Update on Annual Reviews access control in response to COVID-19 pandemic

All Annual Reviews journals will continue to be available without access control through 15 June 2020. This is to assist the many students, faculty, and researchers who are working and studying remotely during the pandemic.

Access control was temporarily removed on 13 March 2020. During the month of March, there were 2.1 million combined HTML and PDF uses of Annual Reviews content, an 80 percent increase on usage in 2019. This supports the decision and illustrates the value of Annual Reviews content.

We appreciate the acceptance and support of institutional subscribers in making the content universally accessible during this emergency. We continue to encourage users to go through their library for access whenever possible, and for you to email our support team (support@annualreviews.org) if you need assistance with setting up your remote access.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

Annual Reviews removes access control in response to COVID-19 pandemic

To assist the many students, faculty, and researchers who are working and studying remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, effective today, we have made all our journals available (without access control) through Thursday April 30, 2020. On that date, we will assess the need to extend this policy.

President and Editor-In-Chief of Annual Reviews, Dr. Richard Gallagher said, “Reviews are a treasure trove of knowledge, particularly well-suited to remote teaching and learning. As a nonprofit organization run for the benefit of science and the progress of society, we hope that this action will make the time spent away from research and academic institutions a little easier.”

Dr. Gallagher pointed to another online teaching resource also published by Annual Reviews that is always openly available, Knowable Magazine – a digital publication that explores the real-world significance of scholarly work through a journalistic lens.

Finally, for those of you looking for a curated collection of articles relevant to the pandemic, you can find them in our living Collection.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

Seeking a Wikipedian-In-Residence

Annual Reviews, an independent, nonprofit scholarly research publisher seeks an enthusiastic Wikipedian-in-Residence (WIR). The aim of this appointment is to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of the sciences by citing expert articles from Annual Reviews’ journals.  The WIR will engage with Wikipedia editors across life, biomedical, physical, and social science articles and WikiProjects to help ensure responsible and valuable expansion of content.

This is a temporary position for 10 hours/week, paid at $30/hour USD which is anticipated to last for a period of up to approximately 1 year. This position can be based remotely from the following states: CA, OR, OH, NV, NC, WA, WI, CO, MA, PA, NY, HI, or MT.

The WIR will work with the team at Annual Reviews and receive guidance from Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi, Founder of The Wikipedia Library).  

We are currently seeking applicants with a scientific background and/or Wikipedia editing and organizing experience:

  • Ability to match scholarly review articles that add context and the expert view to Wikipedia articles
  • Background, education, or interest in any of these fields: life, biomedical, physical or social sciences
  • Experience editing Wikipedia or writing for other public knowledge efforts
  • Understanding of collaborative group project development
  • Experience with online community organizing and outreach
  • Comfort working across a distributed network of editors and researchers
  • Ability to teach others about reliable sources, citation practices, and editing skills
  • Familiarity with remote work, email, online scheduling and virtual meetings
  • Excellent English writing, speaking, and communication skills
  • Passion about open knowledge, research and education

We want to learn more about you. Please send your resume and cover letter explaining why you believe you are a fit for this role. You can apply using this link no later than March 20th 2020.

About Annual Reviews and Wikipedia:

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher with a mission to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. We publish 51 review journals across the life, biomedical, physical and social sciences. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Wikipedia is a multilingual online encyclopedia created and maintained as an open collaboration project by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the internet.

Knowable Magazine Celebrates Two Milestones

Nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews is pleased to announce that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation renewed its support of Knowable Magazine, as the freely available online publication turned two.

Knowable Magazine provides in-depth, intelligent journalism across a broad array of scientific disciplines. It launched in October 2017, with the goal to cultivate public understanding of science by making expert knowledge accessible to all.

Knowable Magazine is off to a fast start. We are delighted to see this early effort grow into a powerful, lively and authoritative voice for understanding science. It is finding a wide audience that enjoys science; they benefit from the unique depth and breadth of Annual Reviews,” said Robert Kirshner, Chief Program Officer of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Science Program.

Annual Reviews President and Editor-in-Chief Richard Gallagher said: “We are deeply grateful to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their continuing support of $1.6 million over two years”.

Andrew W. Lo appointed to Annual Reviews Board of Directors

I am pleased to announce that Andrew W. Lo has joined the Board of Directors at Annual Reviews, effective January 1, 2019. Andrew is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Andrew is the founding and current Co-Editor with Robert C. Merton of the Annual Review of Financial Economics. His current research spans evolutionary models of investor behavior and adaptive markets, systemic risk and financial regulation, quantitative models of financial markets, financial applications of machine-learning techniques and secure multi-party computation, and healthcare finance. His most recent book, Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought, won multiple awards.

