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About Science Signaling

Science Signaling: Journal and Knowledge Environment

Science Signaling is a weekly journal, publishing 51 issues a year, as well as an online resource and information management tool that enables experts and novices in cell signaling to find, organize, and utilize information relevant to processes of cellular regulation. The overarching goal of Science Signaling is publish key findings of broad relevance in the field of cell signaling and to provide articles, community features, tools, and online resources that enable readers to gain insight into cellular regulatory processes. An additional goal of the site is to provide an authoritative database of cell signaling information that is accessible to readers and useful for computer-based analysis.

More detailed information about the articles and resources of Science Signaling can be found in the corresponding Help and the Information for Authors page. Brief descriptions are provided below.

Science Signaling: Original Articles

Science Signaling publishes original Research Articles and Research Resources. Research published in Science Signaling represents major advances in cell signaling, including key research papers in the rapidly expanding areas of signaling networks, systems biology, synthetic biology, computation and modeling of regulatory pathways, and drug discovery. Research Articles generally report hypothesis-driven research; whereas Research Resources may describe nonhypothesis-driven research, including the presentation of new validated tools or techniques or validated databases or data sets relevant to cellular regulation. Papers are selected for publication in Science Signaling on the basis of their importance and broad interest to scientists engaged in the general area of cellular regulation as determined by the editors in consultation with a Board of Reviewing Editors and in-depth reviewers of papers. Acceptable papers should substantially refine current understanding of important signaling processes with priority given to those papers that the reviewers and editors determine to provide new concepts and new understanding of biological signal transduction and that are likely to find application multiple biological systems or in a diverse range of investigations. See the Information for Authors for more details.

Science Signaling publishes original Perspectives, Reviews, and Protocols, most of which are solicited by the editors. Perspectives present the opinion of the author focused on one main issue, often a new development from a published paper or group of papers. Meeting Reports and Book Reviews also appear in the Perspectives section. Reviews are more complete analyses of topics of broad interest and are critically peer reviewed for scholarship, clarity, and accuracy. Protocols are presented in detail with background information for interested readers who may not intend to actually use the protocol and with detailed instructions and troubleshooting guides for readers who do wish to apply the technique. See the Information for Authors for more details.

Science Signaling: Resources for Education

The Teaching Resources, Glossary, and Journal Club sections of Science Signaling provide information, materials, and articles that enable students and educators to better understand and teach the complex topic of cell signaling. The Teaching Resources include diverse materials that aid in teaching topics or courses in cell signaling, such as lecture notes and slides, syllabi, research projects, experiments, animations, discussions, and online tutorials. These resources are intended to facilitate in the instruction of complicated biological mechanisms and theories, as well as to encourage active student discussion and participation. The Glossary provides definitions for acronyms, abbreviations, and other cell signaling terms commonly found in Science Signaling articles and resources. The definitions are provided by the editors based on the usage of the terms in Science Signaling articles; when available, terms have links to more detailed information in the Database of Cell Signaling. Journal Club articles are brief pieces that highlight recent exciting developments in cell signaling research and are written by graduate students or postdoctoral fellows with little or no input from a senior author. These articles allow the new generation of signaling researchers to gain experience in critical analysis of the recent literature and in the process of scientific communication, while providing the readers a fresh view of cell signaling research.

Science Signaling: The Virtual Journal

Nineteen publishers have agreed to include full-text access to signal transduction articles from their journals in the Science Signaling Virtual Journal. Daily, semantic indexing software analyzes the contents of the latest issues of participating journals, identifies the signal transduction-related articles, and adds these to the Virtual Journal. The automatic indexing process is supplemented by editorial oversight to add articles missed by the algorithm or to remove articles that are not relevant to the field of cell signaling.

Science Signaling: Current Awareness and Personalization

My Science Signaling provides customization features to tailor the site to the user's needs and interests (these features require personal subscription or registration and access through an institutional site license). Science Signaling offers eTOC alerts (alerting users when a new issue of Science Signaling is published), as well as three types of CiteTrack research alerts: (i) keyword alerts, alerting users when new original Science Signaling articles or articles in the Virtual Journal are published, or resources in the Community and Resources sections of the site are added that contain the specified keywords; (ii) author alerts, alerting users when articles by the specified authors are added to Science Signaling; and (iii) citation alerts, alerting users when a specified article is referenced by another article published in a journal hosted by HighWire Press.

In addition to these user-specified current awareness tools, each week the editors of Science Signaling scan the literature for newly published papers of particularly broad interest. Brief summaries of the selected papers are presented in Editors' Choice.

Users can organize information found at the site into Folders. My Display Settings provide personalized filters for searches that allow individual users to view only material that is new since their last visit to the site or limit search results to only those journals they have selected from the Virtual Journal. My Saved Searches allows users to save personalized searches to execute on demand without requiring the parameters to be re-entered each time.

Science Signaling: The Database of Cell Signaling

The Database of Cell Signaling contains information on signaling components and their relations. The data are organized into signaling pathways called Connections Maps and are provided by leading authorities in the field. The database organizes information and provides previously unavailable information, such as short lists of selected key references and the authorities' evaluations of the strength of existing evidence for relations in the database. The Connections Maps themselves are dynamically generated pathway diagrams that instantly reflect new information provided by the authorities.

