Peer Reveiw – what’s that?

When you are a student seeking information for your studies, you sometimes have the requirement that the information should be scientific. Scientific information can be published in different ways, but the common denominator is that the information has undergone a review process, a so-called peer review process.

Peer review means that researchers in the same subject area review the information before it is published. A lot of people claim that this is necessary to ensure that the research published is qualitative and reliable.

But how does peer review really work? This film from North Carolina State University Libraries describes the process of peer review. So why don’t you take three minutes and learn what peer review really is:

This week, the Peer Review process is highlighted around the world through Peer Review Week.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Film: Burke, A; Orphanides, A; Chung, HD; Dorafshar, D; Langdon, K; Duckett, K. Shared according to CC-BY-NC-SA-license.
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Free access to research information in a public health emergency

In September 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) set global norms for sharing research data and results when there’s a public health emargency arising, now the norms are being used for the first time.

share-informationIt was after the Ebola outbreak in several countries in West African as it became clear that the current methods of data sharing had major flaws. In order to enhance the data sharing, WHO decided to develop global guidelines that could be used when a major public health threat occurred in the future. The guidelines states that research data and research results should be made public as quickly as possible in order to facilitate further research in the subject. In its guidelines WHO writes, among other things:

Every researcher that engages in generation of information related to a public health emergency or acute public health event with the potential to progress to an emergency has the fundamental moral obligation to share preliminary results once they are adequately quality controlled for release. The onus is on the researcher, and the funder supporting the work, to disseminate information through pre-publication mechanisms, unless publication can occur immediately using post-publication peer review processes.

WHO is also very clear that they want to see a paradigm shift in the approach to sharing information in connection with emergencies. They want to leave the current approach, in which the magazine’s publishing timelines control when the information can be disseminated. Instead, the WHO wants the information to be disseminated openly through what they call “modern fit-for-purpose pre-publication platforms”. They explicitly call researchers, journals and funders to commit to the paradigm shift – to make it happen.

With the Zika virus spreading in South zikaAmerica WHO guidelines came into force for the first time earlier this month. On February 1, WHO declared that there was a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This led to that the guidelines came into force, and the WHO has opened Zika Open, a portal where research data and research results of the Zika virus are made available to the public. Several major journal publishers have created portals to make research on the Zika virus published in their journals available openly.

Hopefully, sharing research results and data will lead to more knowledge about the Zika virus, and maybe even a way to treat it. Couldn’t we think of this as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”?

Text: Katharina Nordling
Picture: Colourbox

Atlas of Science

A few weeks ago we told you about the book The atlas of the universe, and now we found another different atlas: Atlas of Science – Visualizing what we know.

The book is based on an exhibition atlasofsciencecalled Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, and gives the reader a description of successful visualization techniques. There are several different ways to create a scientific map, and the book gives a lot of different examples of science maps. A science map is like a visual interface to large amount of data, it makes the data easier to understand and get an overview of.

The examples used in the book are also available at Places & Spaces web site. Take a look at The Structure of Science – a map that shows how different disciplines in science are related. Or check out the Scientific Collaboration between World Cities – a map showing how scientists around the world collaborate. Another rather cool “map” is Visualizing Trends and Dynamics: 30 Years of Scientific Development.

Text & picture: Katharina Nordling

The Nobelprize Laureates

The Nobelweek was started with the prize in Medicin being awarded to John O’Keefe and  May-Britt and Edvard Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”. Among the publications we can offer the following in fulltext (search for the titles in Summon):

Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Moser, M.B., and Moser, E.I. (2005). Microstructure of spatial map in the entorhinal cortex. Nature 436, 801-806.

Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I., Moser, M.B. (2004) Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex. Science 305, 1258-1264.

There is also a scientific background available.

The following day the Physics prize was awarded jointly to Isamu AkasakiHiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. The scientific background is a good place to start and there are no specific publications mentioned but if you search for the laureates in Summon you get several publications to choose from.

The prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Eric BetzigStefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. The scientific background and a search in Summon on any of the laureates gives good insight on the subject.

On thursday it was time for the The Nobel Prize in Literature which was awarded to Patrick Modiano for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”. We have a few books in his native language french in the library, 4th floor, shelf Hj -Modiano.

The first week of announcements was ended with the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthiand Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education“. If you search for any of them i Summon there will be access to several articles about both of them and their respective story from magazines and newspapers from all over the world.

The last laureate was presented on monday of this week, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Jean Tirole “for his analysis of market power and regulation”. The library holds his book The theory of corporate finance and several articles available in fulltext via Summon. There is also a scientific background to start with when learning more on the subject of his research. 

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Text: Lisa Carlson