Randy Schekman Nobel winner boycotts top science journals

Posted: December 11, 2013 by tchannon in Accountability, Philosophy, Politics

The Hindu are carrying a syndicated piece by The Guardian (UK) to which I do not want to link.

Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process

Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a “tyranny” that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.


This story is creating a splash but Schekman has said much more on issues related to the US education and funding system.

As a Brit I can’t comment on the merits of US education, sounds political. I’ll take a shake of the journals as a good thing.

Post by Tim

(Guardian website seems to cause technical bothers)

  1. Scute says:

    Here’s an example of Nature’s conceited decadence. I recently phoned the London office to ask when a particular online paper was going to go into the print edition so I could buy it. My enquiry was met with a tone of bemused irritation, as if I was the first person ever to ask this awkward question.

    The employee said it all depended and there was no way of telling. It was up to the editors- sometimes it would be next week, sometimes months.

    I said OK, but how do I actually find out, is there some way of tagging the online paper abstract page so I can can get an email notification? He sounded totally nonplussed as if such tech didn’t exist. At first, he insisted there was no way at all of knowing. Then he had a brainwave. He said the only way to keep abreast of events was to make a note of the email address of the abstract page and, “you see in the middle of the [infinitely long] email address where it says [ / four meaningless letters which I can’t remember]. Well, when that gets changed to [\ four other meaningless letters which I duly noted and have now lost] you can ring this number again and order the magazine. You’ll need to keep checking back until it changes…but it still takes time because it’s not a simple process. First, I have to take the order, then I have to send the order to our warehouse in [some God-forsaken town] because we don’t keep them here, obviously. Then they have to find it [some talk of big warehouse/lots of magazines in it]. Then they have to package it up and put it in the post and then there’s the post and it can take up to a month and….”

    I felt like asking him if he’d ever heard of Amazon.

  2. Joe Lalonde says:


    For some reason the you tube posts a different video.

    Here is the source…

    Published on Dec 9, 2013
    TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=8370

    The Corbett Report presents a one minute debunking of 10 common climate myths.

  3. tchannon says:

    The few comments at The Hindu suggest the sentiment is widespread. A followup article says much the same but also leads to wondering over the authors direct connection with alternate publishing outlets, tainting the words.


  4. tallbloke says:

    Scute. Email me the URL of the abstract.

  5. bettyhill says:

    Dr Randy Schekman is 100% right with his reasoning that addresses how magazines such as Nature Magazine undertake their business with regard to highly important work which in many ways they suppress. In this respect Nature Magazine we have found is basically a pawn in the game of big business. They do their biding when the bottom-line is threatened was our finding. The fallacy that a vaccine will come in time to prevent the world’s future most deadly pandemic in terms of Bird Flu et al is just a single example of their power over such magazines such as ‘Nature’. They stop the truth emerging in terms of alternative strategies and scientific solutions when that work affects n particular the big pharma’s vast profit making machine.

    In this respect we have first hand experience of how Nature Magazine operates behind closed doors. A few of countless articles that may be of interest and mind opening are as follows –




    Dr David Hill
    World Innovation Foundation

  6. funkdoctorx says:

    I don’t disagree with Schekman’s larger point regarding impact factors, journal prestige etc. However, with respect to his article, I don’t think it’s reasonable to lump in Science, run by the non-profit AAAS, along with the for-profit Nature and Cell…


  7. tchannon says:

    You’ve a lot of good stuff on your blog, quite nice reading part of a life journey.

    I agree with a lot of what you write about the article highlighted here. You prefer paper, not an old way, about ergonomics as much as anything. Fashion followers, let them go.

  8. funkdoctorx says:

    Thanks, the compliment is much appreciated…you guys have some great content here as well; very interesting…and I like the wordpress theme 😉