Bealls list: the dominant source of data in questionable, scholarly open-access publishers

Beall’s lists are not without limitations, however it is widely used in empirical research on predatory publishing to identify potential, possible, or probable predatory journals and publishers – including articles in Science.

Predatory journals are “those that tend to publish low-quality science and deviate from best editorial practices. They might use false or misleading information, or aggressive solicitation practices, and collect fees for publishing work that undergoes little editorial scrutiny” (Singh Chawla, 2021, Nature News)

It is recommended to read the available reviews, assessments and descriptions provided there, and then decide for yourselves whether to submit articles, serve as editors or on editorial boards. The criteria for determining predatory publishers are here.​ Hopefully, tenure and promotion committees will also be able to decide for themselves how importantly or not to rate articles published in these journals in the context of their own institutional standards. 

PostDoc in Environmental Mineralogy at GFZ (Postdam, Germany) within the ERC SyG “Deep Purple”

New position as Research Associate (PostDoc) in Environmental Mineralogy at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum/GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany. 

The ideal candidate a highly motivated and enthusiastic mineralogist who wants to develop her/his/their skills in a highly interdisciplinary work environment in order to obtain a holistic understanding of mineral-microbe-fluid-interactions in Earth Surface processes.
The successful candidate will contribute their specialist mineralogical skills in diffraction, scattering and spectroscopy to two main aspects related to low temperature (< 100 °C) mineral reactions:

(a) as part of the ERC Synergy grant “Deep Purple”, she/he/they will evaluate the variations in mineralogical composition of dust (and their interactions with black carbon and microbes) from surface snow and ice samples and determine the contribution of mineral dust to the darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
(b) as part of the Interface Geochemistry section, she/he/they will help to elucidate nucleation, growth and transformation of amorphous and crystalline phases.

She/he/they will join an international and diverse team of researchers led by Liane G. Benning, who is very committed to fostering a fully inclusive research environment. Non-discrimination and equal treatment are integral parts of the group policy. 

For further information, please visit


The London Postdoc Network (LPN) is organising a new online event about working at the bridge between Academia and Industry, with the aim to give Academic staff/PhD student s/Postdocs a good idea of what it is like to work in those two environments in parallel and how they can be complementary and rewarding.

There will be a 10 min presentation by the leadership programme: FLIER: Future Leaders in Innovation,Enterprise and Research, a panel discussion with two invited speakers and a Q&A session where you will be able to ask your questions:




Here is the Eventbrite link to register (Zoom link will follow your registration) and receive updates:

Scholarships for young researchers (degree in the last 5 yrs) to work in France

Make our planet great again is a research stay grant program for young researchers from any nationality, except French citizens, who obtained their degree less than 5 years ago in the following fields:

  • Earth system sciences.
  • Climate change and sustainability sciences.
  • Energy transition.
  • Societal challenges of environmental issues.
  • Human, animal and environmental health.

The scholarship (application deadline: 10 January 2022) will be awarded from September 2022, for a period of 12 months. The concepts for which the aid will be received are as follows:

  • A monthly allowance of €2,500.
  • 500 euros moving allowance.
  • Aid for social security coverage.
  • Aid for medical insurance.

On the occasion of the “OneOceanSummit” to be organized in France in February 2022, special attention will be given to ocean-related applications.

Open positions at PostDoc, PhD and Technician levels to work on carbon nanotubes as fillers in polymer composites

NANOCORE-IMDEA Nanociencia is a 15+ scientists, 3+M€, 3+ year collaboration between the group of Prof. Emilio M. Pérez at Madrid-based, Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence, IMDEA Nanociencia, and the Danish nanotech company NANOCORE. They are using a novel and proprietary technology, developed during the course of ERC StG and PoC grants, to finally unleash the enormous potential of carbon nanotubes as fillers in polymer composites.

They are seeking smart and engaged scientists at the Research Scientist, PostDoc, PhD and Technician levels (several positions available), preferably with knowledge and experience in one or several of the following areas:

  • Polymer/composites chemistry and analysis
  • Materials science and engineering
  • Structure-property relationships in materials
  • Carbon nanotubes and graphene

REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL: Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent


1. Research Scientist: More than four years postdoctoral experience in the specific topic.

2. PostDoc: PhD in chemistry completed when the position starts. Ability to demonstrate exceptional research accomplishments.

