Once again, we have the IgNobel prizes. Here’s a list of the 2019 winners; links to the actual, real research papers are here.
MEDICINE PRIZE [ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS]
Silvano Gallus, for collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.
MEDICAL EDUCATION PRIZE [USA]
Karen Pryor and Theresa McKeon, for using a simple animal-training technique— called “clicker training” —to train surgeons to perform orthopedic surgery.
BIOLOGY PRIZE [SINGAPORE, CHINA, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, POLAND, USA, BULGARIA]
Ling-Jun Kong, Herbert Crepaz, Agnieszka Górecka, Aleksandra Urbanek, Rainer Dumke, and Tomasz Paterek, for discovering that dead magnetized cockroaches behave differently than living magnetized cockroaches.
ANATOMY PRIZE [FRANCE]
Roger Mieusset and Bourras Bengoudifa, for measuring scrotal temperature asymmetry in naked and clothed postmen in France.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE [JAPAN]
Shigeru Watanabe, Mineko Ohnishi, Kaori Imai, Eiji Kawano, and Seiji Igarashi, for estimating the total saliva volume produced per day by a typical five-year-old child
ENGINEERING PRIZE [IRAN]
Iman Farahbakhsh, for inventing a diaper-changing machine for use on human infants.
ECONOMICS PRIZE [TURKEY, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY]
Habip Gedik, Timothy A. Voss, and Andreas Voss, for testing which country’s paper money is best at transmitting dangerous bacteria.
PEACE PRIZE [UK, SAUDI ARABIA, SINGAPORE, USA]
Ghada A. bin Saif, Alexandru Papoiu, Liliana Banari, Francis McGlone, Shawn G. Kwatra, Yiong-Huak Chan, and Gil Yosipovitch, for trying to measure the pleasurability of scratching an itch.
PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [GERMANY]
Fritz Strack, for discovering that holding a pen in one’s mouth makes one smile, which makes one happier — and for then discovering that it does not.
PHYSICS PRIZE [USA, TAIWAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SWEDEN, UK]
Patricia Yang, Alexander Lee, Miles Chan, Alynn Martin, Ashley Edwards, Scott Carver, and David Hu, for studying how, and why, wombats make cube-shaped poo.
DynaMed Plus is an evidence-based clinical reference tool. Use it to find the latest evidence-based information in almost two dozen content areas including allergy, dermatology, endocrinology, infectious diseases, neurology, obstetrics, oncology, sport medicine, and more. Updated daily, DynaMed Plus content is written by physicians and researchers.
- Topic overviews and recommendations based on the most current evidence
- Guidelines from prominent organizations (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics, American Diabetes Association, American Optometric Association)
- Drug information from Micromedex
- Graphics and images
- Health-related calculators (e.g., Injury Severity Score, Lean Body Weight)
- Mobile app
In May and September of 2017, the Library wrote posts (read them here and here) about a number of publisher research data policies. Over the last year, publishers have engaged in conversations with institutions, funders, and not-for-profit organizations to examine how they can better shape and influence the sharing of research data.
To accompany their data sharing policies and recommendations, publishers like Springer Nature and Elsevier recently developed their own research data services to better assist researchers who are preparing their data to be published alongside a manuscript. They now provide individual guidance (for a fee) and repositories in which to deposit and share data. Please talk to a consultant at UC Berkeley’s Research Data Management program about the guidance we can provide along with University of California supported data sharing options.
Elsevier continues to communicate about research data through a series of principles (data should be made available free of charge wherever possible with minimal reuse restrictions; by enabling effective reuse of data we’re finding efficiencies and preventing duplication of effort). These principles map to a series of policies. The policies speak to how Elsevier will support and encourage researchers when sharing data. Elsevier’s research data guidelines, which remain largely unchanged since last year, prescribe how and when researchers will share their data. Elsevier’s journals are assigned to one of five research data guidelines, which have slight variations in language and range from “encouraged to deposit research data” to “required to deposit research data.”
When submitting to an Elsevier journal, be sure to check the individual journal’s Guide for Authors, which is located on the journal homepage. Elsevier does not maintain a master list of journals mapped to the five research data guidelines. Your subject librarian can provide guidance if you need more information about the data publishing policies from a specific Elsevier title. If you don’t know where you will submit your research, it’s best to prepare for the most rigorous data policy by adhering to a data management plan throughout the course of your work.
Springer Nature’s data publishing policies follows the same, four tiered structure they developed in 2017; however, they’ve added more nuanced requirements within each tier for the life sciences and non life sciences. Check here to see the publisher’s list of journals and their assigned data publishing policy.
