Segregation Of Duties: Authors & Journal Editors

November 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Journal Editors can be practicing researchers as well. A good example of that would be the Editor-in-Chief of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals: M.S. El Naschie. Normally, I would say that if he can do research, write papers and have them published while also working as a journal editor somewhere at the same time: more power to him.

Of course, this can get a bit ickier when many of his papers are actually published in “his” own journal. I mean, he is the guy with the final say on what is apparently good enough to be published and what not. Where is the accountability when it comes to his publications? Obviously, he likes to have his papers published, and since he has the power to accept them for publication, I would say that there are accountability issues here.
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Ed Alleyne-Johnson – Orange (Live Busking In Chester, UK)

November 5, 2008 2 comments

Not as famous as the others I have referred to from my blog, but he is definitely amazing on the electric guitar violin. Ed Alleyne Johnson is a famous busker in UK. Here is one of my favorite songs, “Orange”, from his cd “Ultraviolet” performed live.

Fuel Grows On Trees!

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Scientists discover Patagonian diesel that grows on trees

A tree fungus could provide green fuel that can be pumped directly into vehicle tanks, US scientists say. The organism, found in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similar to diesel.

“So money does grow on trees!”

Of course, now we have to figure out how we can mass grow this stuff to be able to support an energy consuming creatures like us and our inventions. I wonder if that is possible? I hope so, because that would be amazing. If nothing else, it sounds like there is all the more reason to research these kind of alternatives more thoroughly. This is definitely good news! Think of all the good it can do if it can be mass produced or something like that! Hybrid vehicle technologies are going to like this news!

Categories: Science Tags: ,

Wobbly Update: On FriendFeed And The Value Of Blogging (Again)

November 1, 2008 Leave a comment

I just wanted to say that I am also active on FriendFeed since not too long ago. I think it is a pretty fun and useful concept to get in touch with people and things they share. Much like RSS but with room to provide short comments. So that is nice. Seems like scholars are starting to use Twitter as well. I do not think I care enough for Twitter to use that now, but maybe later?

“Scholars and IT, way to reinforce a stereotype.”

Oh well, onto a slightly more relevant bit of information then. Thanks to FriendFeed, I came across a blog post on Why Academics Should Blog by Hugh McGuire. He is mostly presenting some good points, although the accreditation and relevancy issues remain unsolved. Well, that is my opinion anyway. I am not going to repeat my junk here, you can read it in his comment section.

On a related note, here is another topical discussion (and even a real life example!) on DrugMonkey’s blog about scholars using blogs to get things done.

“Hah, way to make your case.”

Hey, I stand by my views. I think there is a place for blogging to improve scholarly communication. Just not for large settings without significant improvements on its format (and thus its efficiency). And when that time comes, if ever, I imagine it will resemble digital research papers more than blogs. Ah well, maybe more of those predictions later.

Evaluating Peer Reviews: How To Identify Good Peer Reviews?

October 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Blog Abstract
While scholars generally accept the added value of the (journal) peer review, the actual value of a peer review is difficult to measure. However, given the importance of the (journal) peer review process, it is important for scholars to understand what a good peer review is, so they can work towards peer reviewing more qualitatively. Indeed, when scholars can identify the important qualities of a peer review, it will undoubtedly help them with improving their peer review proficiencies more efficiently. That will result in an improvement of the overall quality of scientific literature and scholarly communication, since it is the most significant process for qualifying manuscripts for publication, which (traditionally) drastically improves its visibility and readability.

To get a better understanding of the characteristics of a “good” peer review, this blog post covers “best practices” of peer review and quality assessment instruments that are specifically designed to measure the quality of a peer review. In addition, in light of determining the practical usage of these best practices and quality assessment instruments, the roles of the authors, peer reviewers and journal editors as suitable users of such quality assessment instruments are examined.
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Improving WordPress’ Tag Surfer?

August 31, 2008 3 comments

Tags are cool. And WordPress’ Tag Surfer is very useful. A little less “automatic” than a recommendation system, but a promising high quality relevant content filter for sure. There are a couple of things about it that bug me, though. So for this blog post I will provide some of my complaints that may have also been expressed by others. So here they are (not necessarily in the order of importance, though)…
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Categories: Web (2.0) Tags: ,

Feasibility of PLoS ONE’s Peer Review Model?

August 31, 2008 14 comments

There is a growing urge to deal with the significant issues that plague both the peer review and the scientific paper format. The peer review issues concern the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of validating the quality of a scientific paper. The scientific paper issues concern the inflexibility of communicating more scientific knowledge, e.g. not limited by some journal paper page limit, complementary (raw) data sets or even corrections to the paper. Thanks to the advent of digital communication, these issues are now more apparent than ever. However, that does not mean that the solutions that are conceptualized or even practically realized are the be-all end-all solutions to our problems.

In this blog post, I express my concerns with PLoS ONE’s peer review and publication model as the model that can stand on its own as a/the new peer review model. I suggest some features that are based on existing concepts to complement their peer review system to make the transition to their vision of how (their) peer review should work perhaps more feasible.
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