What is this #365papers?

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some posts with the hashtag #365papers, like this one:


#365papers is a challenge for scientists to read a new technical paper, article, chapter, whatever, every single day. They don’t have to be recent papers. They don’t have to papers related to the scientist’s personal research focus. They just have to be science papers, so that the scientist can keep up with the incredible volume of literature and new research that’s growing every day.

For me, #365papers is more than just keeping up. It’s a way for me to remember why I got into science in the first place. It’s a way to remind myself of all the incredible science going on all over the world. And it’s a way for me to resist what appears to be an attack on science in my home country.

I have decided now, nearly a month into 2017, that I need to also post brief discussions of each of these papers onto my blog. You’ll see that not all are paleontology or geology papers. I will post links to the original papers, but can’t guarantee that readers of the blog will be able to access the whole paper, because not all the papers are open access. Because of copyright issues, I can’t simply post a PDF of the articles here, as it would be against the law.

Open access to science is another hot-button topic today. The issue is that much of published science is inaccessible unless you pay to subscribe to the journal it’s published in. Such articles are termed “pay-walled.” More and more, granting agencies (like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health), are requiring that research results be available to the public. Many authors are also working hard to make results public, because they themselves can’t afford the subscription prices.

Even though I can’t post the full articles, I can post a summary, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make scientific results public. So get ready. I’m 25 posts behind already!

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