Monthly Archives: août 2012

Can’t surf won’t surf The digital divide in…

Can’t surf, won’t surf: The digital divide in mental health :

« Background: New health information technology (HIT) increasingly plays a role in health care as technology becomes cheaper and more widespread. However, there is a danger that those who do not use or have access to technology will not benefit from HIT innovations, thus creating a “digital divide”.

Aims: To assess the extent to which mental health service users have access to, skills in using and appetite for various technologies.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was used to assess technology use and access patterns of 121 people from community mental health services. Data were analysed using logistic regression.

Results: Technology use and access were very similar to that of the general population with older individuals reporting less familiarity, access and confidence across a range of technologies. Black, minority and ethnic (BME) groups were more likely to access computers outside of their own homes than white individuals. Older participants experiencing psychosis indicated a desire to increase their computer use.

Conclusions: The findings reported here contrast with recent evidence suggesting that those who do not engage with technology are “self-excluders”. Furthermore, BME groups may need extra support regarding provision of technology in order to engage with HIT. »


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20 août 2012 · 14 h 19 min

Research Quality Fairness and Authorship Order The…

Research Quality, Fairness, and Authorship Order :

« The order in which authors are listed on an academic paper determines the credit that each receives on a co-authored publication, influencing hiring, tenure and promotions. Two of the prevalent author ordering schemes are alphabetical, which involves listing authors in lexicographical order of their last names, implying that all contributed equally, and by contribution, where authors are listed in decreasing order of their contribution to the paper. We perform a game theoretic analysis of the impact of author ordering schemes, uncovering two considerable advantages of alphabetical ordering: it leads to improved research quality, and it is the more fair of the two approaches in the worst case. On the other hand, contribution-based ordering results in a denser collaboration network and a greater number of publications than is achieved using alphabetical author ordering. Furthermore, authors can overcome some of the limitations of contribution-based ordering by performing rotations, alternating who is the first author on joint papers. This often allows authors to achieve optimal research quality and perfect fairness under any given contribution scheme; however, this is obtained at the expense of truthfulness. »


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17 août 2012 · 11 h 51 min

Access to Knowledge in India New Research on…

Access to Knowledge in India: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation & Development :

« This is the third volume in our Access to Knowledge series. India is a $1 trillion economy which nevertheless struggles with a very high poverty rate and very low access to knowledge for almost seventy percent of its population which lives in rural areas.

This volume features four parts on current issues facing intellectual property, development policy (especially rural development policy) and associated innovation, from the Indian perspective. Each chapter is authored by scholars taking an interdisciplinary approach and affiliated to Indian or American universities and Indian think-tanks. Each examines a policy area that significantly impacts access to knowledge. These include information and communications technology for development; the Indian digital divide; networking rural areas; copyright and comparative business models in music; free and open source software; patent reform and access to medicines; the role of the Indian government in promoting access to knowledge internationally and domestically. »


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13 août 2012 · 17 h 20 min

The persistence of error a study of retracted…

The persistence of error: a study of retracted articles on the Internet and in personal libraries :

« Objective: To determine the accessibility of retracted articles residing on non-publisher websites and in personal libraries.

Methods: Searches were performed to locate Internet copies of 1,779 retracted articles identified in MEDLINE, published between 1973 and 2010, excluding the publishers’ website. Found copies were classified by article version and location. Mendeley (a bibliographic software) was searched for copies residing in personal libraries.

Results: Non-publisher websites provided 321 publicly accessible copies for 289 retracted articles: 304 (95%) copies were the publisher’ versions, and 13 (4%) were final manuscripts. PubMed Central had 138 (43%) copies; educational websites 94 (29%); commercial websites 24 (7%); advocacy websites 16 (5%); and institutional repositories 10 (3%). Just 15 (5%) full-article views included a retraction statement. Personal Mendeley libraries contained records for 1,340 (75%) retracted articles, shared by 3.4 users, on average.

Conclusions: The benefits of decentralized access to scientific articles may come with the cost of promoting incorrect, invalid, or untrustworthy science. Automated methods to deliver status updates to readers may reduce the persistence of error in the scientific literature. »


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10 août 2012 · 17 h 30 min

Are Opinions Based on Science Modelling Social Response…

Are Opinions Based on Science: Modelling Social Response to Scientific Facts :

« As scientists we like to think that modern societies and their members base their views, opinions and behaviour on scientific facts. This is not necessarily the case, even though we are all (over-) exposed to information flow through various channels of media, i.e. newspapers, television, radio, internet, and web. It is thought that this is mainly due to the conflicting information on the mass media and to the individual attitude (formed by cultural, educational and environmental factors), that is, one external factor and another personal factor. In this paper we will investigate the dynamical development of opinion in a small population of agents by means of a computational model of opinion formation in a co-evolving network of socially linked agents. The personal and external factors are taken into account by assigning an individual attitude parameter to each agent, and by subjecting all to an external but homogeneous field to simulate the effect of the media. We then adjust the field strength in the model by using actual data on scientific perception surveys carried out in two different populations, which allow us to compare two different societies. We interpret the model findings with the aid of simple mean field calculations. Our results suggest that scientifically sound concepts are more difficult to acquire than concepts not validated by science, since opposing individuals organize themselves in close communities that prevent opinion consensus. »


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9 août 2012 · 9 h 55 min