About Author: Janna Lawrence

Posts by Janna Lawrence


Frustration with Scholarly Publishing

Julian Stirling, a post-doctoral researcher from Great Britain, recently published an angry blog post recounting his frustration with scientific publishers, touching on their lack of transparency, their perceived unwillingness to change, and copyright law.  Read it on his personal blog here.


White House petition reaches 25,000 signatures

The White House petition sponsored by Access2Research and calling for open access to all journal articles arising from federally-funded research reached the required 25,000 signature mark on June 3, well ahead of the June 19 deadline.  As of June 11, 26,592 signatures had been received.  White House petitions which reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days receive an official response from the Administration.

The petition calls for the published results of all taxpayer-funded research be posted freely on the internet.  Currently, only articles resulting from research funded by the National Institutes of Health have this requirement.  The NIH Public Access Policy requires that articles be posted to PubMed Central within 12 months of being published.


New OA journal hopes to improve peer review process

eLife , an online only, open access journal in the life sciences scheduled to begin publication next year, will use a discussion-based peer review process that will allow reviewers to share their opinions with each other and to reach a consensus in their review.  Editor Randy Schekman feels that this process will not only be more fair than standard peer review, but can also be done more quickly.  As an incentive for this quick, consultative review process, reviewers, as well as editors and board members, will be paid for their time.  The entire editorial process will be in the hands of working scientists.

In an article published on November 27 in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Schekman, who is the former editor of PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science) and a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley, says that he hopes eLife will compete with Cell, Nature, and Science.   At least in the beginning, authors will not have to pay any publications fees.  Three major science funders – the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust – are providing financial support for up to five years.