IntroductionBisphenol A is highly debated and studied in relation to a variety of health outcomes. This large variation in the literature makes BPA a topic that is prone to selective use of literature, in order to underpin one’s own findings and opinion. Over time, selective use of literature, by means of citations, can lead to a skewed knowledge development and a biased scientific consensus. In this study, we assess which factors drive citation and whether this results in the overrepresentation of (...) harmful health effects of BPA.MethodsA citation network analysis was performed to test various determinants of citation. A systematic search identified all relevant publications on the human health effect of BPA. Data were extracted on potential determinants of selective citation, such as study outcome, study design, sample size, journal impact factor, authority of the author, self-citation, and funding source. We applied random effect logistic regression to assess whether these determinants influence the likelihood of citation.ResultsOne hundred sixty-nine publications on BPA were identified, with 12,432 potential citation pathways of which 808 citations occurred. The network consisted of 63 cross-sectional studies, 34 cohort studies, 29 case-control studies, 35 narrative reviews, and 8 systematic reviews. Positive studies have a 1.5 times greater chance of being cited compared to negative studies. Additionally, the authority of the author and self-citation are consistently found to be positively associated with the likelihood of being cited. Overall, the network seems to be highly influenced by two highly cited publications, whereas 60 out of 169 publications received no citations.ConclusionIn the literature on BPA, citation is mostly driven by positive study outcome and author-related factors, such as high authority within the network. Interpreting the impact of these factors and the big influence of a few highly cited publications, it can be questioned to which extent the knowledge development in human literature on BPA is actually evidence-based. (shrink)
Citing of previous publications is an important factor in knowledge development. Because of the great amount of publications available, only a selection of studies gets cited, for varying reasons. If the selection of citations is associated with study outcome this is called citation bias. We will study determinants of citation in a broader sense, including e.g. study design, journal impact factor or the funding source of the publication. As a case study we assess which factors drive citation in the human (...) literature on phthalates, specifically the metabolite mono phthalate. A systematic literature search identified all relevant publications on human health effect of MEHP. Data on potential determinants of citation were extracted in duplo. Specialized software was used to create a citation network, including all potential citation pathways. Random effect logistic regression was used to assess whether these determinants influence the likelihood of citation. 112 Publications on MEHP were identified, with 5684 potential citation pathways of which 551 were actual citations. Reporting of a harmful point estimate, journal impact factor, authority of the author, a male corresponding author, research performed in North America and self-citation were positively associated with the likelihood of being cited. In the literature on MEHP, citation is mostly driven by a number of factors that are not related to study outcome. Although the identified determinants do not necessarily give strong indications of bias, it shows selective use of published literature for a variety of reasons. (shrink)
The themes, problems and challenges of developmental systems theory as described in Cycles of Contingency are discussed. We argue in favor of a robust approach to philosophical and scientific problems of extended heredity and the integration of behavior, development, inheritance, and evolution. Problems with Sterelny's proposal to evaluate inheritance systems using his `Hoyle criteria' are discussed and critically evaluated. Additional support for a developmental systems perspective is sought in evolutionary studies of performance and behavior modulation of fitness. -/- .
