Harold Varmus interviewed

Dr Varmus, I presume? By David Worlock, Outsell’s Thinking Out Loud, October 15, 2008. Excerpts:

October 14 was the foundation date for PLoS Biology, as well as the designated Open Access Day, so the 300 STM publishers gathered at the STM Association’s annual meeting on that day at the Frankfurt Book Fair to hear this interview needed no reminder of the significance of Dr Varmus’ work. They may have been surprised, however, when he spoke as a publisher himself and shared some of his five years of experience.

…..

The foundation of PLoS One as a fast track publication mode based on review of technical competence and eligibility, rather than scientific standing or originality, had been a great success, with a high proportion of submissions being accepted at a lower $1200 fee. The peer reviewed journals now had high reputations, and rejected some 90% of submissions, but had needed to raise fees beyond his forecast of five years ago to cover costs.

…..

He is plainly interested by search tools and analysis, and while it remains his conviction that repositories like PubMed are a critical component, he wants to see the urge of scientists to cross search the literature on factors and issues of their own choosing as vital to eventual success, regardless of the conventional structures of current article publishing.

…..

And in terms of new developments, he certainly sees the article as a work in progress, and was particularly strong on the need, where privacy and data regulation permitted, for more of the evidential base to be exposed to allow other scientists to examine the data from which conclusions had been drawn, and subject it to their own analytical techniques.

Recommendation: Read the entire text of the blog post from which these excerpts were taken.

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