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  • May 29, 2017
  • 11:34 AM

Study suggests computational model to predict air pollution after a rocket launching

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

The study suggests a new approach to predict major atmospheric pollutants emissions after a Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) launching, using a weather/air quality computational model. Propellant combustion may release a huge amount of hydrogen chloride (HCl), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter, posing risk to the environment. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 26, 2017
  • 01:14 PM

How to find articles in open access – tips from my favorite nerd

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Scholarly communication available online, whether in journals or repositories, adds up to millions, and this figure grows every year. What browser efficient tools are available to researchers, librarians, students, and the like to find the open-access versions of the articles that interest them? … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 22, 2017
  • 09:37 AM

Meteorological Tsunamis: should we worry about them?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Have you ever heard about meteorological tsunamis? Why it should be important to better understand these natural phenomena? Dr. Iael Perez and Dr. Dragani Walter from the Servicio de Hidrografia - CONICET, Argentina, explain these phenomena in detail after investing on an interesting study conducted in Mar del Plata. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 10, 2017
  • 05:29 PM

Gender disparities in science persist despite significant advances

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The participation of women as authors in academic publications has been increasing significantly worldwide and in all areas of knowledge, reaching 49% in Brazil and Portugal, followed by Australia (44%) and the European Union (41%). Gender equity in science, however, still has a long way to go, especially in the editing and peer review functions. A study of more than 41,000 articles published between 2007 and 2015 shows that male editors - who are majority - preferentially select same gender referees. … Read More →... Read more »

Markus Helmer, Manuel Schottdorf, Andreas Neef, & Demian Battaglia. (2017) Gender bias in scholarly peer review. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21718.001  

Lerback, J., & Hanson, B. (2017) Journals invite too few women to referee. Nature, 541(7638), 455-457. DOI: 10.1038/541455a  

  • May 8, 2017
  • 02:25 PM

Health systems in Brazil and regionalization policies

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

There is currently a crucial moment in the implementation of the Unified Health System (SUS), since its performance is questioned on all sides, in general, magnifying a superficial view of its failures and denying many of its successes. … Read More →... Read more »

  • May 2, 2017
  • 11:20 AM

Openness is the only quality of an academic article that can be objectively measured

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Quality of scientific research articles is a widespread preoccupation in academic circles. The most used proxy is based on citation counts, not of the article itself, but of the averages of articles appearing in the same journal during a given time window. This is known as the Journal Impact Factor, which may be objective within its own definition, but utterly lacks objectivity with regard to scientific quality of individual articles. Only some technical qualities of articles can be assessed at the time of their publication, and, significantly, their openness, the degree to which the research results they describe can be immediately and universally shared. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 25, 2017
  • 02:46 PM

Editors of Brazilian journals – a hard life that is getting harder! [Originally published as the editorial in Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências vol. 89 no. 1]

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The financing of journals of Brazil can be improved by extending the validity period of research grants, in order to allow publishers a better plan for articles publication. An editorial written by Alexander Kellner in the first issue of 2017 of Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências examines the challenge faced by editors of journals of Brazil and highlights their hard work in attracting relevant manuscripts, seeking to achieve ever greater levels of excellence and internationalization. … Read More →... Read more »

CORDEIRO, Y., & SCHUCK, P. (2015) Hot Topics in Biomedical Sciences. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1271-1272. DOI: 10.1590/0001-376520158722  

Vasconcelos, S., Sorenson, M., Watanabe, E., Foguel, D., & Palácios, M. (2015) Brazilian Science and Research Integrity: Where are We? What Next?. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 87(2), 1259-1269. DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201520150165  

  • April 7, 2017
  • 03:18 PM

Are we in the GSM Radar?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

Google Scholar Metrics (GSM) offers alternative metrics to the JCR Impact Factor and the SJR, namely the h-5 index. To enter this world ranking that covers more than 40,000 journals it is only necessary to publish an average of 20 articles per year and be cited. However, there are hundreds of journals (our journals) that are not being indexed in GSM. They're off Radar. … Read More →... Read more »

Enrique Ordua-Malea, Alberto Martín-Martín, Juan M. Ayllón, & Emilio Delgado López Cozar. (2016) La revolución Google Scholar: destapando la caja de Pandora académica. Universidad de Granada. info:/