3. PhD: Master degree courses in chemistry, materials science, engineering or related discipline.

4. Technician: Technician or Superior Technician degree, in the framework of professional training

General Application Requirements

  • Applications should be sent electronically to
  • The subject of the mail should start with the profile followed by your family name and name (ie. subject: PostDoc Smith John).
  • One compressed file (in PDF format) including the following documents:
    • Motivation letter (max. 1 page),
    • Short curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages including the 5 most relevant papers and invited talks as well as the prizes or other major achievements, etc.)
    • For the Research Scientist, Postdoc and Technician position, names and contact details of at least two Referees.

Elsevier signed DORA and made articles available to support best research assessment indicators

After one year since the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA, for ensuring fair research output evaluations), Elsevier signed it last 16th of December, in their commitment to supporting the continued improvement of responsible use of metrics and indicators in research assessment best practice. This announcement builds on Elsevier endorsing the Leiden Manifesto earlier this year, which gives the research community clarity on how they will deliver improved research evaluation tools and indicators.

As part of it, Elsevier has agreed to make reference lists for all articles published in Elsevier and their society partners, openly available via Crossref so that they are available for reuse. Sharing reference data helps to support the discoverability of content and researchers’ work in managing citations. This means other important initiatives like I4OC can draw on this metadata.

Past initiatives were, (1) CiteScore (launched in 2016), for listening to feedback from researchers, research leaders, librarians and journal editors, (2) a new calculation methodology for 2019 CiteScore values, for faster and more robust comparisons of journals while retaining the comprehensive, current and clear methodology that is appreciated so much; or (3) CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy), for acknowledging the specific contributions of each author in an article, aiming to encourage responsible authorship practices.

Information here

Citations Laureates

You may know that each year, the Nobel Assembly confers science’s highest honours with the Nobel Prizes in Stockholm, Sweden. But did you know that Clarivate Analytics (which acquired Thomson Reuters’ Intellectual Property and Science Business) similarly selects the Citations Laureates?

Clarivate (whose main focused is on analytics of scientific and academic research) draws on Web of Science™ publication and citation data to reveal the list of Citation Laureates™ of each year, since 2002. These are the giants of research deemed to be ‘of Nobel class’.

Open Scholarship Knowledge Base (OSKB), a free repository of open practice education and training resources

As the adoption of open and reproducible practices grows, so too does the need for high-quality, up-to-date instruction. That’s why OSF (Open Science Framework) partnered with open advocates from the global research community to create the OSKB (Open Scholarship Knowledge Base). 

Now research educators and stakeholders can quickly point to the OSKB as a tool to support the learning, application, and training in open practices for their communities. Plus, the OSKB integrates effortlessly with virtual learning environments as more institutions shift toward remote collaboration and coursework.

Open Scholarship Knowledge Base (OSKB): A sustainable model inclusive to all disciplines

Learn more about the OSKB (a community-led initiative, which means the power to build robust collections of materials is in the hands of those closest to the work) here. Any individual or group can easily submit open scholarship learning materials to the OSKB to support their discipline or community of practice. You can contribute or author a resource, when you see any gap, or join a discipline-based OSKB subcommittee to help review, edit, and curate submissions.

Be Better than Standard Interviews 1: Jesús Fernández, Assistant Professional Researcher

I am happy to announce the release of the 1st Be Better than Standard Interviews.

This is a series of Q&A sessions to be posted every now and then. 

The session covers day-to-day concerns related to career development.

Feel free to participate into a constructive and lively space for discussion through the comments.

Tell me about yourself and the choices you have taken along your career

Hi, I’m Jesus Fernandez Bayo, currently Assistant Professional Researcher at the University of California, Davis. First, I’d like to explain what my position entails as it is not a common term everywhere (never heard of it before coming to the USA). I’m a researcher (meaning I can be PI in project) and I don’t have to teach in despite of being at an University. I’m not permanent employee with a salary from the University. This means I am “soft money” employee: I need to find funding all the time to have a salary to pay myself from project. This is quite challenging sometime. Likely, my formers PIs as postdoc they are strongly supporting my career.

About my career, I did my PhD in Granada (Spain) at the “Estación Experimental del Zaidin” (Spanish National Research Council). My general goal was to use agroindustrial vermicompost (wastes digested by earthworms) to “fix” pesticide in the soils and prevent underground water pollution. I continued my research in the environmental fate of pesticides in tropical soils as Postdoc at Supagro in Montpellier (France). After four years of postdoc, I decided to move out of studying chemical pesticides in soil. That brought me to the University of California Davis (UCD) to study Biosolarization an organic technology alternative to chemical fumigation. You can find more about this here.

