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And the Magic Eight Ball Says ... 28.2

Over at A Blog Around the Clock, Coturnix has a post on a recent editorial that calls into question the way impact factors are calculated. The editorial, published in the Journal of Cell Biology and penned by heads of that publication, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and Rockefeller University Press, says that a number of subjective factors affect the calculations, such as publishers' ability to negotiate for better rankings. Blogger Coturnix says, "Apparently, it is really a magic number calculated in a mysterious way, not in the way that [Thomson] Scientific claims they do it."

Still, GTO would love to see a source for this that didn't have a connection to the very journals being affected by the impact factor process. Surely some unaffiliated number-crunchers would be interested in performing the audit?


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.