You wait a while for a bus then two come at once. So it seemed it is with papers, when Emerging Infectious Diseases published two of my articles yesterday. One is a letter looking at google searches for influenza, H1N1, etc, against time, and then comparing these to an actual measure of influenza activity (acute respiratory infections in the polyclinics). Not really much relation: big spikes in the number of searches after newsworthy events, not much search activity during the outbreak itself. Previous papers had suggested internet searches are a good proxy for flu surveillance, but we suggest otherwise.
Disappointingly, I wasn’t able to sneak the simplified Chinese search terms we also tried into figure caption: the copyeditors were quick to remove this. 🙁
PS The other article was about H1N1 seroconversions in health care workers.
PPS A question was raised about how to abbreviate names with just one letter: often in acknowledgments, a name like Alex Richard Cook would be abbreviated A.R.C. for short, right? Well, one co-author is called Mark I-Cheng Chen. And they (the copy editor and Mark himself) wanted to abbreviate this M.I.-C.C. but I don’t think this is right, as the I isn’t short for anything, and so doesn’t need an abbreviating full stop. Comments on this trivium welcome.