Research takes time and resources. Take advantage of our list of AI tools to help you save time when conducting research.
This article discusses best practices for collecting and handling data in research. It covers primary and secondary data collection, standardization, metadata, inclusion criteria, and handling missing data.
Databases have therefore become essential components of research projects. The development of digital infrastructure has also led to easier ways to store and utilize data in digital formats.
Peer review is a process by which researchers gain a type of formal validation of their results. When a researcher wants to communicate a new discovery, they write a description of the research and the results in a standard format: a research article.
How we publish and access research is dependent on the digital asset and computer communication. To improve these aspects, we can apply the FAIR principles. FAIR stands for Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and, Reuse of digital data.
A publication bias is introduced into the literature when research results are published based on the strength or direction of their outcomes rather than the soundness of the methods used to conduct the research.
Preprints have been "published online" because it is a piece of work that has been made public in a fixed tangible medium, the preprint repository. Therefore, any preprint should be referred to as a "preprint publication."
“Preprint withdrawal” is the preferred procedure of most preprint platforms. Withdrawing a preprint entails the posting of a notification informing readers of the concerns or issues that have led the authors or the preprint platform itself to withdraw the preprint.
A preprint, in contrast, is a manuscript that has most often been deposited onto a “preprint server” (like Research Square, the world’s largest) that has not undergone journal organised peer review.
Science is glamorized as a perfectly conducted system under rigid standards and produces trusted results that withstand scrutiny. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are countless examples of where science fails. Most alarmingly, the failures come from clinical research where lives are at stake.
Expert advice is the lowest level of evidence on the evidence hierarchy. Expertise can be earned, peers can recognize an expert as an expert, or expertise can be a self-proclaimed title. No matter how expertise is claimed, it can be a dubious title.
There are many ways information can be stored as data. To be able to effectively analyze data, we must understand the data types which have specific characteristics and principles of use in research. A concept called “classifying data” is discussed further in this article.
Read on to learn about new methods of science communication and if researchers need to be concerned about the reliability of research that has not been peer reviewed and formally published in a journal.
The theme for Peer Review Week 2022, "Research Integrity: Creating and supporting trust in research," presents an exciting opportunity for all scholarly communication stakeholders to consider current and future steps necessary to promote trust in scholarship. To help academic journals and their submitting authors implement and expand standards and initiatives, Scholastica and Research Square launched a joint Peer Review Week blog series on research integrity tools for journals and authors. Now, we're excited to bring together all those tool posts, which combined serve as a "Research Integrity Toolkit."
Plagiarism is representing someone’s ideas as your own and/or without correct acknowledgment of the original author. These most common types of plagiarism range from flat-out copy-pasting from another study to simply misquoting or wrongly citing. Thorough knowledge of all types of plagiarism can save your career. And thorough knowledge is what this post aims to give you.
We’re continuing our Research Integrity Toolkit blog series with Scholastica in honor of this year’s Peer Review Week theme "Research Integrity: Creating and supporting trust in research." In this post, Gareth Dyke, discusses ‘The Importance of Open Research’. Be sure to check out the corresponding tools for journals on the Scholastica blog!
We’re continuing our Research Integrity Toolkit blog series with Scholastica In honor of this year’s Peer Review Week theme "Research Integrity: Creating and supporting trust in research." In this post, Gareth Dyke, discusses statements of originality and disclosure when making article submissions for peer review.
To help promote research integrity best practices in academic journals, Scholastica and Research Square are kicking off a joint Peer Review Week blog series September 19-23 on tools to promote research integrity for editors/publishers and submitting authors.
If one of the groups in a study was treated differently from the group(s) other than the intervention (which should be the only interventional difference between groups), and if the results show that there is a difference between groups in respect to the outcome(s) of the study, the results may be biased because of the unequal treatment provided between the experimental and comparator group(s).
When conducting a clinical trial, there are numerous opportunities for errors to be introduced into the study that distort the results. Bias is one of the most detrimental errors. Learn how to detect and assess bias when conducting research.
Research is only as good as the data supporting it. Make sure you avoid these six all-too-common data disasters.
