Tag Archives: ecology

Adventures in publishing

A new open access journal, Ideas in Ecology and Evolution, has, well, opened. It’s published at Queen’s College in Canada.

“So?” you ask, “there are lots of journals up starting all the time”.

This one is different. It’s experimenting with a lot of things (ok, so there seem to be a lot of journals experimenting with the model lately). The subject matter is not research per se, but ideas. Having been to my share of ecology and evolution conferences and discussion, I can see this journal has opened itself up to some quite lovely discussions.

As explained by Bob O’hara, there are some interesting review process experiments going on here too. Authors pay to get their ideas published, reviewers are paid, reviewers are not anonymous and they get to publish their views of the article as a companion piece. Bob discusses the issues we’ve all heard about the pros of anonymity (and they are valid ones), but this might work in this case. I also agree with Bob on one point, this structure (reviewers publishing their views) will indeed increase discussion, but I’d too like to see some mechanism for a broader discussion. As it is designed now, it will be like watching TV pundits arguing the finer points of health policy, which I guess is informative, but I’d like to see some mechanism that allows a broader discussion of the article. Something like PLoS has, which I think would actually work better in a journal of ideas like this.

Well, we’ll see. Right now there is nothing there but the editorial. I’ll be watching though.

hat tip: Coturnix

VegBank

vegbankWe do mainly genomics and molecular biology resources around here, but I thought I’d mention this database I learned about at the Special Libraries Association conference this week. The database is “VegBank” and is a repository of plot data of species numbers and types from across the US and Canada. A great resource, I am told, if you do ecological studies.

So, it’s not specifically genomics nor molecular, but it is biological and a database so it might be of use to one of our readers!

This is one of the nice benefits of attending these conferences, we get to learn a lot about resources and databases we might not have heard about otherwise. There are so many out there, no directory or google search is going to find them all. From VegBank, Continue reading