An email from current president of the Society for Neuroscience announced the intent of the society to launch a new Open Access journal. They are seeking an Editor in Chief, so if you know any likely candidates nominate them.

The Society for Neuroscience Council has appointed a Search Committee to recommend candidates to serve as editors-in-chief for two Society-published journals:

The Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Neuroscience, to be appointed for a 5-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2015, after a period of transition with the current editor; and
The first Editor-in-Chief of a new online, open access neuroscience journal, expected to launch in late 2014, and temporarily referred to herein as “New Journal.” Please see the announcement here for more information about New Journal. This 5-year appointment will commence in the spring of 2014, to allow the new editor to be involved in decisions connected with the start-up of New Journal and the organizing of an initial editorial board.

The members of the Search Committee are: Moses Chao, Chair; Holly Cline; Barry Everitt; David Fitzpatrick; and Eve Marder.

The list of evaluation criteria may help you to think about who you should nominate.

In evaluating candidates for the editor-in-chief positions, the Search Committee will consider the following criteria:

  • previous editorial experience

  • adequate time flexibility to take on the responsibilities of editor-in-chief

  • a distinguished record of research in neuroscience

  • familiarity with online submission, peer review and manuscript tracking systems

  • ideas about novel approaches and receptivity to innovation during a time of great change in the scientific publishing field

  • service to and leadership in the neuroscience community (e.g., SfN committees)

  • evidence of good management skills and the ability to lead colleagues on an editorial board

  • for New Journal: the capacity to proactively engage on a start-up venture, and to innovate and lead in the creation of a high quality open access neuroscience journal, and guide it on a path to success

  • for The Journal of Neuroscience: the capacity to build on an established record of success, while continuing to evolve a leading journal in the field and take it to the next level

Interesting next step for the SfN. Obviously reflects some thinking that they may be left behind (even further, see diminishing reputation after the launch of Nature Neuroscience and Neuron) in the glorious New World Order of Open Access publication. Might just be a recognition that Open Access fees for a new journal when all the infrastructure is already there is going to be a cash cow for the Society from the beginning.

What I will be fascinated to see is where they pitch the New Journal* in terms of impact. Are they just trying to match JNeuro? Will they deliberately go a little lower down the feeding chain to avoid undercutting the flagship journal?

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*my suggestion of Penfield must have been too esoteric a reference…..

SFN2013: Are you attending?

November 5, 2013

This is my annual no-promises request for you, my Readers, to turn the tables.

I am interested in what you all have to say, scientifically.

So, if inclined drop your presentation details here in the comments* or send me an email. Drugmnky at the google mail.

I might stop by.

Also, there will be BANTER.

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*your fellow readers may likewise be interested in your work

Those of us in the neurosciences are preparing for our largest annual scientific gathering. I like to remind you to attend to a certain little task to assist with the odds of obtaining NIH grant funding. This includes a little bit of homework on your part, so block out an hour or two with your coffee cup.

Part of the process of sustained NIH funding includes the long game of developing interpersonal relationships with the Program Officers that staff the NIH ICs of interest to our individual research areas. Sure, they do turn over a bit and may jump ICs but I’ve had some POs involved with my proposals for essentially the entire duration of my funded career to date.

Many scientists find the schmoozing process to be uncomfortable and perhaps even distasteful.

To this I can only reply “Well, do you want to get funded or not?”.

This post originally went up Nov 12, 2008. I’ve edited a few things for links and content.


One of the most important things you are going to do during the upcoming SfN Annual Meeting in San Diego is to stroll around NIH row. Right?

I have a few thoughts for the trainees after the jump. I did mention that this is a long game, did I not? Read the rest of this entry »

Up all night…

November 5, 2013

via the UCSD Neuroscience Graduate Students

SFN 2013 funnies

October 22, 2013

In case you missed it, @markgbaxter was KILLING it last night with the #SFNmemes

some of my favorites were perhaps

and

I think @neuropolarbear started it.

And there was contribution from @nickwan

Go Read.

Poster solitude

October 21, 2013

Next time you are at your favorite scientific meeting, take a look at the trainees that are standing forlornly, uncomfortably alone at their posters. Contrast them with the young trainees that have an audience stacked three deep in a semicircle.

Do you notice any differentials in male/female, attractive/unattractive, white/black/asian/latino/etc ?

I think I shall engage in this exercise at the upcoming meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in November.

As you all know, the annual meetings of the academic scientific societies are a great place to interact with the Program Staff of your most relevant NIH Institutes and Centers. The past few years of budget flatlines, some concern over junketeering in other Government agencies and most painfully the sequester has already had an impact.

