A ‘new’ job

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.

Wish me luck!

WoPPER: Web server for Position Related data analysis of gene Expression in Prokaryotes.

Acknowledgments WoPPER

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!

Help discover the Internet!

Become part of a project to discover the topology and the structure of the Internet! Help us build signal coverage maps! Download Portolan for mobile and for desktop and join the Portolan network!

Portolan is a research project run by the University of Pisa and the Informatics and Telematics Institute of the Italian National Research Council (IIT-CNR). Portolan’s aim is to enhance the current knowledge of the Internet structure and build maps of the mobile signal coverage, all with the contribution of volunteers, such as people like me & you!

Find out more about Portolan in the FAQ section.

Portolan results as 2015-02-01

Who is afraid of Peer Review?

John Bohannon
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.

Read more on this scary news on Science magazine →.


AlternaTIFF is a web browser add-on (ActiveX control or plug-in) that displays most of the common types of TIFF image files. It works in most web browsers for Windows XP and higher (Vista, 7, etc.).

http://www.alternatiff.com →

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.

Protocollo Informatico CNR

Lately I’ve worked alongside with my colleagues in the administrative section of our research support unit to deploy the informatization of our documents’ protocol system following the guidelines provided by the central unit of the Italy’s National Research Council at http://protocollo.cnr.it.

The procedure was not so difficult to follow, but there were some points in the deployment that needed eyes wide open to proceed without issues.

I am curios to see if anybody will need some assistance in their deployment, so I’ll keep comments opened on this post to gather those requests (eventually).