Author Archives: Michael Eisen

Elsevier is tricking authors into surrendering their rights

A recent post on the GOAL mailing list by Heather Morrison alerted me to the following sneaky aspect of Elsevier’s “open access” publishing practices. To put it simply, Elsevier have distorted the widely recognized concept of open access, in which authors retain copyright in their work and give others permission to reuse it, and where publishers are a […]

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The Imprinter of All Maladies

Any sufficiently convoluted explanation for biological phenomena is indistinguishable from epigenetics. Epigenetics is everywhere. Nary a day goes by without some news story or press release telling us something it explains. Why does autism run in families?  Epigenetics. Why do you have trouble losing weight? Epigenetics. Why are vaccines dangerous? Epigenetics. Why is cancer so hard to fight? Epigenetics. Why […]

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PLOS, open access and scientific societies

Several people have noted that, in my previous post dealing with PLOS’s business, I didn’t address a point that came up in a number of threads regarding the relative virtues of PLOS and scientific societies – the basic point being that people should publish in society journals because they do good things with the money (run meetings, […]

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On pastrami and the business of PLOS

Last week my friend Andy Kern (a population geneticist at Rutgers) went on a bit of a bender on Twitter prompted by his discovery of PLOS’s IRS Form 990 – the annual required financial filing of non-profit corporations in the United States. You can read his string of tweets and my responses, but the gist […]

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Berkeley’s Handling of Sexual Harassment is a Disgrace

What more is there to say? Another case where a senior member of the Berkeley faculty, this time Berkeley Law Dean Sujit Choudhry, was found to have violated the campus’s sexual harassment policy, and was given a slap on the wrists by the administration. Astronomer Geoff Marcy’s punishment for years of harassment of students was a […]

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I’m Excited! A Post Pre-Print-Posting-Powwow Post

I just got back from attending a meeting organized by a new group called ASAPbio whose mission is to promote the use of pre-prints in biology. I should start by saying that I am a big believer in this mission. I have been working for two decades to convince biomedical researchers that the Internet can be more than […]

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The Villain of CRISPR

Eric Lander

There is something mesmerizing about an evil genius at the height of their craft, and Eric Lander is an evil genius at the height of his craft. Lander’s recent essay in Cell entitled “The Heroes of CRISPR” is his masterwork, at once so evil and yet so brilliant that I find it hard not to […]

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Coupling Pre-Prints and Post-Publication Peer Review for Fast, Cheap, Fair, and Effective Science Publishing

Leslie Vosshall and I have written the following white paper as a prelude to the upcoming ASAP Bio meeting in February aimed at promoting pre-print use in biomedicine. We would greatly value any comments, questions or concerns you have about the piece or what we are proposing. [PDF Version] Coupling Pre-Prints and Post-Publication Peer Review for […]

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The current system of scholarly publishing is the real infringement of academic freedom

Rick Anderson has a piece on “Open Access and Academic Freedom” at Inside Higher Ed arguing the open access policies being put into place by many research funders and some universities that require authors to make their work available under open licenses (most commonly Creative Commons’ CC-BY) are a violation of academic freedom and should be […]

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Vegan Thanksgiving Picnic Pie Recipe

I posted some pictures of this Thanksgiving themes picnic pie (completely vegan) on Twitter and Facebook. A bunch of people asked me for my recipe. Unfortunately, it was almost completely improvised, so I don’t have a recipe. But here is roughly what I did. First of all, a few weeks ago I had no idea what a […]

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