Nobel Prize Winner Fights Tyranny of Big Scientific Journals

first_img(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 He’s on a campaign to bring power to the people.Randy Schekman, a co-winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in cell transport mechanisms, now has a powerful platform for speaking his mind.  In “How to break free from the stifling grip of luxury journals” in The Conversation, he is using it to empower thousands of beleaguered scientists who might feel threatened with the loss of careers if they were to speak up.  The major “luxury journals” like Science, Nature, and Cell, he feels, have “distorted how science and scientists operate.”  That’s also why he has started up his own online open-access journal called eLife, for which he is Editor-in-Chief.I am saying what many others believe but feel they cannot say, because they fear their careers might be damaged.Journal publishing has long been considered a criterion of science.  Ideas not published in peer-reviewed journals are subject to scorn as being pseudoscientific.  What this assumption has led to, though, is a fawning dependence on recognition from a few high-profile journals.  A measure called “impact factor” distorts the value of original research, he argues, leading universities and the public to rank the quality of research according to “branding” by the luxury publications.I am deeply committed to developing the careers of younger scientists I work with – that, indeed, is a major motivation for my argument. I do not want them to have to play a system where the artificial scarcity of prestige publications makes recognition and advancement such a lottery. It is gratifying that several of my lab colleagues have publicly supported me.The digital revolution, Schekman argues, does away with the limits created by paper, yet the luxury journals remain wedded to paper.  “It makes journals more selective than they need to be, driving extreme competition for space that is good for subscription businesses but bad for science.”  How is that?Intense competition for space in key journals means that the editorial process often involves multiple rounds of revision, review and resubmission, causing long delays in publication. Additional experimental data and information are often demanded by reviewers who might later, as authors, be competing for space in the same journals. Much of this data is then relegated to supplementary appendices. The experience can be highly dispiriting for researchers.By vastly increasing the publishing real estate, electronic publishing removes the need for quotas and liberates the market.  A growing number of open-access journals are paid not by advertisers and subscribers, but by the scientists or their institutions.  They typically have much lower overhead, faster turnaround, and can make their posts accessible to the public immediately.  Standards will still be held, but if a researcher meets an electronic journal’s requirements, artificial barriers are removed.  This benefits all: there is plenty of space for all the research that meets the criteria, and they can be made accessible to everyone, rather than hiding behind paywalls.After advocating for e-journals, Schekman becomes more radical.  He wants to remove branding and impact factor altogether.  The brand name of a journal should make no difference in funding decisions, quality assessment, or tenure.  Concentrate on the cereal, not the box: “Article metrics might have a role to play, but narrative explanations of research significance and accomplishments would be more helpful.”  Reviewers should agree beforehand that “journal brand cannot be used as a proxy for scientific quality.”Schekman is happy just to “spark a discussion” about this, and indeed he has: his previous article in The Guardian sparked 268 comments.  “I was not surprised by the range of opinions my comments provoked, but I have been impressed by their quantity,” he said.  “The evidence that the scientific community wants and needs this discussion could not be stronger.”The journals are not unaware of the trends.  PhysOrg published an article by Alex O. Holcombe about how publishing giant Elsevier, which “owns much of the world’s academic knowledge” in the form of copyrights, is stepping up “take down notices” against scientists who republish PDFs of their papers on Academia.edu, a kind of wikileaks for scientists where they can share and follow research.  The website boasts over 6 million researchers in its community.  Holcombe argues that it’s time for scientists “riled up” at Elsevier’s dominance to embrace open-access journals. Both Nature and Science took note of a new preprint server for biologists, like the arXiv that physicists have used for years.  Bucking tradition, preprint servers allow peer review after publication, not before.  In addition, social media like Twitter are allowing scientists to get rapid feedback from large numbers of colleagues instead of comments from a few anonymous reviewers who might be rivals.Evolution News & Views discussed some of the changes underway in “Public Science 2.0” – a return to the days when science was conducted in the public eye.  For a few decades now, people have equated print publishing in peer reviewed journals as a hallmark of scientific quality, but “there was never anything sacred about traditional scientific practices,” the article points out.Witness a scientific revolution in the making.  If Schekman’s priorities go mainstream (and there is every indication they will), it will be like a country going from dictatorship to democracy.  The quality of science will no longer be measured by connections, artificial metrics and the tyranny of editorial boards.  Anyone who does good work can get a hearing.  Undoubtedly new concerns and difficulties will arise, but like the proverb says, sunlight is the best disinfectant.  What this will do to the creation-evolution controversy remains to be seen, but in general, democracy is better than oligarchy.last_img read more

