Christine Vogeli, Recai Yucel, Eran Bendavid, Lisa M Jones, Melissa S Anderson, Karen Seashore Louis, Eric G Campbell
Institute for Health Policy, 50 Staniford Street (9th floor), Boston, MA 02114, USA.
PURPOSE To provide the first national data on the nature, extent, and consequences of withholding among life science trainees. METHOD In 2003, the authors surveyed 1,077 second-year doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in life sciences at 50 U.S. universities, with a comparison group of trainees in computer science and chemical engineering. The study variables examined trainees' exposure to and the consequences of data withholding. RESULTS Two hundred forty-six trainees (23.0%) reported that they had asked for and been denied access to information, data, materials, or programming associated with published research and 221 (20.6%) to unpublished research. Eighty-five trainees (7.9%) reported that they had denied another academic scientist's request(s) related to their own published research. Five hundred thirty-three trainees (50.8%) reported that withholding had had a negative effect on the progress of their research, 508 (48.5%) on the rate of discovery in their lab/research group, 472 (45.0%) on the quality of their relationships with academic scientists, 346 (33.0%) on the quality of their education, and 299 (28.5%) on the level of communication in their lab/research group. Trainees denied access to research were significantly more likely to report that data withholding had had a negative effect on several aspects of the educational experience. CONCLUSIONS Data withholding had demonstrated negative effects on trainees. The life sciences, more so than chemical engineering or computer science, will have to address this issue among its trainees. Failure to do so could result in delayed research, inefficient training, and a culture of withholding among future life scientists.
PLoS One. 2011 ;6 (7):e18657 21765886
Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Many initiatives encourage investigators to share their raw datasets in hopes of increasing research efficiency and quality. Despite these investments of time and money, we do not have a firm grasp of who openly shares raw research data, who doesn't, and which initiatives are correlated with high rates of data sharing. In this analysis I use bibliometric methods to identify patterns in the frequency with which investigators openly archive their raw gene expression microarray datasets after study publication.Automated methods identified 11,603 articles published between 2000 and 2009 that describe the creation of gene expression microarray data. Associated datasets in best-practice repositories were found for 25% of these articles, increasing from less than 5% in 2001 to 30%-35% in 2007-2009. Accounting for sensitivity of the automated methods, approximately 45% of recent gene expression studies made their data publicly available.First-order factor analysis on 124 diverse bibliometric attributes of the data creation articles revealed 15 factors describing authorship, funding, institution, publication, and domain environments. In multivariate regression, authors were most likely to share data if they had prior experience sharing or reusing data, if their study was published in an open access journal or a journal with a relatively strong data sharing policy, or if the study was funded by a large number of NIH grants. Authors of studies on cancer and human subjects were least likely to make their datasets available.These results suggest research data sharing levels are still low and increasing only slowly, and data is least available in areas where it could make the biggest impact. Let's learn from those with high rates of sharing to embrace the full potential of our research output.
Health Law Institute, University of Alberta, Canada. email@example.com
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Am J Med Qual. 2012 Oct 12;: 23064095
Characteristics of Primary Care Safety-Net Providers and Their Quality Improvement Attitudes and Activities: Results of a National Survey of Physician Professionalism.
