Thursday, September 1, 2011

A new journal for "big" Science

 I have a mixed feeling for the current proliferation of scientific journals. On the one hand I feel that it is a natural response to the increase in the number of researchers in the world and the growing specialization of science. Moreover, it serves to open up the publication system to the wider community and sometimes breaks up dangerous closed circles that monopolize the access to publication in certain areas. On the other hand, as a researcher with broad interests and one who wants to follow the progress of my field, I feel overwhelmed. Times when browsing the table of contents (TOCs) of a handful of journals was enough to identify almost all relevant papers are definitely over. Nowadays one needs complex literature-mining strategies to try to cope with the flow. It seems one also needs to search for potential new Journals that may become the forum for papers relevant to your research. I'm keen to use this blog to spread the word of new Journals that are relevant to my field, as I did in the past. Now I am doing it again.

When I recently heard about the new BMC-based journal Giga Science Journal I felt it will be worth to keep an eye. As they say, "GigaScience aims to revolutionize data dissemination, organization, understanding, and use. An on-line open-access open-data journal, we publish 'big-data' studies from the entire spectrum of life and biomedical sciences."

 The original idea of this journal is that it links standard publication with a database to store and search all asociated data. I personally think this journal will fill and important gap and seems perfectly prepared to do so, as judged by the The editorial board, which includes many researchers from centres that are at the forefront of massive data production such as BGI, Wellcome Trust, EBI, JCVI, 

I am looking forward to the first articles to see direct examples of how effective this system is and how the database fits the needs of inherently diverse types of data, but at a first glance it seems that this journal may meet the needs of upcoming studies on massive data such as those coming from genomics or systems biology.

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