Putting open into action with ScienceOpen for OA Week 2016

Open Access Week is the annual event to show our global support for all things open access! The theme this year is all about committing to putting open into action in order to take real steps towards open scholarship and supporting a stronger research framework.

SPARC have created an action portal of various activities you can undertake this week to help yourself and your colleagues support open access. These are:

  1. Make a list of open access journals in my discipline I would consider publishing in and share it with colleagues.
  2. Start a conversation about Open Access during a research group meeting, journal club, or staff meeting.
  3. Send at least one manuscript to an open-access journal within the next year.
  4. Deposit at least one of my articles into an open-access repository during Open Access Week and encourage colleagues to do the same.
  5. Use the SPARC author addendum on my next publication to reserve rights to make a copy of my work publicly accessible.
  6. Contribute to a conversation on campus about institutional support for Open Access.
  7. Sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and commit to not using journal-based metrics in evaluation.
  8. Sign up for Impactstory to explore the online impact of your research and get an ORCID.

Thankfully, ScienceOpen is here to make these things even easier for you! Some related things you can do are:

  • Use our discovery and filter tools to discover journals in your research field.
  • Start a research collection for you and your colleagues.
  • Peer review any of 26 million research articles, and receive credit for openly sharing your expertise.
  • ScienceOpen is already linked with ImpactStory and ORCID, making cross-platform integration even easier!






ScienceOpen joins forces with the Open Library of Humanities

It’s been a great week for us at ScienceOpen! In time for the Frankfurt Book Fair, we were happy to announce a new partnership with PeerJ to help promote Computer Science research. We’re happy now to announce another new partnership with the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), a new publishing platform the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

You can read the full press release here, find the featured journals here, and discover and filter all OLH content here. We’re very excited by this new partnership, as it helps continue our trend of breaking down barriers between ‘STEM’ and ‘HSS’ research by integrating it all together in one unified platform.


Professor Martin Eve, co-founder of the OLH, said: “In the digital environment in which humanities research now finds itself, discoverability is key. It is vitally important that the ‘signal’ of solid research is not lost amid the ‘noise’ of the World Wide Web. Our new partnership with ScienceOpen is just one of several initiatives in which we are participating that will amplify the humanities research that we publish. Finally, we think it is important to counter the destructive in-fighting of a ‘sciences vs humanities’ culture. By participating in ScienceOpen’s indexing, OLH research will sit alongside that of our colleagues working in the natural and social sciences.”

Featured journals from the OLH include:

  1. ORBIT: A Journal of American Literature
  2. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts
  3. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
  4. And of course, the Open Library of Humanities itself

Some of the more eye-catching research articles are:

  • When the Zombies Came for Our Children: Exploring Posthumanism in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (link)

    • “..this essay explores The Walking Dead’s psychologization of childhood as its narrative moves away from a satirical construction of the zombie apocalypse into the inquiry of contemporary (in)humanity.”
  •  Analysis of Motions in Comic Book Cover Art: Using Pictorial Metaphors (link)

    • “How are literal and metaphorical pictorial devices used in comic book cover art?”
  • ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers (link)

    • “This paper suggests that comics producers need to make a concerted effort to reach academia, and academia – including information professionals – need to embrace new types of material to enhance teaching.”
  • Opening the Black Box of Scholarly Communication Funding: A Public Data Infrastructure for Financial Flows in Academic Publishing (link)

    • “We conclude that obtaining a more joined up picture of financial flows is vital as a means for researchers, institutions and others to understand and shape changes to the sociotechnical systems that underpin scholarly communication.”

Judicial Tyranny or American Justice? Guest post by Lisa Matthias

‘Research hasn’t been completed until it has been properly communicated.’ This is one of the great mantras of Prof. Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government. What this means is that all research needs and deserves to be communicated to as wide an audience as possible, and published in an accessible format, in order to maximise its potential impact. To that end, we asked Lisa Matthias, who recently published her Master’s research with us at ScienceOpen, to tell us more about her work and what she found. Here’s her story!


