Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Career Development Course for Post-docs February 2, 2009 Critical Reading and Evaluating Scientific & Medical Literature Fred A. Pereira, Ph.D. Huffington.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Career Development Course for Post-docs February 2, 2009 Critical Reading and Evaluating Scientific & Medical Literature Fred A. Pereira, Ph.D. Huffington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Career Development Course for Post-docs February 2, 2009 Critical Reading and Evaluating Scientific & Medical Literature Fred A. Pereira, Ph.D. Huffington Center on Aging Bobby R. Alford Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Co-Director, Graduate Program in Cell and Molecular Biology Bioengineering Department (Rice University)

2 Communication Critical Reading and Evaluating the Scientific and Medical Literature Oral Presentations Dr. Gayle Slaughter Posters Dr. Gayle Slaughter Scientific Writing I-Critical writing and manuscript preparation Dr. Susan Marriott Scientific Writing II-Reviewers, revisions, and responding to critiques Dr. Susan Marriott

3 The Scientific & Medical Literature Reading/Strategies Sources The parts & Reader Expectations Strategies –Skimming –Scanning –Concept mapping –Cornell notes Evaluating Pitfalls / Jargon Questions Significance Scientific Arguments –Valid/Persuasive –Statistics –Other Biases Scientific Method Philosophy Ethics

4 The Scientific Method Ask a Question Do Background Research Construct Hypotheses Test with Experiments Analyze Results / Draw Conclusions Hypothesis is True Hypothesis is False or Partially True Report /Publish Results Rethink Hypothesis

5 Philosophy of Scientific Inquiry A quest for knowledge and truths The scientific literature is a discussion –Policed by peer review –Textbooks, Lectures, Seminars have truths (at the time of writing!) –Reviews, Mini-reviews and Perspectives report truths (at the time of writing!) – Classical articles

6 Ethics: Definition of Research Misconduct Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. (a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them. (b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. (c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit. (d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

7 Houston Chronicle October 30, 2008 TSU professor accused of plagiarism Chu's proposal is an almost verbatim copy of Miller's, according to copies of the proposals provided to the Houston Chronicle. Miller's [2003] grant request begins, "We propose a two-year program to develop a prototype system designed to detect biological warfare agents (BWAs) by probing their linear and nonlinear dielectric properties." Chu's begins: "We propose a three-year program to develop a prototype system designed to detect biological warfare agents (BWAs) by probing their linear and nonlinear dielectric properties. His proposal did not mention Miller or Miller's work.

8 Reading: Sources for Literature PubMed – My NCBI – Habits –http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez –http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/gquery HighWire Press –http://highwire.stanford.edu MDAnderson Cancer Center –http://www3.mdanderson.org/library/online-journals/jrnls.html HAM/TMC (are you Registered!) –http://ca3cx5qj7w.search.serialssolutions.com/http://ca3cx5qj7w.search.serialssolutions.com/ Rice U.- Fondren Library –http://ps4ps6lm2r.search.serialssolutions.com/http://ps4ps6lm2r.search.serialssolutions.com/ Faculty of 1000 –http://www.f1000biology.com/browse/http://www.f1000biology.com/browse/ Science Podcasts-Nature, Science, PBS Faculty/Experts in field/Peers

9 Strategies: Parts of a scientific article: Title Authorship Abstract Introduction Methods Results Discussion References

10 Background Question Experimental Approach Results Answer Significance Modified from S. Marriott Title/Running title Authorship

