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  1. Peer review report

    Reviewer: Ludo Waltman

    Institution: Leiden University



    I would like to note that I am an expert in the field of bibliometrics and that my review therefore focuses on the bibliometric aspects of this paper. I am not an expert on scoping reviews or on curcumin. I hope that other reviewers have expertise on these aspects of the paper.

    I am one of the developers of the VOSviewer software, which may perhaps be seen as a competing interest.

    General comments

    Please find below my detailed comments on the paper, including suggestions for improvements.

    “A study by Loannidis et al.”: ‘Loannidis’ should be ‘Ioannidis’.

    The author uses the Web of Science Core Collection. This database consists of a number of citation indexes (e.g., Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, etc.). Depending on their subscription, different Web of Science users have access to different citation indexes. Please mention which citation indexes were used.

    The description of the search query in Section 2 is unclear, because the search query doesn’t seem to be restricted to COVID-19 research. The full search query should be reported in the main text of the paper (not only in Appendix 1).

    The VOSviewer visualizations presented in the paper are hard to read (especially Figures 1 and 2). The font size used in the visualizations needs to be increased. This can be done using the ‘Scale’ slider in VOSviewer. The author may also consider making interactive versions of the visualizations available online, so that readers can explore these visualizations in their web browser. A visualization can be made available online using the ‘Share’ button on the ‘File’ tab in VOSviewer.

    I found Section 3.2 to be quite confusing. This section is presented as a ‘bibliometric analysis of citations’. However, it is not clear to me whether Figures 1 and 2 show visualizations of citation networks or visualizations of co-authorship networks. Also, the results presented in Section 3.2 rely strongly on the total link strength attribute in VOSviewer. If the author wants to use this attribute, it needs to be explained to the reader how the total link strength is defined and how it can be interpreted. However, I think it is better not to use the total link strength. Presenting statistics based on publication and citation counts is more useful, since these statistics are easier to interpret.

    “Regarding keyword analysis, VOSviewer software features two options, one for keywords provided by the authors and the second for keywords provided by authors in addition to others extracted from title and abstract”: This is not correct. VOSviewer users need to choose between analyzing keywords (keywords provided by authors and/or keywords assigned algorithmically by Web of Science) and analyzing terms extracted from titles and/or abstracts. Combining these two analyses is not possible in VOSviewer. Also, while the author mentions a number of frequently occuring keywords, a visualization of the keyword co-occurrence network seems to be missing.

    To reduce the number of clusters in a VOSviewer visualization, the author increased the minimum cluster size. Instead of (or in addition to) increasing the minimum cluster size, my advice is to reduce the value of the resolution parameter. This can be done on the ‘Analysis’ tab in VOSviewer.

    The discussion section needs major improvements. This section provides a lot information that could better be presented in the introduction or methods sections.

    The conclusion section is very brief. The section needs to be extended and improved. The conclusion that the “VOSviewer software is very successful” doesn’t seem relevant, since the paper is not about evaluating the VOSviewer software.

    There is room for improving the writing style of the paper. In particular, my suggestion is to avoid the use of exclamation marks and the unnecessary use of capitals in the middle of a sentence (e.g., “found that Till 1 August 2021” should be “found that till 1 August 2021”). Also, there should be no colon at the end of a section heading.

    According to the data availability statement, “all data produced in the present study are available upon reasonable request to the authors”. Making data available upon request is poor practice. It is preferable to make data openly available in a data repository (e.g., Zenodo). However, the author should check whether data sharing is allowed in the case of Web of Science data. It probably violates the terms of use of Web of Science. If data sharing is not allowed, this needs to be reported in the data availability statement.

    According to the copyright statement, reuse is not allowed without permission. It is good practice to allow preprints to be reused provided that authors are properly acknowledged. I therefore recommend to attach a CC-BY license to the paper.

    Serious concerns

    • Do you have any serious concerns about the manuscript such as fraud, plagiarism, unethical or unsafe practices? No

    • Have authors’ provided the necessary ethics approval (from authors’ institution or an ethics committee)? not applicable

    Language quality

    • How would you rate the English language quality? Low to medium quality, but I understand the content

    validity and reproducibility

    • Is the rationale for, and objectives of, the scoping review clearly stated? Yes

    • Are the methods documented and analysis provided so that replication can be conducted? No

    • Is the statistical analysis and its interpretation appropriate? Not applicable

    • Are quality of the figures and tables satisfactory? No

    • Are the conclusions adequately supported by the results presented in the review? Not applicable, since the conclusion section is extremely short

    • Are there any fundamental flaws or errors that make the scoping review invalid?

    Please see my comments above.


    Requires revisions: The manuscript contains objective errors or fundamental flaws that must be addressed and/or major revisions are suggested.

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  2. SciScore for 10.1101/2022.04.10.22273674: (What is this?)

    Please note, not all rigor criteria are appropriate for all manuscripts.

    Table 1: Rigor

    Ethicsnot detected.
    Sex as a biological variablenot detected.
    Randomizationnot detected.
    Blindingnot detected.
    Power Analysisnot detected.

    Table 2: Resources

    No key resources detected.

    Results from OddPub: We did not detect open data. We also did not detect open code. Researchers are encouraged to share open data when possible (see Nature blog).

    Results from LimitationRecognizer: An explicit section about the limitations of the techniques employed in this study was not found. We encourage authors to address study limitations.

    Results from TrialIdentifier: No clinical trial numbers were referenced.

    Results from Barzooka: We did not find any issues relating to the usage of bar graphs.

    Results from JetFighter: We did not find any issues relating to colormaps.

    Results from rtransparent:
    • Thank you for including a conflict of interest statement. Authors are encouraged to include this statement when submitting to a journal.
    • Thank you for including a funding statement. Authors are encouraged to include this statement when submitting to a journal.
    • No protocol registration statement was detected.

    Results from scite Reference Check: We found no unreliable references.

    About SciScore

    SciScore is an automated tool that is designed to assist expert reviewers by finding and presenting formulaic information scattered throughout a paper in a standard, easy to digest format. SciScore checks for the presence and correctness of RRIDs (research resource identifiers), and for rigor criteria such as sex and investigator blinding. For details on the theoretical underpinning of rigor criteria and the tools shown here, including references cited, please follow this link.

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