What we read this week (13 September)

Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ Labs.


Research space

  • Lizzie Gadd describes how seeing research evaluation as a food chain where participants are both the evaluators and the evaluated may help us understand, and solve, some of the problems inherent within in The research evaluation food chain and how to disrupt it.
  • Daniela Duca, Product Manager at SAGE Ocean asks Who’s disrupting transcription in academia? and covers a range of tools and services used by researchers.
  • In Comment, reply, repeat: Engaging students with social annotation Alice Fleerackers, Juan Pablo Alperin, Esteban Morales, and Remi Kalir share a sneak peek of their study of student annotation using Hypothesis  on the ScholCommLab blog:students reported that annotating with hypothesis helped them learn (bar chart)
  • We came across two newish image based search engines this week,  GrepMed is an image based medical reference search engine which aims to democratize professional medical reference information through clinically relevant crowd-sourced inforgraphics and Grafiti, a search engine to discover and share charts from top publishers.

Innovation and product development

  • Jim Bilton uses data from the Media Futures benchmarking project to look at media’s biggest obstacle to innovation – technology.
  • Evidence-based profiles of roles across the translational workforce are now available through CTS-Personas, a project of the CTSA Program National Center for Data to Health (CD2H), led by Sara Gonzales at Northwestern University. Each profile details key responsibilities, motivators, goals, software use, pain points, and professional development needs. The Persona profiles cover the spectrum of the translational ecosystem, from basic science to clinical research to community implementation. Personas can be integrated locally to help inform local resources, training opportunities, and communication strategies.
  • Point Nine Capital partner Christoph Janz suggests three questions that companies should ask themselves before they choose to launch a freemium SaaS product:
    1. Does your paid plan have a gross margin of 80—90%?
    2. Does your free plan attract the right audience?
    3. Is your product inherently viral?

    Interesting read about the pros and cons and freemium business models.

And finally…

Love this Kanban cartoon and the HIPPO fast track section:

What we read this week (16 August)

Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ Labs.



  • Tony Zanders on Libraries and The Vendor Conundrum is worth a read for anyone involved in selling/supplier management “Over the years I’ve learned that there is pretty substantial distance between the world of a vendor and the world of a librarian. And the points of intersection between these worlds are actually few and far in between.”
  • iNODE, the unofficial weblog of the Digital Strategies and Systems Division of University Libraries, George Mason University, has posted a full month’s worth of data about how scholars access articles at a large research university:


  •  Aubrey Clayton on the flawed reasoning behind the replication crisis in @NautilusMag
  • Elizabeth Gadd, Chris Morrison and Jane Secker on  The Impact of Open Access on Teaching—How Far Have We Come? “Key findings include the fact that no interviewees incorporated OA searches into their acquisitions processes. Overall, 38% of articles required to support teaching were available as OA in some form but only 7% had a findable re-use licence; just 3% had licences that specifically permitted inclusion in an ‘electronic course-pack’. Eighty-nine percent of journal content was written by academics (34% by UK-based academics). Of these, 58% were written since 2000 and thus could arguably have been made available openly had academics been supported to do so. ”  See also Aaron Tay’s comments on Twitter.


  • Awesome toolbox of toolboxes “A curated list of the best business, design, and organisational change toolboxes built by some of the most influential companies, institutions and thinkers.”




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