Elsewhere in Science, 14 February 2014


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—publisher of Science Careers—membership/Science subscription or a site license.)

• Perhaps this week’s biggest career-related news is the announcement by AAAS (publisher of Science Careers) and Science of the launch of a new, online, open-access journal, Science Advances. Jocelyn Kaiser and David Malakoff described the project in a Wednesday Insider post. Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt and AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan Leshner wrote about the new journal in a Science editorial posted Wednesday on the Science website.

“Like Science, the new journal will span all scientific disciplines, from social sciences to biology to engineering,” Kaiser and Malakoff wrote. “To cover publishing costs, Science Advances will charge a per-paper fee expected to be within the range of what other open-access journals charge, typically about $1200 to $5000. Within 5 years, the journal aims to ramp up to publishing a few thousand papers annually, and be breaking even on the balance sheet.”

In the editorial, McNutt and Leshner wrote that Science and AAAS’s other journals have been turning away many high-quality papers. Science Advances will “help meet this need,” they predict. Well-reviewed submissions rejected by the three AAAS research journals—Science, Sci. TM, and Science Signaling—can be considered automatically for publication in Science Advances, without additional review. Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and an open-access advocate, called the announcement “great news.”

• Few scientists start out their careers intending to become academic administrators, but it’s hardly a rare trajectory. Chemist Holden Thorp was named chancellor of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2008 and stepped down at the end of the 2012-13 academic year to become provost at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Several current or past college presidents are scientists, including the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Shirley Jackson and former National Science Foundation (NSF) head Subra Suresh of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

• For many Americans, memories of last October’s government shutdown may be fading, but not for U.S. researchers working in Antarctica. They’re still reeling from the shutdown’s impact, which is likely to continue at least into the 2015 research season.

The 5% budget cut resulting from sequestration also forced NSF to reduce its Antarctic research ambitions. “Together, those two events created a logjam that forced NSF to scale back work on a dozen scientific projects being carried out during the current season,” Jeffrey Mervis wrote Thursday on ScienceInsider. “And scientists with another 17 projects on this year’s lineup were told that they must wait until next year. In turn, the reshuffling of those 29 projects in all has created another logistical headache.”

Deferred projects mean tighter budgets next season and more competition for limited NSF funds. But Scott Borg, the head of NSF’s Antarctic science program, provided some reassurance by sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter encouraging scientists to apply for funding. “The point of the letter was to say, ‘Hey, things aren’t that bad,’ ” Borg told ScienceInsider. “Yes, we are facing some tough fiscal realities, but we don’t want people to give up.”

There is more than one side to every story, but Bernard Dutrillaux, who worked in Lejeune’s lab from the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, said that both sides should know better than to fight such “petty, rear-guard battles.”

• Are you attending the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago? Don’t miss out on the cool Science swag hidden around the meeting space. Follow @ScienceNews  and look for hints tagged #scienceswag to find the items.

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