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The Black Hole

Quarterly summary: Entrepreneurship, advocacy and productive rejections

The post on changing the publishing system was the most hotly debated of the quarter, but also the one with the least clear way forward.


We’ve had an exciting quarter here at the Black Hole, with a brilliant series of posts on scientists becoming entrepreneurs from Jonathan, a progressive post from guest UBC blogger Jan Klimas on writing more useful rejection letters, and along the same theme a series from me related to what scientists can do to make things better. These posts are listed below:

Guests blogger Jan Klimas



The post on changing the publishing system was the most hotly debated, but also the one with the least clear and least simple way forward – we’ve banged on about it for some time now that the publishing system needs to change. However, the journey to changing the way in which we evaluate papers (and scientists) and communicate their work will not be an easy one. But it does not mean that individuals do not have a part to play.

The biggest and easiest start is to listen to Jan Klimas – make your reviews productive and constructive, fight the good fight with editors and other reviewers.  Secondly, consider open-access options and journals with new models of peer review. Have a listen when someone tries to make science open and free for everyone and pushes the most likely answers forward – not just the ones that build careers. Have the courage to work on the non-obvious questions in your field. I’m sure this is not all that Jonathan and I will have to say on the subject – stay tuned.

In the meantime, Dave also continued to write for Signals blog with five new entries, three on science and two that may be of significant interest to our readers interested in the value of scientific networks:

Thanks to all of our readers. It’s been over five years for the Black Hole now and we owe a lot to our readers for great ideas and great discussion. I hope guest bloggers will continue to feel that this is a forum for them to join with their opinions.

David Kent
Dr. David Kent is a principal investigator at the York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York, York, UK. He trained at Western University and the University of British Columbia before spending 10 years at the University of Cambridge, UK where he ran his research group until 2019. His laboratory's research focuses on the fundamental biology of blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David has a long history of public engagement and outreach including the creation of The Black Hole in 2009.
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