Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

Posts Tagged ‘f1000’

Food for thought

Posted by Callum Anderson on 17 February, 2010

A recent evaluation on Faculty of 1000 Biology highlights a novel advance in the fight against adolescent obesity.  In what could be considered the first behavioural trial to treat obesity (i.e. not based on a drug treatment), a team led by Anna L Ford at The Bristol Care of Childhood Obesity Clinic found that by retraining the eating habits of obese patients, sustained weight loss can be achieved.

The trial centres around a new technology called the Mandometer, which has previously been marketed as a device to cure Anorexia-Bulimia.

Mildly humorous instructional video.

The device is essentially a set of weighing scales, linked to a computer, which monitors how much you are eating and how fast you are eating it. Participants record how full they feel on a 100 point scale at various times throughout the meal, and the device then tells them to eat more slowly or quickly depending on their answers.

In recent years, we have come to redefine Anorexia-Bulimia as a behavioural or psychological rather than a medical condition. This study puts forward the argument that it may well be time to look at obesity in the same manner.

As the authors say

An intervention aimed at slowing down speed of eating and reducing portion size through retraining eating behaviour is a useful adjunctive therapy to standard lifestyle modification in obese adolescents.

Now it isn’t particularly surprising that when told what to eat, and how quickly to eat it, the trial participants lost weight. Nor is the conclusion that behavioural based eating interventions are a good way to sustain weight loss a real revelation. However this trial does offer some hope for making sure that patients retain a healthy weight after observation has ended, mainly because the device can be used at home and without supervision. Perhaps technology based solutions may provide a fruitful area of study in the future?

Posted in f1000, Literature, Medicine | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

On the run-04Feb10

Posted by rpg on 5 February, 2010

What was that? I think it was the sound of a week flashing past.

I keep saying things like “We’ve got a brand new website… but you can’t see it yet.” This must be quite frustrating. Truth is, the dev team are working very hard (and specs have changed and changed again—but let’s not go there now) and a lot of stuff has to come together all at once. There’s actually no point showing you what we have at the moment because it’d all “ignore that, we’re changing it” and “the design is going to be different than this” and “oh, yeah, we know about that bug”.

But I can tell you that the new search is very funky and we all like it, and that the new design is very spiffy (hang on, I did that already). On Monday we’re going to work out once and for all what we can deliver and work to that. So far, the ‘definite’ list contains the new design (both what it looks like and functionally), the improved search, comments on evaluated articles and RSS. There are a heap of other behind-the-scenes changes too. Then after we go live we can add on all the other things that are on the backlog, so you will see new things appear as we keep building and tweaking and rolling out new features.

I spent some more time on our journal rankings this week. The critical thing appears to be the timing: as I’ve said before, most of our evaluations are published quite quickly after the original article appears. We get around 90% of all evaluations within about three months of the publication date. So what we want to do, for yearly journal league tables, is capture as many as possible while making our stats as up-to-date and relevant as possible. The issue is that if we took April, say, as the cut-off for the previous year we’d end up giving the journals that publish more stuff towards the beginning of the year an unfair advantage. So we’re going to implement a rolling cut-off, with a provisional ‘current’ ranking and publish the official f1000 stats somewhere around May each year, which gives us four months to collect evaluations for each original article.

However, the big news this week is that we welcomed Sarah Greene into the office. This is part of the move to bring f1000 and The Scientist closer together: f1000 is going to start seeding The Scientist‘s scientific content, and use it to help build a community around the service.

As part of this, my own role is changing. I’m going to move away from web development (although I’ll still have input into the design and user experience), which will free me up to be more editorial/journalistic. I’ll still be running the Twitter feed and Facebook page and wittering about things that catch my eye in f1000 (perhaps even more so). There’ll also be the ‘special projects’, such as the rankings, federated comments and various research collaborations. I guess Eva will still be wanting me to make logos for her too.

And finally

The late pick-up of the disenchantment of a small number of researchers with the peer review process is still making waves this week. Cameron Neylon gives his own take on the matter at his blog. I’m not at all sure that I agree with his analysis, having had my own manuscripts subject to both what I might call ‘good’ and ‘bad’ review. I think that too many people view peer review as a stamp on the ‘rightness’ of the paper, rather than a technical check that the experiments and controls are done correctly and that the literature has been read.

