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Concept: Exploratory research


We can regard the wider incentive structures that operate across science, such as the priority given to novel findings, as an ecosystem within which scientists strive to maximise their fitness (i.e., publication record and career success). Here, we develop an optimality model that predicts the most rational research strategy, in terms of the proportion of research effort spent on seeking novel results rather than on confirmatory studies, and the amount of research effort per exploratory study. We show that, for parameter values derived from the scientific literature, researchers acting to maximise their fitness should spend most of their effort seeking novel results and conduct small studies that have only 10%-40% statistical power. As a result, half of the studies they publish will report erroneous conclusions. Current incentive structures are in conflict with maximising the scientific value of research; we suggest ways that the scientific ecosystem could be improved.

Concepts: Scientific method, Mathematics, Academic publishing, Science, Research, Literature, Incentive, Exploratory research


The link between adept parental monitoring (PM) and later positive behavioral and health outcomes already has motivated intervention trials, but questions remain about which specific facets and mechanisms of PM make a difference. Our current research questions concern fundamental male-female differences in PM facets as manifest in a US cohort, re-sampled each year at age 12 through 17 years during an interval from 2004 to 2009. We hypothesized emergence, by mid-adolescence, of a specific male-female difference in a “limit time with friends” (LTF) facet of adept PM, with overall PM levels held constant. The data, arranged using a “mutoscope” approach, are from six successive nationally representative independent cross-sectional sample surveys of the cohort, with each adolescent measured only once, via a multi-item PM module nested within the larger survey. Estimates and tests of male-female differences are from a “multiple indicators, multiple causes” latent structure model appropriate for complex survey data. In evidence consistent with the advance hypothesis and with PM level held constant via the model, the LTF facet generally was more relaxed for boys as compared to girls, in a difference that emerged by mid-adolescence, possibly due to greater LTF constraints for girls at mid-adolescence. This research adds to the knowledge base about male-female similarities and differences in facets of PM. As a specific PM facet, LTF might function as a mechanism suitable for deliberate intervention and as a possible specific target in “micro-trials” of new prevention research. We acknowledge limitations such as omitted variables, including social media effects, not measured in this investigation’s national surveys, but of potential importance in future research on peer influence as might have more distal parenting determinants.

Concepts: Scientific method, Parent, Difference, Das Model, Exploratory research


This internet-based study provided descriptive information and exploratory analyses on 1,795 male and 139 female members of the Adult Baby/Diaper Lover (ABDL) community. Based on prior research, some research questions focused on the degree to which ABDL behavior was associated with negative mood states, parental relationships, and attachment style. Based on clinical experience, a second research question focused on discerning two possible subgroups within the ABDL community: persons focused on role play behavior and persons who were primarily interested in sexual arousal in their ABDL behavior. The results showed modest support for the former research questions, but notable support for the last research question. Because of some overlap between the two hypothesized subgroups, additional subgroups may exist. Males in the ABDL community identified their ABDL interests earlier than females and these males may be more focused on sexual aspects of ABDL practices. Both males and females perceived being dominated as important in their ABDL behavior. Most participants were comfortable with their ABDL behavior and reported few problems. ABDL behavior may represent a sexual subculture that is not problematic for most of its participants.

Concepts: Psychology, Male, Female, Gender, Sex, Sentence, Gamete, Exploratory research


The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is a popular behavior-observation instrument that was developed more than 34 years ago and has since been adopted in a wide variety of contexts for assessing the presence and severity of autism symptomatology in both children and adolescents. This investigation of the reliability of CARS scores involves meta-analysis and meta-regression of empirical data from reports of original research that made use of CARS between 1980 and 2012. Findings of good internal consistency (.896, 95 % CI .877-.913) and good interrater reliability (.796, 95 % CI .736-.844) support use of CARS at least in early-phase, exploratory research. Evidence of heterogeneity among literature data indicates that reliability is a property of CARS scores and is not intrinsic to the instrument itself. As the first of its kind pertaining to autism, this investigation provides guidance for reviews of other instruments' ratings.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, Psychometrics, Reliability, Internal consistency, Exploratory research, Childhood Autism Rating Scale


Research indicates that patients treated with interferon-based regimens can experience persistent neurotoxicity after treatment ceases and new symptoms attributable to the regimens can emerge post-treatment. To explore post-hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment outcomes, in-depth interviews were conducted with a self-selected sample of people from two Australian states who had completed an interferon-based regimen at least 24-weeks prior to being interviewed. Participants comprised almost equal numbers of men and women aged from 26 to 57 years, who were treated for HCV genotypes 1 through to 4, and included treatment responders, non-responders and those who had relapsed after treatment. Of 27 participants who volunteered to be part of this study, 25 reported persistent physical and psychological side-effects after treatment. Participants perceived a direct causal link between the treatment regimen and their ongoing symptoms. Reportedly, recovery from treatment was inhibited by an absence of a follow-up protocol that identified and addressed patients' post-treatment needs, including medical care for persistent side-effects, referral, and information and advice about lifestyle issues. Although the study’s sample was not representative of all people treated for HCV, it is likely that persistent side-effects and their impact can affect other patients following completion of HCV treatments. Further prospective studies of HCV treatment outcomes are needed. In the meantime, the systematic implementation of a follow-up protocol in liver clinics might expedite recovery in patients who experience ongoing adverse health.

Concepts: Health care, Causality, Sampling, Hepatitis C, Chemotherapy regimens, Exploratory research, Meantime, Self-selection



ABSTRACT Understanding unique perspectives from key stakeholder groups involved in the hand control (HC) industry, including driver rehabilitation specialists (DRSs) who train users how to use their HCs, dealers/installers, and users, may become increasingly important in the United States due to increases in elderly, diabetic, and wounded warrior amputee driving populations. In this exploratory study, phone interviews were conducted with 20 DRSs, 20 dealers/installers, and 20 users regarding their perspectives about HC training, maintenance and operation, and design improvements. Results revealed common views and differences in perspectives about whether HC users should receive training and for how long, when and how often users should receive maintenance on their HCs, and what DRSs, dealers/installers, and users would like to see in the future.

Concepts: United States, Future, Hand, Driver's license, Stakeholder, Exploratory research


Intraoperative electrocardiographic monitoring is considered a standard of care. However, there are no evidence-based algorithms for using intraoperative ST segment data to identify patients at high risk for adverse perioperative cardiac events. Therefore, we performed an exploratory study of statistical measures summarizing intraoperative ST segment values determine whether the variability of these measurements was associated with adverse postoperative events. We hypothesized that elevation, depression, and variability of ST segments captured in an anesthesia information management system are associated with postoperative serum troponin elevation.

Concepts: Statistics, Sociology, Part, Segment, Exploratory research


Exploratory research into the critical steps in metal-organic framework (MOF) activation involving solvent exchange and solvent evacuation are reported. It is discovered that solvent exchange kinetics are extremely fast, and minutes rather days are appropriate for solvent exchange in many MOFs. It is also demonstrated that choice of very low surface tension solvent is critical in successfully activating challenging MOFs. MOFs that have failed to be activated previously can achieve predicted surface areas provided that lower surface tension solvents such as n-hexane and perfluoropentane are applied. The insights herein aid in the efficient activation of MOFs in both laboratory and industrial settings and provide best practices for avoiding structural collapse.

Concepts: Ethanol, Research, Solvent, Surface area, Hexane, Structural engineering, Exploratory research, Pentane


The purpose of this exploratory study was to obtain greater insight into the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on the mental health of employees.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Clinical psychology, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Exploratory research, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy