I want to write an article explaining where to find scientific information and how to evaluate scientific research. Which quality sources and articles would you recommend that I recommend? Please suggest material that has helped you become a better researcher. Which resources have helped you weed out the pseudoscience and poor quality information? How do you determine which journals have a high standard and which are either predatory or providers of disinformation? Which forums and communities do you use when working on problems above your knowledge paygrade? If you were to design an ideal skeptic's handbook for finding and evaluating research, what would you add?
I'm looking for the easiest way to find data about "how big" various industries are, by revenue. For instance, when you hear a reporter say, "Video games are a $X billion a year business," where are they getting that information? I've poked around the census bureau's website and found their various reports, but it doesn't seem to be that granular (or easy to read, for that matter). I'm trying to create as diverse a list as possible, of various non-related industries (banking, retail, trade shows, sporting events, hotel, video games, Hollywood, pest control, you name it - virtually any business that is its own discrete thing) and how they stack up relative to one another in terms of the dollar-figure size.
I am bookmarking websites like crazy, as I do research and online reading, and it's a mess. Help! [more inside]
Career advice filter: I'm currently an experienced research assistant at a major research university (three years out of undergrad) who developed serious programming skills working on NLP projects doing parsing and information retrieval. My undergraduate degree is in Linguistics. I'm attempting a career transition into a more purely technical, software-oriented, possibly NLP-flavored position. Do you have any practical advice for ways that I can showcase my programming abilities and/or convince prospective employers that I am solid candidate (despite the lack of CS degree)? [more inside]
I am working on a PhD and in the middle of research methods classes. It's time for me to really narrow down my PhD topic/research question so that I can start focusing my assignments on my actual topic instead of random stuff. How exactly do I take my "big ideas" and give them some laser-like focus? [more inside]
Somewhere in the last two to five years, I read about a study where a group of women (I believe the women were Asian, possibly Vietnamese or Thai) were given meals that were: (1) either beautifully and colorfully presented, or (2) pureed into a gray mush. The meals had exactly the same nutritional content, but the women receiving the colorful meal absorbed more nutrients. But I can't find any articles or the study itself. I've been Googling up a storm and still nothin'. Anyone remember this, or articles about this? Help me please?
This one might be a doozy. So, I'm a 23 year old recent college grad ( this May) with a B.A. in psychology and no idea what to do with my life. ( Original, I know, but bear with me, it gets better.) Everyone around me seems to have what are at least well-outlined 5 year plans, oriented around either grad school or a great entry level job. Certain circumstances in my life though seem to leave me with a vision of the future that doesn't extend far beyond the living room couch and daytime TV for the next 10 years and that frightens me to no end. [more inside]
I arranged to apply for a summer research grant with a professor at my school. It's now one week before the application deadline and I haven't been able to reach him at all. It's almost certainly too late to write and review an application now, much less find a new supervisor. So is that it? Do I just drop the whole thing? [more inside]
I am 12-18 months from defending my dissertation. How do I find the best opportunities for post-doc positions?
Need help migrating to DevonThink Pro with very large, scattered files. Questions on initial organization and workflow. [more inside]
How do you all organize your ebooks? [more inside]
What are the limits to bedbugs? Why isn't every hotel room infested given how tough they are claimed to be? Is there any evidence on the chances of taking bed bugs home from a hotel with you? Will the bedbug infestation rates go ever upwards? Why or why not? Interested in aggregated, rather than anecdotal evidence here. [more inside]
My wife and I have been reading and enjoying Ariely's books, but we're a little skeptical. Many of his study results seem a bit too spectacular. Some studies produce dramatic surprises. All of which, of course, makes for great entertainment. Can you tell me whether, in general, others have duplicated his study results? What kind of reputation does he have among behavioral researchers?
I come from an engineering background rather than a research background, and I find myself lacking in vocabulary when it comes to understanding research papers, particularly when they start talking about ANOVA analyses, F(x) effect sizes and p values. I can skim through the results of a study and see that certain numbers are bigger than other numbers, but I don't really know how to tell whether what I'm seeing is significant. I'm guessing that I'm missing basic education in statistics. Can I fix this in a simple way?