  • April 2, 2017
  • 07:17 AM

The perfect multilingual

by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira in Being Multilingual

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } In case you’re wondering, let me reassure you straight away that yes, the title of this post is meant to be sarcastic. Perfect multilinguals do exist, of course, though only in the minds of those of us who mistake ideals of perfection for reality. Multilingual perfection awardees must satisfy a number of criteria. If you are, or were, a language learner as an adult, forget it: not having acquired all of your languages as a young child automatically makes you a non-multilingual. Either your accent, or your choice of words, your delivery, proficiency, fluency, grammar, conversational skills, in one or more of your languages, or your physical appearance, or all of the above, won’t pass the perfection litmus test, which is a match to native(-like) standards. This is an intriguing criterion, because it assumes that we know what native users are, look like, and do with their languages. I recently came across a very entertaining report in Nature, about the woes of having articles submitted to journals anonymously peer reviewed in order to assess their scholarly quality, where I found this gem: “Another reviewer suggested that the [article] authors should find ‘someone who speaks English as a first language to proofread the paper’, even though all four authors – including two tenured professors – were native English speakers.”If, on the other hand, you’re a child acquiring your languages from birth, you may stand slightly higher up the qualifying ladder. But only slightly, because even though you might technically qualify as a native multilingual, there have been studies on such children reporting on their foreign accent in one or more of their languages, numbering their languages L1, L2, Ln to suggest sequential language learning, or arguing that one of their languages is dominant across an often unspecified board. As a young child, you are also bound to fail the LSRW condition, stipulating that being multilingual means proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing all of your languages. This acronymic criterion does two things: first, it disregards all of us for whom language use involves neither listening nor speaking; and second, it adds the ‘RW’ twist, drawing on the well-attested confusion between languages and their printed counterparts. If I read and write Latin, but don’t speak it, am I multilingual with Latin? If I’m a native user of Singlish, but never wrote anything in it, am I multilingual with Singlish? Fascinating questions, and fascinating criterion, because it means that young multilinguals, as well as multilinguals who are illiterate, or happen to use one or more of the vast majority of the world’s languages which lack printed versions, aren’t perfect multilinguals either. So who is? The issue is not so much that defining multilinguals looks pretty much like an exercise in shooting at a moving target: every time you think you’ve answered a question, about yourself or others (Am I multilingual? Are you?), you find that the question has changed. The issue is that the perfect multilingual matches the mythical being that I’ve called multi-monolingual and that can be represented like this:Cover of Cruz-Ferreira, M., Multilinguals are ...? Image © Dinusha Uthpala UpasenaPerfect multi-monolinguals, in short, have complete, unmixed, and parallel command of all of their languages. If taken seriously, this means, for example, that they must be dominant in all their languages which, if taken seriously, makes one wonder about the seriousness of the paradoxical claim that multilinguals must develop a single dominant language. Instead of taking seriously claims about multilingualism which make no sense at all, let’s leave the sarcastic mood and take a serious look at what these criteria imply: they say that there are perfect, and therefore imperfect, uses of language, which means that those uses are best judged rather than observed. They say that living up to language standards is what steers our language uses, which means that languages exist independently of their users. And they compound the myth that being multilingual means being lesser lingual. There is one good reason why questions about the perfect (real, proper, true, etc.) monolingual aren’t ever asked: they would just make us laugh. Which monolingual has perfect command of their single language, according to the criteria that should define a perfect multilingual? Real-life multilinguals are as linguistically perfect as their monolingual counterparts. All of us draw on all of the linguistic resources at our disposal in space and time, whether we label these resources mono- or multi-. And all of us are fair game for judgement and deprecation according to someone else’s and, not least, our own ideals of perfection. ... Read more »

  • March 31, 2017
  • 06:07 PM

I wrote this… I did not write this… now I write something else…

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The emerging system of online scholarly communication incorporates a technological and ideologically approach different from the traditional one, where the articles initially appear as preprints versions and are modified until reaching the final version. In case of errors, these same technologies provide efficient opportunities to make partial or total corrections and even retractions, associating to the path of a document the history of its versions. It is time, therefore, to establish methodologies that allow to obtain the maximum of more updated information to support the scientific undertakings. … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 27, 2017
  • 04:12 PM

Pregnant women modify the labor progress when use warm bath and Swiss ball

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Research demonstrates the use of warm shower and perineal exercises with Swiss ball alone or combined during labor improves fetal well-being, stimulates uterine contractions, reduces labor time and accelerates progression to outcome in normal birth. … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 26, 2017
  • 09:27 AM

