Annual Reviews appoints Rosie Mestel Deputy Editor of new digital magazine

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that Rosie Mestel has been appointed Deputy Editor of the new digital magazine, set to launch in Fall 2017. Editor Eva Emerson welcomed her, saying:

“I am thrilled to have Rosie on the team. She will play a leading role in the creation and development of the magazine. She brings an impressive resume as well as considerable enthusiasm to this new endeavor.”

Rosie was formerly the Chief Magazine Editor of Nature, running the journalism group. Before that, she worked at the Los Angeles Times as a reporter and then editor of science and health. She earned a PhD in genetics before switching careers and earning a certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz.

The new digital magazine will explore the real-world significance of research covered in Annual Reviews journals in a compelling and accessible way. Mirroring the scope of the journals themselves, the content will be freely available to anyone to read and reuse, and will attract those who wish to stay abreast of progress in research in the natural and social sciences. This initiative receives support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society. Please visit the Annual Reviews Press Center to arrange an interview or sign up for media-only access to journal content.

 

 

The Complicated Immune Response: Annual Review of Immunology, Volume 35

Browse the Annual Review of Immunology, Volume 35 table of contents.

While proofing this volume, I was impressed again by how complicated the immune system is. It seemed so very simple in high school biology! But there are so many related actions that have to happen in precise sequences, and even systems that I thought were disconnected from immunity turn out to be quite important. For instance, see the abstract of “The Lymphatic System: Integral Roles in Immunity” by Gwendalyn Randolph et al.:IY35-lymphatic

The lymphatic vasculature is not considered a formal part of the immune system, but it is critical to immunity. One of its major roles is in the coordination of the trafficking of antigen and immune cells. However, other roles in immunity are emerging. Lymphatic endothelial cells, for example, directly present antigen or express factors that greatly influence the local environment.

The study of immunology has progressed in recent years and is producing huge amounts of data—as I discovered in Arup K. Chakraborty’s article, “A Perspective on the Role of Computational Models in Immunology.” To make use of that data, because the processes are so complex, researchers are using computational models:

Computational or theoretical studies of the model can keep track of every possible event that can occur consistent with a hypothesis and reveal whether a particular hypothesis is plausible. Hypotheses that appear feasible at first glance can be incorrect because of the complexity of the underlying phenomena. Computational biophysics–based models not only can screen out these hypotheses prior to fruitless experimental tests, but also can shed light on the reason a hypothesis is unlikely to be right and thus guide the choice of other feasible hypotheses. Such computational studies are not exercises in fitting parameters to quantitate known mechanistic models. Rather they offer ways to obtain mechanistic insights and guide the choice of meaningful hypotheses underlying puzzling observations and the design of realistic experiments that can test the hypotheses.

Another article that caught my interest was Kole T. Roybal &Wendell A. Lim’s “Synthetic Immunology: Hacking Immune Cells to Expand Their Therapeutic Capabilities.” I was intrigued by the title’s use of “hacking” in a biomedical context and the article itself proved to be fascinating!

[I]mmune cells are relatively easy to remove, modify, and transfer back into a patient. Given these unique properties, immune cells provide a remarkable platform for interfacing with and treating disease. There are many complex diseases, such as cancer and autoimmunity, that our natural immune systems either cannot handle or pathologically contribute to. Thus, there is a strong rationale to engineer new disease sensing and response behaviors in immune cells, especially given recent powerful advances in synthetic biology and genome editing, which give us unprecedented ability to modify and engineer cellular functions.

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

 

The NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing goes to Daniel S. Nagin!

Yesterday, Daniel S. Nagin, the Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and a Committee Member of the Annual Review of Criminology (which will publish in 2018), was awarded the 2017 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award for Scientific Reviewing sponsored by us! Eva Emerson, Senior Editor (forthcoming digital magazine), and Samuel Gubins, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, attended the ceremony in Washington D.C, USA.

Daniel S. Nagin with his award, flanked by NAS leaders.

Dr. Nagin was honored for exemplary reviews of the scientific literature on the crime-prevention effects of criminal and civil sanctions. These reviews have altered the course of criminological theory and empirical research, and have greatly informed analysis of public policy.

During his acceptance speech, Dr. Nagin reminded the audience of the importance of scientific reviews to the progress of science. He also said that the reporting of new results and the “synthesis of extant knowledge are both creative acts in their own right.”

His work appears in many leading publications, including Annual Reviews, which is publishing an article and response from him in the 2017 volume of the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.

new_logoAnnual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. To find out how we create our highly cited reviews and stimulate discussion about science, please watch this short video.

The NAS is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community.

