Tagged / publishing

Publish with Six PLOS journals for FREE

Starting 1 April 2022, all BU corresponding authors will no longer need to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC) for publishing with PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Digital Health, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLOS ONE and PLOS Pathogens, due to the JISC PLOS flat fee agreement that Bournemouth University has signed up to.

In order to benefit from this agreement, it is important that you properly self-identify during the submission process to be recognised as eligible for this agreement.

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If you wish to find out more about this publishing deal, you can visit this FAQ – and ensure that you expand the PLOS Institutional Partnerships menu and select PLOS Flat Fee Agreements –

For all related enquiries, please email OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk 

 

Summit of Health & Population Scientists in Nepal 2022

Today say the start of the Eight National Summit of Health & Population Scientists in Nepal.  Bournemouth University is involved in two presentation.  The first will be one by University of Huddersfield PhD student Tamang Pasang, and her supervisors Prof. Padam Simkhada (FHSS Visiting Faculty), Dr. Bibha Simkhada (former BU Lecturer in Nursing and current FHSS Visiting Faculty) and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.  Pasang will be talking about her thesis fieldwork: ‘Impact of Federalisation in Maintaining Quality of Maternal and Neonatal Care in Nepalese Health System’.

The second presentation will focus of the Nepal Federal Health System Project, our major collaborative project examining the consequences for the health system of Nepal’s move to a federal government structure in 2015.  This is a joint project led by the University of Sheffield with Bournemouth University, the University of Huddersfield, and two institutions in Nepal: Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences MMIHS) and PHASE Nepal.  This interdisciplinary study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant ref.
MR/T023554/1]. 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternity & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

 

Latest BU publication on academic writing

Today the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published our latest paper on academic writing, under the title ‘The Art of the Editorial’. [1]  This editorial highlights the importance of writing and publishing editorials in scientific journal.  Writing editorials seems sometimes to be a dying art.  This is perhaps due to more and more online journals not publishing regular issues, but adding papers online as and when they have been reviewed, revised and accepted. This paper is co-authered by Bournemouth University’s Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen, two of their four co-authors are also BU Visiting Faculty: Prof. Padam Simkhada based at the University of Huddersfield and Dr. Brijesh Sathian based in the Geriatric Medicine Department, Rumailah Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar.  This paper is an Open Access publication.

This paper on the art of writing editorials follows on from a series of papers on a wide-range of aspects of academic writing and publishing by FHSS (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) authors [2-18].  FHSS co-authors on aspects of academic writing include: Dr. Orlanda Harvey [2], Dr. Pramod Regmi [2-3,4,16], Prof. Vanora Hundley [1,3,5,6,12-14], Dr. Nirmal Aryal [3-4], and Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhihari [4,16], Dr. Preeti Mahato [3,16].

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V, Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., Robinson, J., Banerjee, I. (2022) The Art of the Editorial Nepal J Epidemiol12(1): 1135–38.
  2. Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, A., Regmi, P.R., Ireland, J., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing Health Prospect 21(1):1-3.
  3. Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Hundley, V. with Shreesh, K. (2022) Writing and Publishing Academic Work, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books
  4. van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
  5. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu Univ Med J 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf
  6. van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
  7. Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
  8. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
  9. van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada. PP, Simkhada, B, Ireland J. (2012) The long & winding road to publication, Nepal Epidemiol 2(4): 213-215 http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093/6388
  10. Hundley, V, van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, P (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11(2):98-101 www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf
  11. Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11(1):1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf
  12. van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal Epidemiol 4(1): 344-347.
  13. van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
  14. Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
  15. Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci 4(3):332-33.
  16. Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
  17. Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.
  18. van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News 30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pd

Social Work Research cited in national newspaper

Congratulations to Dr. Orlanda Harvey who was cited last week in The Daily Telegraph in an article with the underlying question whether Vladimir Putin is experiencing so-called “roid rage” from steroid treatment.  This theory has been suggested by by Western intelligence services.  Orlanda’s PhD study at Bournemouth University focused on men using anabolic androgenic steroids for non-medical use.  She published several academic papers on the topic [1-3].

