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A-Star No More

The Australian this week reports that the controversial journal ranking system enacted through a "radical shake up of the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative" has been dropped. Australia's Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister Kim Carr said in a statement that "there is clear and consistent evidence that the rankings were being deployed inappropriately within some quarters of the sector, in ways that could produce harmful outcomes, and based on a poor understanding of the actual role of the rankings." The Australian adds Carr indicated that "lists of journals would still be important," and while they'd no longer be ranked through the initiative, "each journal would be provided with a publication profile, that is, an indication of how often it was chosen as the forum of publication by academics in a given field."

HT: The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.