Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

Posts Tagged ‘institutions’

The invisible conference

Posted by stevepog on 26 October, 2009

It’s not easy for any large gathering of people to almost completely bypass the interweb these days but the conference I attended last Thursday seemed to have achieved the anonymity MI6 spies could only dream of.

Sure, there are thousands of conferences (in the real world and online) that go on daily in this city and others round the world but even the smallest and most insignificant seem to have a hashtag dedicated to them on Twitter, a Facebook page and at least 20 hits on an average Google search.

Unless the details being discussed are a matter of national security, in an age when even the BNP’s secret agendas are being retweeted, it did seem odd that an international biotech meeting (intelligently titled Biotech 09), attended by government and industry leaders, was virtually nonexistent on the web.

And yes, while it was very dry with only a few speakers who deigned to tell a joke (thank you, Sir Mark Walport, Wellcome Trust director) and way too many sales pitches disguised as serious industry updates, there were still some very interesting, newsworthy or at the least bloggable points being made.

Conference sponsor PepTcell’s CEO Gregory Stoloff tackled the UK government policy on pandemic flu, warning the audience of impending doom if New Labour didn’t approve his company’s flu drug for general consumption. While a bit theatrical (in the ‘Merchant of Venice’ rather than ‘Avenue Q’ sense), the stats quoted from the southern hemisphere’s winter experience of pandemic flu were thought-provoking and slightly scary: 1 in 3  down under caught the flu and 1 in 25 were hospitalised. If the numbers were converted for the UK population, at least 16,000 would need intensive care – a slight problem given there will only be 4000 intensive care beds in the UK by Christmas.

Sir Mark nicely alluded to the NHS’s current inability to contribute to the ‘future knowledge economy’, in his opinion owing to the masses of patient data the NHS collates but does not use to assist biotech development.

A Socttish accent and attitude can help to liven the atmosphere and Fergus McKenzie from ITI Life Sciences did an admirable job of making their £9.6 million stem cell technology program interesting enough to actually attract some rare audience questions.

At this point I’d try to post a link to another blog/news site with more informative discussion on the conference but, as you might have guessed,  there isn’t any I could find. Note to the organisers: invisibility doesn’t mean exclusivity and if no one is talking about you, it generally means they don’t find you interesting.


Posted in Conferences, f1000, Random | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on The invisible conference

Where the streets have no name

Posted by rpg on 4 August, 2009

Alejandro brings my attention to ScienceWatch’s list of most-cited institutions in science.

This is the list of the ‘top’ twenty institutions out of just over four thousand. For some value of ‘top’, he says snarkily. Now, we know there are serious problems with citation metrics, but essentially it’s all we’ve got to go on, so it’s not a bad list.

The Most-Cited Institutions Overall, 1999-2009 (Thomson)

Rank Institution Citations Papers Citations
Per Paper
1 HARVARD UNIV 95,291 2,597,786 27.26
2 MAX PLANCK SOCIETY 69,373 1,366,087 19.69
3 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV 54,022 1,222,166 22.62
4 UNIV WASHINGTON 54,198 1,147,283 21.17
5 STANFORD UNIV 48,846 1,138,795 23.31
6 UNIV CALIF LOS ANGELES 55,237 1,077,069 19.5
7 UNIV MICHIGAN 54,612 948,621 17.37
8 UNIV CALIF BERKELEY 46,984 945,817 20.13
9 UNIV CALIF SAN FRANCISCO 36,106 939,302 26.02
10 UNIV PENN 46,235 931,399 20.14
11 UNIV TOKYO 68,840 913,896 13.28
12 UNIV CALIF SAN DIEGO 40,789 899,832 22.06
13 UNIV TORONTO 55,163 861,243 15.61
14 UCL 46,882 860,117 18.35
15 COLUMBIA UNIV 43,302 858,073 19.82
16 YALE UNIV 36,857 833,467 22.61
17 MIT 35,247 832,439 23.62
18 UNIV CAMBRIDGE 43,017 811,673 18.87
19 UNIV OXFORD 40,494 766,577 18.93
20 UNIV WISCONSIN 50,016 760,091 15.2

Or is it?

Because as you know, we give the articles evaluated at F1000 a score. And it has not escaped our notice that once you start doing such a thing, you can start asking interesting questions. Admittedly we only look at biology and medicine (so far…), but according to this Excel spreadsheet I’ve just opened we have over five thousand unique institutions in our database. Hmm… I wonder if we might be doing anything with that?


And talking of authors I’d like to take this opportunity to shout out to my friend Åsa, whose recent work on inhibiting protein synthesis in secondary pneumonia was evaluated on F1000 Medicine (and who might one day get a nonymous blog cough).

Posted in Competition, Indicators, Journals | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »