Happy holiday season to all Nautilus readers

Will you be working on Christmas Day? Richard J. Ladle et al. in Nature‘s Correspondence page this week (450, 1156; 2007) report evidence that increasing numbers of scientists are swapping party hats for mouse mats during the festive season. Take a look at their suitably decorative evidence, and I urge you to take their advice.

Earlier this year, I was asked by a scientist blogger, Attila Csordas, “what is your science blogging style?”. Here is my answer, which was posted at Partial Immortalization during November:

“My professional blogs (Nautilus, Peer to Peer and From the Blogosphere) are addressed to a particular group of people: scientists who read, review and publish, or would like to publish, in our journals. Therefore, the style I try to achieve is helpful, informative and stimulating, yet not didactic or dull. I aim to highlight the benefits of publishing at Nature Publishing Group and provide assistance to those wishing to do so, in a way that is not too directly promotional, but which is constructive to authors and interesting to them and other readers, as well as encouraging their feedback. Therefore I write about news concerning journal policies and format, as well as announcements of new journals, projects, conferences and online tools of interest to authors and reviewers. I also highlight when journal content is free for some reason, because this means that the authors of those articles are achieving greater “reach” for their articles (as well as making it possible for more people to read them, by my announcement). I also highlight news from the wider world of science communication, for example about quality indicators (citations tools and impact factors, for example), ethics, peer-review and so on, in the hope of stimulating community discussion of these issues, as this can help us decide on our journals’ evolution. Finally, I blog to provide an approachable forum for potential authors to ask questions about our publication policies, and to have them answered quickly in a way that can also benefit others, as they can see the responses."

A happy Christmas, New Year and holiday to all readers of Nautilus. I will be back in the new year. In the meantime, if you wish to read and discuss stimulating articles with a scientific accent during this holiday season, please visit Nature‘s News website, and for general scientific-related interactions and chat, you will find much to interest you at Nature Network’s many forums and groups.


  1. Report this comment

    Yuan Wan said:

    I have read the letter by Richard J. Ladle, Ana C. M. Malhado and Peter A. Todd. I’m afraid I cannot agree with them. Admittedly, their observation is interesting and their data seems to be reliable. However, their interpretation to the data, i.e. the increasing percentage of papers published on Christmas (Christmas papers), may be partial, or at least non-exhaustive.

    In Eastern Asia, Christmas is not a traditional holiday, and people are working as usual. For example, in Nanjing University, P. R. China, where now I am, scientists are still doing experiments, analyzing data, and publishing papers. Hence, as the result of the increasing investment on scientific research in Eastern Asia, the percentage of Christmas papers increases naturally. I believe that this must play an important role in the phenomena observed by Ladle et al. To justify this assertion, an analysis on the spatial distribution of Christmas papers is required.

    Merry Christmas!

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