In line with the recent beetle boom on ScienceOpen, a researcher led collection on Coleoptera has been created on ScienceOpen. In the following interview founder and editor of the collection, Rolf Georg Beutel (Professor of Zoology at the Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Jena) will share a little background and gives us an insight on how it works in practice, how such thematic collections serve research communities. And of course, he will also reveal why beetles are cool.
Hi Rolf, thank you for joining. Can you first tell us a bit about your research background, and how you originally got interested in Entomology? Why did you choose to study Coleoptera?
I must admit that in contrast to many other entomologists I was not interested in insects at all as a child or later as a student of Zoology at the University of Tübingen. I was clearly inspired by an eccentric but outstanding academic teacher, Dr. G. Mickoleit, who suggested I should investigate the head and mouthparts of a very small and very cryptic beetle larva. Even though I had a hard time with my first objects of study, I obviously got hooked and continued studying beetles and other insects for the rest of my scientific career.
Why did you decide to build a ScienceOpen Collection on Coleoptera?
Dr. Stephanie Dawson, whom I have known for more than 10 years, mainly in the context of the Handbook of Zoology series, suggested to me to establish this ScienceOpen collection on beetles. My positive previous experience with her expertise and also with ScienceOpen was confirmed by the impressively efficient process of building and presenting this collection.
Coleoptera is one of the first automatically synchronized collections on ScienceOpen. What were the main principles of building the collection and how it develops?
Coleoptera is an immensely diverse and popular group. The intention was to go beyond the traditional fields of taxonomy and morphology, even though these have certainly their merits and are still very important in different contexts. The established data base will continuously grow and extend, integrating an ever increasing number of open access studies.
Do you have favourite pieces or lines of research in the collection that you find especially relevant to this field?
Primarily I consider myself as a systematist, and therefore I am interested in articles on phylogeny and classification in the first place. Even though many publications in these fields are older and not available as electronic files (or not covered by open access), the new collection already provides an impressive number of relevant studies and will grow with an accelerated rate in the future.
As an evolutionary biologist dealing with beetles among other groups of insects, I appreciate that the data base covers multiple lines of research, as for instance genetics or physiology. This has the potential for reciprocal stimulation of researchers of Coleoptera, beyond the basic disciplines like systematics and taxonomy. These are indispensable tools in biodiversity research and provide an essential reference system for studies in other fields. Connected with topics like for instance the physiological and genetic backgrounds of feeding habits or reproductive biology, evolutionary biology of Coleoptera is getting really exciting. The very rapidly growing molecular data in the “age on phylogenomics” open fascinating perspectives in the investigation of beetles and other organisms.
In which ways your research community benefits from the collection?
The easy accessibility of open access articles on beetles is an obvious advantage of this collection.
Finally, tell us about what is the coolest thing in studying entomology?
Beetles are often very beautiful insects and have attracted attention very early, for instance as religious symbol (Scarabaeus sacer) or material for jewellery, or also simply as food source. Among amateur collectors, who made valuable contributions over the last centuries, only butterflies enjoy a comparable popularity. Talking about what is cool about Coleoptera, it is hard to avoid a statement made by the geneticist and evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane, who allegedly said that God had an “inordinate fondness of beetles”. This mainly refers to the incredible diversity of the group, which presently comprises approximately 380.000 described species, about one-third of all known organisms. The question why Coleoptera was much more successful (in terms of species numbers) than other groups is an intriguing question in itself for evolutionary biologists. Aside from this, beetles are an integrative part of nearly all terrestrial and limnic habitats. Many species are important plant pests but others beneficial as natural enemies of harmful species. What fascinates me most is that after centuries of research crucial phylogenetic issues are still unsolved, like for instance the interrelationships of the 4 extant suborders (“it is the glory of God to conceal things….”). Presently exponentially growing molecular data sets and improved analytical approaches (www.1KITE.org) provide new powerful tools to resolve these issues. This is definitely “cool” and exciting!
Thank you, Rolf, it’s been great getting your insight!
