November blogs digest: Kissing, open access, zombie ants, and more

There were posts on everything from diabetes to chemical sterilization in dogs across our blogs in November. Catch up on our most popular posts here:

The Impact Factor of journals converting from subscription to open access

In January, BioMed Central Publisher Stefan Busch wrote a piece about the Impact Factor trend of established journals that had joined our portfolio of open access publications. He asked whether there was an open access citation effect to observe, and whether the findings had implications for an editorial strategy? The answer was ‘yes’ to both questions.

In a new post in early November, Stefan reported additional data, which is helping the picture become more fine grained. It shows the extent and the sustainability of the Impact Factor gains of such journals after their conversion to open access.

Sealed with a kiss – and 80 million oral bacteria

Ben Johnson’s thoughts turned to Christmas, at the news of a study published in Microbiome in November. It seems a drunken kiss with a colleague at the inevitable office party could leave you with many millions of their oral bacteria. The researchers also showed that the more a couple kisses, the more similar their oral bacteria. Ben’s post explores the research into our oral microbiomes.

Chemical sterilization: A safe alternative for dogs?

Could chemical sterilization be an affordable solution to keeping stray dog populations under control? Raffaella Leoci is a researcher at the University Bari Aldo Moro in Italy and lead author of two articles published in Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica on chemical sterilization of dogs using calcium chloride. In a guest post she told us why she thinks use of calcium chloride sterilization could be the answer to stray overpopulation.

Who reviews the reviewers?

The problem of fake peer reviewers is affecting the whole of academic journal publishing and we are among the ranks of publishers hit by this type of fraud.

Jigisha Patel is our Director of Research Integrity, and in this post she wrote about the most recent incident we’ve uncovered which appears to show that peer review fakery has reached a higher level of sophistication. The pattern found, where there is no apparent connection between the authors but similarities between the suggested reviewers, suggests that a third party could be behind this sophisticated fraud. Jigisha described the steps we’re taking to combat this, as well as possible longer term solutions such as ORCID.

From diabetes to zombie ants

Zombie ants have been manipulated by secretions from a killer fungus: The world of parasites that manipulate the behaviors of their host became even more fascinating this September. Hilary Hurd wrote on a paper reporting findings that begin to unravel the mechanism behind the spectacular ant-brain manipulation performed by a parasitic fungus. 

15 million babies born too soon: World Prematurity Day 2014This year 15 million babies will be born prematurely, with 1 million a year – or 3000 a day – dying as a result of premature birth. For World Prematurity Day, Natasha Salaria looked at the research hoping to address this problem.

An open future for neuroscience – BioMed Central at SfN 2014!This year, as we geared up for SfN, we decided to mark the occasion by summing up in 60 seconds the impact of publishing open access neuroscience research with BioMed Central. Liz Bal’s post premiered our new video.

Diabetes: Risk factors and lifestyle interventionsWorld Diabetes Day this year was centred on the theme of healthy living and diabetes. To mark this, BMC Medicine took a look at some of the recent research and discussions on risk factors and lifestyle interventions associated with type 2 diabetes.

Keeping it clean: Spotlight on contamination in microbiome studiesA study published in BMC Biology found that many published microbiome studies may have been contaminated. In a guest post, Susannah Salter and Alan Walker, authors on the paper, told us more about what they found.

The 10th NCRI Cancer Conference: disease prevention, patient care and genomic medicineHaving just returned from the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Conference – the UK’s biggest cancer meeting – BMC Medicine took a look at some key themes and new research presented at the meeting.

GP chlamydia testing rates: previously unexplored associationsChlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, Veronica Wignall wrote for BMC Series blog about how whether or not you’re tested could depend on who or where your GP is.

Publishing our first virtual box of delights to aid the fight against heart diseaseNew research in GigaScience provides a fantastic example of open data sharing to help build tools to improve magnetic resonance imaging of the heart. Journal Editor Scott Edmunds told us more on GigaBlog.

How global are you?: Open access has made research accessible to everyone, but what is the use of having a global platform right there waiting for you, if you do not make the best use of it? Srimathy Sriskantharajah wrote about how Malaria Journal are helping to make publishing research more accessible for African malaria researchers.

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