References:

  1. Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E, Trenoweth, S. (2021) Libido as a reason to use non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy (online first). https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2021.1882940
  2. Harvey, O., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E.Trenoweth, S. (2020) Support for non-prescribed Anabolic Androgenic Steroids users: A qualitative exploration of their needs Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 27:5, 377-386. doi 10.1080/09687637.2019.1705763
  3. Harvey, O., Keen, S., Parrish, M., van Teijlingen, E. (2019) Support for people who use Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Systematic Literature Review into what they want and what they access. BMC Public Health 19: 1024 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7288-x https://rdcu.be/bMFon

Speaking to a journalist

In late 2021 I was contacted by an Indonesian science journalist, Dyna Rochmyaningsih, who was investigating the ethics around international studies on human population genetics to build expand genomic libraries of people in the Global South.  She highlights that “these international studies, often led by Western scientists, have contributed to a more global understanding of ancient patterns of human migration and evolution. But on some occasions, they’ve also sidestepped local regulatory agencies in the developing world, and ventured into murky research ethics terrain as a result”.   The reason for contacting me was because we had published several papers here at Bournemouth University about the need for applying for ethical approval for research in developing countries [1-3].  I had a long Skype conversation with her about the various perspectives on the matter she was investigating.

Today she emailed me that her piece ‘Opinion: Genomics’ Ethical Gray Areas Are Harming the Developing World. A recent controversy in the Philippines illustrates the pitfalls and pressure points of international genomics research‘ has been published online.  In the email she made a really nice comment: “It was nice talking to you even though you might see that I disagree at some of your points. However, the discussion gave me insights that there is a wide disagreement on what considers ethical research.”  I think that is what science should be all about, disagreements, discussions, disputes, etc. and, at the same time, learning from these disputes and gaining greater insight.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

References:

  1. van Teijlingen E.R., Simkhada P.P. (2012)    Ethical approval in developing countries is not optional. Journal of Medical Ethics 38(7):428-30. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100123. Epub 2012 Feb 16.PMID: 22345548 
  2. van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. (2015). Failure to Apply for Ethical Approval for Health Studies in Low-Income Countries. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology5(3), 511–515. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v5i3.13609
  3. Regmi, P. R., Aryal, N., Kurmi, O., Pant, P. R., van Teijlingen, E., & Wasti, S. P. (2017). Informed Consent in Health Research: Challenges and Barriers in Low-and Middle-Income Countries with Specific Reference to NepalDeveloping World Bioethics17(2), 84–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/dewb.12123

Rejection is the norm

In academic life rejection is the norm, for both journal articles and grant applications, the average academic is more likely to fail than to succeed at any time.  This can also be true, although to a lesser extent, for applications to present at academic conferences.  At the time of writing this blog (12 February 2022), I have 299 published papers listed on the databases SCOPUS.  Of these nearly 300 papers only two papers ever were accepted on first submission as submitted.  Most papers went through one or two rounds revision in the light of comments and critique offered by reviewers, and sometimes also additional feedback from the journal’s editor.

After rejection by the first journal, your paper needs to be rewritten before submitting it to another journal.  Obviously, this process of rewriting and resubmitting takes time as different journals have different styles, lay-outs, sub-headings, audiences, and often peculiar ways of referencing.  I would guess more than half of my papers have been through the review process of at least two journals.  Quite a few of my published papers were accepted by the third or even fourth journal to which we had submitted them.  Persistence is the name of the game.   Some paper fell by the wayside often after second submission, if especially if review process had been time-consuming and the reviewers very critical and demanding too many changes.

Peer review can be very good and constructive but also brutal and destructive.  Blind peer-review is a fair process as it means the quality of the paper is all that counts in getting accepted.  I have had the pleasure of being co-author on papers rejected by journals for which I was: the book review editor at the time (Sociological Research Online), on the journal’s editorial board at the time of submission (e.g. Midwifery, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology), one of journal’s Associate Editors (BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth) and, to top it all, on which I was one of the two editors (Asian Journal of Midwives).   

