Thought for the month

“You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young." "Why, what did she tell you?" "I don't know, I didn't listen.” From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, Author (1952-2001)

Monday, 2 November 2015

Crowdsourced analysis

A paper in Nature illustrates the benefits of the pre-publication sharing of data and analysis methodologies with others. 29 teams of researchers were asked to answer the same research question with the same data set. Teams approached the data with a wide array of analytical techniques, and obtained varied results. This was then followed by rounds of peer feedback, technique refinement and discussion to see whether the initial variety could be channelled into a joint conclusion. The overall group consensus was much more tentative than would be expected from a single-team analysis.

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