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.”
In the last Open Science Stars post, we spoke with Obinna Ojemeni who gave us an eye-opening account about the state of Open Access in Nigeria. We’re shifting gears again this week and delving into the murky world of reproducible research, a bit of a hot topic at the moment. Joe Akin of Scimpact was kind enough to tell us about how he is helping to make science more open and reproducible.
Hi Joe! Can you tell us a little bit about your background to get things rolling?
I have always been interested in science and technology. It was this interest that, in part, drew me to attend the US Air Force Academy and afterwards serve as a scientist in the Air Force Research Laboratory, supporting the demanding technological needs of the US Air Force. After completing my service and wanting to direct my scientific effort towards biomedical science, I pursued a PhD in immunology at Harvard University. Because of the university’s great breadth of scientific pursuits, I was able to find a lab where my previous expertise in engineered materials and biomaterials was useful within the context of immunology research—novel materials for cancer vaccine delivery.
When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What were your original thoughts?
I first heard these concepts at the Council of Science Editors conference in the spring of 2015. I thought they sounded like laudable ideas, and I was particularly interested on two fronts:
How to get scientists to change from convention and support a new paradigm?
How to get publishers to do likewise, especially when it threatens the financial outlook for their institutions?
What was the rationale behind building Scimpact? How does this fit into your future vision for Open Science?
The impetus for Scimpact grew out of Girija and my frustrations, towards the end of our PhDs, in knowing that a lot of the hard work we had done would never be communicated to the larger scientific community and the prospect of many others duplicating the work we had done, needlessly. I believe it was an altruistic driver, from the outset.
What are the advantages of using Scimpact over traditional publishing models?
Scimpact aims to integrate with a lot of the current activity around making science more open. We are just one piece of a potential solution. We focus on the under-resourced element of making reproducibility of results transparent. We believe reproducibility can be the foundation for communication, rather than novelty.
We believe reproducibility can be the foundation for communication, rather than novelty.
Open Science is a global issue. This series has so far highlighted perspectives from our open science stars from around the world, and we believe having this diversity is critical to have a well-informed viewpoint on the state of research in general.
So this week, we are absolutely delighted to have Obinna Ojemeni with us from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria.
Hi Obinna! Thanks for joining us. Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I am from the South-eastern part of Nigeria and the third/last of the three sons of my parents. I attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education & Mathematics. After my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) program, I proceeded to the premier University of Ibadan where I obtained both Master of Education and Master of Information Science in 2010 and 2014 respectively. A Science Educationist and Information Scientist by training, and presently a University Teacher in the newly formed department of Library and Information Science, Enugu State University of Science & Technology. I am also a Doctoral (PhD) student in Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I’m studying Information Science with special focus on developments in Nigeria’s Open Access publishing landscape and bibliometric studies.
When did you first realise you wanted to be researcher? What was it that turned you?
That would be probably after my Master of Education degree program in the department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan, which is also where I learnt how to do research and had academics that inspired me too. Besides having been trained as an Educationist, the best career would be to educate the younger generation and encourage them too as well as change the poor perception about the teaching profession.
I would rather emphasize that I come from a family of teachers, both my paternal grandparents were secondary (grandfather) and primary (grandmother) school teachers respectively. While my Mother was a Secondary school teacher, which is why I decided to take the family legacy to another level by becoming a University Teacher 🙂
When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What did you first think about it all?
I was introduced to Open Access by my Master of Information Science Project Supervisor, Dr Williams Nwagwu at Africa Regional Centre for Information Science (popularly known as ARCIS) in University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Before then I was proposing a bibliometric study of a local journal published by a scholarly society and suggesting its’ inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), but had no knowledge of the concept of Open Access. So I was mandated by my supervisor to read up studies on Open Access which gave me background knowledge of the concept and the BBB declarations that facilitated its adoption globally.
My first thought was the reality that little or no research would have been possible in Nigeria without the free availability of OA publications via the internet. And we as Nigerians especially Academics, are doing little or nothing to foster its sustenance.
At ScienceOpen, you can peer review any of 13 million research articles (and climbing every day!). That’s right! Any one you want. Even if an article has been published and ‘passed’ peer review, you can still comment on it. The only reason there would ever be no value in doing this would be if all published work were completely infallible, which is clearly not the case.
The ScienceOpen community has agreed to only allow formal peer reviews from ScienceOpen members that have published at least 5 articles in peer reviewed journals. For this reason, please do not forget to add your publication history on ORCID. Only if you do not have an ORCID account can a peer review manager at ScienceOpen set up an account for you. If you would like for someone to do this, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before proceeding. Put the phrase “Create accounts” in the subject line, and put your name and email address in the body of the email.
