The Science and Technology Committee in the UK's House of Commons recently launched an inquiry into peer review. It invites evidence on the operation and effectiveness of the peer review process used to examine and validate scientific results and papers prior to publication.
The Committee welcomes submissions on all aspect of the process. Among the issues it is likely to examine are the strengths and weaknesses of peer review as a quality control mechanism for scientists, publishers and the public; and measures to strengthen peer review. It will also study the value and use of peer reviewed science on advancing and testing scientific knowledge, and in informing public debate. The extent to which peer review varies between scientific disciplines and between countries across the world is another aspect likely to be examined. Additionally, the Committee will look at the processes by which reviewers with the requisite skills and knowledge are identified, in particular as the volume of multi-disciplinary research increases; and the impact of IT and greater use of online resources on the peer review process. It will peruse possible alternatives to peer review, as well. The Committee welcomes submissions from scientists whose material has been peer reviewed, those who commission peer reviews and those who carry out peer review.
The Committee invites all written submissions on any of these issues by March 10, 2011. Each submission should be no more than 3,000 words in length; be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible; have numbered paragraphs; and include a declaration of interests. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and marked "Peer review".
In a recent study to understand how portable, multi-function devices or MFDs (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android devices, etc) are changing consumer book reading habits. Consumers who utilised these devices expressed a tremendous affinity for them, struggling to come up with any significant shortcomings to reading ebooks on them. These consumers also revealed their specific preference for MFDs, usage occasions and their ebook purchasing habits.
Research firm iModerate Research Technologies and Brock Associates, a research and publishing consultancy, conducted a two-part study with over 300 MFD owners who have read an ebook in the past 6 months. A summary of the results were presented at Digital Book World 2011 in New York City.
The study found that the top three reasons MFD users prefer reading on their device as opposed to a hard copy book are the convenience it offers (80 percent), the ease of purchasing ebooks (61 percent) and the backlit screen (41 percent). Moreover, the three most common occasions for reading on MFDs are: while travelling (72 percent), while waiting for an appointment (72 percent) and while relaxing (70 percent).
The two-part study began with a purely qualitative research exercise where 30 respondents participated in live, online one-on-one interview sessions. Phase two utilised a hybrid market research approach where 60 one-on-one sessions were incorporated into an online survey which netted 304 completes. In both phases, respondents were men and women aged 18+, who own and use a multi-function electronic device and have read at least one ebook on this device in the past six months. Readers were defined as 'Heavy Readers' if they had read 6 or more books/ebooks in the last 6 months, 'Medium Readers' if they had read 3 to 5 books/ebooks in the last 6 months or as 'Light Readers' if they had read 1 or 2 books/ebooks in the last 6 months.
International publishing business Macmillan Publishers Ltd, UK, and King Saud University (KSU) have signed a five year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance the university's scientific communication and profile. Macmillan Publishers will provide KSU with a wide range of services, including workshops on writing and publishing research papers in international journals, and manuscript editing services.
KSU is the first institution in Saudi Arabia to have secured site license access to all Nature Publishing Group (NPG) journals, providing access to the complete nature.com platform for its 55,000 faculty and students. KSU is also providing 200 print subscriptions of journal Nature to researchers faculty, and students. To help develop KSU's capability of publishing scientific papers in international journals, NPG editors will visit KSU regularly, giving presentations on the editorial processes and expectations of international research journals.
KSU is also working with Macmillan Scientific Communications (MSC) - a recently established partner of NPG - which offers scientific editing, science communication and training solutions to scientific institutions across the world. MSC will deliver science and medical writing and publishing workshops to KSU researchers.
In March 2010, NPG launched Nature Middle East. The website showcases scientific and medical research from the Arabic-speaking Middle East region and is continuously updated with articles in English and Arabic. The King Abdullah International Medical Research Center is sponsoring Nature Middle East.
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STM publisher Springer and the International Society of Cellular Oncology (ISCO) have announced a partnership to publish the journal, Cellular Oncology, starting this year. Cellular Oncology is the official journal of ISCO and publishes original papers and reviews on the latest advances in cancer research. It was previously published by IOS Press.
Cellular Oncology publishes scientific contributions from biomedical and clinical disciplines involved in basic and translational cancer research on the cell and tissue level, technical and bioinformatics developments in this area and clinical applications. The journal seeks to provide a platform of scientific exchange between molecular biologists and geneticists, technical developers, pathologists, oncologists and other clinicians involved in the management of cancer patients.
Cellular Oncology will be available electronically, and in print, on SpringerLink, and six issues per year will be published. Features include Online First, Cross Reference Linking, Electronic Supplementary Material and Alert services.
The Library Copyright Alliance has released 'The Impact of the Supreme Court's Decision in Costco v. Omega on Libraries'. Prepared by Jonathan Band, the concise, informative paper examines the much-discussed Costco v. Omega non-decision, which left in place a controversial 9th Circuit ruling that could have significant consequences for library lending practices.
The first sale doctrine lets purchasers of lawful copies of copyrighted works re-sell, donate, lend, or otherwise dispose of their copy. If not for first sale, or some other balancing exception, copyright holders could ban purchasers from all of these practices, essentially controlling how individuals or institutions such as libraries use cultural products that they own.
In his analysis, Band explains that libraries are still on sound footing in lending foreign-made copies in their collections. He gives a range of alternative justifications for lending that should cover the vast majority of situations that institutions face on a regular basis.
For libraries in the 9th Circuit, first sale still applies if a foreign-made copy was sold domestically by an authorised party. Libraries in other circuits can also rely on the Ninth Circuit's Drugstore Emporium exception. The §602(a)(3)(C) provision for importation by scholarly, educational, and religious organisations should make it possible to lend materials lawfully imported for the purpose of lending. Implied license and fair use are powerful and flexible doctrines that should capture many library uses.
