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Ten years after

19 Dec

Even ten years after, sound data are worth to be published. Below is an example. Actually a great Christmas story.

http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2013/12/12/simon-wessely-the-lost-trial-a-christmas-story/

A Cochrane plenary session

30 Nov

Here below is a link toward an interesting talk which occurred at the 20th Cochrane Coloquium in New Zealand between September 30th and October 3rd of 2012.

It’s about connections

More videos of the conference are available here

Cochrane reviews constitute a precious  mean of disseminating the findings of the research in medicine. They pave the way for more evidence-based medicine in the practice of care.

 

2 May

Ha-Vinh:

A tremendous post on the question to know whether information technologies trump the scholarly publishing or whether the academic publishing subordinates itself to the information technologies. In my view the response is that both statements are true because the respective influence is not at all linear but instead pretty much interactive. As for the sponsored payments by the tobacco industry for author-paid open access publishing, the expression of concern is also relevant for the traditional publishing because private corporations can very well sponsor subscriptions in reader-paid publishing. The key point is the conflict of interest disclosure (which is perhaps more easy to uncover in the open access publishing where the payment is made on behalf of the author).

Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:

Trip to Tibet

Trip to Tibet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does scholarly publishing drive information technology (IT)? Or does IT drive scholarly publishing?

If you believe the former, you essentially agree that academic culture trumps technology — that incentives reflecting a deeper belief system ultimately blunt and shape any intrusion of technology; legal and cultural precedents largely withstand the whims of technological change; and human nature remains fundamentally the same despite a new veneer of technological capabilities.

If you believe the latter, you probably instinctively feel that technological revolutions will inevitably yield social revolutions on a magnitude as great or greater than the technology itself would suggest; that legal and social contracts can crumble under the pressure of technological change; and that human nature can be overcome if surrounded by enough technology.

Open access advocates and self-anointed revolutionaries often come from the “technology trumps culture” camp. I remember asking Harold Varmus in the early days of e-Biomed why it…

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Blogs are growing faster than Facebook

15 Mar

Ha-Vinh:

Blogs are growing faster than Facebook

They are now 181 Million (while they were only 36 Million in 2006).

Sad Kiani

Image via Wikipedia

Number of blogs tracked by NM Incite, from October 2006 to October 2011

In blogging, small is beautiful: indeed, my blog is small enough not to be bothered by having comments to delete or to moderate nor being invaded by a huge amount of censorship work (in fact I receive a very low amount of comments). In that sense a blog with a confidential audience is very easy to manage!

Other work consulted:

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/buzz-in-the-blogosphere-millions-more-bloggers-and-blog-readers/

Originally posted on The Scholarly Kitchen:

Андрей Родионов

Image via Wikipedia

A new report confirms that blogs and social media are now the main things people spend time with online.

Blogs? Aren’t those so five years ago?

Hardly. In fact, blogs are growing faster than many headline-grabbing social media sites, and they’re everywhere.

How pervasive are blogs today? Three of the top 10 social networking sites measured in a recent Nielsen report on the state of the media are blog providers — Blogspot, WordPress, and Tumblr. (By the way, the entire Nielsen report is worth reading — it’s slick, and covers a lot of the digital landscape.) There are now more than 181 million blogs, up from 36 million in 2006, when blogging was cool.

Blogs may not be cool in that same way they were in 2006, but they’re growing faster than Facebook, and that’s noteworthy. Also, half of all bloggers are between 18-34, making it a young medium…

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Research Works Act

7 Jan

Free access to publicly funded research

English: This is the first issue of California...

Image via Wikipedia

How can people access freely to publicly funded research results?
From two things one: – either the government agencies buy the copyrights of privates scholarly publishers and then make available articles on governmental web sites
– or it publish himself the final reports or the intermediate or progress reports that the publicly funded researchers have produced.
But one thing for sure, since the recent “research works act” bill, the government or the federal agencies have no more the possibility to force or to mandate for free, by rule, the dissemination of the private scholarly publications issued from the peer reviewed journals.

A third possibility should be the government using the open access journals, but in that case instead of buying the copyrights afterward, federal agencies will be charged before the publication procedure.

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that the fundamental difference between a final report of a research work and a peer reviewed article issued from the same research work are: – the length (average length for a report: 60 pages vs 20 for an article), – the use of technical and complex words in the writing (because the articles are peer reviewed and aimed at the intention of a wider number of readers, mostly outside the institution, technical words and context have to be explained), – the transfer of responsibility in case of mistake or falsification of data (private publisher are eager to retract the article if a falsification or a conflict of interest is disclosed but will a federal agencies do the same?) and last but not least – scholarly publications are the products of multinational, world-wide expanded, globalised enterprises that are independent from the policy of a single state. And this must be seen as a guarantee of the independence of science from political pressure like, for example, the recent attempt by the US government to stop the publication by a Netherlander searchers team of their findings on the H5N1 flu virus mutation capacity (see here and here for more information).

