For this re-inaugural post, I wanted to touch on a few highlights from the past few months, particularly in the world of open access and paleo research. I'll cover a variety of topics in more detail in future posts, hopefully.
Big Happenings at PLoS ONE
The online, freely accessible journal PLoS ONE hit a variety of important milestones this summer, including:
- For the first time, the journal received an official impact factor from Thompson-Reuters. The result: a respectable 4.351. Although this value certainly exceeds that for your typical paleontology journal (e.g., Paleobiology has an IF of 2.985, and JVP has an IF of 2.536), it is more properly compared to other general interest journals. For instance, Naturwissenschaften has an IF of 2.126 and Proceedings B an IF of 4.857. Thus, PLoS ONE is doing pretty well in the whole impact factor "game." Although impact factor has come under a lot of fire lately, we still face the reality that many scientists need to publish in journals that have an IF. Thus, the assignment of an official IF is a big step forward for the journal.
- PLoS ONE launched a new (and hopefully more user friendly) manuscript submission system. Read all about it here.
- PLoS launched a new blog network.
- Full disclosure: I am a section editor at PLoS ONE.
- The venerable ScienceBlogs had a major sea change, with a number of respected bloggers jumping ship. I'm still working on updating my personal blog feeds. But, don't forget that notables such as Tetrapod Zoology remain!
- WitmerLab launched a great new blog, chock full of goodies from all of the folks there.
- The spam filters at Blogger are horrible. I'm seriously considering transferring over to WordPress.
- The long-awaited proceedings volume of the Tyrrell ceratopsian symposium is finally out. The first review, by Hans-Dieter Sues, is available here. Seriously, if you are a dinosaur enthusiast or researcher, you need to get a copy of this book (and no, I don't get royalties).
- The final unpublished chapter of my dissertation (on ceratopsian sinuses) is now officially in press - look for it to come out in JVP within the next few weeks!
- Another major paper should be out in two weeks. Stay tuned for details.
- I had my first publishing experience with PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, with a paper on dinosaur skin from Utah. Brian Switek had a nice write-up of this over at Dinosaur Tracking. Hopefully I'll have a chance to blog more about this later - for now, I'll just say that you should consider the journal as a publishing venue! In the meantime, you can learn more about the journal in this two-part interview with editor Brian Beatty.
- And much more. . .too much to mention here, in fact!