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Nature’s free-view links on PubChase

Dec 5, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman A few days ago, Nature announced that they will allow readers with subscription to share links for free viewing of their articles. Many in the media have mistaken this to be a move towards open access by the Nature Publishing Group. It is not – the links allow viewing only, without the ability to download or print the article. Read more

Save the date: participative Bay Area OA week event for Generation Open

Sep 18, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman A few local Open Access people – Liz Allen (ScienceOpen), Pete Binfield (PeerJ, with Georgina Gurnhill in the UK), Lenny Teytelman (Zappy Lab) and Laurence Bianchini (My Science Work), who are expanding to the Bay Area, welcome) – got together and brainstormed what our ideal OA week event would look like. Read more

ZappyLab’s Guide to Crowdfunding

June 2, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman From February to March 15, we ran a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for protocols.io – our free, up-to-date, crowdsourced repository of life science protocols. Launching and running this Kickstarter campaign was simultaneously one of the smartest and one of the hardest things we did in the two years of our startup. In this post, I would like to share our experience and insights into what it takes to pull off a campaign like this. Read more

PubPeer comments on PubChase

Apr 25, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman We are very excited to announce that PubChase articles will now link to PubPeer comments. PubPeer is an online journal club, and PubChase users will now automatically get alerts on new discussions of papers in their libraries. As we already wrote, this is part of our philosophy that knowledge should come to you. Instead of laborious searches or random collision with information – new papers, corrections, discussions, and retractions should find you. Read more

We Can Fix Peer Review Now

Apr 18, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman Imagine a software company that solicits user feedback with, “Please let us know what does and does not work in the current release and what you would like to see in the future. However, keep in mind that we will not be making any updates to our products and the version you have is the final one.” This is the state of post-publication peer review today. We ask scientists to comment on static, final, published versions of papers, with virtually no potential to improve the articles. We ask scientists to waste their time and then take the lack of participation as evidence against post-publication peer review. Read more

Knowledge Should Come to You

Mar 15, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman Search engines are amazing nowadays, but you often don’t know what to search for or that you should be doing the search in the first place. So for two years, we’ve been working hard to make your life easier. You shouldn’t have to search. The information that you need should come to you. Read more

Was Henry Ford an idiot? (Will Scientists Use Mobile in the Lab?)

Mar 3, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman Imagine yourself in the middle of Manhattan’s Central Park around 1907. You are having a pleasant picnic with a friend who says, “Cars have no future. Just look around – do you see any cars? Nope! Only horses. Why is that? Well, because cars have no grace, no soul, no style. They are heaps of metal with deafening noise. And they cost a fortune compared to a horse. Ford is an idiot.” This is the same friend who would warn today that mobile has no chance of entering the lab. Read more
nature vs nurture, pubchase editorial

Academic Assessment: Nature versus Nurture

Feb 19, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman In science, students and postdocs typically refer to professors as one of three: PI (principle investigator), mentor, or advisor. Strikingly, when assessing faculty, universities and funding agencies pay attention to the PI=research aspect only. Whether you are the best or the worst mentor in this world is virtually irrelevant for the tenure decision. Read more

What do Facebook “likes” of companies mean?

Jan 21, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman You are drinking a Coke at lunch. Do you feel compelled to go to Facebook and “like” the Coca Cola facebook page? You use Matlab to process your microscopy data. Do you express your gratitude for not having to count RNA spots by hand by “liking” Matlab? And if your physician prescribes a pill made by AstraZeneca, do you “like” the pharmaceutical? Well, someone does. Read more

The Fake Open Access Scam

Jan 21, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman When you publish in a subscription journal and pay an extra Open Access fee, you think your article is actually OA. In reality, it's not and you are simply being scammed. Read more

Career Advice on PubChase

Jan 9, 2014   By Lenny Teytelman We are launching a “Career Advice” forum on PubChase. There is an interface to anonymously submit questions and we assembled a panel of good mentors so that a single question can have 2-3 experts replying to it. This is not a Q&A forum for research questions. Rather, it is a space to get mentoring help for science life-related issues (problem with advisor, how to transition to industry, what to do with competitive labmate, etc.). Read more

Blog and Tweet to Market Your Research!

Dec 10, 2013   By Lenny Teytelman Marketing your final product is essential, be it in a start-up or a research group. As a partner at a top venture capital firm emphasized to us, viral adoption of apps and software is a myth1. Entrepreneurs either fail or quickly learn this fact. Similarly, believing that your research paper will magically find the target readers just because you published it is naïve. Read more

What hurts science – rejection of good or acceptance of bad?

Oct 4, 2013   By Lenny Teytelman The real problem in science is not that bad papers get published; that has always been and will continue to be the case. The real problem is that good and important papers are rejected and delayed from publication by journals such as Science. These delays hurt the progress of science and they demoralize and ruin careers. Read more

Staying Current on Publications: PubChase or RSS?

Sep 30, 2013   By Lenny Teytelman We have just published an excellent guide by James Fraser on using RSS to find relevant new research papers. James does not believe that staying current on publications is really a problem that requires a service like PubChase to tackle it. His proposed solution relies on identifying about a dozen most pertinent journals and scanning new publications in them with RSS, along with keyword and citation-based searches. Read more

Lots of Open Access publishers, but how many readers?

Aug 23, 2013   By Lenny Teytelman When I started graduate school in 2003, PLOS Biology was just about to launch. There was no PLOS One and the fraction of publications in open access (OA) journals was miniscule. It is remarkable what the progress has been – a few days ago, a study by Science-Metrix for the European Commission indicated that over 50% of all 2011 papers are open access, calling this moment a “tipping point” towards open access (though I can’t wait for the moment when 100% of research is open, the progress is truly astounding). However, the real measure of success for the open movement is not just a count of freely available papers from a year ago. The real question is – what fraction of papers that a researcher needs today are openly available? Read more

What makes a journal important?

Aug 12, 2013   By Matt Davis The scientific community values citations, and with good reason. But, in other publishing arenas, the evaluation is based on how often the publication is read, not how often it is cited. This is true in traditional publishing with best-seller lists, and also in modern web publishing with metrics for visits and click-throughs. So, I was curious what relationship exists between how often works from a journal are cited, and how often articles from those journals are read by our users. Read more