ACA, Violence, and Social Networks: Annual Review of Public Health Volume 38

We are pleased to remind everyone that the 2017 volume of the Annual Review of Public Health, now online, is published open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) license. This influential content is now freely available to read, reuse, and share. Additionally, all 37 back volumes (1980-2016) are now free to read. Support for this initiative to increase openness and transparency in research is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Here are a few content highlights for your reading pleasure:

There is still a lot of debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and I recommend the article “The Affordable Care Act’s Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations” by Kominski, Nonzee, and Sorensen as interesting background reading.  I was particularly interested in the discussion about the people who are still uninsured, and struck by the geographical implications:

Almost 90% of all adults in the coverage gap live in the South, half in either Texas or Florida, which aligns with this region’s high uninsurance rates, limited Medicaid eligibility, and low uptake of Medicaid expansion (37). Consistent with demographic characteristics and policies excluding nondisabled adults in states that did not expand Medicaid, African Americans and childless adults also account for a disproportionate share of individuals in the coverage gap.

Another article that demanded my attention is “Climate Change and Collective Violence” by Levy, Sidel, and Patz.  When people talk about the effects of climate change they mostly focus on sea levels and food harvests, but take things a couple of steps further and one of the things you can see is increased violence.  Some of the conclusions addressed in this article are quite startling:

Studying conflict in sub-Saharan Africa between 1981 and 2002, Burke and colleagues found a significant association between warmer temperature and civil war. On the basis of their findings, they projected an approximately 54% increase in armed conflict in Africa by 2030, with an additional 393,000 battle-related deaths, assuming wars in the future are as deadly as recent wars.

It’s a complicated and well written article that also addresses some ways of preventing this violence.  It’s on the top of my reading list.

pu38-social networksAnother article on my famed reading list is Valente and Pitts’ article, “An Appraisal of Social Network Theory and Analysis as Applied to Public Health: Challenges and Opportunities.”  What drew my interest here was the section about research being done around social media and the Internet’s effect on health:

The evidence suggests that mediated communications can influence individual behaviors but they do so at a rate much lower than face-to-face communications do (37). Still, people can have hundreds, even thousands or more, of online contacts, which increases the potential for much influence. Moreover, some forms of mediated communications may be particularly influential. For example, specialty communities that emerge in forums such as PatientsLikeMe may be very influential because they offer a place where people can share information about extremely important and relevant topics among members of a specific community.

Of course anytime someone is doing research in social media it raises ethics and privacy concerns which the article also addresses as a problem that needs close review.  For instance this troubling case:

In a similarly publicized study, Kramer and others (48) used Facebook as a social psychology laboratory and manipulated users’ Facebook News Feeds to induce negative or positive affect to study the social contagion of emotions. Facebook users did not provide overt consent to participate in the study, and many felt that their rights were violated (35). Furthermore, participants of in-person experimental studies are often debriefed when their study participation has concluded to reduce the likelihood that the study’s manipulations and procedures caused harm, yet no such debriefing was performed in this study.

So as usual Public Health provides much food for thought and interesting weekend reading!

Recruitment, Ostracism, and Brain Scans: Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

Browse all the articles in the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Volume 4.

Recently, a lot of media attention has focused on how technology businesses recruit, and retain, members of disadvantaged groups.  In the turbulent wake of the immigration ban, there has been renewed discussion about hiring immigrants and those from other cultures.  I  was glad to see authors David Allen & James Vardaman addressing some of these issues in “Recruitment and Retention Across Cultures.”  The article looks at how companies recruit workers and how that process is affected by different cultures. They also discuss how these different cultures face the challenge of assembling a diverse workforce:

Firms tend to (sometimes unintentionally) create barriers in the recruitment process by emphasizing job requirements that disadvantage immigrants (e.g., local experience), making negative assumptions (e.g., assuming immigrants have greater family responsibilities), or failing to appreciate immigrant credentials and skills. Additional research is needed to assess how recruitment policies affect immigrant recruitment, evidence that recruitment firms are more open to recruiting immigrants, the efficacy of developing immigrant networks, and the possibility that perceived skills shortages are a function of undervaluing immigrant credentials and skills.

Other research focuses on how differences in national culture affect the implementation of diversity recruitment initiatives. For example, Moore (2015) suggests that managers and employees hold culturally based native categories as to appropriate work roles related to gender. Thus, in a case study, a diversity initiative driven by a German parent company to increase the recruitment of women factory workers did not export as intended to a British context. The author concluded that effective diversity recruitment across cultures requires not only a recognition that cultural differences exist, but also an understanding of how practices and their meanings are recontextualized from one cultural context to another.

I learned a lot of new things from “Comparing and Contrasting Workplace Ostracism and Incivility” by D. Lance Ferris, Meng Chen & Sandy Lim.  While I have read a lot about workplace harassment, I hadn’t seen research about incivility and ostracism before.

Workplace incivility has been defined as a subtype of workplace mistreatment that is characterized by low-intensity social interactions that violate workplace norms of respect and yet are ambiguous as to whether they are meant to harm the target of the incivility. As this definition implies, there are three important characteristics associated with uncivil behaviors: their violation of norms, their ambiguity with respect to the hostile intent, and their general low intensity. Typical examples of uncivil behaviors at work that meet these three criteria include making demeaning comments to another individual, interrupting someone, and not speaking to—or ostracizing—someone. Such behaviors are typically viewed as rude and falling short of people’s commonly held expectations for mutual respect at work.

