Data and Scientific Journals

A presentation given at the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative meeting in Beijing, Sep 2017.

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Patrick Goymer

Chief Editor, Nature Ecology & Evolution

Patrick joined Nature Publishing Group in 2005 as an Assistant Editor at Nature Reviews Genetics and Nature Reviews Cancer. In 2008 he moved to Nature, where he served as Senior Editor covering ecology and evolution, before becoming Chief Editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution in 2016. He has handled primary manuscripts and review articles across the entire breadth of ecology and evolution, as well as advising and writing for other sections of Nature. Patrick has a degree in genetics from the University of Cambridge, did his DPhil in experimental evolution at the University of Oxford, and did postdoctoral work on evolutionary and ecological genetics at University College London in association with Imperial College London at Silwood Park.


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about 4 years ago

This is a presentation I gave in Beijing for the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative meeting. I briefly introduced the idea of big data, referring to the genome projects as early examples of big data in biology (physics had been generating big data for much longer). I talked about how big data has changed the way many people do science, but that this has also created challenges as attitudes catch up with practice, and as we grapple with ideas about who owns and can access the data. I talked about what journals are doing to aid data access and transparency, and discussed best practices for data handling and presentation. I talked about how multi-site studies, long-term studies, and meta-analyses have in particular driven the need for good data practice. I introduced our sister journal, Scientific Data, which publishes data descriptor articles, and finished with a quick introduction to general editorial practices at the Nature journals.