Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

November 4, 2018

Open Access journal publishing debates – the elephant in the room?

For perhaps ten years now, the future of scientific publishing has been hotly debated. The traditional models are often thought to be badly broken, although convergence to a consensus of what a better model should be is not apparently close. But to my mind, much of this debate seems to miss one important point, how to publish data.

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November 25, 2016

OpenCon (2016)

Another conference, a Cambridge satellite meeting of OpenCon, and I quote here its mission: “OpenCon is a platform for the next generation to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system of research and education” targeted at students and early career academic professionals. But they do allow a few “late career” professionals to attend as well!

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August 17, 2016

Journal innovations – the next step is augmented reality?

In the previous post, I noted that a chemistry publisher is about to repeat an earlier experiment in serving pre-prints of journal articles. It would be fair to suggest that following the first great period of journal innovation, the boom in rapid publication “camera-ready” articles in the 1960s, the next period of rapid innovation started around 1994 driven by the uptake of the World-Wide-Web. The CLIC project[1] aimed to embed additional data-based components into the online presentation of the journal Chem Communications, taking the form of pop-up interactive 3D molecular models and spectra. The Internet Journal of Chemistry was designed from scratch to take advantage of this new medium.[2] Here I take a look at one recent experiment in innovation which incorporates “augmented reality”.[3]

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References

  1. D. James, B.J. Whitaker, C. Hildyard, H.S. Rzepa, O. Casher, J.M. Goodman, D. Riddick, and P. Murray‐Rust, "The case for content integrity in electronic chemistry journals: The CLIC project", New Review of Information Networking, vol. 1, pp. 61-69, 1995. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13614579509516846
  2. S.M. Bachrach, and S.R. Heller, "TheInternet Journal of Chemistry:A Case Study of an Electronic Chemistry Journal", Serials Review, vol. 26, pp. 3-14, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00987913.2000.10764578
  3. S. Ley, B. Musio, F. Mariani, E. Śliwiński, M. Kabeshov, and H. Odajima, "Combination of Enabling Technologies to Improve and Describe the Stereoselectivity of Wolff–Staudinger Cascade Reaction", Synthesis, vol. 48, pp. 3515-3526, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1562579

August 16, 2016

Chemistry preprint servers (revisited).

This week the ACS announced its intention to establish a “ChemRxiv preprint server to promote early research sharing“. This was first tried quite a few years ago, following the example of especially the physicists. As I recollect the experiment lasted about a year, attracted few submissions and even fewer of high quality. Will the concept succeed this time, in particular as promoted by a commercial publisher rather than a community of scientists (as was the original physicists model)?

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August 5, 2015

Single Figure (nano)publications, reddit AMAs and other new approaches to research reporting

I recently received two emails each with a subject line new approaches to research reporting. The traditional 350 year-old model of the (scientific) journal is undergoing upheavals at the moment with the introduction of APCs (article processing charges), a refereeing crisis and much more. Some argue that brand new thinking is now required. Here are two such innovations (and I leave you to judge whether that last word should have an appended ?).

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June 20, 2015

May 21, 2015

Impact factors, journals and blogs: a modern distortion.

A lunchtime conversation with a colleague had us both bemoaning the distorting influence on chemistry of bibliometrics, h-indices and journal impact factors, all very much a modern phenomenon of scientific publishing. Young academics on a promotion fast-track for example are apparently advised not to publish in a well-known journal devoted to organic chemistry because of its apparently “low” impact factor. Chris suggested that the real reason the impact factor was “low” is that this particular journal concentrates on full articles, which for a subject area such as organic chemistry can take years to assemble and hence years for others to assimilate and report their own results, and only then creating a citation for the first article. So this slow but steady evolution of citations in a long time frame apparently shows such a journal up as having less (short-term) impact than the fast-publishing notes-type variety where the impact is immediate but possibly less long-lived. That would be no reason of itself not to publish there of course!

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