Recently, I published my Masters thesis all about the politicization of US Supreme Court by partisan media. The background behind my research is that partisan news outlets cater their reports to specific partisan groups that have distinct ideological beliefs. These channels broadcast one-sided coverage, which constantly reinforces and strengthens their target audience’s political beliefs, while adopting a hostile position towards opposing views at the same time. This is most deeply highlighted in the US because of the highly polarising nature of the two-party political system.

To achieve such one-sided reporting, news stories are framed. Framing refers to how a story is told, and involves selecting and highlighting certain aspects of it, while others are explicitly neglected. The goal is to encourage a particular interpretation or evaluation of the presented information. Let’s take the Supreme Court’s ruling of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide as an example. By shifting the audience’s focus to specific pieces of information, such as equal rights, religion, or opposing groups, the decision can be framed in terms of equality, morality, or conflict, respectively.

Framing (Source)

When people form an opinion they typically take into account all the information available to them. In the case of the Supreme Court, however, it is predominantly the media that provides that information, because the Court is generally detached from the public. This means the media has great control over the information that the public bases its opinion on about the Court and, therefore, the media also affects how the public perceives the Court. However, reporters are often left to interpret the Court’s decisions and to speculate about possible consequences, but they lack the intensive legal training that is essential to fully understand the Court’s highly specified rulings. In trying to make sense of the decisions, journalists might focus on the Justices’ personal and ideological views instead of on the legal reasoning behind the ruling. The consequence of all this is that media coverage of the Supreme Court has become increasingly politicized. On the other hand, the Court wants to convey an image of itself as an apolitical institution, which is described as being guided by legal principles, instead of personal interests, which is more characteristic of politicians.

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The state of Open in Algeria: an in-depth view with Samir Hachani

The Open Science Stars series is an ongoing quest to bring different experiences and perspectives on the world of open science from around the world together. Only by listening to truly diverse voices can we gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding open science.

Today, we’re honoured to bring you the voice of Samir Hachani, an Algerian researcher. He attained his PhD in Library and Documentary Science in 2013, and this is his story.

Hi Samir! Can you tell us a little about your background as a researcher and your current role?


I’m Samir Hachani, lecturer at the school of library science, Algiers University II. I hold a PhD in Library Science from Algiers University II and a Master degree from The University of Southern California (U.S.C.) – Los Angeles. I hold positions in numerous scientific organisations but my main role, besides my teaching duties, is being Vice President of “Association Science et Bien Commun”, based in Quebec (Canada) and whose motto is “For an open science, for the common good”. We militate in this association for a just and open share of science and an empowerment of the research in The Souths (we use the plural because we think the South is not uniformly made up and there are many level of developing countries) through our flagship program S.O.H.A. (Science Ouverte Haiti Afrique – Open Science Haiti Africa). My main research interests center around open access, open science, open peer review and also digital divide.

When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What was your first thought?

I first heard about open access some 10-15 years ago when I started investigating my thesis subject and I almost instantly got interested in the subject because the philosophy behind the concept was quite simple and enthralling: give access to knowledge produced by researchers or plain folks to these same people through The Internet. I first heard about open science much later (around 2010). My first impression was that I had to commit myself to the movement because it describes what I have always felt about life: sharing is paramount to make the world fair and equitable and there should not be a difference in accessing knowledge between the “have” and “have not“.

What is the current status of Open Access development in Algeria? Is there a national-scale policy in place?

