Talk:PLOS Medicine

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So PLoS is different from other scientific journals in what ways?Edit

?--scuro 03:44, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Edits by Pjsimpso82Edit

Hello, for the sake of transparency I wanted to highlight that edits by Pjsimpso82 are made by Paul Simpson, PhD Associate Editor at PLOS Medicine [[1]] I'm attempting to update the pages so they are more informative (the article is/was a stub when I started) but I'd be very happy for others to edit away if they feel my edits are biased in any way. --User:Pjsimpso82 (talk) 09:31, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

  • I have checked these edits and don't think they are promotional or POV. Good job! --Randykitty (talk) 11:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


I reviewed these edits a bit but have not followed all the sources. In "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False (2005)" and "Male Circumcision for Reduction of HIV Infection Risk (2005)", it seems that what you are doing is identifying the articles in PLOS which have attracted attention outside of scholarly context. You are creating sections first by summarizing and referencing the PLOS article, then in the first case you state that the article was reviewed by The Atlantic and in the second case you state how the article was acted upon by the WHO. This is fantastic and I would like to see more of this. Two problems that I see are that in the first case there is no citation for the statement "The article is the most read PLOS Medicine article having been viewed over 750,000 times and cited over 900 times" and in the second case I am unable to verify the statement "The study has been cited over 770 times" with the source you have provided. Every assertion made on Wikipedia is supposed to come with a source. Could you comment?

In the section "Tamiflu & Clinical Trial Data Sharing (2012)" there is a section which says "Following pressure generated in the wake of the publication of Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre the EMA held a workshop in London[23] where they announced, '[t]oday represents the first step in delivering our vision. We are not here to decide if we will publish clinical-trial data, only how. We need to do this in order to rebuild trust and confidence in the whole system'.[24] PLOS Medicine's editor-in-chief, Virginia Barbour, was an invited speaker at the workshop, alongside Goldacre." I do not see how the source supports the assertion that the workshop in London was the result of pressure. The source about Barbour is a conference program and does not tie this person to the tamiflu controversy or any part of this narrative. When telling a story on Wikipedia, please try to have a reference for every sentence and summarize what the source says. The conference program is a primary source and it would be better to cite a secondary source which said why this person was at that conference. To determine whether a statement is worth making, check to see whether the statement has been made in a source independent of the subject. Overall throughout this entire section, I see no assertion made that the publication in PLOS was connected to any of the other events described. I could be mistaken, but I do not immediately see how the sources provided support the statements made, nor do I see an explicit tie between all these sentences. Could you comment? I would love to see some source that says, "Because of the publication of this paper and other factors, the following actions were taken..." Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:25, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Mmmm, I was primarily concerned with possible POV and missed the above points. I agree with them all, however. The contribution is really very nice, but we need to have some more and better sources. --Randykitty (talk) 15:34, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I'm not sure I can answer all of your questions immediately but I can certainly make a start (I'll have to think about the others).

1) PLOS tracks citations from third party citation measuring services and displays them on each page along with the number of page views (top right of the article) so for both Ioannidis 2005 and Bertran et al. 2005 I suggest we reference the primary article which displays the current numbers is the most appropriate source. Both of these papers have attracted substantial interest within the scholarly context. There isn't a specific reference for Ioannidis being the most viewed PLOS Med paper so perhaps this should be dropped. The article has consistently been in the most viewed section of the PLOS Medicine homepage (updated every 30 days) since it's publication and there isn't a higher viewed or cited paper but I don't think has been formally tested.

2) This tamiflu section is slightly more tricky and will require me to do some more research to justify it. None of what is written is untrue but I'll have to see if I can find secondary sources to back it up, whether they'll have explicit lines as you suggest is another question though. Thanks again and best wishes Paul --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 15:59, 18 April 2013 (UTC) Having done a quick google search I suspect this might not be a problem! --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 16:57, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Ad 1: I don't think that is a good solution. For claims like this we need independent sources. That may be difficult (or impossible) for the access statistics, but the citations can be verified in WoS (or Google Scholar if need be). Ad 2: the tamiflu thing was well-covered in the news, I seem to recall, so that should indeed probably not be a problem. --Randykitty (talk) 21:01, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Do you feel it is necessary to note the citations at all? I put the citation information down because of the discussion regarding notable articles Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Academic_Journals#Notable_articles. PLOS collects their stats from a third party [[2]] but how do you propose this is referenced? By anyone's standards >700 academic citations is a lot but I don't think that is critical to justify these articles as notable, in which case I'm happy to delete the lines regarding citations. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. I'll work on the Tamiflu section, I've already found some suitable sources. All the best Paul --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 09:53, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
It would be nice to note the citations but Wikipedia operates under a broad rule which says that information in articles should come from independent secondary sources. I would love it if a journalist would review "The Five Most Cited Articles" of various journals, give citation counts as of a certain date, then summarize the articles and link to them. That kind of review could be used to add content to improve any Wikipedia journal article, because it is hard to get any independent information about any journal. I do feel like it would be necessary to include citation counts if they were independently verified and published, but if they are not, then the rule is to not do it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:17, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
OK thanks, I'll remove those lines. Best Paul -- (talk) 13:21, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Hello, I've made some edits to the Tamiflu section hopefully you'll feel this is appropriately referenced now. I've dropped the references to Ben Goldacre and his book because it probably isn't so relevent here. Although one of the references I've used does support what I initially noted "Speakers at the workshop included Ben Goldacre, whose book Bad Pharma, which has a chapter dedicated to the Tamiflu controversy, has helped drive the transparency debate." If there is anything further you feel I should justify do let me know. I intend to update the image too since the image is now out of date (including a change in Logo > PLOS vs PLoS). Thanks again for your help --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 00:02, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Hello, your edit was a big improvement and the section reads well IMHO. Two points: (1) I would keep referencing the EMA workshop report as EMA is anyway the most reliable sources in this context (less thamn or; (2) references should be expanded - bare URLs (WP:BAREURL) should be avoided (also, ref. 28 and 29 are the same). kashmiri 08:50, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much for your input. I've added the EMA references back into the page. My wikiskills aren't the best so I'll have to spend a bit of time figuring out how to fix the formatting and reference presentation. I'll look into this if anyone wants to step in and fix this be my guest otherwise I'll try and get to this in the next day or so. All the best --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 09:40, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi Randykitty, I notice you've switched chief editor back to editor-in-chief, I understand your note that the two are equivalent. However, chief editor is the correct job title Would you object to me switching back to chief editor since this is the correct term? Also, thanks for fixing my references! All the best Paul --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 14:51, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

  • It's not really an important point, but our article on the function is called "editor-in-chief". In the infobox this is used, too (and cannot be changed either). Some journals call the post a "managing editor" (although for larger journals that's a position in addition to EIC and a more technical/organizational function), "chair of the editorial board", or just "editor". In all those cases, we always write "editor-in-chief", because that's what it is. If you feel very strongly about this, go ahead and change it back, but I don't think it is necessary. --Randykitty (talk) 15:53, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I absolutely see your point that it is not critical. However, I'd prefer it to be correct so I will change it back. Really appreciate your help through this process. --Pjsimpso82 (talk) 16:19, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
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