that focused on describing the distribution of SARS; a third were analytical epidemiological studies that tried to discover the cause of SARS. Overall, 22% of the journal articles were submitted for publication during the epidemic. Only 8% of the articles were accepted for publication and only 7% were actually published during the epidemic. The median (average) submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles submitted during the epidemic were 55 and 77.5 days, respectively, much shorter intervals than those for non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues. After the epidemic was over, the submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles was similar to that of non-SARS articles.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, although the academic response to the SARS epidemic was rapid, most articles on the epidemiology of SARS were published after the epidemic was over even though SARS was a major threat to public health. Possible reasons for this publication delay include the time taken by authors to prepare and undertake their studies, to write and submit their papers, and, possibly, their tendency to first submit their results to high profile journals. The time then taken by journals to review the studies, make decisions about publication, and complete the publication process might also have delayed matters. To minimize future delays in the publication of epidemiological research on emerging infectious diseases, epidemiologists could adopt common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments, which would improve timeliness and ensure comparability across studies, suggest the researchers. Journals, in turn, could improve their fast-track procedures and could consider setting up online sections that could be activated when an emerging infectious disease outbreak occurred. Finally, journals could consider altering their review system to speed up the publication process provided the quality of the final published articles was not compromised.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on emerging infectious diseases
The US Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases also provides information about emerging infectious diseases, including links to other resources, and information on SARS
Wikipedia has a page on epidemiology (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The World Health Organization has information on SARS (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272
PMCID: PMC2864302  PMID: 20454570
17.  Trends in Compulsory Licensing of Pharmaceuticals Since the Doha Declaration: A Database Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(1):e1001154.
Reed Beall and Randall Kuhn describe their findings from an analysis of use of compulsory licenses for pharmaceutical products by World Trade Organization members since 1995.
Background
It is now a decade since the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the “Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health” at its 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha. Many anticipated that these actions would lead nations to claim compulsory licenses (CLs) for pharmaceutical products with greater regularity. A CL is the use of a patented innovation that has been licensed by a state without the permission of the patent title holder. Skeptics doubted that many CLs would occur, given political pressure against CL activity and continued health system weakness in poor countries. The subsequent decade has seen little systematic assessment of the Doha Declaration's impact.
Methods and Findings
We assembled a database of all episodes in which a CL was publically entertained or announced by a WTO member state since 1995. Broad searches of CL activity were conducted using media, academic, and legal databases, yielding 34 potential CL episodes in 26 countries. Country- and product-specific searches were used to verify government participation, resulting in a final database of 24 verified CLs in 17 nations. We coded CL episodes in terms of outcome, national income, and disease group over three distinct periods of CL activity. Most CL episodes occurred between 2003 and 2005, involved drugs for HIV/AIDS, and occurred in upper-middle-income countries (UMICs). Aside from HIV/AIDS, few CL episodes involved communicable disease, and none occurred in least-developed or low-income countries.
Conclusions
Given skepticism about the Doha Declaration's likely impact, we note the relatively high occurrence of CLs, yet CL activity has diminished markedly since 2006. While UMICs have high CL activity and strong incentives to use CLs compared to other countries, we note considerable countervailing pressures against CL use even in UMICs. We conclude that there is a low probability of continued CL activity. We highlight the need for further systematic evaluation of global health governance actions.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The development of a new drug is a time-consuming and expensive process. To stimulate investment in drug development, the creators of new drugs (including the pharmaceutical companies that undertake the development and testing that is needed before any drug can be used in patients) can apply for “intellectual property rights” (a patent). Intellectual property rights protect the investments made by companies during drug development by preventing other companies from making the new drug for a fixed period of time and by providing a means by which creators of new drugs can negotiate payment from other companies for the use of their creation. Until recently, the extent and enforcement of intellectual property rights varied widely around the world. Then, in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. By providing a set of ground rules for trade among nations, the WTO aims to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible around the world. One of the founding documents of the WTO is the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), which attempts to bring the protection of intellectual property rights (including patents) under common international rules.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, patent protection for drugs (pharmaceuticals) means that many medicines are too expensive for use in developing countries. While maintaining incentives for drug development, the TRIPS Agreement allows governments to license the use of patented inventions to someone else without the consent of the patent owner. Such “compulsory licensing” normally occurs only after negotiations for a voluntary license have failed, and the patent owner still receives an appropriate payment. It soon became clear that some governments were unsure of their right to use compulsory licensing and other flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement, a situation likely to affect public health in poor countries by hindering universal access to medicines. Consequently, the WTO issued the “Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health” at its 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001. Reaction to the Doha Declaration, which reaffirms that the “TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures to protect public health,” has been mixed. Some experts predicted that it would increase compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals, but others suggested that political pressure against compulsory licensing and health system weaknesses in poor countries would limit claims for compulsory licenses. In this database analysis, the researchers systematically assess the impact of the Doha Declaration on the compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
