With nearly 2 million scholarly articles published each year and very limited time (squeezed in between grant proposals, departmental reviews, teaching, writing and the occasional family dinner!), researchers have to pick and choose carefully which articles they read. Recommendation by trusted colleagues is one of the most important filters used by researchers to make decisions on where to focus their attention. This is where ScienceOpen Collections come in!
An academic journal provides topic-specific bundling, editorial selection, quality assurance and often a sense of community. But with shrinking library budgets, spiraling subscriptions prices and new digital tools, it may be time to look for an alternative. Why not facilitate experts themselves to create “virtual journals” after publication drawing from all available articles, regardless of publisher or journal? Readers will still enjoy the authority and selection of thought leaders, authors can enjoy the prestige of having their article “included” and the cost to the library – zero. Plus, shifting prestige to post-publication structures can also prevent “sky-is-the-limit” APCs for fancy brand journals as we move towards more Open Access.
The ScienceOpen Collections offer an expert selection of academic articles across all journals to bring out those hidden gems and undervalued new hypotheses. With post-publication peer review, rating tools and discussion forums, they also invite the reader to contribute – and on ScienceOpen every peer review report is treated as a citable published article with a CrossRef DOI.
This week we are launching several new collections. Professor Dr. Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastric ulcers in 2005. In his collection “When did Helicobacter first colonise humans?” on ScienceOpen he explores the evolution and history of both the bacteria and its relationship with humans. “I appreciate the opportunity to pull together papers from different sources into a thematic collection and start a discussion around them,“ he commented.
Professor Gwyn Gould, at the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology of the University of Glasgow has begun a collection “GLUT4 Biology” to open up a discussion on the regulation of fat and muscle cell glucose transport by insulin. With an estimated 387 million people suffering from diabetes, it is essential to understand the underlying biology. Professor Gould chose to create a ScienceOpen collection because “diabetes research draws upon work published in many different disciplines and distinct journals; keeping track of this can be tricky, especially for new graduate students. I plan to use this as a forum to initiate discussion with a community of scholars interested in this area, but with a particular desire to see graduate students join in and comment on articles of note, and to suggest their own contributions.”
Professor Bernd Fritzsch, Co-Director of the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative at the University of Iowa has created a collection on “Hearing Loss and Restoration“, a topic of increasing importance for our aging society. Hearing impairment is likely the most frequent ailment of the growing cohort of seniors worldwide. While not immediately life-threatening, it cuts seniors off their established communication pattern with possibly serious consequences on mental health and social embedding. Making an annually updated collection of relevant papers that help people see the gain in hearing loss prevention, repair and restoration will serve to align research goals with the needed community outreach of those suffering from this social impairment.
Dr. Johannes (Jan) Velterop has been involved in developing the concept of “Nanopublications” as a means to deal with information on a large scale, at least to construct an overview of the existing knowledge in a certain field and to find possible new connections or associations in the scientific literature that are implicit and have never been explicitly published as such. It is hoped that this approach will offer a way to ingest and digest the essential knowledge contained in large numbers of relevant scientific articles that are increasingly more of a burden and less of a possibility for researchers to read one by one.
“It is as simple as pick and choose,” says Alexander Grossmann, co-founder of ScienceOpen. “My own scholarly publishing collection has already attracted 25 000 researchers. It is terrific that I can now also track the aggregated social mentions.”
With many new collections soon to join these examples, we are excited about this expanding feature. To find out more about becoming a collection editor check out our information here or contact me (Stephanie.Dawson@ScienceOpen.com).
So pick and choose your apples and let’s make an apple pie for the holidays. Together we can change scientific communication to be faster, fairer, less expensive and more open!
Following well received news earlier this week that we have enabled content filtering (over 10 million articles and records) on ScienceOpen by Altmetric scores (which measure social and mainstream media attention) and Citations, we’re delighted to share this convo between Euan (Altmetric) and Stephanie (ScienceOpen).
Euan: ScienceOpen is beginning to show up on our radar as a content aggregator. What is your goal with ScienceOpen and where are you heading?
Stephanie: Our goal has always been more open scholarly communication.