Annual Reviews will benefit enormously from Andrew’s expertise in research, economics, and publishing over the coming years. He described his enthusiasm and support for the mission of Annual Reviews during his presentation at the 2008 Financial Crisis: A Ten-Year Review conference in November 2018, which you can watch in the following video.

Board Member, Sharon R. Long wins the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology

The winner of the 2019 Selman A. Waksman Award, presented to recognize a major advance in the field of microbiology, is Annual Reviews Board MemberSharon R. Long, Stanford University.

Long is a pioneering molecular biologist whose research on the symbiosis between plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria explains how some plants thrive without nitrogen fertilizer, making agriculture and natural environments more sustainable. 

In recognition of the award, we’ve made the PDF of Long’s 1989 Annual Reviews article, entitled Rhizobium Geneticsfreely available to download. Thank you, Sharon, for your ground-breaking research and for your many contributions to Annual Reviews.

Congratulations to Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr., winner of the 2019 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing.

Congratulations Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr., Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona; Executive Director of the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M, for winning the 2019 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing, sponsored by us!

Kennicutt’s influential 1998 review paper, “Star Formation in Galaxies Along the Hubble Sequence,” has become one of the most-cited papers in astrophysics. The paper (PDF freely available to download here) synthesized a broad review of stellar formation, proving a critical intellectual foundation for the field, and also gave birth to two new fields of investigation: the characterization of tracers of star formation rates and the study of the connection between gas and star formation in galaxies.

Kennicutt is also known for the Kennicutt–Schmidt law, which defines a relation between the gas density and star formation rate in a given region, and for his role in constraining the value of the Hubble constant, the unit of measurement that astronomers and astrophysicists use to describe the expansion of the universe. He served as co-leader of the scientific team that definitively measured the expansion of the universe, and continues to research new methods to characterize the evolution of nearby and distant galaxies.   

The award will be presented on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00pm in Washington, D.C., at the NAS Annual Meeting. More information on all the NAS 2019 Award recipients can be found here.

A docent tour of Annual Reviews

Welcome Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-In-Chief of nonprofit publisher Annual Reviews, to our news blog. In the coming months Richard, an immunologist, science editor, and publisher, will contribute occasional posts from a personal and professional perspective here and in Annual Reviews’ Twitter stream (tweets signed RG).

On a recent visit to Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, I spent a fascinating hour being guided around a collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century garments from diverse Jewish communities by a docent (volunteer guide). She brought to life an exhibit that I would otherwise, in my ignorance, have breezed through in minutes.

It got me thinking that a docent tour of some personal favorites of Annual Reviews articles published in 2018 might be of interest. All articles described are freely available to read through the end of February, 2019. I’d be delighted to have suggestions for articles to include in future guides (simply leave a comment on this post or tweet us @AnnualReviews).

Let’s start with a brief article on “Science as a Culinary Art” from the Annual Review of Biomedical Data Science. It presents a vision for transforming medicine based on sharing the responsibility for collecting data and testing ideas among, essentially, everyone. Author Nicholas Tatonetti of Columbia University, New York, likens the process to cooking. “Today alone,” he writes, “billions will form hypotheses about the right combination of spices, temperatures, and wine pairings. Each of these hypotheses will be tested, evaluated for their success, and accepted or rejected, ultimately contributing to the body of human culinary knowledge.” Why can’t the same be done for biomedical research, he asks, with Big Data as the ingredients? It’s a clear and optimistic idea.  

One group that is already contributing a lot of data to the pursuit of health and well-being is people age 100 years and over, the centenarians. A century ago, life expectancy was 50-55 years. Today, in developed countries, it’s up to 87 years for women and 84 for men, and there are some 434,000 100-year-olds alive right now. I suspect that most of us would sign up for a substantial life extension if we knew we’d be healthy enough to enjoy it, so the factors that impact longevity, covered in this Annual Review of Nutrition article on Nutrition and Inflammation by three researchers from Bologna, Italy, are of more than passing interest. I was surprised (read dismayed) to find that regular timing of meals is critical, in part due to effects on the gut microbiome and on sleeping patterns.

Annual Review of Cancer Biology, Circadian Clock’s Cancer Connections.

The importance of maintaining circadian rhythms isn’t just a key characteristic of healthy aging and longevity; another great review in the Annual Review of Cancer Biology, Circadian Clock’s Cancer Connections, traces the link between circadian dysfunction and cancer risk. If your lifestyle is anything like mine, that is, unregulated eating and sleeping patterns and a lot of travel across time zones, a rethink may be required! I wonder when circadian rhythm gurus will start to appear on YouTube – if they haven’t already.

Annual Review of Anthropology, Industrial Meat Production.

