By putting authors in control of publishing at The Winnower we’ve removed arbitrary limits on article format, length, and types of content that can be published. By DOIng so we’ve allowed a diversity of articles to flourish. We highlight some below in hopes of encouraging more ideas to be published.
Measuring the Influence of Commercial Entities in the Twitter backchannels of medical conferences: The #MICEproject
Twitter backchannels are increasingly popular at medical conferences. A variety of user groups, including healthcare providers and third party entities (e.g., pharmaceutical or medical device companies) use these backchannels to communicate with one another. These backchannels are unregulated and can allow third party commercial entities to exert an equal or greater amount of influence than healthcare providers. Third parties can use this influence to promote their products or services instead of sharing unbiased, evidence-based information. In the #MICEproject we quantified the influence that third party commercial entities had in 13 major medical conferences. [READ MORE]
Personal web pages on digital repositories.
The university sector in the UK has quality inspections of its research outputs conducted every seven years, going by the name of REF or Research Excellence Framework. The next one is due around 2020, and already preparations are under way! Here I describe how I have interpreted one of its strictures; that all UK funded research outputs (i.e. research publications in international journals) must be made available in open unrestricted form within three months of the article being accepted for publication, or they will not be eligible for consideration in 2020. [READ MORE]
P-curves are better at effect size estimation than trim-and-fill (and Michael Jordan is better at free throws than I am)
I like p-curve analyses. They are a great tool to evaluate whether sets of studies have evidential value or not. In a recent paper, Simonsohn, Nelson, & Simmons (2014) show how p-curve analyses can correct for publication bias using only significant results. That's pretty cool. However, trim-and-fill is notoriously bad at unbiased effect size estimation. I think what we really need is a comparison between state-of-the-art methods to correct effect size estimates for publication bias. I dip a toe in the water at the end of this post, but can't wait until someone does a formal comparison between p-curve and techniques like p-uniform (a technique developed independently by Marcel van Assen and colleagues) and meta-regression techniques like PET-PEESE analyses by Stanley and Doucouliagos. [READ MORE]
Financial transparency and the political influence of commercial publishing
The growth of open access has been driven by a range of different ideas, but the specific rise of APC-funded open access in the UK over the last few years is an outcome of neoliberal policy. Gold open access is not inherently market-driven and does not necessarily involve the payment of APCs, but versions of it can be consistent with market-based variants of the scholarly communication process. So if we want to understand the influence of policy on the publication and accreditation of research first we need to understand the flows of money within the scholarly communication system. [READ MORE]
Speculative Sunday: Can a Black Hole Explode?
Nothing can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole, not even light. That’s why they’re, well, black. (Of course, as I’ve described before, black holes can glow very brightly, thanks to all the in-falling matter. Sometimes they even produce gamma rays. I’m also ignoring the negligible amount of Hawking radiation that black holes theoretically produce.) Once you pass the event horizon of a black hole, you cannot ever escape. Escape is simply forbidden by the laws of physics. [READ MORE]
Response to NIH RFI "Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies"
Below are my comments to be submitted to the NIH’s RFI, NOT-OD-15-084, “Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies to Improve the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research.” [READ MORE]