F1000Prime Associate Faculty Membership / by Peter Schmidtke

Recently I got an email from the faculty of 1000 (F1000) to ask me if I'd be interested to act as associate faculty member (AFM) for F1000Prime

First reaction: What is F1000Prime?

The aim of F1000Prime is to provide a list of the best papers in all fields related to biomedical research. Each entry of this list is proposed by a faculty member or associate faculty member. A short positive review explaining why the chosen paper is of particular interest in the field has to be provided together with a 1 to 3 star ranking of the paper.

F1000Prime is a subscription fee based service, thus, on the contrary to open access initiatives, only people willing to pay for that service have an actual access to this list.

Finally, the service intends to provide a curated list of very good and important papers in all fields related to biomedical research. This allows people outside the field to very quickly grasp the most important achievements in the different areas covered by F1000Prime...so the publisher says.


After accepting the offer of being an associate faculty member of Xavier Barril I had a quite short deadline for providing my first report and first paper proposal. But this is done now. I decided to propose a perspective on halogen bonding in medicinal chemistry / lead optimization from J Med Chem. 

If you have a valid F1000Prime subscription you can find my article recommendations on my F1000Prime profile page

What is good about F1000Prime ?

The people at F1000 try to establish and communicate on the fact that being a faculty member or associate faculty member is a form of recognition of the work you have accomplished within your field of expertise. This is for now purely theoretical and I doubt that being AFM will highly impact recognition by peers etc. However, what I like about the platform is the public post-reviewing and appreciation process. People know what a reviewer said and who he is. This principle is even pushed further with F1000Research.

Also, the idea of curating a list of exceptional papers is a very interesting idea. Since my move to Discngine I hardly get time to catch up with all recent papers in journals of my field and actually most of published papers aren't of that much interest to a broad readership. Thus the idea of having an expert-curated list of important achievements is fairly appealing

The actual process of proposing a paper to F1000Prime is also very easy. You basically need a statement or mini-review explaining why you think that paper is of importance. Then you can add a ranking to that paper (3 star ranking ranging from good to exceptional). Last you indicate the main interest group of the paper by indicating that a paper is for instance suited for teaching or that it presents a breakthrough, a novel therapeutic target etc... 


What does not seem so good about it for now?

The work done by associate & faculty members is completely voluntary. Thus, I guess not every expert in a given field would accept yet another additional workload, basically for a scientific publisher to earn money with your work. This might skew the panel of experts that are chosen by F1000Prime...and it's not up to me to say if that's the case for my nomination, if we can call it like this ;)

After my first paper proposal I also saw that there might be problems with people trying to promote work of colleagues & friends or highly rank papers from their own journals (editors as faculty members for instance). In my opinion, it's impossible to track these things systematically, but I do hope that the people at F1000Prime seriously consider this problem to avoid self-promotion, because that is what publishing is about today, unfortunately. 


Finally ?

I decided to give it a go for now, and I'll try to keep up with the publishing pace they expect from their members. I'll keep you updated on my future experience using and "nourishing" this service.