11 Science 30 January 2009: Vol no. 5914, pp DOI: /science Survival from Hypoxia in C. elegans by Inactivation of Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases Lori L. Anderson,1 Xianrong Mao,1 Barbara A. Scott,1 C. Michael Crowder1,2* Hypoxia is important in a wide range of biological processes, such as animal hibernation and cell survival, and is particularly relevant in many diseases. The sensitivity of cells and organisms to hypoxic injury varies widely, but the molecular basis for this variation is incompletely understood. Using forward genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans, we isolated a hypoxia-resistant reduction-of-function mutant of rrt-1 that encodes an arginyl–transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetase, an enzyme essential for protein translation. Knockdown of rrt-1, and of most other genes encoding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, rescued animals from hypoxia-induced death, and the level of hypoxia resistance was inversely correlated with translation rate. The unfolded protein response was induced by hypoxia and was required for the hypoxia resistance of the reduction-of-function mutant of rrt-1. Thus, translational suppression produces hypoxia resistance, in part by reducing unfolded protein toxicity. Background Question Approach Results Answer

12 Purpose: To help the reader understand and interpret the contents of the paper. Content: Any background information and motivations essential to understand the specific study should be stated here. Terms: Uncommon or novel terms to the general scientific community are defined, and prior knowledge / information are cited here. Introduction - Background of Study Modified from S. Marriott Topic Position Stress Position Supporting Sentences

13 For studies in which the results of one experiment determine what the next experiment will be, the story consists of a repeated four-part pattern: Subheading Question/Topic position Experiments Results Answer/Stress position Results Modified from S. Marriott

14 Transition/Background Question/ Topic position Experiments Results Answer Interpretation/Transition Stress position Results Continued S. Marriott

15 A Discussion has three parts: The beginning states the answer to the question and provides evidence to support the answer. Does not begin with a summary of the results. Does not begin by repeating the Introduction or writing a new Introduction. The middle explains the answer, thus indicating how the answer fits in with previous work. The end states recommendations, applications, implications, or speculations, thus indicating the importance of the answer. Generalities: The discussion includes alternative explanations of results. Topic sentences tell the overall story of the study – found at the beginning of every paragraph, either alone or in combination with transition words, phrases, or clauses, repeated key terms, and other techniques of continuity. The answer should be clearly identifiable at both the beginning and the end of a Discussion. In each paragraph, supporting sentences should be organized to support the topic sentence. Does / should not include tangential topics. The Discussion Modified from S. Marriott

16 Reader Expectations Every unit of text, no matter the size, serves a single function or makes a single point. Topic position: Old information - the information that begins a sentence establishes a perspective for viewing the sentence as a unit. –Provides linkage (looking backward) and context (looking forward). Supporting sentences: knowledge to support the topic position. –Subject - Verb Separation: Readers expect a grammatical subject to be followed immediately by the verb. –Anything of length that intervenes between subject and verb is read as an interruption, and therefore as something of lesser importance. Stress position: New information - saved the best for last. –Readers naturally emphasize the material that arrives at the end of a sentence. –Commas and semicolons are used to create units of thought in long sentences. Modified from George D. Gopen and Judith A. Swan, Scientific American 1990

17 If the reader is to grasp what the writer means, the writer must understand what the reader needs Readers do not simply read; they interpret. All sentences are infinitely interpretable, given an infinite number of interpreters. As the complexity of the context increases moderately, the possibility of misinterpretation or non-interpretation increases dramatically. Being conscious of these locations, we can better control the degrees of recognition and emphasis a reader will give to the various pieces of information being presented. George D. Gopen and Judith A. Swan, Scientific American 1990

18 Strategies – Skimming an article Title (Not always true/justified – quality of journal) ISI citation index: Journal Citation Reports & Citation Index ch&SID=S266COIkpLd1pCKFmJd&preferencesSaved= Abstract (Not always informative/justified – journal type) Figures/Legends (Results) Discussion Introduction Methods

19 Strategies – Scanning for Information 1. What was the major purpose of the study? (Intro) 2. What source/organism(s) was studied? (Intro/Methods) – Is it the same one you would study? 3. What variables were studied? (Intro/Results/Figures) – Are they the same ones you would use? 4. Did any conditions differ between other studies and this one? (Methods/Results) 5. What were the major results of the study? (Results/Figures) – Pay special attention to figures and the authors description of them. 6. Determine what the author considers the major contribution of the study. (Abstract/Discussion)

