‘Nature’ requires responsible party

Nature announced today that it is modifying its authorship policies for submission to its journals. The two major changes are that one senior author will be required to take “responsibility” for the paper, and that an explicit list of each coauthor’s role in the paper must be submitted. In a November 2007 editorial, the leadership at Nature suggested that a senior or corresponding author on every paper be required to...

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Environment: Elbowed out by recession

In mid-February, George Will, resident Washington Post conservative and climate-skeptic, wrote an editorial denouncing “Dark Green Doomsayers.” The editorial was filled with anecdotal references of news articles from the 1970′s that declare widespread climate cooling and exclaim that the world will soon find itself in the next ice age. The piece outraged the environmental community and sparked a flurry of internet...

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Wikipedia: A scientific and educational opportunity

Emilio Bruna of the University of Florida wanted to assign students in his graduate seminar on plant -animal interactions something different than a term paper.  So he devised a novel plan that would help them learn some crucial concepts while writing concisely: rewriting Wikipedia entries.  I caught up with Emilio and student Kristine Callis, who is the first author of their resulting Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper, to learn...

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A realistic map of scientific thought

Tracking citation data (i.e., which papers cite which other papers) has traditionally been the method for understanding the interconnectivity of different fields and subfields of research. But in the age when most researchers access their information online, the printed word can sometimes be years out of date. In a paper published this week in Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS ONE), Johan Bollen of the Los Alamos National Laboratory...

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Moving Forward with Ecological Informatics and Reproducibility

Over the last year it has become increasingly apparent to me that ecologists and environmental scientists must take a more active role in providing access to both data and the analytical techniques used to analyze those data. As our studies become increasingly broad, our analytical capabilities must also expand and, perhaps more importantly, we should be able to more easily share and reproduce complex analyses. My awareness of this...

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NSF requests responses to important survey

As you may know, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is conducting a survey of principal investigators. If you received the survey invitation, we encourage our members to participate. More information about the purpose of survey can be found below as well as answers to frequently asked questions. You may also visit the “Special Notice” section of the NSF website, www.nsf.gov. In support of NSF’s mission to promote the progress...

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How to sneak into grad school

After 12 years of formal education (13 if you count kindergarten) and four years of college, one would think I would be sick of school. However, I saw only two options: get a real job and become a real adult or keep going to school. Higher education seemed like the best plan! The only problem there was no clear road map telling me what to do after college. I wasn’t even sure if I should choose vet school or grad school, and if I...

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Will ESA’s News and Views Blog change the way that academics publish their ideas?

ESA’s News and Views Blog is something that is long overdue. Its mission to engage students is especially valuable. For academics in particular, however, the ESA Blog presents some intriguing and important implications and consequences for the process of publication. I would like to encourage some discussion of this. My view is that the ESA Blog has the capacity to become an important domain for peer-reviewed, citable...

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