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Posts Tagged "Research reporting"

Absolutely Maybe

Teenage Mutant Ninja Journal! Celebrating an Open Access Birthday

Cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Journal

“The world of medical journals needs a fresh infusion of idealism.” And with those words from PLOS founders, Mike Eisen, Pat Brown, and Harold Varmus, the first issue of PLOS Medicine launched 10 years ago today. Its “mutant” superpower was being open access. Then – as now – it was bold, idealistic, and an active [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Science in the Abstract: Don’t Judge a Study by its Cover

Cartoon in a lab - You said to do an abstract

A competition for attention lies at the heart of the scientific enterprise. And the abstract is its “blurb.” A scientific abstract is a summary used to attract readers to an article and to get a piece of research accepted for a conference presentation. Other than the title, it’s the part of an article that is [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Open access 2013: A year of gaining momentum

Cartoon of old school closed science library

Was this the year open access for science reached critical mass? One hypothesis suggests that a transformative group needs to reach one-third to be prominent and persisting. Rogers’ theory on the diffusion of innovations that will eventually reach saturation level says the first 2.5% are innovators. By the time you get to 16% the phase [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Biomedical research: Believe it or not?

Report card cartoon

It’s not often that a research article barrels down the straight toward its one millionth view. Thousands of biomedical papers are published every day. Despite often ardent pleas by their authors to “Look at me! Look at me!,” most of those articles won’t get much notice. Attracting attention has never been a problem for this paper though. [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Statistical significance and its part in science downfalls

Cartoon of statistician on ward rounds

Imagine if there were a simple single statistical measure everybody could use with any set of data and it would reliably separate true from false. Oh, the things we would know! Unrealistic to expect such wizardry though, huh? Yet, statistical significance is commonly treated as though it is that magic wand. Take a null hypothesis [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Science buzz and criticism get a powerful boost

Cartoon about commenting at PubMed

The scientific literature is full of it. By which I mean, of course, spin, error and less-than-reliable results. All that noise makes it tough to keep up with what’s important to read and buzz about. But the biomedical research community has a new way to share opinions on what may or may not be worth [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Opening a can of data-sharing worms

Cartoon of missing study data

Are researchers’ dogs eating a lot of their homework? Well, yesterday afternoon at the quadrennial medical editors’ scientific meeting in Chicago, we found out they kinda are. Timothy Vines and colleagues did a study on how the reproducibility of data sets in zoology changes through time. They gathered 516 papers published between 1991 and 2011. [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Academic spin: How to dodge & weave past research exaggeration

Cartoon at a medical journal happy hour

Yesterday’s uplifting emphasis at the quadrennial medical editors’ scientific meeting was bad research (“Bad research rising”). This morning’s motivational agenda focused on measuring some of the main techniques for jazzing up research results. It started with making research look more independent by not declaring authors’ commercial conflicts of interest (COI). Kristine Rasmussen told us that [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Bad research rising: The 7th Olympiad of research on biomedical publication

Cartoon on research team gold medal

What do the editors of medical journals talk about when they get together? So far today, it’s been a fascinating but rather grim mixture of research that can’t be replicated, dodgy authorship, plagiarism and duplicate papers, and the general rottenness of citations as a measure of scientific impact. We’re getting to listen and join in [...]

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