By Paul Jump
“A double helix? Bit speculative.”
“I regret to say that we cannot offer publication at this time. While your model is very appealing, referee three finds that it is somewhat speculative and premature for publication.”
No doubt most scientists have been on the receiving end of similar comments from journal editors, but surely Francis Crick and James Watson’s landmark 1953 papers on the structure of DNA would be immune to such quibbles?
Not so, according to Ronald Vale, professor and vice chair of the department of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California at San Francisco, who argues that the University of Cambridge pair’s research would have been knocked back by Nature if they submitted their work today.
In a paper recently posted on the bioRxiv preprint service, Vale said that in the past 30 years there has been an estimated fourfold increase in the amount of data required by major journals, largely because of the increased competition to publish in them.
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