Friday, September 29, 2006


Seringhaus M, Gerstein M. 2006. The death of the scientific paper. The Scientist. 20(9):25.
The basic currency of science is still the research article, but modern laboratory research results yield enormous data sets, straining the established article framework. Moreover, isolated findings or negative results are seldom published at all, so it is useful to preserve data in its native digital format (this could be an important step to avoid purposeless repetition of costly experiments). Scientific information is exchanged in a multi-tiered manner, rendering the scientific manuscript even optional. The future of scientific data lies in digital storage and access, contributing also to the reduction of the "publish or perish" syndrome. Academic publishing must diversify or die.


Rovner S. L. 2006. Online archives on a bumpy road. Chem. Eng. News. 84 (33):50-53

The author explains what digital repositories are, how they are being used at LANL and CERN, and explores the reasons for their very limited take-up in chemistry and how publishers are responding.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


D. Cyranoski, Named and shamed, Nature, 2006, 441:392-393.

Report on how scientific misconduct is dealt with in China, including an unofficial 'name-and-shame' website called New Threads (, which
is intended to expose bad science and raise the profile of research ethics in China.


Michael Banks, of the MPI for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, has calculated the now familiar h-index (or Hirsch index) for some chemical compounds and topics in physics.

He proposes a new measure, m, which is the h-index for a topic divided by the number of years since it first appeared in print. Gallium nitride and buckminsterfullerene top the chemical compounds, with m-indices of 2.12 and 5.10 respectively.

As for topics in physics, carbon nanotubes, nanowires and quantum dots come first with ms of 12.85, 8.75 and 7.84.

(Source: Nature, 2006, 441, 265.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Johnson RK. 2006. Will Research Sharing Keep Pace with theInternet? The Journal of Neuroscience 26(37):9349-9351.

The exchange of information enabled by the Internet has swept away many limitations on research and learning and promises to fundamentally change the conduct of science. For the first time in history,we have a practical opportunity for efficient, unlimited sharing ofinformation at virtually no cost beyond that of providing it to the firstreader. As a result, the scientific paper and its historic container, thejournal, are poised for change. Increasingly, research funders are adoptingpolicies that facilitate the sharing of information and realize thebenefits of digital scholarship.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Pab√≥n Escobar SC, da Costa MC. 2006. Visibility of Latin american scientific publications: the example of Bolivia. Journal of Science Communication. 2:1–8.
The discussion on the state of the art of scientific publications in Latin American countries generally restricts itself to its supposedly low visibility. This affirmation is generally conditioned to the exclusive use of large international databases, mainly of the USA and Europe, which include thousands of scientific publications that have marginalized a large part of the scientific literature produced in peripheral countries. Given this fact of low visibility, it became imperative for some Latin American countries, beginning in the 90s (20th Century), to develop their own mechanisms of projection of the results of their own scientific production.