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  • February 8, 2014
  • 01:06 PM

The Impact of TED Talks

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

With over a billion views, TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks are a huge business. There are two main TED conferences a year – the TED conference and the TEDGlobal, and a large number...

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  • September 10, 2013
  • 05:39 AM

The cost of the rejection-resubmission cycle

by Björn Brembs in

Rejection is one of the unpleasant but inevitable components of life. There are positive components to rejection: they build character, they force you to deal with negativity and sometimes they force you to change your life to avoid future rejections. […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

  • January 1, 2013
  • 06:28 AM

What’s wrong with citation analysis?

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

What’s wrong with citation analysis? Other than your papers not being cited enough, what’s wrong with measuring scientific influence based on citation count? Citation analysis-based decisions concerning grants, promotions, etc. have become popular because, among other things, they’re considered “unbiased.” After all, such analysis gives numbers even non-professionals can understand, helping them make the best [...]

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MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (1996) Problems of citation analysis. Scientometrics, 36(3), 435-444. DOI: 10.1007/BF02129604  

MacRoberts, M., & MacRoberts, B. (2010) Problems of citation analysis: A study of uncited and seldom-cited influences. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(1), 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21228  

Priem, J., Taraborelli, D., Groth, P., & Neylon, C. (2010) altmetrics: a manifesto. info:/

  • November 28, 2012
  • 04:24 AM

Digital Bibliography

by Anne Welsh in Library Marginalia

'Early Modern Oxford Bindings in Twenty-first Century Markup' (Library Review) is the first of several articles on Digital Bibliography (the application of Digital Humanities research methods in the older field of Bibliography). As well as providing a description of a pilot project to TEI encode the Bodleian Library's 17th century Binders Book, it exemplifies the kind of innovative research that can be achieved by library staff working towards a qualification.... Read more »

  • October 27, 2012
  • 12:32 PM

Why Publishing in the NEJM is not the Best Guarantee that Something is True: a Response to Katan

by Laika Spoetnik in Laika's Medliblog

Katan also states that “publishing in the NEJM is the best guarantee something is true”.

I think the latter statement is wrong for a number of reasons.*

First, most published findings are false [6]. Thus journals can never “guarantee” that published research is true.
Factors that make it less likely that research findings are true include a small effect size, a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships, selective outcome reporting, the ........ Read more »

de Ruyter JC, Olthof MR, Seidell JC, & Katan MB. (2012) A trial of sugar-free or sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight in children. The New England journal of medicine, 367(15), 1397-406. PMID: 22998340  

Fang, F., & Casadevall, A. (2011) Retracted Science and the Retraction Index. Infection and Immunity, 79(10), 3855-3859. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.05661-11  

  • September 21, 2012
  • 04:11 PM

On Authorship, Part I

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Most articles today are results of teamwork, whether it’s only two authors working together or thousands, (think CERN). As science keeps getting bigger, authorship no longer equals actual writing, but one way or another of contribution to team effort.  Authorship of massive scale, or “Hyperauthorship” (Cronin, 2001) is very common in high-energy physics and certain [...]

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  • July 28, 2012
  • 10:56 PM

Self-citing bloggers: my research is the coolest thing ever (let me tell you all about it!)

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Every enthusiastic scientist knows that once you reach a certain level of specialization, there are very few people in your immediate surroundings that actually understand what you say. Eyes of family and friends get a bit glassy when you tell them about the SIR2 homologs, and nobody wants to look at your C. elegans’ baby [...]

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Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2012) Self- Citation of Bloggers in the Science Blogosphere. To be presented at COSCI12, Dusseldorf, August 1-5. info:/

  • July 24, 2012
  • 05:27 PM

On Self-Citation

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Self-citing is often frowned upon, being considered (and sometimes is) vanity, egotism or an attempt in self-advertising. However, everyone self-cite because sooner or later, everyone builds upon previous findings “Given the cumulative nature of the production of new knowledge, self-citations constitute a natural part of the communication process.” (Costas et al., 2010). The argument whether [...]

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Aksnes, D. W. (2003) A macro study of self-citation. Scientometrics, 56(2), 235-246. info:/

Fowler, J. H., & Aksnes, D. W. (2007) Does self-citation pay? . Scientometrics, 72(3), 427-437. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-007-1777-2  

  • June 24, 2012
  • 08:57 PM

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor – Part Two

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Despite its many faults (see part I), the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is considered an influential index to a journal’s quality, and publishing in high-impact journals is essential to a researcher’s academic career. Reminder: to calculate, for example, the 2010 JIF for a journal - JIF= (2010 citations to 2009+2008 articles)/(no. of “citable” articles published in [...]

