The publications listed below are in reverse chronological order and separated by year of publication.
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Evers A.W.M., Colloca L., Blease C, Gaab J., Jensen K.B., Atlas L.Y., Beedie C.J., Benedetti F., Bingel U., Büchel C., Bussemaker M., Colagiuri B., Crum A.J., Finniss D.G., Geers A.L., Howick J., Klinger R., Meeuwis S.H., Meissner K., Napadow V., Petrie K.J., Rief W., Smeets I., Wager T.D., Wanigasekera V., Vase L., Kelley J.M. & Kirsch I. (2020). What Should Clinicians Tell Patients about Placebo and Nocebo Effects? Practical Considerations Based on Expert Consensus. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 90(1), 49-56. doi: 10.1159/000510738
Objective: There is an increasing need for up-to-date recommendations on how to inform patients about placebo and nocebo effects in clinical practice and train clinicians how to disclose this information.
Methods: Based on previous clinical recommendations concerning placebo and nocebo effects, a 3-step, invitation-only Delphi study was conducted among an interdisciplinary group of internationally recognized experts. The study consisted of open- and closed-ended survey questions followed by a final expert meeting. The surveys were subdivided into 3 parts: (1) informing patients about placebo effects, (2) informing patients about nocebo effects, and (3) training clinicians how to communicate this information to the patients.
Results: There was consensus that communicating general information about placebo and nocebo effects to patients (e.g., explaining their role in treatment) could be beneficial, but that such information needs to be adjusted to match the specific clinical context (e.g., condition and treatment). Experts also agreed that training clinicians to communicate about placebo and nocebo effects should be a regular and integrated part of medical education that makes use of multiple formats, including face-to-face and online modalities.
Conclusions: The current 3-step Delphi study provides consensus-based recommendations and practical considerations for disclosures about placebo and nocebo effects in clinical practice. Future research is needed on how to optimally tailor information to specific clinical conditions and patients’ needs, and on developing standardized disclosure training modules for clinicians.
Willems, S., Albers, C., & Smeets, I. (2020). Variability in the interpretation of probability phrases used in Dutch news articles — a risk for miscommunication. Journal of Science Communication, 19(02) doi: 10.22323/2.19020203
[link] [PDF] Verbal probability phrases are often used in science communication to express estimated risks in words instead of numbers. In this study we look at how laypeople and statisticians interpret Dutch probability phrases that are regularly used in news articles. We found that there is a large variability in interpretations, even if the phrases are given in a neutral context. Also, statisticians do not agree on the interpretation of the phrases. We conclude that science communicators should be careful in using verbal probability expressions.
Grimmon, A. S., Cramer, J., Yazilitas, D., Smeets, I., & Bruyckere, P. D. (2020). Interest in STEM among children with a low socio-economic status: further support for the STEM-CIS-instrument through the adapted Dutch STEM-LIT measuring instrument. Cogent Education, 7(1). doi: 10.1080/2331186x.2020.1745541
Hooykaas, M. J. D., Schilthuizen, M., & Smeets, I. (2020). Expanding the Role of Biodiversity in Laypeople’s Lives: The View of Communicators. Sustainability, 12(7), 2768. doi: 10.3390/su12072768
Cheplygina, V., Hermans, F., Albers, C., Bielczyk, N., & Smeets, I. (2020). Ten simple rules for getting started on Twitter as a scientist. PLOS Computational Biology, 16(2). doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007513
For these reasons, using Twitter appropriately can be more than just a social media activity; it can be a real career incubator in which researchers can develop their professional circles, launch new research projects and get helped by the community at various stages of the projects. Twitter is a tool that facilitates decentralization in science; you are able to present yourself to the community, to develop your personal brand, to set up a dialogue with people inside and outside your research field and to create or join professional environment in your field without mediators such as your direct boss.
This article is written by a group of researchers who have a strong feeling that they have personally benefited from using Twitter, both research-wise and network-wise. We (@DrVeronikaCH, @Felienne, @CaAl, @nbielczyk_neuro, @ionicasmeets) share our personal experience and advice in the form of ten simple rules, and we hope that this material will help a number of researchers who are planning to start their journey on Twitter to take their first steps and advance their careers using Twitter.
Hariman, N., de Vries, M., & Smeets, I. (2019). Topic Modeling for Exploring Cancer-Related Coverage in Journalistic Texts. In Atzmueller M., Duivesteijn W. (Eds.) Artificial Intelligence. BNAIC 2018. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1021 (pp. 43-51). Springer, Cham.
Our results show a predominance of breast cancer in news articles as compared with other types of cancer, similar to previous studies. Additionally, our topic model shows 6 distinct topics: research on cancer, lifestyle and mortality, the healthcare system, business and insurance issues regarding cancer treatment, environmental politics and American politics on cancer-related policies.
Since topic modeling is a computational technique, the model has more difficulty with understanding the meaning of the analyzed text than (most) humans. Therefore, future research will be set up to let the public contribute to analysis of a topic model.
Hooykaas, M. J., Schilthuizen, M., Aten, C., Hemelaar, E. M., Albers, C. J., & Smeets, I. (2019). Identification skills in biodiversity professionals and laypeople: A gap in species literacy. Biological Conservation, 238, 108202.
A considerable gap in species literacy was found between professionals and laypeople. Knowledge about common, native animals was particularly low in children, who on average identified only 35% of the species correctly. Mammals received relatively high identification scores as compared to birds. Laypeople’s species literacy increased with age and educational level, and was associated with positive attitudes towards nature and animals, media exposure and having a garden.
The results indicate that a considerable part of the Dutch lay public is disconnected from native biodiversity. This points to a separation between people and nature that could hinder future efforts to preserve biodiversity. Our assessment can help bridge the gap between laypeople and professionals, as it can help set up communication and education strategies about native biodiversity that fit prior knowledge.
Bossema, F.G., Burger, P., Bratton, L., Challenger, A., Adams, R.C., Sumner, P., Schat, J., Numans, M.E., & Smeets, I. (2019). Expert quotes and exaggeration in health news: a retrospective quantitative content analysis. Wellcome Open Research 4, 56. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15147.1
This research is an investigation into the role of expert quotes in health news, specifically whether news articles containing a quote from an independent expert are less often exaggerated than articles without such a quote.
Retrospective quantitative content analysis of journal articles, press releases, and associated news articles was performed. The investigated sample are press releases on peer-reviewed health research and the associated research articles and news stories. Our sample consisted of 462 press releases and 668 news articles from the UK (2011) and 129 press releases and 185 news articles from The Netherlands (2015). We hand-coded all journal articles, press releases and news articles for correlational claims, using a well-tested codebook. The main outcome measures are types of sources that were quoted and exaggeration of correlational claims. We used counts, 2×2 tables and odds ratios to assess the relationship between presence of quotes and exaggeration of the causal claim.
Overall, 99.1% of the UK press releases and 84.5% of the Dutch press releases contain at least one quote. For the associated news articles these percentages are: 88.6% in the UK and 69.7% in the Netherlands. Authors of the study are most often quoted and only 7.5% of UK and 7.0% of Dutch news articles contained a new quote by an expert source, i.e. one not provided by the press release. The relative odds that an article without an external expert quote contains an exaggeration of causality is 2.6.
The number of articles containing a quote from an independent expert is low, but articles that cite an external expert do contain less exaggeration.
Willems, S.J.W., Albers, C.J., & Smeets, I. (2019). Variability in the interpretation of Dutch probability phrases – a risk for miscommunication. arXiv preprint arXiv:1901.09686.
The responses from 881 participants showed a large variability in the interpretation of Dutch phrases, and the neutral contexts seemed to have no structural influence. Furthermore, the results demonstrated an asymmetry in the interpretation of Dutch complementary phrases. The large variability of interpretations was found among both statisticians and non-statisticians, and among males and females, however, no structural differences were found between the groups.
Concluding, there is a large variability in the interpretation of verbal probability phrases, even within sub-populations. Therefore, verbal probability expressions may be a risk for miscommunication.
Venhuizen, G. J., Hut, R., Albers, C., Stoof, C. R., & Smeets, I. (2019). Flooded by jargon: How the interpretation of water-related terms differs between hydrology experts and the general audience. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 23(1), 393-403. doi:10.5194/hess-2018-297
In this study, we compare the expert and layperson definitions of 22 common terms and pictures related to water and water hazards, to see where misunderstandings might arise both in text and pictures. Our primary objective is to analyze the degree of agreement between experts and laypeople in their definition of the used terms. In this way, we hope to contribute to improving the communication between these groups in the future. Our study was based on a survey completed by 34 experts and 119 laypeople.
