Friday, September 18, 2009

Open Access, PLoS article level metrics part of syllabus for PhD course at Uni Hyderabad

Impressed by PLoS style, our university here decided to teach Open Access, creative reuse and article level metrics to entry level PhD students in Life Sciences. I am grateful to the university authorities for enabling us to direct such a timely and important course for the first time in the history of graduate teaching in India; see the course curriculum approved by the university below. I hope many other universities and institutes will be able to replicate this course:
Course name: Scientific writing; Course director: Dr Niyaz Ahmed; Course credits: 1 (12 lectures in a semester)
  • 1. Documentation of scientific observations and maintenance of raw data in a biology lab
  • 2. Primary research articles and secondary content - commentaries, reviews, book length evaluations
  • 3. Creative re-use, semantic enhancements and reproduction of open access scientific material
  • 4. Copyright and Creative Commons attribution licences
  • 5. Publication ethics
  • 6. Malpractices in scientific reporting - examples and case studies
  • 7. Citations, evaluations, article-specific metrics and impact factors
  • 8. Scientific deliberations

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coveted Industry Award to PLoS ONE for Publishing Innovation

PLoS ONE achieved yet another milestone yesterday by receiving an award from the ALPSP (the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) for Publishing Innovation of the Year, 2009. The award is given in recognition of a truly innovative approach to any aspect of publication as adjudged from originality and innovative qualities, together with utility, benefit to the community and long term prospects. This prestigious industry award is therefore, a proof of the hard work of all the editors, managers, staff, authors, and reviewers! The award is a formal recognition of the fact that PLoS ONE has spearheaded a radical departure from traditional scientific publishing in a number of ways, from its pioneering editorial policies to its regular technical innovations, including the commentary and rating features available on all of its articles—in short, PLoS ONE now means 'new generation scientific publishing in a most innovative and interactive style'.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

200th PLoS ONE article evaluated at Faculty of 1000

It is heartening to note that 200th article from PLoS ONE has now been evaluated at the Faculty of 1000 Biology. Last year on July 17, a report on the evaluation of 100th article from PLoS ONE was posted on this blog. It is about in a year's time that further one hundred articles were evaluated; a remarkable achievement despite a very high volume publishing in diverse areas. Since the number of articles almost tripled in a year (6000 in August 2009 versus 2600 in July 2008), the number of evaluations touched almost 10 per month (3.3% of total articles published). For a broad based and high volume journal such as PLoS ONE, the F1000 evaluations serve as an important quality index for individual articles.

Friday, September 4, 2009

'Fine Reading: The Biocentric View of the Microbial World'

By - Elio  (Moselio Schaechter)
"How does anthropocentrism apply to microbiologists? In a current commentary in the new journal Gut Pathogens, Ramy Aziz reminds us that it shows up all over the place. Take the very term microbe, meaning small living thing. 'Small,' says who? Not the microbes. To them, other microbes would be of 'normal' size and we humans Rabelaisian gargantuas. This wouldn't much matter if it stopped there, with our choice of words alone. Aziz points out that anthropocentrism in microbiology can have serious consequences. For instance, 'pathogens' have been considered to be special group of microbes, separate from the rest. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and nothing could be more objectionable than to consider the human body to be anything but another habitat.
In recent years, it has been increasingly realized that pathogenic microbiology is merely another branch of microbial ecology. However, a gentle reminder in Aziz' well-turned words is welcomed. A truly integrated view of the microbial world, or of the biological world in general, cannot be anthropocentric but can only be, as Aziz says, biocentric".
[In syndication with ASM blog - 'Small things considered', original post here]. Ramy K Aziz is an Editorial Board Member of PLoS ONE.