Elsevier Connect celebrates one year – and we want to hear from you

Check out some of the top stories of the past year, and take a short survey

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Take our short survey

We very much look forward to your feedback on issues such as: What do you want to see more of? What are we missing? What do you like best? Also, do not hesitate to leave additional comments at the bottom of this post for all to see.

This survey will close on September 19, and we will feature the results here after that date.[/note]It’s been one year since the launch of Elsevier Connect. We created this site to forge deeper connections with the research community, address important industry issues, talk about what we do — and most importantly, to promote science (see “What being a ‘social business’ means to Elsevier”).

We now average about 50,000 pageviews a month, with content that spans current events, company information, scientific discoveries, industry trends and publishing resources. Stories are written by members of the research community as well as colleagues at Elsevier.Many of you already interact with us directly through story comments and our social sites — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. But we want to hear more. Please take a few minutes to complete the Reader Feedback Survey and tell us what you think.[divider]

Highlights of the past year

Below are some of the stories you have read and shared the most – including a few that had an unusual impact:

Current events

[caption id="attachment_21560" align="alignleft" width="75"]Errol G SouthersErrol G Southers[/caption]Counterterrorism expert on testifying before Congress on the Boston bombings

After Elsevier author Erroll Southers wrote an editorial for Elsevier Connect, US Congressman Bennie Thompson invited him to testify at the Homeland Security Committee’s first hearing on the Boston bombings. Both the transcripts and videos from C-SPAN are embedded in this story, making it rich content to share. Joseph Alpert, PhD, and cannibis leaves

Research — not regulations — should guide medical marijuana use, journal editor says

This story was popular on Twitter and provoked some interesting conversations. The study about marijuana for diabetes control, which made headlines after it was published in The American Journal of Medicine, turned focus to an ongoing debate: the legalization of marijuana for medical use. It’s an interesting topic for social media discussion, and the study was also referenced by Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

Stephen Colbert interviews Elsevier author about a free education through MOOCsMIT Professor Anant Agarwal, President of edX, explains the reason for offering free university courses online to TV's late-night funny man Stephen Colbert

MIT Professor Anant Agarwal (@Agarwaledu) is the founder of edX (@edXOnline), a global platform for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). He is also the author of the Elsevier textbook Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits, which he arranged to offer online for free to students who take his MIT course through edX.

The MOOC trend is gaining so much media attention that late-night funny-man Stephen Colbert decided to interview Dr. Agarwal about it and how it compares to traditional campus education. Learn more about Dr. Agarwal’s free courses in “A university education, for free.” And join the LinkedIn discussion on MOOCs in the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) group.[divider]

Innovations in publishing

Executable paper video screen imageExecutable Papers in computer science go live on ScienceDirect

Facebook users created quite a buzz about the pilot, which came out of the Executable Paper Grand Challenge . The first-place winner, the Collage Authoring Environment, is now launching a special issue on 3D Object Retrieval with the journal Computers & Graphics, showcasing executable research results in articles published on ScienceDirect.

ORCID identifier system gaining traction and new features

ORCID (the Open Researcher and Contributors ID repository) is an open, nonprofit, community-based effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. Mike Taylor (@herrison), Technology Research Specialist for Elsevier Labs, recently presented at the ORCID seminar and roundtable for stakeholders in Denmark. He is one of the original architects of the international ORCID (the Open Researcher and Contributors ID repository) system, which has gained 200,000 registrants since its launch in October. Here, he writes about the seminar and how organizations are integrating ORCIDs into their systems, including Scopus and the online Elsevier Editorial System.

Article of the Future eye-tracking imageDesigning the Article of the Future

In this very popular article, Elsevier's User Centered Design specialists showed how they worked with researchers in the field to learn about their needs and transform the format of online articles. The high-tech approaches they used sparked interest from people in a variety of fields. Some of them left questions and suggestions in the comment section, which project members responded to, leading to a fascinating discussion about the future of online content. [divider]

Scientific discoveries

 Loxosceles Gaucho spiderEngineered spider protein used for anti-venom vaccine against ‘brown recluse’

This interesting story about breakthrough research went viral on the social bookmarking site Reddit, sparking over 18,000 unique views and 86 comments in a matter of hours. Some of the people who commented described the serious effects they experienced after being bitten by this dangerous spider. With the potential to save thousands of lives worldwide, the article – about research published in Elsevier’s journal Vaccine – continues to draw attention.