Lenny Lopez, Catherine M Desroches, Christine Vogeli, Richard W Grant, Lisa I Iezzoni, Eric G Campbell
No current national data exist to characterize safety-net physicians and their attitudes toward and participation in quality improvement activities compared with non-safety-net physicians. The authors conducted a national random sample survey of internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics primary care physicians (PCPs) and used weighted multivariable regression models to assess attitudes and participation in quality improvement activities. After multivariable adjustment, there were no significant differences in provider attitudes about or participation in quality improvement activities between safety-net and non-safety-net physicians. However, safety-net providers were almost twice as likely to look for racial/ethnic disparities in care within their practices and are as likely to be involved in quality improvement activities as non-safety-net providers; their attitudes are consistent with providing equitable and universal care. Increasing access by expanding Medicaid eligibility will require continued investment in the number and training of safety-net PCPs.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
The Charter on Medical Professionalism, endorsed by more than 100 professional groups worldwide and the US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, requires openness and honesty in physicians' communication with patients. We present data from a 2009 survey of 1,891 practicing physicians nationwide assessing how widely physicians endorse and follow these principles in communicating with patients. The vast majority of physicians completely agreed that physicians should fully inform patients about the risks and benefits of interventions and should never disclose confidential information to unauthorized persons. Overall, approximately one-third of physicians did not completely agree with disclosing serious medical errors to patients, almost one-fifth did not completely agree that physicians should never tell a patient something untrue, and nearly two-fifths did not completely agree that they should disclose their financial relationships with drug and device companies to patients. Just over one-tenth said they had told patients something untrue in the previous year. Our findings raise concerns that some patients might not receive complete and accurate information from their physicians, and doubts about whether patient-centered care is broadly possible without more widespread physician endorsement of the core communication principles of openness and honesty with patients.
Eric G Campbell, Sowmya R Rao, Catherine M DesRoches, Lisa I Iezzoni, Christine Vogeli, Dragana Bolcic-Jankovic, Paola D Miralles
Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford St, Ninth Floor, Boston, MA 02114, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND One tenet of medical professionalism is managing conflicts of interest related to physician-industry relationships (PIRs). Since 2004 much has been done at the institutional, state, and national levels to limit PIRs. This study estimates the nature, extent, consequences, and changes in PIRs nationally. METHODS We performed a national survey of a stratified random sample of 2938 primary care physicians (internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics) and specialists (cardiology, general surgery, psychiatry, and anesthesiology). A total of 1891 physicians completed the survey, yielding an overall response rate of 64.4%. The main outcome measure was prevalence of several types of PIRs and comparison with PIRs in 2004. RESULTS Overall, 83.8% of all respondents reported some type of relationship with industry during the previous year. Approximately two-thirds (63.8%) received drug samples, 70.6% food and beverages, 18.3% reimbursements, and 14.1% payments for professional services. Since 2004 the percentage of each of these benefits has decreased significantly. Higher rates of PIRs are significantly and inversely associated with low levels of Medicare spending. CONCLUSION Among a random sample of physicians, the prevalence of self-reported PIRs in 2009 was 83.8%, which was lower than in 2004.
Physicians' perceptions, preparedness for reporting, and experiences related to impaired and incompetent colleagues.
Catherine M DesRoches, Sowmya R Rao, John A Fromson, Robert J Birnbaum, Lisa Iezzoni, Christine Vogeli, Eric G Campbell
Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford St, Ste 900, Boston, MA 02114, USA. email@example.com
Catherine M DesRoches, Eric G Campbell, Christine Vogeli, Jie Zheng, Sowmya R Rao, Alexandra E Shields, Karen Donelan, Sara Rosenbaum, Steffanie J Bristol, Ashish K Jha
Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding whether electronic health records, as currently adopted, improve quality and efficiency has important implications for how best to employ the estimated $20 billion in health information technology incentives authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We examined electronic health record adoption in U.S. hospitals and the relationship to quality and efficiency. Across a large number of metrics examined, the relationships were modest at best and generally lacked statistical or clinical significance. However, the presence of clinical decision support was associated with small quality gains. Our findings suggest that to drive substantial gains in quality and efficiency, simply adopting electronic health records is likely to be insufficient. Instead, policies are needed that encourage the use of electronic health records in ways that will lead to improvements in care.
Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital.