ORCID integration has been at the heart of our publishing system since our inception. We like to think that this demonstrates that ScienceOpen was already thinking way ahead of the curve for the future of publishing, and recognising the importance of infrastructure and the value of unique identifiers. ORCID is now a major part of the scholarly communications infrastructure, and becoming more so with each passing day.
At ScienceOpen, registration with us requires registration with ORCID. In fact, if you register with us, we will automatically provide you the options for registering with ORCID.
To comment, review and rate articles, we require an ORCID along with membership at ScienceOpen. If you have more than 5 articles within your ORCID profile, you’ll gain Expert member status with us, and free reign of services! We feel this is important to maintain a high standard of quality for our peer review services. This isn’t to say that those without ORCID wouldn’t be great referees, it’s just that this is an explicit minimum standard.
Here’s a little table to help make this a little easier to understand. We’re evolving all the time to adapt to the needs of the research community, so please let us know if there’s anything we can do to enhance our services!
Our ongoing ‘Open Science Stars’ series has highlighted some of the vast variety of views, experiences, and facets of open science, and a cadre of great people working to drive real and positive change. This week, we spoke with Fiona Nielsen, who has founded two companies dedicated to the sharing of genomics data! Here’s her amazing story.
Hi Fiona! Thanks for joining us at the ScienceOpen blog. Could you start off by letting us know a bit about your background?
Pleased to join your blog series. 🙂
I am a bioinformatics researcher with a background in computer science. My first degree was a short computer science degree, which I then expanded by studying bioinformatics at the University of Southern Denmark, where I gradually moved more and more into genetics and DNA sequence analysis. After my masters I moved to Nijmegen, the Netherlands where I studied for a PhD in bioinformatics at the NCMLS. During my time as a PhD student, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I lost my motivation to work on scientific topics far removed from patient impact. I moved to Cambridge, UK to work for Illumina, and after two years I decided to leave my 9-5 job to start my own project: I founded first the charity DNAdigest and later the company Repositive to enable better data sharing within genomics research.
When did you first become interested in Open Access and Open Science? What was your initial reaction when you heard about it?
I do not recall when I first came across the terms of Open Access and Open Science, but I do recall that I repeatedly came across anecdotes from colleagues that could not access data or results from published papers, and how I looked up to the progressive researchers who would “go all the way” and make all data and results available immediately, even before publication of a paper.
In a fairly big release today, we are pleased to announce a big new partnership with SciELO, the Scientific Electronic Library Online. Many of you might know SciELO as the leading Open Access publisher in Latin America and what we might consider to be developing or emerging countries. At last count, they had published almost 600,000 peer reviewed research articles in more than 1200 journals, so constitute an enormous contribution to our global research knowledge!
Typically, SciELO content is still largely excluded from what we might consider the ‘research powerhouses’ and “global” indexing platforms of the western world. In 2013, SciELO was integrated into the Web of Science, but only covered around half of their journals. Some SciELO Brazil content is also indexed in Scopus, but this is a pay-to-access service.
As such, simply being Open Access is not sufficient in the current scholarly publishing climate – you have to be promoted, shared, and recognised too! This is crucial for publishers in terms of generating increased visibility, transparency, and credibility for research, all principles embodied by Open Access. So ScienceOpen is partnering with SciELO to generate increased visibility for its content, and to provide an enhanced global perspective on research.
Some might be wondering where you’ve heard of SciELO before. Well, Open Access advocate and keeper of predatory publishing lists Jeffrey Beall publicly commented last year that SciELO was akin to the ‘favelas’ of the scholarly publishing world, and created a bit of a stir. Thankfully, this derogatory and unnecessary characterisation was met with appropriate responses, but revealed a somewhat ingrained cultural perspective that some ‘western’ academics, and those involved in scholarly publishing, might still have: research and publishing from Latin America and peripheral countries is of lower quality than the north, for no apparent reason than geography; a factor which is often referred to as ‘ethnocentric prejudice’.
Well, at ScienceOpen we think such views are not helpful in creating a more global, collaborative and open research foundation. We believe that through integration we are stronger, and that we gain more by transcending barriers than creating them. The future of research is through global collaboration, sharing, and enabling open practices, and this is what we’re doing with SciELO. Indeed, SciELO are arguably doing more to advance Open Access publishing and global knowledge than many well-established publishers in Europe and North America!
Which is why partnering with SciELO is exciting for us for many reasons!