Reinventing Peer Review
Peer review is arguably necessary for effective communication amongst researchers. Authors, editors, and the public rely on peer review to ensure a first measure of trust in scientific communication. While peer review is considered to be integral in scholarly communication by most, its shortcomings are becoming evident. Former editor of JAMA and NEJM Drummond Rennie once said, "if peer review was a drug it would never be allowed onto the market." Is this true? Does peer review, as it is done today, cause more harm than good?
6 Publisher Policies Antithetical to Research
How researchers communicate with one another and the world has changed very little over the last 350 years. Attempts to improve the process have been implemented throughout the years, not all of which have been to the benefit of research. Here we highlight some policies implemented by various publishers that we believe are antithetical to research communication and what we're doing to try to fix them.
How to Bring Science Publishing into the 21st Century
A NEW COLLABORATIVE TOOL COULD REVOLUTIONIZE SCIENTIFIC AUTHORSHIP. Originally published by Scientific American
The Night of the Shooting Stars
During the night of August 11th, a meteor shower called ’Perseids’ might put up a memorable show. After the moon sets, which occurs around 1:00 AM local time, it might be possible to see up to 200 ’shooting stars’ per hour. Below, what you need to know about this astronomical event. WHAT IS A SHOOTING STAR? Despite their name, shooting stars are actually small rocks (meteoroids) falling towards the Earth due to our planet’s gravitational attraction. As they move rapidly through the atmosphere, they reach very high temperatures due to friction with air particles. This makes them burn and become visible to the human eye. The trail they leave is called ’Meteor’. Due to their tiny size, they usually almost completely burn in a fraction of a second. In some very exceptional cases, large meteors can continue the hot descent and hit the ground. If they also survive the crash, they get promoted immediately to the ’meteorites’ class. Generally speaking a meteoroid producing a meteor needs to be at least as large as a marble to reach the Earth and eventually become a meteorite. Some Burning facts: - Average meteorite velocity: 30000 miles/hour (48000 km/h) - Max temperature: 3000 F (1650 C) - The Meteor Crater in Arizona was formed 50000 years ago by an object 160 feet (50 meters) across - ... yes, impacts like the one that produced the Meteor Crater are extremely rare
Have there been aliens? Will there be aliens?
The fact we are alive and pondering a vast Universe from spaceship Earth raises a number of fascinating questions. Astrophysicist are now asking why “here” and why “now”. What is the chance of life emerging around a star like the Sun, about 12-13 billion years after our Universe was born?
First evidence of Quantum Gravity? Ask the dust
Rise and fall of the biggest discovery of the century highlights the importance of open, collaborative science.
On 17 March 2014 BICEP2, a South Pole based experiment aimed at studying the very first moments of the universe, made a sensational announcement. They claimed to have detected for the first time the signature of an extremely rapid expansion of space that occurred right after the universe’s birth. This expansion, also called inflation, is believed to be responsible for the existence of large-scale structures like clusters of galaxies, as well as to explain why the properties of the universe appear to be the same for all observers. If confirmed, the existence of inflation would represent the first evidence of a fundamental connection between gravity (general relativity) and quantum physics.
Mysterious Particle Discovered
In 1937, just one year before suddenly disappearing under mysterious circumstances, a brilliant italian physicist named ETTORE MAJORANA predicted the existence of a very peculiar particle. Having the exciting property of being its own antiparticle (that is it simultaneosly behaves as matter and anti-matter) the elusive “MAJORANA PARTICLE” has been finally observed by a group of scientists at Princeton University . To achieve the important result they used a two-story-tall microscope to observe the end of a superconducting wire.
SOLVE, four days that could change the world
Tens of thousands of innovators met in Austin, Texas last week to discuss emerging tech, science, and innovation. It was the Interactive portion of South by Southwest (SxSW). Authorea was there.
Among many great events, the MIT Media Lab presented “SOLVE”, an initiative set to bring together the most gifted researchers and innovators to identify and tackle challenges where new thinking and emerging technologies have the potential to make the world a better place. SOLVE identified four main themes: Learn, Cure, Fuel, Make.
An Arctic Journey: Chasing the Solar Eclipse
FABIO, WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO GO WATCH AN ECLIPSE IN THE ARCTIC? I’ve been feeling this urge to visit the northernmost parts of Earth for a while now. My PhD in Stockholm gave me the opportunity to explore the Norwegian coastline and Lapland, but the Arctic was a different story. A sort of forbidden dream. Then last year I started a postdoc at Yale, in the research group led by John Wettlaufer, who’s an expert on sea ice and the Arctic. When I heard there was gonna be a total solar eclipse at Svalbard I knew I had to go. WHERE IS SVALBARD, EXACTLY? Svalbard is an archipelago situated about half way between continental Norway and the North Pole, and it is an outpost for research and arctic exploration. In Longyearbyen, a little city of about 2000 people, and Svalbard’s capital, there is the world’s northernmost institution for higher education and research: the University Center in Svalbard.