Envisioning the next generation of scholarly communications

For years now, the journal and the publisher have held sway over many aspects of discovery and evaluation of research and researchers. The development of the Web was expected to disrupt this, but innovation has been slow. Collectively, the research community have been cautious in embracing the power that has been granted to us for integration, sharing, and using semantic technologies to enhance how we read, communicate, and re-use the scientific record.

At ScienceOpen, we believe that opening up article-level information will be part of the next wave of innovation in scholarly publishing and communications. Our CEO, Stephanie Dawson, spoke about this with Research Information recently, conveying the idea that we need to embrace the power of modern technologies to unlock the multi-dimensional intrinsic value of articles in their broader ‘context’.

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Next level genomics at ScienceOpen

We’ve had some amazing new publications recently here at ScienceOpen, and with many more in the pipeline too! For us, every paper we publish is special, and we like to highlight the effort put into them by our authors as much as possible. One of our newest addition is from the field of molecular biology and genomics, a huge and rapidly advancing research domain.

The title of the work is “About the variability, quality and reproducibility of ChIP-seq data“, and is open access of course so everyone and anyone has the opportunity to read it. The new study comes from Hinrich Gronemeyer, a well-respected researcher and Research Director at the Institute of Genetics, Cellular & Molecular Biology (IGBMC) in Strasbourg-Illkirch, and his team.

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Open Science Stars: Jacinto Dávila and Open Access in Venezuela

If there’s one thing that this Open Science Stars series has shown us, it is that there is a great diversity of perspectives and experiences in the world of scholarly publishing and communications. This week, we have the absolute please of giving you all an interview with Prof. Jacinto Dávila, a researcher based in Venezuela. Here’s his open story.

Hi Jacinto! Thanks for joining us here. Could you start off by letting us know a little bit about your background?

Hello Jon. I am a computational logician. That is probably a label, invented at Imperial College (Ed: yay!). So, I would add that I am System Engineer and also got a PhD in Logic from Imperial. But almost all my professional life has been spent teaching and doing research at Universidad de Los Andes, in Venezuela. Thus, I will call myself a computer scientist in the third world.

Credit: Jacinto Davila
Credit: Jacinto Dávila

When did you first hear about open access and open science? What were your initial thoughts?

We had news of the rising movement back in 2005, thanks to Jean-Claude Guedón. I used to be at the computing academic board of my University and we got serious about it in 2006, submitting a proposal for our rector to sign the Berlin Declaration, which he did on October, 2006[1]. By then, we already had a fully operational repository[2], which have been up and running since 1995. We saw the open access initiative as a fantastic opportunity to level the game because we have historically suffered to have access to international results, which is always an expensive deal. We also thought, naively in retrospect¸that just by going open we would have a fair chance of publishing our own work too.

We need to change the defaults views on sharing knowledge, at least for public works.

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ScienceOpen smashes through the 20 million article record mark

Today, we are pleased to announce that ScienceOpen hit the 20 million article record! In fact, it’s still climbing even as this is being written. This is thanks to what we call our ‘aggregation’ engine, which takes published research articles from any field, and applies a little bit of magic to them to open up their context and let us all do amazing things, such as find similar articles, post-publication peer review them, and trace their citation genealogies.

I asked Alexander Grossmann, professor of publishing and co-founder of ScienceOpen, what this milestone means to him and to open science more broadly.

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Can blog posts be used as peer reviews?

There are many many amazing blogs and bloggers out there that provide critical comments, context, and feedback on the ‘formally published’ research literature. One problem with these though is that they are often divorced from the papers themselves, perhaps lost on obscure websites, or not hitting the right target audience. This seems like an awful waste, don’t you think?

While some great initiatives such as The Winnower will now publish blog posts openly, these still are not connected to the papers that they are based on, if they are indeed written about particular papers. But what do researchers think about blogging as a form of scholarly communication in the form of post-publication peer review?

So as with most of my ponderings, I took to Twitter to get some feedback with a little poll. I actually framed the question a little ambiguously, but this shouldn’t sufficiently skew the data in any direction (I hope).

What is interesting to me is that 41% of people who answered, who undoubtedly did not constitute just a researcher sample, do not consider blogging to ‘count’ as peer review. I would really love to know why this is the case for some people. Perhaps they haven’t seen good examples, or perhaps just because it’s not formalised in any way, and quite disassociated from the research literature.

