A new series from The BMJ highlights unreported trials

The BMJ highlights unreported clinical trialsThe FDA Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) and the “Final Rule” define the global ethical obligation to report the results of all clinical trials within a reasonable timeframe. However, the lack of reporting of clinical trials is still a prominent issue, with potential implications for treatment decisions and patient care. Last month, The BMJ unveiled a new, regular feature that intends to publicise unreported trials to encourage their reporting. Brief summaries in this series, published once per week, will highlight individual, unreported trials, the results of which may have important clinical relevance.

‘Unreported trials of the week’ will be selected using TrialsTracker. Launched by the AllTrials campaign, this FDAAA compliance tracking tool tracks trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov and those that breach the FDAAA. At the time of writing, this tool identified 35% of trials as having unreported results.

The weekly series has already gone live; the first feature described an unreported study on analgesics for postoperative pain following the extraction of wisdom teeth. The feature’s authors, Nicholas J DeVito and Ben Goldacre, hope that the series will spark productive discussions focussed on improving reporting rates.


Summary by Emma Prest PhD from Aspire Scientific

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The post A new series from The BMJ highlights unreported trials appeared first on The Publication Plan for everyone interested in medical writing, the development of medical publications, and publication planning.

Do preprints have a place in today’s reference lists?

Do preprints have a place in todays’ reference lists TransparencyThe use of preprints (a research paper made publicly available before publication in a peer reviewed journal) is on the rise in the biomedical field. In an article in The Scholarly Kitchen, David Crotty asks whether preprints should be cited in the same way as articles published in a peer reviewed journal. While discussing the pros and cons of using preprints, the author recognises the need for clear citation guidelines. He concludes that publishers will need to play an active role in establishing a broadly accepted standard to “preserve quality, transparency and trustworthiness of scholarly literature”. Continue reading “Do preprints have a place in today’s reference lists?”

Overheard at Advertising Week Europe: Platforms must deliver value instead of ‘just stealing stuff from us’

As another Advertising Week Europe ends, marketers, publishers and agencies are rethinking their relationships with the duopoly, with Google’s grip on the ad market loosening and the fallout from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. Conference attendees stressed that the best relationships in marketing will be transparent and honest.

Here’s what was on executives’ minds at the conference: Continue reading “Overheard at Advertising Week Europe: Platforms must deliver value instead of ‘just stealing stuff from us’”

PLOS Collaborates on Recommendations to Improve Transparency for Author Contributions

In a new report, a group convened by the US National Academy of Sciences and including a dozen journal editors reflects on authorship guidelines and recommends new ways to make author contributions more transparent.

What does it mean to be author number seven on a twenty-five–author article?

Establishing transparency for each author’s role in a research study is one of the recommendations in a report published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by a group led by Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences. The recommendations issued by this group, which included one of us, were adapted based on community feedback and peer review from an original draft presented as a preprint. PLOS supports the recommendations for increased transparency and has already put some of them in practice. Continue reading “PLOS Collaborates on Recommendations to Improve Transparency for Author Contributions”

Interested in the Latest Trends in Medical Publications? Attend the 14th Annual Meeting of ISMPP!


ISMPP annual 1

Themed From Publication to Practice: Advancing Science Through Effective Communication, this year’s Annual Meeting will feature enlightening sessions and peer-to-peer discussion of interest to both seasoned publication professionals and those who are newer to the profession Continue reading “Interested in the Latest Trends in Medical Publications? Attend the 14th Annual Meeting of ISMPP!”

Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting

The 2018 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) was held in London on 23–24 January and attracted nearly 300 delegates; the highest number of attendees to date. The meeting’s theme was ‘Advancing Medical Publications in a Complex Evidence Ecosystem’ and the agenda centred around data transparency, patient centricity and the future of medical publishing. Delegates were treated to two keynote addresses, lively panel discussions, interactive roundtables and parallel sessions, and also had the chance to present their own research in a poster session. Continue reading “Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting”

Peer review as practised at Wellcome Open Research

In November 2016 Wellcome became the first research funder to launch a publishing platform for the exclusive use of its grantholders. Wellcome Open Research, run on behalf of Wellcome by F1000, uses a model of immediate publication followed by invited, post-publication peer review. All reviews are citable and posted to the platform along with the identities of the reviewers. Continue reading “Peer review as practised at Wellcome Open Research”

Many column inches – right here in the Scholarly Kitchen as well as elsewhere – have been expended on the megajournal and its successes and (perhaps more often), failures. But how might megajournals support the very real need for action to improve the transparency, reproducibility and efficiency of scientific research?

The post Countering the Über-Brands: The Case for the Megajournal appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.

