Faculty of 1000

Not on the fast track to academic success? Try the slow road

Press Release   •   Feb 03, 2010 11:00 GMT

How do scientists decide what to investigate? Often, they choose an area that is in high demand, hoping to get their work into the best journals as soon as possible.

According to Uri Alon, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, this strategy can be demotivating if the goals are not met, especially to younger scientists. Instead, he advises researchers to follow a less direct approach, where setbacks are considered part of the process of discovery.

Ronen Zaidel-Bar recommends the article on the f1000 Biology website. "In the face of the cruel reality of 'publish or perish', Uri Alon offers some clear guidelines to help students and mentors nurture self-motivated research", writes Zaidel-Bar.

Alon's commentary, published in the journal Molecular Cell, gives practical advice for researchers at all stages of their career. He encourages scientists to take time before they commit to a problem, and ultimately choose what they find most interesting, rather than what is in demand.

Zaidel-Bar, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, agrees that "research motivated by our true interest is much more rewarding and resilient to the setbacks of scientific inquiry."

About Faculty of 1000

The core service of Faculty of 1000 (F1000) identifies and evaluates the most important articles in biology and medical research publications. The selection process comprises a peer-nominated global 'Faculty' of the world's leading scientists and clinicians who rate the best of the articles they read and explain their importance.

Launched in 2002, F1000 was conceived as a collaboration of 1000 international Faculty Members. Although the name stuck, the remit of our service continues to grow and the Faculty now numbers more than 10,000 experts whose evaluations form a fully searchable resource identifying the best research available. Faculty Members and their evaluations are organized into over 40 Faculties (subjects), which are further subdivided into over 300 Sections.

On average, 1500 new evaluations are published each month; this corresponds to approximately the top 2% of all published articles in the biological and medical sciences.