Celebrities, media play Football Fridays

first_img1 December 2009With 2010 Fifa World Cup kick-off getting nearer by the day, celebrities and the media squared off in Tshwane/Pretoria on 27 November for the first Football Friday challenge match.Diski Dancers, followed Motsweding FM presenter Sammy “Fever” Mashabane, got the crowds warmed up at Sammy Marks Square as the organisers, Brand South Africa and the City of Tshwane, encouraged locals to get into the spirit of South Africa 2010.Click arrow to play slideshowSammy Fever, gospel singer Ndhivhuho Matumba, kwaito star Mzambiya and hip hop artist Sliquor were among those who lined up for the celebrity team, while Thabiso Mosia of Kaya FM, OG Molefe of the e-news TV channel, and Phillip Bruwer from the Rekord newspaper were among those who turned out for the media.The media team eventually emerged victorious after the game went to a penalty shoot-out.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

2018 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Lamb photo highlights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Photos by Lea Kimley. Champion Drive Champion Drive Champion Drive The judge gets ready to select the champion Champion Drive Champion Drive Champion Drive Champion Drive Champion Drive Grant Johnson, Wayne Co., gets the champion handshake. Grade Champion Drive Grade Champion Drive Bailee Amstutz stays focused in the Grade Champion Drive. Grade Champion Drive Grade Champion Drive Grade Champion Drive Grade Champion Drive Shelby Manning, 19, Darke County watches the judge in her grade class. Kendall Sattler, Henry Co., finished fourth in a tough grade class. Bailey Amstutz getting intense with her grade market lamb Morgan Evans, 13, of Union Co., with her lamb Bailee Amstutz leads her lamb around the ring Madison Gilbert, 15, of Clinton County sets her grade lamb up for the judge. Top 5 in the grade class Caleb Stone, Miami Co., and Ian Johnson, Union Co., in the Natural Colored champion drive Sarah Young, 17, of Highland Co. shows her grade market lamb. Maggie Mathews, 15, of Clinton Co. in the top 3 of her grade class Caleb Stone, Miami Co., receiving a handshake from the judge moments after being named Res. Champion Natural Colored Circling the ring to compete for Natural Colored champion Bracing in the Natural Colored champion drive Natural Colored chamion drive Ian Johnson, Union Co., with his Grand Champion Natural Colored The judge, Gene Winn, awaits the champion Natural Colored drive Erin Dilger-Lawrence from Licking County shows her Natural Color lamb Staying focused in the ring Harley Hanes sets up her sheep for the judge Class 1 of the Natural Color breed Jada Shroyer wins the Brockle breed Linsey Eddy, 15, shows her Brockle London Reichart zones in on the judge The judge evaluates his top 3 Brockles Staying intense in the Brockle class The Brockle class gets lined up Champion Hampshire drive Entering the ring to compete for champion Natural Colored Grant Johnson being named Grand Champion Hampshire Weston Stephens, Ross Co., receives a handshake from the judge after being named Reserve Champion Hampshire Mylee Shattoe, Shelby Co., shows helps her sister also be named Res. Champion Southdown Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co., shows her Southdown to champion honors The Southdown Champion Drive Jacob Roeth, Miami Co., with his Southdown Mylee Shatto, 11, shows her sister’s Southdown to 2nd place. The judge evaluates the Suffolk class Jordan Collam, 12, of Clinton County was named Grand Champion Suffolk Champion Dorset, McKala Grauel of Hardin Co. Exhibitors maintain eye contact while the judge places the Dorset class Exhibitors brace for the judge The judge evaluates the top end of the Dorset breed Carter Lampe, 11, of Wood County was named Res. Champion Suffolk Paige Bremke shows her sister Alaine’s Res. Champion Dorset The Oxford drive Hayden Harriman, Richland, shows his Oxford to Res. Champion honors Ava Shroyer with her Oxford Eilee Mumaw, 10, shows her Oxford Grant Johnson of Wayne County circles the ring in the champion Hampshire drive 2018 Champion DriveJudge Gene Winn, New Mexico sorted through more than 750 market lambs in nine breed classes and the grade crossbred lambs. Here are the results.Grand Champion Market Lamb: Grant Johnson, Wayne Co. (Champion Hampshire)Res. Grand Champion Market Lamb: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co. (Champion GradeThird Overall: Jada Shroyer, Logan Co. (Res. Champion Grade)Fourth Overall: Ian Johnson, Union Co. (Champion Natural Color)Fifth overall: Weston Stevens, Ross Co. (Res. Champion Hampshire)HampshireChamp: Grant Johnson, Wayne Co.Res. Champ: Weston Stevens, Ross Co. ShropshireChamp: Chase Eisenhauer, Huron Co.Res. Champ: Craig Schiff, Clinton Co. SouthdownsChampion: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co.Res. Champion: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co. SuffolkChampion: Jordan Collom, Clinton Co.Res. Champion: Carter Lampe, Wood Co. DorsetChampion: McKala Grauel, Hardin Co.Res. Champion: Alaine Brenke, Lorain Co. OxfordChampion: Elizabeth Shatto, Shelby Co.Res. Champion: Hayden Harriman, Richland Co. AOBChampion: Jacob Roeth, Miami Co.Res. Champion: Linsey Eddy, Union Co. Brockle-faceChampion: Jada Shroyer, Logan Co.Res. Champion: London Reichert, Darke Co. Natural ColoredChampion: Ian Johnson, Union Co.Res. Champion: Caleb Stone, Miami Co. GradeChamp: Bailee Amstutz, Union Co.Res. Champ: Jada Shroyer, Logan Co.last_img read more

