Monday, October 22, 2018

Academic publishing: Ripping academics and users off, since way back when.

Imagine you received this proposal:
Step 1: Perform research
Step 2: Analyse said research
Step 3: Write up research into an article of a sufficient standard to pass rigorous peer-review
Step 4: Submit to a journal
Step 5: Pay to submit your content to a journal which profits from your content...

I can't think of any other business model in the world in which you pay to have someone else sell your work.
Imagine if the Rolling Stones had to pay to submit their tracks to iTunes and then received none of the proceeds from record sales... Or if an author had to pay to submit their book to Amazon Kindle and then received none of the book royalties...

Now, I'm not suggesting that scientists should get proceeds from academic articles because that might throw up a whole bunch of additional conflicts and cause serious problems for the scientific process (mainly that people might only perform 'sexy' or trending research to get the greatest monetary return) but, it seems completely crazy to me that we pay to have our content drive a profit for large publishing companies.

People see open-access (OA) publishing as a solution to this.'s not. OA is great because it allows people to read scientific material for free but many people don't realise that there are very high article processing charges associated with OA journals. So the burden of payment is on the author and institutions like universities to foot the bill for publishing. Consider that many universities and colleges are at least partially funded by the government, and so, the profits of publishers are also by proxy being supported by the taxpayer.

So, institutions, researchers, scientific authors, and you, the taxpayer are paying for publishing companies to profit from the work that scientists seldom profit from themselves.
Of course, publishing isn't without cost...BUT also consider that because most scientific material is now presented and read online, there are lower costs to publishing than ever before. Every stage in the process is easier, from editing to typesetting and formatting, through to presentation online. Journals also rely on volunteer peer-reviewers (other scientists) and sometimes volunteer editors and thus, a lot of the work that takes place to take a manuscript from submission to publication is completely gratis...

So, either you pay (to read the article in a paid journal) and the author/institute pay a lower (but often still considerable) charge, or you can read the article for free, but the author needs to pay a substantial charge to have their work published and read.

Something has to change. We are forced to play the game and submit to journals that have sufficient impact to allow our work to be read and cited, and thus become part of the 'canon' of knowledge in our area of science. But it's an expensive game to play and it's one that doesn't have anything close to a level playing field.

I want to change publishing. That's why we have started The Journal of Holistic Performance, a peer-reviewed journal that has a 'Diamon Open Access' model of no article processing charge or acceptance charge to authors and is completely free to read.

Our mandate at JHP:

The Journal of Holistic Performance (JHP) is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing reviews, case studies, and original research focused on evidence-based holistic nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and lifestyle interventions. We believe that for too long, quality academic publishing has been too expensive for authors and institutions, and for readers and has relied on the goodwill of both authors and volunteers, in order for publishing companies to profit off the work of scientists. That is why JHP is a 'Diamond' Open Access journal with no charge to read and download articles, no article processing or publication fees, and only a nominal fee to submit a manuscript (approximately $10USD levied by our journal host). We aim to encourage graduate and post-graduate students, clinicians, and professional researchers to publish with us and experienced researchers to publish articles of interest to the academic, health practice, and wider community. By eliminating financial and administrative barriers to entry for publishing, whilst maintaining exemplary standards of peer-review and scientific validity, we week to become the premiere journal in the field of holistic health and performance.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Carb-Appropriate Podcast episode 5. featuring Lara Briden ND

The Carb-Appropriate Podcast show notes
Episode 5. Feat. Lara Briden ND
Lara is ‘The Period Revolutionary’, a naturopathic physician and world-leader in women’s hormonal health.