THE EFFECTS OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST on the conduct of human research have been roundly debated, but less attention has been paid to the role of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) in their identification and management. Government and private policy recommendations disagree about IRBs' responsibility in this area. A survey focusing on respondents' attitudes and behaviors regarding consideration of investigator and institutional financial relationships with industry when reviewing research protocols was mailed to a random sample of 893 IRB members and 316 IRB chairs at 115 academic institutions (response rates of 67% and 72%, respectively). More than half of IRB members and chairs felt that industry relationships posed a moderate or big problem for research integrity nationally, and about one-third thought such relationships were a problem at their own institution. Approximately two-thirds felt that investigator-industry relationships should be considered when reviewing protocols regardless of whether they are deemed to be conflicts of interest. While more than 90% of IRB members and chairs believed that investigators' relationships should be disclosed to research participants, 61% of members and chairs reported that these relationships were not always disclosed to participants. While more than 80% believed that institutional relationships should be disclosed to research participants, only 39% of members and chairs said this happened all the time. Some beliefs of IRB members and chairs are at odds with recommendations to limit the role of IRBs in the management of potential investigator conflicts. Lack of unambiguous guidelines has led to inconsistent practices among IRBs.
Policies and management of conflicts of interest within medical research institutional review boards: results of a national study.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Institute for Health Policy, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02038, USA. email@example.com
PURPOSE To examine institutional review board (IRB) policies and practices with regard to conflicts of interest (COIs) among IRB members who review and approve research protocols and to assess IRB policies and procedures in light of federal policies and guidance. METHOD An anonymous survey of IRB chairs serving the most research-intensive medical institutions in the United States was conducted in fall 2005. The survey collected information about the chairs, the IRBs, and the processes IRBs had in place to manage member relationships and COIs. RESULTS Two hundred eleven out of 296 eligible chairs responded (71.7%). One third of IRBs in the nation's medical schools and major academic medical centers did not require voting members to disclose relationships with industry. In practice, IRB member industry relationships were disclosed to the entire IRB (75.9%), the IRB chair (62.1%), and/or a group or entity separate from the IRB but within the institution it serves (52.5%). One in five chairs of IRBs did not feel confident that their IRB's policies and procedures ensured appropriate disclosure of industry relationships in every case. Finally, one in four IRBs did not have written policies defining appropriate actions when IRB member COIs were identified. CONCLUSIONS The relatively high proportion of IRBs without a requirement that voting members disclose industry relationships is inconsistent with current guidance, and likely results in lapses in awareness of when members with conflicts vote on protocols. There was no clear consensus on where oversight responsibility for member-industry relationships should lie.
Mass General Physicians Organization, Boston, USA.
Efforts to increase accountability in the delivery of care include attempts to measure performance of individual doctors. Although physician specialty societies may be best positioned to define best practices, they have not yet played a major role in the development of measures. We examined specialty society involvement in measure development through interviews and review of Web sites. We found that a minority (35 percent) of societies were engaged in developing performance measures. Key barriers included member reluctance, lack of resources for development, and problems with data collection; facilitators included strong leadership and the perception of increasing pressure for accountability.
Eric G Campbell, Joel S Weissman, Christine Vogeli, Brian R Clarridge, Melissa Abraham, Jessica E Marder, Greg Koski
Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND Little is known about the nature, extent, and consequences of financial relationships between industry and institutional review board (IRB) members in academic institutions. We surveyed IRB members about such relationships. METHODS We surveyed a random sample of 893 IRB members at 100 academic institutions (response rate, 67.2%). The questionnaire focused on the financial relationships that the members had with industry (e.g., employment, membership on boards, consulting, receipt of royalties, and paid speaking). RESULTS We found that 36% of IRB members had had at least one relationship with industry in the past year. Of the respondents, 85.5% said they never thought that the relationships that another IRB member had with industry affected his or her IRB-related decisions in an inappropriate way, 11.9% said they thought this occurred rarely, 2.4% thought it occurred sometimes, and 0.2% thought it occurred often. Seventy-eight respondents (15.1%) reported that at least one protocol came before their IRB during the previous year that was sponsored either by a company with which they had a relationship or by a competitor of that company, both of which could be considered conflicts of interest. Of these 78 members (62 voting members and 16 nonvoting members), 57.7% reported that they always disclosed the relationship to an IRB official, 7.7% said they sometimes did, 11.5% said they rarely did, and 23.1% said they never did. Of the 62 voting members who reported conflicts, 64.5% reported that they never voted on the protocol, 4.8% said they rarely did, 11.3% said they sometimes did, and 19.4% said they always did. Most respondents reported that the views of IRB members who had experience working with industry were beneficial in reviewing industry-sponsored protocols. CONCLUSIONS Relationships between IRB members and industry are common, and members sometimes participate in decisions about protocols sponsored by companies with which they have a financial relationship. Current regulations and policies should be examined to be sure that there is an appropriate way to handle conflicts of interest stemming from relationships with industry.