Grant applications in the UK have a one in eight to one in ten chance of success.  Most of our successful grant applications have been resubmissions, with attempts to improve the application each time in the light of reviewers’ comments.  For example, our successful application to THET (Tropical Health & Education Trust) resulted in the funded project ‘Mental Health Training for Rural Community-based Maternity Care Workers in Nepal‘ [1], led by Bournemouth University (see picture).  This THET project was organised by Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Bournemouth University and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).  However, I was only successful during our second submission.  Our first submission was rejected the year before with feedback that our partner organisation in Nepal was deemed to be too small.  In the resubmission we changed to work with colleagues at Tribhuvan University, the oldest and largest university in Nepal. Apart from some further, but minor changes, this was really the main change between the rejected and the successful application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The situation for conferences is slightly better, the success rate for an application to present a paper or poster are higher. This is partly because conference organisers realise that most academics are unlikely to get funding from their institution unless they present something.  Conferences are often themed and submitted abstracts are peer-reviewed.  This makes in important to write a clear abstract, focusing in on the conference theme.[1]  In the past I have had the honour of being rejected to present a paper at a BSA Medical Sociology Conference, whist I was on the organising committee.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

References

  1. Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu University Medical Journal 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf

 

 

 

Hard to reach or hard to engage?

Congratulations to FHSS PhD students Aniebiet Ekong and Nurudeen Adesina on the acceptance of their paper by MIDIRS Midwifery Digest [1]. This methodological paper reflects on their data collection approaches as part of their PhD involving African pregnant women in the UK.

This paper provides a snapshot of some of the challenges encountered during the recruitment of pregnant Black African women living in the UK for their research. Though there are several strategies documented to access/invite/recruit these ‘hard-to-reach population’ these recruitment strategies however were found to be unsuitable to properly engage members of this community. Furthermore, ethical guidelines around informed consent and gatekeeping seem to impede the successful engagement of the members of this community. It is believed that an insight into the experience and perceptions of ethnic minorities researchers will enhance pragmatic strategies that will increase future participation and retention of Black African women across different areas of health and social care research. This paper is co-authored with their BU PhD supervisors: Dr Jaqui-Hewitt Taylor, Dr Juliet Wood, Dr Pramod Regmi and Dr Fotini Tsofliou.

Well done !

Pramod Regmi

  1. Ekong, A., Adesina, N., Regmi, P., Tsofliou, F., Wood, J. and Taylor, J., 2022. Barriers and Facilitators to the recruitment of Black African women for research in the UK: Hard to engage and not hard to reach. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest (accepted).

New BU social sciences and social work publication

Congratulations to Jane Healy and Rosslyn Dray, both in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work on their publication today in The Journal of Adult Protection.  Their paper’ Missing links: Safeguarding and disability hate crime responses’ considers the relationship between disability hate crime and safeguarding adults [1]. It critically considers whether safeguarding responses to disability hate crime have changed following the implementation of the Care Act 2014. Historically, protectionist responses to disabled people may have masked the scale of hate crime and prevented them from seeking legal recourse through the criminal justice system (CJS). This paper investigates whether agencies are working together effectively to tackle hate crime.  The authors conclude that raising the profile of disability hate crime within safeguarding teams could lead to achieving more effective outcomes for adults at risk: improving confidence in reporting, identifying perpetrators of hate crimes, enabling the CJS to intervene and reducing the risk of further targeted abuse on the victim or wider community.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. Healy, J.C.,Dray, R. (2022), Missing links: safeguarding and disability hate crime responses, The Journal of Adult Protection, Online first ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-09-2021-0030

New BU publication on academic writing

Congratulations to Dr. Orlanda Harvey in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work, Dr. Pramod Regmi in the Department of Nursing Science and FHSS Visiting Faculty Jillian Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate in Poole Maternity Hospital (UHD/University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust) whose paper ‘Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing‘ was published today.[1] 

The paper argues that academic writing, especially in the health field, is usually an interdisciplinary team effort. It highlights some of the trials, tribulations, and benefits of working with co-authors. This includes collaborations and co-authorship between academics from different disciplines, academics of different level of careers, and authors from countries of varying economies i.e., high-income countries (HICs) and from low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). This paper also provides advice in the form of several useful tips to lead authors and co-authors to support collaborative working.  Our other co-authors are: Aney Rijal, postgraduate student and Executive Editor of the journal Health Prospect based in Nepal, and Alexander van Teijlingen postgraduate student in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland).

