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Concept: Kurt Cobain

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Most researchers acknowledge an intrinsic hierarchy in the scholarly journals (“journal rank”) that they submit their work to, and adjust not only their submission but also their reading strategies accordingly. On the other hand, much has been written about the negative effects of institutionalizing journal rank as an impact measure. So far, contributions to the debate concerning the limitations of journal rank as a scientific impact assessment tool have either lacked data, or relied on only a few studies. In this review, we present the most recent and pertinent data on the consequences of our current scholarly communication system with respect to various measures of scientific quality (such as utility/citations, methodological soundness, expert ratings or retractions). These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice. Moreover, the data lead us to argue that any journal rank (not only the currently-favored Impact Factor) would have this negative impact. Therefore, we suggest that abandoning journals altogether, in favor of a library-based scholarly communication system, will ultimately be necessary. This new system will use modern information technology to vastly improve the filter, sort and discovery functions of the current journal system.

Concepts: Scientific method, Logic, Impact factor, Scientific journal, Technology, Journal, Kurt Cobain, PageRank

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Impact factor has been used as a metric by which to gauge scientific journals for several years. A metric meant to describe the performance of a journal overall, impact factor has also become a metric used to gauge individual performance as well. This has held true in the field of pediatric cardiology where many divisions utilize impact factor of journals that an individual has published in to help determine the individual’s academic achievement. This subsequently can impact the individual’s promotion through the academic ranks. We review the purpose of impact factor, its strengths and weaknesses, discuss why impact factor is not a fair metric to apply to individuals, and offer alternative means by which to gauge individual performance for academic promotion.

Concepts: Academic publishing, Science, Individual, Nature, Impact factor, Scientific journal, Journal, Kurt Cobain

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A deeper understanding of supplementary bibliometrics beyond the impact factor might provide researchers with a better understanding of the citation process. This study presents a multivariate analysis of gastroenterology and hepatology journals to evaluate the predictive ability of seven bibliometrics in the Web of Science to calculate total cites over a 2-year period.

Concepts: Scientific method, Mathematics, Multivariate statistics, Gastroenterology, Nature, Impact factor, Bibliometrics, Kurt Cobain

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The rejection rate by scientific journals may be rather high, sometimes up to 70-90%. On receipt of notification of rejection, one may experience various stages of the Kübler-Ross grief cycle - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, with an initial shock and an intermediate ‘testing’ stage. A paper may be rejected because of several reasons, such as the following: (1) it was submitted to an inappropriate journal, (2) journal format was not followed, (3) reading was not interesting or scientific/clinically sound, (4) topic was not current, (5) research was not novel, (6) low publication priority despite the absence of major flaws, (7) poor En-glish/writing style, (8) poor methods and statistics, (9) unbelievable results that were not properly discussed and (10) ‘recycled’ paper. Plagiarism is not tolerated. Simultaneous submission to 2 or more journals is not allowed. Outright rejection sometimes occurs in 70-80%; for 10-15%, the editor rejects without sending the paper to reviewers for obvious reasons as mentioned. For the majority, reviewers give feedback that leads to the editor rejecting the paper. On receiving notification of rejection, one should read the feedback and consider its contents prior to rewriting and submitting the paper to another journal (sometimes reviewers may see the same manuscript several times if asked by different editors). An invitation to resubmit ‘de novo’ occurs in only 1-5% of submissions; it requires substantial revision before resubmission. Being rejected but invited to resubmit a revised version occurs in 5-20% of submissions - it indicates a good chance of acceptance; one should carefully read the feedback and respond/comply with all suggestions. Papers rejected repeatedly may have ‘fatal flaws’ and are best abandoned.

Concepts: Christopher Nolan, Grief, Journal, Editors, Diary, Kurt Cobain, Kübler-Ross model, Revised Version

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Laurette van Varseveld McMechan (1878-1970) was married to Francis Hoeffer McMechan (1879-1939), who organized the International Anesthesia Research Society and was the editor of the first journal for physician and dentist anesthetists. Although she was not a physician, she made vital contributions to the development of worldwide organized anesthesia and its journals. These were most evident after her husband became severely disabled in 1911, when Laurette McMechan worked closely with him on his efforts to organize the practice of anesthesiology and create a scholarly journal for the specialty. After his death, she continued to serve our profession for another 17 years, serving as assistant executive secretary-editor of the International Anesthesia Research Society and its journal, Current Researches in Anesthesia and Analgesia. Her life was dedicated to the profession of anesthesia. A memorial tribute labeled her “the mother of anesthetists,” a title she deserved.

Concepts: Surgery, Physician, Management, Anesthesia, Opioid, Wife, International Anesthesia Research Society, Kurt Cobain