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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Community Newsletter: Mass resignation at NeuroImage; new mouse brain atlas

by  /  23 April 2023
Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.
Illustration by Laurène Boglio

An announcement about a mass resignation from NeuroImage and NeuroImage: Reports caused a stir on Twitter this week.

All 42 of the journals’ editors resigned over opposition to author fees charged by the publisher, Elsevier. They plan to start their own nonprofit open-access journal, Imaging Neuroscience.

The group made the decision because they were unable to convince Elsevier to reduce the publication fee of $3,450, calling the fee “unethical and unsustainable” in the statement, which was tweeted by Imaging Neuroscience EiC.

Spectrum covered the news 19 April.

The announcement went viral among neuroscientists — at the time of writing this, it had more than 2,000 retweets and more than 600 comments.

“Is this the start of the neuroscience community taking control of the publication system? I certainly hope so,” tweeted Duncan Astle of the University of Cambridge.

Sue Fletcher-Watson of the University of Edinburgh called the move inspiring, tweeting that “the academic publication industry has to work for academics, not the other way around.”

Zack Williams of Vanderbilt University tweeted that he’s “excited to see what they’re going to do” at the new publication.

“With so many wonderful scientists I admire and respect on the editorial board making the move, I feel very confident in the quality and integrity of the new journal,” tweeted Stephanie Noble of Yale University, a sentiment echoed by Mandy Mejia of Indiana University.

Ehsan Eqlimi of Ghent University had mixed feelings about the move. “On one hand, I can understand the rationale behind this decision,” he tweeted. “On the other hand, I find it ‘repulsive’ to see a valuable academic resource being cancelled.”

Also catching researchers’ attention this week: “the first brain-wide, single-cell resolution DNA methylome and 3D multi-omic atlas” of the entire adult mouse brain, according to a preprint posted to bioRxiv on 18 April.

The team used two sequencing technologies to generate 301,626 methylomes and 176,003 chromatin conformation/methylome joint profiles from 117 dissected regions throughout the adult mouse brain, explained Hanqing Liu of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in a thread describing his team’s work.

“What a massive effort!” remarked Ethan Armand of the University of California, San Diego.

“If genetic variations will be investigated, I nominate Asip,” tweeted Carlos Alvarez of Ohio State University.

Liu agreed that genetic variations would be something to explore, although there would be a “need to restrict to a certain brain region or cell types.”

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

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