Thursday, February 1st was the first day of my ‘new’ job. After 130 months of precarious work I am now employed with a permanent and full time position as a Technician for the Bari’s research unit of the Institute for Biomedical Technologies.
Our groups is a Bioinformatics one, and my main duties will remain basically the same: keep servers running, install software, general maintenance and users’ support. What I do hope is to gain new responsibilities and – with them – some decisional power.
It’s been officially announced the publication of the latest work of my colleagues here at Italy’s National Council of Research Institute for Biomedical Technologies regarding the data analysis of gene expressions in prokaryotes: WoPPER.
Here I am mentioned in the acknowledgements for the server support … for the first time I am thanked publicly for my efforts!
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A spoof paper concocted by Science reveals little or no scrutiny at many open-access journals.
On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.
In fact, it should have been promptly rejected. Any reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted the paper’s short-comings immediately. Its experiments are so hopelessly flawed that the results are meaningless.
I know because I wrote the paper. Ocorrafoo Cobange does not exist, nor does the Wassee Institute of Medicine. Over the past 10 months, I have submitted 304 versions of the wonder drug paper to open-access journals. More than half of the journals accepted the paper, failing to notice its fatal flaws. Beyond that headline result, the data from this sting operation reveal the contours of an emerging Wild West in academic publishing.
Aug. 1st I’ve started (yet again) a 12 months collaboration contract with Bari’s section of the C.N.R.’s Institute for Biomedical Technologies for the “Identification, classification and configuration of a bioinformatics infrastructure for the RNA-Seq noncoding RNAs data functional analysis” within the LIBI project.
Don’t know you, but in our Institute we had some issues visualizing documents uploaded on the Protocollo Informatico web portal of CNR.
After having contacted the technical support of the service we had instructions to install this alternaTIFF software on our system. Given that our dedicated machine to this activity is a Windows XP box, and the fact that you have to use Internet Explorer 8 to make the Protocollo work properly, I had no chance but to follow the authors’ instruction to finally solve the issue for our administrative staffers.