Cool Toys Pic of the day – F1000 Posters

Screen_shot_2011-02-28_at_8

F1000: Posters:
http://posters.f1000.com/PosterList

I am so thrilled with this idea, and have wanted something like this
for a long time. Faculty of 1000 (F1000) is a project that I’ve had
mixed feelings about for a few years now, but the idea of creating a
voluntary submission site to archive conference poster presentations
from meetings of biology and medicine is a concept I can support
without reservation. What a gift to science and to the professions!

Here is how they describe the concept:

“Welcome to F1000 Posters. You can browse by Topic or Section in the
lefthand navigation bar, or by conference below. Posters include links
to F1000 Faculty Member evaluations and related research papers from
the authors, where appropriate. Please use the information in these
posters responsibly, and include the full citation if you wish to
reuse any of the material. Please note that most posters on this site
present work that is preliminary in nature and has not been peer
reviewed.”

This reminds me much much of the early years of the LANL XXX Preprint
Archives in physics and mathematics, that has since evolved into the
arXiv (http://www.arxiv.org/). The arXiv really was one of the most
innovative, insightful, provocative, creative and foresightful
game-changing activities in all the sciences in the past 20 years. It
is what set the stage for the entire Open Science movement.

Medicine and the life sciences have, generally speaking, been slow to
follow in these footsteps despite the clear benefits shown within the
disciplines that have adopted this approach (like physics). It is
assumed that the life sciences are hesitant in part because of the
close governmental monitoring and in part because of the potential
risks to people with health problems from information that is not
fully tested. The danger at this point is that this hesitancy creates
its own risks, resulting from slowing down discovery and
collaboration. F1000 Posters is the first big grand step in the right
direction, in my humble opinion.

However, there remains a hesitancy that is coming not from
legislation, nor from FDA oversight, nor from protecting the weak and
innocent, but instead coming out of the entrenched culture and
politics of some of the life science research communities.

“We have contacted a number of the main Publishers and journal Editors
to get their response to F1000 Posters and to ask whether they would
view deposition of a poster here as prepublication. Below is a list of
journals and Publishers that have responded with their view.”

http://f1000posters.com/journalresponses

By far the majority ARE willing to allow public archiving of a poster
presentation without penalty to the authors, or are at least open to
negotiating and deciding on the merits of the individual case. The
danger to open science lies in those few (and largely extremely
powerful) journals who have refused to support this best chance of
supporting open science at the most effective and urgent early stages
of the process. This list includes such notable titles as NEJM,
Science, EMBO J, J Cell Biol, and all of the publications from various
important associations and publishers, such as:

American Chemical Society journals
American Physiological Society journals
American Society of Microbiology journals
Circulation journals
Mary Ann Liebert Publishing journals

I am sorely disappointed in these hold outs, but deeply grateful for
vast majority who have kept their minds and mailboxes open to
submissions from those (including but not limited to PNAS, Nature,
BMC, BMJ, PLoS, JACS, SGM, Springer, and Wiley-Blackwell). Bravo, well
done, and thank you. Let’s give medicine a chance as a discipline to
start catching up with physics.

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