Sense About Science: Interpreting peer review to the public

 “Sense About Science releases guide for public to comprehend peer review – 04 Mar 2013

Sense About Science, a partner of Taylor & Francis, has released a new guide to peer review to help the public make sense of research claims. The guide is titled I Don’t Know What to Believe: Making Sense of Science Stories.

The guide addresses questions such as how we can trust the claims made in the media about scientific studies; and how we can decipher false claims form the ones we can trust when a new drug appears or a study claims that we are at risk. It has been observed that understanding peer review and asking about the status of claims is important to society because it helps people make decisions.

The guide explains the peer review process – the system researchers use to assess the validity, significance and originality of papers. It captures experiences and insights from editors and scientists and encourages people to ask ‘Is it peer reviewed?’ when reading science and health stories.

Following the success of a UK peer review guide, Sense About Science has now created a US version providing the tools to talk directly to the public and how to address their issues.

Sense About Science is an international non-profit organisation that equips people to make sense of science and evidence on issues that matter to society. With a network of more than 5,000 scientists, the organisation works with scientific bodies, research publishers, policymakers, the public and the media to lead public discussions about science and evidence.”

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter, 3/4/13

Link from Neil Nero:

Physics — new APS journal of highlights & summaries

"The American Physical Society (APS) has announced that the inaugural issue of its new journal – Physics – is now online. David Voss, formerly a senior editor of Science, serves as editor of the journal. Physics does not publish original research articles, but short pieces to highlight, explain and discuss important articles published in other APS journals.

The journal highlights exceptional papers from the Physical Review journals. To accomplish this, Physics features expert commentaries written by active researchers who are asked to explain the results to physicists in other subfields. These commissioned articles are edited for clarity and readability across fields and are accompanied by explanatory illustrations.

Each week, editors from each of the Physical Review journals choose papers that merit this treatment, aided by referee comments and internal discussion. The journal features three kinds of articles – Viewpoints, which are 1000–1500 word essays that focus on a single Physical Review paper or PRL letter and put this work into broader context; Trends, which are 3000-4000 word review articles that survey a particular area and look for interesting developments in that field; and Synopses, which are 200 word staff-written distillations of interesting and important papers each week. In addition, the journal intends to publish selected Letters to the Editor."

Source:  Knowledgespeak newsletter, July 28, 2008