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  • May 9, 2013
  • 08:43 AM

Reflections on WebSci‘13

by Peter Kraker in Science and the Web

I spent last week at Web Science 2013 in Paris. And what a well spent time that was. Web Science was for sure the most diverse conference I have ever attended. One of the reasons for this diversity is that Webscience was collocated with CHI (Human-Computer-Interaction) and Hypertext. But most importantly, the community of Webscience …Read More... Read more »

Peter Kraker, Kris Jack, Christian Schlögl, Christoph Trattner, & Stefanie Lindstaedt. (2013) Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics. Web Science 2013. info:/

  • May 9, 2013
  • 06:07 AM

Common Coincidence

by Emarkham in GeneticCuckoo

An analysis using the Monte Carlo simulation, to investigate the probability of restaurant bills having the same total. Combining statistics with modeling from the real world allows for a realistic probability for this occurrence. ... Read more »

E Markham. (2013) Common Coincidence . Blogspot. info:/

  • May 8, 2013
  • 09:50 AM

Thanks Mom!

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Like Mother, like baby! Photo from give us so much more than we ever give them credit for. Biologically speaking, we all have a mom and a dad (unless you’re a flatworm or some other species that can reproduce without sex) that provide us with one of each chromosome type (our chromosomes contain our genes, commonly thought of as our “biological blueprints”). So it makes sense that we tend to think of ourselves as being half-our-mom and half-our-dad. But not so! Al........ Read more »

BERNARDO, J. (1996) Maternal Effects in Animal Ecology. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 36(2), 83-105. DOI: 10.1093/icb/36.2.83  

Wolf, J., & Wade, M.J. (2009) What are maternal effects (and what are they not)?. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 1107-1115. info:/

  • May 8, 2013
  • 08:10 AM

by Kim Kristiansen in Picture of Pain

epression together with pain, but not pain alone, may increase activity in the immune system and inflammation. These are the important findings of a new study just published in the journal “Pain Medicine”.... Read more »

Kim Kristiansen, M.D. (2013) Pain and Depression Linked to the Immune System. Picture of Pain Blog. info:/

  • May 5, 2013
  • 05:22 AM

The (Lack of) Changes in Ecological Research

by gunnardw in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Ecology is a rapidly changing, dynamic field of research. In recent decades, there’s been a major shift from considering ecosystems as stable and poised to seeing them as systems that are in constant flux. At least, that’s what ecologists want (us) to believe. But how much of this claimed change has been able to seep [...]... Read more »

Carmel, Y., Kent, R., Bar-Massada, A., Blank, L., Liberzon, J., Nezer, O., Sapir, G., & Federman, R. (2013) Trends in Ecological Research during the Last Three Decades – A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059813  

  • May 3, 2013
  • 05:48 PM

Scatological Scents

by Mini Watsa in SurroundScience

Ever since tamarins were first captured from the wild to serve as research models in laboratories, we have been curious about their use of odour for communication. These miniature monkeys … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 3, 2013
  • 03:40 PM

Why blogging science is rewarding!

by Ragothamanyennamalli in Getting to know Structural Bioinformatics

... Read more »

  • May 2, 2013
  • 05:30 PM

Elite journals: to hell in a handbasket?

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Once upon a time, journals were made of paper and ink. However, we left the dark ages of dead woods behind us and moved forward to an age in which authors don’t need to publish in journals (but still want to). There’s an increasing decoupling between the individual article and its publishing journal, created by [...]

... Read more »

Vincent Lariviere, George A. Lozano, & Yves Gingras. (2013) Are elite journals declining?. ArXiv. arXiv: 1304.6460v1

George A. Lozano, Vincent Lariviere, & Yves Gingras. (2012) The weakening relationship between the Impact Factor and papers' citations in the digital age. ArXiv. arXiv: 1205.4328v1

  • May 2, 2013
  • 10:38 AM

Redefining Mental Disorders as Brain Disorders: TED Talk of Thomas Insel

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Components of Brain Limbic SystemAdvances in the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism are a public health priority.Dr. Thomas Insel, director at NIMH recently presented a TED talk that emphasized the need to rethink how we conceptualize and study these types of disorders.  He argues for a need to redefine mental disorders as brain disorders.  Advances in brain research tools are likely to provide improvements in early diagnosis and ........ Read more »

  • May 1, 2013
  • 11:16 AM

Getting Science Right: Blacklist For Fake Journals

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

He saw respected journals getting hijacked, bogus articles being published quasi-professionally and so-called open access websites covered with “BUY NOW” buttons. So librarian Jeffrey Beall decided to do something about it. He created a black list of all the journals (343!) he thinks are questionable and put it on his website In this interview he explains why.... Read more »

  • April 27, 2013
  • 07:51 AM

A Year of Blogging

by gunnardw in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Exactly one year ago, The Beast, the Bard and the Bot were born. Time for some reflection. But first, a bit of numerical material (current at the time of writing). Some Numbers Posts: 96, including this one. Total views: 19672 Max views on single day: 631 Top 5 countries providing visitors: United States (8264) United [...]... Read more »