So I have been working in an entirely different field for the last years and was never entirely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I am certain at this point that I want to work in a field which involves, you know, nervous systems. Unsurprisingly, I am thinking of academia. [more inside]
There must be a keyword analysis tool by now that specifically works for ebay listings ? [more inside]
According to the Washington Post, the famous White House tape recordings that Nixon kept include recordings of aides G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt seriously plotting to assassinate muckraking journalist Jack Anderson in 1972. They were only stopped because the Watergate fiasco got in the way. Where can I get that recording? [more inside]
I'm a career Firefighter/Paramedic. Recently, I've been thinking more about the long-term psychological trauma that results from a serious injury/illness, and how my actions during emergencies may help or hinder patients' healing. Help me help my patients. [more inside]
Is there somewhere in the article where they're required to state who backed the scientific study financially?
In the next day or two, I'll be getting some microfiche via ILL for an academic project. Ideally, I'd be able to digitize portions (50-100pp, probably) of them for future use in a way more efficient (and cheaper...) than printing out paper copies and scanning them. I have a Nikon D80 with a 50mm f/1.8 and a 105mm f/2.8 (I think) and a tripod, an iPad 3, a MacBook Pro, and a grad student budget. My campus has photocopiers that are also flatbed scanners; I'd be able to use one for an extended period of time if necessary. Any suggestions about the best ways to do this?
I am conducting a study in which I want to administer the same questionnaire to participants at two times (one week apart). I am trying to figure out if there is a way to do this all online, either through SONA software (which is accessible to me) or through some other software that I could link to from SONA. Thanks for your help! [more inside]
Just got a PhD, don't have a new position lined up, meeting a prof, no obvious goal for conversation, have questions. [more inside]
Help me rescue my analytical faculties so I can survive the last months of grad school with my dignity intact. [more inside]
Is there a resource for finding research positions in the social sciences? [more inside]
I want to know what typical ideas of typical teachers the public has. [more inside]
I wanted to go into academia but I don't have the balls. Now I'm at the cusp of graduation and unsure of what my options are. I'll be finishing up my undergrad at the end of the month barring any unfortunate surprises. I will graduate with a fairly high GPA (although nothing too special) from McGill with a bachelors in Biology. I've always loved the idea of academia, but for the last year I've been reading articles that practically plead for me to stay away. My past considerations have focused around research, but med school and bio/biotech industry have also crossed my mind. There's also a whole world outside of science that I've never really considered. I've dabbled in graphic design in high school. It was really fun, but I always figured that I would make a better academic. I'd imagine most jobs I'd be interested in would involve reading/learning, information analysis, and stuff like that. I think I'm fairly well versed at communication, both written and spoken, but probably rusty in both in non-academic contexts. Honestly I do care about money. I expect to work hard, and I expect to be paid well for what I do. I'd also like to be paid for my expertise, not just for 'doing things.' [more inside]
What resources are there that address overwhelm faced by tutors and teaching assistants - grad students who are also taking on a teaching role? [more inside]
Graduating with an MS in May, an independent historical research project on my brain, and time. What should I do NOW while I'm still a student? [more inside]
I'm a baby Australian scientist trying to earn experience and cash prior to embarking on a PhD, but landing a relevant job is turning out to be a bit of an ordeal. [more inside]
I'm 31 years old and looking for a career change. I've come to love research and I've always loved reading nonfiction and true crime as well as the exposé articles often published by alternative weeklies. What are some careers that would fit these interests, and how do I work my way towards those careers? [more inside]
Hello dear Mefites. I am looking to buy or borrow this very-hard-to-find book: Ramacciotti, Sandra and Rodil, María Victoria (2006): Economics: Glossary of Metaphorical Usage - Glosario Económico - Financiero Uso Metafórico de Voces. Buenos Aires: Editorial Quorum. [more inside]
I am currently working on a young adult novel set in a small Massachusetts town at the tail end of the '80s in which one of the protagonists is a graffiti tagger. Unfortunately, I am less familiar with some of the most basic aspects of graffiti writing and the preparations for it, particularly in that era. Below the fold are some questions. [more inside]
Over on reddit, a commenter said that they once read a "social science study" which showed that people are more likely to rally in support of a cause when there's a common enemy to hate. It supposedly showed how when people were given the opportunity to unite and campaign for a positive cause, they showed little interest; but that the presence of a hostil opponent motivated the group to unite and rally against it. Can anyone think of a study along those lines?
