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Why use information research services?

Online information research services, medical, healthcare

Industry specific perspective

With the opportunities for online global scope access to information, significant effort is needed towards accurate researching. Academics, researchers and practitioners need to comply with legal requirements and adhere to privacy policies. Östman and Turtiainen (2016) identify the responsibilities of researchers include ethical source criticism, cultural convergence, information quality, providing privacy of information and respect towards people.

How do doctors use their time online?

A report cited in eMarketer (2010) from Manhattan Research reveals in the population sample of US physicians (approximately 750 000) examined, the amount of time used for online research had risen from 2.5 (2002), 4.5 (2004) to 8 hours per week (2010).

In 2014, M3 Europe, identified, "age is not a barrier", between the different age groups (<30 to >60 years). The analysis found a consistency in different age groups of doctors using online services during work of more than 9.1 hours per week (Ringrose, 2014).

"Doctors spend around 20 hours per week online, spanning work and leisure uses" (Ringrose, 2014).

The results of his study also indicated that doctors ranked the value of their services greater than the activities they most valued. Doctors identified the value of their services: viewing guidelines (87%,) continued medical education programs (81%), viewing medical journals with news (64%), information about new treatments (60%) and online communication (50%),

They ranked their most valuable activities: continued medical education programs (33%), viewing guidelines (29%,) online communication (12%), viewing medical journals with news (8%) and information about new treatments (5%).

Confiding in an online research service brings information with convenience and ease of mind.


Need for researched information with ethical attributes

Online research services

support the purpose of your original work

  • Quality information with opportunities for extension or elaboration.

  • Valid and reliable research for developing a new product.

  • Identified theories that can be reinterpreted in a different context.

  • Useful information of past methodology to establish new approaches in problem solving.

  • Specific information with the opportunity to be used in a different way.

  • Identifying research studies in different contexts (health environments, single item information, other countries) where ideas can be applied for an innovated study.

  • Techniques or tools used in healthcare that can be developed and applied in new areas.

  • Investigating literature to ensure there is no knowledge of proposed work.

  • Identifying scope in literature gaps.

  • Information not previously examined.

  • Associated literature supportive towards determining the significance of the research topic.


Services provide the advantage of prepared information, clear insight, efficiency and measured comparisons leading to the rewards of honest work.

Transparent information with integrity

Reliable and transparent information varies in accessibility, availability and quality.

Authorship authority needs investigations

Zarghami (2011) found the order of authorship is not an accurate approach to interpreting the contributions of authors. Further descriptions of authorship contributions need to be investigated online.

Examples of dishonesty within the past were given by Masic (2012) whereby main authors allocated coauthors as "honoury" and they were not identified as sole authors when giving questionable and false information.

Authorships of publication in ecological journals (996 manuscripts) were studied by Logan, Bean and Myers (2017) during 2010. They found co-authors not meeting Ecological Society of America (ESA) requirements for authorship in approximately half (48%) of the studies and non-compliance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirements in over three fourths (78%) of all studies. Professor-led studies rated the lowest in non-compliance with ESA guidelines while postdoctoral researcher-led studies and graduate students rated the highest.

Lexchin, Bero, Djulbegovic and Clark (2003) studied research funded by pharmaceutical companies and found publication bias (n=30, 13 studies not of poorer quality). Control by regulatory bodies for industry-sponsored studies is much higher in the pharmaceutical industry (Heinemann, 2008). Pharmaceutical companies have business interests of financing which can adversely affect clinical research and produce bias in methodology and results (Chopra, 2003).

Additional online research is required for author credibility, use of anonymous literature, professional online appearance, contact details and previous work of relevant authors to comply with presentation and journal submission requirements.

Establishing longevity and clinical relevancy of data with good reasoning

A study by McKibbon, Wilczynski and Haynes (2004) examined 60,352 articles from general medicine, general healthcare, and speciality journals. They found 3059 original articles were sound in high-quality methods and clinically relevance.

Citations of older articles (at least 10 years old) have increased from the year 1990-2013. Verstak et al.(2014) examined and compared citations of these articles and found increasingly more citations from 1990 (28%) to 2013 (36%). Reasons authors use older articles include historical significances in a phenomenon, active citations and critical reviewing of articles (Ahmed, Johnson, Oppenheim & Peck, 2004).

When de Laiglesia et al. (2014) studied 377 articles (2002 to 2012) from leading biomedical journals in Spain they found electronic citations increased over time (linear tendency, p < .001) in 55 cases. The main characteristic of longevity in these electronic citations was the use of accessible online links, Accessibility decreased over time (linear tendency, P < .001) in 45 cases. These publications had additional information. Additional information was needed for citation retrieval (linear tendency, p < .001).

Wein (2009) identified practitioner coauthors are more likely to offer relevant contextual details in publications that are challenging to find in open online literature (cited in Toffel, 2016).

Acknowledging other authors for their contributions requires responsible investigations towards reasonings.

