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Concept: Book review


Peer review may be “single-blind,” in which reviewers are aware of the names and affiliations of paper authors, or “double-blind,” in which this information is hidden. Noting that computer science research often appears first or exclusively in peer-reviewed conferences rather than journals, we study these two reviewing models in the context of the 10th Association for Computing Machinery International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, a highly selective venue (15.6% acceptance rate) in which expert committee members review full-length submissions for acceptance. We present a controlled experiment in which four committee members review each paper. Two of these four reviewers are drawn from a pool of committee members with access to author information; the other two are drawn from a disjoint pool without such access. This information asymmetry persists through the process of bidding for papers, reviewing papers, and entering scores. Reviewers in the single-blind condition typically bid for 22% fewer papers and preferentially bid for papers from top universities and companies. Once papers are allocated to reviewers, single-blind reviewers are significantly more likely than their double-blind counterparts to recommend for acceptance papers from famous authors, top universities, and top companies. The estimated odds multipliers are tangible, at 1.63, 1.58, and 2.10, respectively.

Concepts: Scientific method, Experiment, Computer, Peer review, Review, Book review, Critic, Writing occupations


Partly inconsistent findings from previous reviews have fueled discussions on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on obesity development. The aim was to systematically review the recent evidence in children and adults.

Concepts: Review, Book review


Statistical analyses presented in general medical journals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. BMC Medicine relies on subject reviewers to indicate when a statistical review is required. We consider this policy and provide guidance on when to recommend a manuscript for statistical evaluation. Indicators for statistical review include insufficient detail in methods or results, some common statistical issues and interpretation not based on the presented evidence. Reviewers are required to ensure that the manuscript is methodologically sound and clearly written. Within that context, they are expected to provide constructive feedback and opinion on the statistical design, analysis, presentation and interpretation. If reviewers lack the appropriate background to positively confirm the appropriateness of any of the manuscript’s statistical aspects, they are encouraged to recommend it for expert statistical review.

Concepts: Medicine, Critical thinking, Statistics, Evaluation, Review, Morality, Analysis, Book review


Recent reports suggest that peer reviews of National Institutes of Health grant applications are at best imprecise predictors of research projects' scientific impact. But these findings may not mean that peer review is failing.

Concepts: Scientific method, Academic publishing, Peer review, Review, Nature, Scientific journal, Book review, Critic


Evidence that menu labeling influences food choices in real-life settings is lacking. Reviews usually focus on calorie counts without addressing broader issues related to healthy eating.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Review, Book review, Restaurant, Social influence


Nightingale, SC, Miller, S, and Turner, A. The usefulness and reliability of fitness testing protocols for ice hockey players: A literature review. J Strength Cond Res 27(6): 1742-1748, 2013-Ice hockey, like most sports, uses fitness testing to assess athletes. This study reviews the current commonly used fitness testing protocols for ice hockey players, discussing their predictive values and reliability. It also discusses a range of less commonly used measures and limitations in current testing protocols. The article concludes with a proposed testing program suitable for ice hockey players.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Psychometrics, The Current, Book review, Ice hockey, Bodybuilding, Physical strength


OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors independently predictive of pressure ulcer development in adult patient populations? DESIGN: A systematic review of primary research was undertaken, based upon methods recommended for effectiveness questions but adapted to identify observational risk factor studies. DATA SOURCES: Fourteen electronic databases were searched, each from inception until March 2010, with hand searching of specialist journals and conference proceedings; contact with experts and a citation search. There was no language restriction. REVIEW METHODS: Abstracts were screened, reviewed against the eligibility criteria, data extracted and quality appraised by at least one reviewer and checked by a second. Where necessary, statistical review was undertaken. We developed an assessment framework and quality classification based upon guidelines for assessing quality and methodological considerations in the analysis, meta-analysis and publication of observational studies. Studies were classified as high, moderate, low and very low quality. Risk factors were categorised into risk factor domains and sub-domains. Evidence tables were generated and a summary narrative synthesis by sub-domain and domain was undertaken. RESULTS: Of 5462 abstracts retrieved, 365 were identified as potentially eligible and 54 fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The 54 studies included 34,449 patients and acute and community patient populations. Seventeen studies were classified as high or moderate quality, whilst 37 studies (68.5%) had inadequate numbers of pressure ulcers and other methodological limitations. Risk factors emerging most frequently as independent predictors of pressure ulcer development included three primary domains of mobility/activity, perfusion (including diabetes) and skin/pressure ulcer status. Skin moisture, age, haematological measures, nutrition and general health status are also important, but did not emerge as frequently as the three main domains. Body temperature and immunity may be important but require further confirmatory research. There is limited evidence that either race or gender is important. CONCLUSIONS: Overall there is no single factor which can explain pressure ulcer risk, rather a complex interplay of factors which increase the probability of pressure ulcer development. The review highlights the limitations of over-interpretation of results from individual studies and the benefits of reviewing results from a number of studies to develop a more reliable overall assessment of factors which are important in affecting patient susceptibility.

Concepts: Scientific method, Evaluation, Risk, The Canon of Medicine, Systematic review, Review, Book review, Domain name


ARTICLE TITLE AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: Adhesives for the restoration of non-carious cervical lesions: a systematic review. Chee B, Rickman LJ, Satterthwaite JD. J Dent 2012;40(6):443-52. Epub 2012 FebĀ 18. REVIEWER: David G. Pendrys, DDS, PhD PURPOSE/QUESTION: The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of currently available resin-based adhesive systems SOURCE OF FUNDING: Information not available TYPE OF STUDY/DESIGN: Systematic review LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 2: Limited-quality, patient-oriented evidence STRENGTH OF RECOMMENDATION GRADE: Grade B: Inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence.

Concepts: Evaluation, Evidence-based medicine, Review, Accept, Book review, Adhesive, Bibliographic database, Adhesives


The aim of the study was to assess the cumulative evidence on the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in primary healthcare in order to highlight key knowledge gaps for further research.

Concepts: Evaluation, Review, Book review


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a debilitating mental health problem hampering the child’s development. The underlying causes include both genetic and environmental factors and may differ between individuals. The efficacy of diet treatments in ADHD was recently evaluated in three reviews, reporting divergent and confusing conclusions based on heterogeneous studies and subjects. To address this inconsistency we conducted a systematic review of meta-analyses of double-blind placebo-controlled trials evaluating the effect of diet interventions (elimination and supplementation) on ADHD.

Concepts: Evaluation, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Educational psychology, Review, Mental disorder, Meta-analysis, Book review