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Posts from the ‘Opinion’ Category

Preprints – what’s in it for me?

A preprint is a scientific manuscript uploaded by authors to an open access, public server before formal peer review. With the rising popularity of preprint servers enabling fast and direct distribution of knowledge across the world, and plans underway to establish a ‘Central Service for Preprints’, Isabel Baker asked some converts across the MRC community why they’ve jumped on board.

Dr Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Programme Leader, Memory and Perception group, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

“Preprint posting is the right thing to do for science and society. It enables us to share our results earlier, speeding up the pace of science. It also enablesDr Nikolaus Kriegeskorte us to catch errors earlier, minimising the risk of alerting the world to our findings (through a high-impact publication) before the science is solid.

“Importantly, preprints ensure long-term, open access to our results for scientists and for the public. Preprints can be rapidly posted for free on arXiv and bioRxiv, enabling instant open access. We post every paper as a preprint in my lab, at the time of the first submission to a journal.”

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A reflection on health inequalities

Last week the Academy of Medical Sciences published a report, Improving the health of the public in 2040’ Dr Vittal Katikireddi is an NHS Research Scotland Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and was a member of the working group. He explains how a healthier society can only be achieved by making society fairer – and why the solution goes beyond anything medicine can do on its own.

Slow progress

Despite advances in medical technologies treatments and public health measures, we’ve made no progress in addressing health inequalities in the UK. For example, a boy born today in one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow can expect to live around 15 years less than someone born in one of the richest parts of the city. Read more

Beyond open: making your data accessible

Sense about Science have recently set up a new website to help people make sense of children’s heart surgery data; Joanne Thomas and Emily Jesper from the charity explain why and how they made that data make sense.

Two percentages are shown being weighed against each other with the headline 'NO!''

A higher survival rate does not mean a better hospital. © PRAIS2 website project team 2016

At Sense about Science, we strongly believe that patients and families should be involved in how medical research is conducted and communicated. So when Dr Christina Pagel asked us to help codevelop the Understanding Children’s Heart Surgery Outcomes website, and include people who need this information in the project, we didn’t hesitate. Read more