We’re Enhancing the Cureus Journal

We’re a young journal – that’s no secret. As with any growing organization, we are constantly iterating our product in order to produce the best possible journal and provide the very best experience to our users. Working to improve the user experience of our journal is a job that never ends. And with that in mind, we embrace this climate of change and improvement.

The bottom line? We’re always working on new features and refining existing ones to make your experience with Cureus, whether as an author, reviewer or regular user, both efficient, easy and maybe even fun! To that end, we’ve released some new features in recent months designed to make the Cureus experience even better.

sort and filter

We’ve added a powerful Sort and Filter feature – would you like to quickly find those articles with the highest SIQ score? No problem. How about articles related to Neurological Surgery or Internal Medicine? Easy – just check the desired boxes and let us do the rest.

Did you know that Cureus member profiles have high visibility in the most popular search engines (like Google)? When performing a search for physicians by name, Cureus member profiles are returned more than 60% of the time on the first page of results, with 50% of those appearing in the top 3. Our new member profiles have been redesigned so that readers can more quickly find pertinent information about you. If you’re already a user, take a minute to update your member profile and start taking advantage of these new features.

How Cureus Deals with Article Retractions

Every journal deals with article retractions – it’s an ugly truth of the business. At Cureus we strive to produce a transparent publishing process and part of that is dealing with retractions. Cureus was recently issued its first retraction notice. As you can see from the formal statement below, the article was not merely retracted, but was also removed due to legal reasons. Once notified of the objections, we immediately removed the article and began work to display retractions in a way that enables readers to learn why the article was retracted and (if there are no legal restrictions) continue on and read the offending article.

After coordinating with both authors and the offended parties, we are now in a position to provide additional information as to why the article was not only retracted, but removed. Again, we recognize and appreciate the need for transparency when it comes to medical science and our new system for displaying retractions is another step towards the goal of complete transparency throughout the publishing process.

Our formal statement on the matter, which can also be seen here, where the article was originally posted, reads as follows:

It has been brought to our attention that the article, “Novel Determinants of Tumour Radiosensitivity Post Large Scale Compound Library” was published without the consent of the study’s Principal Investigator, Dr Geoffrey Higgins of Oxford University, and that the data included is commercially sensitive. Given the weight of evidence offered by the Principal Investigator and the Head of Department at the University of Oxford, where this research was carried out, the article has been withdrawn from the journal.

Related article: Retraction Watch

Publish or Perish

For physicians, what is the purpose of publishing journal articles? When totally new ideas are involved, the peer review process is clearly important for communicating and validating scientific understandings and breakthroughs. For physicians, however, publishing often provides a very important additional function. Specifically, the process of publishing a peer-reviewed article involving patient outcomes enables a physician to examine, reflect upon and learn from a specific clinical experience. The rigid discipline involved in honestly subjecting one’s own patient outcomes to peer review provides a unique environment for improving one’s clinical practice.

At the same time, the integrity manifested by going through this process communicates to colleagues one’s clinical interest and skills in a specific subject area, and in doing so, invites new patient referrals. This notion being true, it must then be acknowledged that publishing is often a form of marketing one’s clinical skills to the broader world.

To some scientific purists, the idea of peer-reviewed publishing being an extension of marketing is crass and unseemly. Nevertheless, most physician specialists who require large referral bases know the value of publishing outcome studies in support of their practices. Moreover, I would argue that rather than being crass and unseemly, honestly communicating one’s patient outcomes is more successful and manifests more integrity than any other means of marketing a clinical practice. Is this process not a lot better than anecdote or vague notions of reputation fostered through friendship, or for that matter a highway billboard?

One of the beauties of marketing one’s skills through the publication process is that once published, patients themselves, who clearly have the most at stake in finding good medical care, can ideally access critical information. For this later point to be true, however, an article in question must be available to interested patients, which is rarely the case with traditional journal articles that are locked up behind very expensive subscriptions and paywalls. No matter, the movement towards open access journals is finally breaking down such barriers. As a result, it’s reasonable to expect many more physicians to take advantage of—and focus their marketing efforts on—publishing within the peer-reviewed literature. To my way of thinking, this is real progress!

Interview with an Author: Dr. George Rodrigues

We recently had a chance to speak with Dr. George Rodrigues, primary author of “Integration of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy in the Management of Pulmonary Metastases from Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma,” and a key contributor to the Cureus journal with several papers published thus far.

urlGeorge is a Clinician Scientist and Radiation Oncologist at the Lawson Health Research Institute and London Health Sciences Centre. He has consulted on and provides radiation treatment for patients with genitourinary and thoracic cancers as well as brain metastases since 2001, when he graduated from the University of Toronto Radiation Oncology Residency Program. He is also a former award-winning Residency Program Director and is the Chair of the Genitourinary Multidisciplinary Disease Site.

C: Tell us a bit about the research you published with us.

GR: In the context of a case report, we use the example of a woman with pulmonary metastases from parotid gland adenoid cystic carcinoma to illustrate the sequencing of stereotactic radiotherapy in the context of other treatment options such as surgery and ablative technologies. A brief review of the literature and discussion is included in the manuscript. The conclusion of the case report suggests that SABR can be an effective tool in conjunction with other techniques for the treatment of pulmonary metastases in ACC, however, its use should be ideally directed to tumors not amenable to other techniques (i.e. central lesions or high-risk surgical cases) given the limited safety data in using SABR for more than three pulmonary lesions.

C: What’s the one thing you’d want people to know if you only had 30 seconds to sum up your article?

GR: The main point of the case report was to highlight the fact that management of pulmonary metastases from head and neck adenoid cystic carcinoma can be complex. Multidisciplinary care is necessary to sequence surgical, radiation, and ablative therapies appropriately.

C: Where might you go from here and what’s next in your research?

GR: Not sure at this moment. The study of this patient population is very challenging given the rare nature of this disease entity. Prospective studies are generally absent in the literature. Perhaps population-based data can be used to further investigate hypotheses related to this interesting patient population.

C: How did you first hear about Cureus, and what persuaded you to submit to us?

GR: I first heard of Cureus from a colleague. I submit manuscripts to Cureus because of its open access nature, efficient peer review system and low cost.

C: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and submitting another great article to Cureus!

Cureus Authors in the News: Dr. Laura Esserman’s I-SPY TRIAL

Dr. Laura Esserman, the principal investigator for the I-SPY adaptive studies and a contributing author to Cureus, has been working with Puma Biotechnology to assess neratinib for metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. Why is this newsworthy, you say? Well, the I-SPY TRIAL is paving the way for accelerated regulatory review of new drug combinations, enabling potentially life-saving medicine to get to market faster than ever before.

This emphasis on accelerated efficiency and quality is similar to that of Cureus. We value speed and efficiency (although never at the expense of quality) in publishing important medical science and providing free access to this knowledge all across the world.

Many in the medical community have closely watched and waited for word on the study’s results, as the spotlight afforded by this research has shone brightly on both the I-SPY TRIAL and Dr. Esserman.

As a key contributor to Cureus, we couldn’t be prouder and more encouraged by these exciting developments made possible by all the hard work of Dr. Esserman and her team. And we’re not the only ones, as there has been plenty of positive media coverage as well, including this report on NBC Nightly News.

The good folks over at OncLive recently caught up with Dr. Esserman, and she had this to say regarding recent I-SPY 2 TRIAL:

If you’d like to learn more, there’s no better place to go than directly to the source – click here to check out the original journal article, A Model for Accelerating Identification and Regulatory Approval of Effective Investigational Agents, only on Cureus.

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