(Credit: U.Schmidt, Flickr. CC BY 2.0)
Got inspired? You can create your own thematic collection by following these steps.
(Credit: Christopher Marley, Pinterest)
Insects are everywhere. The fact that their diversity surpasses any other group of organisms is an amazing evolutionary success story, and they have a significant impact on the environment and therefore upon our own lives. Our recent additions from the field of entomology open up new perspectives to the study of these colourful creatures. They help us to develop a better understanding on the role insects play within a range of environments, and the solutions they can provide to everyday and global problems.
More specifically, they tell us about:
- The significance of their contribution to biodiversity and its critical role in human culture
- The role that insects play within a given environment
- The kinds of ecological interactions with humans and other lifeforms on earth and the ways people benefit from sharing their life space with insects
- Their positions in food webs
- Their morphology, evolution, and biomechanics
- The challenges in the description and classification of this diverse group of animals
Continue reading “Beetle boom on ScienceOpen: recent additions from the field of entomology”
Straight from the excavations an assembly of archaeological journals have arrived to ScienceOpen today as a result of our new partnership with Equinox, an independent academic publisher of books and journals in Social Sciences and Humanities.
Although these journals thematise different subfields, areas and periods, a common denominator in their approaches is that they all take an anthropological view of archaeology. Their aim is to extract meaning structures from the material remains of ancient cultures in order to reconstruct past lifeways and rituals in everyday life, document knowledge production, and to explain changes in human societies through time in general. Such thick descriptions are achieved through the interpretation of anthropological phenomena in multiple contexts – be it parallelisms with another ancient culture, large(r)-scale investigations of the same tendencies, global warming or theoretical frameworks like gender studies – rather than in their isolation.
One source of the diversity in contexts comes from the multidisciplinary character of the journals. Contributions have been submitted from around the world and they encompass disciplinary perspectives from art, architecture, sociology, urban studies, cultural studies, design studies, history, human geography, media studies, museum studies, psychology, and technology studies. Are you interested urban development, arts, or ritual acts in ancient cultures or the frozen artefacts being conserved by ice patches? Below you can find the journals now indexed on our site, and a teaser from their selected articles. Take a peek!
Continue reading “Archaeology in context”
Today at ScienceOpen we’re pleased to welcome Hogrefe, a major publisher in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and mental health, among our new partners in 2017. Their open access collection, Hogrefe OpenMind is now available on our platform and waiting for you to read, share, comment on or review.
The collection makes a significant contribution to keeping society’s mind open about relevant social psychological issues surrounding us. The collection consists of a diverse portfolio of highly-regarded, peer-reviewed articles in English and German covering many subject areas of psychology and psychiatry. As well as studies addressing highly-professional audience, such as psychometric tests, assessment reports, or experiment design updates, articles of the collection are centred around issues in psychology touching upon the functioning of any given society but are considered to be taboo topics by convention. These form the center-pieces of the OpenMind collection, and have the potential to facilitate a better understanding of these taboos and thus to raise awareness of them. So what are these issues?
1. The evolution and functioning of stereotypes
Stereotypes are something we all live by. Being part and parcel of our very basic cognitive mechanism and categorization, they unconsciously shape our worldview. This group of studies give us a chance to develop a reflexive, deliberate view of them as well as to gain a better understanding on how they work and how they influence us and structure our thinking.
2. How well do you know your biases? Priming factors underlying our moral decisions
These set of studies take us closer to the unconscious physical biases that might influence our moral judgements or self-evaluation.
- 2 of them focus on the effects of underlying physiological biases. Johnson, Cheung, and Donnellan investigate whether the sense of physical cleanliness has a potential to influence our moral judgements, while Žeželj, and Jokić study the underlying effects of another physiological factor, namely: how temporal and social distance impact the evaluation of moral acts. It’s put forward that the same act will be evaluated differently depending on the perceivers’ social or physical distance from the presented event.
