First up this month: my annual roundup of open access news. At Absolutely Maybe – Open Access 2019: A Year of Momentum on the Subscription Off-Ramp. A year of deals, deals, break-ups, and more deals, that ended with a bombshell!

The MetaBLIND study emerged with a result no-one expected. Where does it leave us? My summary and thoughts in The Renewed Debate About Blinding in Clinical Trials.

And I was delighted to join the editorial board for the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB). It's not a research journal: it's an independent drug bulletin, communicating about evidence, predominantly to drug prescribers in the UK. The DTB is the brainchild of the marvellous Andrew Herxheimer (1925–2016). Andrew was a wonderful man, with a remarkable life and family. Here's a selfie I took with him in 2015, and here's a post I wrote about him and his father – What Lies Beneath a Scientist's Life: A Father and Son Story. It's an honor to contribute to the publication I still think of as "his".







Having submitted my doctoral thesis at last, I finally began getting around to all the things that need updating. The first cab off the rank is Open Badges Redux: A Few Years On, How's the Evidence Looking?

I ended the year with a wrap-up of a year in peer review research: 5 Things We Learned About Peer Review in 2019.

The “Oh, the Things We Could Know!” cartoon was a good way to open a new year for science: it pays homage to the glorious Dr. Seuss’ book –

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.



People had a lot to say about systematic reviews this month, and I had things to say about what they said. So it was all systematic reviews, with zombies and Goldilocks – but not in the same blog post!

First up: The Power of Zombie Statistics: Systematic Review Edition and then,

The Systematic Review is Dead! Long Live [insert preferred sweeping claim]!



New development in a continuing saga, It's a Start: The Amended Version of the Cochrane Review on Exercise and CFS. This latest installment is the outcome of consumer criticisms starting in 2015, and there's still a major overhaul/update to come. So it won't be over any time soon.

And more news, this time about search engines and systematic reviewing.





Tweets about a thought-provoking conference presentation about Google Scholar led to some pleasant surprises. Here's my post at Absolutely Maybe: Google Scholar Risks and Alternatives.

And a new trial made this question worth a look: Am I Going to Need a Smaller Plate? In Which I Juggle a New Weight Loss Trial & Old Systematic Reviews.





Find me on: