Stuff that occurs to me

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Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Thoughts on collating blog posts on bad health topics

Yes... this is another idea from me on aggregating things....

There are many blogs which cover general areas of bad science / health reporting, but this post refers more to those which look at a discrete topic such as reflexology, iridology, homeopathy, ear candling etc.

It's quite easy to do a literature review in PubMed and other databases. It's not impossible to do a blogerature review in Google but it's not as easy as that database includes a whole load of other pages with plenty of the same keywords, but no "Filter by bad science" option.

There are some blogs that are linked - eg scienceblogs - which I believe you can search en masse (I might be wrong about this in fact) but that of course would only include the linked, and not the independent, blogs. Possibly the fact that they are linked also adds in a layer of quality control (in that they get to be linked) - I'm not sure.

My suggestion is that a meta-list of blog posts, themed by topic, isn't a bad idea - and one that everyone could add to. I've no idea how to make this work, also others might think it's a crap idea! Also it could be quite a palaver to set up and maintain - this is me thinking aloud.

I'm not particularly bothered about people retreading a topic previously written about - always plenty of new things to say on many topics - but many of the science bloggers will have, by virtue of their diligent approach, done some of the groundwork in finding some relevant references and it's perhaps useful to come across this when tackling the subject again.

At the moment if I want to find out who's written on a topic I can throw myself on the mercy of Google or ask my science blogger chums on Twitter. Both pretty good but for someone wanting to read more about an area who doesn't know some of the science bloggers, or the actual blogs themselves, or who wishes Google had a bad science filter my idea might help.

?

2 comments:

  1. There's always The Quackometer's search facility. I assume Andy simply has a list of websites his search is restricted to, but it may be a start.

    I'll ask him what it does...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh well that would be a start indeed, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete

Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).