Vol. 5, Issue 1, Jan 2015

Jan 122015
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Dear Reader,

In this first issue of the 5th volume of JUnQ, we chose Family & Career in Science as a topic because we wondered, if it is possible to undertake a successful career in science on the one hand while having a family on the other. Especially as a young researcher who still needs to make a name for himself in science, there is a lot of pressure from the academic society and one would think (at least I do) that these young researchers do not have any time to have a family. But in fact, this is not what reality looks like. Most professors I know or that I have visited lectures from during my studies — male or female — all have a family and children. One of the supervisors of my doctoral thesis is a young researcher himself who has a wife and a little son and his wife is also working a very ambitious job with a tight schedule. So the question is not really if but how this is feasible in particular as a woman but also as a man.

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Jan 122015
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Katharina Landfester

Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. Together with her husband Dr. Volker Mailänder, she has two children. In a very personal assay, Prof. Landfester describes her experience as a woman and mother in the scientific world and how they managed to balance their scientific careers and family life showing us why instead of hesitating, sometimes it is best to just do it.

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Jan 122015
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Andreas Neidlinger

Till Opatz is full professor of organic chemistry at the University of Mainz. He took up his position in Mainz in 2010 after working as a professor in Hamburg, where his wife holds a position as professor for developmental neurophysiology. They have a 17 months old daughter and we were wondering how the family life with two parents in such demanding positions can be managed. In between his busy schedule as a professor and father, Prof. Opatz took the time to answer some questions about the difficulties that parents in academia have to face.

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Jan 122015
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Katharina Stockhofe, Kristina Klinker

Since 2011, the Family Service Center at the University of Mainz is the central institution for parents and university members taking care of relatives. It is dedicated to the support of students and university employees through the collection and improvement of services aimed specifically at parents. Stefanie Schmidberger is project manager at Family Service Center Mainz. She studied the History of Art, Book Studies, and German Language in Mainz. Furthermore, she is trained in career and educational guidance.

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Jan 122015
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We are very pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of JUnQ. With a fresh start into our fifth year, we address the topic of “Family & Career in Science”. To tackle this topic, we talked with Stefanie Schmidberger from the Family Service Center at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz about the childcare situation for parents working and studying in Mainz. Furthermore, we have an interview with Prof. Till Opatz (Mainz University), who balances his academic career, a long distance marriage and paternity.

In our commentary section “Views on Life, the Universe, and Everything”, Natascha Gaster, Jorge S. Burns and Michael Gaster talk about single author papers becoming scarce in scientific publications.

We hope you enjoy reading our latest issue!

&mdash: Robert Lindner on behalf of the Editorial Board

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Nov 112014
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Wolter Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 09.10.2014, accepted 03.11.2014, published 11.11.2014

JUnQ, 5, 1, Views, ### (not final page numbering), 2015

Sexual promiscuity can be studied quantitatively as a behavior. The qualitative study of the emotions and motives associated with promiscuity is secondary. When heterosexual behavior is studied quantitatively promiscuity is necessarily equal among males and females. In other words, contrary to contemporary popular opinion, the group of human males and the group of human females have the same average number of sex partners.

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Oct 232014
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Raphaël Lévya

aStructural and Chemical Biology, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool Biosciences Bldg, Crown Street, L69 7ZB, UK

Received 17.10.2014, accepted 21.10.2014, published 23.10.2014

JUnQ, 5, 1, Views, XXX, 2015

In the last couple of years, partly because of my involvement in the stripy controversy (more below), I have thought a lot about publishing… and concluded (along with many other people) that the system is absurd, worse, toxic. Public funds are paid to commercial publishers to put publicly-funded research behind paywalls. The (unpaid) hard work of reviewers (which may or may not have led to improvements in the article) remains confidential and does not benefit the community. Publicly-funded researchers waste their time reviewing articles which have already been reviewed several times by other researchers for other journals. Researchers are evaluated on the impact factor of the journals in which they publish even though this is not at all a mea- surement of the quality of an article.[1,2] There is a serious reproducibility crisis[3] but no incentive to reproduce or criticise published work. Those flaws and their consequences can be illustrated by briefly looking at two recent controversies.

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The Article (and much more) is also available on Raphaël Lévys Blog

Sep 022014
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Natascha Gastera, Jorge S. Burnsb, Michael Gastera

aLaboratory of Molecular Physiology, Departments of Pathology and Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense, Denmark

bLaboratory of Cell Biology and Advanced Cancer Therapies, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University Hospital of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy

Received 09.07.2014, accepted 05.08.2014, published 02.09.2014

JUnQ, 5, 1, Views, XXX, 2015

Over the last years the number of manuscripts published by single authors has diminished. This is despite single author articles having qualities unattainable in multi-author-papers. They present an opportunity to publish opinionated and creative thoughts unbound by compromise. Moreover they represent a unique vision of the research process. This being said they may be undervalued, as they are appraised similarly to the multi-author manuscripts and this might call for a change in evaluation metrics.

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