Issue 9

Adherence to editorial checklists


The DataONE summer internship program is now accepting applications until March 22.


Robert-Jan Smits is departing as the European Commission’s Special Envoy for Open Access and coordinator of cOAlition S. He is being replaced by Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust) as interim coordinator.

Elsevier’s revenue has increased by 2% in 2018. With an adjusted operating profit of £942 Million on a revenue of £2,538 Million, the profit margin remained at 37%. The full shareholder report is here.

That revenue may be lower in 2019 than hoped for, as the University of California (UC) has terminated its subscription with Elsevier. No agreement could be reached with the publisher. From UC’s perspective “Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.” An Elsevier statement in response is here. Comments by the co-chair of UC’s negotiations team provide additional details why the university pulled the plug now, citing beyond the broader argument attempts by the publisher to reach out to UC faculty that are Elsevier editors.

Atypon has acquired Authorea and Manuscripts. The plan of the online publishing platform Atypon plans to use these to offer an online collaborative writing tool that allows an integration with JATS/XML publishing platforms for what may presumably end up to be a seamless collaborative authoring and publishing process. 


Did a change in Nature journals’ editorial policy for life sciences research improve reporting?” Yes it does. The study by the NPQIP Collaborative group finds that the implementation of an editorial checklist across Nature journals improves reporting standards. This is different to the case (at PLOS ONE) where a checklist is recommended but not editorially implemented. A dedicated editorial implementation does show better results. Published in BMJ Open Science.

A world without clouds. A feature by Natalie Wolchover in Quanta Magazine on computer simulations that show that feedback mechanisms from climate change could lead to the disappearance of stratocumulus clouds, and several degrees of global warming. Original paper in Nature Geoscience (institutional repository).

CRISPR gene editing technology does not come without collateral damage, as new research has shown.


March 8 is International Women’s Day! There are plenty of notable events globally, including this in London on Shifting the balance in STEM, organized by Clarivate and Ada Lovelace Day.

Adherence to editorial checklists

The adherence to editorial checklist items in Nature journals before and after implementation in 2013 (gray column).
Credit (CC-BY): The NPQIP Collaborative group. Did a change in Nature journals’ editorial policy for life sciences research improve reporting? BMJ Open Science 2019;3:e000035. doi: 10.1136/bmjos-2017-000035 .