Displaying posts tagged with

“science publication”

PLoS-1 published a “creationist” paper: some thoughts on what followed

As everyone knows by now, PloS-1 published what seemed to be a creationist paper. While references to the ‘Creator’ were few, the wording of the paper strongly supported intelligent design in human hand development. A later statement from the first author seemed to eschew actual creationism, but maintained teleological (if not theological) view of evolution, […]

Open Access: green vs. gold, and the culture of the disconnect

Four years ago I wrote about how Open Access would be adopted if it were convenient. Polls at the time showed that few scientists actively seek to publish OA, even though many support it. Reasons given, in no particular order: aiming for journals that were not OA and high publication fees. My conclusion was that researchers […]

Why not use the Journal Impact Factor: a Seven Point Primer

After a series of tweets and a couple of Facebook posts about the problems of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), I was approached by a colleague who asked me: “so why are you obsessed with this”?  My answer was that it irks me that I have to use the JIF next to my publications in […]

Minor revisions only

  A new journal, Molecular Metabolism has the following policies: one week for reviews, and three possible outcomes only: Reject, Accept, or Minor Revision. Good for them on both decisions. Bonus: your editors are  Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange and Mr. Pink. And they are professionals (although they may not tip).  

Group review, continued

I love it when other people use my ideas, especially before I think them up. After my previous post advocating group review of scientific articles, it was pointed out to me that two journals are already using group reviews to referee their papers. One is Frontiers (which is a collection of journals, rather than a […]

Group review of papers?

So I’ve been catching up on my paper reviewing duties this weekend. To those outside the Ivory Outhouse, “reviewing a paper” means “anonymously criticizing a research article considered for publication in a scientific journal”. (For those of you familiar with the process, you can jump to the text after the first figure.) Here’s how science […]


I didn’t have a clever title. “PeerJ: a new kid on the block” was already taken by Bora Zivkovic.  “PeerJ: Publish there or suffer” is aggressively counterproductive. “PeerJ is awesome”. Meh. So: PeerJ. A new open access scientific journal. PeerJ is the brainchild of Peter Binfield who was the managing editor of PLoS-one, and  Jason Hoyt who […]

Can we make accountable research software?

Preamble: this post is inspired by a series of tweets that took place over the past couple of days. I am indebted to Luis Pedro Coelho (@LuisPedroCoelho) and to Robert Buels (@rbuels) for a stimulating, 140-char-at-a-time discussion. Finally, my thanks (and yours, hopefully) to Ben Temperton for initiating the Bioinformatics Testing Consortium. Science is messing around with […]

Taming the Impact Factor

Quite a bit has been written about how the journal impact factor (JIF) is a bad metric. The JIF is supposed to measure a journal’s impact using a formula that normalizes the number of cited articles in  a given time frame (typically a year). It is calculated exclusively by Thomson-Reuters, and is trademarked by this […]

Does Open Access benefit small universities?

There has been quite a lot of chatter recently about different scientific publishing models. Prompted by Elsevier’s support for the Research Works Act, and the resulting proposed  academic boycott. Let there be no mistake: I value the Open Access (OA )model of publication, for both moral and practical reasons that have been elaborated upon in […]

Rumors of The Scientist’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The Scientist is one of my favorite go-to destinations for keeping up with current biomedical research. That’s why I was rather sad when it was recently announced that The Scientist will be closing down. However, it seems like The Scientist will continue to be published after all:   NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Oct 14, 2011) – […]

Coconut headphones in science publishing

  After WWII, Pacific islands occupied by the US military were regularly receiving goods via air. Once the military evacuated , the goods stopped arriving. Some inhabitants of those islands mistakenly thought that receiving the cargo was due to some divine intervention that required rituals they saw American servicemen performing. This eventually led them to […]

Guest Post: Thoughts on the Superjournal

Guest post by Leighton Pritchard The new top-tier competitor to Science and Nature proposed by three leading funders of scientific research last week is a great idea, but I think runs a risk of opening the scientific process to a potentially damaging slander by opponents of science. As practising academic scientists we’re all concerned, and […]

Suggest a name for the next BIG journal

The Max Planck society, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Wellcome Trust have announced their plans for a new journal for biomedical and life science research to be launched summer 2012. From the joint press release: The journal will employ an open and transparent peer review process in which papers will be accepted or rejected as […]

Free science books!

  The National Academies Press are offering all their books in PDF format for free. The announcement yesterday created a serious traffic surge on their site. But the books are still there, and are still free. Got to buy that new 5Tb external disk now….