Conducting scientific research outside traditional settings –

“While the rise of crowd-funded science projects, open-access science initiatives and open-access publications make the scientific environment friendlier for citizen scientists, many traditional scientific practices remain out of reach for those without sufficient funds or institutional support – for example, studies involving human participants. Community-supported checks and balances remain essential for scientific projects, but perhaps they too can become unbound from traditional academic settings.”

OER supporting environment: Open Access, Open Data and Open Government policies – 2nd World OER Congress

“The aim of this workshop is to discuss various regulatory aspects that are critically affecting the adoption and use of OER and open learning. This includes in particularly generic policies and government approaches to open access, open data and open government.”

USDA APHIS | Updates to APHIS’ Website Involving Animal Welfare Act Compliance Information

After previously taking down an OA database on cruelty animals, and after triggering public protests, the USDA put the database back up. 

“Today, APHIS is posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports for certain Federal research facilities that the Agency regulates under the Animal Welfare Act.  The reports posted are part of a comprehensive review of the documents the Agency removed from its website in early February and are in the same redacted form as before.

To conduct the review, the entire agency search tool database was taken off line….

The reposted information can be found on our website, here….”

Latest Article Alert from Asia Pacific Family Medicine

The following new articles have just been published in Asia Pacific Family Medicine

Primary care patient experience and cancer screening uptake among women: an exploratory cross-sectional study in a Japanese population
Aoki T, Inoue M
Asia Pacific Family Medicine 2017, 16:3 (7 February 2017)

Medical Researchers Want Up To Five Years Exclusivity For Clinical Trial Data Derived From Volunteers | Techdirt

“A year ago, we wrote about how TPP’s requirement for “data exclusivity” risked undermining one of science’s fundamental principles: that facts cannot be owned. Data exclusivity is just the latest attempt by Big Pharma to extend its monopoly over drugs, whether using patents or other means. To a certain extent, you might expect that: after all, companies are designed to maximize profits, and if it means more people suffer or die along the way, well, that’s regrettable but sort of beside the point. However, it’s surprising to see a group of medical researchers writing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) calling for just the same kind of data exclusivity. The post is in response to an earlier NEJM article by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), entitled “Sharing Clinical Trial Data”….”

Mysterious medical research consortium: we should own volunteers’ clinical trial data for 5 years / Boing Boing

“The “International Consortium of Investigators for Fairness in Trial Data Sharing” — a group that appears to have just been formed, backed by 282 researcher in 33 countries — has objected to a plan to limit exclusivity over clinical trial data derived from medical volunteers, insisting instead that the fair thing to do is to lock up this uncopyrightable, factual data for up to five years….”

Peer Review Has Its Shortcomings, But AI Is a Risky Fix | WIRED

“Imagine for a moment that publishers…embrace AI in peer review. AI performance will increase precisely where human editors today invest most of their time: choosing reviewers and judging whether to publish a manuscript. I don’t see why learning algorithms couldn’t manage the entire review from submission to decision by drawing on publishers’ databases of reviewer profiles, analyzing past streams of comments by reviewers and editors, and recognizing the patterns of change in a manuscript from submission to final editorial decision. What’s more, disconnecting humans from peer review would ease the tension between the academics who want open access and the commercial publishers who are resisting it….”

Are Textbook Prices Too High? – The Lions’ Pride

“With the rising costs of textbooks, many college students are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase the ones that are required for all of their classes each semester. This undoubtedly has the potential to severely impact their performance in class, as their grades may greatly suffer. Similarly, many people are discouraged about earning a higher education because they not only have to think about tuition, but they also have to consider the soaring costs of textbooks they have to pay each semester.

A report posted by the United States Public Interest Group in February of 2016 stated that, ‘Over the last decade, the price of college textbooks has soared. Since 2006, the cost of a college textbook increased by 73% – over four times the rate of inflation. Today, individual textbooks often cost over $200, sometimes as high as $400.’

The report also went on to say that, ‘Nearly 5.2 million U.S. undergraduate students spend a total of $1.5 billion dollars of financial aid on textbooks every semester, or $3 billion per year.’

From these statistics, it is evident that textbook costs have been on the rise and are progressively getting higher. But if this is so, how are students expected to purchase textbooks throughout their entire college career?

Here on campus, a few students shared how they managed to afford their textbooks this semester.”