20 Strategies – Concept Mapping to generate ideas (brain storming, etc.) to design a complex structure (long texts, hypermedia, large web sites, etc.) to communicate complex ideas to aid learning by explicitly integrating new and old knowledge to assess understanding or diagnose misunderstanding

21 Strategies: Cornell Notes Promotes active learning – Each major point on the right ought to have a question or keyword on the left. Left column: write questions and keywords that relate to the information recorded on the right Right column: make notes, draw graphs and record the important information from the lecture or reading 1/43/4 notes draw graphs record important info. write questions keywords Summary conclusions

22 Evaluation – Pitfalls Some literature is better than others! Some authors are smarter than others, some are right more often – sometimes these are not the same people – Opinion Leaders It is an art of storytelling – most often not chronological. Some articles are driven by special interests (tenure/promotion/business). Data are plentiful but truth is elusive! Be skeptical but not cynical. Demand excellence – be critical but be fair. Find balance between believing everything and believing nothing. Intimidation Scientific Jargon – Get a review Use medical dictionary – e.g. Consult technical literature – e.g.

23 Scientific Jargon: the Mysterious Language of Science and Medicine It has long been known….. I didnt look up the original reference. A definite trend is evident…..These data are practically meaningless. While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to the questions….. An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published. Three of the samples were chosen for a detailed study….. The other results didn't make any sense! Typical results are shown….. This is the prettiest graph I could muster. These results will be in a subsequent report….. I might get around to this sometime, if pushed / funded. The most reliable results are obtained by Jones….. He was my graduate student; his Thesis depended on this. Correct within an order of magnitude... Wrong! Modified from Dyrk Schingman, Oregon State

24 What is a logical argument? Premise: If you overslept, youll be late. You arent late. Therefore: 1.You did oversleep. 2.You didnt oversleep. 3.Youre late. 4.None of these follows. Premise: If you overslept, youll be late. You didnt oversleep. Therefore: 1.Youre late. 2.You arent late. 3.You did oversleep. 4.None of these follows. An argument is a set of statements consisting of premises and a conclusion; normally the premises give evidence for the conclusion. Modified from Introduction to Logic, Harry Gensler, 2001

25 Valid and Sound Arguments An argument is valid if it would be contradictory to have the premises all true and conclusion false. An argument is sound if it is valid and has every premise true. Valid and true premises! If youre reading this, you arent illiterate. Youre reading this. You arent illiterate. First premise false! All scientists are millionaires. Joe is a scientist. Joe is a millionaire. Conclusion doesnt follow! All millionaires eat well. Joe eats well. Joe is a millionaire. Modified from Introduction to Logic, Harry Gensler, 2001 When we try to prove a conclusion, we try to give sound arguments. We must make sure of two things: our premises are true, and our conclusion follows from our premises.

26 Evaluation – Questions asked, answered and if a persuasive scientific argument is made – Significance Defined the specific problem of research. –Cited reviews and articles in high impact journals. Indicated the importance and the hypothesis. Placed the problem in the intellectual context of field. Gave reasons and detailed the experimental methods. Detailed accomplished and expected results (Statistics). Clearly identified the potential unique contribution (Significance). Suggested possible theoretical or practical relevance of findings (Biases vs Implications). Did they answer the question? Was the right question asked?

27 The Scientific & Medical Literature Reading/Strategies Sources The parts & Reader Expectations Strategies –Skimming –Scanning –Concept mapping –Cornell notes Evaluating Pitfalls / Jargon Questions Significance Scientific Arguments –Valid/Persuasive –Statistics –Other Biases Scientific Method Philosophy Ethics


Download ppt "Career Development Course for Post-docs February 2, 2009 Critical Reading and Evaluating Scientific & Medical Literature Fred A. Pereira, Ph.D. Huffington."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google