Experiments like WikiTribune, the collaborative news outlet created by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, excites me. I love the idea of professional journalists working alongside members of the audience, sharing skills and knowledge. I love the feedback loop between users and creators, and have seen the productivity and partnership that can shine through in the spaces where these two designations meet. Collaborative projects – where news organizations and audiences tell stories in partnership – are also a potential way to address misinformation and build trust. At the Computation and Journalism Symposium, which took place October 13 and 14 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., I sat down with three co-panelists to talk about the exciting new tools they’re building for collaborative journalism.

Read the full post How Journalists Are Using New Tools for Collaborative Journalism on MediaShift.

With Open Notebook, Hearken wants to help news orgs do more of their reporting in public

David Fahrenthold never did find much evidence of Donald Trump’s charitable efforts, but he got a Pulitzer Prize for his trouble. Fahrenthold’s reporting, which he tracked via pen and paper and which relied on input from readers, “created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities,” according to the Pulitzer Prize board.

Hearken thinks that that model of transparency in reporting is one that more news organizations should emulate. The company is testing Open Notebook, a new feature designed to give news organizations a way to do their reporting in public, giving readers a chance to follow along and potentially contribute. Julia Haslanger, an engagement consultant at Hearken, said that the idea, inspired by the updates that Kickstarter projects send their backers, is a cross between “a mini-newsletter, a live blog, and a place to store files in public.”

“Our entire mission is built around the idea of making sure that the audience has a seat at the editorial table ahead of publication,” Haslanger said. While Hearken has pushed news organizations to include readers in the reporting process, the company didn’t provide the tools to make that process easy. “Open Notebook,” she said, “is filling in that gap.”

Hearken is modeling the idea on the efforts of organizations like ProPublica and The New York Times, which recently have made efforts to both publicly verify breaking news stories in real-time and involve readers in the reporting process.

Here’s Haslanger introducing Open Notebook in February at MisinfoCon:

The tool so far has only been opened up to a handful of organizations, which are still in the testing phase. But the organizations say they’re enticed by the tool, which offers new ways to report stories and keep readers involved. At Inside Energy, Open Notebook gave readers a behind-the-scenes look at how the makers of the documentary “Beyond Standing Rock” created maps and graphics that were handed out at screenings. Vermont Public Radio, another early Open Notebook user, made audience engagement core to Brave Little State, a podcast built around fielding questions about the state. In March, the podcast introduced the Open Notebook functionality with its reporting on a reader question about the high number of dilapidated barns in Vermont. “Our working motto is that we want to make journalism more transparent and inclusive and more fun,” said Angelia Evancie digital editor for news at Vermont Public Radio and the host of Brave Little State. “Open Notebook is interesting because it’s a continuation of the show’s model.”

With Open Notebook, Hearken hopes increased audience engagement will help reverse the declining trust in mainstream media among Americans. A 2016 Gallup poll found that Americans’ trust in news organizations “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” dropped to an all-time low: Just 32 percent of Americans said that they have a “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the media — an eight percent decline from the year before. Pew found similar numbers in its own polling last year. Just 18 percent of American said they trust the news they get from national organizations “a lot,” and 22 percent said the same for local organizations.

Hearken’s Haslanger said that this is a crisis that radical transparency in reporting can help to solve. “Journalists continually need to earn trust,” she said. “I don’t think earning trust is something you do once and just bank on for a long time.”

Beyond engagement, Hearken’s pitch is built around the idea that, by building an engaged audience that has an active hand in producing the reporting it’s interested in, news organizations can turn more of that audience into paying customers. “People won’t give you money unless you’re serving them, and this is a way to make sure you’re actually doing so,” Haslanger said. Public media organizations, which make up a significant portion of Hearken’s user base, have been particularly enthusiastic with their embrace of the approach, said Haslanger.

The approach does have some hitches. The work of journalism has traditionally operated behind closed doors, with stories carefully assembled and fact-checked before being offered to the public. This is true particularly for sensitive in-depth investigations, but it extends to lighter stories as well, even in the digital era. Evancie, for example, said that Vermont Public Radio wasn’t immediately sure which kinds of stories would work best with the Open Notebook approach. That’s why the organization felt that Brave Little State, which was “already aligned with with the transparency idea,” was a natural fit. She said she was less sure about the process would work with stories that had more sensitive sourcing.

Haslanger said that this has has been a common concern among the early users of Open Notebook, and her response has been unequivocal. “If you’re doing a very secretive investigation that relies on no one else knowing, this is not the tool for you,” she said.

Photo of reporter’s notebook by Roger H. Goun used under a Creative Commons license.

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