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health

 

Reference:

  1. Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, A., Regmi, P.R., Ireland, J., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing Health Prospect 21(1):1-3.

Another BU Impact Case Study

In 2018 BU researchers Dr. Jenny Hall and Prof. Vanora Hundley in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinal Health (CMMPH) published a paper on disabled women and maternity care.  This scientific paper was co-authored with Ms. Jillian Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate in University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust and BU Visiting Faculty, and Dr. Bethan Collins at the University of Liverpool (and former BU staff member).  Their paper ‘Dignity and respect during pregnancy and childbirth: a survey of the experience of disabled women’ appeared in the Open Access journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth and was commissioned by the charity Birthrights.   The study shows that disabled women are generally not receiving the individualised care and support they that they need to make choices about their maternity care.   At the time of publication this BU paper was picked up by various media, including in South Africa.

The study resulted in change in St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Poole (as part of maternity care provision by University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust).  One of the innovations at Poole Maternity Hospital was  supporting a woman to give birth in hospital with her assistance dog by her side to help ease her anxiety.

This story was picked up by several newspapers including the local Bournemouth Echo under the heading ‘Dog to accompany Poole dog handler as she gives birth‘, and by several national newspapers last week when the The Guardian published ‘UK woman has baby in hospital with ‘birth dog’ by her side‘, The Times printed Baby safely delivered, with a little help from woman’s best friend‘, whilst the online news website Big World Tale used the headline: ‘Woman, 24, gives birth in hospital with a DOG as ‘medical aid”.

 

Universities are always on the look out for impact generated by its research.  This seems a clear example of joint research between BU and University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust staff resulting in innovations in practice.

 

Congratulations to all involved!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

New BU paper on digital tools for diabetes

Congratulations to BU PhD student Nurudeen Adesina on the publication of his systematic review.  Nurudeen together with Huseyin Dogan in the Department of Computing & Informatics, Sue Green in the Nursing for Long-term Health Centre, and Fotini Tsofliou in Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) appeared in print just before Christmas with their paper ‘Effectiveness and Usability of Digital Tools to Support Dietary Self-Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review‘ [1].

This new paper highlights that advice on dietary intake is an essential first line intervention for the management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Digital tools such as web-based and smartphone apps have been suggested to provide a novel way of providing information on diet for optimal glucose regulation in women with GDM. This systematic review explored the effectiveness and usability of digital tools designed to support dietary self-management of GDM. A systematic search of Medline, Embase,
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane Library, and Scopus using key search terms identified 1476 papers reporting research studies, of which 16 met the specified inclusion criteria. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the ErasmusAGE Quality Score or the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) version 2018. The findings show that the adoption of digital tools may be an effective approach to support self-management relating to healthy diet, health behaviour, and adherence to therapy in women with GDM as a usable intervention. However, the four authors argue that there is a lack of evidence concerning the effectiveness of tools to support the dietary management of GDM. Consideration for ethnic specific dietary advice and evidence-based frameworks in the development of effective digital tools for dietary management of GDM should be considered as these aspects have been limited in the studies reviewed.

Reference:

Adesina, N.; Dogan, H.; Green, S.; Tsofliou, F. Effectiveness and Usability of Digital Tools to Support Dietary Self-Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010010

Research papers: A game of Happy Families

Recently I completed a game of Happy Families, to be more precise I added a paper with my fourth family member to a ‘collection’.  I got the idea from Prof. Jonathan Parker  and Prof. Sara Ashencaen Crabtree (both based in the Department of Social Sciences & Social Work) who published a paper with their children a few years ago [1].  When Jonathan told me about this achievement I had already published two dozen of scientific and practitioners’ papers with my partner  Jilly Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate in University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust and FHSS Visiting Faculty (for example 2-5).

Two years ago, Dr. Preeti Mahato (in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health) and I published a paper with my middle son about ‘Vaping and e-cigarettes: A public health warning or a health promotion tool?’ [6].  The following year, Prof. Hamid Bouchachia (Faculty of Science & Technology) and I co-authored a paper with my oldest son on AI and health in Nepal [7], followed by a paper this year on academic publishing with FHSS’s Dr. Shovita Dhakal Adhikari (Department of Social Sciences & Social Work , Dr. Nirmal Aryal (CMMPH) and Dr. Pramod Regmi (Department of Nursing Sciences  [8].  And to complete the four family members in the Happy Families set, I published a paper late last month with my daughter under the title ‘ Understanding health education, health promotion and public health’ [9].