The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework that will help in understanding and evaluating, along social and ethical lines, the issue of killing day-old male chicks and two alternative directions of responsible innovations to solve this issue. The following research questions are addressed: Why is the killing of day-old chicks morally problematic? Are the proposed alternatives morally sound? To what extent do the alternatives lead to responsible innovation? The conceptual framework demonstrates clearly that there is a (...) moral “lock-in”, and why the killing of day-old chicks is indeed an issue. Furthermore, it is shown that both alternative directions address some important objections with regard to the killing of day-old chicks, but that they also raise new dilemmas. It also becomes clear that the framework enables and secures anticipation, reflection, deliberation with and responsiveness to stakeholders, the four dimensions of responsible innovation, in a structured way. (shrink)
In the present essay we attempt to reconstruct Newtonian mechanics under the guidance of logical principles and of a constructive approach related to the genetic epistemology of Piaget and García. Instead of addressing Newton’s equations as a set of axioms, ultimately given by the revelation of a prodigious mind, we search for the fundamental knowledge, beliefs and provisional assumptions that can produce classical mechanics. We start by developing our main tool: the no arbitrariness principle, that we present in a form (...) that is apt for a mathematical theory as classical mechanics. Subsequently, we introduce the presence of the observer, analysing then the relation objective–subjective and seeking objectivity going across subjectivity. We take special care of establishing the precedence among all contributions to mechanics, something that can be better appreciated by considering the consequences of removing them: the consequence of renouncing logic and the laws of understanding is not being able to understand the world, renouncing the early elaborations of primary concepts such as time and space leads to a dissociation between everyday life and physics, the latter becoming entirely pragmatic and justified a-posteriori, changing our temporary beliefs has no real cost other than effort. Finally, we exemplify the present approach by reconsidering the constancy of the velocity of light. It is shown that it is a result of Newtonian mechanics, rather than being in contradiction with it. We also indicate the hidden assumption that leads to the contradiction. (shrink)
Although respect and human presence are frequently reported in nursing literature, these are poorly defined within a nursing context. The aim of this study was to examine the differences, if any, in the perceived frequency of respect and human presence in the clinical care, between nurses and patients. A convenience sample of 1537 patients and 1148 nurses from six European countries (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Italy) participated in this study during autumn 2009. The six-point Likert-type Caring Behaviours (...) Inventory-24 questionnaire was used for gathering appropriate data. The findings showed statistically significant differences of nurses’ and patients’ perception of frequency on respect and human presence. These findings provide a better understanding of caring behaviours that convey respect and assurance of human presence to persons behind the patients and may contribute to close gaps in knowledge regarding patients’ expectations. (shrink)
Judges face difficult choices when the birth and genetic mothers of a child are separate people who dispute maternal access; the views of the general population may help them. Fifty women were asked whether, if they were infertile and could have only one child, they would prefer to be birth mothers (to carry a baby which was not genetically theirs) or genetic mothers (to have another woman carry their genetic baby). Similarly, fifty men were asked about their preference for a (...) partner's child. In both groups the strength of preferences was measured using a lottery technique. The direction and strength of preferences was similar between men and women, and approximately equally divided between birth and genetic motherhood. These attitudes should be taken into account by those adjudicating custody disputes between such mothers. (shrink)
IPCC SPECIAL REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND LAND (SRCCL) -/- Chapter 3: Climate Change and Land: An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: Alrøe and Noe are right in addressing Rittel and Webber’s notion of “wicked problems” as crucial for interdisciplinary research. However, I can see neither that they are providing a sufficiently clear understanding of “science” in their concept of a “second-order science of interdisciplinary research,” nor that their “polyocular framework” can contribute anything useful to addressing the (...) practical challenges posed by wicked problems. (shrink)
BackgroundKnowledge development depends on an unbiased representation of the available evidence. Selective citation may distort this representation. Recently, some controversy emerged regarding the possible impact of swimming on childhood asthma, raising the question about the role of selective citation in this field. Our objective was to assess the occurrence and determinants of selective citation in scientific publications on the relationship between swimming in chlorinated pools and childhood asthma.MethodsWe identified scientific journal articles on this relationship via a systematic literature search. The (...) following factors were taken into account: study outcome, other content-related article characteristics, content-unrelated article characteristics, author characteristics, and citation characteristics. To assess the impact of these factors on citation, we performed a series of univariate and adjusted random-effects logistic regressions, with potential citation path as unit of analysis.ResultsThirty-six articles were identified in this network, consisting of 570 potential citation paths of which 191 were realized. There was strong evidence that articles with at least one author in common, cited each other more often than articles that had no common authors 5.2, 95% confidence interval 3.1–8.8). Similarly, the chance of being cited was higher for articles that were empirical rather than narrative, that reported a large sample size, and that were written by authors with a high authority within the network. Further, there was some evidence for citation bias: articles that confirmed the relation between swimming and asthma were cited more often, but this finding was not robust.ConclusionsThere is clear evidence of selective citation in this research field, but the evidence for citation bias is not very strong. (shrink)
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