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Banned From Cureus: How To Avoid Hearing Those Dreaded Words

In the current political climate there is a lot of discussion these days about banning certain immigrant groups. As a point of principle, Cureus welcomes physicians of all races, nationalities, religions or gender and sexual identities to use our FREE publication platform.

Because we believe access to medical knowledge is a fundamental human right, Cureus aspires to break down all barriers to the freer dissemination of medical knowledge, especially for physician authors in developing countries. No matter who you are, if you have credible medical science you wish to publish conscientiously and in good faith, while following Cureus’ submission guidelines, our journal is committed to serving you.

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However, if you are a physician for whom publishing is merely a vanity project or a tool for professional advancement, with little regard for the integrity of the process, Cureus specifically does not want your content. If you are the type of individual who chooses to take shortcuts with the truth, who sees nothing wrong with plagiarism or scientific fraud, please stay away from Cureus.

You are hereby warned that if you are caught abusing our generous spirit, we will, to the best of our abilities, ultimately ban you AND your co-authors from further access to our journal AND when appropriate, (plagiarism and academic fraud) we will aggressively pursue academic censor from the offending individual’s parent academic or clinical institution.

Please be forewarned that our editorial team does not take lightly to authors that betray the truth or Cureus’ generosity. Our team has on a few past occasions, including very recently, needed to report serious infringements of our policies to the appropriate academic authorities. So ultimately the answer is yes, one can be BANNED from Cureus. Don’t be one of those people!

Publishing with Cureus for the first time? Check out our new how-to videos!

New to Cureus? Has it been awhile since you last published with us? Good news! Our revamped Author Guide now features a series of short, snackable how-to videos designed to walk you through each step of the article submission process.

Just click the blue video icon next to select headers located throughout the Author Guide to view a short video walking you through that specific step of the submission process. We recommend taking a few minutes to watch the videos for each of the eight article submission steps before beginning the process. Taking ten minutes now will save you time later!

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Why Should You Care About SIQ?

If you’ve spent much time around Cureus you’ve probably (hopefully?) heard of Scholarly Impact Quotient, or SIQ. At Cureus we’re committed to reducing the barrier to publication for physicians and medical researchers and a big part of that is making it easy to assess the merit of published articles.

Backing up for a second, I think we can all agree that Impact Factor is showing its age. Long considered the be-all, end-all when it comes to measuring article quality, Impact Factor has devolved into the proverbial snake that ate its tail, with article importance determined by journal importance, when clearly it should be the other way around.

We created SIQ as a means to improve the way an article’s “impact” is deciphered. SIQ allows all registered users to assess the relative merits of a published article. Although the judgments of an individual, or even a limited number of peer reviewer(s), can be flawed, there is an innate “wisdom of the crowd” that is harnessed by SIQ. Furthermore, SIQ is grounded in statistical power; the judgment of “the many” can diminish the biased influence of “a few.” In this way, the Cureus review process results in a more accurate measure of article quality.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.39.04 PMSo now you’re probably thinking, “Ok, great – but how does that help me?” Well, as a published author with Cureus, it’s in your best interest to have a high SIQ score. Once you’ve published, the natural inclination is to lean back in your chair, exhale and maybe have a celebratory glass of your favorite beverage. And to that I say, “Well earned.” BUT – your work isn’t quite done yet! The hard part is definitely over, no need to worry, but by sharing your published article with your friends and colleagues (and urging them to honestly assess your article with SIQ) you will boost your article’s visibility and its perception amongst the Cureus community. So next time you publish with Cureus, take an extra 5 minutes and share your article with the world.

 

 

Multitasking: Be Prepared; Perform Better

Multitasking: Be Prepared; Perform Better

multitasking_bereadyA recent New York Times article, by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, addressed the issue of multitasking. Specifically, the article discussed whether the act of multitasking has an effect on our cognitive functioning. Instead of managing multiple tasks at once, we are actually switching quickly from one context to the other, or performing “rapid toggling between tasks.”  It seems that interruptions are the culprit when it comes to the quality of work that is produced when one is “multitasking,” but what actually happens to our work quality when we are engaged in multiple activities?  In order to answer such questions, The New York Times asked Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology, and Eyal Peer, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon, to design an experiment.  They looked at how individual cognitive functioning is effected by interruptions.

The researchers examined three groups, all of whom performed a standard cognitive skills test. Two of the groups were informed that they might be interrupted and given further instructions, while the third group completed the task with no anticipated interruptions. The two “interruption” groups were each interrupted twice; the third group was not. On a second test, the same group again went uninterrupted. Of the other two groups, one group was again interrupted; the second group was not, but was rather told to anticipate interruptions during the test.  The researchers found that distraction, or even the anticipation of a distraction, led to poorer performance. The two interrupted groups provided incorrect answers at a rate 20% greater than the uninterrupted group.

The test was given to each group again. Part of the group was told they would be interrupted, but they were not. Those who were interrupted, however, did better, answering incorrectly at an improved rate of 14% of the time. Those who were warned of an interruption, but were not in fact interrupted, improved by 43%. What does this enormous change mean? Dr. Peer suggested that this group was able to prepare and learn from experience, as their brains adapted to the potential of interruptions. The authors concluded that the results suggest that “it is possible to train yourself for distractions, even if you don’t know when they’ll hit.”

Full article here

Guidelines for Avoiding Authorship Conflicts

Guidelines for Avoiding Authorship Conflicts

Cur&#275us is working to become a valuable resource for medical authors and as such we are always on the look-out for good resources to pass along.

