6 Sep, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
The academic publication process is not the most efficient of systems. Authors often go through several rounds of submission and rejection trying to find an appropriate publication venue. In fact, it takes on average nearly six months for a paper to reach publication from date of submission, during which time there is plenty of opportunity for competitors to publish similar results.
The reality is that before a paper is accepted by a journal, it is often rejected by one or more others. The reason for rejection need not be a methodological flaw – perhaps the research just isn’t innovative enough for the prestigious titles. During this time, each journal sends the paper for appraisal by experts in the relevant field; peer review. Endless cycles of repetitive review and requests for additional experiments from multiple journals does not necessarily make for efficient scientists, or efficient science.
30 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
An article in The BMJ on muscular strength in male adolescents and premature death received over 55,000 page views in December 2012. On closer inspection, we discovered that 66% of visits to that particular article had come from Reddit, the social content sharing and news aggregator site. In fact, after tracking down the article on reddit.com, we found that the article had generated quite a flurry of conversation, with just under 300 comments.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a one off, especially given the relevance of the paper to the adolescent users of Reddit. However, another BMJ article seems to have provoked a similar reaction. This study focused on didgeridoo playing as an alternative treatment for sleep apnoea and received a significant 59% of its total traffic from reddit.com.
16 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
There is general consensus in the publishing community that online documents have too long been like yesterday’s paper—flat, lifeless, inactive. For many years, we have been trying to move away from ‘paper under glass’ and reconceptualise scholarly output using the technologies available now.
Elsevier have invested significant time in their Article of the Future project, many have experimented with semantic publishing, and services such as Utopia Docs have attempted to breathe new life into PDFs. Now the innovative open access journal, eLife, has released a new tool in the hope of making articles easier to read online for researchers, authors and editors alike: eLife Lens.
9 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
Even if you don’t use the online photo-sharing social networking service that is Instagram, you’ve probably encountered an Instagram image somewhere online. Instagram’s calling card is the photo filter; a digital layer that gives the appearance of professional editing to a standard photo.
With the new addition of video capability on Instagram in June, it’s a good time to talk about how companies are using this rapidly growing platform for business purposes. After all, Instagram already has a built-in audience with 130 million monthly active users, liking on average 1 billion photos each day.
2 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
Traditionally, brands have interrupted consumers to talk about their product. Whether we’re reading a magazine, watching TV, or browsing online, the advert that inevitably appears is an unsolicited marketing message from a brand that we may or may not care about.
Consumer research often highlights that most of these marketing messages are indeed irrelevant to our interests and needs. Coupled with the increasing control a consumer has over the marketing they receive (opting-out of telemarketing and direct-mail; unsubscribing from email; skipping TV ads) this has become a cause for concern for brands.
26 Jul, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
At the Figaro Digital Marketing Conference last week, Dan Patmore (Search Marketing Manager for Argos) shared his views on what trends and products digital marketers should be focusing on in the next 12 months. He pointed to insight, technological developments and the importance of the customer. He also (somewhat reluctantly) mentioned Google.
Dan described the launch of Google+ as “the party that nobody came to”. In other words, there was a huge amount of hype, everybody got very excited, perhaps created an account, and then, nothing. He continued the analogy and surprised some people in the room (including myself) by saying that Google+ in 2013 may well be “the party that people are showing up for fashionably late.”
In January 2013, the Global Web Index revealed that Google+ had overtaken Twitter to become the second largest social network. Google+ now enjoys an impressive 359m monthly active users and brand interaction has apparently grown by 45.5% between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013.
19 Jul, 13 | by BMJ Group
In August last year London listings magazine Time Out became the latest high quality title to drop its cover price (£3.25), say farewell to the news-stand, and become a commuter freebie.
It looks, feels, and reads like its paid-for predecessor. There are film, theatre, dance, music, comedy, shopping, food, cabaret and club previews, and full-page ads for products including Hertz, Tesco Mobile, BA, and Fullers Brewery confirm that advertisers have stuck with the title, which now has an average weekly circulation of 205,530, a fivefold increase on the 54,875 copies it was selling each week in 2011.
Time Out is not routinely discarded by commuters, a trend it shares with glossy rivals Stylist (distributed on Wednesdays to affluent 20 to 40-year-old women with high end fashion, travel, beauty, people and careers content), and Shortlist (distributed on Thursdays to professional males)
But unlike Time Out, both Stylist and Shortlist launched as “freemium” titles and have never had a cover price.
11 Jul, 13 | by BMJ Group
BMJ hack day’s winning project – a smartphone app for patients to collect and compute home blood pressure readings – has triggered lots of social media attention and press coverage in titles such as Medical News Today, Nursing in Practice, and Mobile World Live.
The two other winners – a revision game for medical students to compete with each other using BMJ OnExamination data, and an Open Access Button that creates a “map of frustration” each time a reader hits a journal article paywall, have also generated a fair degree of attention. This BMJ article explains more.
But what of the other 10 projects? Four more idea were deservedly singled out for “honourable mentions” by BMJ chief executive Tim Brooks and his fellow judges.
4 Jul, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
The term ”hacker’ has become synonymous with those who break into computer networks in order to steal or vandalise. The original meaning of the term, however, is starkly different. A hacker is actually somebody who applies ingenuity to create a clever result, called a ‘hack’. This hack accomplishes the desired goal without changing the design of the system it is embedded in. Despite often being at odds with the design of the larger system, a hack is generally quite clever and effective.
21 Jun, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower
The launch of Mozilla’s Science Lab last week is a departure from the kind of projects that the ‘open source‘ advocating organisation usually involves itself with. The initiative is designed to bridge the gap between the open web community and scientific researchers, so that they can share ideas, tools and best practices on how the web should be used to solve problems and improve research techniques.
Mozilla’s mission statement for the Science Lab puts forth the goal of increasing the adoption of the internet and related technologies within different branches of science.
Even though the web was invented by scientists, we still have not yet seen it change scientific practice to nearly the same extent as we’ve seen in other areas like media, education and business. For all of the incredible discoveries of the last century, science is still largely rooted in the ‘analog’ age. Credit systems in science are still largely based around “papers,” for example, and as a result researchers are often discouraged from sharing, learning, reusing, and adopting the type of open and collaborative learning that the web makes possible.