bims: 2019 statement

This is the first state of bims statement. It opens an annual series. We plan for one to come out on the 30th of January every year. This commemorates the first sober meeting between Gavin and Thomas on 30th January 2017. This statement contains a part by Gavin and a part by Thomas.

Gavin writes:

Over the past year I have been trying to recruit new Biomed news selectors, or “bimsers” as we say, to test out the service. We currently have 16 reports curated by 11 bimsers in North America, Europe and Russia. They are researchers, lecturers, librarians and science communicators at various stages in their careers. We are looking for many many more. This has led me to promote our reports via social media channels such as twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and ResearchGate. I attended a Health Libraries Group meeting at Keele University in the UK in June where I received positive feedback from university library groups and the Swiss Apoptosis Meeting in Bern in September where I met one of our current bimsers. It seems like twitter and face to face contact are the most successful ways to spread the word and recruit new bimsers. Please remember us when tweeting and talking to colleagues in the work place and fellow delegates at conferences. We would like to announce Biomed News in a high circulation journal to recruit potential bimsers. The more people that use it, the more people will know it and could become a valuable tool for the biomedical research community. We are trying to break into the medical, pharmaceutical and charitable organization worlds. We think these could bring about some fruitful partnerships in terms of obtaining funding through sponsorship or grants.

Thomas writes:

I have been working on this for about five years. From a technical point of view, this year’s biggest event was the big bug fix on November 14. My theory is that before fix, the papers we don't show were essentially selected randomly. If that theory holds, the learning models the learning model should be unbiased, albeit starved of relevant papers. The theory also suggests that 93% papers disappear, be they relevant or not. The size of issues should have roughly ten-folded. Since the bug fix, some reports have been finding a lot more papers. For the report I bimsed first, bims-librar, I have found too many. I decided to split off two reports, bims-skloko and bims-evares. The new reports are not sub-topics. Instead, the old report will no longer cover the areas suitable for new reports. Looking around at other reports, there are some where the bug fix seems to have had a more muted effect. There, the numbers did not go up in mid-November. If you have the feeling that you would like to see more papers, you need to include papers that may be outside of the topic of the report―but closely related to the topic―in the first selections screen, called the pickup screen, and then exclude them in the second screen, called filtering screen. If you are unsure about what the difference between the two screens is don’t be shy to ask.

Bims is supposed to do two things for you. First, it is to keep you informed about your subject. Second, it is to establish you as an expert on the subject leader in the area covered by your report. For that, we need to do better at disseminating your report. The ernad software is set up to do dissemination via email in a fairly sophisticated fashion. I still believe this is the medium of choice. We are waiting for a sponsor for a server to do that. In the meantime, I plan to be working on doing some tweeting for new report issues during the Spring. Then I will look at the sorting screen. The way it works now is either too slow or too cumbersome. I want to work on this. When we eventually get our own server, I will also start to work on making structural changes that will allow us to bring out issues faster. Currently, it takes us about 5 minute per report at the time we issue. Clearly, this will not scale to 1000 reports. Thus these are the three major lines of work I want to make progress on, if and when resources permit.

Both write:

We want to thank you for the time you have spent on Biomed News—working on the reports in a timely manner, informing us of any problems you encountered and ideas for improvement.