29 Oct 2007

Journalology roundup #12

Dealing with scientific misconduct. "Europe needs policies for good scientific practice and for investigating misconduct allegations".

That Dezenhall briefing in full! Anti-OA briefing exposed!

Achievement index climbs the ranks. "Hirsch measure can predict future success of researchers".

It's Time to Free the Dark Data of Failed Scientific Experiments. "In 1981, the New England Journal of Medicine published a Harvard study that showed an unexpected link between drinking coffee and pancreatic cancer. As it happened, researchers were anticipating a connection between alcohol or tobacco and cancer. But according to the survey of several hundred patients, booze and cigarettes didn't seem to increase your risk. Then came a surprise: An incidental survey question suggested that coffee did increase the chances of pancreatic cancer. So that's what got published. Those positive results, alas, were entirely anomalous; 20 years of follow-up research showed the coffee-cancer connection to be bunk. Nonetheless, it's a textbook example of so-called publication bias, where science gets skewed because only positive correlations see the light of day. After all, the surprising findings are what makes the news (and careers)".
We agree with this at BioMed Central! We already publish the Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, and we have another project addressing this issue on the way - watch this space.

A method of knocking out genes in mice needs more discrimination than many have recognized. "No technology is without caveats, and there will always be a degree of uncertainty with which researchers have to live. But in the interest of best scientific practice, everyone involved would be wise not to neglect the dangers and subtleties at play even in routine experiments".

Calling all charlatans. A group of researchers puts companies making scientific claims on the spot. "One day in early July, a customer service representative for a company called Crystalite Salt received a phone call from Jennifer Lardge, a physicist. Lardge was curious about the science behind one of their products: lumps of salt, called lamps, that are meant to improve your health when they are heated. "I was looking at your Web site and I was just wondering about how salt lamps actually work"".

Open Society Institute awards grant to support Open Access Documentary Project. "The Open Society Institute has awarded a grant to support the production and distribution of the Open Access Documentary Project, a collection of online videos celebrating the benefits of open access to scientific and medical research. Intelligent Television and BioMed Central are co-producers of the Project".

When Is Open Access Not Open Access? "Since 2003, when PLoS Biology was launched, there has been a spectacular growth in “open-access” journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals (http://www.doaj.org/), hosted by Lund University Libraries, lists 2,816 open-access journals as this article goes to press (and probably more by the time you read this). Authors also have various “open-access” options within existing subscription journals offered by traditional publishers (e.g., Blackwell, Springer, Oxford University Press, and many others). In return for a fee to the publisher, an author's individual article is made freely available and (sometimes) deposited in PubMed Central (PMC). But, as open access grows in prominence, so too has confusion about what open access means, particularly with regard to unrestricted use of content-which true open access allows. This confusion is being promulgated by journal publishers at the expense of authors and funding agencies wanting to support open access".

The Basement Interviews: Peter Suber. Read this! Another great interview by Richard Poynder. "Philosopher, jurist, and one-time stand-up comic, Peter Suber is widely viewed as the de facto leader of the open access (OA) movement".

Self-archiving and permissions barriers. Peter Suber and Peter Murray-Rust are trying in vain to persuade Stevan Harnad that Green OA/self-archiving does not solve the problem of permission barriers.

The Journal of Electronic Publishing - latest issue. Lots of interesting things!
University Publishing in a Digital Age; What Happened to the E-book Revolution?; The Google Story and Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge; Electronic Publishing as a Course Context for a Capstone Project on Protein Design; New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts; The Prevalence of Additional Electronic Features in Pure E-Journals; Blogs as a Student Content Management System; Redefining Scholarly Publishing as a Service Industry; Market Formation for E-Books: Diffusion, Confusion or Delusion?

Max Planck Society Dumps Springer Deal Over Pricing. "The Max Planck Society (MPS), a major German research organization, issued a strongly worded statement this week to announce it was cancelling access to Springer's online collection of journals over pricing. The cancellation will take effect as of December 31, 2007. MPS Vice President Kurt Mehlhorn said negotiations to extend the deal failed because, according to an MPS evaluation based on factors including usage and comparisons with other publishers, Springer was intent on charging "approximately double the price" the organization regarded as "reasonable.""

Institutional Academic Industry Relationships. "Almost two-thirds (60%) of department chairs had some form of personal relationship with industry, including serving as a consultant (27%), a member of a scientific advisory board (27%), a paid speaker (14%), an officer (7%), a founder (9%), or a member of the board of directors (11%)... Overall, institutional academic-industry relationships are highly prevalent and underscore the need for their active disclosure and management".

Open Clinical Trials
. "The FDA Revitalization Act sets a precedent in mandating the reporting of trial results in a public database... With this legislation, clinical trials in the United States will be played out in the public arena. Research volunteers will know that their participation is part of an unbiased public record. We think that fully open clinical trials will lead to more effective and safer treatments for patients... Open for all to see, future clinical trials can lead to new treatments that will make a difference in safely combating disease".

Do trialists endorse clinical trial registration? "Although disagreement was apparent on certain issues, our findings illustrate that trial registration is gradually becoming part of the current research paradigm internationally. Our results also suggest that researchers require more knowledge to inform their decision to comply with the International standards at this early stage of voluntary trial registration."

Publication bias for CAM trials. Non-US CAM trialists are more likely to publish positive results. "All CAM clinical trials published in the four highest impact factor general medicine journals between 1965 and 2004 were abstracted using Medline... CAM trials published in the European journals were significantly more likely to be positive compared to those published in the U.S. journals (76% vs. 50%, odds ratio [OR]=3.15, P<0.0001).>

How to cite a blog.

1 comment:

McDawg said...

This was extremely useful.

I've read hundreds of Papers and spotted my first one a few weeks ago that cited blogs in the references.

I found the NIH pages immensely helpful - thanks for providing links Matt !!

Chrs,

Graham