The 19th Annual Congress on Women's Health will feature a special pre-conference workshop on 'Towards a Better Understanding of the NIH Grant Process' on March 31, 2011, prior to the April 1-3, 2011 Congress in Washington, DC. The workshop, moderated by Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, Associate Director for Research on Women's Health, NIH and Director, Office of Research on Women's Health, is designed to provide an overview of the NIH Grant Application Process.
Participants will learn some of the techniques to prepare a successful research proposal in consultation with an NIH Program Officer; how to use appropriate mechanisms to develop a research career; and how to better understand the NIH Peer Review process. The workshop is open to all Congress registrants. The full programme, faculty, accreditation, and registration information for the pre-conference are available at the Congress website.
The Congress will gather a prestigious group of physicians, nurses, and allied healthcare providers to learn practical, clinical information and cutting-edge therapeutic protocols, advances in diagnosis and management, and innovative translational research advances that impact women's health care.
Women's Health 2011: The 19th Annual Congress is sponsored by the VCU Institute for Women's Health and the Journal of Women's Health, in collaboration with National Cancer Institute, NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, and the American Medical Association. The Congress will offer an array of informative sessions that will focus on the most clinically relevant topics in women's health including cardiology, oncology, endocrinology, menopause, infectious disease, reproductive health, bone health, psychiatry, and common clinical conditions.
A team at Cardiff University, under a project funded by the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), is examining ways to reduce the amount of energy used by computers for data storage. It is studying a method of storing computer files that can reduce the amount of energy used by computers for storage by over 80 percent.
This follows concern over issues faced by UK universities and colleges due to carbon emissions from their use of Information and communications technology (ICT). One cause of the growth in these emissions is the demand for computing and in particular the ever-growing demand for data storage and data centres, it has been observed.
Dubbed Planet Filestore, the project has developed an approach to storing data on disks with different energy consumption depending on the frequency with which the data is accessed. Data which is not used very often is moved to a disk which uses less power, thus saving electricity and money while still allowing users near instant access.
When put into full production at Cardiff University, it is anticipated that this will save the university 87600KW.h (or approximately 51 tonnes of CO2) per year which, at current prices, would cost around £10,000 per annum. These savings are likely to increase significantly with escalating storage requirements and energy costs. Environmental savings are also likely to be made in terms of space occupied, procurement, shipping, disposal and hazardous waste reduction.
The project has intentionally used techniques and technologies that will easily transfer to a wide range of corporate systems across the world, including those in education, research, public bodies and commercial companies.
To help make this approach more widely available, JISC is funding Cardiff University Information Services to develop a web-based tool. Universities and colleges can use the tool to model the benefits of different scenarios of file storage in terms of environmental and economic savings.
Journal production services provider Dartmouth Journal Services (DJS), part of The Sheridan Group, US, has collaborated with Cell Press, an imprint of Elsevier, to create a publisher-branded mobile application, launched through the iTunes App Store on December 3, 2010.
The Cell Press app, titled Cell Alerts, encompasses 14 Cell Press titles. It functions as a content discovery application featuring access to article abstracts, including graphical, video, and audio abstracts, as well as content search, user selected 'My List' storage, and a conference events calendar. The app is formatted for the iPhone with other platforms planned as future enhancements. Other features of the Sheridan Mobile App offering include multiple RSS feed support; social sharing of in-app content; push notification alerts on content updates; real-time usage analytics via Google Analytics; and comprehensive user settings.
The latest offering in Sheridan's ongoing suite of proprietary technology solutions, Sheridan Mobile Apps are customised mobile content delivery mechanisms that can feature article abstract viewing or full-text article access, per the publisher's request. Sheridan Mobile Apps are compatible with the predominant mobile platforms, including iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android. All are built on top of a scalable and configurable XML-based Mobile Content Delivery System (MCDS) that handles the content import, conversion, management, and distribution.
Academic publisher SAGE has announced that ten of its titles have been selected for inclusion in the Outstanding Academic Title list published in the January 2011 issue of Choice Magazine. The titles come from a wide range of subject areas, representing SAGE's growing and diverse list of academic resources in the social and behavioral sciences.
In addition to honoring the next generation of SAGE Journals Online, which launched with more features and functionality in summer 2010, the titles selected for this year's list include: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, ed. by Craig Kridel; Encyclopedia of Death & the Human Experience, ed. by Clifton D Bryant and Dennis L. Peck; Encyclopedia of Journalism, ed. by Christopher J. Sterling; and The SAGE Handbook of Comparative Politics, ed. by Todd Landman and Neil Robinson.
Described as 'the best of the best', the Outstanding Academic Title list is made up of 668 books and electronic resources selected by the Choice editorial staff from among the 7,292 works reviewed by Choice during the previous year. Less than 3 percent of the more than 25,000 annually submitted titles are reviewed in the magazine. Each Outstanding Title was selected for its excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of its contribution to the field, and its important value in the treatment of its subject.
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Digital content products and technologies provider ebrary, US, has announced that its Academic Complete subscription database has received the designation of Choice Outstanding Academic Title (OAT).
Licensed by thousands of libraries worldwide, Academic Complete features a growing selection of more than 52,000 e-books in all academic subject areas with unlimited, multi-user access. The product also includes DASH! (Data Sharing, Fast), which enables libraries to upload and integrate their own digital content right from their computers.
Academic Complete subscribers may supplement their collection with purchased titles and e-books acquired through ebrary's Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) programme, including over 1,000 additional CHOICE OAT from Cambridge University Press, Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Wiley, Yale University Press, and other leading publishers.
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