Wiley applies one of three data sharing policies to their journals: encourages data sharing; expects data sharing; and mandates data sharing. The publisher has created an author compliance tool, which enables researchers who are submitting papers to one of the publisher’s journals to check what they need to do with their data to be in compliance with their funder, institution, and journal. For example, if your research is funded by the NIH, you work at a University of California institution, and would like to publish in Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, you’ll learn that the journal encourages you to share your data, the NIH requires you to share your data, and the university does not have a policy. In cases like this, you need to default to the entity that requires the most sharing. In this case, you would share your data as stipulated by the NIH.
Wiley’s author compliance tool points out the gaps in policy that exist for researchers, especially in the United States. Data sharing policies differ widely between institutions, publishers, and funders which leads to confusion for the researcher. In general, when planning research and communicating your results, take the Open Science approach, which advocates for showing your work and sharing your work in the name of advancing science. By thoroughly documenting your data and research process, others are better able to understand your work and potentially utilize the data for another research purpose. The Open Science approach supports transparency and reuse, which results in better science and more rapid advances. If you would like more information about preparing your data to be shared with others, please contact the Research Data Management Program.
…For achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK
MEDICINE PRIZE [USA] — Marc Mitchell and David Wartinger, for using roller coaster rides to try to hasten the passage of kidney stones.
REFERENCE: “Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster,” Marc A. Mitchell, David D. Wartinger, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 116, October 2016, pp. 647-652.
ANTHROPOLOGY PRIZE [SWEDEN, ROMANIA, DENMARK, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, UK, INDONESIA, ITALY] — Tomas Persson, Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, and Elainie Madsen, for collecting evidence, in a zoo, that chimpanzees imitate humans about as often, and about as well, as humans imitate chimpanzees.
REFERENCE: “Spontaneous Cross-Species Imitation in Interaction Between Chimpanzees and Zoo Visitors,” Tomas Persson, Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, and Elainie Madsen, Primates, vol. 59, no. 1, January 2018, pp 19–29.
BIOLOGY PRIZE [SWEDEN, COLOMBIA, GERMANY, FRANCE, SWITZERLAND] — Paul Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika Wallin, Erik Hedenstrom, Felipe Borrero-Echeverry, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Jorger, and Peter Witzgall, for demonstrating that wine experts can reliably identify, by smell, the presence of a single fly in a glass of wine.
REFERENCE: “The Scent of the Fly,” Paul G. Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika A. Wallin, Erik Hedenstrom, Felipe Borrero-Echeverry, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Jorger, and Peter Witzgall, bioRxiv, no. 20637, 2017.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE [PORTUGAL] — Paula Romão, Adília Alarcão and the late César Viana, for measuring the degree to which human saliva is a good cleaning agent for dirty surfaces.
REFERENCE: “Human Saliva as a Cleaning Agent for Dirty Surfaces,” by Paula M. S. Romão, Adília M. Alarcão and César A.N. Viana, Studies in Conservation, vol. 35, 1990, pp. 153-155.
MEDICAL EDUCATION PRIZE [JAPAN] — Akira Horiuchi, for the medical report “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy.”
REFERENCE: “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy by Using a Small-Caliber, Variable-Stiffness Colonoscope,” Akira Horiuchi and Yoshiko Nakayama, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, vol. 63, No. 1, 2006, pp. 119-20.
LITERATURE PRIZE [AUSTRALIA, EL SALVADOR, UK] — Thea Blackler, Rafael Gomez, Vesna Popovic and M. Helen Thompson, for documenting that most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual.
REFERENCE: “Life Is Too Short to RTFM: How Users Relate to Documentation and Excess Features in Consumer Products,” Alethea L. Blackler, Rafael Gomez, Vesna Popovic and M. Helen Thompson, Interacting With Computers, vol. 28, no. 1, 2014, pp. 27-46.
NUTRITION PRIZE [ZIMBABWE, TANZANIA, UK] — James Cole, for calculating that the caloric intake from a human-cannibalism diet is significantly lower than the caloric intake from most other traditional meat diets.
REFERENCE: “Assessing the Calorific Significance of Episodes of Human Cannibalism in the Paleolithic,” James Cole, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 44707, April 7, 2017.
PEACE PRIZE [SPAIN, COLOMBIA] — Francisco Alonso, Cristina Esteban, Andrea Serge, Maria-Luisa Ballestar, Jaime Sanmartín, Constanza Calatayud, and Beatriz Alamar, for measuring the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while driving an automobile.
REFERENCE: “Shouting and Cursing While Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment,” Francisco Alonso, Cristina Esteban, Andrea Serge and Maria-Luisa Ballestar, Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 1, no. 12017, pp. 1-7.
REFERENCE: “La Justicia en el Tráfico: Conocimiento y Valoración de la Población Española” [“Justice in Traffic: Knowledge and Valuation of the Spanish Population”)], F. Alonso, J. Sanmartín, C. Calatayud, C. Esteban, B. Alamar, and M. L. Ballestar, Cuadernos de Reflexión Attitudes, 2005.
REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE PRIZE [USA, JAPAN, SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, INDIA, BANGLADESH] — John Barry, Bruce Blank, and Michel Boileau, for using postage stamps to test whether the male sexual organ is functioning properly—as described in their study “Nocturnal Penile Tumescence Monitoring With Stamps.”
REFERENCE: “Nocturnal Penile Tumescence Monitoring With Stamps,” John M. Barry, Bruce Blank, Michael Boileau, Urology, vol. 15, 1980, pp. 171-172.
ECONOMICS PRIZE [CANADA, CHINA, SINGAPORE, USA] — Lindie Hanyu Liang, Douglas Brown, Huiwen Lian, Samuel Hanig, D. Lance Ferris, and Lisa Keeping, for investigating whether it is effective for employees to use Voodoo dolls to retaliate against abusive bosses.
REFERENCE: “Righting a Wrong: Retaliation on a Voodoo Doll Symbolizing an Abusive Supervisor Restores Justice,” Lindie Hanyu Liang, Douglas J. Brown, Huiwen Lian, Samuel Hanig, D. Lance Ferris, and Lisa M. Keeping, The Leadership Quarterly, February 2018.
As always, winners from previous years, as well as all kinds of stuff, may be found on the Improbable Research website.
It’s that time of year again! Knovel’s Engineering Academic Challenge kicks off on Monday, September 10th. The Challenge runs for five weeks – you’ll get a new set of 4-5 questions to answer every Monday morning. There will be weekly and overall winners for those who answer the most questions correctly. Learn more here!
The ACS Committee on Analytical Reagents sets purity specifications for almost 500 reagent chemicals and over 500 standard-grade reference materials. ACS Reagent Chemicals provides general physical properties and analytical uses for all reagent chemicals as well as guidelines for standard analytical methods.
The new online version has integrated supplements and updates to provide the most up-to-date content and includes new benefits such as:
- Mobile-friendly operation
- Live links between reagents and methods
- HTML or printable PDF formats
- Fresh, user-friendly interface
You can search ACS Reagent Chemicals in OskiCat or access it through the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library Guide under Properties and Data. Contact the Chemical Information Librarian, Kortney Rupp with any issues or questions.
A shiny new version of the DMPTool was launched at the end of February. The big change, beyond the new color scheme and layout, is that it is now a single source platform for all DMPs. It now incorporates the codebase from other instances of the program from all over the world, including: DMPTuuli (Finland), DMP Melbourne (Australia), DMP Assistant (Canada), DMPOnline (Europe), and many more! The move was made to combine all platforms into one in order to focus on best practices at an international level. Please learn more about the new instance by visiting the DMPTool Blog.
The 2018 Cambridge Structural Database System (including ConQuest and Mercury) is available for downloading from the UC distribution site. The Cambridge Structural Database is crystal structure database, with over 900,000 entries for organic and organometallic compounds.
- You must be on the campus network or wifi or using VPN to access the files on that page.
- Don’t forget the site and confirmation codes, which you can get by clicking Berkeley (UCB) link. You’ll need those codes during the CSDS installation.
- CSDS is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux/Unix. It is recommended that you uninstall CSDS 2017 before you start this installation.
- There’s an additional Windows application that can be downloaded separately. CrossMiner is a “novel tool that allows crystal structure databases such as the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to be searched in terms of pharmacophore queries.”
- You can also search the CSD structures through WebCSD, without installing any software.
- What’s new in the 2018 release.
- Information about CSDS, including links to the specific databases.
- Documentation for CSDS.
Please contact Kortney Rupp if you have questions about CSD.
As a previous research chemist, I spent a lot of time populating laboratory notebooks during my undergraduate and graduate research. I used to pride myself in keeping what I thought to be a notebook in which the experiments could all be reproduced at any time (naive, I know). When I joined a research group in graduate school, my advisor told me we were going to use Microsoft OneNote as our group notebook. At first, I was confused and hesitant about making the switch. My natural my workflow and data organization had to dramatically change to adjust to the digital recordkeeping environment I now found myself in. I soon realized the transition would allow me to focus more on the science and less on the printing, pasting, and handwriting. As an atomic force microscopist, I found it quick and easy to import digital images, chemical structures and screenshots of methods directly from digital articles. Over time I developed new strategies for organization including color coding to tie together sample preparations with the corresponding AFM images. I also created file naming standards and table of content pages to allow my labmates and advisor to search my notebook easily. These strategies ultimately allowed me to conduct my work in a more efficient and easily reproducible way and I now cannot imagine a world in which I could conduct science using a paper notebook.
Adopting any new workflows into an already complicated, time-sensitive environment can seem overwhelming and possess a steep learning curve. Libraries and librarians at UC Berkeley are well positioned to help researchers improve their productivity, transparency, and reproducibility by adopting a digital recordkeeping system. To try and provide some insight into how to determine which ELN to use and a strategy to make the transition to ELNs, I have created a guide and am available to assist throughout the transition process.