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Showing posts from February, 2014

The data sharing revolution has begun

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Beginning from 1st of March all papers published in journals run by +Public Library of Science (PLoS) will have to publicly share data. This includes PLoS ONE -  currently the biggest (in terms of volume) academic journal in the world. But is it a big deal? Many leading journal such as Nature, Science, and PNAS for a long time have been requiring their authors to provide data to fellow scientists upon request. Is there a difference between depositing data in a public repository and making it available upon individual requests? Yes there is. There are dozens of excuses researchers can use to delay sharing of the data almost infinitely. Additionally without proper description (which public repositories will enforce) data is useless. I could go on and on how imperfect the "available upon request" solution is, but this video depicts it in a much better way: 
Making data available upon request looks good only on paper, but it just does not work in practice. Public sharing of dat…

"We want to make reviewers look awesome": an interview with Andrew Preston

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On a very cold afternoon in Berlin I managed to ask a few questions to Andrew Preston (co-founder of Publons) who was in town for the Academic Publishing Europe 2014 conference:

- Could you tell us a bit more about the platform you are building - publons.com. Where the idea came from? What kind of problems are you trying to solve?
- Absolutely! I did a PhD in physics as well as a postdoc in the US, so I have experience the enjoyment and the trial of publishing papers first hand and I also have been a reviewer. By going through that process as well as talking to colleagues I realized that there must be a better way of doing this. That is the genesis of Publons.

- What actually is a Publon?
Good question! It is a joke in physics where there is a concept of fundamental particles: the electron is the fundamental unit of charge, the photon is the quantum of light etc. The Publon is the facetious term we use to refer to the minimum publishable unit of academic research. We thought it was a co…