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  • August 16, 2012
  • 07:40 AM

Independent Confirmation of Results and Academic Publishers: A Potential Opportunity?

by James in Open Science

Having already written about the need to independently test results, I’m pleased to see a news article in Nature that highlights the following initiative by Science Exchange to replicate high-profile papers: Scientific publishers are backing an initiative to encourage authors of high-profile research papers to get their results replicated by independent labs. Validation studies will [...]... Read more »

  • August 14, 2012
  • 08:56 AM

James Joyce, Intertextuality and Memoir

by Janine Utell in The Comics Grid. Journal of Comics Scholarship

Janine Utell examines James Joyce, intertextuality, and the transgressive figure of the daughter in two recent graphic memoirs: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home (2006) and Dotter of Her Father's Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot (2012). ... Read more »

  • August 12, 2012
  • 02:37 PM

Human embryonic (knowledge) germ(ination) cells

by Lee Turnpenny in The Mawk Moth Profligacies

On the acknowledged difficulties of deriving and culturing human embryonic germ cells, in light of some informative new data...... Read more »

  • August 9, 2012
  • 02:48 PM

Is music a result of sexual selection? [Revisited]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Cover of NRC Cultureel Supplement.It was Darwin’s hunch: music, as widespread as it is in our human culture, could well be a result of sexual selection, one of the two selection mechanisms he proposed to be at the basis of our evolution (the other being natural selection).Today an article by Wim Köhler appeared in the Dutch newspaper NRC elaborating on this idea: the potential evolutionary advantage of ‘mooizingers’ - those who perform well musically.Music as a result of sexual selection ........ Read more »

  • August 9, 2012
  • 11:23 AM

Is music a result of sexual selection?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Cognitive biologist Tecumseh Fitch (Vienna University) and his colleagues recently designed an experiment to put the sexual selection hypothesis to the test: does the ability to produce complex musical sounds reflect qualities that are relevant in mate choice contexts, supporting the idea of music to be functionally analogous to the sexually-selected acoustic displays of some animals, such as songbirds. ... Read more »

  • August 8, 2012
  • 01:28 PM

The Forever Decline: Academia’s Monograph Crisis

by James in Open Science

A decade or so ago you’d be forgiven for thinking that the monograph was in terminal decline. Just take the now 13-year-old words of Stanley Chodorow, who in his work, The Pace of Scholarship, the Scholarly Career, and the Monograph, claimed that the specialization of the academic monograph signalled “Its evolutionary track is at an [...]... Read more »

Willinsky, John. (2009) Toward the Design of an Open Monograph Press. JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING, 12(1). DOI: 10.3998/3336451.0012.103  

  • August 4, 2012
  • 09:40 PM

Why mosses can grow in the desert, and why their future is uncertain

by matt in Geodermatophilia

Readers of this blog won't be so surprised, but most people are unaware that mosses grow in deserts and semiarid zones. The reason they can do so is that desert mosses are dessication tolerators, meaning they are capable of drying without dying. While dry, they are in a state of suspended animation, simply waiting for the next hydration period so that biological activity - and hopefully - net photosynthesis can occur. They rehydrate literally in seconds, and are immediately active. You could m........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2012
  • 03:47 AM

Where did all the BBC programme metadata go? The infax catalogue online

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Over at @BBCSport and @BBC2012 there are some Olympian feats of big data wrestling going on behind the scenes for London 2012 [1]. While we all enjoy the Olympics on a range of platforms and devices, a team of twenty engineers is busy making it all happen. It’s great that the BBC, unlike other large organisations, can talk openly about their technology and share hard-won knowledge widely.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2012
  • 06:25 PM

Who should make the first move?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

When it comes to online dating, who should make the first move? You or them? ... Read more »

  • July 30, 2012
  • 03:40 PM

Solving the Positive Results Bias

by James in Open Science

One of the biggest problems facing science is that it’s done by us mere humans. We’re highly fallible and, as a result, science is vulnerable to our numerous list of biases. To some extent the scientific method, as a collective activity, has gradually evolved to shield itself against these individual-level biases. For instance, the notion [...]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2012
  • 04:16 PM

Algebra Is Necessary, But What About How It’s Taught?

