Monthly Archive for November, 2013

Your Right Arm for a Publication in AER

Here are a few posts on the publication process. The first, is a piece that reports that economists would give up half a thumb to publish in AER. Is this true, economists? The next piece is on an app that users can download to ping journals every time there is an article they’d like to read but can’t because of gated access, e.g. an OA button. We even include an image of the button. The final two pieces are on replication, a growing area of interest among the open access community. The first discusses a team that replicated multiple psychology publications. Were they replicable? Read the article. The second discusses using github as a repository for data and code.

Your Right Arm for a Publication in AER?
Arthur Attema, Werner Brower, Job Van Exel | Economic Inquiry
March 24 2013
Abstract | Paper
The time tradeoff (TTO) method is popular in medical decision making for valuing health states. We use it to elicit economists’ preferences for publishing in top economic journals and for living without limbs.

Open Access Button Press Release
November 18, 2013
Tracking and mapping the impact of paywalls one click at a time
OA button

Push Button for Open Access
Stephen Curry | The Guardian
November 18, 2013

Psychologists strike a blow for reproducibility
Ed Yong | Nature
November 26, 2013
. . . To tackle this ‘replicability crisis’, 36 research groups formed the Many Labs Replication Project to repeat 13 psychological studies.

Git/GitHub, Transparency, and Legitimacy in Quantitative Research
Zach Jones | The Political Methodologist
November 18, 2013

Reproducibility and R: Neotoma
Simon J. Goring | Williams Lab Meeting
University of Wisconsin -Madison
November 19, 2013
These are slides for a presentation about ways to improve the reproducibility of scientific workflows using R.

Running Afoul of Regulators

23andme, the popular genetic testing website, has received a cease and desist letter from the FDA. The gist of the letter is that they have not provided evidence that their test works. And, the FDA also worries that the general public does not have the scientific background to interpret the results. For instance, if a woman does not carry the BRCA gene, does that mean that mammograms are not necessary?

Another take on the ‘no evidence’ by John Wilbanks is that 23andme is sitting on some dynamite data (or not). His piece touches on open data.

FDA Warning Letter
November 22, 2013

FDA warns maker of genetic-testing kit
Brady Dennis | Washington Post
November 25, 2013

The FDA said the company repeatedly has failed to provide the scientific data necessary to prove that its test works as advertised.

Perhaps more significantly, the agency’s action underscores its unease about the potential consequences of direct-to-consumer genetic tests, which can provide people with detailed information but not necessarily the context necessary to interpret what it means or how they should proceed.

It also highlighted a contentious debate that has unfolded in recent years over how and whether the government should police an individual’s access to information about his or her genes.

FDA Tells 23andMe to Stop Marketing DNA Kits; 23andMe Says It’s Sorry for Being Slow
Liz Gannes | All Things D blog (allthingsd.com)
November 25, 2013


23andme gets a nastygram for the holidays

John Wilbanks | Del-Fi Blog (http://del-fi.org/)
November 25, 2013
“But since 23andme won’t tell anyone, we don’t know which way. This fits into a general pattern of espousing open science while not practicing it for the company.”

FDA slaps personal genomics startup 23andme with stiff warning
Dan Munro | Forbes
November 25, 2013

The curious case of 23andMe
Ryan Bradley | CNN Money
November 26, 2013

And here are two articles from the past on 23andme:

What Are Genomic Testing Firms Like 23andMe Really After?
Shannon Brownlee | Mother Jones
December 2009

Consumers Slow to Embrace the Age of Genomics
Andrew Pollack | New York Times
March 19, 2010

Do You Still Trust the Census Bureau?

The New York Daily News had a typically provacative headline “Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report” two nights ago. This is a serious charge and even more, it contributes fodder to those who do not trust or support the federal data infrastructure in the first place. The following is the banner above the comments section for the New York Post article – and this sentiment probably represents the early coverage of this story.

trust census bureau logo

The following is the coverage of this in chronological order (as much as possible). Note that there are some references to Jack Welch. He famously tweeted his disbelief of this particular jobs report back in 2012 [See previous coverage.]

Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report
John Crudele | New York Post
November 18, 2013

If these claims by ‘reliable sources’ are proven true, the Obama administration will be dealing with another huge scandal
Becket Adams | The Blaze (founded by Glenn Beck)
November 18, 2013

Census Bureau Statement on Collection of Survey Data
November 19, 2013

Here Are Some Issues With That Report About How The Unemployment Rate Was Faked Before The 2012 Election
Joe Weisenthal | Business Insider
November 19, 2013

Was Jack Welch right? Jobs numbers under fire
Jeff Cox | CNN
November 19, 2013

Did the Census Bureau Really Fake the Jobs Report?
Jordan Weissmann | The Atlantic
November 19, 2013

Five questions about the New York Post’s unemployment story
Erik Wemple | Washington Post
November 19, 2013

Census Sees No ‘Systemic Manipulation’ of U.S. Jobs Data
Michelle Jamrisko | Bloomberg News
Nov 19, 2013

House panel to investigate unemployment data
Annalyn Kurtz | CNN Money
November 19, 2013

House probes Census over ‘fake’ results
John Crudele | New York Post
November 19, 2013

Rep. Issa gets involved in alleged Census data fabrication, demands documents: ‘These allegations are shocking’
Becket Adams | The Blaze
November 19, 2013

Monthly jobs numbers from Census Bureau may have been manipulated since ‘10 – report
RT USA
November 19, 2013

Republican House leaders to look into report on faked jobs data
Reuters News Service
November 20, 2013

Political Questions About the Jobs Report
Nelson Schwartz | New York Times
November 20, 2013

Census Bureau: No systematic manipulation of jobs data
Paul Davidson | USA Today
November 20, 2013

Population ageing: the timebomb that isn’t?

