January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Publishing

2 min read

What are the hottest stem cell trends in the field today? Depends who you ask, right? One impartial way to look at stem cell trends is through the lens of publication citations and the focuses of top stem cell papers. In that perhaps somewhat skewed, but interesting approach, the words used in the titles of the 50 most cited research publications of 2016 with the phrases “stem cell(s)” in their titles should tell us something interesting. Fortunately publication citation platforms these days like ISI may …Read More

1 min read

Garrison Keillor’s NPR show A Prairie Home Companion would sometimes report from a small fictional town call Lake Wobegon. Frankly, I found that show really boring, but I always chuckled when I heard this line: “Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” Sometimes in the biomedical sciences including the stem cell field that particular Lake Wobegon description comes to mind. A scientist might say ironically …Read More

1 min read

Post-publication (post-pub) peer review is one of the hottest topics in science today. Post-pub review means review of the scientific literature after papers come out. Post-pub review can take place on websites dedicated to it such as F1000 or PubPeer as well as on various blogs and even via comments on PubMed. In our first poll, please indicate your view on post-pub review. Then if you generally have a positive view of it, please indicate the main reason in the 2nd poll. Or if you generally …Read More

1 min read

Altmetrics a relatively new way of ranking scientific articles based on metrics that include social media impact. The company Altmetric came out with their Top 100 articles for 2014, which is a fun list to check out.  A quicker way to get the gestalt of them collectively is from a word cloud (above) made from the title words from their Top 50 science articles. What do you think would be the top words? The top 3 turned out to be: Social, Ebola, and Virus. Followed by the next …Read More

3 min read

I asked Nature a half dozen questions about their editorial process. While they declined to answer any direct questions about the STAP cell paper situation, I thank them for answering these questions via a Nature spokesperson. The end result is an intriguing glimpse inside the editorial/review process at Nature. 1. Does Nature have any kind of automated (or human-based) system for checking submitted or accepted manuscripts for plagiarism? If so, when was this system instituted? If not, why not? Nature uses plagiarism software (the CrossCheck …Read More

1 min read

I recently did a post and a poll on whether a blogger scientist should blog about a very weak, but sexy paper from a famous, powerful scientist in the stem cell field whom I called “Dr. Famous”. The poll is still getting a lot of responses so I’m not going to discuss the results yet as it is still ongoing. However, something quite interesting has happened in the mean time that I want to blog about. Six people have privately contacted me assuming (A) …Read More

2 min read

One of the problems in the stem cell field is that so few doctors have adequate training in stem cells (biology, transplantation, regulatory issues, GMP, ethics, patient rights, etc) and yet they are treating loads of patients in a for-profit setting. This not puts patients at great risk, but also the physicians themselves are putting themselves at risk both in terms of punitive regulatory actions and patient litigation. More broadly the untrained practice of stem cell-based medicine puts the stem cell field at risk. I …Read More