I am hoping to locate present and historical sales or usage figures for various prescription drugs, and I am not sure where to start. I'm trying to use the data to get a sense of how many people were using a particular drug at different times; I just figured sales volume would be a good indication. For me, rough numbers would be fine. Paying for the data may be an option (especially if it is not too expensive), but I was hoping to find some good free resources. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Market share data for different drugs in a particular class would be similarly useful, especially to the extent that I can also find overall sales or use volume for the overall drug class.
According to a study women talk more than men. Which study? [more inside]
I'm a librarian helping a patron. She's written an essay that, in part, discusses a piece of ancient Greek literature as the origin of a particular theme. She's received feedback from a reviewer that was very critical regarding the omission of several specific secondary sources. There seemed to be an assumption that the author overlooked or neglected these sources, when in fact she hadn't come across them in her research. The reviewer provided a list, but the author would like a way to avoid this kind of criticism in the future. Is there a way to identify key secondary sources on ancient Greek authors? [more inside]
Why do kittens, bunnies, puppies, and their ilk seem so much cuter than human babies? This is something I've always wondered, and I am surprised that it doesn't seem to have been asked here. I've seen some idle speculations about the reasons in various places around the Web, but nothing resembling evidence. Is there any actual research related to this topic? Or is the question based on flawed assumptions somehow? [more inside]
What are some non-institution-specific scholarships or grants for someone who wants to do primate research this summer? [more inside]
I'm applying to a few policy / research jobs and they all want a writing sample. Since I've been out of college for five years now, I don't really have anything from then and I haven't been published. I'm assuming I'll have to do this from scratch, but don't really know what they're looking for.
"Men want sex" and "women want romance" -- so the stereotypes go. To what extent does the average woman believe (or not believe) in these stereotypes? Does anyone know if there is research on this? I've been searching for hours, but haven't turned up anything yet.
Looking for a descriptive and short name for a blog about university study. Save me from bad puns and opaque acronyms! [more inside]
I lack the networking skills needed to progress further in my job. I'm trying my best, it's not working out. I need some help on how to make it happen. [more inside]
I'm trying to identify the ideal activity monitoring device for a research study. Interested in both commercial devices (ex: FitBit) and clinical monitors (ActiGraph). Not a pedometer; must be an accelerometer (i.e., measure activity like playing with your kids). Wish list inside. [more inside]
I will be traveling to a remote location to interview key informants for a research project. I am looking for a convenient interface which to enter the data. [more inside]
Defending and depositing my engineering dissertation by end of April. Strained relations with advisor and distant relations with committee. What next, and how? Please advise. [more inside]
I'm working on my first ever scientific paper: a meta-analysis of data from other studies. I've just finished my search for relevant papers. My paper is to cover two related (but different) topics (determined by my advisor). For Topic A, I have a fair number of papers (nearly 20) from which to obtain data. For Topic B, though, I only have two! Is it even possible to do a meta-analysis of two papers? If so how would I go about it? I'm asking y'all instead of my advisor because he is unavailable this week and next, and I want to go ahead and get going, at least by reviewing other meta-analyses so I can get a sense of what I need to do with the papers I've got.
Hello fellow academics. I have a situation, that I am sure you're familiar with: I want out of a research team that has been, rather pitifully, working toward a publication for the last 2 years, the end result of which is a majestic, incoherent piece of garbage that has already been rejected by various top conferences and journals. I want out but the problem is that I've done most of the work as second author and I'd rather not see my hard work be attributed to the first author on the manuscript should it somehow get published. What is the best solution in this case? [more inside]
A friend of mine recently quit his job and has found himself with a lot of free time. As a method to explore his mind and world he has set himself a task to write an essay on : - "The Notion of Freedom and Humanity" I am no philosophy veteran but I am sure that there must be some great texts already dealing with this subject. What research and reading material can I recommend my friend for his essay?
I am looking for a copy of a 1938 pamphlet called "Gratitude" written by Dr. Harry L. James of Chicago. There was a copy on Ebay, but it's sold now. Any chance I could find another copy (or PDF) of this thing? [more inside]
Common Migraine + Aura Sans Pain = oh noes your brain explodes? (Or, is there an increased stroke risk, and is something to be discussed with a doctor?) [more inside]