Archive by date | July 2008

Evaluation of the peer-reviewer’s work

In a discussion at Nature Network about the desirability, or otherwise, of developing a set of metrics to measure individual value, Roberto Cerbino suggests that an interesting factor for an experiment is peer-reviewing activity. Some journals already publish at the end of the year the list of names of reviewers. Perhaps, he writes, they could add some quantitative factor such as the number of papers reviewed or an evaluation index of the reviewer’s work? This would be a small but useful step to assess the contributions of individuals to their fields of activity.  Read more

UK science and society strategy calls for input

Charles Darwin comments on the latest UK government initiative to engage society as a whole with science: “Scientists pressed, sweating into corners as costermongers, corn-chandlers, dogs meat men, chimneysweep’s boys, executioner’s assistants, crimps, pimps, organ grinders, grooms of the stool, fullers, gentlemen of the road, members of the aristocracy and ladies of the night (to mention but a few) all clamour to press on you their views on string theory, stem cell therapy, plate tectonics or catalytic cracking.  Read more

Making best use of interrelated information

On the topic of the ‘data deluge’, Sarah Kemmitt notes at Nature Network that the UK Government has opted for an increasingly used technique (see, for example, Elsevier’s Grand Challenge) to scope ideas for a strategy for how to make best use of interrelated information.  Read more

Trustworthiness of online encyclopaedias

In its July Editorial Wouldn’t you like to know?, Nature Physics (4, 505; 2008) asks how much of the mass of information available online in encyclopaedic form can be trusted. The Editorial discusses various sources: Wikipedia, of course; Citizendium (with its associated Eduzendium); Scholarpedia ; and a brief mention of Encyclopaedia Britannica, which has just begun experimenting with user-generated input (although not noted in the Editorial).  Read more