Monthly Archives: November 2013

How can we identify biomedical research which is not up to standard?

Roland Jonsson

In recent years a number of articles testing the reproducibility of preclinical biomedical research have been published in top-rated journals.  Surprisingly most of this could not be reproduced – not even by the researchers themselves!  There are two informative and commendable editorials shedding some more light on this issue – for more information see: Nature 23 May 2013 – p. 433 (six flags), and The Economist Oct 19, 2013 (Trouble at the lab).  Approximately 75% of the contents published in international scientific journals with peer-review and high impact factor, were difficult to reproduce.  What can the reason for this be?   Issues such as the increased pressure to publish, competition, and high ambitions of publishing way too early are discussed as potential contributions to this.  However, the researchers also point out that mistakes correct themselves, because other researchers continue to work on precisely this task.  This has to be regarded as a controversial attitude.  However, good advices were also provided as to how author, editor, referee, and the readers themselves could question the quality of the publication:

1. Was the experiment blinded?

2. Was the experiment repeated?

3. Were all results presented?

4. Were both positive and negative controls included?

5. Were used reagents subjected to quality control?

6. Were the statistical methods/tests optimal?

Happy reading and (personal?) reflection!


Horizon 2020 – What is the “Expert database”, why should I register and how do I do it?


On November 22, the call has been launched in order to establish a database of prospective evaluators for Horizon 2020 proposals. Experts, as peer reviewers, assist in the (i) evaluation of research and innovation proposals (ii) review of research and innovation projects, (iii) monitoring the progress, outcome and impact of research and innovation programmes as well as giving advice on the shape of future research and innovation activities. You have a chance of being selected as an expert if you (i) have a high level expertise in research or innovation in any scientific and technological field, including managerial aspects, (ii) have at least a university degree, and (iii) can be available for occasional, short-term assignments.

Researchers are encouraged to submit an expression of interest as, if selected to evaluate a specific Horizon 2020 call, this can be a useful way to see first-hand what makes a successful proposal and how the evaluation process works. This is especially interesting for young scientists who are planning to get involved with EU funding. It might take short time to several years until you are picked by the Commission.

Experts wishing to take part can access the service from the Participant Portal: From here, you create an ECAS (European Commission’s secure Authentication Service) account, if you don’t already have one. If you have received your password, go back to the Expert area in the Participant Portal, log-in with your ECAS user name or email address and password. Then click on ‘Register or update your profile’, this leads you to the introductory page of the expert registration service.

Experts previously registered for FP7 need to declare their interest in working as an expert for the Horizon 2020 programme as well as revising the ‘area of expertise’ section.

EEA /Norway grant partner requests (contact Corina Guder for utfyllende informasjon):

1.            Jiri Mekyska, Signal Processing Laboratory, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic

Field: Non-invasive neurological disorders analysis by novel algorithms and data acquisition protocols, methods, tools and systems supporting neurologists, speech therapists and psychologists.


2.            Katerina Ušelová, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Current trends in bioanalysis, namely  protein purification and separation by isoelectric focusing (IEF), isoelectric trapping (IET) and OFFGEL, exemplified on e.g. insulin.


3.            Marius Stefan, University Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Iasi, Romania

Use of some metabolic derivatives from Artrhobacter nicotinovorans as novels neuroprotective drugs.


4.            Jānis Smilga, Technology Transfer Office Expert in Promoting, Riga Stradins University, Latvia

“Vital tissue less traumatic high frequency alloy technology approach in clinical and field surgery” and development of living tissue welding technology.

Disputas Week 48

Susanne Miriam Sørensen Hernes disputerer for PhD graden onsdag 04.12.13
Prøveforelesning Onsdag 04. november kl. 11,15 i Auditoriet , sørlandet Sykehus Arendal

Oppgitt emne : “Klinisk betydning av virus som kan påvises i prøver fra luftveiene”

Disputas Onsdag 4 desember kl. 13:00 i Auditoriet , sørlandet Sykehus Arendal

Avhandlings tittel : Community acqurired infections in adult and elerly airways ; an avaluation of diagnostic havrestting techniques

Veileder: Professor Per Bakke

New routines for printing of doctoral thesis

A new agreement with AIT regarding printing of doctoral theses has been implemented.  This has led to some changes in the routines.  As before, the process begins with the candidate creating a purchase order at, uploading documents, etc.  The candidate will then receive a receipt with a reference purchase number which must be delivered/sent to Irene Lavik Hjelmaas (  Once she has created an electronic purchase order, the printing of the thesis will commence.  It is important that this procedure is followed in order to avoid delays and lack of time.  Click here for more information about production of theses

Erasmus International Staff Exchange – University of Helsinki

Technical and administrative staff may apply for staff exchange at the University of Helsinki in 2014.  Click here for more information about the Erasmus programme  (In Norwegian).  Click here for more information about the staff exchange with the University of Helsinki .  If you are interested you may contact Signe Knappskog (

This Week`s Editorial

Eva Gerdts

Mandatory teaching reporting

The teaching records (Undervisningsregnskapet) is an application developed so that the institutes may have full overview of the resources utilized in teaching activities.  The application is far from perfect, but it is nevertheless what will be used by both K2 and MOF when distributing new teaching tasks in the future.  That each and every one of us register completed teaching activities is mandatory, just as we register publications in Cristin.  You may like or dislike these types of registrations, but this is one of the mandatory work tasks included in a scientific employment position at MOF.  The registering is also of everyone’s interest as we document what we use our work time on, and whether or not we are fully booked or have vacant slots in our schedules.  The latter is very important now that new curriculum for the medicine study programme is under development, and several suggestions call for a substantial increase in small-group teaching sessions.The result from this spring’s teaching records is now ready, and shows that 33% of K2’s teaching capacity is utilized when only permanent scientific positions are taken into account.  Many have not registered their teaching activities, and, as a result, much of our teaching work is not made visible.  Deadline for this autumn’s teaching registration is now approaching.  I will strongly recommend all scientific employees to register their teaching!


New K2-nytt Layout

The background for the K2 news layout change is that the server on which K2 news was located earlier are going to be closed, so we had to find a new solution.  The reasons for choosing this particular solution are that the central administration at UiB offers assistance on it, and also that the whole editorial staff can easily access the newsletter to work on it.  Further, this layout is new to all of us, so please excuse a few temporary bugs which have not been fixed yet.  We promise to do our best to make this good!