Friday, May 16, 2008

N - Nature rallies for evolution

Between now and the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth on 12 February 2009 science academies and societies should summarise evidence for evolution on their websites and take every opportunity to promote it, a Nature editorial says. Resources to help include the US National Academy of Sciences’ updated booklet Science, Evolution, and Creationism ( And the palaeontologist Kevin Padian destroys the false assertions by creationists that there are critical gaps in the fossil record in a court testimony ( Darwin’s complete works are online at Creationism is strong in the United States and rising in Europe ( (Nature 2008;451:108; doi: 10.1038/451108b)

N - Medline has 121 000 duplicate articles

Researchers estimate that the Medline database contains 121 000 duplicate articles. They analysed more than 62 213 abstracts indexed in Medline and found that 421 (1.4%) were duplicates with the same authors. They extrapolated this to the entire database, they write in a commentary in Nature (2008;451:397-9; doi: 10.1038/451397a). The detection of duplicate papers has not kept up with the rapid growth in scientific publication, they say, and they call on journals to use software to identify duplication and the community to expose unethical authors. Duplicate publication was discussed on a Nature blog (See Bioinformatics 2008;24:243-9; doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btm574.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

B - Weighted impact factor proposal

Habibzadeh F, Yadollahie M. Journal weighted impact factor: A proposal. Journal of Informetrics 2008;2(2):164-72

The authors consider the sole impact factor not adequate enough to measure journal quality. Therefore they propose to improve the calculation of the journal impact factor by taking into account both the number of citations and a factor concerning the prestige of the citing journals relative to the cited journal.
This "weighted impact factor" could be a better scientometrics measure of journal quality.

Monday, May 05, 2008

B - Mind the hack

Cartwright, Jon. 2008 Mind the hack. Physics World 21(5)14-15

Two of the worl's biggest science journals (Nature and Science) control their news coverage by giving sneak previews of research under embargo while limiting how scientists can interact with journalists. The author looks at whether the system benefits, or hinders, science communication. This article is also cited in the Editorial, in the same issue, entitled "Embargoed Science: Embargoes may have their faults but they mask wider problems in science communication".

Posted for John Glen