It is sad to say that open access in Algeria is in dire situation. This is due to numerous reasons the UNESCO’s Global Open Access Portal summarizes in: “Lack of information on Open Access, the concept is new and not popularized enough thus implementation is not rapid, lack of clear institutional and national policy on Open Access, difficulty of securing long-term funding and getting commitments from more institutions to join the open access community”. As a practitioner speaking from the field, I could add a very weak and unstable Internet connection, a weak bandwidth (upload and download) and a rather restrictive national policy regarding telecommunications that are still public and have not been privatized. It seems that the concept itself is ignored and as an example, I conducted a questionnaire on the subject of open archives use and one of the answers was that researchers used “archives of the colonial period“!!! There is no clear policy on the subject as it is ignored and the only initiatives are those undertaken in the academic world.

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New partnership with PeerJ

Today, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with the Open Access publisher PeerJ! We are all  very excited to have PeerJ joining us as one of the leading and most innovative open access publishers, and we are happy to see them continuing to help push the curve for scholarly communication.

You can read the press release here and access all the new content here.

Jason Hoyt, co-founder and CEO of PeerJ said “Computer Science has traditionally been published in conference proceedings, so an Open Access journal is a relatively new scholarly channel, but one that we believe the community is ready to embrace. To get there though, Open Access needs more visibility and that’s why we’re thrilled to be working with ScienceOpen.”

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Brill content now live at ScienceOpen

Recently we made the announcement that we were partnering with Brill, a major publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences for more than 300 years, and who publishes more than 250 journals and 1000 books and reference works each year.

The journals now indexed on our site, and some of the selected articles are:

  1. Indo-European Linguistics, a fully open access journal devoted to the study of the ancient and medieval Indo-European languages:
    1. Dark matter (link)
    2. Using stem suppletion for semantic reconstruction: The case of Indo-European modals and East Baltic future tense formations (link)
    3. Borrowing, Character Weighting, and Preliminary Cluster Analysis in a Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ancient Greek Dialects (link)
    4. Sonority Sequencing Violations and Prosodic Structure in Latin and Other Indo-European Languages (link)
    5. Accent in Thematic Nouns (link)
    6. Reconstruction Syntactic Variation in Proto-Indo-European (link)

  2. Journal of Greek Linguistics, a fully open access journal dedicated to the descriptive and theoretical study of the Greek language:
    1. On the theoretical implications of Cypriot Greek initial geminates (link)
    2. Subject-verb agreement with coordinated subjects in Ancient Greek (link)
    3. Greek phonetics: The state of the art (link)
    4. Perceptions of difference in the Greek sphere: The case of Cyprus (link)
    5. Morphology in Greek linguistics: The state of the art (link)
  3. Language Dynamics and Change, an international peer-reviewed journal that covers both new and traditional aspects of the study of language change:
    1. On some problematic aspects of subjectification (link)
    2. Correlates of reticulation in linguistic phylogenies (link)
    3. Some principles on the use of macro-areas in typological comparison (link)
    4. A pipeline for computational historic linguistics (link)
    5. Using phylogenetic networks to model Chinese dialect history (link)
    6. Molecular perspectives on the Bantu expansion: A synthesis (link)

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New journals coming to ScienceOpen!

A month ago, we launched a new competition for ‘platinum open access’ journals – those which are fully open access and do not charge an APC (article-processing charge). We called this ‘hassle free indexing’, because that is precisely what we’re offering!

The response from the open publishing community was fantastic, and today we’re pleased to announce the winners of the first round!

The following journals will all become part of our next-generation indexing and discovery platform:

  2. Magnificat Cultura i Literatura Medievals
  3. Algerian Journal of Natural Products
  4. Matters and Matters Select
  5. Informationspraxis
  6. Izquierdas (revista)
  7. Journal of Paleontological Techniques

On top of this, two of the journals will receive a free promotional collection with us! These are Magnificat Cultura i Literatura Medievals, representing the humanities and social sciences (HSS), and Matters, Matters Select representing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) fields.

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The winner of our Peer Review Week 2016 competition

For Peer Review Week 2016, we set a simple competition for you all, to publicly peer review one of 25 million research articles on our platform. This fitted perfectly with the theme this year of ‘Recognising Review’, as every single peer review conducted with us is published openly and creditable through the application of a CC BY license, which enables the unrestricted sharing and re-use of the reviews providing that attribution is given.

