Impact Factors demonstrate Open Access quality

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FACTOR

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single journal in possession of a good impact factor must not be in want of good papers. In fact, we know that the impact factor does not tell the whole story about quality and that many scientists and institutions would like to find better ways to evaluate the quality of research output.

Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact that around the world, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) continues to be used as a proxy for quality, and the JIF continues to influence decisions on funding, promotions, and where to publish.

So it is no wonder that publishers, including BioMed Central, are  interested to see where our journals sit within the most recent Journal …

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July blogs digest: Impact Factors, swimmer’s itch, dodos, and more

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Impact factors planet

It’s been a bumper month on the BioMed Central blogs, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve missed a few posts. Not to worry though, as we’ve pulled together all the highlights right here.

The new Impact Factors are coming…

(Or rather, they’ve now arrived!) Now is the time of year when journal editors all over the world sit repeatedly clicking ‘refresh’ on their browsers. Up? Down? Staying the same? What will happen to their journal’s Impact Factor when the Journal Citation Report is published? Diana Marshall, Senior Managing Editor of the BMC series, wrote about how the new Impact Factors will affect her journals, and the publishing world as a whole.

Swimmer’s itch: sailors, fishermen and swimmers beware

For those in the …

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10 things you might not know about breastfeeding

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BF pic

Welcome to the start of World Breastfeeding Week! Breastfeeding is the natural way for mothers to provide their babies with the key nutrients they require for healthy growth and development.

To mark this week, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you might not know about breastfeeding taken from International Breastfeeding Journal.

 

10 things you might not know about breastfeeding

1. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life reduces infant deaths and is cost effective

A recently published study by Nemat Hajeebhoy and colleagues into breastfeeding practices and infant illness in Vietnam found early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding has a protective effect against diarrhea and acute respiratory syndrome (ARI), with the effect for ARI appearing to remain constant as …

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SASA! Trial: the community intervention that is reducing violence against women

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SASA!

Findings from the SASA! Study, a trial assessing the impact of a community intervention in preventing violence against women in Uganda, were published today in BMC Medicine. In this guest post, Tina Musuya, one of the activists implementing the intervention in local communities writes about her personal experience of being involved in the study.

Since 2004, I’ve worked as a grass roots activist for women’s rights, working with both men and women to prevent violence against women in Uganda. I have come face to face with women who experience violence from their partners and many men who thought that controlling their partners and disciplining them whenever necessary, was normal. Shockingly, I heard many community members say that violence was …

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Data Notes: Dissecting the most boring buzzword ever

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By far one of the biggest concerns around Open Data is not whether we have the technology to enable researchers to make their data open but whether the cultural incentives are in place to make researchers freely share their data. Several publishers have recently started publishing ‘data journals’ or ‘data notes’. Is this latest publishing buzzword the answer to incentivising Open Data?

I try not to write in the first person (partly to avoid flashbacks of big red X’s from my high school essays) but this post—about something I myself have debated quite a bit—seems to demand it. As head of open data initiatives and policy here at BioMed Central, I’ve spent the last year questioning the need for ‘data notes’. …

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From Shell shock to PTSD – a century of military psychology

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Image credit U.S. Army Europe Images

In the history of medicine, it’s a rather morbid fact that war often leads to great medical breakthroughs – as the weapons of war change, doctors must innovate in order to meet these new challenges.

When the First World War started 100 years ago today, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) setting out for France envisaged an entirely different war to the one with which they were faced. Trench warfare was a new concept, the use of gas was almost unknown, and this war would involve mechanized weaponry on a scale never before seen.

A new condition

Within months, some of  the highly-trained BEF soldiers started to experience  intense panic and fear accompanied by physical symptoms such as an inability to speak or walk. …

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Mood disorders: Exploring the placebo effect, improving treatment and the promise of pharmacogenetics

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Antidepressant drugs which alleviate symptoms of depression have received much attention in the news recently, showing that the UK is the 7th highest country in the West to prescribe the drugs. The astounding rise in NHS spending on these pharmacological agents is suggested to be due to “medicalization” of normal sadness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants are commonly used to treat moderate to severe depression with new evidence showing one of these drugs, citalopram could slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. However, on the other hand another recent study cautions the use of SSRIs during pregnancy as they are found to be linked to a higher incidence of autism spectrum …

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How do we manage the health impact of the economic crisis in Europe?

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International-Journal-for-Equity-in-Health_european-crisis

An unprecedented economic crisis is affecting Europe, focusing mainly on the southern countries. Improving health and reducing health inequalities in this macro-economic environment is going to be a great challenge, which the new thematic series in International Journal for Equity in Health discusses. In this guest blog, Dr Miguel San Sebastián, one of the series editors, looks at what the first papers can tell us about the challenges faced.

The economic and social crisis that the European population has experienced since 2008 has fuelled interest in the study of its potential health impacts.

With regard to public health, and particularly social epidemiology, the need to deal with the problem of the economic crisis encourages natural experiments. From these it is possible to …

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Microbial monitoring: health forensics for the modern age

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Metadata plot

A new paper published in Genome Biology today uses smartphone tracking and additional observations to piece together a staggering amount of information about the research subjects and their individual microbiomes. In this guest post, Jack A Gilbert, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago and Group Leader at Argonne National Laboratory, delves into this promising new avenue of research and data collection.

At the beginning of September 2013 I weighed about 205lbs (92kg). I decided to do something about my weight, for my health and for the sake of my family and of course I approached this plan as a scientist. For me that meant parameterizing my inputs and outputs so I could control what I was doing to …

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“You like to-may-to, I like to-mah-to”…what’s the problem with studying the Mediterranean diet?

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Wholegrain (Kaldari)

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to many health benefits, from improved longevity to reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and depression. However, while the positive impact of this dietary pattern is well-documented (see our previous blog), a number of unanswered questions and unresolved controversies remain.

As editors at BMC Medicine, we have encountered differences in opinion during the review and publication process of studies investigating the link between diet and health, with authors and reviewers raising pertinent questions such as:

Should alcohol and dairy products be included in the definition of the Mediterranean diet?

Can the Mediterranean diet be applied to non-Western settings?

How can we measure adherence to this dietary pattern?

To explore these open questions, we invited clinicians and …

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