ScienceOpen is a freely accessible network for aggregating, sharing, and evaluating research information with over 10 million Open Access articles and bibliographic records. Moving forward our focus is on exposing the context of scholarly content. Powerful search and filtering tools, including the first publically available citation index and now the article Altmetric score, will help researchers rapidly find the literature they need.
Altmetric is also an information aggregator and has strongly influenced the debate on how to measure research impact. Altmetric is highlighting the benefits of Open Access in terms of increased attention by the scholarly community. I think it was at a conference coffee break when we talked about how it would be great to be able to search and filter by Altmetric score and now here we are – natural partners!
Euan: What first got you interested in altmetrics and why were you keen to add the Altmetric badges to the site?
At ScienceOpen, the individual research article is always at the center of what we develop. The Altmetric score provides unique insight into the quality and quantity of attention that a scholarly article has received. If citations represent the geneology of an idea, altmetrics tracks its dissemination. Together they give a fuller picture of the “impact” of an article – a tricky category but a worthwhile goal.
By making search results filterable by both citation numbers and Altmetric score, we can provide researchers with different entryways into the data – and that in and of itself may generate new ideas. That is why we were so interested in including the Altmetric badges on the site.
And of course we love the rainbow donuts!
Euan: How do you think that authors or researchers can make best use of your platform?
In three main ways.
It’s a great discovery resource. A search on ScienceOpen does not just pull up a list of article records, but rather a network of information. Topics and articles can be explored via authors, references, keywords, altmetrics, comments and more. Results can be narrowed and sorted and the search parameters saved. Most importantly, the research itself is center stage independent of publisher and journal. We strive to expose as much context for the research on our site as possible.
All content on the platform is available for Post-Publication Peer Review by scientific members with five or more peer-reviewed publications on their ORCID which helps maintain a high standard of discourse. Our larger goals here are to speed up the communication of science by moving its evaluation to after publication, to eliminate anonymity in the interests of transparency and to ensure that the conversation around science never ends. From our perspective, quality assurance does not end at the moment of publication.
ScienceOpen also appoints members of the research community to the role of Collection Editor and they curate articles from multiple publishers in any topic using a Collection tool. The big picture here is to complement the topical bundling done by individual journals and publishers with flexible post-publication collections across all scientific knowledge. The best papers can be included, regardless of whether published on a pre-print server or top journal. In this way we can support of the values espoused by DORA by developing alternatives to the Impact Factor.
Euan: On the technical side, the content you host – could you tell us where it comes from, and how much we’re talking about in terms of volume?
Our platform currently consists of over 10 million articles and records. We have imported to-date 950K full text Open Access articles from PubMed Central and roughly 830K records from arXiv. The additional roughly 8 million bibliographic records are extracted from the references within the full text content. We have started updating the records with the full metadata from external sources (currently PubMed ORCID) for better usability of the content. We also compare the references to ensure that we have good matching so we can merge reference data to create our citation index.
Euan: Where will site visitors be able to find the badges/what can they expect to see?
Researchers will find the Altmetric badge both on the search results page, where they can filter their search by Altmetric score to find the most talked-about paper in their field, as well as on each individual article page as part of the article metrics. When researchers have landed on a paper of interest, they can drill down to find out exactly what aspect of the research people are talking about. The score itself is just a starting point to discover more and we would hope that researchers would treat it critically as with any metric.
As we continue to develop the site we may find unique ways to present the Altmetric score such as an aggregated Altmetric score for collections.
Euan: Do you offer any other article level metrics?
We are committed to providing as much context to an article as possible and article level metrics are central to this mission. On each article page we have a summary box that displays reader numbers on ScienceOpen, citations, post-publication reviews, comments, recommendations and shares.
Search results from within the 10 million articles and records on the site can be filtered by reader count, review rating and, most recently, number of citations.
We have taken the first steps towards a publically available citation index, something that the scientific community truly needs. Researchers can sort their search results by citation number, view the reference list sorted by citation and see other articles by same author, with more contextual information to come. These citation numbers are correct (in a relative not an absolute sense) and can be very useful together with the Altmetric badge to quickly sort articles based on attention by the scientific community.
Euan: Would you like a Donut?
I don’t mind if I do. By return, here’s a 41 second video “How to filter your search by Altmetric” complete with groovy Berlin Techno soundtrack (nice going Dan Cook!).