Pequeñas Acciones, Disfruta tu día, online, Takoradi, May 29 to May 30

Vargas Llosa re-envisions the Dominican Republic in 1961, at the time of the assassination of infamous Dominican strongman Rafael („the Goat“) Trujillo, whose death brought his 30-year highly oppressive regime crashing down in flames. The central paradox of the efficient, effective dictator–Trujillo and others of his ilk–is that while the country benefits materially, it also pays a high cost in loss of freedom. Vargas Llosa factors that irony into his provocative resurrection of the loved and hated Trujillo.

But I actually found Marcus’s explanation of the policy to make sense, in a way. She viewsCell as a publisher, and, as such, its role is to make information public. If that information has already been successfully conveyed by other means, then the role of publisher is no longer required. We can avoid high cost gold OA and achieve a system of valuation that works by ridding ourselves of the impact factor. Four years later such views are being buffeted by the rising tides of open access and social media.

Issues such as reproducibility and conflicts of interest have legitimately attracted much scrutiny and have stimulated corrective action. As a result, the field is being invigorated by initiatives such as study pre-registration and open data. All who participate in post-publication review should identify themselves. What’s more, the scientific community should not indulge in games of ‚gotcha‘ . Minor corrections and clarifications after publication should not be a reason to stigmatize fellow researchers. Scientific publications should be seen as ‚living documents‘, with corrigenda an accepted — if unwelcome — part of scientific progress.

Mario Vargas Llosa

But his appearance as a giant head on a giant screen by video-conference was a fitting representation for his giant place in pre-print history. His talk was very effective in squashing any of the typical gloom-and-doom about the end of quality science that often happens when pre-prints are discussed. To look at this I ran some comparisons between the journals in order to get some idea of “significant differences”. I made virtual issues of each journal with differing numbers of papers and compared the citations in each via Wilcoxon rank text and then plotted out the frequency of p-values for 100 of these tests. Please leave a comment if you have a better idea to look at this.

This is how far they are willing to go and no further concessions can be expected. The first step in that effort was countering the dominant international view that medicine compounds were not private property that could or should be owned by companies and individuals. Economists call this process the transformation of a public good into a “club good,” like taking a public park and turning it into a gated dues-required golf course. A July 1982 op-ed in The New York Times by the chair of Pfizer International, entitled “Stealing from the Mind,” started the process of creating that club good. The column charged that US inventions were being “stolen” by governments that didn’t protect patent rights. When governments outside the US refused to block generic manufacturing, the pharmaceutical industry argued, they were indulging acts of piracy.

First of all, I can’t believe there’s any question about this – of course they should! But more importantly who thinks that questions of priority actually get decided by carefully scrutinizing who published what, when and on what date? I should start by saying that I am a big believer in this mission. We should have done this 20 years ago, when the modern Internet was born, but better late than never. From this we can look at the citation distribution within the dataset for each journal. For all of these journals ~2/3 of papers had fewer than the mean number of citations.

  • The JIF is used in some institutions in the criteria for hiring, promotion and firing.
  • Posted concerns are rarely prominent on journals‘ websites and are not cross-referenced in any useful way.
  • By the end of the meeting’s 24 hours it seemed like nearly everyone in attendance was sold on the idea that biomedical researchers should all post pre-prints of their work, and had already turned their attention to questions about how to do it.
  • A landmark study published by the British medical journal The Lancet showed that of the 1,556 new chemical entities marketed between 1975 and 2004, only twenty-one were for tropical diseases.
  • His talk was very effective in squashing any of the typical gloom-and-doom about the end of quality science that often happens when pre-prints are discussed.

The Alternative R&D Mapping Project documents a range of alternative initiatives catalogued by Universities Allied for Essential Medicines . This list is not meant as a final and definitive catalogue of alternate biomedical R&D initiatives; it is a living document, to be constantly revised and updated with inputs from our ever-evolving global health community. Some of these may be seen as building blocks of a new system of biomedical research and development, many may not. The simple purpose of this Mapping is to consolidate and categorize these initiatives in a way that provides a starting point for analysis and reflection on what a new approach to biomedical R&D could, should and should not look like. There is no judgement in this Mapping – it does not say whether initiatives included achieve the goal of access. This is the next vital step and will be part of further analysis of initiatives.

Up until that point, I hadn’t appreciated how skewed these data are. You might think that this problem is so obvious that it would already be competently managed by researchers and journals. Repeatedly, academic papers have been published showing that outcome-switching is highly prevalent, and that such switches often lead to more favourable statistically significant results being reported instead. This is despite numerous codes of conduct set up to prevent such switching, most notably the widely respected CONSORT guidelines, which require reporting of all pre-specified outcomes and an explanation for any changes. Almost all major medical journals supposedly endorse these guidelines, and yet we know that undisclosed outcome-switching persists. When we were able to access data online, we could quickly confirm suspected errors.