It isn’t only the Program Staff either. Many of you will have colleagues, as I do, that work at various federal research installations including the NIH Intramural Research programs of each IC. Their travel has been restricted as well.

The government shutdown comes at a bad time for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience which is scheduled for November 9-13, 2013.

@inbabyattachmode just alerted me to the first sign of doom.

A satellite meeting hosted by NIDA has been cancelled.

NIDA SfN Mini-Convention
Friday, November 8, 2013
CANCELED

Belt up, scientists. This ride is getting bumpy.

Actually I’m just posting this because I can never find this policy on the SfN meeting site when I am looking to cite it. And I always remember seeing something like this during the registration process so, here’s the policy.

First, the funny bit. You have to assent to this in order to be registered for the meeting.

Photo and Video Release

By registering for Neuroscience 2013 or its associated events, you hereby understand that you may be photographed, videotaped, or digitally recorded, as may be your voice, and hereby waive any objection, condition, limit, or right you may have to the photographs or recordings.

By registering for Neuroscience 2013 or its associated events, you hereby authorize SfN to use any such photographs, videotapes or other recordings of yourself and your guests for any promotional purposes and to license other relevant people/organizations to use them. You hereby indemnify and hold the Society harmless for any such licensed or unlicensed use.

Don’t image us, we’ll image you. Heh.

Moving on, the actual policy of interest regarding taking photographs of the presentations.

Photography Policy during Scientific Sessions

Photography of scientific presentations, including posters presentations, is prohibited without the specific consent of the presenter(s)/author(s). Individuals who do not comply will be asked to leave the session. In addition, the use of cameras and recording devices (to include cell phones with camera capabilities) are prohibited in the Exhibit Hall. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the annual meeting Press Room.

Personally I have yet to see someone asked to leave a slide session for taking photos, even when it is as egregious as standing up with a full-frame camera and snapping ever damn slide. So yeah. Of course, what do I know, maybe the presenters gave specific consent.

“prohibited in the Exhibit Hall”. That means the poster sessions. No snapping pictures of your friends or trainees at their very first poster. Nuh-uh. Can’t do it.

This is my annual no-promises request for you, my Readers, to turn the tables.

I am interested in what you all have to say, scientifically.

So, if inclined drop your presentation details here in the comments or send me an email. Drugmnky at the google mail.

I might stop by.

As those of us in the neurosciences prepare for our largest annual scientific gathering, we should attend to a certain little task to assist with the odds of obtaining NIH grant funding. Part of that process is a long game of developing interpersonal relationships with the Program Officers that staff the NIH ICs of interest to our individual research areas. Many scientists find the schmoozing process to be uncomfortable and perhaps even distasteful.

To this I can only reply “Well, do you want to get funded or not?”.

This post originally went up Nov 12, 2008. I’ve edited a few things for links and content.


One of the most important things you are going to do during the upcoming SfN Annual Meeting in Washington DC is to stroll around NIH row. Right?

I have a few thoughts for the trainees after the jump. I did mention that this is a long game, did I not? Read the rest of this entry »

What with the 2012 edition of the Society for Neuroscience meeting rapidly approaching, I thought I’d return to this critical issue in meeting etiquette.

This was originally posted Sept 11, 2008 on the old Scienceblogs version of DrugMonkey.
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Annual scientific meetings have many purposes. One of the most essential purposes that cannot be readily accomplished by other means is the initiation and development of inter-personal relationships. Call it networking, schmoozing or whatever you like. As with any other human enterprise, there are many aspects that are improved by meeting other people face to face and becoming acquainted with them.
There is an aspect of scientific meetings, however, that always presents a very difficult problem for YHN (see Figure 1).

Read the rest of this entry »

Neuropolarbear has a post up suggesting that people presenting posters at scientific meetings should know how to give the short version of their poster.

My favorite time to see posters is 11:55 and 4:55, since then people are forced to keep it short.

If you are writing your poster talk right now, remember to use a stopwatch and make your 5 minute version 5 minutes.

Don’t even practice a longer version.

I have a suggestion.

Ask the person to tell you why they are there! Really, this is a several second exchange that can save a lot of time. For noobs, sure, maybe this is slightly embarrassing because it underlines that even if you have managed to scope out the name successfully you do not remember that this is some luminary in your subfield. Whatever. Suck it up and ask. It saves tremendous time.

If you are presenting rodent behavioral data and the person indicates that they know their way around an intravenous self-administration procedure, skip the methods! or just highlight where you’ve deviated critically from the expected paradigms. If they are some molecular douche who just stopped by because “THC” caught their eye then you may need to go into some detail about what sort of paradigms you are presenting.

