19 November 2008

Google gets into Nature

Following on from the launch of Google Flu Trends, reported to the tune of much oohing and aahing (and probably hmming among technophobes) last week, it appears the application has bagged Google a space in a major international science journal.

I opened my Nature press release just now to find 'Google Flu Trends' spluttered all over it. So forget beardy professors - you can email 'Jeremy G' [at] Google.com to find out more about the application. (But I think I'd rather speak to his co-author on the paper... Larry Brilliant - brilliant.)

To be fair, Jeremy's other publications do apparently include 'Anticoagulant treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism' and 'Withdrawal, recovery, and long-term sequelae of gamma-butyrolactone dependence', so it's not as if he's just some wacky net nerd. Still, I never thought I'd see the day Google made it into Nature. Maybe there's hope for my science podcasts thesis yet...

2 comments:

Gunther Eysenbach said...

I published the exact same finding already a few years ago:

G. Eysenbach. Infodemiology: Tracking Flu-Related Searches on the Web for Syndromic Surveillance. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2006; 2006: 244–248 : http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1839505

I have been talking about this for years, also at the CDC (coauthors on this paper). My efforts to get this published in major journals have not been successful (editors of Science or Nature didn't even send this out for peer-review).


Ironically, in October 2005, I sent a prepublication inquiry to Nature Medicine if they would be interested in a full paper about this (predicting flu epidemics from Google searches) – it was declined without peer-review. The full reply is posted at my blog . I wonder what has changed between then and now? Or is it just the fact that these authors are affiliated with Google and CDC, while I am not?

Hayley said...

Really? I work for Nature Biotech so probably shouldn't say too much more, but someone should do a little digging here...