Journal Roundup August 2014: seeking your input

Fist bumpThe August edition of the Journal of Hosptial Infection Journal Roundup is now available, featuring:

  • A whopping five-fold increase in the detection of CRE in 25 US community hospitals.
  • MALDI-TOF as a new frontier for rapid detection of carbapenemase activity.
  • More on fist bumping instead of hand shaking. (Would you like a fist bump greeting from your doctor? No thanks!)
  • Triclosan-impregnated stitches would be cost-effective if they were only a little bit effective, but turns out they’re not effective at all.
  • The new ‘crAssphage bacteriophage’, C. difficile biofilms, and increasing rates of antibiotic resistance – all in the human gut microbiome.
  • Some hope for Ebola drug and vaccine targets.
  • How to reduce the number of sickies that children take from school (through effective school-based immunization programmes).
  • Thoughtful analysis on S. aureus outbreaks of old with lessons for now.
  • Reviews of CRE mortality, global antibiotic use, microbial hitchhikers, overdiagnosis & overtreatment, useless reporting of science in the mainstream media, and whether biocide use drives biocide resistance.

I’ve written three editions of the Journal of Hosptial Infection Roundup now (June, July and August), so there’s a few examples to review. You can read about my methods for producing the Roundup in the blog accompanying the June edition. I thought that now would be a good time to get some feedback, specifically:

  • Is the title right? A few people have expected it to be an overview of articles in the Journal of Hospital Infection only.
  • Is the length about right? (Do you fall asleep reading it or find yourself begging for more?)
  • Is the depth right? Or would you like to read more about less articles, or less about more articles?

Any feedback that you have would be most appreciated. Please either submit a comment below or email me.

Photo credit: ‘Fist bump’.

2 thoughts on “Journal Roundup August 2014: seeking your input

  1. Thanks. Broad range of topics is ambitious, but I suspect likely to make it harder for reader to maintain effective attention from start to finish, in spite of admirable brevity. Roundup would work better for me if its themes followed some kind of thread, even at the expense of delaying some of this month’s material until next month (change term of reference to last quarter?), and perhaps enhanced by clearly flagged opinion (or leading question).

    Also, I am not suggesting becoming a Ben Goldacre clone, but what struck me about this review is that we all need constant reminders of the ubiquitous sources of error and unjustified inference. Even after years of criticising others for confusing association with causation, I still do it, subconsciously, at first reading. Did the schools ‘flu vaccine study really exclude all confounders associated with the kind of parenting and social background that encourages lower rates of absenteeism? Is the size of the reduction in bacterial transfer for fist bump versus handshake (was it tenfold or less) likely to make an important difference (cf hand hygiene’s potential thousandfold reduction)?

    But keep up the good work, and if you can stick in a button labelled “notify me when next roundup is ready”.


  2. Thanks Mark for these thoughtful comments. So basically, less breadth, more depth, plus a little more critical opinion.

    The problem with adding critical opinion is that it’s bound to be a personal viewpoint, so I’ve tried to keep this to a minimum and save my real personal analysis for the blog. One way to diffuse this would be for some other Assistant Editors (such as your good self) to consider contributing a Roundup some time – what do you say?

    I like the idea of including stronger themes – and it’s something I’ve been working on. The first Roundup was pretty much random, whereas the August edition is themed by paragraph. Rolling over content to the next month would help with this – good idea.

    In terms of notification, the best I can do I think is for you to be notified every time there’s a new post on this blog. That would mean wading through the other posts to get to the Roundup though!


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