204,276 research outputs found

    Health Research Access to Personal Confidential Data in England and Wales: Assessing any gap in public attitude between preferable and acceptable models of consent

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    England and Wales are moving toward a model of ‘opt out’ for use of personal confidential data in health research. Existing research does not make clear how acceptable this move is to the public. While people are typically supportive of health research, when asked to describe the ideal level of control there is a marked lack of consensus over the preferred model of consent (e.g. explicit consent, opt out etc.). This study sought to investigate a relatively unexplored difference between the consent model that people prefer and that which they are willing to accept. It also sought to explore any reasons for such acceptance. A mixed methods approach was used to gather data, incorporating a structured questionnaire and in-depth focus group discussions led by an external facilitator. The sampling strategy was designed to recruit people with different involvement in the NHS but typically with experience of NHS services. Three separate focus groups were carried out over three consecutive days. The central finding is that people are typically willing to accept models of consent other than that which they would prefer. Such acceptance is typically conditional upon a number of factors, including: security and confidentiality, no inappropriate commercialisation or detrimental use, transparency, independent overview, the ability to object to any processing considered to be inappropriate or particularly sensitive. This study suggests that most people would find research use without the possibility of objection to be unacceptable. However, the study also suggests that people who would prefer to be asked explicitly before data were used for purposes beyond direct care may be willing to accept an opt out model of consent if the reasons for not seeking explicit consent are accessible to them and they trust that data is only going to be used under conditions, and with safeguards, that they would consider to be acceptable even if not preferable

    The impact of the specialist schools programme on exam results

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    The Government and its agencies have seriously overestimated the impact of the specialist schools programme on educational attainment. The substantially higher exam scores achieved on average by schools with specialist status are due primarily to sample selection bias and not to any benefits flowing from subject specialisation itself. A fixed effects model is used on the panel of maintained secondary schools in England covering the period 1992-2005 to obtain this result. It is found, however, that the specialist schools programme has had beneficial distributional consequences. There is evidence that schools with the highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals have experienced by far the biggest improvement in exam results as a consequence of acquiring specialist status

    An integrated approach to risk assessments and condition surveys

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    This article discusses the integration of risk assessment and collection condition surveys, with reference to the uncertainties inherent in each of these two procedures. While condition surveys provide information on a collection's immediate condition, risk assessments add predictive aspects on the collection's potential for deterioration. Looking at probable causes of damage in a condition assessment can provide a link to the agents of deterioration examined in a risk assessment. Combining these two complementary assessments can provide useful insights and clarify priorities for the collection's management goals. Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of two types of evaluation processes in visual perception, top-down and bottom-up, are discussed as they apply to the integration of the two assessments. Additionally, the article describes the use of an integrated assessment approach for a survey of the English Heritage collections. In conclusion, it was found that integrating condition surveys with risk assessments could increase the knowledge and understanding of current and future expectations of a collection

    SAMP, the Simple Application Messaging Protocol: Letting applications talk to each other

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    SAMP, the Simple Application Messaging Protocol, is a hub-based communication standard for the exchange of data and control between participating client applications. It has been developed within the context of the Virtual Observatory with the aim of enabling specialised data analysis tools to cooperate as a loosely integrated suite, and is now in use by many and varied desktop and web-based applications dealing with astronomical data. This paper reviews the requirements and design principles that led to SAMP's specification, provides a high-level description of the protocol, and discusses some of its common and possible future usage patterns, with particular attention to those factors that have aided its success in practice.Comment: 12 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for Virtual Observatory special issue of Astronomy and Computin

    Observations on Parental Care in the Family Aradidae (Heteroptera).

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    New observations of maternal care by Neuroctenus simplex and N. elongatus are reported