 

 

 

References:

  1. Parker, J.Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Crabtree Parker, M. and Crabtree Parker, I., 2019. ‘Behaving like a Jakun!’ A case study of conflict, ‘othering’ and indigenous knowledge in the Orang Asli of Tasik Chini. Journal of Sociology and Development, 3 (1): 23-45.
  2. Ireland, J., Bryers, H., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Farmer, J., Harris, F., Tucker, J., Kiger, A., Caldow, J. (2007) Competencies and Skills for Remote & Rural Maternity Care: A Review of the Literature, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 58(2): 105-115.
  3. van Teijlingen E., Simkhada, P., Ireland, J. (2010) Lessons learnt from undertaking maternity-care research in developing countries. Evidence-based Midwifery 8(1): 12-6.
  4. Ireland, J., van Teijlingen, E, Kemp J. (2015) Twinning in Nepal: the Royal College of Midwives UK and the Midwifery Society of Nepal working in partnership, Journal of Asian Midwives 2 (1): 26-33. http://ecommons.aku.edu/jam/vol2/iss1/5/
  5. Ireland, J., Khashu, M., Cescutti-Butler, L., van Teijlingen, E, Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2016) Experiences of fathers with babies admitted to neonatal care units: A review of literature, Journal of Neonatal Nursing 22(4): 171–176.
  6. van Teijlingen, E., Mahato, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, C., Asim, M., & Sathian, B. (2019). Vaping and e-cigarettes: A public health warning or a health promotion tool? Nepal Journal of Epidemiology9(4), 792-794. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v9i4.26960
  7. van Teijlingen, A., Tuttle, T., Bouchachia, H., Sathian, B., & van Teijlingen, E. (2020). Artificial Intelligence and Health in Nepal. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology10(3), 915–918. https://doi.org/10.3126/nje.v10i3.31649
  8. van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
  9. van Teijlingen, K., Devkota, B., Douglas, F., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) Understanding health education, health promotion and public health, Journal of Health Promotion 9(1):1-7.  https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/jhp/article/view/40957

Peer-reviewing ten years on

The process of peer review is widely recognised as the key element of quality control in academic publishing and the scientific community more generally.  Peer review is the critical appraisal of one’s work by fellow scholars, who read and comment on your manuscript and offered a verdict on its quality, rigour, originality, style, completeness, etc. etc.

Peer reviewers are typically experts in your field, if not your topic, or who have expertise in the methods you applied or the population or are you studied.  They are also academics often with busy day jobs, who act as unpaid peer reviewers, and as journal editors for that matter.  Peer reviewers are with full-time jobs who give up their free time to review for academic journals.  A recent article by Aczel and colleagues (2021) reported that reviewers across the globe spent over 100 million hours on peer reviewing for free in 2020, the estimated value of this equated to nearly £300 million in the UK alone.  This quantifies in some of my feelings I wrote about a decade ago now in a BU Research Blog with the title ‘Peer review and bust academics’.

However, with the ever-growing number of health and social science journals the requests for reviewing seem to grow relentlessly.  This month alone (November 2021) I received twenty or 21 requests to review.  I have reviewed three manuscripts for Birth, Nepal Journal of Epidemiology, and The Journal of International Development, but I had to reject or ignore many more (see Table 1).  I usually do my reviews over the weekend.  One weekend this month I could not review because I had to prepare materials for the external auditor who came to visit Bournemouth University for a project recently completed, and this weekend I could not find the time because I’m proof-reading two PhD chapters (and writing this blog).

I leave you with some food for thought: academics spent time applying for research funding, then apply for the ethical approval, do the research, we write up the findings, and write blogs about the process!

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

Reference:

Aczel, B., Szaszi, B., Holcombe, A.O. (2021) A billion-dollar donation: estimating the cost of researchers’ time spent on peer review. Res Integr Peer Rev 6, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41073-021-00118-2.