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Nobelist Randy Schekman boycotting Nature, Cell, and Science

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Randy Schekman/James Kegley

Says they distort the scientific process:

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Schekman said pressure to publish in “luxury” journals encouraged researchers to cut corners and pursue trendy fields of science instead of doing more important work. The problem was exacerbated, he said, by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash.


“I have published in the big brands, including papers that won me a Nobel prize. But no longer,” he writes. “Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals.”

Schekman is the editor of eLife, an online journal set up by the Wellcome Trust. Articles submitted to the journal – a competitor to Nature, Cell and Science – are discussed by reviewers who are working scientists and accepted if all agree. The papers are free for anyone to read.

He also offers critiques of the big journals here. The comparison to investment banking is apt. Some of it sounds more like science via Hollywood. Thoughts?

Note: He won, with colleagues, for β€œdiscoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”

3 Replies to “Nobelist Randy Schekman boycotting Nature, Cell, and Science

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    If he discovered something then it was there to be discovered in these obscures subjects. Is he now a creationist admitting its complexity could only come from a creator? If he says its just from dumb chance in the fields then why accept a Nobel prize as it imply’s a intelligent research discovery??
    Ifs it dumb then why the prestige of discovery of dumb simple things.??
    ifs its a smart accomplishment to discover its workings then it must be a smart entity and unlikely from chance??
    Something has got to give here!

  2. 2
    selvaRajan says:

    Good for him. No loss to those journals. There are plenty of researchers eager to publish in those journals.

  3. 3
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    “The problem was exacerbated…by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash.”

    What a shocker. πŸ˜€

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