How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals


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Headlines from the discovery files: Key publications on scholarly content discoverability

If an authorship dispute or discrepancy comes to light before publication for example, changes to the list of authors are proposed after submission , editors should take care to explain the journal's authorship policy to the corresponding author and to establish that all authors agree to the change before proceeding with publication. If an authorship dispute emerges after publication for example, somebody contacts the editor claiming they should have been an author of a published paper, or requesting that their name be withdrawn from a paper , the editor should contact the corresponding author and, where possible, the other authors to establish the veracity of the case.

If authorship policies have been clearly set out and an explicit authorship declaration s has been received stating that all authors meet agreed criteria and that nobody deserving authorship has been omitted , then genuine errors are unlikely — however, editors should consider publishing a correction in the case of such errors.

Blackwell Publishing recommends that journal editors consider adopting the ICMJE authorship criteria as part of their editorial policy. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3. Blackwell Publishing recommends that editors ask authors to submit a short description of all contributions to their manuscript. Each author's contribution should be described in brief.

Authors of research papers should state whether they had complete access to the study data that support the publication. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should also be listed and their particular contribution described. This information should appear as an acknowledgment. Drs A, B and C designed and conducted the study, including patient recruitment, data collection, and data analysis. Dr A prepared the manuscript draft with important intellectual input from Drs B and C. All authors approved the final manuscript. Drs A, B and C had complete access to the study data.

We would like to thank Dr D for her editorial support during preparation of this manuscript. The Blackwell Publishing Exclusive License Form, the OnlineOpen Form, or the Copyright Assignment form, one of which must be submitted before publication in any Blackwell journal, requires the corresponding author to state that written authorization for publication of the article has been received by the corresponding author from all co-authors. For research papers, authorship should be decided at the study launch. Policing authorship is beyond the responsibilities of an editor.

Editors should demand transparent and complete descriptions of who has contributed to a paper. Blackwell Publishing can advise Blackwell editors about how best to do this, and the Blackwell Publishing electronic submission system can be used to explain authorship criteria, and to collect and manage authorship information efficiently.

Editors should ask authors to submit, as part of their initial submission package, a statement that all individuals listed as authors meet the appropriate authorship criteria, that nobody who qualifies for authorship has been omitted from the list, and that contributors and their funding sources have been properly acknowledged, and that authors and contributors have approved the acknowledgment of their contribution. This guidance is applicable outside the medical sector.


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These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship defined above… When submitting a group author manuscript, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and should clearly identify all individual authors as well as the group name. See Flowcharts 1a—d pp. Most journals wish to consider only work that has not been published elsewhere. One reason for this is that the scientific literature can be skewed by redundant publication, with important consequences, for example, if results are inadvertently included more than once into meta-analyses.

Both journal editors and readers have a right to know whether research has been published previously. Journals should ask authors for a declaration that the submitted work and its essential substance have not previously been published and are not being considered for publication elsewhere. If a primary research report is published and later found to be redundant i. Editors have a right to demand original work and to question authors about whether opinion pieces for example, editorials, letters, non-systematic reviews have been published before; journals should establish a policy about how much overlap is considered acceptable between such publications.

Journals that publish clinical trials should consider making registration a requirement before publication of such trials. Even if a journal does not make clinical trial registration compulsory for publication, editors should encourage clear identification of clinical trials and should have a policy about where such information is presented within the structure of the published article. Papers that present new analyses or syntheses of data that have already been published for example, sub-group analyses should identify the primary data source, including reference to the clinical trial registration number if one is available and full reference to the related primary publications.

See Box 5 , Box 6. Journal instructions should clearly explain what is, and what is not, considered to be prior publication. Journals may choose to accept i. Journals that translate and publish material that has been published elsewhere should ensure that they have appropriate permission s , should indicate clearly that the material has been translated and re-published, and should indicate clearly the original source of the material.

How readers discover content in scholarly publications

Editors may request copies of related publications if they are concerned about overlap and possible redundancy. Re-publishing in the same language as primary publication with the aim of serving different audiences is more difficult to justify when primary publication is electronic and therefore easily accessible, but if editors feel that this is appropriate they should follow the same steps as for translation. Editors should ensure that sub-group analyses, meta- and secondary analyses are clearly identified as analyses of data that have already been published, that they refer directly to the primary source, and that if available they include the clinical trial registration number from the primary publication.

