Guide, Humor, News, Opinion

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Orrery infested by spammers

Orrery appears to have attracted link spammers, who use open access blogs and wikis to increase the Google PageRank of their sleazy marketing pages. The first one I noticed is bublik2010, who is pretty blatant - s/he seems to post the same set of viagra/cialis/herbal remedy links to every single discussion thread. The rest of this site seems legit prima facie -- generating this post was the easiest way to draw it to your attention.

Google Peer Review seeks to Subvert the Dominant Publishing Paradigm

If you can see past the buzzword doublespeak in the title, Google is trying to implement a true peer-review system that functions without a central reviewing authority. The idea is that you publish your work first, and get the reviews later. Your work's importance will then be gauged by how the reviews of your work come out as a function of time. For now this idea would complement journals, but it could eventually render them obsolete. At the least, it could make editing new online journals really easy!

Cropping HiRISE JPEG 2000 images

HiRISE images are huge, frequently 1.5 GB, and they are in JPEG 2000 format, which many image software programs don't (yet) handle. So what do you do if you need to work with just a small area of that image at high resolution? This post explains how to get that subframe.

Harvard Mandates Free Access to Papers

Harvard's science faculty have voted to require that all papers published by faculty in the college be available to the public free-of-charge. As I understand it they are not required to publish in open access journals, but are required to be able publish in journals that allow Harvard to place a version on its website for free. Can Harvardians no longer publish in Elsevier journals like Icarus?

Another Open Astronomy Journal

Wouldn't you know it, now there's a second open astronomy journal: Advances in Astronomy. This one is European, and charges 400 Euros to publish. The publisher is based in Egypt, though (!).

A LaTeX template for LPSC

Tired of not having a proper LaTeX template for writing LPSC abstracts and abstracts for other LPI meetings? Still limping along on the old LPSC LaTeX template from 1996? Moses and I hacked together an LPSC LaTeX Template that conforms to the format requirements for LPI meetings. Enjoy!

Using Google Earth as a Mars Browser

Although there are many issues with putting Mars data into Google Earth, most notably the fact that the best we can currently do is wrap the Earth's sphere in Mars basemaps. However, we can make Google Earth a remarkable tool for locating Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) data by being a little clever.

The steps below outline how to configure Google Earth with Martian basemaps, and then how to plot data from the MRO mission.

New Open Astronomy Journal

There's a new journal that has just launched: The Open Astronomy Journal. It seems to be entirely open access, meaning that the cost for any viewer to download the papers in it is zero. The cost to publish in it is $600 for a paper less than 8 pages, and $800 for greater than or equal to 10 pages. Nine page papers are evidently not acceptible (go figure). Is this the Open solution to planetary science publishing?

Education Jobs

I decided to shift my career focus from research to education. I found the following resources helpful in my job hunt:

Also, those looking to do anything with distance education or 2-year-college teaching should look into WebCT/Blackboard.

Introductory Planetary Science books

I recently polled a small subset of the planetary community and recieved these book recommendations. Please add your favorites and comments about individual books.

The New Solar System
by J. Kelly Beatty (Editor), Carolyn Collins Petersen (Editor), Andrew Chaikin (Editor), Andrew L. Chaikin (Author)

The Solar System: The Cosmic Perspective
by Jeffrey Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit

Worlds Apart: A Textbook in Planetary Sciences
by Guy Consolmagno, Martha Schaefer

Planetary Sciences
by Imke de Pater, Jack J. Lissauer

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