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Biology Open (BiO) – making life easier for us all

Biology Open
The Company of Biologists
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1242/bio.2011002
  • Editorial
  • Biology


untitled Biology Open (BiO) – making life easier for us all Jordan Raff (Editor-in-Chief) Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RE, UK; e-mail: [email protected] Biology Open doi: 10.1242/bio.2011002, 1 � 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License ( Proud as I am to be introducing this first issue of the newest journal from the Company of Biologists, many friends and colleagues said that I was crazy when I told them I had agreed to become its Editor-in-Chief — ‘why do we need another journal?’ they asked. This is a good question, but from the time of my very first discussions with the Company of Biologists and my fellow Editors about this journal, I have been convinced that Biology Open (BiO) has the potential to be something special. Let me explain why. For many years now, it has been a general rule in the biological sciences that only a relatively small fraction of our total research effort ever gets published. Traditionally, scientists have viewed this as a good thing, with journals acting as ‘gatekeepers’ to save us from having to wade through large numbers of papers that either are scientifically flawed or contain little information of value. With the advent of online publishing and ever-more sophisticated search tools, however, we need to rethink the present publishing system. Is it right that so much publicly funded work is never published? How much does science really gain from the current protracted publication process, with reviewers stringently enforcing the journal’s quest for impact, and authors dutifully performing long lists of additional experiments to satisfy reviewers? Can we justify putting so much of our time and energy into this ‘arms race’, particularly for papers that are never destined to be publis

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