Cameron has also been having a go at Nature Communications. The argument hinges on the Creative Commons licences they ask authors to choose. You can sign up and join the conversation at Nature Network.

With that, have a great weekend. And sorry, no cytoskeletal porn this week. Maybe next time.


Posted in Friday afternoon, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on On the run-04Feb10

Is it follow the leader, a heads-down mentality or something more obscure?

Posted by stevepog on 7 December, 2009

Reproduction of an artwork by Andrzej Krauze

Vitek Tracz, chairman of the Science Navigation Group (of which f1000 is a member), is a fan of compatriot Polish artist Andrzej Krauze, who is known for his humorous calendars and cartoons in the New York Times,  New Scientist and Sunday Telegraph.

Krauze amused our leader with this cartoon, which Vitek has had reproduced in the f1000 reception area for all to view as they enter.

Much speculation has already been thrown around about what it means: follow the leader, keep your head down, look beneath the surface, stick your head in the sand (bit obvious that one). The man in charge is keeping his view to himself. Any suggestions are welcome.

Posted in f1000, Random | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Is it follow the leader, a heads-down mentality or something more obscure?

More to Online than just Information

Posted by stevepog on 2 December, 2009

I visited the cavernous confines of Olympia Grand Hall in west London yesterday, totally unprepared for the mammoth event that is the  Online Information Conference (#online09 on Twitter).

Not sure what I was expecting: maybe a few stands with bored sales reps handing out flyers on data management and XML development (they had some of those) but the last thing I thought I’d see was an actual Formula One car and an F1 driving simulator, thanks to the big-spending crew at Thomson Reuters. The simulator was a tricky beast with very light handling but of course I didn’t try it as I was there to work hard (but somehow scored a top six placing anyway).

Simulator similar to the one at Online Information conference

Apparently the heavily-branded car relates to their sponsorship of the AT&T Williams team, though beyond that it was anyone’s guess what it had to do with the conference itself. Apparently even Williams F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima was dropping in today for a visit. No, that’s not him in the car.

Apart from the overly large TR presence, it was great to meet up with my American counterparts from science conferences and library journals to discuss whatever people like us talk about (i.e. telling everyone how amazing f1000 is and encouraging them to write and talk about us to their colleagues and audience).

Many of the free seminars at the rear of the building filled up quickly but one I did catch from start to finish was an admirable effort on social media by iCrossing‘s Mark Higginson.

Mark had stepped in at the last minute due to a sick colleague, which had some of us expecting a dull diatribe on how Twitter and Youtube work. And given that everyone who’s ever used Facebook thinks they can give a talk or write a book on the magical world of social media, I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic.

But thankfully Mark actually provided some useful statistics and went into detail on what kind of web traffic is important. As he said, it’s all very well for  Facebook to say they account for 1 in 7 web page views in the UK but it’s what visitors do after they hit the homepage that’s important. So it goes that constantly updating and improving content on your landing page is a big key to a website’s (and hopefully company’s) success.

For those who are starting out in science blogging, his points were adaptable to our area: look to see who the most influential and interesting bloggers are, where they are (the obvious scienceblogging.com, researchblogging.com or more specific sites) and what media they are using (straight-up long form blogs, micro-blogs, video sharing etc). Get involved in the conversations they are having and create your own unique content. For those who are experts on a subject such as nanotechnology, commenting on a piece on the Wired website and referring back to your own blog is one way to drive more traffic to your site.

Overall very interesting afternoon out and for anyone who scored better than a 1.57 on the simulator (and I’m sure by now there will be quite a few), I hope you take away more from the conference than a mousemat or free pen.

Posted in Communication, f1000, Random, Website | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on More to Online than just Information

You can’t always get what you want

Posted by rpg on 18 October, 2009

I was at the Internet Librarian International on Thursday and Friday of last week. Not the sort of conference I’m used to attending but as we were sponsoring it we had a speaking slot, and I seemed the obvious choice!

Rather than talk about f1000 or give a ‘corporate’ presentation I talked about the Journal Impact Factor, about alternative metrics, about the difficulties in assessing the literature, discovering quality, and locating what’s important. (This is actually what we’re in the business of doing, but aside from the branding I only mentioned what we do in passing. This was appreciated by the audience and organizers, as it turns out: and we stood out from the crowd because of it!)

