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February 15, 2012

Seventh International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication, September 2013—Call for Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Rennie (drummond.rennie@ucsf.edu) is Deputy Editor and Ms Flanagin is Managing Deputy Editor, JAMA, Chicago, Illinois; Dr Godlee is Editor in Chief and Dr Groves is Deputy Editor, BMJ, London, England.

JAMA. 2012;307(7):726-727. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.150

The primary aims of biomedical peer review are to select and improve research and other academic work for funding and publication by identifying and reducing bias and increasing the validity, quality, credibility, and worth of scientific reports. This remains a difficult balance.1 Widespread advances in technology and communications have improved the speed, efficiency, and reach of scientific publication and have transformed the ways scientists, authors, reviewers, editors, clinicians, and the public interact with information and with each other. But these same advances also threaten the very nature of peer review and scientific publication. The need to critically evaluate the purpose, foundations, developments, and future prospects of this entire enterprise—from research proposal through and beyond publication—has never been stronger.

Since the first announcement in 1986, we have held 6 Peer Review Congresses at 4-year intervals with the aim of placing peer review and scientific publication under the same evaluation that science undergoes. The success of these congresses is clear from the stimulus they have given to new research into the processes whereby scientific work is funded, presented, and disseminated, peer reviewed, edited, published, enhanced, accessed, and used by others to change practice, influence funding and policy decisions, inspire discourse and debate, and stimulate new research.29 This progress has been measured both in increase in the number of abstracts submitted to each congress (from 50 for the first to more than 200 each for the last 2) and in MEDLINE citations to peer review research (from 109 in 1994 to 382 in 2010).

We now announce the Seventh International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication to be held in Chicago, Illinois, September 8-10, 2013. This congress, organized by JAMA and the BMJ, will feature 3 days of presentations of original research. As with the previous congresses, the aims of the 2013 congress are to improve the quality and credibility of peer review and selection processes used by journals and funders and to help advance the quality, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of biomedical publication and the dissemination of scientific information throughout the world. As before, we urge scientists, editors, publishers, funders, readers, and all who are interested in the processes by which science is funded and published to get going on their research.

In addition to the topics traditionally addressed during the Peer Review Congresses, such as the effects of peer review and editorial processes on the quality of scientific reporting,10 abstracts summarizing original, high-quality research on any aspect of scientific peer review, publication, and information exchange are welcome. Suggested topics of interest include those listed in the Box. We also are eager to see new research on the technologic advances and innovations that continue to influence all aspects of biomedical publication and the dissemination of scientific information. The increasing sophistication of research into these issues means that preference will be given to well-developed studies with generalizable results (eg, multijournal, prospective, multiyear trials and controlled studies). Retrospective studies, systematic reviews, bibliometric and other data analyses, surveys, and other types of studies will also be considered. Abstracts that report new research and findings will be given priority.

Box. Topics of Interest for the Seventh International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication

Existence of every sort of bias and efforts to eliminate biased reporting

Editorial and peer review decision making and responsibilities

  • Mechanisms of peer review and editorial decision making usedby journals and funders

  • Evaluations of the quality, validity, and practicality of peer review and editorial decision making

  • Quality assurance for reviewers and editors

  • Editorial policies and responsibilities

  • Editorial freedom and integrity

  • Peer review of grant proposals

Research and publication ethics

  • Ethical concerns for researchers, authors, reviewers, editors, publishers, and funders

  • Authorship, contributorship, and responsibility for published material

  • Conflicts of interest

  • Research and publication misconduct

  • Confidentiality

  • Effects of funding and sponsorship on research and publication

  • Influence of external stakeholders: funders, journal owners, advertisers/sponsors, policy makers, legal representatives, and the news media

Evaluations of and mechanisms for improving the quality of reporting

  • Effectiveness of guidelines and standards designed to improve the quality of scientific publication

  • Evaluations of the quality of print and online information

  • Quality and reliability of data presentation and scientific images

  • Quality and use of online supplemental content

  • Quality and effectiveness of new forms of scientific articles

Models for peer review and scientific publication

  • Online publication

  • Open access

  • Open peer review

  • Data sharing and access

  • Prepublication posting and release of information

  • Postpublication review, communications, and influence

  • Changes in readership and usage of peer-reviewed published content

  • Presentation, enhancement, and quality of scientific information in multimedia and new media

  • Quality, use, and effects of publication metrics and usage statistics

  • Quality and influence of sponsored supplements and related media, gray literature, and other forms of publication

  • Quality and effectiveness of content tagging, markup, and structures

  • The future of scientific publication

Dissemination of scientific and scholarly information

  • Methods for improving the quality, efficiency, and equitable distribution of biomedical information

  • New technologies that affect the quality, integrity, dissemination, and access of biomedical information

  • The impact of social networking and new media on science critique and dissemination

Deadline for submission of abstracts is March 1, 2013. Additional announcements and instructions for preparing and submitting abstracts will be available soon on the Peer Review Congress website at http://www.jama-peer.org.

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Article Information

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and report that the Peer Review Congress receives unrestricted grants from various charitable organizations and not-for-profit and commercial publishers. A list of sponsors of the Sixth International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication is available at http://www.ama-assn.org/public/peer/program_2009.pdf.

Simultaneous Publication: This editorial is being simultaneously published in the BMJ.

Editorials represent the opinions of the authors and JAMA and not those of the American Medical Association.

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