David Blumenthal, Eric G Campbell, Manjusha Gokhale, Recai Yucel, Brian Clarridge, Stephen Hilgartner, Neil A Holtzman
Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System, 50 Staniford St., Boston, MA 02114, USA. email@example.com
PURPOSE To better understand the variety and prevalence of data withholding in genetics and the other life sciences and to explore factors associated with these behaviors. METHOD In 2000, a sample of 2,893 geneticists and other life scientists (OLS) at the 100 most research-intensive universities in the United States were surveyed concerning data withholding and sharing. The instrument was developed and pretested in 1999. The two primary outcome measures were withholding in verbal exchanges with colleagues about unpublished research (verbal withholding) and withholding as part of the publishing process (publishing withholding). The independent variables related to the personal characteristics, research characteristics of faculty, and previous experience with data withholding. RESULTS A total of 1,849 faculty responded (64%): 1,240 geneticists and 600 OLS. Forty-four percent of geneticists and 32% of OLS reported participating in any one of 13 forms of data withholding in the three previous years. Publishing withholding (geneticists 35%, OLS 25%) was more frequent than verbal withholding (geneticists 23%, OLS 12%). In multivariate analyses, male gender, participation in relationships with industry, mentors' discouraging data sharing, receipt of formal instruction in data sharing, and negative past experience with sharing were significantly associated with either verbal or publishing withholding among either geneticists or OLS. CONCLUSIONS Data withholding is common in biomedical science, takes multiple forms, is influenced by a variety of characteristics of investigators and their training, and varies by field of science. Encouraging openness during the formative experiences of young investigators may be critical to increased data sharing, but the effects of formal training do not appear straightforward.
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AJOB Prim Res. 2012 ;3 (3):40-50 22866239
Barriers to Considering Ethical and Societal Implications of Research: Perceptions of Life Scientists.
BACKGROUND: As part of an empirical study investigating how life scientists think about ethical and societal implications of their work, and about life science research in general, we sought to elucidate barriers that scientists might face in considering such implications. METHOD: Between 2005 and 2007, we conducted a study consisting of phone interviews, focus groups, and a national survey of life scientists at biomedical research institutions. The study population included graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, clinical instructors, and research staff. We analyzed data through qualitative and quantitative methods. RESULTS: In analyzing the data, we found that life scientists do, in fact, face barriers to considering ethical and societal implications of research. We categorized these barriers as falling into four broad domains:(1) lack of awareness of ethical and societal implications;(2) lack of relevance of such concerns to their specific research;(3) self-confidence in their ability to resolve such concerns; and (4) aspects of the daily practice of science itself. CONCLUSIONS: Life science researchers experience elements inherent in their training and in the conduct of science as barriers to thinking about ethical and societal implications related to their work. These findings suggest areas in which research ethics educators, bioethicists, and the scientific community can focus their efforts to improve social and ethical accountability in research.
FASEB J. 2010 Dec ;24 (12):4635-8 20686108
Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, 45110, Greece. firstname.lastname@example.org
University leaders aim to protect, shape, and promote the missions of their institutions. I evaluated whether top highly cited scientists are likely to occupy these positions. Of the current leaders of 96 U.S. high research activity universities, only 6 presidents or chancellors were found among the 4009 U.S. scientists listed in the ISIHighlyCited.com database. Of the current leaders of 77 UK universities, only 2 vice-chancellors were found among the 483 UK scientists listed in the same database. In a sample of 100 top-cited clinical medicine scientists and 100 top-cited biology and biochemistry scientists, only 1 and 1, respectively, had served at any time as president of a university. Among the leaders of 25 U.S. universities with the highest citation volumes, only 12 had doctoral degrees in life, natural, physical or computer sciences, and 5 of these 12 had a Hirsch citation index m < 1.0. The participation of highly cited scientists in the top leadership of universities is limited. This could have consequences for the research and overall mission of universities.