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  • June 1, 2012
  • 09:00 AM

An Open Letter to the Royal Society: Please employ a wikipedian in residence

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Fellows of the Wiki Society? To improve public engagement with Science and Scientists, the Royal Society should employ a wikipedian in residence. Here’s why:... Read more »

Daub, J., Gardner, P., Tate, J., Ramskold, D., Manske, M., Scott, W., Weinberg, Z., Griffiths-Jones, S., & Bateman, A. (2008) The RNA WikiProject: Community annotation of RNA families. RNA, 14(12), 2462-2464. DOI: 10.1261/rna.1200508  

Wodak, S., Mietchen, D., Collings, A., Russell, R., & Bourne, P. (2012) Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446  

  • May 17, 2012
  • 09:35 PM

The Scatter of Medical Research and What to do About it.

by Laika Spoetnik in Laika's Medliblog

Paul Glasziou, GP and professor in Evidence Based Medicine, co-authored a new article in the BMJ [1]. Similar to another paper [2] I discussed before [3] this paper deals with the difficulty for clinicians of staying up-to-date with the literature. But where the previous paper [2,3] highlighted the mere increase in number of research articles over time, the current paper looks at the scatter of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews (SR’s) accross different journals cited........ Read more »

Hoffmann, Tammy, Erueti, Chrissy, Thorning,Sarah, & Glasziou, Paul. (2012) The scatter of research: cross sectional comparison of randomised trials and systematic reviews across specialties. BMJ. info:/10.1136/bmj.e3223

  • May 12, 2012
  • 09:56 AM

Can Guidelines Harm Patients?

by Laika Spoetnik in Laika's Medliblog

Recently I saw an intriguing “personal view” in the BMJ written by Grant Hutchison entitled: “Can Guidelines Harm Patients Too?” Hutchison is a consultant anesthetist with -as he calls it- chronic guideline fatigue syndrome. Hutchison underwent an acute exacerbation of his “condition” with the arrival of another set of guidelines in his email inbox. Hutchison:

On reviewing the level of evidence provided for the various recommendations being offered, I was s........ Read more »

Hutchison, G. (2012) Guidelines can harm patients too. BMJ, 344(apr18 1). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e2685  

Tricoci P, Allen JM, Kramer JM, Califf RM, & Smith SC Jr. (2009) Scientific evidence underlying the ACC/AHA clinical practice guidelines. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 301(8), 831-41. PMID: 19244190  

Menéndez R, Reyes S, Martínez R, de la Cuadra P, Manuel Vallés J, & Vallterra J. (2007) Economic evaluation of adherence to treatment guidelines in nonintensive care pneumonia. The European respiratory journal : official journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology, 29(4), 751-6. PMID: 17005580  

Sackett, D., Rosenberg, W., Gray, J., Haynes, R., & Richardson, W. (1996) Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ, 312(7023), 71-72. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71  

  • May 7, 2012
  • 12:31 PM

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor – Part One

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

The journals in which scientists publish can make or break their career.  A scientist must publish in “leading” journals, with high Journal Impact Factor (JIF), (you can see it presented proudly on high-impact journals’ websites). The JIF has gone popular partly because it gives an “objective” measure of a journal’s quality and partly because it’s [...]

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Bar-Ilan, J. (2012) Journal report card. Scientometrics. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-012-0671-3  

  • April 24, 2012
  • 08:42 PM

The post-journal era

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Most of the scholarly publication today goes more or less like this: a scientist writes a manuscript about research funded by her university and/or the grant fairy (usually a government agency) then submits it to a commercial peer-review journal. An editor (either working for free or for "honorarium") reads her manuscript and sends it to appropriate peer reviewers (payment? what payment?). Then, if her manuscript is accepted, her institute's library gets the privilege of buying access to the pub........ Read more »

Priem, J., & Hemminger, B. (2012) Decoupling the scholarly journal. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00019  

Smith, J. W. T. (2003) The deconstructed journal revisited: a review of developments. ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing-ElPub03: From information to knowledge. (Minho, Portugal). info:/

