ResearchPad - medical-publishing-and-peer-review https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Effect of an editorial intervention to improve the completeness of reporting of randomised trials: a randomised controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12549 To evaluate the impact of an editorial intervention to improve completeness of reporting of reports of randomised trials.DesignRandomised controlled trial (RCT).SettingBMJ Open’s quality improvement programme.Participants24 manuscripts describing RCTs.InterventionsWe used an R Shiny application to randomise manuscripts (1:1 allocation ratio, blocks of 4) to the intervention (n=12) or control (n=12) group. The intervention was performed by a researcher with expertise in the content of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and consisted of an evaluation of completeness of reporting of eight core CONSORT items using the submitted checklist to locate information, and the production of a report containing specific requests for authors based on the reporting issues found, provided alongside the peer review reports. The control group underwent the usual peer review.OutcomesThe primary outcome is the number of adequately reported items (0–8 scale) in the revised manuscript after the first round of peer review. The main analysis was intention-to-treat (n=24), and we imputed the scores of lost to follow-up manuscripts (rejected after peer review and not resubmitted). The secondary outcome is the proportion of manuscripts where each item was adequately reported. Two blinded reviewers assessed the outcomes independently and in duplicate and solved disagreements by consensus. We also recorded the amount of time to perform the intervention.ResultsManuscripts in the intervention group (mean: 7.01; SD: 1.47) were more completely reported than those in the control group (mean: 5.68; SD: 1.43) (mean difference 1.43, 95% CI 0.31 to 2.58). We observed the main differences in items 6a (outcomes), 9 (allocation concealment mechanism), 11a (blinding) and 17a (outcomes and estimation). The mean time to perform the intervention was 87 (SD 42) min.ConclusionsWe demonstrated the benefit of involving a reporting guideline expert in the editorial process. Improving the completeness of RCTs is essential to enhance their usability.Trial registration numberNCT03751878. ]]> <![CDATA[Impact of a short version of the CONSORT checklist for peer reviewers to improve the reporting of randomised controlled trials published in biomedical journals: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na12afed9-c22f-4808-b7be-bd8ca2011389

Introduction

Transparent and accurate reporting is essential for readers to adequately interpret the results of a study. Journals can play a vital role in improving the reporting of published randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We describe an RCT to evaluate our hypothesis that asking peer reviewers to check whether the most important and poorly reported CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) items are adequately reported will result in higher adherence to CONSORT guidelines in published RCTs.

Methods and analysis

Manuscripts presenting the primary results of RCTs submitted to participating journals will be randomised to either the intervention group (peer reviewers will receive a reminder and short explanation of the 10 most important and poorly reported CONSORT items; they will be asked to check if these items are reported in the submitted manuscript) or a control group (usual journal practice). The primary outcome will be the mean proportion of the 10 items that are adequately reported in the published articles. Peer reviewers and manuscript authors will not be informed of the study hypothesis, design or intervention. Outcomes will be assessed in duplicate from published articles by two data extractors (at least one blinded to the intervention). We will enrol eligible manuscripts until a minimum of 83 articles per group (166 in total) are published.

Ethics and dissemination

This pragmatic RCT was approved by the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee of the University of Oxford (R62779/RE001). If this intervention is effective, it could be implemented by all medical journals without requiring large additional resources at journal level. Findings will be disseminated through presentations in relevant conferences and peer-reviewed publications. This trial is registered on the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/c4hn8).

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<![CDATA[Minocycline for the treatment of mental health and neurological conditions: study protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N69496870-2fb0-4976-b66a-287629361afd

Introduction

Due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties of minocycline, clinical trials have evaluated the potential of this drug to treat several psychiatric and neurological disorders, including major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This protocol proposes a systematic review (and potential meta-analysis) that aims to identify and critically evaluate randomised controlled trials of minocycline for treating psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Methods and analysis

PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials, PsycINFO and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) will be used to identify randomised controlled trials that used minocycline to treat psychiatric and neurological disorders. Double-blind, randomised, controlled, clinical trials of participants aged 18 years or older and written in English will be included in the review. Data will be extracted by two independent reviewers. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines will be followed and the Cochrane Collaboration’s ‘Risk of Bias’ tool will be used to assess the risk of bias in all studies included in the systematic review. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system will be used to access the overall quality of the level of evidence of the studies. If sufficient evidence is identified, a meta-analysis will be conducted using the standardised mean difference approach and reported with 95% CIs. Heterogeneity of evidence will be evaluated using the I2 model.

Ethics and dissemination

This systematic review will evaluate only published data; therefore, ethical approval is not required. The systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at relevant research conferences.

Trial registration number

CRD42020153292.

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<![CDATA[Quantifying gender disparity in physician authorship among commentary articles in three high-impact medical journals: an observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0357e062-01ca-43ac-b343-bcceb7a83a4c

Background

Scholarship plays a direct role in career advancement, promotion and authoritative recognition, and women physicians remain under-represented as authors of original research articles.

