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Trending Papers in metascience

82% of alcohol-related health studies were either authored or funded by alcohol companies
From Paper: Declared funding and authorship by alcohol industry actors in the scientific literature: a bibliometric study
Published: Sep 2020
  • This study investigates the extent and type of scientific research 1918–2019 which was supported by the alcohol industry, including alcohol companies themselves and other organizations, such as trade associations
  • The analysis included 13 481 unique records, 11 014 (82%) were authored or funded by alcohol companies and 2488 (18%) were authored or funded by other organizations
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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Laypeople Can Predict Which Social-Science Studies Will Be Replicated Successfully
Published: Aug 2020
  • Prediction accuracy further increased with access to the statistical evidence obtained in the original studies
  • The authors obtained data from 257 participants, who were recruited from the online platform Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk; n = 83), the online participant pool of first-year psychology students at the University of Amsterdam (n = 138), and social-media platforms such as Facebook (n = 36)
Submitted by Will McBurnie
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Open Access to Federally Funded Research Data
From Paper: Open Access to Federally Funded Research Data
  • The next President should issue an Executive Order (EO) requiring each federal agency that directly supports scientific research and development to develop and implement an Open Science Data Policy.
  • This is a policy/advocacy piece (not research) which argues that maximizing the value of taxpayer-funded research means making the results of—and the underlying data from—that research openly available, discoverable, and usable. Public access to scientific data and results fuels innovation and creates jobs.
Submitted by Brian Armstrong
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Grad students are increasingly facing depression over career prospects, engagement, and more
From Paper: Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education
Teresa M. Evans, Lindsay Bira, Jazmin Beltran Gastelum, L. Todd Weiss, Nathan L. Vanderford
Published: Mar 2018
  • Nearly half of bioscience grad students at UC Berkeley are depressed.
  • The authors suggest a solution might be increased access to mental health services and an overhaul of the grad school culture to emphasize a healthier work-life balance
Submitted by Brian Armstrong
Open is not forever: a study of vanished open access journals
Mikael Laakso, Lisa Matthias, Najko Jahn
Published: Aug 2020
  • During the data collection process, the authors encountered almost 900 inactive OA journals that were still accessible at the time of our study but at high risk for vanishing in the near future
  • This study found that 176 open-access journals that have vanished from the web. Journals that were affiliated with academic institutions or scholarly societies, located in North America, or that published social sciences and humanities research, represent a larger share of vanished journals compared to other types
Submitted by Age Old
Do successful PhD outcomes reflect the research environment rather than academic ability?
Published: Aug 2020
  • The key finding was that the 'research environment', such as whether the supervisor was in a research centre or institute and the research experience of the supervision team, were most significant predictors of, with the largest effect sizes for, student outcomes
  • Students were more than two times more likely to withdraw from their PhD when the supervisory team did not achieve maximum score or a scholarship was not awarded
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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An analysis of how citations can be misused to grant intellectual authority where it is not deserved
  • Through distortions in its social use that include bias, amplification, and invention, citation can be used to generate information cascades resulting in unfounded authority of claims
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature
Published: Jan 2018
  • The authors created an interactive browser at allows users to explore these findings in more detail
  • Sci-Hub's coverage of scholarly literature exceeded that of the University of Pennsylvania's academic library
Submitted by Zachary Miller
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The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers: Fostering research integrity
  • This paper proposes a way to improve the rigor and trustworthiness of research.
  • It advocates that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviors that strengthen research integrity.
Submitted by Lex Bouter
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The growth of acronyms in the scientific literature, and how they prevent the widespread accessibility of science
From Paper: The growth of acronyms in the scientific literature
Some acronyms are useful and are widely understood, but many of the acronyms used in scientific papers hinder understanding and contribute to the increasing fragmentation of science. Here we report the results of an analysis of more than 24 million article titles and 18 million article abstracts published between 1950 and 2019. There was at least one acronym in 19% of the titles and 73% of the abstracts. Acronym use has also increased over time, but the re-use of acronyms has declined. We found that from more than one million unique acronyms in our data, just over 2,000 (0.2%) were used regularly, and most acronyms (79%) appeared fewer than 10 times. Acronyms are not the biggest current problem in science communication, but reducing their use is a simple change that would help readers and potentially increase the value of science.
Submitted by Patrick Joyce
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