Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Carlson E. 2006. Scientific publishing 101. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin. 19 (3):4445.
Thanks to enterprising students, undergraduates have several opportunities to share their research in journals created by and for their peers. Students are involved at every step: writing, designing, fundraising, and even delivering.


Hede K. 2006. There's gold in those archives. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin. 19 (2):2327.
Librarians, publishers, and the scientific community are grappling with how libraries will maintain the role of storing published articles and their supplemental data in the digital age.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Vercellesi L, Centemeri C, Miranda FG , Rotta B, Bruno F . 2006. How to provide an alerting service on health topics for medical journalists selecting papers from scientific journals. Health Information & Libraries Journal 23 (3):223-228.

Information disseminated by the media influences health behaviour, health care-utilization and health policies. An observatory on lay press was established to check news and articles dealing with medicine and health. The activities of the observatory aimed to improve quality of scientific and medical news in terms of selection and content.



Glover SW , Webb A , Gleghorn C . 2006. Open access publishing in the biomedical sciences: could funding agencies accelerate the inevitable changes? Health Information and Libraries Journal 23 (3) 197-202

Open access is making a noticeable impact on access to information. In 2005, many major research funders, including the Wellcome Trust, National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the Research Councils UK (RCUK), set out their position in a number of statements. Of particular note was the stipulation that authors receiving grants must deposit their final manuscript in an open access forum within 6–12 months of publication.The paper considers such position statements and the models used by publishers to provide open or delayed access, such as Oxford Open from Oxford University Press, HighWire Press' delayed access policy, BioMed Central, and Public Library of Science (PLoS).


Saturday, August 19, 2006


Dawson J. 2005. Yucca Mountain e-mails indicate data were falsified. Physics Today. 58(5):32

Reports that U.S. Department of Energy lawyers discovered e-mails indicating that some data relating to the long-term environmental safety of this proposed nuclear waste repository site had been falsified.

Posted for John Glen


Peskin, ME. 2005. Publication and the internet: where next? APS News 14(4)8

Presents a model for scientific publishing in which distribution and archiving are undertaken by the authors and only refereeing and possibly indexing undertaken by another agency. Papers would be deposited in subject-based centralized Archives. How this residual refereeing service would be paid for is discussed.

Posted for John Glen


Bryant SL, Gray A. 2006. Demonstrating the positive impact of information support on patient care in primary care: a rapid literature review. Health Information & Libraries Journal 23 (2): 118-125.

The review shows that there is a small body of evidence to demonstrate the positive impact of library and information services on the direct care of patients. There is also a lack of impact studies conducted with non-clinical staff. It is possible, however, to gather evidence of the potential for information services to deliver cost savings.



Mermin ND. 2005. Proper citation of the Matthew effect Physics Today 58(4):17, 87

It points out that the suggested earlier attribution (ibid 58(1):15-16) of the origin of this term (for the tendency to give credit for a scientific advance to the most distinguished of several possible candidates) to Louis & Mary Fieser is incorrect - they used the same Matthew quotation but for a different phenomenon. The original attribution by the author (ibid 57(5):10-11 2004) to Robert Merton (Science 159: 56, 1968) is correct.

Posted for John Glen

Friday, August 18, 2006


Virji A, Yarnall KSH , Krause KM , Pollak KI , Scannell MA , Gradison M, Ostbye T . 2006. Use of email in a family practice setting: opportunities and challenges in patient- and physician-initiated communication. BMC Medicine , 4:18

Emails have the potential to improve communication between physicians and patients. Patients' interest in using email is high, but t he 'digital divide' is still is an ethical concern for this type communication. The results of a survey are reported showing that patients are interested in email communication with the family practice clinic.


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Bonell C, Oakley A, Hargreaves J, Strange V, Rees R, 2006. Assessment of generalisability in trials of health interventions: suggested framework and systematic review. BMJ 333(7563):346-349

Few randomised trials assess the generalisability of their results. Trials should include evaluations of the feasibility, coverage, and acceptability of interventions. Such information is essential to decisions about adopting new interventions.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


APS task force calls for website on ethics education. 2006. APS News. 15(7)1, 3.
The APS Task Force on Ethics Education has advocated the creation andmaintenance of a web site to serve as a resource for ethics education.There are some existing resources: the APS has an official statement on the issue (http://www.aps.org/statements/02_4.cfm) and has also produced "Guidelines for Professional Conduct" (http://www.aps.org/statements/02_2.cfm). The proposed web site should also include case studies running the gamut from publication practices, conflict of interest, data acquisition, mentoring, issues of bias, and health and safety, among others. The example given involves excluding a graduate student from authorship of a paper which develops a theory that accounts for the student's results.

Posted for G. Glen


Kennefick D. 2005. Einstein versus the Physical Review. Physics Today 58(9):43-48
Reports how Einstein objected when the Physical Review sent a paper of his to a referee, withdrew the paper and subsequently published it in another journal with radically altered conclusions - and never again submitted a paper to Physical Review! The reasons for his changes are discussed as are the policies of early journals about acceptance of papers.

