Consider a rodent study that uses a high fat diet to induce obesity. What do the results represent? Do they model the effects of all high fat diets in humans? Do the results provide insights into the effects of obesity? Or should we limit the scope of inference to consider only that specific diet within rodents?
The use of language in communicating research results can influence the way others interpret them. Analyzing the use of language in research reporting can be a time-consuming task, though, which can be difficult to automate because it often requires human judgment. The Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently awarded me a $25,000 Early Career Study Award to explore using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to crowdsource the evaluation of language used in scientific publications.