Multilingual neuromyths

by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira in Being Multilingual

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } Neuromyths are misconceptions about how the brain works. They are the topic of the Nature Neuroscience editorial The mythical brain, which highlights that they are as false as they are appealing, and that their appeal is what explains their resilience.Appealing seems to be the key word here, in its sense of ‘engaging’ with little or no rational engagement. Deena Skolnick Weisberg and colleagues showed this in The seductive allure of neuroscience explanations: when asked to choose between alternative nonsensical explanations of the same brain function, their informants systematically preferred the ones containing “logically irrelevant neuroscience information”. The mere mention of intimidating concepts like brain or neurology appears to lend credibility to any statement where they appear, in other words. Statements about the so-called ‘bilingual/multilingual brain’ are no exception, in the wake of the current exponential growth of academic and media news about brains and neuro-prefixed things. This growth reflects a shift in our ways of thinking about our brain along the past couple of decades. Late last century’s trends modelled the brain on the most sophisticated information gathering and processing device of the time, the computer. Since models naturally constrain our ways of thinking about what we’re modelling, our views of the brain came complete with computer-bound characteristics: brain space got allocated once and for all, and brains developed one way, towards decay. Related neuromyths had it that more than one language takes up brain space, or that aged brains lose language learning abilities. Early 21st century findings then spelled the death of brain death myths: ageing, which is what the brain and the rest of our bodies do from the moment we’re born, doesn’t entail brain decay. Brains were all but static, degenerative, limited-capacity CPUs: neural structures and functions evolve and regenerate themselves after all, in response to our experiences and needs, and both young and old brains retain the agility to do so. Brain plasticity duly became the new mantra and, not least, we could capture brains in action through imaging, our latest model. Related neuromyths have it that we now know what’s going on because we can see it, as Leonid Rozenblit and Frank Keil argue in The misunderstood limits of folk science: an illusion of explanatory depth. They show first, that we are experts at fooling ourselves that we “understand complex phenomena with far greater precision, coherence, and depth” than we actually do, and second, that “The illusion for explanatory knowledge is most robust where the environment supports real-time explanations with visible mechanisms.”Image © Thomas Schultz (Wikimedia Commons)Likewise, in What can functional neuroimaging tell the experimental psychologist?, Richard Henson warns us of the “real danger that pictures of blobs on brains seduce one into thinking that we can now directly observe psychological processes”. Blob-based evidence nevertheless continues to flourish, all the way from forensics, as Richard K. Sherwin observes in Visual jurisprudence, to education, as Sanne Dekker and colleagues show in Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and predictors of misconceptions among teachers or Paul A. Howard-Jones shows in Neuroscience and education: myths and messages. The seductive appeal of visual animations is irresistible, in sum, and it naturally sells very well, which is the topic of Diane M. Beck’s study The appeal of the brain in the popular press. But there are two problems. One is that the seduction is selective. Is it true, for example, that there is a bilingual/multilingual ‘advantage’, which may include inhibition of brain deterioration? Ellen Bialystok and colleagues say yes in Bilingualism, aging, and cognitive control: Evidence from the Simon Task, Shanna Kousaie and Natalie A. Phillips say no in Ageing and bilingualism: Absence of a “bilingual advantage” in Stroop interference in a nonimmigrant sample, and J. Bruce Morton and Sarah N. Harper, in What did Simon say? Revisiting the bilingual advantage, reserve judgement about whether multilingualism relates to brain performance at all until we understand what is really causing what. Meanwhile, Angela de Bruin and colleagues, in Cognitive Advantage in Bilingualism. An Example of Publication Bias?, conducted a meta-analysis of studies published between 1999 and 2012 on the so-called ‘bilingual advantage’, to conclude that the advantage may well lie in cherry-picking of findings. A recent issue of the Applied Psycholinguistics journal, dedicated to Bilingualism and neuroplasticity, reviews what (little) we know about this topic, but the myth that multilingualism is ‘good for your brain’ goes on making headlines: it’s simply too appealing to not be true. Apparently, it doesn’t sell to popularise research finding that multilingual brains may be as exciting as monolingual ones – which I, for one, find extremely appealing. The other problem is that academic and media reports don’t speak the same language. Media headlines stating that multilingualism “keeps the brain young” or that you should learn a new language in order to “boost your brain power”, though claiming to draw on scientific research on languages and brains, in fact misrepresent actual findings to go on feeding current neuromyths. In my academic courses, in one of the assignments that became most popular among students, I had them search for wow! media headlines about multilingualism, retrieve the original studies quoted in those pieces, and assess matches between headline and content of the piece, on the one hand, and content of the piece and the studies, on the other. Expectedly, very few matches were found. And unfortunately, given that academic publications aren’t regularly made available outside of academia, very few of us are able to judge for ourselves spin cycles and hype of this kind. Simple repetition of appealing myths doesn’t turn them into facts.Keeping (somewhat) to the topic of what we like to believe, my next post departs from the adult world to check out how children look at their own multilingualism. ... Read more »

Beck, D. (2010) The Appeal of the Brain in the Popular Press. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(6), 762-766. DOI: 10.1177/1745691610388779  

  • March 22, 2017
  • 03:37 PM

Study shows that malocclusion has a negative impact on adolescents’ quality of life

