Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the USA, a time to be thankful for, well, just about anything. It is my favorite of all the major holidays because it involves mostly food and not a lot of stuff (gifts, decorations, etc.)
Here is my list of the science information things that I am thankful for this year:
- Open peer review from journals like PeerJ and F1000Research - The reviews accessible in these journals provide a great learning opportunity as we teach students what peer review is, why it's a good thing, and how it could be better.
- Easy management of all the journal articles I download (and occasionally read) with Mendeley - If it weren't for Mendeley, I would have scores of PDFs on my computer with a file name of just 6 numbers: the articles I get from interlibrary loan. Instead, I have (mostly) organized lists of papers related to various projects with human readable file names.
- New data about when and where researchers encounter paywalls via the Open Access Button - An exciting development in the open access movement allowing folks to see that researchers don't have all the access they need to scientific journal articles.
- Open access repositories of all kinds: disciplinary things like PubMedCentral and the arxiv and institutional repositories from universities and organizations - Because my library doesn't have a Harvard-like budget for materials and these repositories provide some instant gratification.
- Search alerts - Via email or RSS, I have search alerts for particular topics ("peer review") and for new articles or issues of journals I try to keep up with. The alerts mean I don't have to remember to go looking.
- Fake biology journal articles about superheroes - Because I love satire, especially when it includes things I love: science and information sources.
- Filters in databases - Google scholar is great, but once you have a set of results, you can't do much with it. I love databases that let me filter for specific keywords that I never would have thought of, remove review articles that won't fit the needs of my students or change the order of my search results so I can see the most recent articles or the most cited articles at the top of the list.
- Webcomics like PhD Comics, Unshelved, and xkcd - Because you definitely have to laugh, and geeky academic humor is delightful.
- DOIs - Yes, I am thankful for strings of letters and numbers starting with "10," because they make my life easier and save a lot of time typing in journal article titles.
- My fellow librarians - Whether at my institution or across the world, I have never met a friendlier, more helpful group of people and I am blessed to have such wonderful colleagues.
What science information related things are you thankful for this year?