Research concepts: Overview

An important part of conducting sound science involves interpreting data correctly. Unfortunately, we don’t do that very well. For example, we are fooled by regression to the mean, we report findings when there are none, and we are overconfident about statistical power and significance. As scientists and lay persons, we want to be certain about research findings. But statistics only

Read more

Differences between cohort studies of aetiology and prognosis

Many medical and scientific questions are the sort that cannot be answered using randomised study designs. For example, Does cigarette smoking cause lung cancer?, What is the risk hip fracture in adults?, and Do rats indirectly destroy coral reefs? Scientists often use observational cohort studies to answer these types of questions. In cohort studies, (1) a sample of subjects or

Read more

Exploring the metrics and incentives of scientific productivity

The pressure to publish and current incentives that reward highly-cited discoveries leads to research findings that are not reproducible and inadvertently results in the natural selection of bad science. It is difficult to encourage scientists to take effort in conducting reproducible and rigorous research without better incentives. What kinds of metrics and incentives might reward scientists for conducting sound science?

Read more

Fitting polynomial or exponential curves to biological data in Python

Raw data are not always pretty. Data can have different patterns, be noisy, and vary from trial to trial. We usually collect data to measure, or more accurately, estimate an effect or phenomenon. At times, it is necessary to fit a mathematical expression to raw data in order to estimate the underlying effect or phenomenon. We can then use this

Read more

Use LaTeX templates to write scientific papers

As researchers, we have to write and publish scientific papers to let the world know about our work. The process of preparing a scientific paper can be enjoyable, but it can also be arduous. Different journals and publishers have different requirements about how we should format our submission. The title page should include certain items, the headers should be bold

Read more
« Older Entries