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A Beef with Publishers

At The Crux blog, Mike Taylor — a dinosaur paleobiologist at the University of Bristol in the UK — says that academic publishing is "in a horrible mess," and that authors and publishers have increasingly antagonistic relationships. The Cost of Knowledge boycott — the refusal of more than 6,000 researchers to write, edit, or review articles for Elsevier because of the publisher's support for the Research Works Act — illustrates this new tense relationship, Taylor says.

While issues like RWA were the "immediate triggers" of the anger, they aren't the real cause. "Now there are no technical barriers to access, the only way publishers can charge for it is by making barriers: paywalls. So we have a huge and tragic disconnect: what publishers want — barriers — is the exact opposite of what authors want — universal access. It’s authors vs. publishers," he adds.

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.