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Andrew Hacker suggested that the typical math curriculum might not really be a necessary aspect of modern education — at least, not in the form that it currently takes. Hacker suggests that the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Rogers, T.B., Kuiper, N.A., & Kirker, W.S. (1977) Self-Reference and the Encoding of Personal Information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.35.9.677  

Klein, S. B., & Loftus, J. (1988) The nature of self-referrent encoding: The contribution of elaborative and organizational processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

Wason, P. C., & Shapiro, D. (1971) Natural and contrived experience in a reasoning problem. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/00335557143000068  

  • July 29, 2012
  • 09:38 AM

Why Don't Social Scientists Want To Be Read?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Here's the abstract of a paper just out called In pursuit of leanness: The management of appearance, affect and masculinities within a men's weight loss forum.In a somatic society which promotes visible, idealized forms of embodiment, men are increasingly being interpellated [sic] as image-conscious body-subjects. Some research suggests that men negotiate appearance issues in complex and varied ways, partly because image concerns are conventionally feminized. However, little research has conside........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2012
  • 09:56 PM

Self-citing bloggers: my research is the coolest thing ever (let me tell you all about it!)

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Every enthusiastic scientist knows that once you reach a certain level of specialization, there are very few people in your immediate surroundings that actually understand what you say. Eyes of family and friends get a bit glassy when you tell them about the SIR2 homologs, and nobody wants to look at your C. elegans’ baby [...]

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Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2012) Self- Citation of Bloggers in the Science Blogosphere. To be presented at COSCI12, Dusseldorf, August 1-5. info:/

  • July 27, 2012
  • 03:35 AM

Olympic Science: The Long Jump to Conclusions

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

If Science were an Olympic sport, which events would scientists excel at?... Read more »

Cressey Daniel, & Callaway Ewen. (2012) Science at the Olympics: Team science. Nature, 487(7407), 292. DOI: 10.1038/487290a  

Noakes Timothy, & Spedding Michael. (2012) Olympics: Run for your life. Nature, 487(7407), 296. DOI: 10.1038/487295a  

Enriquez Juan, & Gullans Steve. (2012) Olympics: Genetically enhanced Olympics are coming. Nature, 487(7407), 297. DOI: 10.1038/487297a  

Loza-Coll Mariano A. (2012) Piled too high. Nature, 486(7403), 431. DOI: 10.1038/nj7403-431a  

  • July 26, 2012
  • 06:03 AM

New fluorophore: 1% quantum yield!!

by postgradsci in interested in science?

A recent JACS comm (Beneditti et al) has detailed the development of a novel fluorophore, based on cyclopenta[b]naphthalene, and looked into its photophysical properties – namely its solvatochromism and quantum [...]... Read more »

  • July 24, 2012
  • 08:48 PM

Social Networking Use and Your Relationship

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

So you’ve been dating your new love for over a month now and they still haven’t changed their online relationship status even though you have. No biggie right? According to psychology researchers, this may have some implications. ... Read more »

  • July 24, 2012
  • 04:27 PM

On Self-Citation

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Self-citing is often frowned upon, being considered (and sometimes is) vanity, egotism or an attempt in self-advertising. However, everyone self-cite because sooner or later, everyone builds upon previous findings “Given the cumulative nature of the production of new knowledge, self-citations constitute a natural part of the communication process.” (Costas et al., 2010). The argument whether [...]

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Aksnes, D. W. (2003) A macro study of self-citation. Scientometrics, 56(2), 235-246. info:/

Fowler, J. H., & Aksnes, D. W. (2007) Does self-citation pay? . Scientometrics, 72(3), 427-437. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-007-1777-2  

  • July 24, 2012
  • 12:30 PM

Is replication an issue in music cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

This week the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) is being held in Thessaloniki, Greece. A week long hunderds of researchers will present their latest work in a dense program with five parallel sessions and four keynotes. Slightly overdone perhaps, but it shows the still growing and international interest in music cognition as a research topic.On the first day there will be a symposium on 'Replication'. By way of introduction below a blog entry that was origin........ Read more »

Richter, S., Garner, J., Auer, C., Kunert, J., & Würbel, H. (2010) Systematic variation improves reproducibility of animal experiments. Nature Methods, 7(3), 167-168. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth0310-167  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • July 24, 2012
  • 11:23 AM

Is replication an issue in music cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

In the last few years Web-based experiments have become an attractive alternative to lab-based experiments. Next to the advantages of versatility and the ecological validity of the results, Web-based experiments can potentially reach a much larger, more varied and intrinsically motivated participant pool. Especially in the domain of music perception and cognition it is important to probe a wide variety of participants, with different levels of training and cultural backgrounds.... Read more »

Richter, S., Garner, J., Auer, C., Kunert, J., & Würbel, H. (2010) Systematic variation improves reproducibility of animal experiments. Nature Methods, 7(3), 167-168. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth0310-167  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • July 23, 2012
  • 06:07 AM

Multi-Stage Open Peer Review (Pöschl, 2012)

by James in Open Science

One of the supposed conflicts in academic publishing is ensuring quality reviewed research in an environment of rapid scientific exchange. Traditional peer review, for instance, is a prime example of scientific quality: it allows for the dissemination of knowledge to pass through a filter of peers that self-regulates the suitability of a paper for publication. [...]... Read more »

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