Over a year ago I threatened to perform some original research and publish it on my blog. I got as far as writing an introduction to the project, but I never actually posted any data. I know, I suck.I had hoped to make the project simple enough that people could follow along. The problem was the available data were not in a form that would be accessible for most readers. So, I’ve held off until now. But the appropriate data have now been deposited in Genbank, so I can continue the series.

Over the next couple of days I’ll post the previously published entries, and they will be followed by the subsequent new entries. I’m hoping to walk through this slowly enough that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can mimic what I’m doing. I’ll cover retrieving sequence data from Genbank and analyzing those data using various techniques from molecular evolution. It’s molecular evolution for the masses.


  1. #1 TR Gregory
    September 26, 2007

    If this is purely an educational demonstration, then I’m all for it. If it is meant to circumvent peer review, I have to be very strongly opposed. It’s one thing if people discuss peer reviewed research on blogs (and even here there are challenges), but presenting new work without subjecting it to peer review is not something I would want to see develop in this medium.

  2. #2 Coturnix
    September 26, 2007

    Excellent. This is pre-peer review. One can do it on Nature Precedings. Or use blogs or wikis like Rosie Radfield and Jean-Claude Bradley labs to post daily lab notebooks. Or one can do it in a more organized fashion as you are suggesting you’ll be doing. Most journals (including Nature and PLoS) do not consider this to be prepublished, thus, once the work, with a help from your commenters, becomes ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, you just go for it.

  3. #3 RPM
    September 26, 2007

    It’s purely educational. It’s not pre-peer-review. I don’t intend to publish any of this anywhere else.

  4. #4 Coturnix
    September 26, 2007

    In that case, there is absolutely no concern stopping you from doing this.

  5. #5 TR Gregory
    September 26, 2007

    Fair enough!

  6. #6 anon
    September 26, 2007

    You need to be absolutely certain that you have cleared doing this with your advisor. If I were your advisor, I would forbid it.

  7. #7 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 26, 2007

    Sounds like fun*! I’m quite interested in following along and trying it out for myself.

    *Of course, my notion of fun may be somewhat eccentric, as demonstrated by the fact I usually have a science or math text on my bedside stand for light reading.

  8. #8 Rosie Redfield
    September 26, 2007

    “Redfield”, not “radfield”.

    I’ve been slipping in post frequency lately. Today I can post that my cells aren’t growing…. (But at least I’m in the lab a bit.)

  9. #9 Jean-Claude Bradley
    October 6, 2007

    What do you all mean by “educational”? Are you going to have some kind of disclaimer that the information you are posting should not be used in certain ways?

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