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Open access is not the problem – my take on Science’s peer review “sting”

Michael Eisen, Professor of molecular and cell biology | October 4, 2013

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 uses arsenic in its DNA … Continue reading »

Let’s not get too excited about the new UC open access policy

Michael Eisen, Professor of molecular and cell biology | August 3, 2013

It was announced today that systemwide Academic Senate representing the 10 campuses of the University of California system had passed an “open access” policy. The policy will work like this. Before assigning copyright to publishers, all UC faculty will grant the university a non-exclusive license to make the works freely available, provide the university with a … Continue reading »

A CHORUS of boos: publishers offer their ‘solution’ to public access

Michael Eisen, Professor of molecular and cell biology | June 6, 2013

As expected, a coalition of subscription based journal publishers has responded to the White House’s mandate that federal agencies develop systems to make the research they fund available to public by offering to implement the system themselves. This system, which they call CHORUS (for ClearingHouse for the Open Research of the United Status) would set up … Continue reading »

Door-to-door subscription scams: the dark side of The New York Times

Michael Eisen, Professor of molecular and cell biology | April 16, 2013

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 them for participating, and … Continue reading »

The past, present and future of scholarly publishing

Michael Eisen, Professor of molecular and cell biology | April 11, 2013

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 here.) —— On January 6, … Continue reading »

Open access explained

Anna Goldstein, former grad student, chemistry | April 8, 2013

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 speech he gave on the … Continue reading »