Similarly if it is someone from the lab that just published a paper close to your findings, just jump straight to the data-chase. “This part of figure 2 totally explains what you just published”

Trust me, they will thank you.

As Neuropolarbear observes, if you’ve skipped something key, then this person will ask. Poster sessions are great that way.

case in point, michael b eisen, who we know as @mbeisen. He’s HHMI, UCB prof, of a certain age and publishing stature….basically your science 1%er.

He has no fucking clue about normal people.

still think people mostly use it as excuse; page charges for most nonOA society Js are higher

What is under discussion is the publication fee of some $1,350 required at PLoS ONE.

This came about because I have been idly speculating of late about the Impact Factor of PLoS ONE..it’s about 4.4. This compares favorably with many run of the mill journals (tied to a society or otherwise) that publish huge amounts of general neuroscience stuff. Take initial modifier [American, European, Canuckian, International….etc], add “Journal of”, insert [Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Drug, Alcohol, Neurophysiology, Behavior, Cognition….blahdeblah] and you’ll get the corpus. Some variants such as “Neuroscience” or “Psychopharmacology” or “Neuropharmacology” or …. You get the point. Published by the usual suspects: Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier.

Most of these come in with IFs under 4.4…or at least as close as make no practical difference.

They also publish a LOT of the papers in the fields that I follow and participate in.

I happen to think this is where the real science exists. If you’ve ever cited a paper in one of these journals…..yeah.

I also protest, when people are talking about the level of peer review at the Glamour Mags and attempting to sidestep the outsized retraction rate at those journals (hi PP!), that oftentimes the review is harshest at these journals. The reviews are by more directly focused experts and the scope of the paper is lesser. So the review comments can be brutal.

They can also, at times, be pretty demanding. I, myself, have in recent memory been asked for essentially an Aims worth of data be added to an already not-insubstantial manuscript at one of these sub-PONE-IF journals. AYFK? If I added that, I’d be submitting UPWARD you dumbasses!!!

As you know, PLoS ONE promises to accept manuscripts that are SOUND. Not on the basis of all the extra stuff some reviewer “would like to see”. Not satisfying the nutty subjective “disappointment” of the reviewer that you didn’t do the study he would (in theory) have conducted. Most emphatically not on the prediction of “impact” and “influence”. Supposedly, not on the basis of even having a positive finding!

So with a higher IF and this promise….I’m all of a sudden having a hard time figuring out why people aren’t just putting all their stuff in PLoS ONE? What is keeping them back?

It appears to me from doing some harder thinking about what is IN this journal that subfields are either in or out. There are some cultural forces going on here which I touched on previously. People want to make assumptions that they are going to get “their” editors and “their” reviewers….not just whatever random fringe OpenAccess Wackaloon who signed on to the PLoS ONE train sort-of/kinda overlaps with their work.

The other huge problem is the cost. $1,350 to be exact. There’s a waiver….but it isn’t really clear how likely one is to GET that fee waived. They don’t make any promises before you submit the paper. And that’s where it counts! Why go through the hassle of review just to find out several weeks later that you have to pull it for the $$? Might as well not even try.

Part of the problem here is the 1%ers like mbeisen and @namnezia think “society journal” means: PNAS is $70/page, JNsci is about $950 total.

yeah, SOME journals that technically qualify as “society” journals have page charges or publication fees. But the ones I’m talking about, for the most part, do not. Not. ONE. dime. Not a $75 “submission fee”. Not a page charge.

They are FREE from start to finish.

JNeuro and PNAS are not normal, run of the mill society journals. This is not what we are discussing. It strikes me that this frame of reference is why mbeisen can’t grasp the problem I’m trying to explore. It makes me fear that PLoS ONE is falling short of what it could be because it was founded by Science 1%ers who are clueless and out of touch.

It’s like I’m blogging in the wind here.

Sink or swim

May 10, 2012

Approximately how much should the PI and postdoc or grad student attend meetings together versus separately?

I think the together part is obvious and should be the majority of the time. The PI is supposed to be introducing the trainee around.

But flying solo can be great for independence.

 

The big shottes *have* to talk to you if the PI isn’t at the meeting. So I’d definitely be okay with a handful of meetings where the trainee is there without the PI.

Making it habitual, however, is MentorMalpractice.

 


Which kind of poster do you prefer to see?

Which kind do you present?

Me, I don’t want to see a finished story. If it is that wrapped up, meh, I can wait for the peer reviewed version to come out. I want to grapple with something new…and preferably *puzzling*.

The best possible outcome of a meeting presentation would be if three interested labs went home, took on an aspect of the puzzle (even if only a replication) and by year’s end there were four new papers in print.

That’s how meeting presentations should work.