Explain It Like I’m Five: 5335 Days of Implementation Science

Spread the science

Our Advisory Board member Dr. Victoria Scott and I (Jonathan) recently put out an article on some of the methods we use here at PubTrawlr. We also both have kids in elementary school. How might we explain our work to them?

Explain It Like I’m Five. 

When scientists find out something new, they want to share what they’ve learned with more people. To do this, they write down what they’ve done.

There are a lot of scientists out there. Imagine if you tried to read 100 books. It would take a long time. What if you had 1,000 new books every month? If you’d rather not think about that, we don’t blame you…

Good news is, computers can help us with this problem! They can read the books really fast, then tell us what they were about.

Victoria and I used a computer to read all the things scientists talked about in Implementation Science. This is a type of magazine for scientists called a journal. The computer read over 1,700 things!

First, we looked at what people said the most. A lot of the time, scientists were looking at things to help make people better. Scientists also looked at ways that people could do their jobs better.

We also looked at all the different things that people talked about. Sometimes, scientists wrote about how science works. Other times, scientists wrote about specific diseases and things that make people sick. Overall, scientists wrote about 30 different things. This chart shows the different words that describe each of those things.

But what scientists have written about has changed over time. A few years ago, scientists in this journal used to write a lot about the types of doctors you see when you are sick. These days, they are writing more about how we know different things work.


To read the much more jargon-filled article, check it out at this link.

5335 days of Implementation Science: using natural language processing to examine publication trends and topics

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