Exceptionally preserved armored dinosaur, 4000 articles published, and why koalas can eat eucalyptus leaves – PeerJ monthly newsletter

Here is a quick November round-up of news and developments at PeerJ. We have had a busy month launching a new community website at peerj.org, publishing 99 record breaking achievements of spiders, and featuring a discussion on the secrets hidden within koala poop!

4,000 articles peer-reviewed and published in PeerJ!

Earlier in November we published our 4,000th peer-reviewed article in our open access journal for biology, medicine and environmental sciences. This is a great milestone to have reached and we would like to give a big round of applause to our editors, reviewers and authors who all helped make this possible.

The milestone article was ‘The Furvela tent-trap Mk 1.1 for the collection of outdoor biting mosquitoes‘ by Jacques Charlwood , Mark Rowland, Natacha Protopopoff and Corey Le Clair. Find the full article, open review history and the graphical abstract here.

View all our peer-reviewed articles to date here.

PeerJ in the news: ‘One-in-a-billion’ nodosaur specimen and Spider World Records


This month we published ‘An exceptionally preserved armored dinosaur reveals the morphology and allometry of osteoderms and their horny epidermal coverings‘ by Caleb Brown. The study looks at the unique nodosaur specimen, and contrasts this to other specimens. The results show that the osteoderm spines, and their keratinous coverings, are positively allometric (regionally); and that the anterior portion of the osteoderm series is both highly variable and has species specific morphology.

We interviewed Caleb Brown on the PeerJ blog about the exciting study on the ‘one-in-a-billion’ specimen currently on public display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, in Drumheller, Alberta. These findings do not just have implications for armoured dinosaurs, but also for other dinosaur with elaborate bony projections, like horned dinosaurs, and dome-headed dinosaurs.

With over 45,000 species and found in nearly every habitat, spiders are a boundless source for science inspiration. A recent paper published in PeerJ by Stefano Mammola, Peter Michalik, Eileen Hebets, and Marco Isaia lists 99 record breaking achievements by spiders (i.e. the “Spider World Records”).

The paper provides an entryway for teachers and students—as well as scientists themselves—into the biology of spiders. Read the full article here and coverage in Nature and the Discover Magazine blog.

PeerJ articles are viewed and downloaded by millions of readers from hundreds of countries. Read more on PeerJ’s global readership.

Latest stats at your fingertips in the PeerJ Factsheet!

When it comes to deciding where to publish, we know it can be overwhelming to go through all the options. We have compiled a snapshot of PeerJ statistics in one handy (and dynamic!) one-pager.
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Launch of our new community website: PeerJ.org

At PeerJ, we are focused on making Open Access affordable, fast, and easier for researchers and institutions. But we know we can’t do this alone. We’ve launched PeerJ.org to support wider efforts around 21st century science and engagement with open source tools.

PeerJ.com will continue to be the best place to go for all our articles. If you’re looking to connect with a wider community of people interested in improving science, make sure to check out PeerJ.org for further ideas and inspiration. Contact Sierra sierra.williams@peerj.com if you would like to collaborate further.

Get involved at PeerJ.org

Latest from the PeerJ blog

Daniel Katz, Academic Editor at PeerJ Computer Science, looks at software citation and how a new project called Software Heritage could act as a useful archive to enable wider scientific software preservation, discoverability and eventual citation.

We interviewed Geoffrey Zahn about a recent study on whether fungi could be engineered and employed to help plants respond to fight disease, thereby reducing dependence on harmful fungicide treatments. The research has significant implications for our understanding of fungi-plant relations.

Finally, the difference between koala poop and wombat poop is not only in shape! Miriam Shiffman has written an accessible overview of a recent study on wombat and koala digestion. Different microbial communities point to why koalas are able to digest the leaves of Eucalyptus trees. Read more at the PeerJ blog.

We’ll end on that tasty bite. Plenty in this month’s newsletter for our readers to chew on!

– the PeerJ team