Thursday 31 March 2016

VPHA status update 2016-03-31

 The status update below was sent to 52 co-authors and 30 prospective co-authors.
Dear VPHA co-authors and prospective co-authors,

This VPHA status update shares progress in the following topics. The previous VPHA update was dated 12.2.2016, earlier updates can be accessed here.

  • 1.       VPHA abstract to Ireland ALD 2016: a poster
  • 2.       VPHA reading status & preparing to Ireland ALD 2016
  • 3.       VPHA listed as a Collaboration in HERALD
  • 4.       Worldwide list: ALD theses
  • 5.       Worldwide list: reviews
  • 6.       Worldwide list: conferences
  • 7.       ALD terminology discussion
  • 8.       Other ALD History Blog posts

Wednesday 30 March 2016

ALD conference list with "sister file" to add info

We have now created a file to collect information on ALD conferences throughout the years. This adds to the VPHA files collecting info on ALD theses and review articles. Thank you Oksana Yurkevich for making the transition from the ALD History Blog page and improving the information on the way.

The new file is called can VPHA-ALD-conference-list and it can be viewed and commented upon in real time by anyone. There is also a "sister file" called VPHA-conference-to-be-added, where anyone can edit information on missing conferences. One can find links to both files through Below is a list of information that we would like to collect for the conferences. All additional bits and pieces of information are appreciated which help us to complete the list. 

Saturday 19 March 2016

ALD thesis list now 274 entries - still many missing?

In the previous posts (latest here), I overviewed the status of the VPHA reading. In this post, I review the status of the ALD thesis list, and I am glad to conclude that there has been significant progress in the last weeks

The total number of PhD-equivalent theses listed at the moment is 274. (The previous post, Feb 29, listed 226.) The next figures show (1) how the number of PhD-equivalent theses listed in the VPHA-ALD-thesis-list has increased with time, and (2) how many theses we have at the moment listed per country. Since the previous post, theses have been added e.g. from Finland, France, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, UK, USA. Thanks for everyone who has contributed by adding information on missing theses!

The list in the end of this post contains the thesis list sorted per country (both PhD-equivalents plus "professor's theses). The list has been created from the parent file VPHA-ALD-thesis-list, which contains more information per thesis than the short list below, most importantly, the title of the thesis, language, etc. I know that there are still many theses missing at least from Belgium, Germany and Japan and probably many other countries, too. If you notice missing items, please add the info directly here in the file called VPHA-thesis-to-be-added. You find links to these and other VPHA open working files through  

VPHA ALD publications with three (plus) comments - 42

This post completes the series listing the VPHA ALD publications with different amounts of comments. The publications listed in this post have already received three or more comments and the general VPHA reading target has been met.

Those people interested in these publications can still of course read and comment these still in VPHA, having more than three comments is also completely ok. Still, to have VPHA progress and to able to complete the reading for Ireland ALD 2016, the publications with less comments should have a priority for reading.

Earlier posts on this series listed below. All status info comes from the VPHA-reading-overview-file.

VPHA ALD publications with two comments - 79

Continuing on the previous posts showing the graphical big picture of the VPHA reading status and individually listing the early ALD publications with zero and one comments, this post lists publications which have received two comments in VPHA (total of 79).

The target is that each publication would have three comments, so if VPHA co-authors would like to read and comment some of these, that would be welcome and useful for the overall VPHA progress. In this list, we have plenty of papers available in English as well as other languages.

VPHA ALD publications with one comment - 151

Continuing on the "big-picture" post, below are shared the codes and titles of the total of 151 publications listed in VPHA, which have so far been read and commented upon once.

This list contains a lot of works in Russian, some of which have translations in English, and also publications from other countries (Finland, Japan, Germany, ...). Language-wise, all VPHA co-authors should be able to find reading in this list. 

Since these publications have only one comment in VPHA, reading them is important for the progress of VPHA. Post listing articles with zero comments---thereby having a still higher VPHA reading priority---here.

VPHA ALD publications with zero comments - 78

Continuing on the previous "big-picture" post, below are shared the codes and titles of 78 publications listed in VPHA, which have not been read & commented by anyone. The grand majority of these publications are written and available only in Russian. However, there are some works included in Finnish, Bulgarian, and German, too, and one, for which an English translation exists (Avrutina1982).

All VPHA co-authors who are fluent in Russian: please choose your next publications to read from this list. Hopefully, next time we make an overview of the VPHA reading status, this list will be reduced to a small fraction of what it is at the moment.

Graphical big picture of VPHA ALD history reading status

With this post, I want to share the "graphical big picture" and describe the current status of the VPHA reading: how is the reading progressing vs time, how many authors there are from different countries, and how these numbers have evolved with time.

The four plots below show that from December 2015 to January 2016, there was good progress taking place, reading progressed significantly, and new authors joined (we are now 52, from 15 countries). Thereafter, reading has slowed down and little progress has been booked. Obviously, we need to get the reading to proceed again, to be able to make a good report at Ireland ALD 2016. (Within a few days we should know, if it is a talk or a poster.)

To help the VPHA ALD history reading to progress, I will publish new blog posts containing list again of articles with zero; one; two; and three+ comments. These should follow shortly. I hope that as many VPHA co-authors as possible could in the next weeks pick a few articles to read, preferably with zero or one comments, and share the comments in the ALD-history-evolving-file

Friday 18 March 2016 HERALD VPHA collaboration updated - more people welcome

I have (finally) gone through the list of authors in the VPHA abstract submitted to Ireland ALD 2016, and added those people who have a HERALD profile, to the VPHA HERALD collaboration in the HERALD COST Action MP1402 webpage One person who joined VPHA after the submission he been added also. The update needs still an acceptance by the HERALD coordinator; soon the updates should be visible to all,

More people are still welcome and needed, to complete the work to ALD 2016. New co-authors will make it to the VPHA ALD 2016 presentation as an author, although their names did not appear in the abstract. Here are links to:

More info and Open Files on the VPHA website,,

Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Friday 11 March 2016

VPHA abstract submitted to Ireland ALD 2016: 51 authors

Abstract of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) --- item #9 in the publication plan --- was submitted to Ireland ALD 2016 conference, with 51 authors from 15 countries. (After the submission, one person has already joined, so now we are with 52.) The abstract text is copied in full below.

The work that now remains to do related to the ALD 2016 presentation is to (i) complete the VPHA reading and (ii) create a "conclusive recommended reading list" of the most important early publications and applications. Creating this list will be collaborative work, where all VPHA participants can equally influence the results. More to come on the selection method later---we will first have to decide how to do it.

Interestingly, the conference publishes short biographies of the invited speakers. Here you find links to the current VPHA co-authors who are also invited speakers at the conference: Prof. Anatolii Malygin, Prof. Fred Roozeboom, Dr. Massimo Tallarida.

--- VPHA abstract submitted to Ireland ALD 2016 ---

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Thoughts on Open Access, VPHA and figshare

A publication is meant to be public. Many are not, as the journals limit the access to the subscribers of the journals --- the content is published, but not publicly available.

Mid-February, I blogged about "Open research: How sharing can help researchers succeed", linking to an excellent manuscript-in-progress by McKiernan et al. that considers open research aspects from a researcher-centric approach. The manuscript triggered my thinking in many ways, I recommend reading it to others, too. In this blog post, I continue around Open Access and Open Science from my own ALD scientist's viewpoint and from the viewpoint of the VPHA ALD history project, ending with a question: Could we use figshare to share VPHA's material, other than journal articles? Are there other good options?  Discussion on the topic is very much needed and welcome.