‘Open research’ isn’t just about sharing resources like data, code, and papers, although this is a big part of it. One big, and often under-appreciated aspect of it is about making research accessible, inclusive, and participatory. A major principle driving this is leveraging transparency to bring processes and factors that are currently hidden into public view.
One area of research and scholarly communication where the debate is still very much ongoing for this is for peer review – our system of validation and gatekeeping to the vast archives of public knowledge.
OpenAIRE have released an important new survey and analysis on attitudes and experiences towards ‘Open Peer Review’ (OPR), based on more than 3000 respondents (full data available here to play with). This is important, as OPR is all about the principles above – making the process transparent, collaborative, inclusive, and in the end, better!
Below, we discuss some of the major findings of the survey, and how we at ScienceOpen fit into the bigger picture of Open Peer Review.
The future is Open
The main result of the survey is that the majority (60.3%) of respondents are in favour of OPR becoming a mainstream scholarly practice, particularly regarding open interaction, open reports and final-version commenting. Part of this is due to the relatively lower satisfaction scores reported, with just 56.4% of respondents being satisfied with traditional closed peer review, and 20.6% being dissatisfied – a much lower gap than all previous reports. From the survey, more than three quarters of respondents had previously engaged with OPR either as an author, reviewer, or editor. This suggests that OPR, in one form or another, is already probably more common practice than we might think.
Interestingly, this development is similar to what we saw with other aspects of ‘open science’ such as open access and open data – there is debate, experimentation, variable implementation, and finally they start to become accepted as the norm as policies, practices, and cultures adapt. The survey also showed that 88.2% of respondents were in favour of Open Access to publications, a much higher value than several years ago. It also found that support for OPR is correlated with support for Open Data and Open Access, which is perhaps not surprising, although conversations regarding OPR are still in their relative infancy.
This suggests that as debates around OPR mature, we are likely to see an increase in the uptake and support of it, as with other areas of ‘Open’. Indeed, the survey also found a difference in generational support for OPR, with younger generations favouring it more over more-established researchers. As it is these generations who will inherit and govern the system in the future, it is more likely to have the characteristics that they favour.
Recently, our colleagues at OpenAIRE have published a systematic review of ‘Open Peer Review’ (OPR). As part of this, they defined seven consistent traits of OPR, which we thought sounded like a remarkably good opportunity to help clarify how peer review works at ScienceOpen.
At ScienceOpen, we have over 31 million article records all available for public, post-publication peer review (PPPR), more than 3 million of which are full-text Open Access. This functionality is a response to increasing calls for continuous moderation of the published research literature, a consistent questioning of the functionality of the traditional peer review model (some examples in this post), and an increasing recognition that scientific discourse does not stop at the ‘event’ point of publication for any research article.
At ScienceOpen, we invite the whole scientific community to contribute to the review process, should they wish to. The only requirement is that the person has to be registered at ORCID and have at least five publications assigned to their ORCID account to write a review (Scientific Members and Experts). If you do not satisfy these requirements and wish to perform a peer review at ScienceOpen, please contact us and we will make an exception for you.
Users with at least one publication assigned to their ORCID account are able to comment on a paper (Members). Please refer to our User categories for further details.
Hi Jonathan! Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about your research interests?
My research is focused on the neuroscience of language processing, and how sensory and cognitive systems interact to enable communication. We are interested in questions like:
How can we understand people we’ve never heard before?
Why is having a conversation in noise harder for some people than for others?
How similar is brain activity across a group of people?
My lab spends a lot of time studying people with hearing loss and cochlear implants because of the profound effects these have on sensory processing. We rely on converging evidence from behavioral studies, structural MRI, and functional neuroimaging.
We recognise that some times it’s not clear exactly what you’re supposed to do when joining a new research platform. What are the important features, what’s everybody else doing, how do I make my profile as strong as possible? Well, hopefully this will make it easier for you. If you’re still wondering ‘What’s that ScienceOpen thing all about?’, hopefully this will add a bit of clarity too!
Here are the main things you need to know about ScienceOpen:
Get an ORCID account
More than 3 million researchers already have an ORCID account, which acts as both a unique identifier and an integrated profile for them. Registration for it takes 30 seconds, and is now a core part of scholarly infrastructure, with many journals requiring an ORCID profile prior to article submission. Make sure it’s well-populated with all of your published papers, (drawn automatically from Web of Science, Scopus, or CrossRef). Easy!
Literature review is a crucial aspect of scientific work, with every single published research paper requiring one as part of the Introduction. Still, keeping up with the rapidly growing body of literature can be a daunting and time consuming task, and difficult to integrate into the everyday routine for many researchers. Being not an urgent, deadline-driven kind of activity, regular literature review often lands on the bottom of to-do lists.
However, with more than 2 million research papers published each year, how are you supposed to efficiently stay on top of this?
This is especially the case in the era of digital publishing when the power of established, high impact factor journal brands is becoming less important compared to article-level metrics and individual assessments. In this dynamically changing environment of scientific communication, keeping an open mind and providing critical evaluation of the literature have never been more important.
Consequently, signing up to individual RSS feeds or browsing through the contents of each of the key journals of your field of research is simply not an efficient way to keep yourself up to date.
At ScienceOpen, we offer powerful solutions for staying on top of recently published articles. By following the 3 steps below, you can easily integrate an effective literature review and discovery routine into your research life.
Today we are pleased to announce the winners of the April round of our free Open Access indexing competition.
These journals come from around the world, and by offering free-to-publish Open Access options for researchers, we in turn offer them free integration into our platform to help build their status and visibility.
