Zika Homology models paper makes it to PubMed >6 months after “Publishing” in F1000Research

Who would have thought in February that when we submitted our manuscript on Zika homology models to F1000Research it would finally appear in PubMed over 6 months later. This was no where near as fast as our first article on Zika that took a few months to be approved and then appear in PubMed.

What started out as a challenge to model all the proteins in Zika and put it out into the open – turned into a “publishing” learning experience. Thankfully at least the information and the models were in repositories like figshare and F1000Research and not some other journal that would have kept the information closed until acceptance.

F1000Research had a seemingly impossible time finding reviewers – after we suggested what seemed like every possible person in their database and then kept coming back for more. Why was it so difficult to find reviewers for a manuscript on homology models – regardless of if its Zika or not? This is definitely puzzling.

After a month the cryo-EM and crystal structures started to appear in the PDB and in publications. In the six months this paper was not in the PDB we reckon several others have published one or more Zika homology models and had their papers in PubMed before ours – e.g. this and this …one even cited the F1000Research paper before it was “accepted” or in PubMed.

So my take away here is that – yes we got the information out there ASAP on models for Zika and we shared with the community everything, but F1000Research is not very visible on its own. PubMed is important to amplify manuscripts (alongside Google Scholar etc) – we lost >6 months of visibility even though we tried using Kudos to amplify and had 27 share referalls to date (see metrics in figure – as of today it has 2661 views, 707 downloads – so it appears these data are out of date) Kudos on homology paper. Going forward we will be able to track the effect of being listed in PubMed. If only it could have been there when submitted to F1000Research.

Its likely that other scientists will have missed our work and gone off and done the same or similar. I think this could be prevented by making papers visible in PubMed while under review at Open “journals’ etc. This experience suggests that the open publishing, open review model is not there yet – there are still wrinkles to iron out IMHO.




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