PLOS Appoints Alison Mudditt Chief Executive Officer | The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison Mudditt as its Chief Executive Officer, effective June 19, 2017.

For the past six years Mudditt served as Director of University of California Press (UC Press) where she ushered in new strategies to lead the company into the digital age, including the innovative journal and monograph Open Access programs Collabra and Luminos.

Prior to UC Press, Mudditt was Executive Vice President at SAGE Publications, Inc., leading publishing programs across books, journals and digital platforms. Her 25 plus years in the publishing industry include leadership positions at Blackwell Publishers in Oxford, UK, and Taylor & Francis Inc., in Philadelphia, US. Mudditt received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bath and her Masters in Business Administration from The Open University.”

National Library of Medicine Announces Departure of NCBI Director Dr. David Lipman

“The National Library of Medicine today announced the departure of David J. Lipman, MD, who has served as the Director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) since its creation almost 30 years ago….

NCBI creates and maintains a series of databases relevant to biotechnology and biomedicine, and is a world-renowned and trusted resource for bioinformatics tools and services. Major NCBI databases include GenBank for DNA sequences and PubMed, one of the most heavily used sites in the world for the search and retrieval of biomedical information.

 “It’s hard to think of anyone at NIH who has had a greater impact on the way research is conducted around the world than David Lipman,” noted NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD. “Under his visionary leadership, NCBI has greatly improved access to biomedical information and genomic data for scientists, health professionals, and the public worldwide—something we now practically take for granted.”…Dr. Lipman has been an advocate for promoting open access to the world’s biomedical literature and launched PubMed in 1997, followed by the full-text repository, PubMed Central (PMC), in 2000.   He was instrumental in implementing the NIH Public Access Policy whereby NIH-funded papers are made publicly available in PMC….”

Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove – The New York Times

“On Tuesday, Mr. Ballmer plans to make public a database and a report that he and a small army of economists, professors and other professionals have been assembling as part of a stealth start-up over the last three years called USAFacts. The database is perhaps the first nonpartisan effort to create a fully integrated look at revenue and spending across federal, state and local governments….In an age of fake news and questions about how politicians and others manipulate data to fit their biases, Mr. Ballmer’s project may serve as a powerful antidote. Using his website,, a person could look up just about anything: How much revenue do airports take in and spend? What percentage of overall tax revenue is paid by corporations? At the very least, it could settle a lot of bets made during public policy debates at the dinner table….With an unlimited budget, he went about hiring a team of researchers in Seattle and made a grant to the University of Pennsylvania to help his staff put the information together. Altogether, he has spent more than $10 million between direct funding and grants….Mr. Ballmer is hoping that the website is just the beginning. He hopes to open it up so that individuals and companies can build on top of it and pull out customized reports….”

Openness as a Career Asset: Erin McKiernan – SPARC

“Erin McKiernan, 35, who works primarily in experimental and theoretical neuroscience and has made a personal commitment to broaden access to the outputs of her research – including publishing articles only in open access journals. She reached that decision in 2012 after hitting pay walls doing research while working at a small institution in Puerto Rico. McKiernan experienced first-hand the “heart-wrenching” frustration that she and her students experienced in effectively doing their work with limited access to scholarly journals. So McKiernan decided to take action. She became active on Twitter, blogging about the problem and engaging with the open access movement….”

ATG Newschannel Original: The Passing of a Giant: Eugene Garfield Dies at 90 | Against The Grain

“The citation indexes and the Current Contents service became essential tools, not only in libraries but in research labs and technology companies across the globe….By having ready access to the tables of contents of core research journals available, researchers were easily able to mark those articles of key interest and then contact the authors for a copy of the article. Perhaps this can be seen today as a precursor to today’s Open Access movement, allowing for direct communication between researchers and their colleagues as well as potential developers….”

Interview with PLOS ONE Academic Editor- Dee Carter | EveryONE

Dee Carter‘s lab at the University of Sydney, Australia focuses on eukaryotic microorganisms, in particular disease-causing pathogens. Since these organisms are more closely related to humans than bacteria or viruses for instance, it is challenging to find treatments that don’t damage the host at the same time. Her research revolves around understanding pathogen diversity using population and evolutionary genetic analysis, and on understanding cellular responses to toxins and stresses using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. Dee graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand, with a BSc and undertook her PhD at Imperial College London, UK, where she worked on the plant pathogen Phytophtohora infestans. She then did postdocs at the Faculte de Medicine de Montpellier, France and in the US at Roche Molecular Systems, Alameda, California and the University of Berkeley, under the combined mentorship of Dr Thomas White and Professsor John Taylor. She has been at the University of Sydney since 1995. Dee joined the PLOS ONE Editorial Board as Academic Editor at the launch of the journal in 2006.”

Wish of Education Minister: Creation of more Open Educational Resources | Defimedia

“Governmental and institutional decision makers play a crucial role in setting policies that shape the direction of education systems, and we must advocate for policies that can accelerate the adoption and the creation of more Open Educational Resources (OER). This statement was made by the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, at the opening of the Africa Regional Consultation on Open Educational Resources on 2 March 2017 at Le Voila Hotel, Bagatelle. The theme of the meeting was OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action. OER is the fourth regional consultation after those held in Malaysia, Malta and Qatar, and will be followed by two more, in Brazil and in New Zealand respectively. These regional consultations are a lead-up to the 2nd World OER Congress to be organised by UNESCO and the Government of Slovenia in September 2017 in partnership with Commonwealth of Learning.

 Referring to lifelong learning process, she said that the promotion and use of OERs help to both increase and widen access to education at all levels. This is applicable to both formal education set-ups as well as to non-formal ones, and the spinoffs for the individual and the society at large are enormous, she pointed out. According to Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun, it is highly pertinent for policy makers to ensure that educational materials developed with public funds are not available exclusively to the recipients of public funds. She reiterated Government’s commitment to support OERs internationally so that quality educational resources reach those most in need of them. Furthermore, she made mention of two programmes that her Ministry has embarked upon. The first one relates to the Inclusion Concept which ensures that learners with disabilities have access to appropriate educational opportunities. The second one is Equity-Related which entails the Student Support Programme for the lower secondary sub-sector. “

?enay Kafkas, Text Miner in Literature Services | European Bioinformatics Institute

“I am a text mining specialist in the Literature Services team of EMBL-EBI. My team runs and maintains the Europe PMC database, an archive of life-science literature. Our job is to make it easy for researchers to find articles and information they need. 

I contribute to the development of the text mining infrastructure of the database. My colleagues and I develop methods to annotate articles and design searches by indexing articles based on specific search fields. We are a service-oriented team and work closely with the users to make researchers’ lives easier….”

Ecological Society of America announces 2017 award recipients | EurekAlert! Science News

Debra Peters received a Distinguished Service Citation from the Ecological Society of America. “The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes long and distinguished volunteer service to ESA, the scientific community, and the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Debra Peters is the founding editor-in-chief of ESA’s newest journal, Ecosphere, created in 2010 to offer a rapid path to publication for research reports from across the spectrum of ecological science, including interdisciplinary studies that may have had difficulty finding a home within the scope of the existing ESA family of journals. In her hands the online-only, open-access journal has claimed a successful niche in the ecological publications landscape, expanding to publish over 400 manuscripts in 2016….”