University of Tampere, Department of Nursing Science, Finland. email@example.com
Evidence-based nursing practices using the latest knowledge require nursing education and further education based on the latest research findings. Anyhow, research utilisation by nursing teachers is poorly known. The aim of this study was to assess research utilisation by nursing teachers and connections of teachers background, further education and research activity variables to research utilisation on nursing education. A descriptive, cross-sectional survey design was used. A structured questionnaire specifically designed for this study which focused on research utilisation by nursing teachers were used. Data were collected from all nursing schools in Finland using a survey via the Internet. Participating nursing teachers totaled 339, with a response rate of 46%. The mean age of teachers was 51years and most had master's degrees, although 12% had a licentiate or PhD. Most nursing teachers had taken further education, were members of research and development teams and had publications. Research utilisation in nursing teaching was connected to teachers age, nursing diploma, academic degree, work experience, official title, further education, research and development activities and publication activity. Conclusion is that nursing teachers with doctoral degrees make better use of research on nursing education than those with master's degrees.
The practice of reporting transfusion-related acute lung injury: a national survey among clinical and preclinical disciplines.
Alexander P J Vlaar, Kim Wortel, Jan M Binnekade, Marinus H J van Oers, Erik Beckers, Ognjen Gajic, Marcus J Schultz, Nicole P Juffermans
Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Department of Hematology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is hypothesized to be a "two-hit" entity, in which an inflammatory condition (e.g., sepsis) predisposes to TRALI. TRALI is a clinical diagnosis. Disciplines involved in managing TRALI may differ in decision-making on the reporting of TRALI. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A survey was conducted among critical care physicians, hematologists, hemovigilance workers, and transfusion medicine physicians, using case vignettes and a questionnaire. The vignettes varied in patient- and blood product-related factors that may influence the decision to report a TRALI case. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed. A positive beta-coefficient is in favor of reporting. RESULTS Ninety-two questionnaires were returned (response rate, 68%). For all disciplines, preferences in favor of reporting TRALI were onset of symptoms within 1 hour (beta = 0.4), after transfusion of a single unit of FFP (beta = 0.5), and in the absence of acute lung injury before transfusion (beta = 1.3). An admission diagnosis of sepsis was a negative preference (beta =-0.3). Massive transfusion (6 RBC plus 4 FFP units) was a negative preference for transfusion medicine physicians (beta =-0.3), but a positive preference for the other disciplines. The questionnaire revealed that massive transfusion and the age of blood products were considered relatively more important reasons to report TRALI by critical care physicians compared to the other disciplines (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION A pretransfusion inflammatory condition is a reason to withhold from reporting of a suspected TRALI case. Disciplines involved in managing TRALI differ in decision-making of reporting TRALI, which may contribute to variance in incidence.
Department of Design and Building Construction, The Institute of Architecture and Design, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13, 253-5, 1040 Vienna, Austria. email@example.com
Engineers, designers and architects often look to nature for inspiration. The research on 'natural constructions' is aiming at innovation and the improvement of architectural quality. The introduction of life sciences terminology in the context of architecture delivers new perspectives towards innovation in architecture and design. The investigation is focused on the analogies between nature and architecture. Apart from other principles that are found in living nature, an interpretation of the so-called 'signs of life', which characterize living systems, in architecture is presented. Selected architectural projects that have applied specific characteristics of life, whether on purpose or not, will show the state of development in this field and open up future challenges. The survey will include famous built architecture as well as students' design programs, which were carried out under supervision of the author at the Department of Design and Building Construction at the Vienna University of Technology.
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
We analyzed longitudinal data on academic careers and conducted interviews with faculty members to determine the scope and causes of the gender gap in patenting among life scientists. Our regressions on a random sample of 4227 life scientists over a 30-year period show that women faculty members patent at about 40% of the rate of men. We found that the gender gap has improved over time but remains large.
Inquiry-based undergraduate teaching in the life sciences at large research universities: a perspective on the Boyer Commission Report.
