Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology?
Many of you will have recently received an email (or two) announcing the impending inaugural issue of the Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology, "an open access, peer-reviewed journal which aims to provide the most rapid and reliable source of information on current developments in the field of phylogenetics and evolutionary biology."
The journal promotional material notes that: "The emphasis will be on publishing quality papers [that will] help establish its high standard and facilitate the journal to be indexed by prestigious ISI and PubMed". Sadly, the journal's flyer indicates that the journal is unlikely to achieve any of these aims, because the people in charge have very little idea of what phylogenetics is:
Only one of these images explicitly relates to a rooted evolutionary history (and it even has reticulations!), but the other images vary from irrelevant to downright wrong.
Publishing "quality papers" will get them nowhere, since we cannot tell whether they will be high quality or low quality, good quality or poor quality. I am sure they will have some sort of quality, because even a used car has that. Caveat emptor. Moreover, perpetuating the transformational view of evolution will not attract the favourable attention of either ISI or PubMed, although this particular viewpoint might be appropriate for the evolution of scientific publishing: