Vitamin K

Note: this is not a serious blog post. Neil Hall’s think piece in Genome Biology on the Kardashian index (K-index) caused an online storm recently, spawning hashtags and outrage in not-so-equal measure. Despite all the vitriol that headed Neil’s way, very little of it concerned his use of Microsoft Excel to make his plot of Twitter […]

Tips from the Blog I

What is the best music to listen to while writing a manuscript or grant proposal? OK, I know that some people prefer silence and certainly most people hate radio chatter while trying to concentrate. However, if you like listening to music, setting an iPod on shuffle is no good since a track by Napalm Death […]

All This And More

I was looking at the latest issue of Cell and marvelling at how many authors there are on each paper. It’s no secret that the raison d’être of Cell is to publish the “last word” on a topic (although whether it fulfils that objective is debatable). Definitive work needs to be comprehensive. So it follows […]

Blast Off!

This post is about metrics and specifically the H-index. It will probably be the first of several on this topic. I was re-reading a blog post by Alex Bateman on his affection for the H-index as a tool for evaluating up-and-coming scientists. He describes Jorge Hirsch’s H-index, its limitations and its utility quite nicely, so I […]

Falling and Landing

A great quote from a classic paper by J.B.S. Haldane “On Being The Right Size” (1926). You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a […]

Very Best Years

What was the best year in music? OK, I have to be upfront and say that I thought the answer to this would be 1991. Why? Just a hunch. Nevermind, Loveless, Spiderland, Laughing Stock… it was a pretty good year. I thought it would be fun to find out if there really was a golden […]