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An App for Papers?

This week, Joe Pickrell at Genomes Unzipped asks why researchers publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. He writes that the current journal system is costly, time-consuming, and random, among other things. As an alternative, Pickrell envisions a system of immediate publication, connected to a social media network, in which readers could recommend papers and researchers could search for them based on the community's opinions or rankings. That's where a sort of "killer app" would come in, he says. "Once a system like this exists, and it can be shown that it's possible to judge people (for grants, tenure, et cetera) in this system based on the impact of their work, rather than the prestige of the journal in which the work is published, it's an additional easy step to eliminate the journals altogether," Pickrell adds. In comments to this post, Pickrell's readers discuss accountability, the wisdom of crowds, and more.

The Scan

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A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.