Six Points to Consider When Choosing a Reference Manager

Fiddling with citations and organizing an ever-growing number of files can be a source of great distress for researchers. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Reference management software, or reference managers (RMs), are intended to facilitate these tasks.

Using an RM instead of manually taking care of your citations and references is like switching your trusty old bicycle for a Lamborghini. Sure, your bike can reliably get you places when all the places you need to get to are within a few blocks. But when you need to travel across the country? Not so much. Managing a large number of references manually is labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Nowadays Read more

Should I Publish Open-Access? Things to Consider


The traditional publishing industry underwent a paradigm shift over the last decade, an expected outcome of the internet accessibility worldwide. With the steady increase in the number, and quality, of open access (OA) journals, many researchers are left wondering whether they should go that route or not. When deciding whether to make one’s research OA, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the different avenues for OA publishing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OA publication

There are many advantages to OA publication, which are summarized in the following three points: Read more

Why Publish in English?

In the early twentieth century, scientific publications in French, German and English were held in the same regard internationally. After World War II, the United States government began a major economic expansion that allowed it to become the richest and most influential country in the world. This gave the English language further prominence in many fields, including scientific research.

Leading scientific organisations have a clear preference for material published in English. At present, English is considered the international language of science, technology, commerce and communications, enabling physicians and researchers from around the world to communicate and share knowledge. Read more

Medical data cleansing and checking: Save time by planning ahead

I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently analysing clinical datasets for a couple of projects. This has reminded me of the mistakes I have made in the past, and the lessons I have learned to make life SO much easier. I thought I’d share a few thoughts! Planning ahead and following some simple rules […]

Navigating the journal submission process – are you really prepared!

Who remembers the days of mailing your valuable manuscript to a journal’s editorial office, or even faxing through your 20+-page document? Simpler times, maybe. Nowadays, you almost have to take an intensive course to come to grips with the complexities of some of the online manuscript submission and tracking systems used by journals and publishers.

So, you’ve chosen your short-list of Read more

Lifestyle changes and health. One size does not fit all

I read with interest reports of a recent ‘study’ by a scientist and journalist who managed to get a flawed piece of research published in a (non-refereed) scientific journal from where it was taken up by the popular press ( The ‘research’ claimed to demonstrate that chocolate was a beneficial addition to weight reducing diets. […]

Why perform a meta-analysis?

A meta-analysis is a powerful statistical procedure for combining and comparing data from multiple studies that have all tested a particular hypothesis with the objective of identifying patterns among the results. The meta-analysis can then be used for a variety of purposes: Read more

New tool helps authors find the right reporting guideline for their manuscript

Reporting guidelines help and guide authors in the preparation and accurate reporting of research studies, e.g., CONSORT for randomized trials, STROBE for observational studies, PRISMA for systematic reviews, STARD for diagnostic accuracy studies, and CARE for case reports. Editors of biomedical journals will often ask authors to provide evidence that they used and adhered to the appropriate reporting guidelines, and may ask for guideline specific checklists during submission, and include guideline flow diagrams in the published manuscript (e.g., CONSORT, PRISMA, STARD). Journal editors, reviewers, and readers use these guidelines as a tool in assessing the quality and reliability of reported research. Many guidelines have been developed for different study types, and it is important that authors identify and implement the correct guidelines for their research.

The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network is Read more

Selecting reviewers for your submitted manuscript

Many peer-review journals now request reviewer recommendations during the submission process. Selecting suitable reviewer(s) is critical to facilitating and surviving the peer-review process. The recommended reviewer must be someone who is an expert within your speciality, is still active, and has recently published within your particular area of research.

Selection Strategies.

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics revisited

I posted previously on reporting of scientific studies by the popular press. Diet related topics seem to be particularly prone to problems, I guess because they are particularly newsworthy. Diabetes also makes a good headline? A story from 2012 comes to mind, as a number of patients asked me about it. This study was published […]