The following journals will all become part of our next-generation indexing and discovery platform:
Published by the Russian New University, this journal is devoted to cardiological issues with special focus on cardiovascular system performance and diagnostics. The title of the journal, Cardiometry, is a new field in cardiology providing application of the most up-to-date technologies of measurements of heart and cardiovascular system performance parameters and considered as an interdisciplinary scientific field joining cardiology, biophysics, biomechanics, IT and metrology.
Published by European Publishing, this journal encompasses all aspects of tobacco use, prevention and cessation that can promote a tobacco free society. Their aim is to foster, promote and disseminate research involving tobacco use, prevention, policy implementation, disease development- progression related to tobacco use, tobacco use impact from the cellular to the international level and the treatment of tobacco attributable disease through smoking cessation.
Published by the University of Tehran, Desert covers all aspects of environmental management of arid, semi-arid and desert environments and addresses issues ranging from basic to socio-ecological systems of arid, semi-arid and desert ecosystems.
Published by the Instituto Florestal (Institute of Forestry) of São Paulo, this journal is dedicated to works in Forestry Sciences and related sciences written in Portuguese, English or Spanish. It publishes articles in the following thematic areas: urban tree planting, protected areas and nature conservation, wildlife conservation, ecology, forestry policy and economy, genetics and forest improvement, geography and environmental planning, hydrology, plant taxonomy and phytogeography and forest products technology.
All of these journals fulfil the double challenge of publishing high-quality Open Access research while charging no APCs to their authors. As such, they provide significant contributions to open scholarship as well as democracy in science from month to month.
To support these great efforts, we recently partnered with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to help make these valuable sources of the published scholarly record more visible and easily accessible in a competitive global research environment.
Bringing together results from different fields of research and geographical regions, successful applicants will add new colours to our research network of over 31 million articles and growing.
Thank you to everyone who applied for the latest round of ScienceOpen’s free indexing competition! We are also grateful to DOAJ for their valuable contributions.
To apply for the next round, an application form can be found here. As a little help, you can find our guidelines here. Good luck!
At ScienceOpen, we have been pushing for greater transparency in peer review since our inception. We inject transparency at multiple levels, by identifying referees, publishing reports, providing formal recognition for contributions, and encouraging open interaction on our platform (more details here).
This is why we’re extremely stoked to see the theme for this year’s Peer Review Week to be all around the theme of transparency!
In 2017, we are helping to organise a session at the Peer Review Congress to help showcase what peer review should look like when it works. We look forward to working with the other partner organisations and the global scholarly community in helping to make peer review a fairer, more transparent process.
A core concept for our evolving understanding of open research and scholarship is that of equity and fairness within the global research community. At ScienceOpen, this is something we strongly believe in, and work together with a range of publishers and researchers to play our part in making this a reality for research.
As part of our mission, we therefore try to break down barriers in research, and prefer to build bridges over walls. Here are just some examples of how we do this, and in doing so contribute to building a platform that acts as a social community space for all researchers.
One of the main features of ScienceOpen is that we are a research aggregator. We don’t select what we index based on discipline, publisher, or geography, as that just creates another silo. Enough of those exist already. What we need, and what we do, is to bring together research articles from across publishers and other platforms and into one space, where it is all treated in exactly the same way.
When you have articles displayed in this way, factors such as journal brands and impact factors play less importance than the actual content itself. Users can make their own choices about what to read, review, share, and re-use based on their own expertise and evaluation, or the social context provided by our other users.
Last year, SciELO integrated more than 500,000 Open Access articles with us from across Latin America, for the first time putting all of this research on the same level as that from research contained within PubMed Central. There is no reason why there should be geographical segregation of research across platforms. We believe that all research deserves to be read and re-used by anyone, irrespective of where that research was conducted and who published it.
Open Access isn’t just about access to knowledge, but also principles of equality, and to achieve that we have to recognize the value of research from around the world.
This collection is focused on the wide field of research on ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens. It aims to include papers on a wide variety of disciplines related to ticks and the pathogens they transmit, focused (but not limited) to morphology and systematics of ticks, ecology, reports of pathogens in both ticks and their hosts. A secondary aim is to provide global view of the effects of climate and land use changes on the pattern of distribution of these arthropods.
Can you tell us why you tell us about your research interests in ticks and tick-borne diseases?
I am Agustín Estrada-Peña. I have several titles behind my name, but they do not have importance in this context. Let’s just say that I am Professor of Zoonoses and Parasitology in the University of Zaragoza (Spain). My work is focused on ticks and tick-transmitted organisms. I did work on systematics, physiology, life cycles, and the probable impact of environmental change on the pathogens they can transmit. I have been enrolled with FAO, WHO, and recently with the European Center for Disease Control in different aspects regarding human and animal health and ticks. My current interest is on the way the ecological relationships between ticks, microorganisms and vertebrates emerged and evolved. I am working on new ways to explore these relationships and on the molecular aspects behind them.
Expanding the limits of the materials available and thereby satisfying everyday needs was always a key challenge and the cornerstone of human cultural development. The constant discovery and development of new materials and the improvement of their performance to meet the challenges of the current day world grew out to be a faster and faster evolving discipline called Materials Science in the competitive global economy.
From nanotechnology, metallurgy, medical technology, aviation or computer science, materials science is used to advance understanding in a variety of research areas in order to develop smart oil refinery components, bioactive hip implants, the safest cars, the lightest notebooks and countless other new products and technologies that will make our lives safer, more sustainable and more convenient.
IPP is dedicated to the study of polymers. As such, the journal offers original research contributions, invited review papers and recent technological developments in processing thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers and fibers as well as polymer reaction engineering. For more than 25 years IPP, the journal of the Polymer Processing Society, provides strictly peer-reviewed, high-quality articles and rapid communications from the leading experts around the world. Articles cover topics like: