Public data set highlights: Pirated peer-reviewed research and MCH aid

Thursday, April 13, 2017

This week's Data is Plural highlights one dataset of interest to global health professionals (particularly maternal and child health specialists) and one that is potentially contentious within the scientific community at large. Posted without comment or value judgment re: research piracy.
Pirated papers. Sci-Hub, which describes itself as “the first pirate website in the world to provide mass and public access to tens of millions of research papers,” recently released a list of the 62,835,101 academic papers it has collected. That dataset identifies each paper only by its DOI — a short, unique ID. Helpfully, graduate student Bastian Greshake has extracted the journal name, publisher, and publication ear from those DOIs. Greshake has also combined that data with six months of Sci-Hub download data (previously featured in DIP 2016.05.04), and analyzed the datasets together. Among his findings: Both are “largely made up of recently published articles, with users disproportionately favoring newer articles and 35% of downloaded articles being published after 2013.”

International aid for maternal and child health. Researchers at the World Health Organization have assembled a dataset of international aid — both from official government assistance and private grants — devoted to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health from 2003 to 2013. The dataset, which the researchers described in a recent academic article, draws on 2.1 million records, and is based largely on the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System. Related: Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department cut all its funding for the UN's family planning agency; it was the agency’s third-largest donor.
Note: You can see all of the public health relevant open datasets I've featured to date here. At this point, most of them come from Vine's Data is Plural, but I'm hoping to branch out and find more. Then again, he seems to be pretty good at spotlighting the best ones, so maybe I won't reinvent the wheel for the time being.

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