Substantially reducing meat consumption was a personal change I made in 2018 that may provide some positive health impact. My decision was made primarily on environmental grounds, but reading an anthropologist’s take on corporate animal agribusiness (Industrial Meat Production in the Annual Review of Anthropology), offers additional reasons. Some of the statistics quoted by Alex Blanchette (Tufts University, Massachusetts) are grimly impressive, including the fact that “[b]etween 1935 and 1995, the time it took to raise a mature chicken decreased by some 60%, and yet the average size of each grown bird swelled by a stunning 65%.” Other facts, such as the existence of packinghouses where 20,000 pigs are killed every day, are simply grim. I challenge you not to find the “deanimalization” of meat to be grotesque. 

Annual Review of Criminology, Gun Markets.

This article on Gun Markets from the Annual Review of Criminology addresses an even greater social ill, gun violence. While the article is focused on the transactions that arm criminals and the sources of their weapons, it also provides an overview of guns in the United States. “Increasingly, people buy guns not to shoot animals or targets but rather to prepare for a time when they might need to shoot or at least threaten another person,” Philip Cook (Duke University, North Carolina) writes. “Half of gun owners say that self-protection is the reason or primary reason they own a gun.” That’s before he turns his attention to criminal use! Cook describes the underground gun market as “thin and balkanized,” depending on personal connections. Depressingly, after assessing regulation changes to impact this market, the best that he can say is that “[t]here is enough evidence of regulatory effectiveness to rule out the extreme version of the futility argument.” Hmm. Meanwhile, in 2018 there were 35 murders within 5 miles of my house, of which 30 were shootings. As an immigrant here in the United States, I find it unfathomable that we are prepared to live (and die) with the current legal, and consequent illegal, gun cultures.

Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Mycofluidics.

And now for something completely different: mycofluidics, which (of course!) is microfluidics in fungi. Cells are the building block of all forms of life. You can think of them as enormously complex over-stuffed bags of chemistry and biochemistry. There must be rules that bring order, direction, and intent to the chaos, and this enthralling article from the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics (Mycofluidics) describes one such set of rules: the fluid mechanics and engineering that underlie the growth and dispersal of fungi. For example, Marcus Roper (UCLA, California) and Agnese Seminara (Institut de Physique de Nice, France) describe four different approaches by which fungi can relocate by using explosive movement – remember, fungi lack limbs, fins, or wings – that are quite extraordinary. The illustrations are excellent and their writing is wonderfully descriptive; for example, “The unfurling of a mushroom is a feat of reverse origami.”

Another mind-expanding article covers our new-found ability to explore evolution through the analysis of ancient biomolecules. In Ancient Biomolecules and Evolutionary Inference from the Annual Review of Biochemistry, a distinguished group of European experts describe the preservation of ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids; how they are extracted and analyzed; and the unique processes developed for their sequencing and analysis. The second half of the article sheds new light on everything from the origins of early life forms to the domestication of plants and animals. Analyzing ancient biomolecules “profoundly deepened our understanding of the origin of early life forms, adaptation and extinction processes, and past migrations and admixtures that gave rise to present-day biological diversity, including in our own species,” the authors say. And this is just the beginning; their extensive “Future Directions” section points to even more profound insights to come.

As a keen-but-crummy chess player, I took some pleasure in reading that championship chess, attained by only the most gifted minds, is actually easier than moving the pieces. Dubious? In Toward Robotic Manipulation from the Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems, Matthew Mason (Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania) explains that while there are world-champion-level chess computers, they “still need human beings to do the actual moving of the chess pieces.” Manipulation of objects (control of the environment through selective contact) is a routine but extraordinary talent that animals in general, and especially humans, excel at, but that presents an array of challenges to robots. Mason contrasts animals’ manipulative breadth, robustness, and adaptability on the one hand, with specialization and performance advantages on the other gripper. He describes how machine learning will improve robotic manipulation, but it will be a while before a robot team competes in baseball’s World Series. 

Science is a pursuit of excellence that has parallels in art, athletics, cooking, and even comedy. But, while we have ready access to the deepest thoughts and the daily doings of rock stars, football players, chefs, and funnymen, similar treatment of researchers is rare; unfortunately so, because it could help reduce the gap between science and mainstream culture. Many of the Annual Reviews journals do include autobiographical profiles, which present scientists as, well, real people. A case in point is Fred Ausubel’s Tracing My Roots: How I Became a Plant Biologist from the Annual Review of Genetics. Ausubel’s early earnestness, influenced by C.S. Lewis and Zhou Enlai; curiosity; collegiality; and, ultimately, flexibility on what he wanted to study shine through in this description of evolving research on plant-microbe interactions over a 20-year period between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s.

I hope you’ll dip in to some of these articles. None of them are a quick, relaxing read, but they’ll leave you with the natural high that a little insight provides and a positive feeling about humankind’s abilities to explore our external and internal worlds.