Especially concerning the definition of words related to water there are some profound differences between experts and laypeople: words like “river” and “river basin” turn out to have a thoroughly different interpretation between the two groups. Concerning the pictures, there is much more agreement between the groups.
Vries, M. D., Land-Zandstra, A., & Smeets, I. (2019). Citizen Scientists’ Preferences for Communication of Scientific Output: A Literature Review. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 42. doi:10.5334/cstp.136
From this review, we conclude that participants value accessibility of their collected data, communication of project findings, and acknowledgement in publications. Taking this into account can pay off, as sharing data and findings can enhance the motivation of participants to engage in the project, thereby sustaining their participation, imparting the feeling that they spent their time well, and increasing a project’s learning impact. Some practical and ethical issues such as privacy concerns, however, need to be taken into account. This literature review is the first to provide an overview of citizen scientists’ preferences for communication of scientific output, and is a starting point for further research that should investigate the impact of different options for data sharing and communication of findings to participants.
Schat, J., Bossema, F.G., Numans, M.E., Smeets, I., & Burger, J.P. (2018). Overdreven gezondheidsnieuws. Relatie tussen overdrijving in academische persberichten en in nieuwsmedia. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 162, 5.
Bepalen hoe vaak pers- en nieuwsberichten overdrijvingen bevatten en onderzoeken waar in het traject tussen wetenschappelijke publicatie en nieuwsbericht deze overdrijving ontstaat.
Retrospectieve kwantitatieve inhoudsanalyse.
We analyseerden persberichten over gezondheidsonderzoek die door de Nederlandse universiteiten en universitaire medische centra in 2015 waren uitgebracht (n = 129) en de aan die persberichten gerelateerde berichten in de nieuwsmedia (n = 185).
20% van de persberichten en 29% van de nieuwsberichten bevatten overdrijving van de conclusie of causale claim. Expliciet gezondheidsadvies werd indien aanwezig overdreven in 7% van de persberichten en in 10% van de nieuwsberichten. Wanneer het persbericht een overdrijving van de conclusie of causale claim bevatte, stond in 92% van de gerelateerde nieuwsberichten dezelfde overdrijving. Als de conclusie in het persbericht niet overdreven was, was 6% van de nieuwsberichten overdreven. De relatieve kans op overdreven nieuws bij een overdreven persbericht was 16,08 (95%-BI: 7,35-35,18). Bij overdreven persberichten hoorde vaker een nieuwsbericht. De relatieve kans op een nieuwsbericht bij een overdreven persbericht tegenover een niet-overdreven persbericht was 1,45 (95%-BI: 1,02-2,04).
Overdrijving in gezondheidsnieuws gaat sterk gepaard met overdrijving in het oorspronkelijke persbericht en komt voor bij meer dan 1 op de 5 artikelen. Het monitoren en zo nodig verbeteren van de nauwkeurigheid en juistheid van academische persberichten lijken een belangrijke stap om de kwaliteit van gezondheidsnieuws te verhogen.
Hut, R. Land-Zandstra, A.M., Smeets, I., & Stoof, C.R. (2016). Geoscience on television: a review of science communication literature in the context of geosciences. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20(6), 2507-2518. doi:10.5194/hess-20-2507-2016
Kraaikamp, C., & Smeets, I. (2011). Sharp bounds for symmetric and asymmetric diophantine approximation. Chinese Annals of Mathematics, Series B, 32(2), 303-320. doi: 10.1007/s11401-011-0629-4
Kraaikamp, C., Schmidt, T. A., & Smeets, I. (2010). Natural extensions for α-Rosen continued fractions. Journal of the Mathematical Society of Japan, 62(2), 649-671. doi: 10.2969/jmsj/06220649
Kraaikamp, C., & Smeets, I. (2009). Approximation Results for alpha-Rosen Fractions. arXiv preprint arXiv:0912.1749.
Smeets, I., Lenstra, A., Lenstra, H., Lovász, L., & van Emde Boas, P. (2009). The History of the LLL-algorithm. In The LLL Algorithm (pp. 1-17). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-02295-1_1
– A tale of two papers – Peter van Emde Boas.
– The early history of LLL – Hendrik Lenstra.
– The ellipsoid method and basis reduction – László Lovász.
– Polynomial factorization and lattices in the very early 1980s – Arjen Lenstra.
This chapter is based on those talks, conversations with these four historic characters, the notes that Peter van Emde Boas and Arjen Lenstra wrote for the preproceedings, and many artifacts from the phenomenal archive of Van Emde Boas.