Wednesday, May 29, 2013

B - The San Francisco Declaration on research assessment

Yandell K. Scientists take aim at impact factor. The Scientist Magazine May 20, 2013

Many organizations involved in scientific publishing have up to now signed a declaration, called the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), that asks the scientific community (scientists, funding bodies, and others) to put less weight on impact factor. It argues that, within journals, most citations are likely to come from relatively few papers and so the aggregate impact factors do not reflect an individual paper's merit. Impact factors also vary by field of research and do not differentiate between review papers and original research.

B - Teaching scientific writing

Heseltine E. Teaching scientific writing to non-native English speakers. Medical Writing 2013;22(1):13-15
(doi: 10.1179/204748012X13560931063591)

The author describes the basic design of a 3-day workshop on scientific writing for non-native English speakers. It is designed to give participants a basic understanding of writing scientific articles for international journals, and does not include English-language teaching. Scientific communication could be taught as a subject in its own, with English-language teaching as a completely separate course.

B - Six red flags for suspect work

Begley CG. Six red flags for suspect work. Nature 2013;497:433-434

According to many researchers the majority of preclinical cancer papers in top-ranking journals could not be reproduced, even by the original investigators. The author presents six questions that every author, editor, reviewer and reader should ask themselves when evaluating a research paper. They are: Were experiments performed blinded? Were basic experiments repeated? Were all the results presented? Were there positive and negative controls? Were reagents validated? and Were statistical tests appropriate?  Each question is here analyzed.