Cloning provides human embryonic stem cells with promise for personalized medicine

For the first time, a team of scientists used SCNT to produce human embryonic stem cells. “Our finding offers new ways of generating stem cells for patients with dysfunctional or damaged tissues and organs,” said senior study author Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University. “Such stem cells can regenerate and replace those damaged cells and tissues and alleviate diseases that affect millions of people.” The study was published in the journal Cell, published by Elsevier’s Cell Press.

Turtle fossilHow the turtle got its shell — clues revealed by fossils

In Google+ Communities, this story created intrigue in the social circles. It’s a fascinating discovery of an ancient ancestor of modern turtles that helps fill a gap of 30 million to 55 million years in the turtle fossil record. It’s based on a study led by renowned paleontologist Dr. Tyler Lyson, which was published in Current Biology. [divider]

Industry trends

[caption id="attachment_22995" align="alignright" width="125"]Elizabeth WagerElizabeth Wager[/caption]High-tech approaches to high-tech fraud

These days, journal editors and institutions are using technology to spot plagiarism and image manipulation. Elizabeth Wager, former chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), writes about identify theft and “avatar fraud,” text-matching software, the CrossMark logo initiative and other ways to catch publishing fraud. This article has received many views, “likes” and retweets from people in people in all aspects of publishing.

Publishing Ethics Webinar — because ethical boundaries are not always obvious

In January, Elsevier hosted a webinar about publishing ethics. During the webinar, there was live tweeting with the hashtag #PubEthics and a conversation from both attendees and those just observing. As a follow up, we provided a summary of highlights of the event, a Storify of the Twitter conversation, and a link to watch the recording. This helped bring the event to life and continue the conversation. [divider]

Practical Resources

[caption id="attachment_20834" align="alignleft" width="125"]Andy Greenspon Andy Greenspon[/caption]

9 things you should consider before embarking on a PhD

With 385 likes, comments and shares on various Facebook posts – and nearly 15,000 unique views – we know these 9 things are important to friends in the academic community. Andy Greenspon (@andyman344 on Twitter), who just started his second year as a PhD student in Applied Physics at Harvard, discusses what he has learned since starting his PhD program – including things he wished he knew beforehand.

8 reasons I rejected your article

In one of our all-time most popular stories, Dr. Peter Thrower, Editor-in-Chief of Carbon, the international journal of the American Carbon Society, presents eight traps to avoid and explains why 30 percent to 50 percent of articles don’t even make it to the peer review process. Share his advice with other authors and editors and you will save reviewers, editors time and frustration, and ensure that authors’ work is judged by its scientific merit, not mistakes.[caption id="attachment_23459" align="alignleft" width="125"]Boyana Konforti, PhD Boyana Konforti, PhD[/caption]

10 things you need to know about the publishing process

As one of the most tweeted recently, these “insider tips” are an excellent resource to share with anyone involved in academic publishing. The author, Dr. Boyana Konforti, is Editor of Cell Reports, an open-access, broad-scope journal published by Elsevier’s Cell Press. She outlines 10 important rules to follow when “telling and selling” your story. Editors, authors, reviewers and even publishers will be eager to read this list .[divider][caption id="attachment_18418" align="alignright" width="119"]Angelina Ward Angelina Ward[/caption]

The Author

As Director of Social Media and Content for Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier,Angelina Ward(@angelinaward) leads social business efforts throughout the organization including: forming policy, guidelines and centralized resources, and driving corporate-level campaigns. Previously, she worked for Elsevier's publishing business in technical, new media and information security fields, then as Director of Social Media and Content for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. During this time, she became skilled in developing engaging communities with industry professionals through social media. Ward speaks at industry events on social media topics and has been recognized as one of theTop 50 Women in Technology on Twitterwho truly “gets” social media and social business.

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1 Archived Comment

William Gunn September 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I'm pleased to hear the Mitalipov Cell paper was one of the year's highlights. To me, the big story there was the role of post - publication peer review in sorting out errors in its hasty publication that weren't caught pre-publication: http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cell-cloner-acknowledges-errors-in-groundbreaking-papersound