Science, Science and Society

F1000 Research (squeee!), Higgs hyping and string theory

Huzzah, more open science news!

Plans were released today for the launch of F1000 Research, an F1000 initiative.

F1000, for those for whom the name doesn’t ring a bell, are the ‘Faculty of 1000, which release post-publication peer reviews of scientific literature. They often do big metareviews. And they are, at least to my knowledge, rather well respected.

The new F1000 Research service, which will begin publishing later this year, aims to “address three major issues afflicting scientific publishing today: timely dissemination of research, peer review and sharing of data.”

Apparently, F1000 Research will diverge substantially from traditional journal publishing (and hoorah to that, say I!) in the following ways:

  • Immediate publication (well, other than an initial sanity check)
  • Open, post-publication peer review
  • Revisioning of work
  • Raw data depository (squee!)
  • “Article” format is not predefined
  • “Article” content is not predetermined

They’re SO on top of things, indeed, that the default licenses will be the Creative Commons CC-BY, and CCo for data! More information on the above are contained in the release put out today.

It sounds like there will be similarities with pre-print services such as the very popular ArXiv.

And I couldn’t be much more chuffed - I think this is exactly the direction in which science and science publishing should be heading.  Of course, it’s worth noting that F1000 is not a journal, but rather a publishing programme. I can, however, see traditional journal execs clutching their hearts and attempting not to have minor strokes. And curious about why science publishing is an issue? Here’s an oldish post I wrote about it, and any amount of googling will update you on some of the newer stoushes.

And they welcome your thoughts and feedback on their blog or via their Twitter account.


And on the note of, well, science and sharing the information and so forth…

In this wonderful 4-some minute video, eminent physicist Michio Kaku talks about the Higgs boson was overhyped, whats discovery could mean for science, and why so many scientists still support string theory as a viable hypothesis.


I do have one small bone of contention here.  Physicists, at least those of which I am aware, seldom put out press releases _themselves_. They’re put out by the press offices of the organisations for which they work. And sometimes this works well, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Not least because said press offices can be under some interesting pressures. A great example of this is the recent adoption by the international media of a…particularly interesting…paper purporting to explain pretty much everything* through the use of a concept called ‘gyres’.  Not much maths in it, too, which is odd…


Don’t forget, this week’s edition of The Official Sciblogs Podcast is out, and Elf and i have Discussions:P


* How the moon was formed. How quantum physics and relativity can be unified (something string theorists are working on!). And no, I don’t think this shows any weakness in open access publishing, but instead in the review process taken on by some (desperate) journals, and the extent to which press officers get excited about things… I’m reminded of the hooha about the ‘bacteria which could live on arsenic!’ fuss last year.