A quick update on a new article that was published on friday in the NTVG. This article with the title
“Conducting your own research: a revised recipe for a clinical research training project”
– gives a couple of suggestions for young clinicians/researchers on how they should organise their epidemiological research projects. This paper was written to commemorate the retirement of prof JvdB, who wrote the original article back in 1989. I am quite grew quite fond of this article, as it combines insights from 25 years back as well as quite recent insights (e.g. STROBE and cie Schuyt and resulted in a article that will help young research to rethink how they plan and execute their own research project.
There are 5 key suggestions that form the backbone of this article i.e. limit the research question, conduct a pilot study, write the article before you collect the data, streamline the research process and be accountable. As the article is in Dutch only at this moment, I will work on an English version. First drafts of this ms, each discussing each of the 5 recommendations might appear on this website. And how about a German version?
Anyway, it has to be mentioned that if it not was for JvdB, this article would have never come to light. Not only because he wrote the original, but mostly because he is one of the most inspiring teachers of epidemiology.
Together with HdH and AvHV I wrote an article for the Dutch NTVG on Mendelian Randomisation in the Methodology series, which was published online today. This is not the first time; I wrote in the NTVG before for this up-to-date series (not 1 but 2 papers on crossover design) but I also wrote on Mendelian Randomisation before. In fact that was one of the first ‘ educationals’ I ever wrote. The weird thing is that I never formally applied mendelian randomisation analyses in a paper. I did apply the underlying reasoning in a paper, but no two-stage-least-squares analyses or similar. Does this bother me? Only a bit, but I think this just shows the limited value of formal Mendelian Randomsation studies: you need a lot of power and untestable assumptions which greatly reduces the applicability of this method in practice. however, the underlying reasoning is a good insight in the origin, and effects of confounding (and perhaps even others forms of bias) in epidemiological studies.Thats why I love Mendelian Randomisation; it is just another tool in the epidemiolgists toolbox.
I worked together with some partners on a new workshop for young epidemiologist. The title says it all: WEON preconference workshop ‘crash course peer review’.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the workshop because the number of participants was to low to justify the effort of not only myself, but especially all the other teachers. I think it is a pity that we had to cancel, but by cancelling we still have a fresh start whenever we want to try again in a different format.
Whilst preparing this workshop I noticed that peer review, or a better term would be refereeing, is not popular. It is seen as a task that task up to much time, with too much political consequences and little reward etc. New initiatives like Pubmed commons and other post publication peer review systems are regarded by some as answers to some of these problems. But what is the future of refereeing, when young epidemiologist are not intrinsically motivated to contribute time and effort to the publication process? Only time will tell.
For those who are still interested in this crash course, please contact me via email.
Recently another paper became available online. Although accepted couple of months before and not yet in print, the paper on patient crossover studies can now be read and downloaded from the NTVG website. This paper, with first author REJR, is a continuation on the paper on crossover trials on which I’ve blogged earlier. Together, these articles provide a comprehensive overview of the possibilities to use a study subject as its own control.
The arthritis Care and Research paper which I co-authored (PubMed) attracted attention from the guys of the NTVG. This paper, originally a collaboration between the Reumatology department and the department of Clinical Epidemiology described the relationship between BMI as a proxy for obesity and treatment response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis as is described on the news section of the NTVG website. The text of the news item from the NTVG website can also be read on this website if you ….
A new article has been accepted in the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. The article with the title “patient crossover studies” or “case-crossover studies” is an educational in the Methodology series of the Journal. REJR is the first author of this article and she did a great job on explaining the similarities and differences between this observational study design and the experimental version of this within person comparison. These crossover trials have been discussed by TNB en JGvdB in a previous article in the same series on which i wrote earlier.
Today, an educational article on crossover studies, written by TNB and JGvdB and myself is published in the NTVG. The article was published in the methodology series which explains specific topics for the general physician: it explains the basic concepts of the crossover trial, but also advocates its statistical efficiency, as can be seen in the graph above. The article is published under open access and is therefore freely accessable. There is a catch… it’s published in Dutch.