Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

On the run-22Jan10

Posted by rpg on 22 January, 2010

Last week I met up with a Certain Editor from a Certain Journal. We had a nice chat about, among other things, the policy of Certain Journals as regards the wind direction in the publishing industry. From the research side of the fence it’s easy to assume that publishing houses are monolithic edifices intent on maintaining a monopoly; unchanging and unfeeling; not to mention dirty money-grabbing bastards. Certain Advocates (not all!) of Open Access/Open Science hold to this view.

Naturally, the truth is a bit more subtle. Publishing is a business, which means that publishers are actually going to drive change, because if they don’t they will wither and die. Cell’s Article of the Future is a case in point (you might not like it, but you can’t deny that Elsevier are innovating). Publishers that see their competitors doing stuff are going to adapt and respond as necessary. Because if there’s a new paradigm brewing and they’re not on board, things will turn out bad for them. (The trick, of course, is to figure out what is actually a new paradigm and what is simply a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.)

Not unrelated to this preamble, you may have noticed a slight addition to the type of things we evaluate. For example, we have something titled Endogenous Forces Exerted at E-cadherin Based Cell-Cell Contacts:

The authors first determine that the traction forces that a single cell exerts on the underlying substrate are balanced across the cell. However, for cell pairs, it was determined that the traction forces exerted on the substrate for an individual cell did not balance, with the force imbalance reflecting the force exerted on the cell-cell contact.

but it’s not a paper being evaluated, it’s a poster.

Poster preview

I have more—much more—to say about this initiative, so stay tuned for updates.

While we’re on f1000, an evaluation you might have missed. (I’ve been meaning to blog about it all week, but as you’ll see it’s not really my fault. Or perhaps it is?) The piece, by Lutz Jäncke at the University of Zurich, starts provocatively:

One of the most virulent disputes between neuroscience and philosophy is whether human beings are equipped with a free will.

The brain is thought to generate decisions before the conscious mind gets involved, based on electroencephalography measurements. The ‘Bereitschaftspotential’ starts up to 1.5 seconds before movement is executed. However, in an elegant but mind-bending experiment published in Neuropsychologia, a diverse group of researchers find that there is a final check that seems to be under the control of the individual, an ultimate ‘yes or no’ that appears to be freely willed:

Planned actions can be subjected to a final predictive check which either commits actions for execution or suspends and withholds them. The neural mechanism of intentional inhibition may play an important role in self-control.

There goes my excuse that the voices in my head made me do it. You can read the evaluation, free for three months, here.

In other news, the dev team have been working on the search mechanism for the new f1000.com website. One of the major criticisms of the current Biology and Medicine sites is that it’s actually quite difficult to find the search bar, probably because it’s never in the same place. The new site is based around search (very Web 3.0, yeah?) and so it’s something that’s essential to get right. I think you’ll like what we’ve done, and once we get the design right I’ll post some screen shots. What I can tell you now is that you’ll have no problems finding it!

Finally, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page. Steve has been busy updating it with press release and video links, and we’ve noticed that several of you are reading the blog through it. Please feel free to ping us either here or on Facebook if there’s anything you’d like to see.

Have a great weekend!

Walsh, E., Kühn, S., Brass, M., Wenke, D., & Haggard, P. (2010). EEG activations during intentional inhibition of voluntary action: An electrophysiological correlate of self-control? Neuropsychologia, 48 (2), 619-626 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.026

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