County fairs find relief in Clean Air Bill

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Kolt BuchenrothOhio House Bill 6, dubbed the “Clean Air Bill” passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday with a vote of 53-43. The act deals primarily with power generation and the creation of a clean air fund. However, the bill has a provision that will relieve Ohio’s county fair’s of nearly half of their electricity bills, said Representative Don Jones (R-Freeport).“The problem is that county fairs are on a demand rate. Basically, they pay their electric bills for the week of the fair, but then they have to pay for what it costs to generate that power for the other 11 months. Typically, it’s double what that electric bill is for that one week,” Jones said.Representative Jones cited the example of a fair that used $20,000 in power for the week of the fair. Utility companies, Jones said, were charging fairs $40,000 over the other eleven months of the year to maintain their equipment to provide that much power.Jones, who represents Ohio’s 95th house district, was drafting legislation to fix the issue when House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) found the provision to be a priority.“This has been a problem for several years. There have been meetings held with Farm Bureau, there have been meetings with the utility companies with no end in sight. I was drafting legislation when the speaker and I had talked about it. [Speaker Householder] took it upon himself to put this into the bill to make it happen,” Jones said.Before taking office, Jones served for 18 years on the Harrison county fair board, nine of which were spent as the board’s president. He recognizes the unique challenge that agricultural societies face.“They’re going to break small county fairs. Financially, it’s  very difficult for small county fairs to pay that demand. Fairs don’t complain about what they use the week of the fair for electricity,” Jones said. “They have a problem with is what they’re paying the other 11 months of the year when they don’t have a fair.”Jones noted that the initial reaction from county fairs around the state has been positive.“They were very pleased. It’s going to save a lot of county fairs a lot of money. Running a county fair is a tough enough job as it is. We deal with weather. We have one week out of the year that we put all of our effort into and three, four, or five days of rain could ruin a whole year’s worth of planning,” he said. “The reaction we’ve had so far has been very positive. They were excited because it’s going to allow them to do things and make upgrades to their  fairgrounds and put that money back into the fair and the community where it belongs.”Howard Call, Executive Director of the Ohio Fair Managers Association praised the legislature for the bill’s passage.“The Ohio Fair Managers Association is pleased that the House of Representatives favorably passed HB 6,” Call said. “Among many provisions, the bill offers protections to Ohio’s fairs from unfair demand riders. We were happy to offer our support in the effort to passed HB 6 and look forward to the Senate process.”The bill now moves across rotunda in the Statehouse for the Senate’s evaluation.last_img read more

Erring Belga fined, suspended

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netRain or Shine center Beau Belga has been slapped a P17,500 fine and a one-game suspension following his ejection on Sunday.Already charged with a technical foul early in the game, the burly big man was whistled with a flagrant foul penalty one after a skirmish with Kia center Jason Ballesteros midway through the third quarter which led to his ouster.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NCAA: Perpetual Help extends Arellano’s slide It was already Belga’s sixth flagrant foul and seventh technical foul for this season.The Sorsogon native will serve his suspension on the Elasto Painters’ game against TNT on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars View commentslast_img read more