It’s that time of year again, when the major medical journals publish their Christmas (AKA holiday) reading. Below are some of my favourites from the CMAJ Holiday Review, from the December 2009 issue of CMAJ. For past Christmas issues, see Christmas Journal Issues.
Faux Review: A report on the zombie outbreak of 2009: how mathematics can save us (no, really)
An outbreak of zombification wreaked havoc recently in Canada and the rest of the world. Mathematical models were created to establish the speed of zombie infection and evaluate potential scenarios for intervention, mainly because mathematicians don’t have anything better to do with their time. We review the development of these models and their effect on the undead.
Research: Snappy answers to stupid questions: an evidence-based framework for responding to peer-review feedback
We developed a Scale of Silliness (SOS) and a Scale of Belligerence (SOB) to facilitate the assessment of inadequate peer-review feedback and guide users in preparing suitable responses to it. The SOB score is tempered by users’ current mood, as captured by the Mood Reflective Index (MRI), and dictates the Appropriate Degree of Response (ADR) for the particular situation.