Scholarly Publishing Round-up January 2017

Read about the revised ICMJE recommendations for authors, the new NIH Research Commitment Index, 100 Metrics to Assess and Communicate the Value of Biomedical Research, and more.

Updated ICMJE Recommendations—December 2016

The ICMJE recently announced revised recommendations to “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.”

A growing number of entities are advertising themselves as “medical journals” yet do not function as such (“predatory journals”).  Authors have a responsibility to evaluate the integrity, history, practices and reputation of the journals to which they submit manuscripts. (Section C.1.a.)

Related Reading:

Watch out for predatory journals, and consider retract/replace, suggests medical journal group. Retraction Watch.


Research Commitment Index: A New Tool for Describing Grant Support

NIH recently announced a new index from NIH, “Research Commitment Index” (RCI), that goes beyond simple measures of funding and numbers of grants. The RCI utilizes point assignments based on NIH grant activity codes and single/multiple PIs.


4D Nucleome Project – Publication Policy

All manuscripts resulting from 4D Nucleome-funded activities (i.e. manuscripts acknowledging 4DN support) are subject to this policy as of November 2016.

The Publication Policy includes:

  • Preprints of submitted manuscripts must be shared with the public via an appropriate public preprint server (such as bioRxiv, arXiv, ChemRxiv) prior to, or concurrently with the time of submission to a journal, unless an exception or extension was granted by the 4DN Steering Committee.
  • Citation of Preprints: The network acknowledges that public preprints are considered publications for all practical purposes by network members, and should be cited and credited like papers. Preprints establish priority in the field, can be included in progress reports, CVs, and lists of publications.
  • Open Access: Publications must at a minimum comply with the NIH Public Access policy. In order to maximize the impact of the efforts of the network, authors should make strong efforts to publish their work using open access policies whenever possible.

Related Reading:

Big biology projects warm up to preprints. Nature. 30 November 2016.

The 4D Nucleome, a major research consortium funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), is now requiring that all manuscripts related to its US$120-million, five-year program are posted to an online preprint server ahead of peer review.


MEDLINE Data Changes — 2017

The National Library of Medicine announces new policy changes in MEDLINE as of 2017.

Examples of changes include:

  • Conflict of Interest (COI) Statement

NLM is adding a conflict of interest statement as provided by the publisher. In 2017, journal citations will contain conflict of interest statements for the article as submitted by the publisher. The corresponding tag for the MEDLINE display is COI.

  • Authors Who Contribute Equally

In 2017, NLM will implement a method for publishers to indicate when authors “contributed equally” to a journal article. We do not have a target date yet for when publishers will be able to begin submitting these data. The corresponding tag using 2 letters in the MEDLINE display will be CE. The contributed equally designation will also appear in the Summary (text) display and the Abstract display.



100 Metrics to Assess and Communicate the Value of Biomedical Research: An Ideas Book. Susan Guthrie, Joachim Krapels, Catherine Lichten and Steven Wooding. Prepared in collaboration with AAMC. November 2016.

In response to increasing expectations of accountability and transparency, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in collaboration with RAND Europe, undertook a project to help communicate the wider value of biomedical research. The initiative developed resources to support academic medical centers in evaluating the outcomes and impacts of their research using approaches relevant to various stakeholders, including patients, providers, administrators, and legislators.

The 100 Metrics List:

  • presents metrics that can be used assess and communicate the value of biomedical research
  • contains a brief description and caveats/limitations for each metric
  • includes examples of data sources and analyses for each metric
  • identifies metrics of interest to specific stakeholders


Elsevier announces CiteScore Metrics

CiteScore metrics are part of the Scopus basket of journal metrics that includes SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper), SJR (SCImago Journal Rank), citation- and document- counts and percentage cited. The integration of these metrics into Scopus provides insights into the citation impact of more than 22,220 titles.

Related Readings:

Controversial impact factor gets a heavyweight rival. Nature News. December 8, 2016.

Comparing Impact Factor and Scopus CiteScore. EigenFactor. December 8, 2016.


Prominent Funding Organizations Team Up to Launch Open Research Funders Group. December 15, 2016.

Eight highly-visible organizations today announced the launch of the Open Research Funders Group, a partnership designed to increase access to research outputs.

The initial focus of the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) will be concentrated in the following areas:

  • Developing practical solutions for monitoring open access and open data policy compliance and tracking impact.
  • Pulling together resources that qualitatively and quantitatively underscore how openness accelerates research and discovery.
  • Identifying best practices pertaining to policy development and implementation.
  • Highlighting workflows that minimize hassles for both grant recipients and grant administrators.
  • Sharing all of the above with the range of research stakeholders.”

ORFG members include the American Heart Association, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation among others.   Twitter handle: