|In the BugBitten blog, Ailie Robinson from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine talks about her five-week deployment at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone. Through her work in a busy diagnostic laboratory, she describes the difficulties of screening for Ebola in this environment and the steps they need to take to safely handle specimens.These diagnostics are vital for tracing new outbreaks, but we also hear how these efforts are putting strain on the treatment of other diseases, including malaria.|
|The rising tide of metrics|
|Evaluating the impact of research using metrics can create a lot of debate especially as it can be linked to things such as grant awards and career progression. An independent review of metrics was carried out by a group in the UK that included researchers, publishers, funders and research managers. They published their findings earlier this month in a report entitled The Metric Tide.One of the report’s conclusions was that peer review should be the primary means of assessing research outputs, proposals and individuals. It was also concluded that certain indicators should be used in decision-making alongside ‘expert judgment, quantitative indicators and qualitative measures’. Publication of the report elicited comment from two of the group’s participants James Wilsdon andStephen Curry. Diana Marshall of BioMed Central provided her own view on metrics earlier this year here. The group is asking for the community’s wants to generate discussion about metrics on the website Responsible Metrics.|
|Are women in science in a better position than women in tech?|
|Over the last few months a few controversial incidents relating to gender inequality in science have brought such issues to the forefront of the media’s watchful eye.Despite this, evidence indicates that there are more women entering the science arena, although the real challenges begin as they attempt to move up the career ladder. However, for women working in technology the situation is even more difficult – there are too few women entering the field in the first place.|
In a guest post for the BioMed Central blog Laura Wheeler of Digital Science gave us her perspective on the challenges facing women in science and in technology, and why role models like Ada Lovelace can provide inspiration.
|A recent study published in BMC Evolutionary Biologyexplained how spiders travel across water like ships, using their legs as sails and their silk as an anchor. This helps to explain how spiders are able to migrate across vast distances and why they are quick to colonize new areas.|
By releasing silk on water, the sailing spiders also seemed to act like ships dropping their anchors to slow down or stop their movement. This sailing behavior could also be helpful for spiders to increase survival near wet areas and after rainfall, including flooding events. This interesting research was covered in various media outlets including CNN and The Guardian.
How do nematodes, a small worm with limited mobility, travel long distances to find new food? Research published in BMC Ecology found that they hitch a ride using slugs and other invertebrates as public transport.
The worms invade the guts of slugs and proliferate within the intestines, before they are excreted alive with the slug feces. As the worms enter and leave the slug without any obvious harm and the slugs survived large worm infestations without any obvious damage, it is thought that this could be a harmless interaction where at least the nematodes benefit. This hitch-hiking activity piqued the interest of the press being covered in places such as Scientific American and Die Welt in Germany.
|Archives of Physiotherapypublishes first articles|
|In partnership with the Italian Society of Physiotherapy and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, BioMed Central has launchedArchives of Physiotherapy. It is one of the few open access journals specializing solely in the subject of physiotherapy.Some of the launch articles included research into passive standing as rehabilitation following a stroke and another research article on how physiotherapists identify those who will be successful in rehabilitation. The article-processing charges for the journal will be covered on behalf of authors by both partner organizations for the first four years of publication.|
|How to peer review|
|In the final part of a series of blogs aimed at beginners in peer review, BioMed Central’s Associate Editorial Director for Research Integrity, Jigisha Patel, discusses how to write a good peer review report.By looking at how to make a recommendation, how to re-review, and how to raise concerns about ethics and suspected misconduct, the blog sets out helpful ways to make sure a report is sufficiently detailed and useful for both the editor and authors.|
|To coincide with the publication of the first articles published in our new journal,Research Involvement and Engagement, we looked at whether the priorities of patients and clinicians were being considered in research. Co-author of the study, Sally Crowe,gave us her thoughts for the On Medicine blog. Meanwhile, a post for the BMC Series blog discussed new research showing a link between sedentary behavior and anxiety, urging us to think carefully about how we’re living and working. In open access news, Naser Faruqui from Canada’s International Development Research Center wrote for the BioMed Central blog about their new open access policy, which came into force on July 20.|
|BioMed Central is an open access publisher of science, technology and medicine. We have 286 open access, online, peer-reviewed journals. Find out which are relevant to you and your research here.|
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