Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weeknote #46

There's been a bit of a gap since the last weeknote, mainly due to Christmas, followed by the start of term and the usual last-minute rush before a big European Commission funding deadline...

The crush paper I recently published with Pete and Steve has attracted a certain amount of media attention; the story (see the scan to the right) was used as the centrepiece in the campus roundup section of yesterday's Times Higher Education, and we're expecting local newspaper coverage next week. Apart from the obvious high quality of the science and the significant potential impact of the work ;-) I'm convinced that one of the reasons that the story has been given such prominence is that we published the paper in an open-access journal. If the paper had been buried away behind a journal paywall, I'm not sure people would have been so keen to cover it, and anyone who sees the story and searches for the work will be able to read it, whether they're affiliated to a University or not (and not be asked for $30 for the privilege, or whatever the going rate is...) Of course, we had to pay $1,350 to have the paper published (not considered for publication...), but we could have applied for a fee waiver had we been unable to find the money (and reviewers/editors don't know the payment status when they consider papers).

The proof is in the access statistics; the paper was published just over three weeks ago, and it's been viewed over 800 times already. It's been argued that the average number of readers for an academic article is about 5, so this is clearly an improvement!

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