Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Return to the Blogosphere

I'm back! Let's just say that a global circumnavigation, two months away from home, and a move in the middle, don't leave a lot of time for blogging. It was a fun and productive summer, but now it's time to settle back in for the fall.

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.
Happenings Around the Blogosphere
  • 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.
Research Happenings
That is all for now.

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