Editor's blog July 2020

2020-07-31

In the June 2020 NZPPS newsletter I said I’d be writing a blog from “next month”. Well, it’s now nearly the end of “next month” so I’d better get started!

The advent of the digital age has had a disruptive and transformational effect on scientific publishing internationally so the aim of this short monthly blog is to alert, inform and remind readers about key publishing issues such as: impact factors; plagiarism; predatory publishers; fraud; and open-access publishing.  

I’ll begin with impact factors.  One of the funniest and most succinct articles I’ve found on the utility and validity (or not) of impact factors was written by Greg Petsko* back in 2008. The article starts with the following scenario:

The time: Some time in the not-too-distant future.

The place: The entrance to The Pearly Gates. There are fluffy clouds everywhere. In the center is a podium with an enormous open book. A tall figure in white robes with white hair and beard stands at the podium. Approaching is a thin, middle-aged man with glasses and a bewildered expression. He is the soul of a recently deceased genome biologist...

Read the rest of this delightful, well-written piece free on-line at: https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-2008-9-7-107

*Petsko, G. A. (2008). Having an impact (factor). Genome Biology, 9: 107.