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Re: Alma Swan: The OA citation advantage


First of all, I did not state in my critique of the Swan report 
(http://j.mp/d91Jk2) that meta-analysis was Alma's idea, but that 
this  was your suggestion (as posted to liblicense-l, 
sigmetrics-l, and other  listservs).

Secondly, you keep trying to divert criticism of your colleague's 
work  by critiquing my own work, as if  *"your best defense is a 
good  offense."*  You've posted 5 rapid responses to the BMJ 2008 
paper and  another rapid response to the BMJ editorial.  I've 
responded to your  concerns and have better things to do than 
engage in an endless  discussion with you when there is 
absolutely no hope of changing your  mind.  You can continue to 
plaster the Internet with your critiques and  astonishment that I 
haven't responded if this makes you feel better.  I  have 
students to teach and a dissertation to write.

--Phil Davis

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Phil,
> Thanks for the helpful feedback.
> I'm afraid you're mistaken about meta-analysis. It can be a
> perfectly appropriate statistical technique for analyzing a 
> number of studies, with positive and negative outcomes, varying
> in methodological rigor, sample size and effect size. It is a way
> of estimating whether or not there is a significant underlying
> effect.
> I think you may be inadvertently mixing up the criteria for (1)
> eligibility and comparability for a meta-analysis with the
> criteria for (2) a clinical drug trial (for which there rightly
> tends to be an insistence on randomized control trials in
> biomedical research).
> Now I would again like to take the opportunity of receiving this
> helpful feedback from you to remind you about some feedback I
> have given you repeatedly http://bit.ly/dkieVi on your own 2008
> study -- the randomized control trial that you suggest has been
> the only methodologically sound test of the OA Advantage so far:
> You forgot to do a self-selection control condition. That would
> be rather like doing a randomized control trial on a drug -- to
> show that the nonrandom control trials that have reported a
> positive benefit for that drug were really just self-selection
> artifacts -- but neglecting to include a replication of the
> self-selection artifact in your own sample, as a control.
> For, you see, if your own sample was too small and/or too brief
> (e.g., you didn't administer the drug for as long an interval, or
> to as many patients, as the nonrandom studies reporting the
> positive effects had done), then your own null effect with a
> randomized trial would be just that: a null effect, not a
> demonstration that randomizing eliminates the nonrandomized drug
> effect. (This is the kind of methodological weakness, for
> example, that multiple studies can be weighted for, in a
> meta-analysis of positive, negative and null effects.)
> [I am responding to your public feedback here, on the liblicense
> and SERIALST lists, but not also on your SSP Blog, where you
> likewise publicly posted this same feedback (along with other,
> rather shriller remarks) http://j.mp/d91Jk2 because I am assuming
> that you will again decline to post my response on your blog, as
> you did the previous time that you publicly posted your feedback
> on my work both there http://bit.ly/8LK57u and elsewhere --
> refusing my response on your blog on the grounds that it had
> already been publicly posted elsewhere!...]
> -- Stevan Harnad
> PS The idea of doing a meta-analysis came from me, not from Dr.
> Swan.