By systematically searching media archives for reports of WTO member states considering or announcing compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals, the researchers identified 24 verified compulsory licensing episodes in 17 nations that occurred between January 1995 and June 2011. Half of these episodes ended with an announcement of a compulsory license, and the majority ended in a price reduction for a specific pharmaceutical product for the potential issuing nation through a compulsory license, a voluntary license, or a negotiated discount. Sixteen of the compulsory licensing episodes involved drugs for HIV/AIDS, four involved drugs for other communicable diseases, and four involved drugs for non-communicable diseases such as cancer. More than half the compulsory licensing episodes occurred in upper-middle-income countries (including Brazil and Thailand). Finally, most compulsory licensing episodes occurred between 2003 and 2005. There was a smaller peak of activity in the months leading up to the Doha conference, but after 2006 activity declined substantially.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Given these findings, the researchers suggest that the Doha Declaration is unlikely to have an important long-term impact on the use of compulsory licensing or on access to pharmaceuticals for communicable diseases other than HIV/AIDS in developing and low-income countries. Most notably, the researchers found no evidence of a spike in compulsory licensing episodes immediately after the Doha Declaration, and they note that the lagged spike that occurred between 2003 and 2005 could have resulted in large part from the global antiretroviral advocacy campaign. Moreover, compulsory licensing activity has diminished greatly since 2006. Thus, the researchers conclude, health advocates who pushed for the Doha Declaration reforms have had little success in engaging trade as a positive, proactive force for addressing health gaps.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001154.
The World Trade Organization provides information on intellectual property rights, on the TRIPS Agreement, on TRIPS and pharmaceutical patents, and on compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals and TRIPS (in English, French, and Spanish); the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health is also available
The World Health Organization provides information on the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and an analysis of the implications of the Doha Declaration
Wikipedia has pages on intellectual property rights, on the TRIPS Agreement, and on the Doha Declaration (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001154
PMCID: PMC3254665  PMID: 22253577
18.  The Toxic Effects of Cigarette Additives. Philip Morris' Project Mix Reconsidered: An Analysis of Documents Released through Litigation 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001145.
Stanton Glantz and colleagues analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents and peer-reviewed published results of Philip Morris' Project MIX about research on cigarette additives, and show that this research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value.
Background
In 2009, the promulgation of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco regulation focused attention on cigarette flavor additives. The tobacco industry had prepared for this eventuality by initiating a research program focusing on additive toxicity. The objective of this study was to analyze Philip Morris' Project MIX as a case study of tobacco industry scientific research being positioned strategically to prevent anticipated tobacco control regulations.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents to identify internal strategies for research on cigarette additives and reanalyzed tobacco industry peer-reviewed published results of this research. We focused on the key group of studies conducted by Phillip Morris in a coordinated effort known as “Project MIX.” Documents showed that Project MIX subsumed the study of various combinations of 333 cigarette additives. In addition to multiple internal reports, this work also led to four peer-reviewed publications (published in 2001). These papers concluded that there was no evidence of substantial toxicity attributable to the cigarette additives studied. Internal documents revealed post hoc changes in analytical protocols after initial statistical findings indicated an additive-associated increase in cigarette toxicity as well as increased total particulate matter (TPM) concentrations in additive-modified cigarette smoke. By expressing the data adjusted by TPM concentration, the published papers obscured this underlying toxicity and particulate increase. The animal toxicology results were based on a small number of rats in each experiment, raising the possibility that the failure to detect statistically significant changes in the end points was due to underpowering the experiments rather than lack of a real effect.
Conclusion
The case study of Project MIX shows tobacco industry scientific research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value. The results demonstrate that toxins in cigarette smoke increase substantially when additives are put in cigarettes, including the level of TPM. In particular, regulatory authorities, including the FDA and similar agencies elsewhere, could use the Project MIX data to eliminate the use of these 333 additives (including menthol) from cigarettes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The tobacco industry in the United States has recognized that regulation of its products was inevitable as early as 1963 and devoted increasing attention to the likelihood of regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration in the mid-1990s, which finally became law in 2009. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which came into force in June 2003, includes provisions addressing the regulation of the contents of tobacco products and the regulation of tobacco product disclosures. Although these steps represent progress in tobacco control, the events of the past few decades show the determination of the tobacco industry to avoid regulation, including the regulation of additives. In the United States, executives of the tobacco company Philip Morris (PM) recognized the inevitability of regulation and responded by initiating efforts to shape legislation and regulation by reorganizing its internal scientific activities and conducting scientific research that could be used to shape any proposed regulations. For example, the company conducted “Project MIX,” a study of chemical constituents in and toxicity of smoke produced by burning cigarettes containing three different combinations of 333 cigarette additives that “were constructed to resemble typical commercial blended cigarettes.” The resulting four papers published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in January 2002 concluded that there was no evidence of substantial toxicity attributable to the cigarette additives studied.
