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A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science
Click to enlarge A brief detour from chemistry, branching out into science in general today. This graphic looks at the different factors that can contribute towards ‘bad’ science – it was inspired by the research I carried out for the recent aluminium chlorohydrate graphic, where many articles linked the compound to causing breast cancer, referencing scientific research which drew questionable conclusions from their results. The vast majority of people will get their science news from online news site articles, and rarely delve into the research that the article is based on. Personally, I think it’s therefore important that people are capable of spotting bad scientific methods, or realising when articles are being economical with the conclusions drawn from research, and that’s what this graphic aims to do. Note that this is not a comprehensive overview, nor is it implied that the presence of one of the points noted automatically means that the research should be disregarded. Like this:

http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/04/02/a-rough-guide-to-spotting-bad-science/

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PLoS: Publication List The range of PLOS titles is expanding and now includes a number of new websites. Below, we describe the role of each group of products and how they fit together to support our mission of leading a transformation in research communication. Original Content These titles vary in the speed of publication, the nature of the peer review and selection process that takes place ahead of publication, and the breadth and nature of content that is published. They include: The PLOS Suite of Journals: Designing conference posters - Colin Purrington A large-format poster is a big piece of paper or wall-mounted monitor featuring a short title, an introduction to your burning question, an overview of your novel experimental approach, your amazing results in graphical form, some insightful discussion of aforementioned results, a listing of previously published articles that are important to your research, and some brief acknowledgement of the tremendous assistance and financial support conned from others — if all text is kept to a minimum (less than a 1000 words), a person could fully read your poster in 5-10 minutes. Section content • DOs and DON’Ts • Adding pieces of flair • Presenting • Motivational advice • Software • Templates • Printing • Useful literature • Organizing a poster session What to put in each section Below, I’ve provided rough tips on how many words each of these sections might have, but those guesses are assuming you have a horizontal poster that is approximately 3×4′. Adjust accordingly.

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How to verify information from tweets: Check it out Journalists should treat information we gather on social media the same way we treat information gathered any other way, or an assurance from Mom that she loves you: Check it out. My #twutorial series hasn’t been updated since late October, but I always planned to do a post on verifying information gathered in social media. Given the errors some journalists made in reporting on the Sandy Hook massacre and in the original reporting on Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, this feels like a good time to stress accuracy and verification. The most simple and important advice I can give is that Twitter is like any other information source — documents, anonymous tips, news releases, press conferences, interviews, databases — it can provide valuable information or deliberate lies or innocent errors. Your job is to verify the information that looks useful. As with all the other information you gather, you can verify lots of different ways, and no single technique works for everything.

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