Preprints are not new. The physics community has been circulating them since the 1940s, and they’ve grown to become an integral part of their scholarly publishing process, one that incorporates preprinting and publication. We met with veteran physicist Henrik Aratyn to discuss the history of preprints, how the physics community long ago handled many of the preprint-related issues researchers in other fields are grappling with today, and his take on preprinting’s future.
Some of the most frequent mistakes can be avoided by understanding data policies. In this post, we provide various tips on how to follow data policies and avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.
If you’re not widely promoting your preprint, you’re likely missing out on maximizing your citations and building impact in other ways that can advance your career. Learn how to get the most impact from your preprint here.
Social media is a powerful venue for communicating your research. Here we explain the various social media tools - both traditional and academic - that can help you promote and build the impact of your work.
Video abstracts have been around since the mid-2000s, but journals and publishers are increasingly using them to help you explain your research to a broader audience. Learn more, and view examples of these powerful tools for scientific communication.
In this article, we discuss data sources: best practices in using them and some of the most important items of importance to understand.
Missing data bias occurs when participants’ data is not included in an analysis, either because the researchers purposely omitted it or because participants dropped out or died before the trial was completed.
The credibility of preprints can range from very high to very low, but there are ways to gauge their credibility, and their quality. These ways include looking at any available data associated with the manuscript, reviewer comments, the author’s reputation, and the preprint’s status in the peer review process.
Information bias, or measurement bias, in clinical science happens when treatment outcomes are systematically measured and/or analyzed differently, leading to distorted conclusions.
Preprints are changing how research is disseminated and reviewed. Let’s look at why preprinting is an option you should definitely look into.
There are many ways to proactively disseminate your research through social media, blogs, and other means. In this article, you’ll learn some of the best channels and tactics. Then we’ll show you how to incorporate Altmetric to track your impact. By working as your own PR agency for your research, you’ll spread the word farther and wider, and you can build your professional network.
This article covers real and perceived limitations of posting your research manuscript as a preprint before publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In many cases, you’ll find the fears about preprints aren’t justified and are needlessly delaying your research getting the exposure it needs.
In clinical trials and other studies, relative risk is the ratio of the risk for an exposure group to the risk for a non-exposure group, such as smokers and non-smokers.
Preprints are research papers shared before peer review, uploaded by their authors to a public preprint platform. We discuss the benefits of preprints to authors, including rapid credit, visibility, and feedback.
Lay summaries provide a great opportunity for scientists to share the real-world impact of their research with society, while also promoting their work in clearly understandable words.
Cover letters are ultimately designed to influence the decisions of editors, to gently nudge them toward sending your manuscript out for peer review. Research Square’s Free Journal Cover Letter Writing Guide and template can help you produce the most effective cover letter possible.
Detecting bias in classification asks the following question: could the outcomes(s) be biased based on how participants were classified in the study due to their risk factor/exposure?
Selective reporting bias can be extremely detrimental. If data from some participants or time-points has been excluded, the true effect estimate of the results may be over or underestimated, thereby distorting the conclusions.
Forest plots visually demonstrate the overall relationship studies have to each other in an meta-analysis and illustrate the consistency, precision, and heterogeneity of studies' individual results and the collective results of all trials included in a meta-analysis.
[The] precious hope and time that patients dedicate to treatments that may ultimately fail would not be wasted if the clinical relevance coud be better understood before the intervention is studied in humans.
In celebration of preprints’ importance throughout 2021, we provide a look back at Research Square’s most widely viewed, discussed, downloaded, and cited preprints of 2021.
We searched our 120,000-plus preprints using terms of the Holiday season, like turkey and mistletoe. To make the season bright, we’re featuring some of the more fascinating research we’ve discovered.
Well conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses are considered the most reliable form of evidence because they draw conclusions from the totality of the literature around a topic. Here, we explain their advantages, caveats, and more.
Research Square was recently featured in Fast Company’s inaugural Brands that Matter list, which honored 95 companies and nonprofits that achieved relevance through cultural impact and the application of their missions and ideals. Here we explain how we came to receive this honor.
We connected with Carole Lunny, an expert in research methodology, to discover her perspectives on preprints, including those perspectives related to her niche: research design and data sharing.
This form of taxonomy provides an easy visualization of study designs that gives researchers and knowledge consumers a crude method to identify how much confidence should be invested in a study.
Ultimately, the culture that created the fear of scooping is a consequence of the publication system’s structure. Now that the digital infrastructure is available, the onus falls on researchers to recognize the value of preprint repositories and to utilize them to share research.
In all forms of selection bias, the systematic differences that exist between participants limit the ability to equally compare the groups and arrive at unbiased conclusions.
In the world of global public health research, patients often have little to no voice in conversations around clinical research, even though the many health management tools, practices, and procedures resulting from this research affect patients the most. Dr. Soham Bandyopadhyay, academic clinician at the University of Oxford and a teaching associate for the Oxford University Global Surgery Group, seeks to change this.
Dr. Alma Faust spent the majority of her career pioneering strategies and tactics that helped researchers - and institutions - become more competitive with grant funding efforts. In this Q&A article, she explains how preprints can help advance a research enterprise, strengthen grant applications, and move science forward more quickly in the process.
This week, Research Square celebrates a new milestone: 100,000 preprints posted on our server. Here we briefly look back for the ten most influential preprints ever posted - within the science community and among the public at large.
Longtime biomedical research librarian Frank Norman and other leaders at the Francis Crick Institute (a.k.a. the Crick) are encouraging their researchers to post preprints of their work. We connected with Norman for an interview to learn why. We also gathered his insights on preprints and their role in the evolution of scholarly publishing.
Preprints are accelerating the speed and openness of research, but we have the opportunity to use new and innovative services, like Smart Citations, to help us evaluate and discover how other scientists have interpreted or tested these scholarly works. Josh Nicholson, co-founder and CEO of scite.ai explains in this guest post.
Being mindful of possible confounders sharpens your ability to recognize potentially biased relationships and to think critically about associations that seem valid at first glance.
Misinformation is on the rise, so what are some of the specific ways that information standards can help address misinformation? Guest author Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement at the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), highlights some of the knowledge and solutions brought forth during the 2021 NISO Plus 2021 meeting (held virtually last February), as well as some of the more recent efforts resulting from this meeting.
Statistics are a very important component of scientific research. While statistics play an important role in research, the details of the statistical methods used in a study are often incomplete. Underspecified methods are a lot like providing only part of a recipe. When details aren’t clearly specified, the quality of the end-product will be variable. In this article, we discuss how to describe your statistical methods and results to ensure that other scientists are provided with the information needed to accurately repeat your analysis.
Pritam Sukul, senior medical scientist at the University Medicine Rostock in Germany, learned about preprints and Research Square by chance, while simply searching for a paper. After researching the topic, he posted a preprint that gained significant attention in the medical science world. Research Square’s Phil Bogdan, met with Sukul to discuss his experiences and opinions on preprints, the current state of scholarly publishing, and how, in his opinion, preprints can integrate with journals.
Kater Hake has been conducting and managing plant science research for more than 40 years. Like many researchers outside the clinical and physical sciences, Hake began to recognize preprints’ potential for his own plant and agricultural sciences community, particularly for rapidly advancing research, protecting it from intellectual property theft, and making it available to agriculture’s broad, interconnected community of scientists and industry professionals.
Due to various factors such as waning immunity, vaccine hesitancy, and disparities in vaccine distribution, total herd immunity is rarely achieved.
Ultimately, the union of preprints with evidence-based medicine (EBM) has the potential to enhance the accuracy and comprehensiveness of clinical recommendations. Preprints lead the future of scientific publishing, and EBM is a domain that will benefit from this unbiased researcher-driven dissemination mechanism.
Journals generally require information about ethics committee approval and informed consent for all manuscripts that involve human subjects. Due to the broad definition of “human subjects research”, you may have questions about whether your study falls into this category and what information will be required by journals when you are ready to publish.
An in silico study is one performed via simulation on a computer. In silico simulations are frequently used to predict how a compound will react with proteins in the body or with pathogens.
Research Square has grown at a rapid pace in 2020 - and continues to do so in 2021. This infographic underscores our growth in “The Year of the Preprint.”
If you plan to publish a study involving animals, missing information about ethical approval and animal welfare can delay peer review and even result in rejection of your manuscript.
Dr. Naomi Moris, Professor Alfonso Martinez Arias, and colleagues developed a step-by-step protocol describing a process for successfully generating human gastruloids from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) for use in a lab setting. They posted it as an independent research object on the Protocol Exchange, which is making reproducibility, transparency, and shareability easier.
