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If you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time – versioning now live

Image credit: Editing a paper, Nic McPhee, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Image credit: Editing a paper, Nic McPhee, Flickr, CC BY-SA

While I am sitting on the sofa composing this blog post, WordPress is seamlessly taking care of my corrections, proofs and versions at the touch of a button. I take this service completely for granted am grateful for it since I usually run through quite a few drafts before I am satisfied.

The time and accuracy necessary to compose a thoughtful research article, which should be replicable and on which others may choose to build, is far greater than the effort I am expending here.

Correcting the scientific literature is therefore rightly more complex and the changes more meaningful, but surely the services offered to scientists should at least match those that are available through this free blogging software?

Sadly, this is not always the case in scientific publishing, where some authors are expected to publish without a proof and making corrections to the PDF is not an option.

Although we all strive for perfection, we know that mistakes occur and that changes need to be made, before and sometimes after publication. When this happens, having a versioning process that readers can follow is reassuring.

Authors who publish with ScienceOpen can:

  • Submit any article type: research, reviews, opinions, clinical case reports, protocols, posters etc.
  • Submit from any discipline: all sciences, medicine, humanities and social sciences
  • Submit manuscripts posted at preprint servers such as BioRxiv and arXiv
  • Use a private pre-publication workspace to develop their manuscript with co-authors
  • Get a yes/no decision on their submission within about a week after an internal check
  • Have their original manuscript published as a Preview with DOI
  • Receive proofs
  • Get copy-editing and language help when necessary as a courtesy benefit (please note, this is not a translation service!)
  • Make as many proof corrections as they wish
  • Sign off on final proofs
  • Have their Preview article replaced with a Final article in PDF, HTML and XML formats 
  • Experience fully transparent post-publication peer-review
  • Can respond to reviewer feedback by publishing a revised version, with either minor or major changes (Version 1 is the original publication, 2/3 can be minor or major in any combination and are included in the Publication Fee)

Each version has a different DOI that is semantically linked to the DOI of the original version for easy tracking. Versions are clearly visible online, the latest are presented first with prominent links to previous versions. We maintain & display information about which version of an article the reviews and comments refer to, this allows readers to follow a link to an earlier version of the content to see the article history.

ScienceOpen strives to offer services to researchers that are the best they can be, for a price ($800) that is significantly less than most OA journals. We welcome you to register today (takes about a minute) and consider publishing your next OA article with us.

7 thoughts on “If you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time – versioning now live”

  1. Great news. This is a very welcome feature for a modern publishing platform.
    I do think that significant progress, new findings deserve a new paper and in my opinion different versions of a paper should primarily be for corrections and improvements in the description of essentially the same experiments and results. Possibly with additional experiments and results to help clarify and strengthen previously weak points in the paper.
    I am curious about one point in particular: different DOIs for different versions of a paper. Is there a particular feature of DOIs that allow you to specify these as different versions of the same paper – in the metadata or something? Or is it just a matter of choosing DOIs with consecutive numbers in part of the identifier?

  2. It at least tells me what the DOI looks like and it seems quite human-readable to identify that this is a particular version of a paper. But what if I were to look up such a DOI’s metadata from the DOI provider? Will there be information in there telling me that this is version this out of that many versions and which other versions exist?

  3. Thomas, it is up to the publisher what they put in the DOI after the prefix, so there is no standard that .v1 means a particular versions (although others such as F1000 Research use a similar scheme). Other publishers may use a totally different DOI for an update.

    I know that for a DataCite DOI you can describe a version in the metadata via the “relationType” (isNewVersionOf, isPreviousversionOf) and “Version attributes. For CrossRef DOIs you can use the CrossMark system, e.g. here, and it also works in PDFs, e.g. here.

    Liz, is ScienceOpen using CrossMark or planning to do so?

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