Panelsamtal Photo: Ana Carla Beramendi

Concluding panel: Tommy Ohlsson, Catriona MacCallum, Bruce Alberts, Tony Hyman, Arne Johansson and Brandon Stell. Photo: Ana Carla Beramendi

The seminar Publish and perish

On September 30 The Young Academy of Sweden arranged Publish and perish, a seminar on the rapidly changing nature of scientific publishing, peer review, and evaluation.

On 29 September, the electronic magazine International Innovation alerted readers to the launch of a new mathematics journal. Entitled Discrete Analysis, the journal will subject to peer review articles that have been hosted on the preprint server arXiv. Free access to the articles will be provided without imposing any fees on the authors. The journal aims to “challenge existing models of academic publishing,” according to Prof. Timothy Gowers, the managing editor.

Missed the seminar? See it now, all Publish and perish-talks are available on YouTube Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.. Video: KTH Media Production

This new journal and its model exemplify the rapidly changing landscape of scientific publishing, peer review and evaluation – the subject of “Publish and Perish?”. The seminar, which took place at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, featured talks by six individuals with extensive experience in scientific research, publishing, evaluation and management:

Bruce Alberts, Former Editor in Chief at Science, former President of the National Academy of Sciences, USA; Tony Hyman, Research Group Leader and Director, The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG); Arne Johansson, Professor in Mechanics, Vice President, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); Catriona MacCallum, Senior Advocacy Manager PLOS, and Consulting Editor at PLOS ONE; Tommy Ohlsson, Professor in Theoretical Physics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); and, Brandon Stell, Research Associate, CNRS, Co-Team Leader, Laboratoire de Physiologie Cérébrale Université Paris Descartes.

The presentations was followed by a panel discussion during which the speakers responded to questions from both the moderator and the audience.

The phrase “Publish and Perish” was first used by the late Marshall McLuhan in 1951, according to Young Academy member Johan Åkerman, who introduced the seminar. Åkerman noted several recent developments that underscore the relevance of the seminar’s topic. For example, the publishers of traditional high-impact journals such as Nature are launching more topical journals; open-access publishing is on the rise; and repositories for preprints have become the preferred mode of communicating research in some fields.

Text: Ninad Bondre


1. Bruce Alberts 2. Catriona MacCallum 3. Tony Hyman Photo: Ana Carla Beramendi/Young Academy of Sweden

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