Friday, May 3, 2013

Nice data, but can you reproduce it?

We've written volumes on the problem of false advertising for so-called stem cell tourism companies. They advertise miracle cures for deadly diseases, at a considerable cost. What they don't advertise is whether the touted approach has been shown to work or is safe.

Well, a recent post on the science blog Skepchick discusses the issue of how scientists themselves can tell the good science from the bad. Turns out the consumers aren't alone in their confusion. You can read the full blog entry for more on issues they see in the field of scientific publishing.

The piece was written by Anne Sauer in conjunction with our friends at Journal Lab--a company founded by former CIRM trainee at UCSF who wanted to make scientific publications more available and easily discussed. They write:
Journal Lab has begun aggregating the opinions of the stem cell research community on papers published in the field, hoping to help the cream rise to the top through a system of open peer review.
They hope to have scientists discuss the papers, and particular the data, in an online forum where it will be easier to identify the good papers and reproducible data. So far they have entries for a number of papers by CIRM grantees, including this one by Robert Blelloch of UCSF and Journal Lab founder Robert Judson. They write:
It is a brave new world for research publishing, and successful symbiosis among scientists, publishers, and the general public will require a larger degree of open access participation. Focusing our efforts on rewarding reproducible science and maintaining robust conversations about the published literature in an appropriate forum will have a profoundly positive impact on the future of research, publishing, and, ultimately, health. May the best science win.
May the best science win, and may the best way of identifying and publicly discussing that best science also win. It will be interesting to watch how scientists interact with each other in the easy to use online setting Journal Lab has set up.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the shout-out and summary! Quick note: most the writing credit should go to Matt Cook. Thanks again!