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  • November 18, 2010
  • 03:50 PM

Discussion Has Little Effect on NIH R01 Funding Outcome

by Michael Long in Phased

Discussion of R01 grant proposals submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), after they have received an initial funding priority score, generally has little effect on ultimate funding probability.... Read more »

  • October 31, 2010
  • 08:03 PM

How JAMA managed to avoid becoming an advertising platform for the pharmaceutical companies

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

(Note: this is a follow up to my previous post).In July 2005, JAMA began to require industry-supported studies to undergo independent statistical analysis. To see if this requirement affected the number of industry sponsored studies publicized in JAMA, Wager et al. (October 2010) looked for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in JAMA from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2008. They classified the trials according to their funding sources: Industry funded (IF), joint industry plus nonindustry........ Read more »

Wager, E., Mhaskar, R., & Warburton, S. (2010) JAMA Published Fewer Industry-Funded Studies after Introducing a Requirement for Independent Statistical Analysis. PLoS ONE, 5(10). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013591

  • October 30, 2010
  • 10:16 PM

How the NEJM became an advertising platform for the pharmaceutical industry

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

These days it's common practice for authors, peer-reviewers and even editors of medical journals to declare conflicts of interest, if those exist. However, the medical journal normally don't issue them same declarations. Journals publish regularly industry-supported papers reporting large clinical trials. Reprints of those trials are regularly bought by pharmaceutics companies and distributed to clinicians. The result is an increase of the journals' income as well as an increase in their presti........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 05:48 PM

Publishing Open Access is Good for Your Academic Reputation

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In the academic world, reputation is the currency of choice. "Reputation," of course, is a very loose term and can include anything from publishing in high-impact journals to being a good advisor to your students. How does OA contribute to your academic reputation?The first significant scholarly repository,, was started by high-energy physicists, but quickly expanded to include other scientific disciplines. Today, archiving in is practically a necessity for physicists. Archiv........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2010
  • 10:58 AM

Preschool Policy: A New Early-Education Agenda

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Two children enroll in publicly funded preschools that are within a mile of each other, but they may have vastly different experiences at the two schools. One child may attend ... Read more »

Pianta,R.C., Barnett, W.S., Burchinal, M., & Thornburg, K.R. (2009) The Effects of Preschool Education: What We Know, How Public Policy Is or Is Not Aligned With the Evidence Base, and What We Need to Know. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. info:/10.1177/1529100610381908

  • October 22, 2010
  • 07:22 PM

Industry vs the Leading Medical Journal: Rejection or Fear?

by Michael Long in Phased

Elizabeth Wager (Sideview, United Kingdom) and coworkers show that after requiring independent statistical analysis in academia prior to publication, the Journal of the American Medical Association has been publishing fewer studies financed by industry.... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 07:33 AM

The Matthew Effect Strikes Again

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

The new Bornmann, de Moya Anegón and Leydesdorff paper, published in PLOS ONE, shows that highly cited papers tend to reference other highly cited papers more often. That is true especially for the life science and health science disciplines. Ms. Corbyn from Nature News saved me the need to summarize the paper by writing an excellent article about it. Based on their findings, Bornmann et al. suggested to concentrate funding on already highly-cited researchers and research groups ("A concentrati........ Read more »

Bornmann, L., de Moya Anegón, F., & Leydesdorff, L. (2010) Do Scientific Advancements Lean on the Shoulders of Giants? A Bibliometric Investigation of the Ortega Hypothesis. PLOS ONE, 5(10). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0013327

  • August 22, 2010
  • 06:04 AM

The problem with drug trials

by Michael Slezak in Good, Bad, and Bogus

Should randomised trials be the only type of evidence accepted for rolling out drug treatments?
If so, then two researchers wrote in the Lancet this week that that we face a problem:
The evidence we have might not be the evidence we need, and the evidence that we need may never become available.
They are writing in response [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

The Future of Scientific Research in the United States

by Michael Long in Phased

Is science "unimportant" to your life? Really? Eugene Kolker (Seattle Children's Research Institute, United States) and coworkers have shown that science and engineering research, critical for the advancement of human civilization, has recently been dominated by the United States, but faces increasing competition from the European Union and China. This news feature was written on August 17, 2010.... Read more »

Hather, G. J., Haynes, W., Higdon, R., Kolker, N., Stewart, E. A., Arzberger, P., Chain, P., Field, D., Franza, B. R., Lin, B.... (2010) The United States of America and Scientific Research. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012203  

  • August 6, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

The Pickle Menace

by Paul Statt in Paul Statt Communications

The superannuated antics of old-time public health reformers are good for a laugh. But in the folk memory of many Americans, the Keystone Healthkare Kops are still at work, trying to “tell us what’s good for us.”... Read more »

  • July 26, 2010
  • 06:20 AM

Why the first test tube baby nearly didn’t happen

by Wellcome Trust in Wellcome Trust Blog

As our Wellcome Film and Image of the Month posts yesterday indicated, it was 32 years ago that the birth of the world’s first ‘test tube baby’ using the new technique of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) occurred. It revolutionised reproductive science but this major development was privately – rather than publicly – funded as the [...]... Read more »

  • July 17, 2010
  • 11:30 PM

Collaboration 2.0

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

Information technology is letting people around the world come together in unprecedented ways. Wikis, blogs and microblogs like twitter, crowdsourcing and crowd-task-solving sites continue to flatten the planet. Scientific innovation used to be a private endeavor, with very narrowly specialized scientists. The Internet changed some of this but there is plenty of room for improvement.... Read more »