  • April 25, 2013
  • 12:43 AM

A room with a view: what do dogs want?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Putting the woof in tweet! (source)Hi Julie,Wow! Thanks for sharing the amazing fun tweet-week we had posting for @realscientists on Twitter. It was great to engage with so many people about so many areas of dog (and other animal!) behaviour and research. And poo. So many questions about dog poo!  Some things can be relied upon in life; it’s good to know people are always curious about dog poo.If you want to revisit any of those posts or links we exchanged as part of the Real Scienti........ Read more »

  • April 23, 2013
  • 10:31 AM

Low Back Pain – What Healthcare Professionals THINK They Do and ACTUALLY Do

by Kim Kristiansen in Picture of Pain

Does good will and intentions equals what primary care physicians actually do when helping patients with non-specific pain complains like low back pain?

No, according to a new study.
... Read more »

Kim Kristiansen, M.D:. (2014) Low Back Pain – What Healthcare Professionals THINK They Do and ACTUALLY Do. Picture of Pain. info:/

  • April 22, 2013
  • 03:26 PM

The Leiden University Ranking

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

The new Leiden Ranking (LR) has just been published, and I would like to talk a bit about its indicators, what it represents and equally important – what it doesn’t represent. The LR is a purely bibliometrical ranking, based on data from Thomson-Reuters’ Web of Science database (there’s another bibliometrical ranking, Scimago, but it’s based [...]

... Read more »

Ludo Waltman, Clara Calero-Medina, Joost Kosten, Ed C. M. Noyons, Robert J. W. Tijssen, Nees Jan van Eck, Thed N. van Leeuwen, Anthony F. J. van Raan, Martijn S. Visser, & Paul Wouters. (2012) The Leiden Ranking 2011/2012: Data collection, indicators, and interpretation. ArXiv. arXiv: 1202.3941v1

  • April 21, 2013
  • 11:23 AM

Was Steven Pinker right after all? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week Science published a study (a follow-up of Salimpoor et al., 2011) in which Canadian researchers showed that music can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving, similar to tangible rewards that involve the striatal dopaminergic system. ... Read more »

  • April 21, 2013
  • 08:00 AM

Interdisciplinitis: Do entropic forces cause adaptive behavior?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Physicists are notorious for infecting other disciplines. Sometimes this can be extremely rewarding, but most of the time it is silly. I’ve already featured an example where one of the founders of algorithmic information theory completely missed the point of Darwinism; researchers working in statistical mechanics and information theory seem particularly susceptible to interdisciplinitis. The [...]... Read more »

Wissner-Gross, A.D., & Freer, C.E. (2013) Causal Entropic Forces. Phys. Rev. Lett., 110(16), 168702. info:/10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.168702

  • April 21, 2013
  • 04:31 AM

Heavy Stubble Is Most Attractive, Research Finds

by Andrew Porterfield in United Academics

It’s not quite clear why human males continue to have facial hair. There are other ways to keep warm, and we’ve lost our hair over most of the rest of our bodies (or they’re at best residual). But facial hair serves another important purpose—determining male attractiveness to females... Read more »

  • April 20, 2013
  • 04:00 AM

Will the droids take academic jobs?

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As a researcher, one of the biggest challenges I face is keeping up with the scientific literature. This is further exasperated by working in several disciplines, and without a more senior advisor or formal training in most of them. The Evolutionary Game Theory Reading Group, and later this blog, started as an attempt to help [...]... Read more »

  • April 17, 2013
  • 05:34 PM

Van Gogh was afraid of the moon and other lies

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

I remember the first time I realized just how easily false information gets spread about.A terrifying starry nightI was in French class in high school. Our homework had been to find out 1 interesting fact about Van Gogh and tell it to the class. When it was my turn, I said some boring small fact that I no longer remember. My friend sitting behind me, however, had a fascinating fact: When Van Gogh was a young child, he was actually afraid of the moon.The teacher and the class were all quite impre........ Read more »

Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U., Seifert, C., Schwarz, N., & Cook, J. (2012) Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(3), 106-131. DOI: 10.1177/1529100612451018  

  • April 12, 2013
  • 10:44 PM

The Artful Badger

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

Badgers (Meles meles) In Ireland...... Read more »

O'Meara, D., Edwards, C., Sleeman, D., Cross, T., Statham, M., Mcdowell, J., Dillane, E., Coughlan, J., O'Leary, D., O'Reilly, C.... (2012) Genetic structure of Eurasian badgers Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae) and the colonization history of Ireland. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106(4), 893-909. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01927.x  

Zachos, F., Apollonio, M., Bärmann, E., Festa-Bianchet, M., Göhlich, U., Habel, J., Haring, E., Kruckenhauser, L., Lovari, S., McDevitt, A.... (2013) Species inflation and taxonomic artefacts—A critical comment on recent trends in mammalian classification. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 78(1), 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.07.083  

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