July blogs digest: Impact Factors, swimmer’s itch, dodos, and more

Impact factors planetIt’s been a bumper month on the BioMed Central blogs, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve missed a few posts. Not to worry though, as we’ve pulled together all the highlights right here.

The new Impact Factors are coming…

(Or rather, they’ve now arrived!) Now is the time of year when journal editors all over the world sit repeatedly clicking ‘refresh’ on their browsers. Up? Down? Staying the same? What will happen to their journal’s Impact Factor when the Journal Citation Report is published? Diana Marshall, Senior Managing Editor of the BMC series, wrote about how the new Impact Factors will affect her journals, and the publishing world as a whole.

Swimmer’s itch: sailors, fishermen and swimmers beware

For those in the northern hemisphere, summer holidays are in full swing and with them comes the pleasure of taking part in fresh water sports. But beware, minuscule parasites may be lurking in seemingly tranquil waters. Professor Hilary Hurd wrote for BugBitten about the ever unpleasant swimmer’s itch.

Spotted-Green-Pigeon-from-Bulletin-of-the-Liverpool-Museums-by-Joseph-Smit-2-275x300The Dodo and the Spotted Green Pigeon; solving a 200 year old mystery

Of the many species to become extinct in the era of European exploration in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Spotted Green Pigeon is one of the most mysterious. It is known to us today from just a single museum specimen. Chris Foote wrote for the BMC series blog about how a novel DNA extraction technique has finally allowed researchers to unravel the pigeon’s history.

Publish or perish – are women disadvantaged by current measures of scientific ‘success’?

Following the publication of an article in PLOS One which claimed that 87% of the most highly cited articles are authored by fewer than 1% of scientists, Medical Editor Jigisha Patel took to the blogs. Her concern? The analysis focuses on researchers with an uninterrupted continuous publication record. But where does this leave women who want to take a break to have children?

From the Black Death to the conflict in Syria

“I am a man who sees death every day” – health and the Syrian conflictWith crucial services and support systems disrupted, the health and welfare of millions of people in Syria hang in the balance. A guest post from the Global Health Film initiative discussed how a new film can help us to recognize the challenges faced.

The diverse world of citation indexing servicesCitation counts can tell a more accurate story about the scholarly impact that an individual article has made than the journal Impact Factor. But where should you look for these counts? Ciaran O’Neill took a look at the discrepancies between different citation indexing services.

The Black Death. Could it make a comeback?The Black Death was a great pandemic that devastated the realms of Europe, killing millions of people and depleting populations. But is this disease confined forever to the history books or is it a dormant threat? James Balm investigated the history of this deadly disease and what its future might be.

What is the BioMed Central and SpringerOpen Membership Program?Even though some of the world’s best known research institutions are our Members, we’ve noticed that a lot of people aren’t sure what our Membership Program is. Alicja Dobrzynska from our Membership Team answered some of the questions we get asked on a regular basis.

Building the Open Access ButtonEver felt frustrated by not being able to access a piece of research? You’re not alone! In this guest post, Chealsye Bowley, Launch Coordinator for Open Access Button told us about how and why they developed the Button, how it could help ease that frustration, and the work they’ve got in store to make it even more effective.

WHO joins PubMed CentralFrom 1st July 2014, articles authored or co-authored by World Health Organization (WHO) staff or funding recipients must be published in an open-access journal or a hybrid open-access journal (a subscription journal with some open access articles). Alanna Orpen took a look at what this means.

The failure rate of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s – why we need to raise our game: New research published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy showed that the failure rate for Alzheimer’s Disease drug development is 99.6%. In a guest blog, Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, discussed the challenges we are facing in tackling this devastating condition.

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