Thu, Dec 31, 2015

Persuasive propaganda

GraphPad’s advice regarding when to plot SD versus SEM: If you want to create persuasive propaganda: If your goal is to emphasize small and unimportant differences in your data, show your error bars as SEM, and hope that your readers think they are SD. If your goal is to cover-up large differences, show the error bars as the standard deviations for the groups, and hope that your readers think they are a standard errors.

Sun, Dec 20, 2015

More on Matters

I’ve been thinking more about Matters (the scientific journal that publishes “single observations”) in the weeks since my last post and am less ambivalent. Reading Julia Belluz’s article in Vox about “small” science only further cemented the conception of Matters as an appropriate response to an overemphasis on storymaking. Lawrence Rajendran, the founder of Matters, was quoted in the article regarding Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin and his publication chances today:

Sun, Dec 20, 2015

Research Ideas and Outcomes: The Open Science Journal

Another new journal that, like Matters, launched earlier this year: Research Ideas and Outcomes or RIO. From their front page: The Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal publishes all outputs of the research cycle, including: project proposals, data, methods, workflows, software, project reports and research articles together on a single collaborative platform, with the most transparent, open and public peer-review process. Our scope encompasses all areas of academic research, including science, technology, humanities and the social sciences.

Sun, Dec 20, 2015

The "ultimate democratization"

Stephen Heard on post-publication peer review: This seems to me a huge irony about proposals to replace pre-publication with post-publication peer review. At first glance, such proposals seem like the ultimate democratization: everyone’s manuscript on an equal footing. My manuscript and yours, a Nobel prize-winner’s and the rankest amateur’s, all available for readers whose comments will bubble the very best to the top. But this democratization will, I worry, turn out to be self-disrupting.

Wed, Dec 2, 2015

New journal for “single observation publishing”

There’s a new open access journal in town: Matters. Their tagline: “Stories can wait. Science can’t.” Science magazine has an article delving into the motivation for its creation. According to that article, “[Matters] aims to create a freely accessible venue for single findings, even confirmatory data and contradictory data.” I’m ambivalent. A lot of data falls through the cracks or are otherwise not part of a coherent, compelling, or “impactful” story.

Sat, Oct 24, 2015


Sincerity! Cultivate this virtue and realize the profound truth that the manifest and hidden are one. — Morihei Ueshiba, The Secrets of Budō
  • Page 1 of 1
All Categories


I am an MD/PhD student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. My doctoral work focused on tissue engineering approaches to study stem and progenitor cell fate in the developing liver. Learn more.



To be notified of updates, you can subscribe to the  RSS feed for the site.