I have been involved in so many different research topic related to add-value to organic wastes. One of those projects was to study Black Soldier Fly Larvae as sustainable and nutritious protein source for chicken by cultivating the larvae in almond hulls. This project got so much attraction that kind of “forced” me to start a startup thanks to my amazing team, supervisors and the opportunities open for entrepreneurs at UC Davis.

What is the difference between the You in the PhD, the the You halfway between your PhD and now, and the You now?

During the PhD I wasn’t worried about the future, I was very insecure and I remember kind of waiting for approval from my supervisor for any decision. I had a lot of lab work and not enough time to write. I was only focused on finishing the PhD. My halfway between then and now was excited about doing postdoc in different places in the world. I started to enjoy more research because I started to take more decisions. Today, I find myself less naif and more secure and independent. I enjoy writing project proposal and presenting results and I am lucky enough that I can still enjoy lab and field work in between writing.

How have you used your different experiences in the past (methods, technologies, experimental design, soft skills, networking…) along your career?

In many ways, actually, that is one of the best ways to realize that you are actually learning things. For instance, during my PhD I went to Germany (Forschungszentrum Juelich) to learn how to use radio-labelled pesticides to study their fate in the environment. That was the same technique I used for my Postdoc in France. Likewise, in France I learnt to take water samples in soil column to study pesticide leaching. I am currently using the same technique to monitor nitrate percolation in soil. In my opinion, it is extremely important to move to different labs and countries to enrich knowledge and to learn new techniques and different ways of managing projects, communicate results and understand cultures.

Order from the most to the least motivation factor: salary, work environment, career prospective, work-life balance, country/city, topic/field, challenging, comfort area.

  1. topic/field
  2. work-life balance
  3. country/city
  4. salary
  5. challenging
  6. work environment,
  7. career prospective
  8. comfort area.

When is a project or task too risky to be realistically obtainable?

With enough resources (funding, team, equipment and time) almost any project is realistically obtainable. If some of those pillars is unbalance it will be a challenge to achieve your goals. Outside of that, I think ethical issues could be the hardest part to make a project real.

Any advice for managing pressure?

Breathe. Slow down to plan. Going step by step, setting small goals. Delegating tasks to colleagues. Of course, being able of refusing tasks when you feel overwhelmed

Choose one challenging situation and how you overcame it

My current situation is quite challenging. I do not have a permanent position or visa and we are living one of the most unpredictable times in recent history. To manage this pressure I focus on every goal that I achieve. I try to do short-term goals but also work on projects/ideas that could help me for the future. For instance, I invest time outside of work in the startup. At the same time, I force myself to stop working and take time for me and my close ones to keep a healthy work-life balance.

How do you deal with procrastination?

This is one of my biggest issues. Fixing deadlines and weekly goals. I have a calendar that I use to block time to specific projects (writing, reading…in a weekly basis). But at the end, a hard deadline and pressure is the best way to fight procrastination. I also try to have a flexible schedule, meaning that if I find myself that I am procrastinating too much, I try to recover that time later that day.

In your opinion, what makes a good team leader?

A balanced person. That person must communicate well, understand the needs of the team, above all, it must be part of the team and not above the team

How do you handle your public speaking nerves?

I’m not a communicator by nature, I’m aware of it and to overcome that I do practice a lot.

Advantages and disadvantages of working in the two most different environments that you have experienced? (industry vs academics, research centers vs universities, policy vs entrepreneur…)

In my case it would be academy vs entrepreneurship. Advantages of the academy are: interaction with a lot of people, many opportunities to learn new things and I’d say more financial security. The disadvantage is that you share your time with a lot of bureaucracy.
As entrepreneur, I have enjoyed the possibility of making an idea true to really help society. You focus mainly in one project. If it works, you can make money! (but I’m far from that step). The disadvantages may be that you need to learn many field you may have not learnt on your research career: finances, legal, marketing…Finally, depending how and where you develop your business, you can face a lot of financial risk and insecurity.

What would you do differently if you could go back in time knowing what you know now?

My career hasn’t been perfect but I do not regret any of my decisions in general. I think one of the issues that have limited or influenced my career is that my goal has always been to find a quality job in Spain. Unfortunately, the opportunities and working conditions are so low that the competition is extremely high. I have been trying more than 10 years to go back home….
If have to say something more specific, I think, I would have planned my career goals and fill some gaps on my CV to achieve a most permanent position in the academy