Perhaps the title sounds unrealistic, but it nonetheless describes the experiences of student Rasmus Bjørk over the course of approximately one month during the beginning of 2007. Rasmus was finishing his Master's Thesis on "Planet formation by disk instability collapse” in the Computational Astrophysics research group at the Niels Bohr Institute….[B]ack in 2005…he wrote an essay on “Fermi's paradox” and performed a series of computer simulations….The scientists in Rasmus' group encouraged him to submit a manuscript to the international Journal of Astrobiology, where it was subsequently accepted for publication on December 28 2006. As it has almost become tradition in astronomy, Rasmus also uploaded his paper as a preprint to the online archive ArXiv.org….January 7th 2007 Rasmus' preprint could be downloaded from ArXiv, and then things began to accelerate!
[Rasmus said:] “I was contacted by New Scientist and The Guardian. Shortly thereafter BBC- Radio Five called me and asked whether I would participate in a live interview, and subsequently I have been contacted by all kinds of journalists”.
The news about Rasmus’ paper was featured in both “The Guardian” and on the website Slashdot.org on Januar 18th. He was interviewed by BBC twice on Januray 19th and there were news features on the paper in both “New Scientist” and Danish newspaper “Berlingske Tidende” on January 20th, and in the institute newspaper “NBI Avisen” on the 26th – same day that it was mentioned in the engineering newspaper “Ingeniøren” – and the paper was not even officially out yet! Actually it was not yet even listed under ”forthcoming” on the Journal of Astrobiology's website, but was eventhough mentioned on national Danish television and radio (radio news and the evening show on TV "Aftenshowet", where Rasmus was interviewed in the studio).
So what can one learn from this? Publish your excellent essay, and perferably in an online, open archive!
Peter Suber at 7/27/2007 08:46:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.