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

Mass Incarceration’s Collateral Damage

Homelessness, unemployment, higher debt rates, poor health for both the formerly incarcerated and their families, disengagement from community life and isolation… There is plenty of evidence that jail time causes social damage in the United States, which accentuates inequalities because it affects poor people of color disproportionately. The US has the highest imprisonment rate of the developed world and a complex criminal justice system, yet data on the mechanisms by which mass incarceration generates harm on this scale are surprisingly hard to come by.

In their article “Collateral Consequences of Punishment: A Critical Review and Path Forward,” in the first volume of the Annual Review of Criminology, David S. Kirk, of the University of Oxford, and Sara Wakefield, of Rutgers University, argue that imprisonment rates and confinement conditions vary significantly across states. “These differences are not well understood or systematically documented but likely influence the scope, magnitude, and character of collateral consequences,” they write.

The federal system, for example, houses only 13 percent of all prisoners, half of whom are sentenced on drug-related charges. “Crimmigration”, the portmanteau for immigration and criminal law, is also on the rise in the federal system, although this hike “reflects an increasing punitiveness toward immigrants rather than a growth in the crime rate among immigrants.” In contrast, the jail system houses the higher number of prisoners, and the state system has 53% of its inmates locked in for violent crimes. Given the differences between the two systems on post-incarceration consequences, the authors believe contrasting the data could lead to a better grasp on the stakes of imprisonment: “Unfortunately, comparisons across different types of confinement are nearly impossible to accomplish with available data.”

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 12.19.03
Kirk & Wakefield, 2018. Annual Review of Criminology.

“Crimmigration” policies have become stricter under the Trump administration, as the threshold for deportation has dropped considerably, and any alleged criminal offender is set for deportation upon arrest, regardless of conviction. Detained migrant children are also an urgent topic of research, as the number of unaccompanied children apprehended by US Border Patrol has been growing steadily. Evidence shows their detainment has similar characteristics to typical imprisonment, and they endure the same suspected cases of verbal, physical, sexual abuse and human rights violations. There are no systematic investigations of the consequences of these conditions on detained children and their families, one of the reasons the authors recommend that immigration be made a more central focus of the collateral consequence research agenda.

The authors argue the consequences of the crime, such as imprisonment, should be studied separately from consequences of the punishment itself, like difficulties finding employment. They also think the impact of specific types of prison and the conditions of confinement need to be examined. They advocate for the creation of more robust databases compiling all the information on the inmates, during and after their time in jail.

They recommend looking to Europe, specifically Nordic countries, for a model of continuing information collection that tracks inmates and their families. These nations use a national registration system that allows for cross-referencing data on an individual’s crime and punishment with, e.g., their education and family status.

Read more in the first volume of the Annual Review of Criminology.

Professor Karen S. Cook elected as new Chair of the Annual Reviews Board of Directors

Karen S. Cook, the Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology; Director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences; Vice-Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Stanford University; and Class V Secretary, National Academy of Sciences, has been unanimously elected to the role of Chair of the Board at Annual Reviews, effective June 1, 2018.

Dr. Cook has served as Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Sociology since 1998, and as Vice-Chair of the Annual Reviews Board of Directors since 2010, a position also held by Dr. Sandra M. Faber, Professor and Astronomer, University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Cook conducts research on social interaction, social networks, social exchange, and trust. She has authored and co-authored numerous reviews and papers, as well as edited a number of books in the Russell Sage Foundation Trust Series.

She succeeds Professor Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, who has led the Board for 23 years, from 1995 to 2018. Professor Zare also served as the Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry from 2006 to 2010. He has co-authored numerous reviews, including two autobiographies. Professor Zare is renowned for his research in the area of laser chemistry, which has led to numerous awards and honors.

During his tenure, in partnership with Dr. Samuel Gubins, President and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Annual Reviews (1995 to 2015), Professor Zare expanded Annual Reviews to many fields while maintaining the highest standards. Annual Reviews continues to be a unique and impactful publisher as a result of his guidance and leadership.

Dr. Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews, said,

“Passing the baton from Dick to Karen offers a seamless progression of leadership for our Board. Dick’s long-lasting passion for and contributions to our mission—to synthesize scientific knowledge so that investigators can plan new and impactful research directions—will continue through a new lecture series named in his honor and his ongoing participation in the Board. The role of Board Chair is now in another pair of excellent hands. On behalf of the Board, Editorial Committees, and staff of Annual Reviews, I congratulate Karen and look forward to continuing our working relationship for many years to come.” 

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge to stimulate the progress of science and benefit society. For more than 85 years, Annual Reviews has offered expert review journals which today span 50 titles across the biomedical, life, physical, and social sciences.  Annual Reviews launched Knowable Magazine in 2017, an open access digital magazine to explore the real-world significance of this highly cited scholarship and make it accessible to broad audiences.