When research is completed, its results don’t just stay in academic hallways – they end up being shared with other researchers, healthcare professionals and you, the public.
In part 1 of this blog, we’ll bare how researchers, including our group, share findings amongst themselves. This is a crucial step in science and without it, we would not be able to receive useful feedback from other researchers and would have much fewer opportunities to form new collaborations. Without this step, the progress in science would be stifled!
The main way to share research findings with other researchers is by publishing a study report in a scientific journal, which is typically read by other researchers and healthcare professionals around the globe. But, let’s back up a bit. Before sending our study report to a journal, we often present it at an international conference attended by other researchers and healthcare professionals.
First, we send a mini study description, called an abstract, to the conference leaders in hopes that it gets selected from thousands of other abstracts for a presentation. The conference leaders put together a group of experts who review all of the abstracts, but select only those studies that were according to the highest scientific standards and provide new information. This selection process is known as a peer-review. After weeks of waiting, we receive an email that lets us know whether or not our abstract got selected, and if the answer is “yes”, we then prepare for a presentation.
The BEST PART about these conference presentations is the passionate discussions that follow them! The conversations first start in the presentation rooms. This is where researchers present their work and the audience members ask questions and provide feedback, tips and ideas. Then, the conversations spill over to the coffee counters in the conference hallways, sidewalks and park benches, and phone calls, emails and in-person exchanges lasting years and even decades.
This is how we grow research collaborations ORGANICALLY. This is also how researchers, especially the young ones who are still in training, get to meet their peers and more established researchers and receive tips that help them write a better report for a scientific journal.
Our Osteoporosis Program at the University Health Network has just returned from one of the biggest conferences in the world that focuses on bone health. It is hosted every fall by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Our group’s researchers, doctors and trainees attend this conference and present our home-grown studies, which are selected year after year from thousands of reviewed studies. This year, we were honoured to present the following topics:
- Vitamin K supplementation and bone health in older women with low vitamin K levels
- Body frailty and fractures: roles of muscle and bone
- Effects of heparin, a blood-clot medication, on women’s skeleton
- Changes in bone on a high-resolution CT scan in people with arthritis of the spine
- Bone density testing in kidney disease patients not yet on dialysis
- A new way to improve the accuracy of bone CT scan
- Osteoporosis treatment in men living in nursing homes
- Characteristics of atypical thigh fractures on an x-ray and under the microscope
- Complications of atypical thigh fractures identified by various tools
- Similarities between atypical fractures occuring at both thighs
- Issues with the treatment of atypical thigh fractures
- Early detection atypical thigh fractures
Let us know if you have any questions or comments about what we shared with you here. In part 2 of this blog, we will impart how our research findings get shared with other healthcare professionals to help enhance patient care.
By Dr Luba Slatkovska and Kevin Chia
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