METM14 panel     Thread: Knowledge updates

More news with practical implications from the world of biomedical editors

Mary Ellen Kerans, coordinator - Barcelona, Spain

This panel will summarize what’s been happening in biomedical publication since the first news panel was organized at METM11. At that time the buzz was about coping with the burgeoning practice of online supplemental material for articles, editors’ changing attitudes toward plagiarism, and changing ideas (even confusion) about how biomedical authorship is defined. Since then, the community of journal editors has been discussing many ideas that have begun to affect the authors and journals many MET members work with, and changes began to become apparent in 2013 and 2014. The four panelists will discuss topics covering a wider range than in 2011. Examples of new news are 1) the clarifications in ethics and the latest authorship guidelines from the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors – the “Vancouver” group) and 2) stricter and farther reaching requirements for trial (and other study) registration before researchers can (or should) begin to collect data. We will explain some of the reasons behind the recent developments, how they affect our authors and us, and what we can do for authors who find they have surprising authorship or registration problems to solve. We will also revisit two ongoing issues. One is the saga of textual plagiarism and how editors respond to it; we will give an overview of attitudes expressed in discussions on editors’ listserves and Retraction Watch. The other is pressures and sustainable practice in bilingual journal and other publishing projects. Finally, we will look at some of the permutations in peer review practices as we’ve been reading about them, learning about them through personal contact with editors or reviewers, or by looking over our authors’ shoulders in the years since the 2011 panel.

The presenters are wordface workers who have attended meetings of journal editors, who watch for trends on association listserves, or who have witnessed changes in how manuscripts are now written and treated. We will bring facts to the table, so we can all rise above anecdote and gossip. We will also leave time for interaction and discussion from the MET audience – where a wealth of expertise lies.
Elke Bartholomäus is the production editor and translations project manager at Deutsches Ärzteblatt International – the German Medical Association’s English-language scientific journal. She holds an MA in art history, literature and philosophy from the German University of Cologne and spent several years working and researching in the US. Elke is a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and has been a member of MET since 2008.

Simon Bartlett moved into language support after an earlier existence as a biomedical researcher, and for the past twelve years has worked in-house at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares in Madrid. His work there encompasses one-to-one author editing, group workshops, and assistance with visual presentations (slide sets and posters). An increasingly prominent part of his workload is devoted to assisting scientists with journal submissions and disputes, particularly in relation to perceived shortcomings of journals’ editorial manuscript management procedures and issues around peer review.

Mary Ellen Kerans, panel coordinator, came to the profession of biomedical author editing and translation gradually, as part of a career in English language teaching that emphasized academic reading and writing. She is a member of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) as well as a founding member of MET (along with co-panelists Simon Bartlett and Karen Shashok).

Karen Shashok, a freelance translator and editorial consultant since the mid-1980s, has written about translation, author editing, peer review and editorial ethics, and has provided training in Spanish and English for researchers and editors on several continents. As a member of professional development organizations for journal editors, she has tried to bring the perspective of researchers and editors from emerging and resource-limited research communities to the attention of western, English-speaking gatekeepers and experts in research ethics. In the late 2000s she began AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean as a volunteer project.