Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My first appearance in a scientific credit list

Tim Gardner (my PI) and Michael Molla wrote a guest blog post at PLoS on how science can learn from the movie industry. At the end of a movie, the role of everyone in the movie is clearly spelled out in the movie credits, while on scientific publications you only have a list of ordered names from which to try and infer the authors' role.
Excerpt from their scientific credit list post:
There is a better system, and it's already in use in the film industry -- a credit list. Each person who contributed to a movie has a specific credit describing his or her contribution. If one's contribution fills more than one role, that person's name can appear more than once.

Apparently, I contributed enough to this particular scientific endeavor of Tim and Michael to earn a spot in the credits:

Excerpt from their scientific credit list post:
Roll Credits: Sometimes the Authorship Byline Isn't Enough

Michael Molla (1) and Tim Gardner (2)
Writer: M. Molla
Editor: T. Gardner
Readers: Jeff Hasty (3) Jeremiah Faith (4)

(1) Research Associate, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
(2) Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
(3) Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
(4) Ph.D. Candidate, Bioinformatics Program, Boston University

I've written before about how our current publishing systems are certainly falling behind their potential. And while revolutionary ideas about how science should be done may be the way of the future, I still think we can benefit now from these types of incremental improvements to our current system.
Excerpt from their scientific credit list post:
Such a research credit system would have huge benefits for one's career prospects; and it might encourage more effective collaborations. Moreover, these credits could easily be tracked by scientist or project in a database akin to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). It could provide an alternative to the ever-so-important citation factors as a means of assessing one's scientific impact. And maybe one day there will even be an Academy Awards of Science.

Here's hopin I win the Best Reader award at the 2008 Academy Awards of Science.