News & Comment: In Brief


•   Editorial: Page Numbers for Sportscience.  Now easier to cite than a site.

•   Clinical Significance and Decisiveness.  Update on making inferences.

•   Updated Endnote Journal Abbreviations.  Less errors in your reference lists.

•   Calibrating metabolic carts.  Save on calgas.


Editorial: Page Numbers for Sportscience
Will G Hopkins, Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. Email. Sportscience 8, i, 2004 ( Published Nov 28, 2004.

Although Sportscience is a peer-reviewed journal, authors wishing to cite Sportscience articles in manuscripts submitted to traditional journals may experience resistance from editors who do not permit references to websites. Part of the problem has been the identification of Sportscience articles by a web address (URL) and word count.  Articles in Sportscience will therefore now have page numbers, in addition to the URL. The change is aimed at increasing the impact of Sportscience in the research community.  Obtaining an ISI impact factor (see the article in this issue) is a more distant goal that won't be reached until more researchers publish in Sportscience. In the meantime I am happy for the journal to continue as a high-quality peer-reviewed outlet mainly for work I author or co-author. 

With the arrival of the research-accountability meme in the Antipodes, I will now be publishing more of my statistical material in Sportscience articles before it goes into my stats site The articles will thereby count as research outputs in a peer-reviewed journal, and they may also have more impact on researchers than they would otherwise at my non-peer-reviewed stats site.  The articles in the current issue on meta-analysis and Bland-Altman plots are examples.

Clinical Significance and Decisiveness
Will G Hopkins, Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. Email. Sportscience 8, i, 2004 ( Published Nov 28, 2004.

A previous article at this site included a link to a slideshow entitled Clinical vs Statistical Significance.  I presented a new version of the slideshow in a minisymposium at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, June 5 2004.  The new version has a more succinct critique of statistical significance and a more extensive treatment of the clinical interpretation of confidence limits.  I have also developed the notion of clinical decisiveness for outcomes of a research study.  In brief, if the chances of harm and/or benefit with a treatment or other effect are sufficiently low, you will feel sufficiently confident to make a decision about the utility or impact of the treatment or effect. The default for "sufficiently low" is <5%.  Read the previous article and download the new version of the slideshow for more.

Updated Endnote Journal Abbreviations
Will G Hopkins, Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. Email. Sportscience 8, i-ii, 2004 ( Published Nov 28, 2004.

If you use Endnote to prepare manuscripts, you may like my file of journal abbreviations for many of the journals in our discipline.  I have included multiple entries to allow for correction of common mistakes with journal names and abbreviations.  I also use a unique acronym as the third abbreviation for the common journals, which makes it a little easier to enter references manually.  To import these abbreviations into your Endnote library, save the file to some convenient place, open your Endnote library, click on Tools/Open Terms Lists/Journals Term List.  You are probably working with a corrupt list, especially if you have allowed Endnote to update it automatically from imported references, so you might like to select some or all the items in the list and delete them.  Then click on the Lists tab, make sure Journals is highlighted, click on Import List…, find the file of abbreviations, and import it.  Endnote comes with several lists of abbreviations, which you can find on your hard drive under Program Files\EndNote\Term Lists.  You can import these as well, but it will make the library file large.  To turn off the automatic updating of the Terms Lists, go to Edit/Preferences/Terms Lists and untick the option Update lists when importing or pasting references.

In my experience, Endnote styles by default are all set to non-abbreviated journal names in reference lists. So, for journals that use abbreviations, select Abbreviation 1 under Edit/Output Styles/Edit <whatever style you have selected>, and select or unselect the box to Remove periods, depending on what the journal wants.

To check on other journal abbreviations, use this link to a friendly functional page at the National Library of Medicine.  Bookmark it for future reference.

Calibrating Metabolic Carts
Will G Hopkins, Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1020, New Zealand. Email. Sportscience 8, ii, 2004 ( Published Nov 28, 2004.

There was an interesting discussion recently on the Sportscience email list about calibration of gas analyzers in metabolic carts (so-called on-line systems for measuring oxygen consumption).  See the messages for November 2004 with the subject lines Gas Analyzer Calibration Question (#2551 and replies) and Last one on gas analysis (#2555 and reply).  I have since received requests for the design of the gas bubbler I mentioned in my posting in connection with conserving calibration gas, so I have drawn a simple diagram, which you can download as a Powerpoint file.  A glassblower will have to make it, and you will have to obtain a small quantity of paraffin oil from a pharmacy.  Adjust the tap on the calgas cylinder so that gas bubbles slowly out through the paraffin.  Disconnect your gas sampling line from the outlet of the device and turn off the calgas cylinder when you want to sample air.

•   Updated Dec 7 2004: modification of gas bubbler to prevent paraffin oil being drawn into gas analyzers.

Reviewer: David B Pyne, Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, PO Box 176, Belconnen, ACT 2616, Australia.

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