We’re happy to announce that Lauren Collister was the winner this year, and a t-shirt is on your way!


Lauren performed a civil, constructive, and detailed peer review of a paper entitled Crowdsourcing Language Change with Smartphone Applications. This article is also part of our Language Change collection, created by George Walkden.


We now have 118 open post-publication peer reviews on our platform. Each one is citable with CrossRef DOIs and can be interlinked with PublonsORCID, and ImpactStory, helping to build you profile as a researcher. This is a practical example that this form of peer review works!

Dasapta Erwin Irawan: The state of Open Science in Indonesia and how to drive change to make research better for everyone

Full steam ahead with our incredible Open Science Stars! We hope you’ve been enjoying it so far, and today we’re bringing you Dasapta Erwin Irawan, a a researcher based in Indonesia at the interface between Engineering, Hydrogeology and Geoscience, and an avid open science supporter. Enjoy his story!

When did you first hear about ‘open science’? What was your first reaction, do you remember?
It’s kind of funny, I heard it first from you :). (Ed: *sniff*) It was one of your blog post in 2012 Relocation, and a chance to try some open science-ing that gave me ideas of sharing my results as fast as I can and as wide as I can. I had finished my PhD when I first read it and your posts on EGU blog. There I noticed your hash tags ‘#OpenPhD` then followed it. I wasn’t serious in using my Twitter handle for academic purposes back then. My first reaction was, to make all my published papers available online, posted them all on my ResearchGate account and my blog.

You have a very strong commitment to open science. What is it that drives this for you?

My strong commitment has been built by seeing so many other doing the same thing. In Indonesia, where not many universities have subscription to major journals, open science could be the answer of what we’ve been looking for. Everybody here keeps saying to submit papers to major paywalled journals, as they have good reputation and indexed by WoS or Scopus, while it should not be that way. What we need in Indonesia is to keep writing, write more in English and find a way to make it easier to be found and accessible by others, as if it was indexed by WoS and Scopus. And I see by using the latest free and open source services, we can do that.

In Indonesia, where not many universities have subscription to major journals, open science could be the answer of what we’ve been looking for

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Xuan Yu, a man with a mission to bring Open Science to the Earth [Sciences]

Part of my job at ScienceOpen is, and this might come as a surprise, advocating Open Science practices. It’s very easy to get bored of my own voice and ideas though, and I love hearing the perspectives and experiences of others. By listening to others about their Open Science adventures, and taking on board what they have to say and learning from them, we become stronger ourselves and as part of a community, and understand how to put things into practice more easily. This is why the Open Science Stars series exists, and why it’s so important! The next interview in the series is with Xuan Yu, and is our first with an Earth scientist, which is very exciting! Enjoy!

Credit: Xuan Yu
Credit: Xuan Yu

Hi Xuan! When did you first hear about ‘open science’? What was your first reaction, do you remember?

When I joined the OntoSoft committee meeting in March, 2015, I was introduced the concept of ‘open science’. I was not convinced by the concept, because there are usually many individual preference-based methods involved in most of geoscience projects.

It seems like much of the global push for open science comes from the Life Sciences. How are things in the Earth Sciences in terms of awareness and solutions?

Earth Sciences are slowing moving towards transparent, reproducible, and open culture. Many funding agencies and publishers have made actions to promote open science.

Can you tell us about some of the strategies you’ve developed for sharing data and software in geoscience? What drives your commitment to this?

I would like to recommend the strategy of transparent publication in geoscience. Sharing data and software with journal articles will draw wide attention and be practical. Because: 1) background information about the data and software has been explained in the article, which increases data transparency, 2) a scientific story in the article will lead readers to the data and software, which promotes the utility of the data. Specifically, there are four key steps in transparent publication of geoscience: persistent, linked, user-friendly, and sustainable (PLUS).

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