Indian Journal of Dental Research

EDITORIAL
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 415-

Safeguarding standards of publication in scientific journals


SM Balaji 
 Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, 30, KB Dasan Road, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, 30, KB Dasan Road, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Safeguarding standards of publication in scientific journals.Indian J Dent Res 2021;32:415-415


How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Safeguarding standards of publication in scientific journals. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 30 ];32:415-415
Available from: https://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2021/32/4/415/345421


Full Text



The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the temporary closures of many non-emergency services of medical/dental institutions and private practices as a precautionary measure to control the spread of the disease. This freed up the time of the otherwise busy professionals and students. A significant percentage of these doctor-researchers engaged in research and writing manuscripts that were held for long time. Subsequently, the number of submissions to scientific journals was high.[1] In doing so, there has been a compromise on quality of the work especially with regards to the study design and sample size.

Research methodology has to be robust and study design has to be sound to ensure that bias does not influence the results and thus, the conclusion is drawn from the study. Statistical analysis plays an important role in research articles to decipher, generalize and clinically translate the findings from the defined to sample to general population. Such meticulously designed studies with appropriate statistics would provide best evidence for clinical practice.[2] In the surgical field, patient attrition-retention may have an impact on the outcome in terms of power and sample size. This complicates the surgical research. Inadequate follow-up and less samples would not meet the demands of adequate power and sample size, compromising the external and internal validity.[3]

It is a well-known fact that manipulation of data and scientific misconduct in the biomedical publishing industry[4] are more prevalent than imagined. The existing peer-review is an honour-based system. It relies on the integrity of the author(s), expertise and dedication of the peer-reviewers as well as that of the editorial team. Stringent processes are needed than ever to ensure that substandard studies, studies emanating from manipulated data as well as all forms of scientific misconducts are identified and addressed appropriately. In the COVID-19 pandemic situation, many editors of academic journals have voiced the opinion that a revamp of existing peer review process is needed as well as the basics and nuance of the system has to be integrated in the undergraduate curriculum.

The omnipresent predatory journals has necessitated diligent fact checking by authors before submission[5] to ensure that their hard work and effort gets published in scientific journals uphold the highest standards of scientific temper and integrity. Till a fool-proof system emerges, it is the responsibility of all the stake holders to uphold the basic ideologies of peer-review system. All forms of wilful scientific misconducts needs to be chastised while genuine errors need to be declared and altered. Stringent actions from authorities are the need of the hour from policymakers.

References

1Aviv-Reuven, S., Rosenfeld, A. Publication patterns' changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal and short-term scientometric analysis. Scientometrics 2021;126;6761-84.
2Barkan, H. Statistics in clinical research: Important considerations. Ann Cardiac Anaesth 2015;18:74-82.
3Kaur M, Sprague S, Ignacy T, Thoma A, Bhandari M, Farrokhyar F. How to optimize participant retention and complete follow-up in surgical research. Can J Surg 2014;57:420-7.
4Tolsgaard MG, Ellaway R, Woods N, Norman G. Salami-slicing and plagiarism: How should we respond?. Adv in Health SciEduc 2019;24:3-14
5Beall J. Best practices for scholarly authors in the age of predatory journals. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2016;98:77-9.