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Should social media be used to evaluate research results?

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Further to Notable retractions of possible interest, here’s something interesting from Nature:

Potential flaws in genomics paper scrutinized on Twitter

Reanalysis of a study that compared gene expression in mice and humans tests social media as a forum for discussing research results.

A recent Twitter conversation that cast doubt on the conclusions of a genomics study has revived a debate about how best to publicly discuss possible errors in research. Yoav Gilad, a geneticist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, last month wrote on Twitter that fundamental errors in the design and data analysis of a December 2014 study2 led to an unfounded conclusion about the genetic similarities between mice and humans. Gilad and his co-author Orna Mizrahi-Man, a bioinformatics researcher at the University of Chicago, have since detailed their data reanalysis1 in the open-access journal F1000Research (in which articles are openly peer-reviewed after publication). Michael Snyder, a geneticist at Stanford University in California and co-author of the original paper, stands by his team’s study and its conclusions and says that Gilad broke the “social norms” of science by initially posting the critique on Twitter. Gilad says that he took to social media to highlight his work, which might otherwise have been overlooked. More.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Yes, yes, we know. When many of us think of social media, we think Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, and where’s the washroom, I don’t feel well…

But that is not all social media is or can be. As the new media blogger at MercatorNet Connecting, I’d suggest we should maybe begin by agreeing to not obviously solicit their opinions. But maybe we should develop social media that enable quicker responses by knowledgeable persons. Thoughts? – O’Leary for News

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