Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nature launches online-only journal

The Nature publishing team have just announced that they're making the leap into the world of online-only "Nature-branded" journals.

It'll be interesting to see how this news is received in the science world - especially with the talk of an "article processing charge" being one route to publication, and Creative Commons licensing being an option as well.

There is also some talk of "including interactive browsing and enhanced metadata" for readers, but I wonder if the interface will be as ambitious as Elsevier's recent "Article of the Future" initiative?

Nature Communications will be accepting submissions from October 2009 and the journal goes live online in April 2010. In the meantime, here are some of the most interesting points from the Nature press release:

Announcing Nature Communications — a multidisciplinary, online-only journal with an open-access option

  • Nature Communications will publish high-quality peer-reviewed research across the biological, chemical and physical sciences, and will be the first online-only Nature-branded journal.
  • “As a born-digital publication, Nature Communications will provide readers and authors with the benefits of enhanced web technologies alongside a rapid, yet rigorous, peer-review process.” says Sarah Greaves, Publisher of Nature Communications. “Nature Communications will offer authors high visibility for their papers on the platform, access to a broad readership and efficient peer review with fast publication. For readers, the journal will offer functionality including interactive browsing and enhanced metadata to enable sorting by keywords.”
  • To ensure Nature Communications responds to changes in journal publishing, authors will be able to publish their work either via the traditional subscription route, or as open access through payment of an article processing charge (APC).
  • Authors who choose the open-access option will be able to license their work under a Creative Commons license, including the option to allow derivative works. Authors who do not choose the open-access option will still enjoy all of the benefits of NPG’s self-archiving policy and manuscript deposition service.
  • The journal will begin accepting submissions in October 2009, with the first issue published online in April 2010. More detail, including pricing, will be available ahead of launch. Institutional subscriptions will be priced to reflect the uptake of the APC — demonstrating NPG’s continuing commitments to author service alongside flexible publishing models and quality customer service.
  • The Nature Communications editorial team will be based in NPG’s London office, and editorial enquiries should be sent to:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Videos get physical

I'm delighted to see that the team at have made physics videos central to their impressive new website. First in the series is one with CERN boss Rolf-Dieter Heuer (pictured above).

Here's what they say about this initiative themselves (and I should mention that I've written for Physics World in the past and I'm a member of the Institute of Physics too - but that's not really a conflict of interest!):

The Institute of Physics Publishing has today relaunched Already established as the most popular news-based physics website in the world, the site now provides video content and webinars. The first video interview is with CERN’s director general Rolf-Dieter Heuer, who reveals that he will push for the linear collider – the next big experiment in particle physics after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – to be built at the Geneva lab. Click here to view the full interview ..

Although a design for the machine has not been finalized by the international particle-physics community, Heuer is keen to bring the collider to CERN. "I would be a bad director-general if I did not push for CERN at least bidding for the next global project," Heuer told "CERN is a fantastic place. [It] has proven that it can host such a project and therefore I think CERN should do it."

In the interview Heuer has also confirmed a mid-November switch-on date for the LHC, which should see the first collisions this year after months of extensive repair works following the electrical fault that occurred just nine days after the first protons were sent round the collider in September 2008.

The video interview with Heuer - as well as an interview with CERN’s head of communications James Gillies, and vox-pop interviews with seven CERN insiders - can be viewed on at .. Apart from a sleek new look and the use of video content, the relaunched site also hosts a webinar channel, which will contain lectures from the world’s leading scientists and science writers, with the inaugural lecture from Graham Farmelo, author of an acclaimed new biography on Paul Dirac, due to be aired next month.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Join the beauty science revolution!

Every once in a while, something comes along in the area of science communication that makes me go "wow"... And this website called The Beauty Magnet "revealing the truth behind beauty, lifestyle, gadgets and even bedroom antics" is great.

It presents science in a way that could reach a really really wide audience - and the design is great too. Here's what it's creator Nell Byrne has to say about it:
"I want to let you know a little bit about a project website I have completed for a MSc in Science Communication called The Beauty Magnet.

Now before you fall asleep at the mention of science, it's not THAT kind of science.

This website is about uncovering the truth behind beauty, lifestyle, gadgets and even bedroom antics.

Whether it's what colour to wear on a date, what anti-wrinkle cream actually really works or how to add a little sunshine to your life on a rainy day in Ireland you will find it at the Beauty Magnet.

We want people to get involved with this project and to join a revolution against misleading cosmetics, false advertising and ultimately bad bedroom habits.

Have a happy life & get chatting with your fellow beauty magnets.

You can add us on Facebook or Twitter - totally hassle free and benefit from the chatting, the ranting and good old fashioned indulged."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Space in 3D (kind of)

ESA have just published their Bulletin magazine
on-line using a snazzy "page flip" interface

And interestingly they're using the impressive "3Dissue" software developed by an Irish company to do it.

Here's the blurb from ESA:
The August issue of the Bulletin introduces Europe's new astronauts, who are starting their training at the European Astronaut Centre this September.

Read the Bulletin and other publications online, with our new visualisation tool.

Read online:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Spinning Science on TV

It's been great working recently with Seán Duke of Science Spin magazine on some of his science slots on TV3's Ireland AM.

This is all part of our on-going work here at Agtel for the Irish Government initiative Discover Science & Engineering to get more science etc. broadcast on tv.

And Seán Duke's blog gives a good overview of the many science communication initiatives he's involved with!

Monday, September 07, 2009

iTunes for research papers

Thanks to Victor Keegan in the Technology Guardian for bringing attention to this great looking piece of software...

Mendeley is a "research management tool for desktop & web" that's free and network enabled. My favourite feature? The way you can keep tabs on what other people who do research in your area are reading - all anonymously, of course:

Explore research trends and statistics

Mendeley allows you to discover and aggregate anonymous statistics about research trends. You can view the most popular authors, papers, journals and tags in your academic discipline, and discover interesting statistics about your own research paper library. These include viewing the number of papers by specific authors, most frequently used tags, the number of articles in your library, the number of authors and the number of references cited by these papers. You can also view your top publication outlets by topic. These statistics allow you to have a good overview of what your research habits and priorities are at this time.

The Mendeley team were among the organisers of the Science Online London 2009 event recently. The programme looks really impressive - and hopefully some of the presentations will make their way online soon...