If this latter group doesn’t believe that pre-print posting is good for them, we will not only fail to convince them to join us on this path, but we run the serious risk of making science worse than it already is. But I got news for all the people counting submission dates on the head of a pin – outside of patent cases, where such courts really do exist, at least in theory, that ain’t the way it works. True priority is constantly losing out in the real world, where who you are, where you work, where you publish and how you sell yourself are often far more important than submission or publication dates in determining who gets credit for scientific advances. Pre-prints are close to invisible in biology (we didn’t really have a viable pre-print server until a year or so ago) and other recent efforts to promote pre-print usage in biology have been poorly received.

The author frames his elaborate, authentically detailed tapestry with the parallel but contemporary story of Urania Cabral, now a successful attorney in New York, who returns to her native Dominican Republic after an absence of more than three decades. Urania’s father, who still lives in the capital, although virtually incapacitated by a stroke, numbered among Trujillo’s inner circle before being shockingly discredited. The two story lines encircle each other, draw power from one another, and together amount to an irresistible masterpiece.

Letters from the journal advised that “we are unable to take editorial considerations into account when assessing waiver requests, only the author’s documented ability to pay”. The Committee on Publication Ethics, an independent body that provides advice on how to handle research misconduct, asserts that readers should not have to pay to read retractions. To our knowledge, no authority has discussed whether third parties should be charged to correct errors. I had not anticipated support for the notion of stopping negotiations with publishers from the same person who also confirmed that publishers add little value to scholarly articles three years ago, Joseph Esposito.


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The optimistic answer is that libraries want to support the services journals provide and are willing to pay for them even if they’re not providing access to the literature. I could be wrong, of course, but it seems like Elsevier, who for all their flaws clearly know how to make money, in this case agrees with me. Although online platforms such as PubMed Commons offer a convenient way to comment on published papers, they do not include a mediating role for journal editors, and the comments are not incorporated into the literature. Posted concerns are rarely prominent on journals‘ websites and are not cross-referenced in any useful way. As a result, readers may assume that a flawed paper is correct, potentially leading to misinformed decisions in science, patient care and public policy.

In submissions How to streamline post-publication corrections Research teams Tap statistical expertise in the design and analysis of studies from the start. Curate data and computer code so that they can be made easily available (for a registry of public data repositories, see ). Manuscript editors Create protocols to identify papers that need statistical scrutiny and send them to qualified reviewers Address readers’ concerns swiftly.

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Two works of nonfiction are planned for the near future as well. He offers a vivid re-creation of the Dominican Republic during the final days of General Rafael Trujillo’s insidious and evil regime. Told from several viewpoints, the book has three distinctive, alternating strands. There is Urania Cabral, the daughter of Trujillo’s disgraced secretary of state, who has returned to Santo Domingo after more than 30 years. Now a successful New York lawyer, Urania has never forgiven her aging and paralyzed father, Agustín, for literally sacrificing her to the carnal despot in the hope of regaining his political post. Flipping back to May of 1961, there is a group of assassins, all equally scarred by Trujillo, waiting to gun the Generalissimo down.

Conversely, a lack of access to medicine causes enormous social problems in terms of contagion and economy-depressing illnesses. The international scientific community, from its beginnings, has been characterized by the free sharing of knowledge, and its open availability for testing or further development by others, without regard to national borders. Part of our ongoing assessment also has to be the discussion of whether the investment in the baby-steps of the last two decades was worth the minuscule returns.

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These developments go hand in hand with the rise of open access publishing. Though primarily motivated by the research and societal benefits that will accrue from freeing the dissemination of the research literature, open access is also needed to optimise crowd-sifting of Are Curtains Outdated the literature by making it accessible to everyone. But the growth of open access is also being held back by the leaden hand of the impact factor. This year has seen several significant policy developments in the US, EU and UK, but we still have a considerable way to go.

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This is like having the right mix of gas and oxygen to produce the hottest flame. Richard’s response was to create a website where researchers can publish their replications of Bem’s studies. Institutional self-scrutiny versus protection from harassment.

Hence, already in 1994, it became obvious that one way of freeing ourselves from the subscription-shackles was to make the entire scholarly literature available online, free to read. Since then, one single woman has managed to make a whopping 48 million paywalled articles publicly accessible. In terms of making the knowledge of the world available to the people who are the rightful owners, this woman, Alexandra Elbakyan, has single-handedly been more successful than all OA advocates and activists over the last 20 years combined.

Sci-Hub has the potential to encourage and inspire other academics to stand up to the status quo and demand effective reforms, maybe even taking action themselves. Sci-Hub clearly is not how one would design a scholarly infrastructure, but it has been more effective at accomplishing access than anything in the last 20 years. Obviously we don’t want pre-prints to be the domain of the scientific 1%.

Authors and journals should share data and code quickly when questions arise. Researchers can aid this process by accessing statistical expertise for experimental design and analysis. Journals rarely state whom to contact about potentially invalidating errors.

By closely examining pseudoscience as a phenomenon, we can see clear examples of how science goes wrong, how the process of science is subverted, and all the different ways scientists can make mistakes or bias their results. We can then apply this knowledge to legitimate science, flushing out more subtle manifestations of the same problems. One of the goals of scientific skepticism is to examine the process of science itself, often through the lens of pseudoscience. I find this remarkably helpful, and something that many mainstream scientists often do not understand. Our team in the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, UK, is now facing the same challenge.


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