scientific literature

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for scientific literature

Late last week, I received emails from two journals (The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and PLoS ONE) indicating that they are now incorporating interactive 3D images of molecular structures in their papers. The atomic coordinates of all published biomolecular structures have been available for some time at the Protein Data Bank. However, making sense…

The gold standard for measuring the impact of a scientific paper is counting the number of other papers that cite that paper. However, due to the drawn-out nature of the scientific publication process, there is a lag of at least a year or so after a paper is published before citations to it even begin…

An individual cell inside the human body is in a dynamic environment: it not only has to anchor itself to its surroundings but also be able to communicate with them and respond as appropriate. One group of proteins–the integrins–play a central role in all of these tasks. The integrins are large (about 200,000 Da) membrane-spanning…

Ah, So That’s How They Did It!

Anyone who has tried to replicate an experiment based on the description published in a paper knows that this can be difficult, frustrating, and often close to impossible. The protocols in the Methods section can be incomplete, even inaccurate, and sometimes lead the hopeful reader down a trail of never-ending references to previous papers, eventually…

According to this week’s Science magazine, there’s some good news and some bad news regarding open access publishing. Which do you want first? The bad news? OK, here goes. According to a letter (free access via Sex Drugs & DNA) authored by Michael Stebbins, Erica Davis, Lucas Royland, and Gartrell White (mostly of the Federation…

On the 29th of June, the Senate finally announced an upcoming vote on HR 810, a bill which would overturn President Bush’s current prohibitions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. As I reported before, the announcement has been anticipated for some time, and many were disappointed when the one year anniversary of the…

Today’s issue of Nature includes a particularly damning news story about the financial troubles facing the Public Library of Science, a publisher of several prestigious open access journals. In the article, Nature describes PLoS’s difficulties and heavily stresses its continued reliance on philanthropic grants.

Nature started it with its recently begun open peer review trial, and PLoS got on board with its own announcement of a new interactive journal, PLoS ONE. Now, The Daily Transcript reports that Cell has also joined the latest trend by allowing reader comments on some of its articles. What’s the catch? Comments will only…

I just found out that the journal impact factors for 2005 were recently released, and as usual, the journals with the highest impact factors are not necessarily the ones that would be considered the most prestigious. Therefore, the following post from the archives, about an alternative rating scheme for scientific journals, seemed relevant. Enjoy! In…

Via Evolving Thoughts comes news that the Public Library of Science (PLoS) is starting a series of blogs to promote its recently announced interdisciplinary PLoS ONE journal. PLoS publishes several prestigious open access scientific journals and is now taking things a step further with a new journal that will, among other things, “empower the scientific…