5:00 – Lara outlines her early studies and research in evolutionary biology and her background in science as a biologist 25-odd years ago.
6:47 – Women need to ovulate to be healthy!
Most doctors are not thinking about ovulation and health…
7:45 – Is a lot of the blame for poor appreciation of women’s health due to the use of birth control? “[Birth control pills] are castrating women!”
13:00 – Lara discusses possible links between depression and birth control pills.
14:50 – Why was Cliff called ‘the menopause guy’ in the early 2000s (!)
17:00 – How do you approach coming off the pill?
20:00 – Is there a role for the microbiome in the causation and treatment of endometriosis?
21:00 – Cliff and Lara recap some of their debates on the importance or lack thereof for starch in preserving women’s health
25:00 – Cliff agrees that there isn’t ‘one size fits all’ for diet [however he still thinks for most people ‘total fuel availability’ is more important for the preservation of ovulation than the carb content of the diet]
29:20 – Cliff and Lara discuss how to test for insulin resistance as a practitioner
32:30 – How does feeding affect the HPTA axis and hormonal signalling in women’s health
37:00 – Sometimes there can be a disconnect between how you feel and how you’re ovulating…
44:00 – What’s the most important blood measure for health? (Maybe….)
45:00 – Are we just serving the ‘worried well’…and do you need expensive (unvalidated testing)?
47:00 – Lara’s ‘go to’ resources are mostly scientific resources [to read full-text scientific papers for less than $10 a month check out ]
49:00 – “I AM opposed to a vegan diet” – Lara Briden (!!!) 😉
“As a biologist, the vegan diet is not a diet for humans”
[Sorry vegans!]
54:00 – Lara’s tips for staying balanced [Lara is a very busy person and she outlines some of her tips for staying in balance. Tip: a big part of this is to limit social media exposure…]
57:00 – The importance of stepping away from the negativity of social media
58:00 – For our Spanish speaking listeners Lara will be releasing her book in Spanish soon! Stay tuned!

Next up, Lara Briden is one of the featured speakers at HPN 2018 Conference “Innovation and Health and Fitness”
Check out Lara at HPN 2018 along with other speakers Sol Orwell, Julia Rucklidge PhD, Eric Helms PhD, Mikki Williden PhD, Mike Hutcheson PhD (c), Cliff Harvey PhD (c), and Kirsten Beynon MSc.

Check out Lara’s work and coaching
Lara’s latest book The Period Repair Manual:

insta: @larabriden
twitter: @LaraBriden

Remember, Patrons get LIVE access to the Podcast recordings. To become a Patron go to

If you like these articles, check out my Patreon page, where you can donate as little as $1 per month to help support nutrition research and receive exclusive member-only benefits. 

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Monday, October 08, 2018

We're all just a bit f&*%ed up...and that's OK. #MHAW

It's mental health awareness week between Oct 8 - 14, a great time to refocus on what's most important, and what's not. 

A few years back, a client said to me "How do you manage to stay so 'together'?"

I told her that I don't. That I'm a fuck up just like everyone else. And anyone who claims to have their shit 100% together is just trying to sell you something...

I'm smart enough to know that I am good at getting shit done. I am pretty good at what I do (I think) and I think I have a pretty good talent for studying and teaching concepts of health, nutrition, and mind-body medicine.

BUT, the dude that you see giving a talk to a crowd, comfortable, and at ease, funny and jovial, only part of the picture.
The guy you don't see is the person who becomes so nervous about talking to people that he can't pick up the phone when it rings. You don't see the guy who sometimes doesn't leave the house for days on end because he can't face seeing anyone or talking with anyone. You don't see the guy who riddled with self-doubt, obsessed by minutiae to the point of distraction.

You see, I'm good at some things and I work really hard to strive to be even better. But I get messed up from time to time. And that is OK. 
I have bipolar disorder and while I don't want to create a treasured wound, or pathologise myself, or worse, to use it as a means of self-martyrisation, it's important too that more people stand up and proudly acknowledge the totality of who they are, not just the finely curated facade that people create for Instagram and Facebook.

The duality of life is that you can be brilliant at a bunch of things and also be a bit screwed up.
You can be brilliant, but in order to be so, in a way that serves your highest good, you can't do it for anyone else, only for you. For that to occur you have to be honest and humble, you have to respect and honour not just yourself and your journey but others, and the battles they face.
You need to do all of this with the courage to stand up for what is right. But above all, you need to be gentle with yourself. Relax dude, the shit we worry about isn't that important.
Just be kind, to yourself and to the people you see day-by-day, and it'll work out just fine.

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