  • December 26, 2011
  • 06:26 PM

Impact factor predicts unreliability of research papers

by Björn Brembs in

Last week, we've already seen that the most prominent way of ranking scholarly journals, Thomson Reuters' Impact Factor (IF), isn't a very good measure for predicting how many citations your scientific paper will attract. Instead, there is evidence that IF is much better at predicting the chance that your paper might get retracted.Now, I've just been sent a paper (subscription required) which provides evidence that the reliability of some research papers correlates negatively with journal IF. In........ Read more »

Munafò, M., Stothart, G., & Flint, J. (2009) Bias in genetic association studies and impact factor. Molecular Psychiatry, 14(2), 119-120. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2008.77  

  • December 14, 2011
  • 06:37 AM

Science without journals: More evidence that journal rank is a poor predictor of citations

by Björn Brembs in

In response to my last post, Dwight Kravitz from the NIH alerted me to his paper on a similar topic: Toward a new model of scientific publishing: discussion and a proposal. His paper contains some very interesting data, such as this analysis of citations and journal rank:The left-skewed form of the data is of course nothing new, but their analysis of how predictive journal rank is for actual citations opens a new aspect, I think:Our evaluation reveals that far from a perfect filter, the distr........ Read more »

  • October 18, 2011
  • 11:45 AM

Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries [2] More Uptodate with Dynamed.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

This post is part of a short series about Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries or POCs. In this series I will review 3 recent papers that objectively compare a selection of POCs. In the previous post I reviewed a paper from Rita Banzi and colleagues from the Italian Cochrane Centre [1]. They analyzed 18 POCs with respect to their [...]... Read more »

  • October 13, 2011
  • 01:19 PM

Evidence Based Point of Care Summaries [1] No “Best” Among the Bests?

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

For many of today’s busy practicing clinicians, keeping up with the enormous and ever growing amount of medical information, poses substantial challenges [6]. Its impractical to do a PubMed search to answer each clinical question and then synthesize and appraise the evidence. Simply, because busy health care providers have limited time and many questions per day. As [...]... Read more »

Banzi, R., Liberati, A., Moschetti, I., Tagliabue, L., & Moja, L. (2010) A Review of Online Evidence-based Practice Point-of-Care Information Summary Providers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12(3). DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1288  

Goodyear-Smith F, Kerse N, Warren J, & Arroll B. (2008) Evaluation of e-textbooks. DynaMed, MD Consult and UpToDate. Australian family physician, 37(10), 878-82. PMID: 19002313  

  • September 8, 2011
  • 11:28 AM

FUTON Bias. Or Why Limiting to Free Full Text Might not Always be a Good Idea.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

A few weeks ago I was discussing possible relevant papers for the Twitter Journal Club  (Hashtag #TwitJC), a succesful initiative on Twitter, that I have discussed previously here and here [7,8]. I proposed an article, that appeared behind a paywall. Annemarie Cunningham (@amcunningham) immediately ran the idea down, stressing that open-access (OA) is a pre-requisite for the TwitJC [...]... Read more »

Björk, B., Welling, P., Laakso, M., Majlender, P., Hedlund, T., & Guðnason, G. (2010) Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009. PLoS ONE, 5(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011273  

Matsubayashi, M., Kurata, K., Sakai, Y., Morioka, T., Kato, S., Mine, S., & Ueda, S. (2009) Status of open access in the biomedical field in 2005. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 97(1), 4-11. DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.97.1.002  

WENTZ, R. (2002) Visibility of research: FUTON bias. The Lancet, 360(9341), 1256-1256. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)11264-5  

Murali NS, Murali HR, Auethavekiat P, Erwin PJ, Mandrekar JN, Manek NJ, & Ghosh AK. (2004) Impact of FUTON and NAA bias on visibility of research. Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic, 79(8), 1001-6. PMID: 15301326  

Carney PA, Poor DA, Schifferdecker KE, Gephart DS, Brooks WB, & Nierenberg DW. (2004) Computer use among community-based primary care physician preceptors. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 79(6), 580-90. PMID: 15165980  

  • August 21, 2011
  • 04:21 PM

PubMed’s Higher Sensitivity than OVID MEDLINE… & other Published Clichés.

by Laika in Laika's Medliblog

Is it just me, or are biomedical papers about searching for a systematic review often of low quality or just too damn obvious? I’m seldom excited about papers dealing with optimal search strategies or peculiarities of PubMed, even though it is my specialty. It is my impression, that many of the lower quality and/or less relevant papers are [...]... Read more »

Leclercq E, Kramer B, & Schats W. (2011) Limitations of the MEDLINE database in constructing meta-analyses. Annals of internal medicine, 154(5), 371. PMID: 21357916  

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