Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Management


Computers are now essential in all branches of science, but most researchers are never taught the equivalent of basic lab skills for research computing. As a result, data can get lost, analyses can take much longer than necessary, and researchers are limited in how effectively they can work with software and data. Computing workflows need to follow the same practices as lab projects and notebooks, with organized data, documented steps, and the project structured for reproducibility, but researchers new to computing often don’t know where to start. This paper presents a set of good computing practices that every researcher can adopt, regardless of their current level of computational skill. These practices, which encompass data management, programming, collaborating with colleagues, organizing projects, tracking work, and writing manuscripts, are drawn from a wide variety of published sources from our daily lives and from our work with volunteer organizations that have delivered workshops to over 11,000 people since 2010.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, Management, Computer, Computer science, Computing, Computational science


In September 2010, the first International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium (ISTS) was held in UmeƄ, Sweden, to establish a forum for original scientific and clinical insights in this growing field of clinical research and practice. The second ISTS was organised by the same group and held in Vancouver, Canada, in September 2012. This symposium was preceded by a round-table meeting in which the participants engaged in focused discussions, resulting in the following overview of tendinopathy clinical and research issues. This paper is a narrative review and summary developed during and after the second ISTS. The document is designed to highlight some key issues raised at ISTS 2012, and to integrate them into a shared conceptual framework. It should be considered an update and a signposting document rather than a comprehensive review. The document is developed for use by physiotherapists, physicians, athletic trainers, massage therapists and other health professionals as well as team coaches and strength/conditioning managers involved in care of sportspeople or workers with tendinopathy.

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Research, Management, Clinical research, Physical therapy, Canada, Massage


Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) studies are increasingly popular among clinicians and researchers as they provide unique insights into brain network connectivity. However, in order to optimize the use of DTI, several technical and methodological aspects must be factored in. These include decisions on: acquisition protocol, artifact handling, data quality control, reconstruction algorithm, and visualization approaches, and quantitative analysis methodology. Furthermore, the researcher and/or clinician also needs to take into account and decide on the most suited software tool(s) for each stage of the DTI analysis pipeline. Herein, we provide a straightforward hitchhiker’s guide, covering all of the workflow’s major stages. Ultimately, this guide will help newcomers navigate the most critical roadblocks in the analysis and further encourage the use of DTI.

Concepts: Scientific method, Medical imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Research, Management, Imaging, Tensors, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Insufficient sleep duration and obstructive sleep apnea, two common causes of sleep deficiency in adults, can result in excessive sleepiness, a well-recognized cause of motor vehicle crashes, although their contribution to crash risk in the general population remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relation of sleep apnea, sleep duration, and excessive sleepiness to crash risk in a community-dwelling population.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Causality, Sleep, Management, Sleep apnea, Obstructive sleep apnea, Abnormal respiration, Result


In Nigeria, 30% of child deaths are due to malaria. The National Malaria Control Program of Nigeria (NMCP) during 2009 initiated a program to improve the quality of paediatric malaria services delivered in health facilities (HF). This study reports a rapid approach used to assess the existing quality of services in Jigawa state at decentralised levels of the health system.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Malaria, Evaluation, Nigeria, Management, Jigawa State


As a component of the practice-based core competency of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, all residents must receive training to be able to evaluate and improve their patient care practices. To further enhance our overall resident quality improvement (QI) educational experience, and to ensure resident involvement in the many aspects of a quality assurance program, we have established a resident educational leadership role and have appointed a resident as resident QI director.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Quality control, Physician, Management, Quality assurance, Medical school, Teacher


Since several years risk-based monitoring is the new “magic bullet” for improvement in clinical research. Lots of authors in clinical research ranging from industry and academia to authorities are keen on demonstrating better monitoring-efficiency by reducing monitoring visits, monitoring time on site, monitoring costs and so on, always arguing with the use of risk-based monitoring principles. Mostly forgotten is the fact, that the use of risk-based monitoring is only adequate if all mandatory prerequisites at site and for the monitor and the sponsor are fulfilled.Based on the relevant chapter in ICH GCP (International Conference on Harmonisation of technical requirements for registration of pharmaceuticals for human use - Good Clinical Practice) this publication takes a holistic approach by identifying and describing the requirements for future monitoring and the use of risk-based monitoring. As the authors are operational managers as well as QA (Quality Assurance) experts, both aspects are represented to come up with efficient and qualitative ways of future monitoring according to ICH GCP.

