Important leadership for Harvard in open access publishing

Stuart Shieber, a professor of computer science at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) has now assumed the leadership of the new Office for Scholarly Communication. This is the natural outgrowth of his leadership of the Provost’s Committee on Scholarly Communication and in making the case for Open Access publishing adoption at the FAS.

Meta-data strikes back?

Ben Adida writes in his blog about a very interesting development in the Yahoo search infrastructure. The bottom-line is that by opening up some of the search results processing through metadata-level (i.e. rdf) processing, Yahoo has enabled a much more personalized user experience. Now, we'll see if the developer community runs with this opportunity.


A skeptical view of electronic health record benefits

This report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was widely reported in the press today. The press has mainly focused on the report's skepticism about earlier estimates of greater than $40 billion/year savings from broad national electronic health record adoption. This certainly is going to remain a point of controversy but other questions raised by the report merit broader debate. Do EHR's reduce duplicate ordering of tests and reduce adverse events in the outpatient setting? It has been my own intuition that it does, but this CBO report points out some contrary evidence. It seems that these questions constitute a useful research agenda for the medical informatics community which should be further pursued, in many healthcare delivery settings.


Genetic discrimination is a crime

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) was signed into law by President Bush. This is an important first step in moving towards making disclosure of genetic information no more (and no less) concerning than disclosure of medical and family history. All in all a positive step for harnessing the clinical fruit of the genomic revolution.


Get yourself or your post-doc in the 21st century.

For those of you engaged in genome-scale studies but not completely up to speed in Bioconductor and R. This very short course will be "conducted" by one of the leaders of the Bioconductor project (Vince Carey). Thanks to Vince, this short course is free of charge but you do have to register.

Statistical computing for genome-scale biology:
An introduction to R and Bioconductor 2.2
When: 27 and 29 May from 1230pm to 3pm.
Countway Medical Library: 4th floor
This course is intended to acquaint biologists and bioinformaticians with principles and methods of computing with genome-scale experimental data using Bioconductor 2.2. Registered students will have access to media for installing current packages used in the course. Topics to be covered on the first day include: high-level introduction to facilities for differential expression, gene sets, genetics of gene expression, measurement of CNV; sketch of the R 2.7 language and analysis environment; Bioconductor containers and annotation facilities. The second day will be devoted to case studies in differential expression, genetics of gene expression, analysis of CNV.


Rockfeller leads: Creative Commons License Goes Mainstream for Science

As noted in this announcement from Science Commons:

"The [Rockfeller] Press adopted a new copyright policy that returns essential freedoms to authors and extends permissions to the public that are vital to advancing science. This new policy covers its journals, which include the prestigious Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine and The Journal of General Physiology."

See the original announcement for details