In addition to helping others reproduce your results, adding sufficient methodological details also helps readers understand the conditions in which your results are applicable. This saves others from spending tons of time and effort on reproducing results and helps move science forward more quickly.
The next time you read “A study shows…," do not accept the statement and study at face value. To find the truth – or at least the most likely truth – it is necessary to challenge everything.
Join one research team on their first voyage through the world of preprinting, a trip that logged 20 citations, 5,500 pdf downloads, 168,083 HTML page views, and an Altmetric score of over 3,700—before their manuscript was published in Nature Immunology.
An animal model is a non-human species that is used in experiments that would not be feasible or ethical to conduct in humans.
In 2020, preprints became the scientific community’s most significant vehicle for research communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research papers are becoming more than just static articles published in refereed journals. Protocols and other “research objects” are making reproducibility, transparency, and shareability much easier. Meet the Protocol Exchange, which fosters these and many other benefits for the researchers who use them.
[Science] has been plagued by a dissemination crisis, where research that could be published is blocked by publishers, and the quality and validity of research that is published is too often questionable or outright false.
Consider the sample size used in the study. A statistically significant p-value does not necessarily imply importance.
[The] interpretation of clinical research is based around probabilities. If the trial’s methods are poor, there is a greater likelihood that the results do not estimate the true sample mean and/or that the results will not translate from the studied population to another population.
The use of masks, together with other precautionary measures, significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19 infection; however, the effects of masks on children have not been widely studied.
As awareness around preprints grows and the practice is increasingly adopted, encountering multiple versions of the same work will become a normal aspect of navigating the literature.
Toward the end of November 2020, Research Square celebrated its 50,000th preprint, capping off a spectacular rise for the platform and for preprints in general. Research Square also brought several industry firsts to scholarly publishing this year.
To understand if research can be trusted, a study must be critically appraised to assess if methodological weaknesses may have influenced the results, deviating their estimations away from the truth.
Research Square Company is pleased to announce the hire of Helen Tian as its General Manager of Researcher Solutions in Greater China.
Consider what type of cell line(s) the researchers used. Does the cell line act as a good model for the topic being studied? For example, do the researchers use breast cancer cell lines for a study on breast cancer, or are they using prostate cancer cells?
Following a successful beta in August, Research Square has directly integrated a new automated editing service that is capable of making high-quality technical manuscript edits in just 20 minutes.
Over 355 years have passed since the primordial oral preprint paradigm was established, where researchers could rapidly share their work with the community but could not claim rights in print to their content due to the impermanence of oration.
Research Square, a multidisciplinary publishing platform for preprints, has surpassed 50,000 submissions since its debut in October 2018.
Here, we present an example preprint that underwent our evaluation and earned a Methods Badge on the Research Square platform.
Biased information – in research and in everyday life – attempts to change your mind and how you think. It is therefore an important skill to be aware of bias and know how to identify, analyze, and assess biased information properly.
Identifying the specific reagents, materials, and tools used to perform research is critical to its reproducibility.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020 and its theme, “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion,” we’ve collected and summarized some of the most significant stories of this eventful year.
Learn how Open Access publication is growing, how governmental mandates have been propelling the movement forward, and how this affects authors when publishing.
How publishers and authors can benefit from Artificial Intelligence-based services designed to make manuscript preparation seamless
How to watch out for predatory journals in the Open Access world
Clinical trials of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 have been in the news constantly this year. Differences in design, size, and analysis can make it difficult to compare these studies and apply their findings to an individual’s medical care.
Research Square has launched a beta trial of its new automated Open Science Assessment tool, which can help authors enhance the quality of their research and the robustness of their scientific reporting.
“As an integrated part of the preprinting process on our platform, SciScore will help authors ensure the science behind their manuscripts is better prepared for peer review.”
With the persistent pressure to publish often, it can be difficult to keep statistical reporting top of mind, but the details of data analysis are essential.
Research Square Editor in Chief, Michele Avissar-Whiting, delivered a short talk on the topic of preprints and peer review.
To remediate peer review and optimize how science is disseminated and evaluated, the dynamics of the publication process as a whole must be reimagined.
A tour of how peer review builds trust across the various steps of publication