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New and Exciting in PLoS Community Journals

On Fridays, I take a look at what’s new in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Pathogens, Computational Biology and Genetics. Here are some of my picks for this week:

Neglected Diseases and Poverty in “The Other America”: The Greatest Health Disparity in the United States?:

Large numbers of the poorest Americans living in the United States are suffering from some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The Long and Thorny Road to Publication in Quality Journals:

Within the “Ten Simple Rules” series in PLoS Computational Biology, Dr. Bourne suggests that for younger investigators it is better to publish one paper in a quality journal rather than having multiple papers in lesser journals [1]. While this is certainly advisable, it can be very difficult. Indeed, for young scientists or, more to the point, for researchers with a short record of publications, it may be almost impossible to make their work and themselves visible to a larger scientific community via higher impact journals. A not-too-small share of “seasoned” scientists will argue without malignity that “we experienced similar or the same” and “good researchers will eventually be recognized.” What they imply is that those who continue to provide good science shall be rewarded later, i.e., their papers will eventually find a home in quality journals, thus yielding better chances that the work will have impact. And yet, a much-cited case study ([2]; cited 264 times as of November 18, 2007, according to http://isiwebofknowledge.com/) may illustrate that the road to publication and recognition can be thorny and long for younger and less-recognized scientists.

Computational Biology in Argentina:

Sebastian Bassi and colleagues from the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Buenos Aires, reflect on the identity of the interdisciplinary field of computational biology both generally and specifically in their country, Argentina.

A Tribute to Marcy Carlson Speer, 1959-2007:

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Marcy Carlson Speer, who died on August 4, 2007, at the age of 47 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Marcy was an extremely accomplished scientist who, at the time of her death, was the director of the Duke Center for Human Genetics and chief of the Division of Medical Genetics. During her career, she published 124 articles and 16 book chapters; the topics of her scholarly scientific work ranged from gene mapping and identification to method development in genetic epidemiology and authoritative book chapters on linkage analysis. Over her scientific career, Marcy was the recipient of 24 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants; of these, she was principal investigator of 18.