Trusted. Timely. Today’s Medicine. The Editorial World at The Lancet Medical Journal Maja Zecevic, PhD, MPH North American Senior Editor The Lancet New York, USA [email protected] Disclosure I am a full-time employee of Elsevier The Beginning Thomas Wakley (1795-1862) Surgeon Parliament Member 1823 The Beginning Wakley’s visions: “Inform, reform and entertain.” “Create a reformist medical newspaper.” “Counter the forces that undermine the values of medicine, be they political, social, or commercial.” “A lancet can be an arched window to let in the light or it can be a sharp surgical instrument to cut out the dross and I intend to use it in both senses.” The Elsevier Connection Acquisition 1991 Unique status A separate department within Elsevier Editorial team Internal (all Elsevier employees) Full editorial independence Lancet logo Unique brand that supports editorial independence Today World's leading weekly independent general medical journal IF is 38 Focuses on all aspects of human health Clinical Public Heath Health Policy Topic coverage is international & global 10,000 unsolicited submissions a year Editorial offices in London, New York (1), and Beijing (1). Today Readership: Subscribers 1/3 UK 1/3 USA 1/3 Rest of world 7 million registered users www.thelancet.com The Lancet Today Three specialty journals Monthly publications Local language editions Content “Advances or illuminates medical science or practice, or that educates or entertains our readers…” Aims to: Change clinical practice Create debate Educate Content Topics: Global vs. local Clinical vs. epidemiological research Chronic diseases (Cardiology, Oncology, Neurology) Acute diseases (TB, HIV, Malaria) Public Health Health Policy Acquiring Content Change Practice Educate Debate Selecting articles: Commissioning: • Seminars • Reviews Editorial Writing: • Editorials Routine submissions Fast track submissions Soliciting: Clinical trials Selecting: • Case reports • Clinical pictures Commissioning: • Comments •World Report • Perspectives Selecting: • Viewpoints/Essays Content Journal Sections: Blue Red Green Content Blue (Journalistic) Section Editorials This Week in Medicine Book & film & exhibition reviews Profiles Obituaries Art in Medicine Comments Journalistic (not academic) important stories Perspectives News World Report The Lancet’s opinion and voice Related to a recent publication, report or event Correspondence Linked to a Lancet publication Content Red (Practice Changing) Section Original Research Articles 4-5 per week (95% rejection rate!) Trials, observational, public-health and health-policy data Submission & review & publication Regular vs. Fast-track Early online publication Strong or unexpected beneficial or adverse response, or a novel mechanism of action Content Green (Essay) Section Viewpoint Hypothesis Case Report & Clinical Picture Seminars Reviews Disease-oriented overviews for the generalist A narrower remit for a more specialized audience Series Region specific (Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan) Topic specific (Maternal health, Child development, HIV) The Editorial Tasks Internal Roles Peer-reviewing Diverse expertise within different therapeutic areas Commissioning Editorial writing Leading specific projects/series/themes issues External Activities Conferences attendance & representation Lecturing Having leading roles in international editorial committees Creation/amendment of different reporting guidelines The Lancet My Specific Role Only North American based editor: US Relationship Management Academia, Government, Societies, NGO, and Pharma/Biotech Industries One-on-one meetings, speaker, lecturer, conference moderator, representation Content Management Lead topic-specific US Theme issues (Sept 11) Writer of editorials that have a US focus Peer-review (member of both the fast-track/normal track teams) Strategic Management Lead Lancet’s North American operations “The Editorial World” Advantages Intellectual curiosity, fulfillment and satisfaction Constant learning Topic diversity “On top” of medicine and “direct” impact in biomedical advancement Personal contact and discussion with world’s medical leaders Tasks change constantly and daily Self-management of time and projects “In office” and “Out of office” assignments Disadvantages Stress (multitasking & deadlines & work hours) Travel Expected to know everything that has been published in The Lancet Trusted. Timely. Today’s Medicine. Plagiarism Issues A form of publication (and scientific) misconduct Taking credit for others’ text and ideas Different origins Lack of proper attribution when citing source is missing when summarizing and paraphrasing ideas Lack of quotation when using exact words, phrases and sentences Academic laziness?, human error?, culture? Different types: Duplicate publication Translation plagiarism Unpublished plagiarism Self-plagiarism Self-Plagiarism Also known as self-recycling Defined as the use of large (more than 30 words?) chunks of word-for-word text from own previously published material Different criteria used for non-research and research material: OK in Method section? Not acceptable in Introduction and Discussion sections When in Result section, it amounts to duplicate and overlapping publication From Sabine Kleinert, The Lancet A Problem Because... Introduces bias into medical evidence Violates copyrights laws Usually unknown to one or more authors Gray areas No existing international set of rules Variability in detection, management and correction A matter of degree and judgement Detection Elsevier and CrossCheck Uses it as a pilot Not all journals Currently paid centrally (not by individual journals) Cost = 65 cents per article Takes text-text and matches it with published pieces Does not check images, figures or tables The Lancet CrossCheck in use since August of 2010: Who How Peer-review editor Electronically and visually What Screen only non-data papers that are to be externally peer-reviewed Most likely to have plagiarism or text-recycling When Check at peer-review sending out stage The Lancet, January, 2011 The Lancet Findings (4 cases detected of ~150 reviewed among ~1500 submissions): Commissioned seminar (self-plagiarized from a book chapter) Comment Review (spontaneously submitted and self-plagiarized) Review (spontaneously submitted and discovered accidentally) Case Unpublished Review History Editorial Action “It was true that I found this TLO paper. I cited some words of this paper. I did not realize that so many words were identical” “I am now making a revision to reduce the similarity between our and the TLO paper”. “I was not aware of this at all. If I have been aware, I would demand that the copied text be omitted” Editorial Decision TL sent a query to authors to address the Crosscheck output Author Responses Spontaneously submitted review (from 2 non-US authors and 1 US author) was in-house rejected and passed on to The Lancet Oncology (TLO) TLO visually spotted a similarity with their published review on the same topic Crosscheck revealed a 60% similarity index with more than 1000 words identical to the TLO paper Paper was rejected and the appropriate department heads were informed. Concluding Remarks from the First Author “I feel innocent regarding your decision. I am sure that many words in my manuscript were the same as in the reference. It was unavoidable that some words were the same. Why would I trouble myself to submit this paper to The Lancet if my intention was to plagiarize? After all, it is only a review paper.” To Think and To Question... CrossCheck is a screening tool that combined database access and software usage, which gives a number to be accessed by an individual for a final conclusion. No coherent statement out there yet on who best to read the software output and at what stage of the publication process is best to be done. “Piracy of ideas” is undetectable by CrossCheck. Should journals require authors to attest that they have screened for duplicate text before submission as a submission requirement? Should journals screen all submitted material or only the one interested in publishing? What is the threshold to be used to start checking all of author’s past publications? Fraud is often serial. Partially taken from Hal Sox, AIM External Resources Council of Science Editors www.councilscienceeditors.org World Association of Medical Editors www.wame.org International Committee of Medical Journal Editors www.icmje.org Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) www.publicationethics.org Plagiarism In Summary “Plagiarism is preventable… by detecting it and not publishing it.” (Hal Sox) Authors should be encouraged to ask when in doubt. A Final Thought… “…Publication is not the end, but the beginning…” Questions?