Seeking important information to make contribution of research to society

Good online information identifies a problem, finds policy solutions and aims to satisfy the criterions of set budgets in funding to provide opportunities for researchers to improve health in society (Clancy, Glied, & Lurie, 2012).

Advances in clinical coding and analysis of data are improving the quality of reports of studies to best use contributions of case study research (Baker, 2011).

Information from clinical coding enables validity of research, comparisons between studies and full study replication (Springate et al., 2014).

Analysis of Twitter can be valuable in identifying dissemination of content from web links, socially active professionals conducting online debates and topics of main interest from hashtag analysis (Uhl, Kolleck & Schiebel, 2016).

Research contributes more information when aligned and reported to achieve field, governmental and/or international initiatives (International Clinical Trials Registry).

Identification of unethical information and publications to avoid

Identifying trends of misconduct in research

A survey from Grieneisen and Zhang (2012) identified allegations in 4,449 scholarly publications with publishing misconduct (47%) research misconduct (20%) and questionable data/interpretations (42%) of scholarly literature (1928–2011.). Justifications in retraction notices affected the statistical total.

Important identifiers of unethical misconduct include improbable trends, unusually fast recruitment, unusually low withdrawals of participants and fewer obstacles in the management of the research (Gupta, 2013).

Early detection of suspicious activity is required in researching literature to ensure the reliability and validity of your work.

Avoiding retracted medical literature in citations

Articles published (439) between 1979 and 2011 were examined by Casadevall, Steen and Fang (2014). Retraction of literature was found for the reasons of laboratory error (n=236, 55.8%), analytical error (n=80, 18.9%) and a lack of reproducibility (n=68, 16.1%).

Literature needs checking within the scientific community for retraction of erroneous journal articles.

Checking past work of main authors and co-authors

The deception and wrongfulness of self plagiarism are in the misleading of others to believe new work was conducted, the supportive to withholding of essential information from society for self benefit and the withholding of information that could open future good opportunities.

Forms of self plagiarism include data augmentation, data duplication and redundant publications (Gilliver, 2012).

Recycling of published text is not unacceptable in the results of studies if it duplicates previously published data unless it is an extension of previous research. Conclusions require original work to validate reasoning for the study ("Text recycling guidelines", n.d., para. 11,13).

Important results should also be fully presented together in one article (Gilliver, 2012).

Similar work in presentations and data registries are susceptible to self-plagiarism.

Ensuring no unethical redundancies and duplications are in your work

Mojon-Azzi, Jiang, Wagner and Mojon (2003) support the integrity of research by identifying redundant publications as causing unnecessary additional labour for peer reviewers and editors in the scientific community, misemphasising voluminous scientific literature, giving unnecessary information in medical resource listings, misguiding researchers during meta-analysis and distorting legally consistencies and manipulating the academic path to rewards,

The survey by Yank and Barnes (2003) examined the opinions of editors and authors on the topic of redundant publications (information shared in multiple sources without referencing). Editors (31%) and authors (67%) believed it was justified to publish a duplicate article in a non-peer reviewed symposium supplement. Considerations that reasoned justifying duplication were non-English-speaking audiences, innovated data, strengthened methods and disputed findings.

During a 3-year period, investigating reports from Gwilym, Swan, Giele, (2004) and Prokopakis, Lachanas, Velegrakis, (2005) found redundant or duplicate publications in 1.4–7.6% of 22,433 articles (cited in Berquist, 2008).

Duplicating other publications can be embarrassing, lead to legal investigations, require time for resolution of the issue and sometimes a possible outcome is publication rejection from editors (Honeyman-Buck, 2016).

The effort towards researching literature to provide ethical work is important in providing evidence to maturing one's reputation.

Finding reliable Web site citations

Weighted citations in research publications are related to higher popularity and higher prestige (Yan and Ding, 2010).

Weighing of Web site information requires details, measuring of facts and representation of identity.

Investigation the reliability of a Web site requires identification of the;

- viewpoint (biased or non-biased)

- ability to retrieve full manuscripts

- purpose of Web site

- literature found on other reputable Web sites

- credible organisation or affiliations

- spelling and grammatical correctness

- review process

- URL (web address) name of the website

- field relevancy or specification.

Essential information is required to make a judgment on the reliability of Web sites and the information they provide.

Outreaching with Medical Presentations in your work gives you the advice you need to reduce the risks in the responsibilities researchers face. We can help you provide researched information for ethical, engaging, original work. Optimise with accurate reporting for research grants, competitive products and business needs to gain commercial advantage.


Suggested reading



Ahmed, T., Johnson, B., Oppenheim. C., & Peck, C. (2004). Highly cited old papers and the reasons why they continue to be cited. Part II., The 1953 Watson and Crick article on the structure of DNA. Scientometrics, 61(2), 147–156. doi:10.1023/B:SCIE.0000041645.60907.57

Baker, G. R. (2011). The contribution of case study research to knowledge of how to improve quality of care. British Medical Journal Quality & Safety, 20(1), i30-5. doi:10.1136/bmjqs.2010.046490

Berquist, T. H. (2008). Duplicate publishing or journal publication ethics 101. American Journal of Roentgenology, 191(2), 311-312.. doi:10.2214/AJR.07.1275

Bunniss, S., & Kelly, D. R. (2010). Research paradigms in medical education research. Medical Education, 44(4), 358-66. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03611.x.