Science Signaling: A Community

The electronic format of Science Signaling allows users to interact easily with authors, researchers, experts, and colleagues. Forums provide users the opportunity to exchange views and information in topically organized threaded discussions. E-Letters allow readers to add their opinion to, point out new research about, or address the author of any specific original article in Science Signaling. Interactions among the cell signaling community are facilitated by the Directory, which includes contact information and descriptions about the interests of researchers, students, and others interested in cell signaling.

Science Signaling: A Portal to Online Resources

Science Signaling provides access to various online resources, including a search interface for Science Careers; an Events calendar of meetings, conferences, and workshops of interest to the signal transduction community; and ST NetWatch, which includes editorially reviewed descriptions and links to useful Web sites and online tools relevant to signaling research and education.

Journal Information

Science Signaling was originally published as Science's STKE [signal transduction knowledge environment (ISSN: 1525-8882)], a web site and online review journal devoted to the topic of cell signaling with the first issue in September 1999. The name changed to Science Signaling (ISSN: 1937-9145) in January 2008 and original research articles were added in September 2008. More information about cataloging the journal, as well as details about the differences in the catalog records for Science's STKE and Science Signaling are available on the Fact Sheet.

Science Signaling is published weekly online 51 issues a year on Tuesdays.

Science Signaling should be abbreviated as Sci. Signal. (see the How to Cite page for additional details and examples.)

AAAS, the nonprofit publisher of Science Signaling, provides free access to the research content through the journal's web site one year after publication and authors are allowed to deposit the accepted, but not final published, versions of Research Articles, Resource Resources, Reviews, and Protocols in public repositories, such as PubMed Central, 6 months after publication in Science Signaling. See the journal's policies for details.

Science Signaling is indexed in MEDLINE, PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, Elsevier (EMBASE, Geobase, Elsevier BIOBASE, EMBiology, EMCare, and Scopus), ISI Web of Science, Google, and Google Scholar.

According to ISI Web of Science and Google Scholar (July 2011), top cited research papers have received more than 50 citations. Examples include "Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Reveals Widespread Full Phosphorylation Site Occupancy During Mitosis" by Olsen et al. published in the 12 January 2010 issue and "Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase p110β Activity: Key Role in Metabolism and Mammary Gland Cancer But Not Development by Ciraolo et al. published in the 9 September 2008 issue.

More than 20% of Science Signaling research papers have been evaluated by Faculty of 1000.

Science Signaling's second impact factor was released in June 2012 and is 7.5. This second impact factor was calculated from citations in 2011 to content published in Science Signaling in 2009 and 2010. There is a lag period after publication before citations can start accumulating; therefore, recently published papers are likely to have a lower number of citations than older papers. This means that, especially for new titles like Science Signaling, impact factor is likely to increase as articles with citations to papers accumulate in the literature.

What Is Signal Transduction?

Signal transduction refers to the biochemical processes by which cells respond to cues in their internal or external environment. Because signal transduction mechanisms are the natural control circuits that regulate biological systems, they provide potent targets for development of therapeutic agents to combat disease or otherwise alter the behavior of biological systems. Signal transduction research is an intensely active field of biomedical research and is of interest to a broad array of scientists. Science Signaling should be useful to scientists who specialize in signal transduction, as well as the many scientists who need to follow and apply the current findings of this field even though their primary interest may not be the signal transduction mechanisms themselves.

History of KEs

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) established a collaboration with Stanford University Libraries (SUL) and The Center for Resource Economics/Island Press (Island Press) in 1996 to help scientific researchers and nonprofit organizations harness the power of the Internet and electronic publishing. At that time, only a handful of journals were available through the Internet, and the World Wide Web was in its infancy. It was clear, however, that the Web could transform the ways in which scientists gathered and shared information as part of research efforts. We recognized that Web-based technologies could enhance access to databased information and greatly improve the effectiveness of information transfer and the creation of new knowledge. Development work on the project began in early 1998 after the collaborative received a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to create a prototype of the Web-based electronic networking tools we envisioned.

Knowledge Environment (KE) is the term coined by the collaborative to describe the collection of electronic networking tools we are developing. KEs use practical, production-quality tools to systematize the consensus knowledge within a scientific domain and to facilitate users' access to that knowledge. In a KE, access occurs through searching, browsing, and current awareness features combined with user-friendly graphical interfaces. KEs combine primary and review literature with more dispersed sources of "how-to," "what-is," and "where-to" knowledge. Specific electronic tools that facilitate entry of information into the underlying databases continue to be developed as part of the concept.

Signal transduction research was selected for the prototype KE for several reasons.

  • The characteristics of the potential user base allow us to test many of the electronic tools that are central to the KE concept.
  • The user population is an interdisciplinary group, so we are able to test those KE tools that are specifically designed to facilitate communication across disciplines and to filter information such that only material relevant to the user's interest is presented.
  • The topic can be mapped by classes of data structures, which allows us to test the use of a graphical interface to access and display data from a database maintained by experts.
  • No single journal serves as the main source of signal transduction information; researchers must scan numerous sources to stay abreast of current advances. Thus, there is a clear need for information management tools.
  • The informal exchange of information within this research community is also fractured because signal transduction researchers do not all belong to one scholarly society.

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Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882