Johnston SC, & Hauser SL. (2009) Crowdsourcing scientific innovation. Annals of neurology, 65(6). PMID: 19562693  

Wright MT, Roche B, von Unger H, Block M, & Gardner B. (2010) A call for an international collaboration on participatory research for health. Health promotion international, 25(1), 115-22. PMID: 19854843  

Marsh A, Carroll D, & Foggie R. (2010) Using collective intelligence to fine-tune public health policy. Studies in health technology and informatics, 13-8. PMID: 20543334  

Huss JW 3rd, Lindenbaum P, Martone M, Roberts D, Pizarro A, Valafar F, Hogenesch JB, & Su AI. (2010) The Gene Wiki: community intelligence applied to human gene annotation. Nucleic acids research, 38(Database issue). PMID: 19755503  

  • July 5, 2010
  • 02:09 AM

Perennial grains gain credibility

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

It has been almost 10 days since the publication of Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains in the Policy Forum of the journal Science. Not long in the 10,000 year history of agriculture, agreed, but long enough to have had a bit more impact, which it deserves for two reasons. First, there’s [...]... Read more »

Glover, J., Reganold, J., Bell, L., Borevitz, J., Brummer, E., Buckler, E., Cox, C., Cox, T., Crews, T., Culman, S.... (2010) Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains. Science, 328(5986), 1638-1639. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188761  

  • April 26, 2010
  • 04:35 AM

In which potatoes in France are like high-ranking journals in science

by Björn Brembs in

There are about 1.5 million scholarly articles published in all the sciences, spread over about 24,000 journals. Even if there were a single database or entry-point providing access to all the literature, nobody would be able to keep up with everything that is being published in their field of work any more. Desperately looking for some clue as to which publications to select for in-depth reading and which to ignore, scientists began to rank the journals according to how often the articles in th........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2010
  • 03:53 PM

Peer review: the neverending story

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

It seems like there is no institution that is more criticized in science than that of the peer-review system — an no one that is less mutable. While published paper evaluation metrics are being  revised (such as the recently introduced PLoS article level metrics, or the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council abandonment of [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 03:30 PM

Faith-Based Birding 201: Fraudulent Photos and Federal Funding

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: faith-based birding, mass hysteria, endangered species, extinct species, conservation, politics, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, IBWO, ornithology, birds,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has posted a reward of $50,000
to be given to anyone who can provide "video, photographic, or
other compelling information and lead a project scientist to a
living wild Ivory-billed Woodpecker."

Mass hysteria is that........ Read more »

Dalton, R. (2010) Still looking for that woodpecker. Nature, 463(7282), 718-719. DOI: 10.1038/463718a  

  • December 8, 2009
  • 12:30 PM

Genome research: good idea, bad idea

by Zen Faulkes in Marmorkrebs

Good idea: A paper in the Journal of Heredity proposes sequencing 10,000 genomes...

Bad idea: ...of vertebrates.

A news article in Science characterized this in the title as, “No genome left behind.” But of course, it leaves a tremendous number of genomes behind, namely, every single invertebrate. What are the current estimates for number of vertebrate species? Maybe 60,000 or so? The crustaceans alone probably have about the same number of species. The number of vertebrate species is not ........ Read more »

  • November 16, 2009
  • 11:50 PM

Prevalence in Place of Plausibility: NCCAM Call for Comments

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

NCCAM has funded, to the tune of half a million dollars, of study of magnets and carpal tunnel syndrome.... Read more »

Colbert, A., Wahbeh, H., Harling, N., Connelly, E., Schiffke, H., Forsten, C., Gregory, W., Markov, M., Souder, J., Elmer, P.... (2007) Static Magnetic Field Therapy: A Critical Review of Treatment Parameters. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6(2), 133-139. DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nem131  

  • November 2, 2009
  • 06:05 PM

A layman’s experience of CJD research

by Brian Appleby in CJD Blogger

I happened across a nice little editorial that was published last year in the British Medical Journal that I am saddened to have not seen sooner.  It is a piece written by a father of a 25-year-old who died of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).  In this short piece, he describes his experience of being involved in several advisory committees on the treatment of human prion diseases as a layperson.  I would like to highlight a few of his comments. First, he was surprised to........ Read more »

  • October 21, 2009
  • 03:39 AM

Conflicts of Interest in Medical Journal Publishing

by Dr Shock in Dr Shock MD PhD

Publish or Perish sums up the urgency for scientists to publish in top journals. Scientists work in competitive environments in which publishing is essential to their careers, reputation and research funding. Journal editors and peer reviewers are the ones to judge the manuscripts for quality and safeguard the interests of the readership of the journal.
The [...]

Related posts:Three Factors to Evaluate the Quality of Medical Websites Medical Content (Adherence, Completeness, References, Upda........ Read more »

Drazen, J., Van Der Weyden, M., Sahni, P., Rosenberg, J., Marusic, A., Laine, C., Kotzin, S., Horton, R., Hebert, P., Haug, C.... (2009) Uniform Format for Disclosure of Competing Interests in ICMJE Journals. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/nejme0909052  

Jefferson, T. (2002) Effects of Editorial Peer Review: A Systematic Review. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 287(21), 2784-2786. DOI: 10.1001/jama.287.21.2784  

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