Changing Documents. Will it impact on changing practice?

All senior scientists who work in the University sector in the UK are being monitored for their output to determine whether they are of International standing and whether their work has any Impact.

Check this out to explain (CLICK. Performance culture is ruining scientific research), it’s quite a sorry state of affairs.

What is Impact?

Does the work change clinical practice? or perhaps science practice or policy? 

Sometimes we have to remind you of the stuff we have done.

Does that Pop-Science Paper in the “Journal of Science Lemmings” cause thousands of scientists to use vast amounts of resource to work on a dead-end that gets them in High-impact journals with No-real Impact Science?

Don’t believe me?

How much money went into debunking CCSVI?

And we were early on the ball there too (particularly DrK):

Yep and that’s chicken feed compared to that spent on…………..

and…………. and……………. Don’t get me started:-).

Call me grumpy if you like.

Sometimes you can get small impacts like “Changing the treatment label of prescription drugs” and this was done from work that doesn’t have to come from Nature or Science and can be done for next to nothing as Student/Junior Doctor Projects

Can you see the difference Below?

Wonder what caused this?

I can only guess 🙂

Baker D, Herrod SS, Alvarez-Gonzalez C, Giovannoni G, Schmierer K. Interpreting Lymphocyte Reconstitution Data From the Pivotal Phase 3 Trials of Alemtuzumab. JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(8):961-969.

Dubuisson N, Baker D, Kang AS, Pryce G, Marta M, Visser LH, Hofmann WE, Gnanapavan S, Giovannoni G, Schmierer K. Alemtuzumab depletion failure can occur in multiple sclerosis. Immunology. 2017 Dec 16. doi: 10.1111/imm.12879. [Epub ahead of print]

So if Brian Cox can claim that more school children went to university to do physics because of him, we can have this piece of action and say that the existence of neutralizing antibodies is being acknowledged because of our work. 

It should have been acknowledged years and years ago.

Is this impact?

Well if screening for antibodies starts to occur, Clinical Practice will change:-). 

Hopefully, this will focus the mind of those with the data to publish it. Then we can see if having neutralizing antibodies is a problem for the 50% of people who may need a third cycle of treatment? 

About the author



  • I think it is completely justified to assess the performance and impact of those working in academic research, particularly for research into diseases such as MS. In MS we have a disease where the cause is not known. We have a disease which is one disease (was 3-4 until recently), which has a major neurodegenerative component (was considered to be primarily inflammatory until recently) and where many of the anti-inflammatory treatments are drugs drawn from other specialties. We have no treatments for progressive disease and no treatments for repairing damage. I don't consider the current position of MS to be in a good state. We have researchers in silos looking at their pet subjects (EAE, vit D, hormones, viruses). There is little collaboration between centres and many claims do dada being hidden / not disclosed etc. No doubt lots of researchers are beavering away in their ivory towers producing papers and helping other researchers gain their PhDs. The question has to be asked of research teams and individual researchers – how has your work actually helped those with the disease? Given all the huge conferences that have taken place over the last 25 years, all the prizes dished out, all the grants and personal consultancy fees, I don't see a lot of return – nataluzimab, Alemtuzumab and Ocrelezumab are the best of the bunch. For progressive MSers and this in wheelchairs the return has been zero. This whole MS research industry needs a kick up the backside and a bloody good shake-up. Otherwise in 25 years time we will still be seeing papers on EAE, more claims of the multiple benefits of Copaxone, and more money raising initiatives with the promise of drugs to repair the damage (as was the case in Promise 2010).

    • Harsh words. I feel incredibly grateful that we now have several DMTs available and no doubt these have made a massive difference for those living with MS. I also believe the newer drugs such as Cladribine and Ocrelizumab give real hope for those with progressive MS.

    • We have provided you with a platform to kick our academic butts, whats more we have given you an insight about real science life and you are kicking our butts even more, because of this. However there are over 13 classes of treatment now available…for many conditions there are none.

      We have played some part in this and we can be proud of this, especially given our resource.

  • The term we used to use for those Journals was "write only" journals.

    I used to get so mad at the Head of our department, driven by this kind of nonsense, who stopped us going to conferences where we would actually *meet other researchers* and *have conversations* and instead focus on "Journal Rankings"

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