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The Daily Dose: Year in Reviews include talking mummies and rapping robots; 2021 previews include more Open Access.

It’s that time of the year when every type of news outlet, from music to politics, takes a look at the year that was. In the process, they compile the perennial Year in Review articles. The scientific publishing community is no different. We’ve compiled a list of them and also a few forward looking articles dealing with 2021 and beyond.


Scientific American actually compiled an interesting Year in Review, one that isn’t overly focused on COVID-19 (I mean everyone knows it was the story.) Their list includes fighting woodpeckers, talking mummies, rapping robots, and glowing frogs. Well done.

The folks over at Nature took a slightly self-indulgent look at themselves. One of their Year in Review articles looked back on editorials written throughout 2020. In January, the editorial board predicted a pivotal year for climate change and other environmental concerns. Little did they know…

They also put together a more traditional look back at 2020 that is predictably dominated by COVID-19.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences joined in the self-stroking Year in Review articles by listing the top articles on their site. Animals teetering on extinction, racism in speech recognition, hummingbirds recognizing colors, racial disparities in infant mortalities made the list.

Meanwhile, Science whittled down the breakthroughs to a single development – a COVID-19 vaccine.

Discover Magazine supplemented the more traditional Science Year in Review with a look at the top Citizen Science projects on the platform SciStarter. This is probably our favorite on this end as we’re big fans of the democratization of scientific research. Of course, the extent to which everyday citizens can participate is extremely limited but citizen science projects still communicates the scientific process better than most articles, regardless of how thorough.


Nature’s preview of 2021 ranged from politics to publishing. Among the issues they expect to dominate the coming year are climate change policy revisited by U.S., the COVID-19 investigation expected to head to China for some sleuthing (good luck with that one), more vaccines, and, most excitingly, significant moves toward Open Access in scientific publishing.

STAT’s preview of 2021 approached it from a global health perspective. According to them, the top issues to watch for includes more COVID-19 vaccines, the U.S. not pulling out of the World Health Organization, and more focus on the global polio crisis that is quietly bubbling under the surface.

Thanks for reading. As always, let’s be careful out there.

WORDS: The Biology Guy

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