Blogs selected for Week June 8 to June 14, 2020 -



1. Can data science measure up to COVID19?

In the COVID19 era, data scientists have the expertise and a professional obligation to play vital roles. The coronavirus pandemic presents them with opportunities to explore important social and scientific questions. Research based on data sets can yield important insights – from the efficacy of virtual learning and the impact of declining air pollution to best practices for vaccine development. Harvard Data Science Review (https://hdsr.mitpress.mit.edu/) recently published an online special issue, ‘COVID-19: Unprecedented Challenges and Chances.’ The coronavirus crisis amounts to a massive stress test for data science at a critical time in the field’s development.

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. How to conduct peer review research

Before any research, publication, or journal can be published and considered to be of superior quality, it must go through a rigorous process of editing and checking. In the case of research papers, the quality of the work is more important than the speed of publishing. To ensure that a research paper is of high quality and meets the required standards, it must go through a double-checking process known as peer review. In this process, written feedback is provided to the author of that work in the form of constructive criticisms and commentaries. This is done before the manuscript is published. In the peer review research process, two parts must be completed. The first involves reading and going through the research or content in its present state. After this, assessment, evaluation, and commentaries are written and communicated to the author for necessary action before publishing.

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Published peer review: 1 year across PLOS

In May 2020, PLOS has announced a new option for authors to publish their peer review history, and the support from communities has been loud and clear. Since its update 6 months ago (https://theplosblog.plos.org/2019/12/celebrating-6-months-of-published-peer-review-at-plos/), PLOS has jumped from 800 to over 3,500 articles with published peer review history. Opening access to the reviewer comments benefits readers who wish to dive deeper into a specific study. Comments from experts who reviewed the article that would traditionally remain unseen helps contextualise the research. Upcoming researchers can get a glimpse behind the curtains and see what sort of requests authors in their field were asked to address during revisions. If an author chooses to publish both a preprint and their peer review history, the process from first draft to final article can be learned from.

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. This is how a medical study gets published in a scientific journal, and why most don't

Published studies are the backbone of medical understanding, both for healthcare professionals and the general public. And medical journals are the gatekeepers of that research, ensuring accuracy and integrity. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the globe, interests in medical studies offering any clarity or guidance are read with great interest. Faulty studies have however led to confusion, conspiracy theories, and even death. A good study is constructed and tested using the scientific method: A problem is found, data is gathered, and a hypothesis is put forward. Then the hypothesis is tested under strict controls and the results, whether they confirm the hypothesis or not, are recorded and a conclusion is developed.

The full entry can be read: Here.

5. Rush to publish risks undermining COVID-19 research

COVID-19 research is being published at an astonishingly fast pace and taken up by the public quickly. The pace of scientific publishing has accelerated dramatically in response to the COVID pandemic. Journals have sped up time from submission to publication, and scientists have uploaded thousands of papers to open-access preprint servers without first going through the normal peer-review process. As the volume and speed of scientific publishing has increased, it is perhaps inevitable that mistakes will slip through -- mistakes that can have serious stakes and consequential outcomes in the context of a highly politicised pandemic.

The full entry can be read: Here.

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