Free webinar: Transparent reporting of health research is essential – Presenter Professor Doug Altman

Presenter: Prof Doug Altman, Director of the Centre for Statistics in Medicine in Oxford; senior statistics editor at the BMJ, co-editor-in-chief of Trials and Founder of the Equator Network.

Date: 11 February 2013

Time:  15:00 GMT (London)
The webinar will last approximately 1 hour.

Language: conducted in English only.

Sound knowledge of the key principles of reporting various types of health research is crucial for researchers and professionals involved in the publication of medical research. The consequences of non-publication or selective reporting of research findings are far reaching and impact on future science and most of all on patients’ care.

By documenting the most common shortcomings in the health research literature, this webinar will help you to understand why accurate reporting is an ethical imperative and an essential component of good research practice.

Via: Blackboard Collaborate.

Registration: Deadline: 6 February 2013

To register, please email Shona Kirtley at and include your name, institution/organisation, email address and country. An email confirmation (including connection and audio details) will be sent to all those who register.

Shona Kirtley, Research Information Specialist

EQUATOR Network, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford


EQUATOR Symposion: Accuracy, Completeness, and Transparency in health research reporting

equatorSlides and videos of talks at the Scientific Symposium, on the publication of health research studies, organised by the EQUATOR Network and the German Cochrane Centre 11-12 October 2012 Freiburg, Germany are available here:

Many excellent speakers include John Ioannidis, Iain Chalmers, Doug Altman, Liz Wager, Ginny Barbour.

Journals – an academic Spring?

As reported widely this week, including The Chronicle Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics and The Economist  The Price of Information a series of posts  by Professor Timothy Gowers of Cambridge University has prompted a huge debate in the online community (including Twitter #RWA  #openaccess ) around the current model for scholarly communication via journals, high fees from publishers, and alternative models which could be much less costly.

Professor Gowers has organized a boycott of Elsevier because, he says, its pricing and policies restrict access to work that should be much more easily available. Since the boycott website opened on January 21 over 3,000 researchers have signed, pledging not to publish, referee, or do editorial work for any Elsevier journal.

Elsevier and other publishers exist to make a profit, they can’t be criticised for that, but is this how public-funded research should be disseminated? We pay for the research, then we pay again (if we can afford it) to have access to research papers.

The technology exists to use alternative models, and although can’t happen overnight – it will need a significant change of culture, if there is a will amongst the academic community then this could represent a tremendous step forward for ‘open research’ and save a large amount of public funds along the way.

As the Economist article notes “publishers need academics more than academics need publishers”.

Update: March 12 2012
Elsevier announced on their website on 27th February that they had withdrawn their support of the Research Works Act. Further comment on this action can be found in the Chronicle article “Legislation to Bar Public-Access Requirement on Federal Research Is Dead“.

To explore the possibilities for Open Science and how online tools could be used to transform scholarly communication see Michael Nielson‘s book “Reinventing Discovery“.

Cracking Open the Scientific Process

A very thought-provoking article appeared in the New York Times this week entitled “Cracking Open the Scientific Process” written by Thomas Lin which discusses the ‘Open Science’ movement and possible moves away from the traditional journal publishing model.

Also this week Michael B. Eisen, a strong supporter of Open Science, gives his response to the US The Research Works Act in another New York Times article Research Bought, Then Paid For and in several posts on his blog.

Similar issues have been discussed in the Guardian article by George Monbiot in August 2011 “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist” .

Digital Researcher event at British Library, Feb 14th 2011

Are you making the most of new technologies in your research?

On 14 February 2011, Vitae and The British Library are running the Digital Researcher 2011 day to help researchers make the most of new technologies in their research.

This interactive event, which will be held at the British Library, is for postgraduate researchers and research staff. It will include presentations and interactive sessions on subjects such as microblogging, RSS feeds, social networking and social citation sharing.  Participants will explore and develop the skills needed for research in an increasingly digital world and gain ideas for managing information. This event is free but requires a refundable £25 deposit to book a place.

Institutional digital repositories for scholarly material

Many institutions have created digital repositories to store a wide range of scholarly material including research papers, student theses, scientific data.  The drivers behind this are to make research material available as widely as possible, so authors are encouraged to self-archive as well as publish in peer-reviewed journals. For a broader discussion of issues around creating e-print repositories see this paper Creating institutional e-print repositories by Stephen Pinfield, Co-Director of the SHERPA project which has established several e-print repositories in UK universities.

Here are links to some of the major search services for a range of repositories:
Sherpa UK (coverage: UK, all disciplines)
EThOS – (coverage: UK, all disciplines, theses)
BASE (coverage: global, all disciplines)
CORE (coverage: global, all disciplines)
OAIster (coverage: global, all disciplines)
OpenDOAR (coverage: global, all disciplines)
SORA (St George’s Online Research Archive)

There are also several search services to find repositories including:
Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

Updated: December 12 2016 to remove redundant links.

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service)

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) is a repository of UK theses which has now been launched in beta test mode. The EThOS service gives online access to the full text of selected UK Higher Education institutions theses. A list of participating institutions can be found on the EthOS home page.

Currently, details for over 250,000 theses can be searched.The service is free to use but you must register and log in to download the full text, or order a digitised copy of any thesis. In addition, many UK institutions support Open Access to their theses, so download of their digital theses is free. A small number of participating institutions may not be able to offer Open Access and in this case you may have to pay for the digitisation.

This service is provided by the British Library. Details of the project to provide this service can be found on their website