I am not a scientist, I am a number

Bourne, Philip E. and Fink, J. Lynn (2008) I am not a scientist, I am a number. PLoS Computational Biology, 4 12: Article number: e1000247. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000247

Author Bourne, Philip E.
Fink, J. Lynn
Title I am not a scientist, I am a number
Journal name PLoS Computational Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-734X
Publication date 2008-12
Sub-type Editorial
DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000247
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 12
Start page Article number: e1000247
Total pages 3
Place of publication United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology
0803 Computer Software
Formatted abstract
We suspect many of our readers will be familiar with the cult TV show The Prisoner, in which actor Patrick McGoohan had his identity taken away by unknown assailants for unknown reasons, and his pleas of ‘‘I am not a number, I am a person’’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =29JewlGsYxs&feature =related) were greeted with variants of ‘‘whatever you say, number six.’’ We would suggest that, as scientists, we are in a situation where the opposite will soon be true, at least for the purposes of scientific scholarship. Scientists will want to be assigned a number, or at least a unique identifier.

As much as we like watching reruns of The Prisoner, we have to say it is time we were assigned a number as we attempt to quantify scientific progress both in general and for the individual in a virtual world in which scientific progress is based on more than the impact of a journal article. What do you think? Who knows—perhaps some day you will be rewarded for your time, energy, and intellect that go into a thoughtful response to this Perspective.
Copyright: © 2008 Bourne, Fink. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keyword Information technology
Microarray analysis
Scientific literature
Information processing
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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Created: Fri, 26 Mar 2010, 13:42:28 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience