In a recent blog (“Making Science Freakin’ Easier with Mira Smart Conferencing”), Mira Smart Conferencing detailed not only how hard it is to do good science, but how the best abstract management process doesn’t guarantee against bad science sneaking through. Sometimes the peer review process yields even outright accepted fraudulent abstracts.
“As I’ve said in the past, good research is hard,” John Berglund, CEO of Mira Smart Conferencing said. “The best that we can do as an abstract management software company is make the process so easy that discerning the good, the bad, and the fraudulent is as easy as possible.”
In a recent article from The Daily Dot titled “Researchers couldn’t reproduce more than half of 10 psychology studies”,author Cynthia McKelvey delves into two disturbing trends in scientific research.
The first is a documented trend of researchers manipulating data to lower the p-value, thus manufacturing statistically significant outcomes. The second is many journal’s “publication bias” towards positive research over negative research. This second trend pushes researchers to cook the books for appropriate p-values.
“It’s not something that we can directly control,” John said. “We create the very best abstract management tools on the market for our customers to use. Nonetheless, most of our customers only collect abstracts, not raw data, so if the research looks good in 500 words or less, then it looks good.”
Mira Smart Conferencing has many customers that create processes that mitigate this issue. Some require large numbers of reviewers, sometimes a dozen or more, to review each abstract. Some have a second round when full papers are reviewed. Some require data attached to the abstract. Mira Smart Conferencing customizes its software to each of these, and more.
“We have many customers that collect full papers,” John said. “Many with large numbers of reviewers, sometimes randomly assigned. Others require additional documents, like data, submitted with the abstracts.
“No matter the complexity of the abstract management process, Mira Smart Conferencing’s project managers and programmers make the software fit our customers’ processes. Our customers never change their process to fit our software.”
Science isn’t easy, but with the right tools like Mira Smart Conferencing’s abstract management software, conference organizers can ensure as best as they can that only the best and legitimate research appears on their presentation stages and poster session floors.
McKelvey, Cynthia. “Researchers couldn’t reproduce more than half of 100 psychology studies“. The Daily Dot. Retrieved September 9, 2015.