Why Was This Study Done?
The use of cigarette additives is an important concern of the WHO, FDA, and similar national regulatory bodies around the world. Philip Morris has used the published Project MIX papers to assert the safety of individual additives and other cigarette companies have done similar studies that reached similar conclusions. In this study, the researchers used documents made public as a result of litigation against the tobacco industry to investigate the origins and design of Project MIX and to conduct their own analyses of the results to assess the reliability of the conclusions in the papers published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers systematically examined tobacco industry documents in the University of California San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (then about 60 million pages made publicly available as a result of litigation) and used an iterative process of searching, analyzing, and refining to identify and review in detail 500 relevant documents.
The researchers found that in the original Project MIX analysis, the published papers obscured findings of toxicity by adjusting the data by total particulate matter (TPM) concentration. When the researchers conducted their own analysis by studying additives per cigarette (as was specified in the original Project MIX protocol), they found that 15 carcinogenic chemicals increased by 20%. The researchers also reported that, for unexplained reasons, Philip Morris deemphasized 19 of the 51 chemicals tested in the presentation of results, including nine that were substantially increased in smoke on a per cigarette basis of additive-added cigarettes, compared to smoke of control cigarettes.
The researchers explored the possibility that the failure of Project MIX to detect statistically significant changes in the toxicity of the smoke from cigarettes containing the additives was due to underpowered experiments rather than lack of a real effect by conducting their own statistical analysis. This analysis suggests that a better powered study would have detected a much broader range of biological effects associated with the additives than was identified in Philip Morris' published paper, suggesting that it substantially underestimated the toxic potential of cigarette smoke and additives.
The researchers also found that Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal in which the four Project MIX papers were published, had an editor and 11 of its International Editorial Board with documented links to the tobacco industry. The scientist and leader of Project MIX Edward Carmines described the process of publication as “an inside job.”
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the tobacco industry scientific research on the use of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value: the results demonstrate that toxins in cigarette smoke increase substantially when additives are put in cigarettes. In addition, better powered studies would probably have detected a much broader range of adverse biological effects associated with the additives than identified to those identified in PM's published papers suggesting that the published papers substantially underestimate the toxic potential combination of cigarette smoke and additives.
Regulatory authorities, including the FDA and similar agencies elsewhere who are implementing WHO FCTC, should conduct their own independent analysis of Project MIX data, which, analyzed correctly, could provide a strong evidence base for the elimination of the use of the studied additives (including menthol) in cigarettes on public health grounds.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001145.
For PLoS Medicine's own policy on publishing papers sponsored by the tobacco industry see http://www.plosmedicine.org/static/policies.action#funders
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
The documents that the researchers reviewed in this paper can be found at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001145
PMCID: PMC3243707  PMID: 22205885
19.  New journal: Algorithms for Molecular Biology 
This editorial announces Algorithms for Molecular Biology, a new online open access journal published by BioMed Central. By launching the first open access journal on algorithmic bioinformatics, we provide a forum for fast publication of high-quality research articles in this rapidly evolving field. Our journal will publish thoroughly peer-reviewed papers without length limitations covering all aspects of algorithmic data analysis in computatioal biology. Publications in Algorithms for Molecular Biology are easy to find, highly visible and tracked by organisations such as PubMed. An established online submission system makes a fast reviewing procedure possible and enables us to publish accepted papers without delay. All articles published in our journal are permanently archived by PubMed Central and other scientific archives. We are looking forward to receiving your contributions.
doi:10.1186/1748-7188-1-1
PMCID: PMC1435992  PMID: 16722576
20.  How to write an article: Preparing a publishable manuscript! 
CytoJournal  2012;9:1.
Most of the scientific work presented as abstracts (platforms and posters) at various conferences have the potential to be published as articles in peer-reviewed journals. This DIY (Do It Yourself) article on how to achieve that goal is an extension of the symposium presented at the 36th European Congress of Cytology, Istanbul, Turkey (presentation available on net at http://alturl.com/q6bfp). The criteria for manuscript authorship should be based on the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts. The next step is to choose the appropriate journal to submit the manuscript and review the ‘Instructions to the authors’ for that journal. Although initially it may appear to be an insurmountable task, diligent organizational discipline with a little patience and perseverance with input from mentors should lead to the preparation of a nearly perfect publishable manuscript even by a novice. Ultimately, the published article is an excellent track record of academic productivity with contribution to the general public good by encouraging the exchange of experience and innovation. It is a highly rewarding conduit to the personal success and growth leading to the collective achievement of continued scientific progress. Recent emergences of journals and publishers offering the platform and opportunity to publish under an open access charter provides the opportunity for authors to protect their copyright from being lost to conventional publishers. Publishing your work on this open platform is the most rewarding mission and is the recommended option in the current modern era.
[This open access article can be linked (copy-paste link from HTML version of this article) or reproduced FREELY if original reference details are prominently identifiable].
doi:10.4103/1742-6413.92545
PMCID: PMC3280045  PMID: 22363390
Author; cytopathology; manuscript; publish; research; reviewer
21.  Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:73.
Background
In the past few years there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the proliferation of open access (OA) publishing would damage the peer review system and put the quality of scientific journal publishing at risk. Our aim was to inform this debate by comparing the scientific impact of OA journals with subscription journals, controlling for journal age, the country of the publisher, discipline and (for OA publishers) their business model.
Methods
The 2-year impact factors (the average number of citations to the articles in a journal) were used as a proxy for scientific impact. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) was used to identify OA journals as well as their business model. Journal age and discipline were obtained from the Ulrich's periodicals directory. Comparisons were performed on the journal level as well as on the article level where the results were weighted by the number of articles published in a journal. A total of 610 OA journals were compared with 7,609 subscription journals using Web of Science citation data while an overlapping set of 1,327 OA journals were compared with 11,124 subscription journals using Scopus data.
Results
Overall, average citation rates, both unweighted and weighted for the number of articles per journal, were about 30% higher for subscription journals. However, after controlling for discipline (medicine and health versus other), age of the journal (three time periods) and the location of the publisher (four largest publishing countries versus other countries) the differences largely disappeared in most subcategories except for journals that had been launched prior to 1996. OA journals that fund publishing with article processing charges (APCs) are on average cited more than other OA journals. In medicine and health, OA journals founded in the last 10 years are receiving about as many citations as subscription journals launched during the same period.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that OA journals indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus are approaching the same scientific impact and quality as subscription journals, particularly in biomedicine and for journals funded by article processing charges.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-73
PMCID: PMC3398850  PMID: 22805105
impact; open access; peer review; scientific publishing
22.  CytoJournal joins 'open access' philosophy 
CytoJournal  2004;1:1.
Welcome to CytoJournal! We would like to introduce you to your journal, one that is run by and for the scientific cytopathology community with incontestable benefits of Open Access, and support from Cytopathology Foundation, Inc. CytoJournal is a peer-reviewed, PubMed indexed, online journal, publishing research in the field of cytopathology and related areas, with world wide free access. Authors submitting to CytoJournal retain the copyright to their hard earned work.
doi:10.1186/1742-6413-1-1
PMCID: PMC524023  PMID: 15500701
Cytopathology; cytojournal; Open Access; BioMed Central; cytopathology foundation
23.  Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care: one journal, two audiences 
Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care (OMPC) enters its fourth year of operation in 2010 under the umbrella of BioMed Central. Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care strives to promote and advance research and scholarly work within the fields of osteopathic medicine and primary care. In so doing, OMPC welcomes submissions from clinicians within both the osteopathic and allopathic medical professions, and from other professionals having interests in primary care, including health care delivery, public health, and evidence-based medicine. Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care offers fair and expeditious peer review (mean time from submission to publication, 118 days), retention of copyright for authors, unlimited online distribution and access without charge to readers, indexing in PubMed, and archiving in PubMed Central. In 2010, there will be an increased availability of waivers or discounts of article processing charges via several mechanisms for eligible authors who submit qualified manuscripts, especially in the field of primary care.
doi:10.1186/1750-4732-4-1
PMCID: PMC2818634  PMID: 20145732
24.  You wrote it; you own it! 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;181(3):405-406.
Authors of papers published in Rockefeller University Press journals (The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, or The Journal of General Physiology) now retain copyright to their published work. This permits authors to reuse their own work in any way, as long as they attribute it to the original publication. Third parties may use our published materials under a Creative Commons license, six months after publication.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200804037
PMCID: PMC2364694  PMID: 18450642
25.  You wrote it; you own it! 
Authors of papers published in Rockefeller University Press journals (The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, or The Journal of General Physiology) now retain copyright to their published work. This permits authors to reuse their own work in any way, as long as they attribute it to the original publication. Third parties may use our published materials under a Creative Commons license, six months after publication.
doi:10.1084/jem.20080744
PMCID: PMC2373829  PMID: 18450643

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