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

A study carried out at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) has shown that malocclusion (badly positioned teeth) may affect adolescents’ quality of life in a negative way. According to what was reported by parents and caregivers, youngsters with more serious alterations show more impaired aspects of emotional and social well-being than individuals without alterations or with minor ones. … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 14, 2017
  • 02:30 PM

Internationalization as an indicator of journal performance in Brazil: the case of Psychology

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The path to strengthening scientific publications almost always goes through internationalization. Publishing in English, however, is not enough to reach a truly global audience and indices comparable to the most prestigious journals. A study on the degree of internationalization of Brazilian psychology journals shows how to walk this path. … Read More →... Read more »

Gamba, E., Packer, A., & Meneghini, R. (2015) Pathways to Internationalize Brazilian Journals of Psychology. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 66-71. DOI: 10.1590/1678-7153.20152840010  

  • March 3, 2017
  • 03:18 PM

In memoriam: Eugene Garfield – 1925-2017

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The father of Scientometrics died at 91 years old on February 27, 2017 leaving a production of more than 1.000 papers and communications over 60 years of research. … Read More →... Read more »

  • February 22, 2017
  • 08:03 AM

SciELO Preprints on the way

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The main objective of SciELO Preprints is to speeding up the availability of research results and will contribute to an organized flow of potentially acceptable preprints by SciELO journals, in line with the advances and growing importance of preprints publication internationally. The cooperative construction of the SciELO Preprints modus operandi will encompass the promotion and debate of the preprints concept, the definition of governance and operations structures and the operational implementation. It is expected to be fully operational by mid-2018. … Read More →... Read more »

Berg, J., Bhalla, N., Bourne, P., Chalfie, M., Drubin, D., Fraser, J., Greider, C., Hendricks, M., Jones, C., Kiley, R.... (2016) Preprints for the life sciences. Science, 352(6288), 899-901. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf9133  

Ginsparg, P. (2016) Preprint Déjà Vu. The EMBO Journal, 35(24), 2620-2625. DOI: 10.15252/embj.201695531  

Pulverer, B. (2016) Preparing for Preprints. The EMBO Journal, 35(24), 2617-2619. DOI: 10.15252/embj.201670030  

Vale, R. (2015) Accelerating scientific publication in biology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(44), 13439-13446. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511912112  

  • February 13, 2017
  • 09:09 AM

What is the possible effect of clown interaction on vital signs and nonverbal communication of hospitalized children?

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Researchers at the Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí [Jundiaí School of Medicine], in the city of Jundiaí (State of São Paulo, Brazil) and Universidade Guarulhos [Guarulhos University], in the city of Guarulhos (State of São Paulo, Brazil), published a study that shows the positive and beneficial effects of the interaction of hospitalized children with clowns using as indicators nonverbal communication and vital signs of these children. … Read More →... Read more »

Alcântara, P., Wogel, A., Rossi, M., Neves, I., Sabates, A., & Puggina, A. (2016) Effect of interaction with clowns on vital signs and non-verbal communication of hospitalized children. Revista Paulista de Pediatria (English Edition), 34(4), 432-438. DOI: 10.1016/j.rppede.2016.02.011  

  • February 10, 2017
  • 01:15 PM

Scientific reliability and the role of theory

by Multiple Authors in EPPI-Centre blog

The replication crisis, publication bias, p-hacking, harking, bad incentives, undesirable pressures and probably other factors all contribute to diminish the trustworthiness of published research, with obvious implications for research synthesis. Sergio Graziosi asks whether demanding simple theoretical clarity might be part of the solution.
... Read more »

Kerr NL. (1998) HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 2(3), 196-217. PMID: 15647155  

Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323  

Munafò, M., Nosek, B., Bishop, D., Button, K., Chambers, C., Percie du Sert, N., Simonsohn, U., Wagenmakers, E., Ware, J., & Ioannidis, J. (2017) A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 21. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0021  

  • February 8, 2017
  • 03:05 PM

Assessment of reproducibility in research results leads to more questions than answers

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective

The ‘Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology’ initiative that has the purpose of assessing the reproducibility of preclinical research in Oncology was launched in 2013 as the result of a collaboration between the Center for Open Science and Science Exchange. The first results of the replication studies have just been published, however, their interpretation requires a careful approach. … Read More →... Read more »

  • February 7, 2017
  • 03:15 PM

Biofouling successional processes

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

To assess the successional pattern of fouling organisms we tested the hypothesis that depth, light intensity and predation influences the trajectory of the fouling community. The results suggest that each physical factor or biological process can change the successional trajectory, and the respective model (e.g., convergent, divergent, parallel, or cyclic) depends on the magnitudes of the determinants that act on the community at each stage of its trajectory. … Read More →... Read more »

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