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Amazing new research at ScienceOpen!

Many of you are probably aware of this, but as well as our main aggregation/open peer review functions, we also totally publish! We’re an Open Access publisher, and employ innovative methods of peer review around this.

We just wanted to draw your attention to some great new research that we’ve recently had the pleasure of publishing!

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Cool new features at ScienceOpen

At ScienceOpen, we’re constantly upgrading our platform to provide the best possible user interaction experience. We get feedback from the research community all the time, and try to adapt to best meet their needs.

So today, we’re happy to announce two neat little features in our latest updates.

Firstly, all Open Access articles now have a cute little symbol next to them, making it even easier for you to discover open content. This shows up on all of our Open Access content across nearly 14 million article records now. Making open content stand out is a great way to encourage others to adopt open practices, as well as help people see which content they can re-use most easily.

New features 1

As well as this, we have a new browsing function built into our collections. Sometimes, collections are pretty big. Our new SciELO collections have some with tens of thousands of open access articles, and sifting through that manually is not exactly a valuable use of ones time.

New features 2

With this new function, you can now filter content within collections by journal, publisher, keywords, and even filter them by citations or Altmetric scores. Discovering content relevant to your research should be smart and efficient, and this is what our platform delivers. Try it out on this collection, or build your own!

Do you have any comments or feedback at your experiences with ScienceOpen? Let us know! Contact Jon.Tennant@scienceopen.com

Guest post: Strings of an open data ‘code’

This is a guest post, translated from Spanish on Forbes Mexico, by Nina V. Tscheke

At ScienceOpen, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to Forbes Mexico for mentioning us in a really great post of theirs about how open data and sharing can accelerate the research process. The timing for this is perfect in due to the recent launch of SciELO on our platform. A special thank you to Alfredo Taborga for writing the piece, the original version of which can be found here.

Here is the full reproduced article, with permission:

Open data can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and encourage the coexistence in a world with fewer walls and more freedom.

If those who read my articles are more or less my age, they should remember the acclaimed novel The Da Vinci Code. I remember how I devoured it. I couldn’t stop reading. I also remember friends of mine who took it as an accurate account of reality within which the church tries hard to obscure the great miracles of the world. It is not their fault; they simply fell victim to the positivistic education that is imparted in this country.

If the plot was written now, Brown would have a different ending and a radical change of story in it:

A murder in the Louvre and some clues in Da Vinci’s pictures lead to the discovery of a mystery that had been protected by a secret society for more than 2000 years. It is suspected that this discovery could bring down the pillars of Christianity. Robert Langdon tries to get into the Vatican Library to gain access to ancient manuscripts that would support his theory… Sophie Neveu, who would probably be part of the millennial generation, laughs, takes out her smartphone and types Vatican Library into Google. (The first line on the page reads “Digitalize to Disclose”.) Two pages open from the top section of the page (the Vatican people did a good job with the search engine marketing).

Dear reader, this is open data… The concept isn’t new, but its formal definition is. Although I have friends who would criticize me for using Wikipedia as a source, I will take the liberty of just doing that. Because the access to open and unrestricted information is paramount, especially to this entry of my blog.

Wikipedia defines open data as “any piece of information that is free to be used, reused and distributed, subject to the sole requirement of crediting the author”.

Open data can refer to maps, information about the genome, about science or biodiversity. This brings it into conflict with restrictions of patent rights, copyrights, licenses, etc.—whereas its greatest defenders assert that these very restrictions conflict with the common good.

Let’s move away from this discussion possible to become byzantine; it is true that open data could not better be represented than with the words by Luciano Ammenti, CIO of the Vatican Library, as ushered in an interview he gave my friend Leandro Africano for the Revista Pulso in Argentina: “The documents inside the Vatican Library are not the Vatican’s, but the people’s.”

He refers to texts of Christianity just as well as, among others, to incunabula by Homer, Sophocles, Dante, and the first edition of the bible. Anyone can now consult the more than 80,000 manuscripts and 8,900 documents, going way beyond the capacity of 200 persons that the baroque hall has. Visit @vaticanlibrary for more information, because surely the Vatican is totally “social media savvy”.

I would also like to share another project that is a GREAT example for open data: it is called ScienceOpen.com and was fathered by a great friend of mine who thinks that we all can do something to make this world a better place.

