Citizen science – the public participation in gathering data for scientific studies – is certainly not new, but facilitated by the ease of sharing information online, the opportunities for the public to engage in scientific data collection have increased in recent years. Zooniverse, one of the most successful platforms facilitating citizen science experiments, recently announced that they now have over 1 million registered users (this map shows how geographically diverse they are), quite an impressive milestone to reach in just seven years.
But what are the implications of publishing scientific studies which, by definition, rely on the engagement of a broad group of participants?
BioMed Central is organising a panel discussion at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit to discuss this question, rounding off the second day of the conference in London this Friday.
Health and healthcare were a prominent theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, and one of the first sessions took a look into our medical future.
Notably, the leaders of the session did not include a doctor/physician. The moderator Lionel Tarassenko is a professor of electrical engineering at Oxford, and speakers were genomics researcher Professor Steve Cole (UCLA) and Andrew Thompson, CEO of Proteus Digital Health. Between them, they conveyed a powerful vision of digital health monitoring in our everyday lives that will empower preventative and personalized medicine.
Lionel Tarassenko explained how his previous work for Rolls Royce has fueled his ideas for developing digital health care. Their jet engines are continuously monitored as they fly …
With the literature available to researchers growing—indeed, in the last decade the amount of articles published increased by around 44%[i]—the way in which researchers are able to consume that literature becomes increasingly important. Readers need ways to quickly find what research is relevant to them. For example, say I want to find all the literature behind a specific research resource (eg, software, databases, antibodies, model organisms, etc). Doing this would be timely and inaccurate at best. Why? Because they’re not necessarily tracked or machine-readable. And because researchers don’t consistently or uniformly cite these resources.
In an era of “big publishing” and the Web, we are undergoing a cultural shift in the way we communicate science and interact with “the …
“It is difficult to make informed decisions if publication bias and selective reporting are present”
World Health Organization
For years, researchers have drawn attention to this, highlighting discrepancies between protocols submitted to research ethics committees and those reported in the results papers, issues concerning statistical power, and the difficulty in identifying unpublished studies. Indeed, it was concerns like these that lead to most major medical journals making registration of clinical trials a prerequisite for publication.
However, even for those clinical trials that have been registered, it can be difficult to track down related content. Not all journals publish the trial ID in the body of the article; therefore, although a results article may cite …
Back in August we announced that all data published in BioMed Central articles would be published under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain waiver for data. At that time, we also announced our intention to upgrade the attribution component of BioMed Central’s license agreement from CC-BY 2.0, which we introduced as our standard license in 2004, to the latest license version, CC-BY 4.0. This improved and updated version of the CC-BY license was released on 25 November 2013. We are now able to confirm that all BioMed Central, Chemistry Central, and SpringerOpen articles submitted on or after 3 February 2014 will be published, if and when editorially accepted, under the updated CC-BY 4.0 Creative Commons …
What follows is a guest blog on the new CC-BY 4.0 license written by Puneet Kishor, Manager, Science and Policy Data at Creative Commons.
CC 4.0, the latest version of Creative Commons (CC) licenses, was officially launched on November 25, 2013. CC licenses are free, easy-to-use and provide a simple, standardized way to allow content creators to share and use their creative work with permissions and conditions of their choice. CC licenses, which can vary from the very liberal CC BY to the very restrictive CC BY-NC-ND, let the creator easily change copyright terms from the default all rights reserved to some rights reserved.
CC licenses are not an alternative to copyright: they work alongside existing …
This blog was jointly written by Ben Johnson, Associate Publisher of Flavour Journal here at BioMed Central, and Amye Kenall, our data guru, who spearheads open data initiatives and advocacy. Take time to enjoy this morsel of open data goodness.
Earlier this week, at a research press conference involving a Champagne tasting for our journal Flavour, I spoke to authors Vanessa Harrar, Barry Smith, Ophelia Deroy, and Charles Spence about their latest article ‘Grape expectations: how the proportion of white grape in Champagne affects the ratings of experts and social drinkers in a blind tasting‘, published last week in the journal.
The study, as do most studies, had collected far more …
It’s not often that I can claim to get excited about technology, but it’s hard not to after attending the Health 2.0 europe conference held this week in London (Nov 18th-19th). While it’s not exactly news that apps for healthcare are being developed for use by the public, what the presenters at Health 2.0 were able to showcase was how these can potentially go on to improve healthcare. The key word here is ‘potentially’.
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are on the rise – globally, and according to the WHO the leading NCD risk factor for mortality is elevated blood pressure (16.5% of global deaths) followed by tobacco use (9%), raised blood glucose (6%), physical inactivity (6%) …
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS)—the fifth biggest organization in the world after the US Army, Chinese Army, Wal-Mart, and McDonalds—has more than 1.5 million patient interactions per day. It’s ripe for taking advantage of new big data technologies. Yesterday at the London O’Reilly Strata Conference: Making Data Work, I listened to two inspiring talks about what is being done with big NHS data and what we’ll soon be able to do—and by soon I mean next year.
One talk worth listening to was Francine Bennette’s “Data Nerding in Public Health” in which she describes some of the work the big data specialist Mastodon C as well as Ben Goldacre (@bengoldacre) are doing with publicly available data …
The AllTrials campaign (explained in a recent interview in our online magazine Biome) and books such as Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma have brought the issue of registration and reporting of clinical trials into the spotlight. The push for greater transparency continues to gain momentum. Recent discussions around the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) proposal to proactively publish the information submitted to them as part of the standard marketing-authorisation application process has further brought the issue to the forefront. This data submitted to the EMA would be made available for independent reanalysis, after the EMA have completed their decision making process on the application.
Recently, BioMed Central attended a panel discussion organised by Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) in which panellists, …