Elsewhere in Science, 29 November 2013

Each week, Science publishes a few articles that are likely to be of interest to career-minded readers. But because those articles aren’t featured on Science Careers, our readers could easily overlook them.

To remedy that, every Friday we’re pointing readers toward articles appearing in Science—the print magazine as well as the other Science-family publications (ScienceInsider, ScienceNOW, Science Translational Medicine—Sci. TM—and Science Signaling)—that hold some relevance or nuggets of advice for readers interested in furthering their careers in science. (Please note that while articles appearing in ScienceInsider and ScienceNOW can be read by anyone, articles appearing in Sci. TM, Science Signaling, and Science may require AAAS membership/Science subscription or a site license.)

• Scientists in Israel will still be eligible for European Union science funding, thanks to an agreement reached last week. Two weeks ago, Science reported the passage of Horizon 2020, the new science funding framework for the European Union. At that time, however, there was still some uncertainty about whether Israel—which in the past has done quite well in securing E.U. science funding, as an “associated country”—would be able to participate in Horizon 2020. At issue was an E.U. rule that would “prohibit any E.U. funds from going to Israeli organizations or activities in the territories occupied after June 1967, including the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Gaza, and East Jerusalem,” Gretchen Vogel wrote at Insider on Wednesday. But last week, Israel and the European Union came to an agreement: The E.U. rule would still apply, but Israel will append to the agreement a statement saying that it does not agree with the guidelines.

• The reproducibility of scientific experiments—particularly in psychological science—came under intense scrutiny recently after a series of attempts at replicating important results failed. It’s a huge issue for researchers working in the field, whose competence has been called into question, implicitly at least. But now there’s some moderately good news: In its first report, an alliance aimed at testing the reproducibility of psychological science results succeeded in replicating 10 of 13 experiments, as John Bohannon reported Wednesday at Insider.

• One of the many ways that the landscape for scientists has changed in recent years is the diversity of venues for publishing scholarly research, and the biggest change is the rise of open access. So, how do scientists feel about open access? They think it’s very important in principle, but most still choose traditional journals. On ScienceInsider on Friday, Jocelyn Kaiser reported that, according to an online survey conducted by Science, researchers believe in open access in principle, but when it comes to deciding where to publish, they prefer traditional venues. Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents answered “Very important” to the question, “How important is it for scientific papers to be freely accessible to the public?” and just over half said they preferred immediate open access to published results. Only about 3% said that open access isn’t important. However, when asked, “Of the papers that you published in the last 3 years, what percentage did you submit to fully open access journals?” 42% answered “Zero”, and a little more than 30% answered “Less than 50%.” While many of those who published in open-access journals cited increased visibility as a reason, 63% of those who chose traditional venues thought that traditional journal publications were more valued by peers and tenure committees. Others are deterred by the publication fees charged by open-access publishers. Commenters pointed out that many authors like to publish in traditional journals and then make their work accessible by posting to a repository.

• Winners of science communication awards are usually writers, but the preferred medium of this year’s winner of the Communications Award of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) was more akin to performance art: A story about a sufferer of schistosomiasis told using sand and light and sound by Shelly Xie, an undergraduate student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Xie won $2000 and a trip to the ASTMH meeting, where she performed a new work on hookworm disease.

• In News and Analysis, Jeffrey Mervis profiled Ann Reid, the new executive director for the National Center for Science Education. Reid has a very interesting career path: She graduated from college at 19 and then earned a master’s degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and started a career in international diplomacy. It didn’t suit her, she says, because it wasn’t evidence-based. So she took an entry-level lab-tech job at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. That led to a 20-year career that included a leading role in sequencing the virus that led to the 1918 flu pandemic. They finished that work in 1994, after 7 years of effort. “Now you could do it on your lunch hour,” she says. After that she left the bench and returned to policy work.

• Is there a more exciting research topic than the origin of life? In News Focus, Robert Service profiled Jack Szostak, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for his work on telomeres before changing directions and pursuing origins-of-life research. His goal is to create primitive life from scratch in a test tube. It’s an interesting story of how the science has progressed, and there’s quite a bit in there about Szostak’s career development, including his early education and his several changes of direction.

• Also in News Focus, Mara Hvistendahl exposed a “thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and compromised editors—many of them operating in plain view. The commodity: papers in journals indexed by Thomson Reuters’ Science Citation Index, Thomson Reuters’ Social Sciences Citation Index, and Elsevier’s Engineering Index.” In a related article, Hvistendahl notes that while these paper-selling agencies may resemble legitimate businesses that promise to help Chinese scientists with their English, a guarantee that a paper will be published is a red flag.

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