Melissa Broderick of Harvard Medical School recently published a very useful article entitled Six Tips for Avoiding Authorship Conflicts.

You can read Ms. Broderick’s guidelines below but we are also interested in your perspective and input. Have you run into this issue in your publishing experience?

How do you suggest avoiding the issue in the first place and if you do run into the issue how do you suggest handling it?

Authorship is designed to provide appropriate credit for intellectual contributions and can be a source of personal satisfaction, prestige, and a stepping stone toward academic career advancement. In theory, assigning authorship is a straightforward process; however, in practice, it can sometimes produce painful disputes over authorship order and responsibilities.

Considering these challenges, it is not surprising that authorship disputes accounted for nearly 15 percent of all self-reported issues brought to the HMS/HSDM/HSPH Ombuds Office last year.

What’s at stake in these disputes? Fair credit, collegial relationships, future collaborations and reputations, among others. Visitors often report that discussions and decision making didn’t occur until incompatible assumptions had been formed and deadlines for submission were looming, increasing the challenges of these conversations. So what can you do to avoid such conflicts?

1. Familiarize yourself with the HMS Authorship Guidelines and encourage the same of your colleagues and collaborators. If you oversee a lab, provide authorship guidelines to all newcomers to the lab and a description of the lab’s usual ways of deciding authorship and authorship order.

Key Definitions and Responsibilities of the HMS Authorship Guidelines include:

  • An author should have made a substantial, direct, intellectual contribution
  • The funding and provision of technical services, patients, materials alone are not sufficient
  • Everyone making a substantial intellectual contribution to the work should be an author
  • Everyone making other substantial contributions should be acknowledged
  • All authors should review manuscript drafts and approve the final version
  • One author should take primary responsibility for the whole work, including compiling a concise written description of everyone’s contributions that all authors have approved  and filing it with the sponsoring institution
  • Authors should describe each author’s contributions and how order was assigned to help readers interpret roles correctly

2. Talk early about authorship and authorship order for each project’s manuscript(s)

  • the specific criteria to be used for your project
  • the decision making process—who provides what input, how decisions are made, who has final say if a consensus agreement is not reached
  • how to address disagreements if they arise

3. When gathering input about contributions, ask everyone to put in writing and share:

  • her/his contributions
  • what s/he thinks every other author contributed (this can reveal misunderstandings and provides the opportunity for clarification)

4. If authorship determination seems straightforward, set forth authorship designations but with a caveat that this could change if contributions change significantly.

5. Create a culture of transparency and collaboration and revisit the issue of specific authorship periodically in case contributions or assumptions about contributions have changed.

6. If a disagreement arises, make every effort to resolve the dispute locally:

  • among the authors
  • by involving the lab chief or other appropriate person
  • by involving the HMS/HSDM/HSPH Ombuds Office (additional resources exist within Harvard’s affiliate institutions)

Duke University Professor Offers 10 Tips For Better Writing

Duke University Professor Offers 10 Tips For Better Writing

 

Michael C. Munger, Duke University

Professor Michael C. Munger of Duke University, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, offers “10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly,” something every graduate student should read.

As students make the shift from undergraduate studies to graduate school writing becomes crucial. According to Professor Munger, some talented people fail only because they write poorly.

“Many of the graduate students who were stars in the classroom during the first two years,” he writes, “suddenly aren’t so stellar anymore.”

Munger explains that some of the mediocre students go on to be published academics because they know how to write well.

Even though he offers a few obvious tips that encourage you to write a lot since “writing is an exercise” and “edit our work over and over,” there are some tips worth highlighting here.

“Everyone’s unwritten work is brilliant. And the more unwritten it is, the more brilliant it is.”

“Your most profound thoughts are often wrong. Or, at least, they are not completely correct. Precision in asking your question, or posing your puzzle, will not come easily if the question is hard.”

How well you write can make or break your career. Even though Munger doesn’t consider himself a good writer, “thinking about these tips, and trying to follow them myself,” he says he has “gotten to the point where I can make writing work for me and my career.”

Read the rest of the tips here.

Building Your Professional Reputation With Posters

Building Your Professional Reputation With Posters

It used to be that building a professional reputation as a physician was just a matter of working hard, publishing and speaking to demonstrate your thought leadership while also developing strong word of mouth from well treated patients.

No longer! A physician’s reputation is increasingly built and displayed online. The web is now the largest source of information for physicians AND patients. When your colleagues want to know more about you…they turn to the web.

Writing is one of the most powerful ways a physician develops his or her reputation and publishing medical posters is often the first experience most physicians have with publishing.

Cureus is hosting our first international poster competition for many reasons among which are the opportunity for authors to showcase their works to the world rather than a few people at a conference. Additionally, it’s a way to begin building one’s “Digital CV” while possibly making connections with other authors with similar interests.

With that context, I want to offer some very simple advice to every medical student and physician author…spend a little time building out your profile. People connect with people first then they connect with content. The Fall 2012 Poster Competition site traffic has shown very clearly that those authors who create a full profile along with a picture are far more likely to generate poster views and votes.

Realize this is not specific to Cureus — as you move forward in your career, don’t short-change your work and expertise by not taking advantage of the tools at your disposal. This may include personal or practice web sites, LinkedIn accounts and more.

As for generating maximum readership of your posters on Cureus…take a few extra minutes now to add a picture, list awards you may have earned, your address etc. Our data shows that these steps work!