Biomedical research — indeed research in all scientific disciplines — builds on previous knowledge. In 1665, the first scientific journals were created as a way to formally document and archive research discoveries. The adoption and growth of the scientific journal system has created a body of shared knowledge, a collective memory that spans centuries.
This week, the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), announced F1000 Research, a new fully Open Access publishing program across biology and medicine that will launch later this year . F1000 Research is intended to address the major issues afflicting scientific publishing today: timely dissemination of research, peer review, and sharing of data.
Today more than ever, science is playing a pivotal role in food and cooking as the worlds of the laboratory and the kitchen come closter together. A perfect example of this in today’s culture is the Food Network show Good Eats with Alton Brown along with websites like the Science of Cooking, Molecular Recipies, Modernist Cuisine and the Molecular Gastronomy Network.
The result of this movement to bring science into the kitchen is Molecular Gastronomy, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking. Molecular Gastronomy is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals to study the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.
Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at U.C. Davis Genome Center, has been named the first Academic Editor-in-Chief at the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal PLoS Biology. He wrote an editorial published Tuesday on the PLoS Biology website that discusses his conversion and commitment to open-access publishing. His personal experience exemplifies what to me is the principle reason for open access :
So there I was — a scientist and a taxpayer — desperate to read the results of work that I helped pay for and work that might give me more knowledge than possessed by our doctors. And yet either I could not get the papers or I had to pay to read them without knowing if they would be helpful.
Decisions in health and medicine frequently aren’t black and white. In the Internet age, more and more people are using the web to guide healthcare decision making. Allowing healthcare consumers and e-patients access to evidence from biomedical research studies will enable them to make more informed decisions about their healthcare. Open access is pivotal to that empowerment.
Elsevier, a leading publisher of over 400 medical and scientific journals serving more than 30 million scientists, students and health and information professionals worldwide, has initiated a beta test program called Patient Research. The program gives patients, family members and caregivers access to medical articles to help them understand their health issues.