- Conversely, in their study Does Recalling Moral Behavior Change the Perception of Brightness?, Brandt, IJzerman, and Blanken take a reverse perspective and takes a look on whether our moral judgements can have a feedback effect on our physiological perception.
- The forth piece is a behaviour-oriented study: it investigates the potential correlation in moral self-image and willingness to practice charity.
- Last but not least, IJzerman et al. bring the issue of infidelity to the table. Their study Sex Differences in Distress From Infidelity in Early Adulthood and in Later Life investigates men’s and women’s different emotional attitudes toward infidelity. In order to identify possible cultural changes in this respect, the authors add an age dimension to the original survey.
3. Suicide intervention
A significant part of the collection comes from the journal Crisis and contains potentially life-saving information for all those involved in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. These studies show the more general, social dimensions and implications of these, for the first sight isolated, individual-level crises. As such, the collection helps to strengthen social awareness and the perception of responsibility towards suicide phenomena, and complements our existing collection on stigmatisation of mental health issues and suicide prevention.
+1 Gender bias in academia
Gender bias is definitely a highly-debated issue in current academic discourse, and even the most read article on our platform is on the subject! Mutz, Bornmann, and Hans-Dieter contribute to a clearer picture by examining whether gender matters in grant peer review in an Austrian context. Here you can see their results. Peer review option is just 3 clicks away!
The importance of the free availability of these studies for everyone is beyond question. With the help of our new discovery tools and multiple filtering options you can easily find the most relevant pieces of the collection for you. Furthermore, you can also share them with your research community by adding them to your own collection. Take a look and get engaged!
Today we’re happy to announce that the Open Access journal Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention is now available on ScienceOpen!
The journal was established by the International Scientific Group of Applied Preventive Medicine I-GAP Vienna, Austria in 2010. Their three-pronged commitment was to find solutions to the current demands in social work practice, to help clinical social work students to fully develop their knowledge, skills and qualification, and to foster dialogue between social workers, doctors and teachers. This resulted in an open, independent exchange forum covering topics from Social Work, Psychology and other Social Sciences. Although theoretical concepts and suggestions are also part of the professional discussion, the journal is strongly practice-oriented and shares case-studies, reports and problem-solving strategies for issues such as healthcare ethics, family policies, unemployment or infectious diseases such as hepatitis or AIDS. The aim of supporting new generations is also represented in that students are encouraged to share their experiences and as such to add a fresh spirit to the value of the journal.
Continue reading “Open Access in the Cause of Social Clinical Health Support”
A colorful addition to our Humanities section: Magnificat Cultura i Literatura Medievals, an open-access, double-blind peer-reviewed yearbook on medieval culture and literature as well as digital humanities is now available on ScienceOpen. Distinguishing features are:
- The multilingual character of the journal since it accepts works in numerous languages. Hitherto the majority of articles were written in English, Spanish and Catalan, but all abstracts are available in English.
- Due to its digital format and annual publication frequency the journal favors articles longer than the usual standard (the longest one is a 267 page thorough study from Jaume J. Chiner Gimeno updating the biographical records of the writer Joan Roís de Corella (1435-1497)). This is especially beneficial in the case of such a textology & philology oriented field as medieval studies, where in many cases space constraints impede the sharing of authentic texts or data in full length. Eliminating this obstacle, the journal aims to give forth longer texts, manuscripts and literary texts, critical editions or biographical data which are well-deserved to be openly published.
- The journal puts special emphasis on medievalism and the maintenance of medieval heritage by means of facilitating exchange on digitization projects.
- Magnificat CLM is strongly committed to Open Access values and collaboration for boundless research.
The high quality of articles as well as meticulous editing is guaranteed by the prestigious editorial team from the Universitat de València.
The third volume is a hot release from 9 December. Diving into the issue, you can read about a Renaissance love story, on the early reception of Dante in Catalan culture, on the intriguing epigraphic inscriptions of Lara (of the famous infantes), on a critical edition of several mythological Corellan proses and finally, on the importance of ekphrasis in Ramon Llull’s writings.
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