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Which clippings match 'Nature (journal)' keyword pg.1 of 1
10 DECEMBER 2013

Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals

"Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a 'tyranny' that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top–tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Schekman said pressure to publish in 'luxury' journals encouraged researchers to cut corners and pursue trendy fields of science instead of doing more important work. The problem was exacerbated, he said, by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash."

(Ian Sample, Monday 9 December 2013, The Guardian)


2013 • academic credibility • academic impactacademic journalsacademic papersacademic workassessing impactassessment of scholarshipboycott • Cell and Science (journal) • citation-based measures of impactcredible information • cut corners • eLife (online journal) • journal impactlevel playing fieldmeasurement of impactmedical researchNature (journal)Nobel Prizeperformativity • physiology or medicine • publication of academic papersquantitative study of scholarship • Randy Schekman • research impactresearch papers • science journals • science researchscientific community • scientific credibility • scientific processStockholmThe Guardian • top-tier journals • Wellcome Trust • working scientists


Simon Perkins
15 APRIL 2012

Beta blockers? : proprietary data formats may be legally defensible but open standards can be a better spur for innovation

"Thomson [Thomson Reuters] makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business 'irreparable harm' and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta–version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open–standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero 'reverse engineered or decompiled' not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. ...

Litigation, which may go to a jury trial, is pending, so judging this case on its legal merits would be premature. But on a more general level, the virtues of interoperability and easy data–sharing among researchers are worth restating. Imagine if Microsoft Word or Excel files could be opened and saved only in these proprietary formats, for example. It would be impossible for OpenOffice and other such software to read and save these files using open standards – as they can legally do.

Competition between open–source and proprietary software is long–running, as personified by the struggle between Windows and Linux for desktop and server operating systems, but also in many branches of software used by scientists. Researchers tend to lean towards open sharing, but they will also pay for added–value features, and it's important that the playing field is level. Ultimately, the customer is king."

(Nature, p.708)

Nature Volume 455, p.708 (9 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455708a; Published online 8 October 2008, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.



2006 • added-value features • authorshipbibliography softwareCenter for History and New MediacitationcopyrightDan Cohen • data format • digital informationEndNoteGeorge Mason Universityinteroperabilityknowledge integrationlawsuitlevel playing fieldLinuxMicrosoft ExcelMicrosoft WindowsMicrosoft WordNature (journal) • open sharing • open sourceopen source filesopen source software • open standard format • open standards • OpenOffice • operating systemorganise and share • OS • ownershipproprietary • proprietary data formats • proprietary formats • proprietary software • researchersreverse engineering • science news • science policy • Sean Takatssoftwaretechnology • Thomson Reuters • trademark infringment • Zotero


Simon Perkins

Citizen science: predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game

"People exert large amounts of problem–solving effort playing computer games. Simple image– and text–recognition tasks have been successfully 'crowd–sourced' through games, but it is not clear if more complex scientific problems can be solved with human–directed computing. Protein structure prediction is one such problem: locating the biologically relevant native conformation of a protein is a formidable computational challenge given the very large size of the search space. Here we describe Foldit, a multiplayer online game that engages non–scientists in solving hard prediction problems. Foldit players interact with protein structures using direct manipulation tools and user–friendly versions of algorithms from the Rosetta structure prediction methodology, while they compete and collaborate to optimize the computed energy. We show that top–ranked Foldit players excel at solving challenging structure refinement problems in which substantial backbone rearrangements are necessary to achieve the burial of hydrophobic residues. Players working collaboratively develop a rich assortment of new strategies and algorithms; unlike computational approaches, they explore not only the conformational space but also the space of possible search strategies. The integration of human visual problem–solving and strategy development capabilities with traditional computational algorithms through interactive multiplayer games is a powerful new approach to solving computationally–limited scientific problems."

(Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Jeehyung Lee, Michael Beenen, Andrew Leaver–Fay, David Baker, Zoran Popović & Foldit players)

Nature 466, 756–760 (05 August 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09304 Received 22 January 2010 Accepted 30 June 2010



algorithm • biochemistry • biomedicalcitizen sciencecollaboration • computational approaches • computational challenge • computer games • computing science • crowdsourcingdiscovery through designDNA • DNA sequence • Foldit • gamesimage recognitioninsight through designinteractive gamesmulti-player • multi-player online game • Nature (journal) • non-scientists • online gameplaying • predication • problem-solving • protein structure prediction • protein structures • scientific problems • scientists • structural biology • text recognitiontheory buildingvisual problem-solvingvisual representation


Simon Perkins

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