Archive by category | Scientific Publishing

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

A tangent related to the primate cloning paper has understandably received less attention, but deserves its own thread. In the same issue of Nature containing that paper, an accompanying editorial described how Nature, for the first time, implemented a relatively new policy by seeking the independent confirmation of this particular “high-risk” finding (or “strong claim”) during the review process.  Read more

Confidential comments – your opinion

Discussion is heating up regarding a new proposal that could change the face of peer review in neuroscience. At the PubMed Plus leadership conference this past June, sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience, the creation of a Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium was proposed.  Read more

Scintilla – a required application for surveying science blogs

This is an entry that should have been written back in June, a time that pre-dates my involvement with Action Potential! Back then, incorporated and launched a new free service called Scintilla that collects data from hundreds of news outlets, scientific blogs, journals and databases and then makes it easy for the user to organize, share and discover exactly the type of information in which he or she is interested.  Read more

Public opinion forums in research: fad or fundamental?

If one comments on the merits or an aspect of a manuscript in a public forum, but nobody ever reads it, does your opinion exist? That is the question I asked myself today after seeing that Neuron has added a feature to its website designed to provide the readers of selected papers the opportunity to comment on the findings. They say that this was in response to community feedback. I don’t doubt that such feedback exists, as I have heard similar things in my travels, but at this point in scientific publishing (at least in neuroscience), it seems that the idea may still be well ahead of its time.  Read more

Dissemination before peer review.

The physics community already has theirs. Now biology has its own site dedicated to the informal discussion of unpublished results. A new site launched this week, Nature Precedings, allows scientists to upload unpublished manuscripts while they are under consideration at a journal, perhaps inciting conversation and feedback regarding the work even before the article is accepted. In this day and age of caution and paranoia surrounding results (go to any scientific meeting these days and count the number of presentations that focus on published results vs. those that highlight unpublished ones), how do you think this will impact the neuroscience and publishing communities?  Read more