In 2011, after having read several really bad papers in the journal Science, I decided to explore just how slipshod their peer-review process is. I knew that their business depends on publishing “sexy” papers. So I created a manuscript that claimed something extraordinary - that I’d discovered a species of bacteria that … More >
The Mars Curiosity rover has been a huge boon for NASA – tapping into the public’s fascination with space exploration and the search for life on other planets. Its landing was watched live by millions of people, and interest in the photos and videos it is collecting is so great, … More >
An article appeared on the front page of the Sunday New York Times purporting to expose a “parallel world of pseudo-academia, complete with prestigiously titled conferences and journals that sponsor them”.
The story describes the experience of some unnamed scientists who accepted an email invitation to a conference, which then charged … More >
I gave a talk recently at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about science publishing and PLoS. For the first time in my life, I actually gave the talk (largely) from prepared remarks, so I thought I’d post it here. (An audio recording of the talk with Q&A is available … More >
The conversation about scientific publishing has exploded lately, online, in print and in person. In March, the journal Nature released a special issue called The future of publishing. Also in March, Michael Eisen (molecular and cell biology professor and HHMI investigator at UC Berkeley, and co-founder of PLoS) posted a … More >
I am taking a lot of flak from my friends in the open access community about my sour response to the White House’s statement on public access to papers arising from federally-funded scientific research.
While virtually everyone in the open access movement is calling for “celebration” of this “landmark” event, I … More >
As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly articles with the intent to freely disseminate its contents, thousands of academics began posting free copies of their work online, … More >