Below are three references if you want to read more on the topic of the dissemination of research works:

1)My Argument for Public Access to Research Reports

http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/01/06/my-argument-for-public-access-to-research-reports/

2)Publishers Applaud “Research Works Act,”Bipartisan Legislation To End

Government Mandates on Private-Sector Scholarly Publishing

http://www.publishers.org/press/56/

3)A BILLTo ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-

reviewed research works by the private sector.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3699ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3699ih.pdf

Bogus evidence

5 Jan

Full access to raw data becomes more and more necessary.

Photo of linear accelerator

Image via Wikipedia

The number of scientists which manipulate data increases tremendously, one solution could be the obligation to make raw data accessible on the internet. A second solution is to make mandatory the publication of all the randomized controlled trials that have been registered even if they conclude to less benefit or more harm for the studied innovative procedure. A third solution is to be very circumspect if the authors have already patented their own research topics. For example prostate cancer screening and lung cancer screening are two field of highly interesting the biomedical industry and associated with large amount of potential revenue.

The latest example is a Prostate cancer screening marker research which appeared to be entirely fake. Moreover the scientist involved had already sold the discovery to a bio engineering start-up. All that stuff ended up before a court, you can see a report of the lawsuit here. The lung cancer screening has become also a competition for X-ray industrials and searchers as you can see here.
When are at stake the academic glory, the economic greed and some time no more than just finding a job for a post doc searcher the pressure to publish always surpasses the sense of honour and the Hippocratic oath?
The BMJ journal has just been recently whistle-blowing the problem in a in-depth review of the question. Bogus evidences are not only dangerous for patients but also lead to unjustified health care spending deepening the nation debt crisis.
More information on the topic is findable below:

http://www.naturalnews.com/034577_quack_science_clinical_trials_BMJ.html

http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/hopkins-scientists-retract-prostate-cancer-screening-study-at-center-of-2009-lawsuits/

http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/cancer-issues-expression-of-concern-about-two-henschke-i-elcap-lung-cancer-screening-papers/#more-5783

2011 in review

2 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Publish or not publish?

23 Dec

Terror risk linked to flu study

Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4 November...

Image via Wikipedia

Searchers have recently discovered in Netherlands and United States the method to transform the H5N1 virus in a mass destruction weapon. They were just on the way to publish the ingredients of the experiment on Nature and Science (the two world-wide best known scientific journals) when an US advisory board said: ”hello guys, wait a minute please, have you think to the consequences if terrorists buy the journal?”.

The scholarly kitchen blog analyse the issue. Now that the new has already been broadcasted it is useless to censor scientists. The better way, according to scholarly kitchen, to manage the thing is to widen open the access to information, thus hoping that the good guys will discover the vaccine before that the bad ones discovers the genetically modified virus. Indeed the scientific knowledge discovered by the two teams of searchers in Netherlands and United States can lead to both, the better and the worst. If hidden or censored, the information will more rapidly fall into terrorist’s hands than in philanthropic hands because the former possess more means to access secrecy than the latter.

The editor in chief of  Science stated that his journal may comply with the request if the NIH can create systems to provide the data to legitimate scientists around the world

We thank the Scholarly Kitchen for having revealed this frightening issue.

Bad science (part two)

26 Nov
Cover of "Bad Science"

Cover of Bad Science

Look at this incredible video. The man who is talking is a medical practitioner who has become an epidemiologist. He belongs to a Cochrane group. The Cochrane groups chase false evidence-based medicine by reviewing all the published studies on a particular public health issue (like preventive behaviors, cancer screening, pharmaceutical industry lobbying and so on). It’s an awesome one man show made by a Doctor!

Communicator

19 Nov

National Institutes of Health

Image via Wikipedia

How  to communicate Public Health Data to the Public?

The department of health and human services, the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute are three major official institutions implied in public health in the USA. They publish an interesting document explaining how to communicate scientific quantitative public health data to lay audiences (ie general public, policy makers and press journalists). In the introduction the Office of Communications and Education of the

National Cancer Institute describes the objective of the document as follows: to answer to the question “why should I care?”

To give sense to scientific data is actually a difficult exercise. As a scientist, lay audiences give you an a priori trust which you must not betray. Maintaining the trust between the general public and scientists is a very high ethical responsibility. This book will help scientists to send a message that sounds rationale and clear for the public.

Read the entire report: communicating data to lay audience

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