Casadevall, A., Steen, R. G., & Fang, F. C. (2014). Sources of error in the retracted scientific literature. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 28(9), 3847–3855. doi:10.1096/fj.14-256735

Chopra, S. S. (2003). Industry funding of clinical trials: Benefit or bias? Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(1), 113–114. doi:10.1001/jama.290.1.113

Clancy, C. M., Glied, S. A., & Lurie, N. (2012). From research to health policy impact. Health Services Research Journal, 47(1), 337–343. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01374.x

de Laiglesia, M. A. V., Alfonso, F., Miró, Ò., Casademont, J., Santos, P. B., Burillo-Putze, G., Fernández Pérez, C., & Martín-Sánchez, J. (2014). Characteristics and longevity of electronic citations in four leading biomedical journals in Spain. Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition), 67(10), 837-843. doi:10.1016/j.rec.2014.01.029

Gilliver, S. (2012). Forgive me for repeating myself: Self-plagiarism in the medical literature. Medical Writing in Paediatrics, 21(2), 150-153. doi:10.1179/2047480612Z.00000000031

Grieneisen, M. L., & Zhang, M. (2012). A comprehensive survey of retracted articles from the scholarly literature. PLoS ONE, 7(10), e44118. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044118

Gupta, A. (2013). Fraud and misconduct in clinical research: A concern. Perspectives in Clinical Research 4(2), 144–147. doi:10.4103/2229-3485.111800

Heinemann, L. (2008). Are all clinical studies sponsored by industry not valid? The Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 2(6), 1161–1163. doi:10.1177/193229680800200627

Honeyman-Buck, J. (2016). Redundant publication—How to avoid duplication.

Journal of Digital Imaging, 29(1), 1–2. doi:10.1007/s10278-015-9851-z

Lexchin, J., Bero, L. A., Djulbegovic, B., & Clark, O. (2003). Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: Systematic review. British Medical Journal. 326(7400), 1167. doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7400.1167

Logan, J. M., Bean, S. B., & Myers, A. E. (2017). Author contributions to ecological publications: What does it mean to be an author in modern ecological research? PLoS ONE, 12(6), e0179956. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0179956

Masic, I. (2012). Plagiarism in scientific publishing. Acta Informatica Medica, 20(4), 208-213. doi:10.5455/aim.2012.20.208-213.

McKibbon, K. A., Wilczynski, N. L., & Haynes, R. B. (2004). What do evidence-based secondary journals tell us about the publication of clinically important articles in primary healthcare journals? BioMed Central, 2(33). doi:10.1186/1741-7015-2-33

Meyer, R. (2013, January). Physicians and the internet: Where they go and what they do online? Retrieved from:

Cain, A., & Burris, M. (1999, April). Investigation of the use of mobile phones while driving. Retrieved from

Mojon-Azzi, S. M., Jiang, X., Wagner, U., & Mojon, D. S. (2003). Journals: Redundant publications are bad news. Nature, 421(6920), 209. doi:10.1038/421209a

Östman, Sar., & Turtiainen, R. (2016). From research ethics to researching ethics in an online specific context. Media and Communication, 4(4), 66-74. doi:10.17645/mac.v4i4.571

Ringrose, T. (2014, June). How do doctors spend their time online? Retrieved from

Springate, D. A., Kontopantelis, E., Ashcroft, D. M., Olier, I., Parisi, R., Chamapiwa, E., & Reeves, D. (2014). Clinical codes: An online clinical codes repository to improve the validity and reproducibility of research using electronic medical records, PLos ONE, 9(6), e99825. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099825

Text recycling guidelines. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2017, from the Committee on Publication Ethics Web site from

Toffel, M. W. (2016). Enhancing the practical relevance of research. Production and Operations Management, 25(9), 1493-1505. doi:10.1111/poms.12558.

Uhl, A., Kolleck, N., & Schiebel, E. (2016). Twitter data analysis as contribution to strategic foresight-The case of the EU Research Project “Foresight and Modelling for European Health Policy and Regulations” (FRESHER). European Journal of Futures Research, 5(1). doi: 10.1007/s40309-016-0102-4

Verstak, A., Acharya, A., Suzuki, H., Henderson, S., Iakhiaev, M., Chiung Yu Lin, C., & Shetty, N. (2014, November). On the shoulders of giants: The growing impact of older articles. Retrieved from

Yan, E., & Ding, W. (2010). Weighted citation: An indicator of an article's prestige. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(8), 1635-1643. doi:10.1002/asi.21349

Yank, V., & Barnes, D. (2003). Consensus and contention regarding redundant publications in clinical research: Cross-sectional survey of editors and authors. Journal of Medical Ethics, 29(2). Retrieved from

Zarghami, M. (2011). Authorship and contributorship. Iran Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 5(2). Retrieved from



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