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  • Why I dread submitting papers
    to have Acrobat then the online tools can be used but as an exception I can t understand this If the Natures and Sciences want to keep up their policy of splitting papers into an often absurdly short summary of results which is then linked to the supplementary material where the real paper is then that is fine But everybody else This has been a long winded way of getting around to this link It s not strictly about submitting an article being instead about a dreadful experience trying to get a journal to accept a technical comment but in several ways it resonates with my point above thanks to João Carrico for bringing my attention to it via Twitter Mac users don t start 16 Comments rpg 1 Comment permalink August 19th 2009 at 22 54 Mac users don t start Didn t Say A Word Jenny 2 Comment permalink August 19th 2009 at 23 57 There was just a call to arms about this somewhere in a lovely letter to the editor It was either Nature or The Scientist but I can t find it now The authors were proposing a universal template for all papers It seemed like a really sound idea matt 3 Comment permalink August 20th 2009 at 13 04 Hoping the whole publishing industry will agree on a standard is er optimistic at least for the time being Though the USA s National Library of Medicine does have a document format the NLM s XML DTD that is nearly a standard and good for putting full articles into PubMed Central But as an author you don t want to be dealing with it More likely to give a win to both publishers and authors are authoring tools Microsoft Word or whatever that let you save your article in whatever form the publisher wants The publisher gives you a settings file and you export your article using it Nobody you journal production staff need to faff around reformating references etc There are extra cherries these sorts of authoring tools would also make it much easier for you to mark up your document semantically when I write flu I mean this particular disease about which therefore all this other information is pertinent Maxine 4 Comment permalink August 20th 2009 at 15 27 I wish there were a universal format for figures that s for sure Also that digital vs print colours weren t different So long as there are so many different forms of illustration gels half tones colours galaxies line drawings and so many gee whizzeries that authors love to use in creating them shading tinting 3D effects etc well it is a headache As for the Word issue MS is a software house whose product is primarily for business users They released a completely new version of Word incompatible with all previous without any consultation with the publishing or other third party industries The publisher for example has editing macros and typesetting codes embedded

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/08/why-i-dread-submitting-papers/ (2016-04-26)
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  • I should listen to my friends more…
    2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org I should listen to my friends more October 7th 2009 by Bill in Uncategorized Whenever I hear about publication by press conference I get worried It s a back door to get your results noticed And when the actual results are not fully reported it is potentially misleading So I am a bit annoyed with myself at my excitement on hearing that a Thai study had found a significant 31 2 efficacy for an HIV vaccine True it wasn t fully reported but there was a full and open discussion scheduled on the 20 th October at a meeting in Paris Last week before the home game against Olympiacos I was having a beer with a fellow Arsenal fan who works in an HIV lab He was complaining that the TV cameras had come to film the lab as background for a news report on the discovery and he had been edited out of the footage Anyway he said it s all bollocks The numbers are really small It s seventy something infected versus fifty something This was the cue for me to patronisingly point out that it s the number of people vaccinated that matters which was 8000 in both arms of the trial My friend grumbled and moved onto an entertaining rant about HPV and perianal warts But

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/10/i-should-listen-to-my-friends-more/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Up to our elbows in Freshers
    for CP Snow LabLit chats with Anna Ziegler Summer reading LabLit com will be ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Up to our elbows in Freshers October 6th 2009 by Jenny in Uncategorized They re wandering around the corridors and quads like wide eyed lost lambs Rather sweetly they haven t yet worked out that both sets of the university s many double doors actually open obviating the need for extensive queues And they re still at that precarious stage when they all go to the refectory at precisely the same time thus making it

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/10/up-to-our-elbows-in-freshers/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Oh dear…
    May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Oh dear September 30th 2009 by Bill in Uncategorized Vaccine scares are here again This time it is the tragic news that a 14 year old girl died after receiving her HPV vaccination with a predictable response from some quarters On this occasion I m going to take the road less travelled Numerous scientific commentators will be sure to point out that there is not necessarily any connection between the events and that even if there were the risks of vaccination remain tiny in comparison to the lifetime risk of developing cervical cancer But it would be wrong to only consider this story as a case report It s also a story and many even most people hearing about it on the news will interpret it as a narrative they will be struck by the irony of parents wanting to protect their daughter through a vaccine which is voluntary in the UK only for her to succumb far sooner than they could have ever expected Whether or not there is any connection this single tragedy will resonate far more than the thousands of lives which will be saved Those saved lives are an absence of death even of illness and we tend not to perceive such things in the same way A classic ethical dilemma asks whether subjects would be willing to save bystanders on a railway platform from a runaway train by changing the points to divert the train onto another platform where it will kill only one person Most people say that they would divert the train and kill the lone commuter But when the question is recast such that there is a crowded train headed out of control towards a precipice and to prevent it plummeting over the edge we have to push a single large gentleman off an overlooking bridge onto the track to derail the train before the crash most people balk I think something similar can apply when we talk about vaccination It should not be a great surprise if when vaccinating millions we observe events which have a one in a million chance of occurring But even though the risk is small minuscule we are deliberately exposing vaccinees to it Hence the vaccine is held responsible whereas the depredations of disease can somehow be viewed as natural To put it another way if somebody dies of a disease it is nobody s fault but if they die following vaccination then it is the fault of the dastardly government big pharma whoever It is interesting to note that following

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/09/oh-dear/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Words of wisdom
    home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/09/words-of-wisdom/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Can Jenny come out to play?
    Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Can Jenny come out to play September 28th 2009 by Jenny in Uncategorized I ve been stuck at my desk for weeks

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/09/can-jenny-come-out-to-play/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Le RAE est mort, vive le REF!
    Uncategorized The Research Assessment Exercise RAE was the late unlamented process by which the UK government decided on the allocation of billions of pounds of research funding It worked with the kind of blistering quicksilver efficiency that one would expect of an organization with 15 main panels overseeing 67 units of assessment and sub panels Departments spent untold hours preparing their RAE return trying to figure out how best to divvy up their published papers among their academics in order to maximize each person s personal impact factor To say the RAE was reviled is putting it mildly It was also criticized for being obsessed with things like journals impact factors It s well known by now that these are imperfect measures of scientific prowess and they vary hugely across fields In medicine impact factors are typically very large but in a more niche market like parasitology they are low This is not the fault of parasitologists whose work is of enormous importance to people who suffer from parasitic diseases But those people tend not to live in places like the USA or Europe or have lots of money to spend on drugs This may go some way to explaining why work on diseases that kill a few hundred Americans tends to get cited more than research on diseases which kill a few tens or hundreds of thousands of Africans But enough bitching there The RAE is dead So what is going to replace it Step forward the Research Excellence Framework With the REF the name has been updated removing any suggestion that research is being assessed and trendily combining words in ways which make little grammatical sense What is an excellence framework A framework for excellence I can just about understand and an excellent framework as well but not

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/09/le-rae-est-mort-vive-le-ref/ (2016-04-26)
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  • A wonderful winner
    June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org A wonderful winner September 21st 2009 by Bill in Uncategorized Richard Holmes book The Age of Wonder was last week announced as the winner of the Royal Society Prize for Science books beating such luminaries as Ben Goldacre for Bad Science and Neil Shubin for Your Inner Fish to the podium I m delighted I m half way through it and was whooping with joy already at the end of the first section which deals with the rise of Joseph Banks explorer with Captain Cook consort of Tahitian maidens and the Royal Society s longest serving president Holmes is particularly good at examining science within the context of its time and since this was the romantic age the scientists are given to awe and the romantic poets quite open to the beauty of science The classic example of this is Keats On first looking into Chapman s Homer This poem contains the often quoted lines Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken Or like stout Cortez when with wond ring eyes He star d at the Pacific and all his men Look d at each other with a wild surmise Silent upon a peak in Darien The watcher of the skies in question is William Herschel whose discovery of Uranus had recently stunned the world by suggesting how much there might be about the universe we had neither known nor suspected Nor is this the only link with science when he wrote this Keats was actually a medical

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2009/09/a-wonderful-winner/ (2016-04-26)
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