Having an impact (factor) and other stories from Gregory Petsko

Biologist Gregory Petsko has written a monthly column for the journal Genome Biology since the journal launched in 2000. To mark the 10th anniversary of the column and the journal, Genome Biology created an eBook (iPad/iPhone: free, Kindle: 99 c) containing all columns up to August 2010.

I downloaded the iBooks version for iPad/iPhone. The columns read nicely on the iPad display (almost all of them are text-only, a few contain images and/or links), and the texts are of course thoughtful and entertaining. Here are a few teasers:

Petsko G. Nation of twits. Genome Biology. 2009;10(8):110+. Available from: doi:10.1186/gb-2009-10-8-110.

Petsko G. What my genome told me – and what it didn’t. Genome Biology. 2009;10(6):108+. doi:10.1186/gb-2009-10-6-108.

Petsko G. Having an impact (factor). Genome Biology. 2008;9(7):107+.
doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-7-107.

Suggestion for Genome Biology: if you want more people to read the column, create an RSS feed for it. Or even better, turn it into a blog.

Suggestion for EMBO Reports: pick up the idea and create an eBook with the editorials by Frank Gannon, who wrote a similarly thoughtful column for them until April 2009.

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8 Responses to Having an impact (factor) and other stories from Gregory Petsko

  1. Duncan Hull says:

    Hi Martin, Gregory Petsko’s column is often entertaining, but I find it baffling that it is one of the “subscription only” parts of the otherwise open access journal Genome Biology…

  2. mangrist says:

    I love this guy’s writing…more pressure to get a kindle…

  3. Martin Fenner says:

    Mischa, the articles also look nice on the iPhone and I guess on other mobile device that support the Kindle format.

    Duncan, you are of course right, and that is why I only listed older examples that are freely available. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is doing something similar – free research articles, the other material subscription-only.

    Making the column openly available would greatly enhance feedback and discussion. Having the columns as an eBook is nice, but fostering active user participation would be much more useful. There is a comments feature, but I don’t see it used much if at all. And the column is great discussion material. I would for example disagree with him about his analysis of Twitter in the paper mentioned above.

  4. Joe D says:

    I’m not sure Petsko would like a blog, given how he feels about social media….

  5. We definitely agree an RSS feed of Petsko’s column (and other similar regular journal features or series) makes sense – it’s on its way soon…

    Meanwhile, for users of other eBook readers, and for Kindle users who wish to save themselves 99c, we’ve made Petsko eBook available for direct download in both epub and mobi format.

  6. Martin Fenner says:

    Matt, thanks a lot for the info on more options to read the column.

  7. Ramy Aziz says:

    @Joe D:

    Why would one need a blog when a first-class journal, such as Genome Biology, opens its doors for one’s blog posts, rantings, and random thoughts?

  8. There is a comments feature but I don’t see it used much if at all and the column is great discussion material. Making the column openly available would greatly enhance feedback and discussion. Having the columns as an eBook is nice but, fostering active user participation would be much more useful.