Objective

We sought to determine if women physician authors are similarly under-represented in commentary articles within high-impact journals.

Design/Setting/Participants

In this observational study, we abstracted and analysed author information (gender and degree) and authorship position from commentary articles published in three high-impact journals between 1 January 2014 and 16 October 2018.

Primary outcome measure

Authorship rate of commentary articles over a 5-year period by gender, degree, authorship position and journal.

Secondary outcome measures

To compare the proportion of men and women physician authorship of commentaries relative to the proportion of men and women physician faculty within academic medicine; and to examine the gender concordance among the last and first authors in articles with more than one author.

Results

Of the 2087 articles during the study period, 48% were men physician first authors compared with 17% women physician first authors (p<0.0001). Of the 1477 articles with more than one author, similar distributions were found with regard to last authors: 55% were men physicians compared with only 12% women physicians (p<0.0001). The proportion of women physician first authors increased over time; however, the proportion of women physician last authors remained stagnant. Women coauthored with women in the first and last authorship positions in 9% of articles. In contrast, women coauthored with men in the first and last author positions, respectively, in 55% of articles.

Conclusions

Women physician authors remain under-represented in commentary articles compared with men physician authors in the first and last author positions. Women also coauthored commentaries with other women in far fewer numbers.

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<![CDATA[Systematic review on the primary and secondary reporting of the prevalence of ghostwriting in the medical literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ad755d8463d7e5c94634280

Background

Ghostwriting of industry-sponsored articles is unethical and is perceived to be common practice.

Objective

To systematically review how evidence for the prevalence of ghostwriting is reported in the medical literature.

Data sources

MEDLINE via PubMed 1966+, EMBASE 1966+, The Cochrane Library 1988+, Medical Writing 1998+, The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Journal 1986+, Council of Science Editors Annual Meetings 2007+, and the Peer Review Congress 1994+ were searched electronically (23 May 2013) using the search terms ghostwrit*, ghostauthor*, ghost AND writ*, ghost AND author*.

Eligibility criteria

All publication types were considered; only publications reporting a numerical estimate of possible ghostwriting prevalence were included.

Data extraction

Two independent reviewers screened the publications; discrepancies were resolved by consensus. Data to be collected included a numerical estimate of the prevalence of possible ghostwriting (primary outcome measure), definitions of ghostwriting reported, source of the reported prevalence, publication type and year, study design and sample population.

Results

Of the 848 publications retrieved and screened for eligibility, 48 reported numerical estimates for the prevalence of possible ghostwriting. Sixteen primary publications reported findings from cross-sectional surveys or descriptive analyses of published articles; 32 secondary publications cited published or unpublished evidence. Estimates on the prevalence of possible ghostwriting in primary and secondary publications varied markedly. Primary estimates were not suitable for meta-analysis because of the various definitions of ghostwriting used, study designs and types of populations or samples. Secondary estimates were not always reported or cited correctly or appropriately.

Conclusions

Evidence for the prevalence of ghostwriting in the medical literature is limited and can be outdated, misleading or mistaken. Researchers should not inflate estimates using non-standard definitions of ghostwriting nor conflate ghostwriting with other unethical authorship practices. Editors and peer reviewers should not accept articles that incorrectly cite or interpret primary publications that report the prevalence of ghostwriting.

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<![CDATA[How are risk ratios reported in orthopaedic surgery journals? A descriptive study of formats used to report absolute risks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c19b1acd5eed0c484c4dcdb

Purpose

The numerical format in which risks are communicated can affect risk comprehension and perceptions of medical professionals. We investigated what numerical formats are used to report absolute risks in empirical articles, estimated the frequency of biasing formats and rated the quality of figures used to display the risks.

Design

Descriptive study of reporting practices.

Method

We randomly sampled articles published in seven leading orthopaedic surgery journals during a period of 13 years. From these, we selected articles that reported group comparisons on a binary outcome (eg, revision rates in two groups) and recorded the numerical format used to communicate the absolute risks in the results section. The quality of figures was assessed according to published guidelines for transparent visual aids design.

Outcome measures

Prevalence of information formats and quality of figures.

Results

The final sample consisted of 507 articles, of which 14% reported level 1 evidence, 13% level 2 and 73% level 3 or lower. The majority of articles compared groups of different sizes (90%), reported both raw numbers and percentages (64%) and did not report the group sizes alongside (50%). Fifteen per cent of articles used two formats identified as biasing: only raw numbers (8%, ‘90 patients vs 100 patients’) or raw numbers reported alongside different group sizes (7%, ‘90 out of 340 patients vs 100 out of 490 patients’). The prevalence of these formats decreased in more recent publications. Figures (n=79) had on average two faults that could distort comprehension, and the majority were rated as biasing.

Conclusion

Authors use a variety of formats to report absolute risks in scientific articles and are likely not aware of how some formats and graph design features can distort comprehension. Biases can be reduced if journals adopt guidelines for transparent risk communication but more research is needed into the effects of different formats.

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