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Table 2 Classification Schema for 2376 Written and Spoken Phrases

From: What do the JAMA editors say when they discuss manuscripts that they are considering for publication? Developing a schema for classifying the content of editorial discussion

A. Science (1274 phrases)
1. Research Design and Methods (481 phrases) Aspects of the quality of the description of the design and methods as well as the methods themselves, from the hypothesis, to assumptions, to bias, to outcomes defined. Also includes some factual statements, such as the type of study design used.
2. Presentation and Interpretation of Results (250 phrases) Concern about message, tone, context, scholarship, rationale for conclusions drawn, whether conclusions match study strength, adequacy of references, preliminary or early results, need for additional discussion.
3. Analysis (157 phrases) Analysis is appropriate, inappropriate, incorrect, incomplete, not clear; rates and measures used. Adjustment for confounders and effect modifiers, issues related to subgroup analysis, intention to treat analysis.
4. Population Studied (97 phrases) Concerns about the population or database and why it was chosen, more information about population needed, potential for selection bias, response rate.
5. Power, Sample Size (66 phrases) Any comment about power, size of study sample or the dataset.
6. Measures Used (70 phrases) Methods specifically concerning measures used and whether they are reliable, valid, are expressed correctly, are sufficient.
7. More Information/Data Needed (60 phrases) Comments that data or details about data are needed, including full CONSORT data.
8. Generalizable information/results (37 phrases) Potential application of information beyond study population, representativeness of broader patient population.
9. Quality of the Data (31 phrases) Concerns about data quality, validity of data, completeness.
10. Conflict of Interest/Ethics (25 phrases) Concerns about financial and other conflicts of interest, as well as concerns about study ethics.
B. Journalism (729 phrases)
1. Important for Medicine (131 phrases) Any statement that the study, results, topic, disease, message are important, of interest, or common.
2. Strategic Advantage to Publish (126 phrases) Reasons why it may be good to publish this paper or not (eg, published elsewhere, previous or current JAMA similar or related publication, need more like this). Specific mention of JAMA (except readership) or related to JAMA mission. Specialized paper (as opposed to specialized audience), should be sent to Archives. Possible editorial.
3. Interesting results or topic (95 phrases) Any phrase with "interesting" or similar word in it (eg, interesting topic, analysis, hypothesis), except "readers would find interesting". Includes comments relating to a low likelihood of publication leading to behavior change, or the fact that the paper doesn't add anything. Also includes fascinating, boring, good, excellent, great, relevant.
4. Results (topic) (76 phrases) Any statement describing the study outcomes and results.
5. Author repute (71 phrases) References to the author prominence or characteristics of the author (including where from, good group, published previously in JAMA), author role in paper.
6. Positive or negative results (48 phrases) Concerns positive, negative or null results or findings of study, statistical significance, beneficial outcomes, positive, negative, modest association, clinically significant, effective intervention, size of association, and effect size.
7. Novel, new (47 phrases) Manuscript contains novel information, findings, data, is a novel study, uses novel methods. New information, unique data, innovation in some aspect of study, new methods, cool new technology, unique work, few similar studies.
8. Readership (29 phrases) Potential readership interest or lack of it, our readers would find it interesting, potential audience beyond medical community, public health interest, policy and government issues, correlation with current events.
9. Knowledge Gap (27 phrases) More information needed in this area.
10. Timeliness (24 phrases) "Hot" or timely topic, topical, big stuff, causes excitement, enormous public health, political interest, pressing issue, increasingly discussed, emerging treatment or drug, problem, increasing disease incidence.
11. Refutes-Confirms Standard Practice/Thinking (23 phrases) Results that refute or confirm standard thinking or practice. Provides new information about clinical problem.
12. Policy, message and public response (20 phrases) Public and private sector response to the topic or findings, possible consequences of publication, including policy implications. Manuscript from government or policy makers.
13. Special Study Characteristics (12 phrases) A characteristic of the study that sets it apart from other studies.
C. Writing (373 phrases)
1. Peer Review (282 phrases) Any comment about revisions needed, peer reviewer comments received, editor's own tendency to accept or reject. When a specific change is requested (eg, "still fuzzy about search strategy"), code with science or journalism, as appropriate.
2. Writing (91 phrases) Relates to presentation only, not clarity of description of study methods.
  1. All categories include positive and negative phrases. For the most part, phrases used here are descriptive and do not reflect exact oral or written statements.