Science works best when it’s open and transparent. Researchers and journal publishers are increasingly encouraged to drive forward initiatives to improve the transparency and reproducibility of scientific results. This is particularly true in the case of how best to report the findings of clinical trials. These large studies often have direct public health implications. However the size and complexity of many clinical trials can leave room for controversies about the best way to report their results.
One on-going debate is whether to report the results of clinical trial pilot studies. Pilot studies, sometimes called vanguard or feasibility studies, are early phase studies designed to evaluate the design and conduct of a projected full scale clinical trial. Typically conducted separately from …
Since their discovery in the early nineties, microRNAs (or miRNAs) have been found in all complex organisms including mammals, plants and fungi. More than 700 miRNAs have been discovered in humans and more than 800 are predicted to exist. The functions of miRNA seem to lie in gene regulation and they have various roles in physiology cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis to the endocrine system, haematopoiesis, fat metabolism, and limb morphogenesis.
As miRNA is involved in normal cellular functions, malfunctioning miRNAs have long been thought to play a role in the pathological events underlying cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In a Review by Prof. Jun-ichi Satoh published in BioData Mining, Prof. Satoh examines the …
The therapeutic use of leeches can be traced as far back as 2,500 years when they were used for bloodletting in ancient India. The modern use of leeches in medicine, or Hirudotherapy, made its comeback in the 1980′s with the advent of microsurgeries, such as plastic and reconstructive surgery.
A common complication of these kinds of surgeries is congestion caused by coagulated blood. If this congestion is not cleared up quickly, arteries that bring the tissues necessary nourishment will become plugged, and the tissues will die. To combat this, leeches are applied to the congested area and begin to consume excess blood, this process along with a natural anticoagulant found in the leeches’ saliva, combine to allow fresh oxygenated blood …
“Findings published in the peer reviewed journal BioData Mining…” A sentence like this instantly adds credibility to a scientific article. But it isn’t simply the name of a prestigious journal that assures readers of an article’s validity; it’s the knowledge that the research has been peer reviewed.
Peer review, the process by which scientists critically evaluate their colleagues’ methods and findings, has been essential to scientific discourse for centuries. In those early days of scientific research, with fewer journals and lower levels of specialization, scientists found it relatively easy to devote their time to assessing new findings. However as the pace of research has expanded, so too has the number of articles and the number of journals set up to publish …
Guest Blog by Dr Iveta Simera Head of Programme Development at EQUATOR Network
We would like to invite you to the scientific symposium and 4th EQUATOR Annual Lecture organised by the EQUATOR Network and the German Cochrane Centre. The theme for the symposium is “ACT now: Accuracy, Completeness, and Transparency in health research reporting” and it will be held in Freiburg, Germany from 11-12 October 2012.
The symposium will be of great interest to health research scientists and clinicians, journal editors and peer reviewers, reporting guideline developers, publishers, research funders and other professionals involved in research education, research governance and the publication of medical research.
The focus of the meeting is to:
Highlight critical issues in health research reporting …
In December last year Journal of Medical Case Reports launched its research article type. Introduced as part of the journal’s ambition to support innovation in case reporting, research articles allow Journal of Medical Case Reports to act as a platform to analyse the impact, and improve the reporting of, case reports and associated information.
In the first of the research papers published by Journal of Medical Case Reports this month Nancy N Byl looks at using wearable robotic leg orthoses to enhance the effectiveness of lower extremity physical therapy in chronic stroke victims. Our second research paper by Ritwik et al examines the prevalence and characteristics of salivary gland tumours in children and adolescents, collecting valuable …
BMC Research Notes is now accepting submissions of case reports. Alongside Journal of Medical Case Reports, and Cases Database, which launches later this year, BioMed Central offers medical professionals a comprehensive forum in which to publish and access clinical cases reports.
To mark the publication of its first case reports, by Paul S Issak and Yong-Xin Sun et al, BMC Research Notes Associate Editor Dr. Alberto Cabán-Martinez and his colleague Dr.Wilfredo García Beltrán have written a commentary discussing the educational value of publishing case reports and their importance to the development of evidence-based medical practice.
Documenting a patient’s case history to inform physicians how they have been evaluated and the subsequent …
The first international stroke trial (IST) suggested that
aspirin should be administered to stroke patients as soon as possible after the
onset of ischaemic stroke. Published in 1997, its recommendations are now part
of mainstream clinical practice. The results of the latest IST trial; IST-3, are published in The
Lancet this week – with a number of supporting preliminary publications in
BioMed Central journals and databases –and promise to be just as influential on
the treatment of ischaemic stroke.
Comprising data from patients recruited across 12 countries, the IST-3 trial
ran from 2000 to 2011 making it the largest acute stroke thrombolysis study
population ever. The trial found that patients treated with the thrombolytic
drug rt-PA (recombinant
The availability of data, its rapid and comprehensive dissemination, is central to efficient scientific research. Transparency and reproducibility all suffer when the provision of scientific data is restricted, a problem which is particularly vexing as we enter the era of ‘big data’ studies. One factor hindering data dissemination is the fact that researchers are rarely given proper credit for making their data available in the same way they are when publishing an article. This is furthermore not helped by the lack of a universally recognised tagging system for publishers to link individual authors to their deposited data. Data sets are therefore prevented from being cited in the same way as a published article, disincentivizing researchers from committing …
Recognized experts are often vital to bringing the latest findings to a wider audience. In biomedical research, identifying opinion leaders who can raise the visibility of new evidence is increasingly important to how research is communicated.
Traditionally researchers in the field of medical informatics have used methods like surveys, literature searches and obtaing information from other experts to identify possible opinion leaders. Once identified, researchers then use text mining; the method by which a computer can scan plain text to pull out relevant keywords, to assign topics of expertise to the identified names. However these approaches are often time consuming and have the potential to introduce bias when ranking names in terms of importance.
In a new article …