Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Philosophical logic


The emergence of the web has fundamentally affected most aspects of information communication, including scholarly communication. The immediacy that characterizes publishing information to the web, as well as accessing it, allows for a dramatic increase in the speed of dissemination of scholarly knowledge. But, the transition from a paper-based to a web-based scholarly communication system also poses challenges. In this paper, we focus on reference rot, the combination of link rot and content drift to which references to web resources included in Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) articles are subject. We investigate the extent to which reference rot impacts the ability to revisit the web context that surrounds STM articles some time after their publication. We do so on the basis of a vast collection of articles from three corpora that span publication years 1997 to 2012. For over one million references to web resources extracted from over 3.5 million articles, we determine whether the HTTP URI is still responsive on the live web and whether web archives contain an archived snapshot representative of the state the referenced resource had at the time it was referenced. We observe that the fraction of articles containing references to web resources is growing steadily over time. We find one out of five STM articles suffering from reference rot, meaning it is impossible to revisit the web context that surrounds them some time after their publication. When only considering STM articles that contain references to web resources, this fraction increases to seven out of ten. We suggest that, in order to safeguard the long-term integrity of the web-based scholarly record, robust solutions to combat the reference rot problem are required. In conclusion, we provide a brief insight into the directions that are explored with this regard in the context of the Hiberlink project.

Concepts: Semantics, World Wide Web, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, Reference, Philosophical logic, Uniform Resource Identifier, Web archiving, Link rot


The annual number of articles reporting on eHealth interventions has increased over the last 10 years. In contrast, the last article in this journal on the definition of eHealth was published in 2006. This leads to the question whether the field itself has reached consensus about the definition and description of eHealth or whether it is in need for a new review of the literature and a new description of the rapidly changing field of eHealth. Since the JMIR community has successfully collaborated on the “CONSORT-eHealth” in the past, we would like to use the same strategy to explore the need for a new definition of eHealth and the creation of a taxonomy for this field. Therefore, we hereby submit a call to all JMIR-readers, to fill out a 4-question survey on their ideas about a refined eHealth definition. Based on these results, we will decide whether or not to engage in a systematic review. Logically, the entire JMIR community is invited to join us in our attempt to further elucidate the field of eHealth.

Concepts: Time, Truth, Taxonomy, Philosophical logic, The Creation of Adam


It is commonly assumed that how individuals identify on the political spectrum-whether liberal, conservative, or moderate-has a universal meaning when it comes to policy stances and voting behavior. But, does political identity mean the same thing from place to place? Using data collected from across the U.S. we find that even when people share the same political identity, those in “bluer” locations are more likely to support left-leaning policies and vote for Democratic candidates than those in “redder” locations. Because the meaning of political identity is inconsistent across locations, individuals who share the same political identity sometimes espouse opposing policy stances. Meanwhile, those with opposing identities sometimes endorse identical policy stances. Such findings suggest that researchers, campaigners, and pollsters must use caution when extrapolating policy preferences and voting behavior from political identity, and that animosity toward the other end of the political spectrum is sometimes misplaced.

Concepts: Meaning of life, Right-wing politics, Voting, Political spectrum, Elections, Democracy, Philosophical logic, Social democracy


Interest in the field of epigenetics has increased rapidly over the last decade, with the term becoming more identifiable in biomedical research, scientific fields outside of the molecular sciences, such as ecology and physiology, and even mainstream culture. It has become increasingly clear, however, that different investigators ascribe different definitions to the term. Some employ epigenetics to explain changes in gene expression, others use it to refer to transgenerational effects and/or inherited expression states. This disagreement on a clear definition has made communication difficult, synthesis of epigenetic research across fields nearly impossible, and has in many ways biased methodologies and interpretations. This article discusses the history behind the multitude of definitions that have been employed since the conception of epigenetics, analyzes the components of these definitions, and offers solutions for clarifying the field and mitigating the problems that have arisen due to these definitional ambiguities.

Concepts: Scientific method, Gene expression, Epigenetics, Science, Semantics, Philosophical logic


Despite increasing interest in advance care planning (ACP) and prior ACP descriptions, a consensus definition does not yet exist to guide clinical, research, and policy initiatives.

Concepts: Definition, Consensus, Philosophical logic


Nearly one in three Americans are financially burdened by their medical expenses. To mitigate financial distress, experts recommend routine physician-patient cost conversations. However, the content and incidence of these conversations are unclear, and rigorous definitions are lacking. We sought to develop a novel set of cost conversation definitions, and determine the impact of definitional variation on cost conversation incidence in three clinical settings.

Concepts: Philosophical logic


The article defines a comprehensive concept of cognitive objectivity (CCCO) applied to embodied subjects in health care. The aims of this study were: (1) to specify some necessary conditions for the definition of a CCCO that will allow objective descriptions and assessments in health care, (2) to formulate criteria for application of such a CCCO, and (3) to investigate the usefulness of the criteria in work disability assessments in medical certificates from health care provided for social security purposes.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Health, Illness, Philosophy of language, Definitionism, Health science, Philosophical logic


Aneurysms are a common and often difficult complication seen with arteriovenous vascular access for haemodialysis. The purpose of this narrative review is to define and describe the scale of the problem and suggested therapeutic strategies. A narrative review of the published literature illustrated by individual cases is presented with the aim of summarising the relevant literature. The definitions of aneurysm are inconsistent throughout the literature and therefore systematic review is impossible. They vary from qualitative descriptions to quantitative definitions using absolute size, relative size and also size plus characteristics. The incidence and aetiology are also ill defined but separation into true aneurysms and false, or pseudoaneurysms may be helpful in planning treatment, which may be conservative, surgical or radiological. The lack of useful definitions and classification along with the multitude of management strategies proposed make firm evidence based conclusions difficult to draw. Further robust well designed studies are required to define best practice for this common problem.

Concepts: Dialysis, Medicine, Hemodialysis, Definition, Extensional definition, Definitionism, Aristotle, Philosophical logic


There is much debate about the notion of emotional complexity (EC). The debate concerns both the definition and the meaning of ostensible cultural differences in the construct. Some scholars have defined EC as the experience of positive and negative emotions together rather than as opposites, a phenomenon that seems more common in East Asia than North America. Others have defined EC as the experience of emotions in a differentiated manner, a definition that has yet to be explored cross-culturally. The present research explores the role of dialectical beliefs and interdependence in explaining cultural differences in EC according to both definitions. In Study 1, we examined the prevalence of mixed (positive-negative) emotions in English-language online texts from 10 countries varying in interdependence and dialecticism. In Studies 2-3, we examined reports of emotional experiences in 6 countries, comparing intraindividual associations between pleasant and unpleasant states, prevalence of mixed emotions, and emotional differentiation across and within-situations. Overall, interdependence accounted for more cross-cultural and individual variance in EC measures than did dialecticism. Moreover, emotional differentiation was associated with the experience of positive and negative emotions together rather than as opposites, but only when tested on the same level of analysis (i.e., within vs. across-situations). (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Definition, Philosophy of language, Meaning of life, Aristotle, Philosophical logic


The terms used to describe care at the end of life (EoL), and its definitions, have evolved over time and reflect the changes in meaning the concept has undergone as the field develops. We explore the remit of EoL care as defined by experts in EoL care, from across Europe and beyond, to understand its current usage and meanings.

Concepts: Life, Definition, Philosophy of language, Semantics, Definitionism, Aristotle, Philosophical logic