How are results evaluated?
The results of the auto-crawling and the manual searches are scanned by a group of volunteers who systematically assess the Scientific Relevance, Methodological Quality, and Bibliometric Impact of the results. Scientific Relevance is defined as the closeness of the publication to the study of altered states of consciousness (direct reference; indirect reference; no reference). Methodological Quality is concerned with the methods that applied in the publication (‘hard’-scientific approach – e.g. controlled experiment, review article, professional criticism; General scholarly approach – e.g. uncontrolled data acquisition, theoretical discussion, discussion of general questions; non-scientific approach). Bibliometric Impact evaluates the rank score of the journal (if applicable) in which the piece was published. The three criteria are assessed on point-based scales. The sum of the points from all three criteria determines whether or not the publication will be included in the ASC Study Monitor.
How are the Disciplines in the ASC Study Monitor defined?
To enhance the usability of the ASC Study Monitor, we created a system by which we tag newly added publications with one or several discipline tags. The disciplines were defined as follows:
Psychology: Effects of non-pharmacological practices and altered states of consciousness on behavior and mental processes including perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, phenomenology, motivation, and personality
Psychopharmacology: Effects of psychedelics drugs, practices, on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior (psychological variables; incl. behavioral animal tests)
Neuropharmacology: Effects of psychedelics drugs on cellular function, and the neural mechanisms through which they influence behavior (incl. brain imaging + pharmacological tests in animals)
Pharmacology: Biochemical and physiological effects of psychedelics drugs on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism (outside the central nervous system); Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of psychedelic drugs (Incl. toxicology and forensic science)
Neuroscience: Effects of non-pharmacological practices and altered states such as NDEs on the central nervous system (neurons and neural circuits)
Philosophy: Philosophical topics such as philosophical and applied ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science
Cognitive Science: Publications featuring theories from cognitive science
Cultural Studies: Publications addressing psychedelic states or related phenomena in contexts of cultural practices and their medial representations
Chemistry: Chemical, not strictly pharmacological publications (e.g. on the synthesis and discrimination of specific substances)