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This Summary Was Delayed

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Zhelnov P. This summary was delayed. Zheln. 2020 Sep 25;39(1):s1e2. URI:


  • This summary was delayed, but now I have a prevention system in place
  • From a technical standpoint, Zheln is fully armed and operational
  • Full-scale record appraisals are ready to deploy at long last
  • A protocol to register Zheln with PROSPERO is in the works
  • Help crowdfund an Open Access feature article in BMC Syst Rev!

Oh, I Am Sorry, Frodo

  • In the previous summary, I announced this summary to come out on Sep 23.
  • However, it’s Sep 25 now that it’s actually coming out.
  • Personally, I find it a zero-tolerance event and apologize to you for it; here’s what I’m going to do to prevent summary delays in future.
  • I made a separate In progress – High priority column in the GitHub kanban of the Streamline Zheln project. From now on, all summary publication issues will go there.
  • Essentially, that means I work on the summaries first thing, writing about what’s done to this point and resisting the temptation to outperform myself at the last moment.
  • It is worth noting the next summary publication milestone was set on Sep 27; that is, I will publish the next summary tomorrow by the end of the day (EDT).
  • I have great plans for today and tomorrow (see below), so the tomorrow’s summary should not feel worn.
  • So anyway, please get back for updates this Sunday! 😃

General Status

  • I spent most of the last five days since the previous summary getting the website and appraisal tools ready for work (see the full diff for more info).
  • And effectively, I’ve succeeded in it.
  • As of now, Zheln is a fully armed and operational battle station with the website working correctly and General Makeposti, a tailored tool to appraise records, at hand.
  • Overall, this means I can, at long last, go on with the very record appraisals.

Started Appraisals

  • As to how many records are stuck awaiting appraisal, this is a tough problem.
  • In fact, I have appraised just 2 out of 5,609 records by now.
  • Moreover, there is about the same number of records awaiting download from PubMed (estimated [ 5,609 ÷ 12 ] × 11 ≈ 5,148 records); these are the records that appeared in the Replicated Systematic Review Subset Sep 14 thru Sep 24.
  • Therefore, I need to start appraising these records ASAP, while also doing concurrent up-to-date appraisals.
  • For this purpose, I devised a plan to keep up with appraisals.
  • It would allow me to close the 10k-record debt in two months while appraising 22% more records daily.
  • See how it all works out in the next summary post this Sunday!

Completed Appraisals

  • No appraisals have been fully completed by now.
  • This is a problem I’m going to solve after I’ve established a stable flow of started appraisals.
  • Effectively, by the moment a record is moved at least one status level up from awaiting appraisal, it has likely also been specialty tagged, which already means its successful exposition at the target specialty pages.
  • Therefore, expediting completed appraisals is currently a natural lower priority than streamlining started appraisals.
  • Also, withholding processing of full texts (i.e. stopping appraisal at the Zheln Step 3) is preferable while registration of Zheln as a research project is pending (see below).

Academic Status

  • One last thing I did since the previous summary was elaborating on the Zheln methods.
  • This is a very preliminary account; however, a more detailed account is also in the plans as I’ve decided to register Zheln with PROSPERO, a prospective registry of systematic reviews! Zheln’s designed as a living systematic review; thus, it requires prospective registration.
  • After inspecting the PROSPERO registration guidance, I did not find any issues that would preclude registration of Zheln, albeit a great protocol would be required.
  • I also considered publishing the protocol in a peer-reviewed journal when ready.
  • However, as I want it to be an Open Access publication, preferably in BMC Syst Rev, who charge $2,170 per article, I’d better wait until this is fully crowdfunded and then publish a feature article. Please help me crowdfund it!
  • In the meantime, I’m going with free-of-charge options such as writing and submitting the protocol to PROSPERO and publishing Zheln on OSF (already done).
  • I have not set any milestones here yet but will do that as soon as I’ve got records processed at a steady pace; this is clearly a lower-priority endeavor.

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