Posted for J. Glen


Scott, James F. 2006. Unintennded impact of Author Impact Factor Physics Today 59(9):16
Comments on suggestion by Loc Vu-Quoc that multiple author publications be divided according to the number of authors might have the consequence of deletion of junior collaborators from authorship, also questions whether all authors have to be held responsible for everything in the paper. Reply byVu-Quoc points out that such behaviour would be short-sighted and that ethical gbuidelines such as those of the American Chemical Society clearly state all persons who have made significant scientific contributions to the work would be listed as coauthors.
Posted for John Glen


Carroll Sean 2006 Welcome to the Blogosphere APS News 15(5)8
Describes the rapid development of blogs (magazine-like collections of
articles published on the Internet) which now include many giving
information to scientists and also aimed at giving science news to the
general public. The use of hyperlinks and trackbacks making finding them
relatively easy. See e.g. Carroll's own site at www.cosmicvariance.com.

posted for John Glen


"When buzzwords collide". Using the slogan, and I am not trying to be funny here, "Open Access 2.0", the Public Library of Science (PLoS) has launched a journal to compete directly with Nature and Science, PLoS ONE. The publication fee will be $1250.

It's not clear yet what the "2.0" element of this will be. They talk about commenting and blogging and link to the Topaz Project website, but it says very little, as yet.


Holden C 2006 The undisclosed background of a paper on a depression treatment Science 313:598-9

Science reports failure to declare conflicts of interest by Editor-in-Chief and editorial board members of Neuropsychopharmacology over an article reviewing a device manufactured by a company for which most of the authors acted as consultants.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Glänzel W, Schlemmer B,Schubert A, Thijs B. 2006. Proceedings literature as additional data source for bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics 68(3):457-73

Proceedings of scientific meetings are important sources of scholarly communication and supplement journal literature in basic and applied sciences. In some fields of engineering they seem to be even more important than publishing in periodicals. This study analyses the weight of proceedings literature in all fields of sciences, social sciences and humanities through the ISI Proceedings database; it also explores information about conference location for the analysis of bibliometrically relevant aspects of information flow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Flores G. 2006. Language barriers to health care in the United States.N Engl J Med.20;355(3):229-31.
Many patients who need medical interpreters have no access to them. Language barriers can have deleterious effects. Patients who face such barriers are less likely than others to have a usual source of medical care; they receive preventive services at reduced rates; and they have an increased risk of nonadherence to medication


Loscalzo, Joseph. 2006. The NIH Budget and the Future of Biomedical Research. New England Journal of Medicine. 354(16):1665-1667
Whatever mechanisms are chosen, it seems clear that new methods of support must be developed if biomedical research is to continue to thrive in the United States. The goal of a durable, steady stream of support for research in the life sciences has never been more pressing, since the research derived from that support has never promised greater benefits. The fate of life-sciences research should not be consigned to the political winds of Washington.


Buela-Casal, Gualberto; Perakakis, Pandelis; Taylor, Michael; Checa, Purificacion. 2006. Measuring internationality: Reflections and perspectives on academic journals. Scientometrics. 67(1):45-65

Internationality as a concept is being applied ambiguously, particularly in the world of academic journal publication. Although different criteria are used by scientometrists in order to measure internationality and to supplement its minimal literal meaning, the present study suggests that no single criterion alone is sufficient. Internationality Index, constructed from a combination of suitably weighted criteria, is the only way to unambiguously quantify the degree of internationality.


Lowell L. Hargens and Jerald R. Herting. 2006. Analyzing the association between referees' recommendations and editors' decisions Scientometrics 67 (1): 15-26

The association between referee recommendations and editorial decisions at two scholarly journals are analysed. The method enables researchers to (1) determine the number of latent dimensions needed to account for this association, and (2) estimate scale values for both the referee-recommendation and the editorial-decision categories.


UK Royal Society. 2006. Science and the public interest: Communicating the results of new scientific research to the public The Royal Society: London

The vast majority of scientific papers are of direct interest only to specialists, even if they report research of long-term importance. However, a few journal papers are published every week that have immediate relevance for health and safety, or for public policy. This report has resulted from three years of investigation by the Royal Society into best practice in communicating the results of new scientific research to the public, carried out as party of the Society’s ‘Science in Society’ programme. The study was carried out by a working group drawn from science in academia and industry, scientific publishing and groups representing consumer and patient interests.
Available online as PDF file at: http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/downloaddoc.asp?id=2879

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Collins Jannette. 2006. Professionalism and Physician Interactions With Industry. Journal of the American College of Radiology. 3 (5):325-332

This article presents a broad framework for understanding the professional and legal responsibilities of physicians when interacting with industry. Physicians have unique responsibilities based on the “fiduciary” nature of the patient-physician relationship and specified laws regarding health care. Physicians must protect the best interests of patients, with clinical decisions free of undue influence. Physicians have special obligations related to receiving gifts from industry and ensure that these gifts do not compromise professional judgment, they should generally not accept personal gifts from industry and consider accepting only those that primarily entail a benefit to patients, are not of substantial value, and have no “strings” attached.


Goldberg David M. 2006. Is scientific publishing a criminal activity?Clinical Biochemistry 39(5):473-481

A published scientific paper is the end-result of a complex interaction between authors, referees, editors and publishers. Each brings to the process a different agenda, and a widely disparate adherence to standards of competence and integrity. This subjective analysis attempts to explain why and where the regulatory mechanisms that ought to detect and eliminate the publication or the dissemination by other means of poor, erroneous, or frankly fraudulent scientific finds have broken down, and what can be done to fix them