ScienceOpen is a huge data repository providing open access to scientific publications. It offers almost 13 million articles by more than 9 million authors, extensively classified and searchable by relevance and context.

In a world with global threats like the previous pandemics this is something that cannot be underrated. Science Open transforms into a potential to share global solutions to these problems.

The very World Health Organization links Science Open as a platform to share research about the Zika virus. You ask yourself who shares their information? Well, it comes from everyone: institutions, scientists, Nobel Prize winners; what’s more, while I am writing these lines, they are incorporating gigantic collections such as SciELO’s — a great example of scientific open data in Latin America.

“Information is power” is a phrase quite overused; however, if access to information can change the plot of a novel so radically, I absolutely think that this accessibility can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and thus encouraging a coexistence in a world with fewer borders, fewer walls, fewer prejudices, and more freedom.

The future of Altmetrics webinar – today!

ScienceOpen and Altmetric are pleased to co-host a webinar at 4th July at 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM BST titled: “The future of altmetrics”. Register here.

Altmetrics are non-traditional metrics that can be used as alternative measures of scholarly impact. As an article-level metric, they contain information about how research is shared and re-used in a digital environment, such as mentions in tweets, blogs, or Wikipedia pages. They are becoming increasingly important for researchers as they offer a much richer understanding of how their research is being used by broader communities.

The European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics has recently launched an open consultation entitled ‘Next-generation altmetrics: responsible metrics and evaluation for open science.

For this one-hour long webinar, we have a fantastic panel of expert speakers for you!

  • James Wilsdon of Sheffield University
  • Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen
  • Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric

James Wilsdon is the Chair of the Expert Group leading the consultation, and Professor of Research Policy and Director of Impact and Engagement in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the UK’s Campaign for Social Science, and recently chaired an independent review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015.

From 2001-2012 Stephanie Dawson worked in various positions at the academic publisher De Gruyter in Berlin in the fields of biology and chemistry in both journals and book publishing. In 2013 she took on the role of managing director for ScienceOpen GmbH in Berlin. She worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. and at Ralph Rupp at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany, before changing fields and getting a PhD in German Literature from the University of Washington.

Euan Adie founded Altmetric in 2011 out of the growing altmetrics movement. Altmetric is a Digital Science company based in London specialising in tracking and analysing the online activity around scholarly research outputs for researchers, institutes and publishers. Euan had previously worked on Postgenomic.com, an open source scientific blog aggregator founded in 2006.

Our experts will cover the technical, political, and practical implications of altmetrics and the development of next-generation metrics.

Registration with valid email required to obtain webinar information. The webinar is free of charge and without restrictions.

We look forward to having you tune in!

For further information, please contact Jon.Tennant@scienceopen.com

Welcome to the Italian Society of Victimology

We are pleased to announce that the Italian Society of Victimology (ISV) has indexed their flagship journal The Criminology, Victimology and Security Journal with us.

Raffaella Sette of the ISV said “We chose to index our journal with ScienceOpen because for us it is a great opportunity for disseminating our journal at an international level.”

All articles are fully open access, which we’ve added a little logo to now for all OA articles on our platform.

Society for Victimolohy

Some of the top new articles to check out are:

  1. Homicidal frenzy in serial killer couples (link)
  2. Investigative journalism, the victims and freedom of the press (link)
  3. Violent behaviour in REM sleep: clinical, criminological and forensic (link)
  4. Regulatory reform on violence against women in relation to the nature of the crimes committed (link)
  5. The perception of the maternal role in mothers in prison (link)
  6. The dilemma of Jerusalem. The problem of urban development among policy and integration of communities (link)
  7. Consultation on violence towards men (link)
  8. The association of the Mafia and the Roman capital (link)

Most of the articles are in Italian, so for non-Italian speakers it’s a great chance to brush up on a new language, or worth using a browser like Google Chrome to auto-translate the text.

We look forward to helping to make this fascinating research more open to the world, and exposing the context around it all.

CEO of ScienceOpen Stephanie Dawson said “We are very excited to see the Italian Society of Victimology adopting a CC BY 4.0 license. By embedding this in the xml content for articles we can make it easier for our users to re-use the research by making sure it is explicitly open.”

For more information about our indexing services, please contact our Sales and Acquisitions Manager Agata.Morka@scienceopen.com.