April blogs digest: peer review, clinical trials regulation, World Malaria Day, and more

Been too busy to follow all our blogs over the last month? Never fear! We’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together some of the highlights from across our blogs network in April. 

Are journals ready to abolish peer review?

Peer review wordle

At the beginning of the month, one of BioMed Central’s Biology Editors, Maria Kowalczuk, took part in a debate at City University ‘Is peer review broken?’. In this blog, Anna Perman and Tim Sands write that the debate concluded it’s ‘chipped, not broken’.

But that was just the start of a busy month for Maria, as she went on to write about in ‘Are journals ready to abolish peer review?‘. And it wasn’t just Maria getting involved: our Editors took part in a panel debate in Doha on April 23rd, while Biology Editor Elizabeth Moylan went to a session on ‘The nuts and bolts of peer review’ with Sense about Science.

Clinical trial transparency

Transfer of documents.

On April 2nd, the European Parliament voted in favor of new EU Clinical Trials Regulation, including changes to legislation regarding transparency in Europe. Ella Flemyng took a look at what this could mean and what still needs to change.

Meanwhile, following the publication of the Cochrane systematic review on oseltamivir and zanamivir, or Tamiflu, on 10th April, Daniel Shanahan looked at the importance of registering clinical trials, and what publishers can do to support transparency.

Malaria in the spotlight

mosquitoApril 25th was World Malaria Day, and to mark the occasion we produced a new infographic. We also interviewed Professor Sanjeev Krishna in a video on his innovative research into malaria diagnostics. Over on the Open Access in the Developing World blog, Dr Francis Ndungu told us about why he decided to become a malaria researcher and the difference open access has made to the malaria research community.

From butterflies to smORFs…

Different ways of thinkingThe challenges of being interdisciplinary: New guest blogger Jay Shaw wrote about the challenges of interdisciplinary research and what he thinks some of the solutions could be.

A smORF (from Magny et al.; click for full figure)

Small open reading frames (smORFs): Naomi Attar told us about how there are a whole host of genes in our genomes that are hiding in plain sight.

Alcon Blue Butterfly. Image from www.greenwings.co

Butterflies behaving like cuckoosRegular Bugbitten blogger, Prof Hilary Hurd, took a look at the interesting behavior of the rare Alcon Blue butterfly.

Male LionAncient DNA reveals the lion’s past and (perhaps) future: Chris Foote wrote on the BMC Series blog about new research, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, which uses ancient DNA from extinct lions to piece together the gaps in their history.

Papers and laptopData sharing to improve the quality of research: Guest blogger Iain Hrynaszkiewicz wrote on Gigablog about what journals can do to assist in data sharing.

Credit to Brian Squibb (35)Farm animals are more intelligent than they seem: Following on from our post last month about research into the intelligence of goats, we asked one of the authors of the article, Elodie Briefer, to tell us more.

And finally…

PLASTICEGG2Eggs are for science, not just for Easter: James Balm marked Easter with a blog about the humble egg.

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