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, 347 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0347, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The 1998 Boyer Commission Report advocated improvement of undergraduate education at large research universities through large-scale participation of undergraduates in the universities' research mission. At a recent conference sponsored by the Reinvention Center, which is dedicated to furthering the goals of the Boyer Commission, participants discussed progress toward these goals and recommendations for future action. A breakout group representing the life sciences concluded that independent research experience for every undergraduate may not be feasible or desirable but that transformation of lecture courses to more inquiry-based and interactive formats can effectively further the Commission's goals.
Eric G Campbell, Brian R Clarridge, Manjusha Gokhale, Lauren Birenbaum, Stephen Hilgartner, Neil A Holtzman, David Blumenthal
Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA. email@example.com
CONTEXT The free and open sharing of information, data, and materials regarding published research is vital to the replication of published results, the efficient advancement of science, and the education of students. Yet in daily practice, the ideal of free sharing is often breached. OBJECTIVE To understand the nature, extent, and consequences of data withholding in academic genetics. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Mailed survey (March-July 2000) of geneticists and other life scientists in the 100 US universities that received the most funding from the National Institutes of Health in 1998. Of a potential 3000 respondents, 2893 were eligible and 1849 responded, yielding an overall response rate of 64%. We analyzed a subsample of 1240 self-identified geneticists and made a limited number of comparisons with 600 self-identified nongeneticists. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Percentage of faculty who made requests for data that were denied; percentage of respondents who denied requests; influences on and consequences of withholding data; and changes over time in perceived willingness to share data. RESULTS Forty-seven percent of geneticists who asked other faculty for additional information, data, or materials regarding published research reported that at least 1 of their requests had been denied in the preceding 3 years. Ten percent of all postpublication requests for additional information were denied. Because they were denied access to data, 28% of geneticists reported that they had been unable to confirm published research. Twelve percent said that in the previous 3 years, they had denied another academician's request for data concerning published results. Among geneticists who said they had intentionally withheld data regarding their published work, 80% reported that it required too much effort to produce the materials or information; 64%, that they were protecting the ability of a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or junior faculty member to publish; and 53%, that they were protecting their own ability to publish. Thirty-five percent of geneticists said that sharing had decreased during the last decade; 14%, that sharing had increased. Geneticists were as likely as other life scientists to deny others' requests (odds ratio [OR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-2.40) and to have their own requests denied (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.69-1.40). However, other life scientists were less likely to report that withholding had a negative impact on their own research as well as their field of research. CONCLUSIONS Data withholding occurs in academic genetics and it affects essential scientific activities such as the ability to confirm published results. Lack of resources and issues of scientific priority may play an important role in scientists' decisions to withhold data, materials, and information from other academic geneticists.
Adv Space Res. 1994 ;14 (8):439-46 11537954
BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309, USA.
Four different educational programs impacting Space Life Sciences are described: the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program, the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) Program, the Centers for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) Program, and the NASA Graduate Research Fellow Program. Each program makes somewhat different demands on the students engaged in them. Each program, at the University of Colorado, involves Space Life Sciences training. While the Graduate Student Research Fellow and NSCORT Programs are discipline oriented, the Advanced Design and CCDS Programs are focused on design, technologies and applications. Clearly, the "training paradigms" differ for these educational endeavors. But, these paradigms can be made to mutually facilitate enthusiasm and motivation. Discipline-oriented academic programs, ideally, must be flexible enough to accommodate the emergent cross-disciplinary needs of Space Life Sciences students. Models for such flexibility and resultant student performance levels are discussed based upon actual academic and professional records.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute, Troy, New York 12180-3590, USA. Anderk4@rpi.edu
The author and associates surveyed 1,300 college students in classrooms at eight academic institutions to identify how the students' use of the Internet has affected their social or academic lives. Although the typical Internet-using student uses the Internet for 100 minutes per day, a small group of students use the Internet to a degree that interferes with other aspects of their lives. Most of them are men and are found among the hard science academic majors. Some ideas for dealing with this problem are suggested.