Concepts: Time, Clinical trial, Management, Quality assurance, Clinical research, Good clinical practice, GxP


BACKGROUND: This article aims to discuss the incorporation of traditional time in the construction of a management scenario for pink shrimp in the Patos Lagoon estuary (RS), Brazil. To meet this objective, two procedures have been adopted; one at a conceptual level and another at a methodological level. At the conceptual level, the concept of traditional time as a form of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) was adopted. METHOD: At the methodological level, we conduct a wide literature review of the scientific knowledge (SK) that guides recommendations for pink shrimp management by restricting the fishing season in the Patos Lagoon estuary; in addition, we review the ethno-scientific literature which describes traditional calendars as a management base for artisanal fishers in the Patos Lagoon estuary. RESULTS: Results demonstrate that TEK and SK describe similar estuarine biological processes, but are incommensurable at a resource management level. On the other hand, the construction of a “management scenario” for pink shrimp is possible through the development of “criteria for hierarchies of validity” which arise from a productive dialog between SK and TEK. CONCLUSIONS: The commensurable and the incommensurable levels reveal different basis of time-space perceptions between traditional ecological knowledge and scientific knowledge. Despite incommensurability at the management level, it is possible to establish guidelines for the construction of “management scenarios” and to support a co-management process.

Concepts: Scientific method, Epistemology, Management, Estuary, Lagoon, Commensurability, Lagoa dos Patos


BACKGROUND: The medical application domain has been a great challenge for information technology solutions for decades, especially when the target process has been complex and multidisciplinary such as chemotherapy processes. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a homegrown protocol based information system on the efficiency of chemotherapy workflow processes in an outpatient setting. METHODS: A day care unit of the Hematology/Oncology outpatient clinic of Erasmus Medical Center was the setting for this study. The study consisted of comparison of pre- and post-implementation of four workflow efficiency related external indicators: turn-around times of a commonly administered chemotherapy course (Paclitaxel-Carboplatin), chemotherapy course administration postponing rate, the rate of recording course administration time, and patient admission rate of the outpatient clinic. The data was gathered retrospectively from patient charts and information systems' log files. For the purpose of turn-around-time 109 Paclitaxel-Carboplatin chemotherapy courses of pre-implementation were compared to 118 those of post-implementation. For the other indicators: 247 chemotherapy courses pre-implementation were compared to 324 courses post-implementation. The process maps of pre- and post-implementation were also compared to each other. RESULTS: The implementation of the system improved the process by removing repetition and sequencing of the tasks. Following the implementation, chemotherapy postponing decreased by 17.2% (Z=-4.723, P=.000) and there were 5.7% less records with missing administration time (Z=-3.047, P=.002). The admission rate increased 1.9 patient per working day (t(94)=-5.974, P=.000). The overall turn-around-time reduced 18.9min following the implementation (t(169)=3.48, P=.001). In a multivariate multiple regression model the reduction in turn-around time was related to the implementation of the system (Pillai’s Trace=0.159, F(4,161)=7.613, P=.000). CONCLUSION: Information systems based on treatment protocols can reduce communication and synchronization needs between the stakeholders in a complex workflow process. These systems can help reengineering the process and improve workflow efficiency by removing unnecessary sequencing and repetitions of tasks.

Concepts: Better, Regression analysis, Management, Process architecture, Business process modeling, Information system, Workflow, Business process reengineering


Salinity is one of the most brutal environmental factors limiting the productivity of crop plants because most of the crop plants are sensitive to salinity caused by high concentrations of salts in the soil, and the area of land affected by it is increasing day by day. For all important crops, average yields are only a fraction - somewhere between 20% and 50% of record yields; these losses are mostly due to drought and high soil salinity, environmental conditions which will worsen in many regions because of global climate change. A wide range of adaptations and mitigation strategies are required to cope with such impacts. Efficient resource management and crop/livestock improvement for evolving better breeds can help to overcome salinity stress. However, such strategies being long drawn and cost intensive, there is a need to develop simple and low cost biological methods for salinity stress management, which can be used on short term basis. Microorganisms could play a significant role in this respect, if we exploit their unique properties such as tolerance to saline conditions, genetic diversity, synthesis of compatible solutes, production of plant growth promoting hormones, bio-control potential, and their interaction with crop plants.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Organism, Species, Climate, Weather, Soil, Management, Climate change