The Blackwell Publishing Exclusive License Form, the OnlineOpen Form, or the Copyright Assignment form, one of which must be submitted before publication in any Blackwell journal, requires signature from the corresponding author to warrant that the article is an original work, has not been published before and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in its final form either in printed or electronic form. It would be published simultaneously in three journals.

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This is appropriate multiple publication. Multiple publication helps convey the strength of the important message. Each editorial should refer to the others, as references and in a direct statement.

Choosing scholarly journals: reaching the (right) audience – A librarian abroad

This is not duplicate publication. This could be appropriate re-publication. Translated papers should make it clear perhaps in their titles that they are translated from a primary source, and they should refer directly to the primary source in their abstract and their text, as a reference, and as a footnote. Since , some medical journals [notably those edited by members of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ICMJE ] have made registration in a publicly accessible trial register a requirement for publishing clinical trials 1.

ICMJE allowed authors a grace period for registration of new or ongoing trials; this grace period ended September Editors may choose to allow authors submitting to their journals a grace period in which ongoing or completed trials can be registered. Editors should develop policies about trial registration that suit their own particular publishing environment, and should make their policies about trial registration clear to prospective authors.

Even if editors decide that prospective registration is not made compulsory for their journal, journals should encourage clear trial identification and should have a policy for including the clinical trial registration number and name of the trial register within the publication, and perhaps should adapt their electronic submission process to collect this information.

Authors should include the name of the trial register and their clinical trial registration number at the end of their abstract. If you wish the editor[s] to consider an unregistered trial please explain briefly why the trial has not been registered. See Flowcharts 2a and b pp.


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  • If editors suspect research misconduct for example, data fabrication, falsification or plagiarism , they should attempt to ensure that this is properly investigated by the appropriate authorities. Peer review sometimes reveals suspicion of misconduct.

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    Editors should inform peer reviewers about this potential role. If peer reviewers raise concerns of serious misconduct for example, data fabrication, falsification, inappropriate image manipulation, or plagiarism , these should be taken seriously. However, authors have a right to respond to such allegations and for investigations to be carried out with appropriate speed and due diligence. Journals are not usually in a position to investigate misconduct allegations themselves, but editors have a responsibility to alert appropriate bodies for example, employers, funders, regulatory authorities and encourage them to investigate.

    Committee on Publication Ethics Code of Conduct 5. See Flowcharts 3a and b pp. Editors should create publication policies that promote ethical and responsible research practices. Journal instructions should include links to relevant frameworks such as the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki for clinical trials 7. Editors should make clear the standards that they require.

    see url Editors should seek assurances that studies have been approved by relevant bodies for example, institutional review board, research ethics committee, data and safety monitoring board, regulatory authorities including those overseeing animal experiments. Editors should encourage peer reviewers to consider ethical issues raised by the research they are reviewing. Editors should request additional information from authors if they feel this is required. Policing the standards of human or animal research is beyond the responsibilities of an editor.

    Journals should ask authors to state that the study they are submitting was approved by the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board. If human participants were involved, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each.

    If experimental animals were used, the materials and methods experimental procedures section must clearly indicate that appropriate measures were taken to minimize pain or discomfort, and details of animal care should be provided. Blackwell Publishing suggests that all these standards are defined by the lead investigator's national standards. Editors should reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed.

    If a paper has been submitted from a country where there is no ethics committee, institutional review board, or similar review and approval, editors should use their own experience to judge whether the paper should be published. If the decision is made to publish a paper under these circumstances a short statement should be included to explain the situation.

    The best policy is to require explicit consent from any patients described in case studies or shown in photographs. Exceptional cases may arise where gaining the individual's explicit consent is not possible but where publishing an individual's information or image can be demonstrated to have a genuine public health interest.

    In the case of technical images for example, radiographs, micrographs editors should ensure that all information that could identify the subject has been removed from the image. Editors should exercise sensitivity when publishing images of objects that might have cultural significance or cause offence for example, Australian aboriginal remains held in museums, religious texts, historical events.

    It may be acceptable to publish images of human remains for example, Egyptian mummies, Roman remains so long as these considerations are respected, despite the fact that for archeological specimens it is impossible to obtain consent from the individual or their descendants. Editors should inform readers if ethical breaches have occurred. Blackwell Publishing has published general advice on publishing retractions. Journals have a duty to publish corrections errata when errors could affect the interpretation of data or information, whatever the cause of the error i. It should be published on a numbered page print and electronic and should be listed in the journal's table of contents.

    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals
    How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals

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