• Perceptions and Patterns in Academic Publishing: A Survey of United States Residents in Radiation Oncology

      Koroulakis, A.; Rice, S.R.; DeCesaris, C.; Knight, N.; Nichols, E.M. (Elsevier, 2019)
      Purpose: We aimed to assess perceptions of, and training regarding, the publishing process among US radiation oncology (RO) residents, focusing on awareness and understanding of criteria for selecting appropriate and legitimate peer-reviewed journals for academic publishing. The growing challenge of predatory publication in the broader scientific realm and its relevancy to resident training is also briefly discussed. Methods and Materials: A survey was opened to residents of all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education–accredited RO programs in the United States, focusing on 3 categories: (1) demographics; (2) submission, peer review, and publication of academic research; and (3) subjective ranking of factors for choosing an appropriate publisher/journal. Results were stratified by level of training and number of publications. Results: Overall, 150 of 690 residents (19.8%) responded, with a 98% (147 of 150) completion rate. Twenty of 150 residents (13.3%) reported formal training in manuscript preparation and choosing academic journals. Only 3.4% of residents reported departmental guidelines regarding publication in “predatory” journals; 57.7% were unsure. The 3 most important factors influencing publisher and journal choice were impact factor (ranked first for 59.0%), whether a journal is found in a major index (ranked first for 18.0%), and association with a reputable organization (ranked first for 17.0%). Importance of impact factor increased with number of publications (50% with 0 publications, 48.3% with 1-5, 63.9% with 5-10, 76.2% with 10-15, and 70.6% with >15). Cost considerations influenced journal choice at least once for 79 (52.7%) residents. Conclusions: Impact factor was the most important consideration for residents when choosing an appropriate publisher, with increased emphasis with increasing number of publications. A minority had formal training in choosing appropriate academic journals and knowing how to identify so-called predatory journals or were aware if their department has proscriptions regarding publication in such journals. Additional emphasis on formal training for RO residents in manuscript preparation and choosing academic journals is warranted. Copyright 2019 The Authors