In the November 12, 2013 issue of the British Medical Journal “Jeroen Spijker and John MacInnes argue that current measures of population ageing are misleading and that the numbers of dependent older people in the UK and other countries have actually been falling in recent years.”

Read the full text here.

Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2012

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, October 2013 (PDF):

In 2012, the unemployment rate for the United States was 8.1 percent; however, the rate varied across race and ethnicity groups. The rates were highest for Blacks (13.8 percent) and for American Indians and Alaska Natives (12.3 percent) and lowest for Asians (5.9 percent) and for Whites (7.2 percent). The jobless rate was 10.3 percent for Hispanics, 11.8 percent for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and 11.9 percent for people of Two or More Races.

Differences in labor force characteristics emerge when the race and ethnicity groups are compared. These differences reflect a variety of factors, not all of which are measurable. These factors include variations across the groups in educational attainment; the occupations and industries in which the groups work; the geographic areas of the country in which the groups are concentrated, including whether they tend to reside in urban or rural settings; and the degree of discrimination encountered in the workplace.

See also: The Workforce Is Even More Divided by Race Than you Think in The Atlantic.

Elderly Immigrants in the United States

From the publication website:

In 2010, more than one in eight U.S. adults ages 65 and older were foreign-born, a share that is expected to continue to grow. The U.S. elderly immigrant population rose from 2.7 million in 1990 to 4.6 million in 2010, a 70 percent increase in 20 years (see figure). This issue of Today’s Research on Aging reviews recent research examining older immigrants in the United States, conducted by National Institute on Aging (NIA)-supported researchers and others. Understanding both the unique characteristics of elderly foreign-born adults and the challenges some of them face is important as policymakers and planners address the well-being and health of the United States’ aging population.

The U.S. Foreign-Born Population Ages 65+ Increased Substantially Between 1990 and 2010.

graph depicting U.S. foreign born population
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, historical census data 1950-2000; and Current Population Survey, 2010.

Download the full report (PDF)

PRB Webinar – The Economic and Social Consequences of Job Loss and Unemployment

Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 1-2 pm.

From the announcement:

In this webinar, Jennie E. Brand, Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the California Center for Population Research (CCPR) at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Till von Wachter, Associate Professor of Economics and Faculty Affiliate of CCPR at UCLA, will discuss some of the short- and long-term consequences of job loss and unemployment for families in the United States. Their discussion will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A.

This webinar is provided by PRB’s Center for Public Information on Population Research, with funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Joining the online webinar is free. Participants who choose to listen to the audio via telephone are responsible for their own standard long-distance rates.

Space is limited. Click here to register or go to (https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/427354601)

System requirements for attending the webinar:
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Demolition as an Urban Strategy

Via The New York Times
by: Timothy Williams

Large-scale destruction is well known in Detroit, but it is also underway in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others at a total cost of more than $250 million. Officials are tearing down tens of thousands of vacant buildings, many habitable, as they seek to stimulate economic growth, reduce crime and blight, and increase environmental sustainability.

Full NYT story
Brookings Report (2012)
Berkeley Report (published in 2012 in the Yale Law Journal)

Assistant Professor Position at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

Posted November 11, 2013: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is accepting applications for a tenure track committee position of Assistant Professor of Sociology for the Department of Sociology, full-time position appointment to begin Fall 2014 to teach undergraduate courses in sociology. A Ph.D. in sociology is preferred for the position. Areas of expertise are open. However, preference will be given to those who can teach statistics and research methods. Salary and benefits are competitive for this position. Interested applicants should submit a letter of application, final degree transcripts, curriculum vitae, student course evaluations (if available), and three letters of reference that address the applicant’s abilities as an instructor of sociology.

Send the requested materials to: Professor Peter Iadicola, Chairperson, Department of Sociology, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, 2101 E.Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

Review of applicants will begin January 15, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Employment is contingent on a satisfactory background records check.

IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action Employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce.

See the posting at The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae

NIH May Limit Grant Applications

via Chronicle of Higher Education.
By: Paul Basken

The NIH, the nation’s largest provider of basic research money to universities, has seen its budget cut so much over the last decade that scientists now have only about a 15-percent chance of a successful grant application.

In response to such budget-related stresses, NIH officials are mulling their options. Certainly the agency has been pressing Congress to provide more money. But it is also evaluating ways of being more efficient with the money it has, and that includes changing its own celebrated peer-review system for awarding grants.

Read the full story | NIH Analysis of Applications and Success Rates