Across the Atlantic, scientists are also making use of open access journals. In Canada, the national medical association started publishing a totally new, fully ‘open’ journal in January.
If you have a look at the title of the new Canadian Medical Association Journal, CMAJ Open, the scope of this online publication is obvious. Its editor, the Canadian Medical Association, already publishes several high-quality journals. With CMAJ Open, it goes one step further.
CMAJ Open is publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed medical research papers without the need for authors to demonstrate high impact, indicates the association. The journal posts new content online as soon as it is ready. And, of course, all content will be available at no charge to readers from the publication date.
But the ‘open’ idea behind this initiative is not strictly limited to the availability of the online media. The new journal is also ‘open’ to medical and healthcare research articles, as well as those from allied healthcare professions.
The journal claims it is also open to all types of research papers. It will consider papers with a wide variety of methodologies, including randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, case-control studies, cohort studies, surveys and qualitative research. Protocols and pilot studies are also welcome.
Finally, it will also be ‘open’ with regard to the process of accepting manuscripts, and decisions and comments from peer reviewers.
CMAJ Open is committed to an open peer-review system in which reviewer comments, author responses and previous versions are available along with the final published version. This will provide a manuscript history for readers and serve as a resource for future authors.
Bilingual people can effortlessly switch between languages during everyday interactions. But beyond its usefulness in communication, being bilingual could affect how the brain works and enhance certain abilities. Studies into this could inform techniques for learning languages and other skills.
From wars to weddings, Europe’s history is stored in billions of archival pages across the continent. While many archives try to make their documents public, finding information in them remains a low-tech affair. Simple page scans do not offer the metadata such as dates, names, locations that often interest researchers. Copying this information for later use is also time-consuming.
In the summer of 2014 a strange building began to take shape just outside MoMA PS1, a contemporary art centre in New York City. It looked like someone had started building an igloo and then got carried away, so that the ice-white bricks rose into huge towers. It was a captivating sight, but the truly impressive thing about this building was not so much its looks but the fact that it had been grown.
Concrete has become our building material of choice for countless structures such as bridges, towers and dams. But it also has a huge environmental footprint mostly due to carbon dioxide emissions from the production of cement – one of its main constituents. Researchers are now experimenting with root vegetables and recycled plastic in concrete to see whether this can make it stronger – and more sustainable – and even power streetlights or air pollution sensors.
Live mycelium networks, capable of information processing, could be used as building materials.
Researchers are investigating whether bilingualism enhances certain cognitive abilities.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.