The article also deals with ostracism, “which includes behaviors such as being avoided at work, being shut out of conversations, or having one’s greetings go unanswered at work.” That seems horrible and makes me even more appreciative of my work colleagues who make a point of saying hello even when I’m walking the hallways with my headphones on.

orgpsych-waldmanAnother article that sparked my imagination is “Neuroscience in Organizational Behavior” by David Waldman, MK Ward & William Becker, which made me wonder if team-building exercises would be more enjoyable if followed by a brain scan instead of a questionnaire.  It turns out that the interviews and questions aren’t giving the level of data that other options might:

following a team process, a common practice of researchers is to get team members’ impressions of what the team process was about. Aside from recollection challenges on the part of team members, such assessment assumes an overall quality regarding a team process, rather than allowing for fluid or momentary shifts. As Waldman et al. (2015b) have argued and shown, qEEG neurosensing methods allow for more precise, momentary assessment of team processes and emergent states. In contrast, survey methods are not highly practical for assessing shifts in team processes or emergent states because of the interruption that would be caused. Moreover, although observation could be feasible, it is questionable whether observers can accurately assess phenomena such as team arousal or engagement, whereas neurosensing methods may be able to overcome such challenges”

I’d love to hear what you found interesting in this volume—the comments are open!

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, she has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

Annual Reviews appoints two Associate Editors-in-Chief

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that Natalie DeWitt has been appointed Associate Editor-In-Chief and Corporate Secretary dividing her time between these roles. She will work alongside Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief, and Jennifer Jongsma, who has also been promoted to Associate Editor-In-Chief and will continue in her current role as Director of Production.

Natalie’s extensive academic credentials include a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cell Biology from Yale University, and a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin. Her professional experience ranges from Senior Editor at Nature & Nature Biotechnology to Director of Scientific Affairs at Institute Pasteur Korea,  and most recently, the founder and sole proprietor of a strategic scientific communications consultancy.

Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief said:

“The bonds between Annual Reviews and the over 500 world-class scientists that serve on our committees are unique in the publishing world and are at the heart of Annual Reviews success and relevance. Jennifer, Natalie and I will work together to support our Production Editors in maintaining strong relations between our organization and these key individuals. “

Natalie’s responsibilities are broad and include maintaining our existing high standards of governance, representing Annual Reviews at professional meetings, speaking at conferences, and prioritizing relationships with our Board and Editorial Committee members to ensure the continued smooth running of Annual Review’s collection of 47 journals in the life, biomedical, physical and social sciences.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and benefit of society.  Journalists who require further information, access to our content or press contacts can visit the Press Center.

 

 

 

Evaluating digital information – new librarians group launches

Image credit: “Information” by Takashi .M, Flickr. CC BY.

Five librarians have united behind one goal: to articulate and showcase the vital role of librarians in evaluating digital information. Why?

“Because Google can bring you 100,000 answers but a librarian can bring you the right one” Source: New York Times

Information literacy is relevant at all stages of a person’s life, from the earliest education to the most advanced phases. Our online world affords access to more information than ever before in history, requiring new focus on how to manage, evaluate and create credible content. Far from making librarians obsolete, the digital age solidifies their role forever.

Image credit: “Twitter” by Esther Vargas, Flickr, CC BY-SA

The group came together because they were all interested in the same stories on social media. It comprises the following people:

  1. Marcus Banks (@marcusabanks) – advocate for transformation of scholarly publishing. Most recently, Head, Blaisdell Medical Library, UC Davis, CA, USA, now freelance journalist and consultant (to Annual Reviews and others).
  2. Shona Kirtley (@EQUATORNetwork) – Knowledge and Information Manager, Senior Research Information Specialist for Equator Network which works to enhance the quality and transparency of health research.
  3. Yvonne Nobis (@yvonnenobis) – Head of Science Information Services at Cambridge University, overseeing the Central Science Library and the Betty and Gordon Moore Library.
  4. Ana Patricia Ayala (@uoftlibraries) – Instruction and Faculty Liaison Librarian at Gerstein Science Information Centre at the University of Toronto Libraries.
  5. Lindsey Sikora (@uOttawaBiblio) – Acting Head Geographic, Statistical, and Government Info Centre/Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Ottawa,@uOttawaBiblio.

Like all savvy teams, they have a tagline which is “Better Information. Better Decisions” and their first three deliverables are in support of it:

  • An article on trust and authority in academic literature which discusses the different types of research information, how they are created and the part this plays in establishing their importance. Summer 2017.
  • An Early Career Researcher survey on Systematic literature review open to those from all disciplines (not just biomedical fields). Full results will be shared. Fall 2017.
  • A field guide to Systematic literature review with a Webinar to walk researchers through the key steps. Fall 2017.

While they are working on the first item on this list, they’ve also curated a list of existing (mainly open) resources in one spot because they noticed that many excellent information sources on this topic are scattered about the internet.

And, like any group that’s ever tried to make a difference, they need some support which is supplied by nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews (@AnnualReviews).

Finally, since there’s strength in numbers, if any other librarians wish to join the gang and get involved then please contact the project lead, Marcus Banks. You can find the project website here and are welcome to leave your feedback as a comment or simply tweet @marcusabanks.