With great interest, I read a recently published systematic literature review protocol in your journal[i]. The objective of the study was to assess the safety and efficacy of metoclopramide for the treatment of acute migraine (AM).
While the protocol seemed to fulfil all technical aspect, here is something that I believe needs to be highlighted. The authors have misspelled PubMed as Pumbed not only once, but twice. The first misspelled instance appears in the abstract (first line of the methods section), and the other in section 2.5 (second line of the search strategy paragraph). I then conducted a PubMed search (Query: pumbed[All Fields]) on 4th November, 2019; and retrieved total seven articles (see Table 1 below). Out of total seven articles containing same typographical error, four articles were from this journal[ii],[iii],[iv].
As mentioned in the instruction to the authors section of the journal, protocols need to be registered. When checked, it was found that all four protocols mentioned their respective PROSPERO registration numbers (CRD42019142795, CRD42019135785, CRD42019121869 and CRD42019121177). Interestingly, the corresponding webpages on PROSPERO website contained no such typographical errors. It is worth noticing that all four articles were recently published between March and September 2019. Additionally, three of the four articles have affiliated to the same department (Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital of Jiamusi University).
Readers might ignore such typographical errors and interpret them as PubMed. However, their appearance in four articles of the same volume (Volume: 98) of same journal within six months, is something which should not be ignored. Moreover, more surprising was the presence of such typos in abstracts, as abstracts are more likely to be read, not only by authors and the grant committee members, but also by the journal editorial staff.
The study protocol section of journal's instructions to the author webpage clearly mentions that 'Study protocols (including Clinical Trial Study Protocols and Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Study Protocols) will usually be published without further peer review if the study has received peer-review and grant funding from a major extramural funding body'. Thus, lack of peer-review can be one reason for appearance of such typographical errors. Such typographical errors can be avoided by increasing awareness amongst authors and editorial staff. Even if there is no peer-review process for study protocols, such typographical errors can be identified at the proof-reading stage and, can be proactively corrected. Additionally, appropriate measures should be taken to identify and correct such typographical errors from already published articles. PubMed is a standard term of medical literature, and any associated typographical error with it should be rectified.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not in any manner reflect or represent the view of the organization to which he is affiliated.
Table 1. Details of identified articles with misspelled PubMed
|1||Efficacy of metoclopramide for the treatment of acute migraine.||Jiang C. et al., Wang T, Qiu ZG, Chen B, Fang BJ.||Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Sep;98(37):e17065. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017065.||Medicine (Baltimore)||2019||PMID:31517828|
|2||Acupuncture treatment for optic atrophy: A protocol for systematic review.||Zhou PP, Sun P, Liu HW, Meng Y.||Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Aug;98(33):e16879. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016879.||Medicine (Baltimore)||2019||PMID:31415430|
|3||Efficacy of fenofibrate for diabetic retinopathy: A systematic review protocol.||Su XJ, Han L, Qi YX, Liu HW.||Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Apr;98(14):e14999. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014999.||Medicine (Baltimore)||2019||PMID:30946327|
|4||Omega-3 and ranibizumab for age-related macular degeneration: A systematic review protocol.||Meng Y, Liu HW, Sun P, Zhou PP, Wang JJ.||Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Mar;98(13):e14516. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000014516.||Medicine (Baltimore)||2019||PMID:30921177|
|5||Effect of chewing gum on gastrointestinal function after gynecological surgery: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis.||Xu C, Peng J, Liu S, Qi DY.||J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2018 May;44(5):936-943. doi: 10.1111/jog.13602. Epub 2018 Feb 14. Review.||J Obstet Gynaecol Res.||2018||PMID:29442412|
|6||Allergies and risk of colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.||Ye J, Talaiti A, Ma Y, Zhang Q, Ma L, Zheng H.||Oncotarget. 2017 Feb 28;8(9):14646-14654. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.14599. Review.||Oncotarget.||2017||PMID:28086228|
|7||Can diffusion-weighted imaging be used to differentiate brain abscess from other ring-enhancing brain lesions? A meta-analysis.||Xu XX, Li B, Yang HF, Du Y, Li Y, Wang WX, Zheng HJ, Gong QY.||Clin Radiol. 2014 Sep;69(9):909-15. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2014.04.012. Epub 2014 Jun 3.||Clin Radiol.||2014||PMID:24933524|
Dr. Ram Kumar Mishra, Real World Evidence Strategy and Analytics (RWESA), Commercialisation & Outcomes, ICON Clinical Research India Pvt Ltd., Bangalore, INDIA
Email: [email protected]
 Jiang C, Wang T, Qiu ZG, Chen B, Fang BJ. Efficacy of metoclopramide for the treatment of acute migraine. Medicine. 2019 Sep;98(37).
 Zhou PP, Sun P, Liu HW, Meng Y. Acupuncture treatment for optic atrophy: A protocol for systematic review. Medicine. 2019 Aug 1;98(33):e16879.
 Su XJ, Han L, Qi YX, Liu HW. Efficacy of fenofibrate for diabetic retinopathy: A systematic review protocol. Medicine. 2019 Jun;98(14).
 Meng Y, Liu HW, Sun P, Zhou PP, Wang JJ. Omega-3 and ranibizumab for age-related macular degeneration: A systematic review protocol. Medicine. 2019 Mar;98(13).