Wyeth W Wasserman
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Wyeth W. Wasserman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at University of British Columbia. Currently, the most exciting project his group is working on addresses the identification of SNPs (or other genetic variations) that alter transcription-factor-binding sites. He believes that allelic differences in gene expression will become increasing central to the study of human genetics over the next decade, and bioinformatics methods that can define the functional genetic changes will be key.
What prompted you to submit a manuscript to Journal of Biology?
I believe that we must make our research reports freely and fully available to the global scientific community. To achieve this goal, I believe it is imperative that we publish strong papers in open-access journals. This paper seemed well suited to promote the view that open-access journals publish excellent research of wide interest.
What was your assessment of the editorial service?
The editorial service was among the best I have encountered. The paper emerged significantly stronger as a result of the editorial input, both in terms of clarity and scientific content. Of all the journal staffs with whom I have interacted, the group at Journal of Biology was the best at publicizing the results in appropriate circles.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
This paper has been widely read. Researchers throughout the world have communicated to us about the work. In particular, they ask for access to our previous articles that are not available in their institutions. Of note, no one has ever written to request a copy of the paper - it's freely available.
The paper has been assigned in several courses, as instructors need not worry about copyright violations. This means greater exposure of my research amongst potential future graduate students and post-docs.
How well has your paper been received?
While it's too early to know the citation rate of the paper, the statistics available on the BMC website indicate that this report has been downloaded over 17,000 times [eight months after publication]. In a fairly small community of researchers, this means that the paper has been widely read. Time will tell if the paper is liked, as we determine if wide readership corresponds to wide citation.
Why do you think open access is important?
We need to provide the latest scientific results to scientists in all locations - irrespective of financial resources. From a selfish perspective, computational biologists need full-text available to facilitate the use of literature data-mining methods.