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At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Chemists Launch Preprint Server
29 August 2000 7:00 pm
Washington, D.C.--For years, the rules for submitting articles to scientific publications were clear: Only new data would be published, and only after the report was reviewed by scientific peers. But last week chemists launched a preprint server, a forum for raw, unreviewed manuscripts. The server has sparked a heated debate, pitting two of the field's foremost publishing houses against each other.
The preprint server, run by publisher Elsevier Science's ChemWeb, is modeled closely on the physics preprint archive started in 1991 by Paul Ginsparg at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, which today serves as a storehouse for some 146,000 articles. Posting a story there poses no problems for physicists: American Physical Society journals, including the prominent Physical Review Letters, not only publish articles already posted on the Los Alamos preprint server, but even provide the electronic connections for authors to submit to the journals at the click of a button.
Chemists, however, face a tougher decision. "A preprint server is highly controversial among chemists," said Daryle Busch, president of the American Chemical Society (ACS), speaking here at the society's national meeting last week. Busch, a chemist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, says he and his colleagues are lured by the Web's speed, wide dissemination, and low cost of publishing. But many researchers fear that the absence of peer review will reduce the quality of submissions and force readers to wade through electronic mounds of poor-quality results in search of tidbits of worthwhile science.
The new preprint archive likely faces a tough future, because ACS journal editors are lined up against it. ACS publishes many of the premier journals in the field, including the flagship Journal of the American Chemical Society. Nearly all ACS journal editors consider posting results on the Web to constitute "prior publication," says Robert Bovenschulte, head of ACS publications. (Science maintains the same policy.) That means ACS journals will not publish papers that appear first on ChemWeb's preprint server.
But Elsevier's own journals will. Indeed, Elsevier--which is ACS's chief competitor in the chemistry journal publishing business--may be counting on ChemWeb to give its journals an edge among some chemists. Elsevier officials may be hoping that researchers interested in distributing results quickly will then send their articles to Elsevier journals to get the peer review stamp of approval, Bovenschulte says.