I may have mentioned ‘Web 3.0’ a couple of times. As I see it, Web 1 (which it was never known as) was typified by information coming from a more or less authoritative source to many consumers. Web 2.0 was where you got people producing and sharing the information on a more level playing field; between themselves, as I told the Research Information Network back in May:

rpg at RIN, May ’09

And yeah, the Web is not the internet, and ‘Web 2.0’ was happening off-Web as it were for years before anyone thought of the term: through bulletin boards, Usenet etc. The wonders of marketing.

Web 3, I think, is when we figure out how to use all this funky technology that enables peer-to-peer, all the tagging and RSS and search and everything, and actually start finding stuff. To be more precise: all the power of web 2.0 gets brought to us where we are in useful, digestible chunks. A guy can dream, can’t he?

That’s what we’re trying to achieve at f1000, in our small corner. To find the important literature (currently biology and medicine, although that might expand) and to bring what you’re interested to you, in the way you want to see it. We’re not there yet, and the new site won’t hit it straight off, but we have lots of ideas and times are beginning to look exciting.

Anyway, the talk seemed to be well-received (I got spontaneous applause!) and Tom was on hand to record it. I spent yesterday afternoon trimming the video and inserting (some of) my slides as cutaways. And then about four hours uploading them because the internets don’t seem to reach south of the river…

Here’s me from Thursday (in two parts):


Posted in Conferences, Literature, Metrics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I see red

Posted by rpg on 8 October, 2009

There was some serious geeking-out going on in the office just now—at least, in the part where the dev team and myself interact. IT have been wandering around the joint with little white boxes that have aerials sticking out of them, and then Phil came over and asked for my MAC.

A little while later I turned on my iPhone’s wireless connection and entered the URL of our development server, and this is what I saw:

new f1000.com site

new f1000.com site

And that, ladles and gentlespoons, is why I’m at f1000. For the past six months I’ve been managing and organizing a rebuild of the user site. This is a preview of the revamped website, which we aim to launch to you lucky boys and girls in early December. Just in time for Christmas.

Rather happily, even though it’s not specifically designed for mobile browsers (the screen capture above is our development server on my iPhone: it’s not using mobile stylesheets) the new site looks (and works!) pretty nicely. Richard P has been showing it off on his ITC HTC Hero, too (none of the dev team would be seen dead with a Blackberry, natch).

Of course, I could have just showed you a preview in Safari or Firefox from my desktop, but that wouldn’t have been half so cool.

Huzzahs all round.

Posted in Development, f1000, Website | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Who are you?

Posted by rpg on 28 July, 2009

Who are we?

We’re the Faculty of 1000. We specialize in post-publication peer review. What this means is that we publish brief summaries of what our Faculty think are interesting, exciting, or otherwise noteworthy published articles in the biomedical literature. That’s the ‘post-publication’ and ‘review’ bits.

The Faculty consists of about 5,000 senior scientists and clinicians around the world. They are respected and authoritative within their specialties and disciplines. That’s the ‘peer’ bit. They are assisted by ‘Associate’ Faculty; less senior people (say, experienced post-docs) within the Faculty Member’s group. Associate Faculty are crucial to our scanning project, which I should talk about in a future blog entry.

I am F1000’s ‘Information Architect’. Essentially, I run the web-side service of F1000. Until March 2009 I was an active research scientist, and you can find some (out-dated, whoops) information about me on my personal website, and follow some random bloggy goodness at Nature Network.

Feel free to email me—richard.grant at f1000.com—or leave a comment here, if you have any feedback. I promise to read it, even if I can’t respond immediately. You can also find us on Twitter (@f1000).

Currently I’m the only one writing here and on Twitter, but I’m hoping to get more of the team on board soon.


Look, we all know it’s a jungle out here. I’d love to read your comments here, and see you following us on Twitter. But we need to keep the spammers at bay, so when you comment, if it’s your first time you’ll go into the approval queue. Subsequently, if you are legit, your comments should appear straightaway. Sorry about the inconvenience.

I recommend you read our Policy document too, especially with regard to commenting. Nothing too unusual in there, but it keeps the lawyers happy. It’s likely to develop a little as time goes on. If you’re unsure about anything, please ask here.

See you around…

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