Wednesday, December 23, 2009

B - "Down's syndrome" or "Down syndrome"?

Jana N, Barik S, Arora N. Current use of medical eponyms--a need for global uniformity in scientific publications. BMC Med Res Methodol 2009;9:18.

Eponym indicates the name of a person after whom something, such as a discovery, is named. Eponyms are widely used in medicine, i.e. Alzheimer disease, Williams syndrome or Australia antigen. Nonetheless there are no standardized guidelines to assure uniformity. Is it more exact to write Down syndrome, Down’s syndrome or to identify the disease with its descriptive name (trisomy 21)? Can we use indifferently “Susac syndrome” and “retinocochleocerebral vasculopathy”. An uniform use of nomenclature of a clinical disorder not only important for stylistic reasons, but even essential for its correct classification in biomedical databases. Taking “Down syndrome” and “Down's syndrome” as an example, the article assess the current use of medical eponyms, underlines the importance of uniformity and suggests the use of the nonpossessive form versus the possessive one.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

B - Personal knowledge management The role of Web 2.0 tools for managing knowledge at individual and organisational levels

Razmerita L., Kirchner K., Sudzina F. Personal knowledge management The role of Web 2.0 tools for managing knowledge at individual and organisational levels.
Online Information Review 2009;33(6):1021-1039.
Knowledge Management differs from Personal Knowledge Management. PKM is the individual knowledge that socialize itself through social interaction or better still through the Social Web or otherwise called Web.2. Web.2. represents a step ahead from the previous web users’ approach, that was static and offered no chance of interaction. Social networking (MySpace and Facebook, Blogs, microblogs like Twitter, instant messaging like Sype etc.) and tools like Wikypedia, all enhance personal and collective knowledge and communication, where knowledge as the author suggests, is not crystallized by those tools rather is exchanged and also creates new knowledge. The study concentrate on PKM as a domain of knowledge management compared with Social Web.2 as a personal/individual dimension. A number of articles (first from the Web Science then the ACM digital library and finally from Google Scholars) were chosen for the relevant topic (PKM) between January and March 2008 and revised in March 2009. Managing personal knowledge is essential for highly skilled workers in order to complete a task or to compete within an organization and the author makes reference to different definitions of knowledge and citations from the chosen articles that address potential improvement on the subject. In addition, figures, tables and classifications are provided to better show the relevance of such phenomenon - that is “forcing companies to expand their knowledge management concepts and agendas”. An example of such influence is IBM where employees with general and technical expertise are welcomed to share knowledge between colleagues at intranet level as well as contribute to Wikis. The final part of the paper illustrates the pro and cons, address the possible improvement (KM 3.0 and PKM 3. , semantic blogs, semantic wikis, semantic social Networks, semantic-enhanced user support) of this revolutionary “set of tools and systems”.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A slippery slope

Editorial. A slippery slope. Nature 2009; 462(7274):699

After what appears to be an "arbitrary and ad hoc" decision to cancel a funding committee-approved, animal-use committee-approved study using baboons to test an anthrax vaccine by Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis, the influence of the university's wealthy donors on research decisions is questioned.

A question of integrity

Editorial. A question of integrity. Nature 2009; 462(7274):699

This editorial highlights allegations of plagiarism against the authors of research papers in which members of the Iranian government were co-authors. The possible causes of this are speculated upon, one being the strong cultural expectation that officials have a strong academic background. Importantly it is noted that, "The actions of a few must not be allowed to soil the reputation of the majority of Iran’s scientists."

Monday, December 07, 2009

B - Systematic Differences in Impact across Publication Tracks at PNAS

Rand DG, Pfeiffer T, Systematic Differences in Impact across Publication Tracks at PNAS. PLoS ONE 2009; 4(12): e8092.


Citation data can be used to evaluate the editorial policies and procedures of scientific journals. This analysis in PNAS explores the consequences of differences in editor and referee selection, and demonstrates that different editorial procedures are associated with different levels of impact, even within the same prominent journal. It raises interesting questions about the most appropriate metrics for judging an editorial policy's success.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

B - Taking Care of Digital Collections and Data

Angevaare I. Taking Care of Digital Collections and Data: ‘Curation’ and Organisational Choices for Research Libraries. Liber Quarterly. 2009(19)1
This article is a useful introduction to digital curation and preservation. It explores the types of digital information research libraries typically deal with and what factors might influence libraries’ decisions to take on the work of data curation themselves,or to leave the responsibility to other organisations. It is interesting for editors who might be unaware of the complexities of the issues at stake.