Well, it has finally come to that time. After two years at ScienceOpen, I’m sad, but also excited, to announce that I’ll be leaving at the end of the year. Sad because I’ll be leaving an amazing team of creators, thinkers, and doers – people who I’m proud to call not just my colleagues, but also my friends. Excited though because this means that new adventures await!
An open journey
I started at ScienceOpen back in January 2016, while still writing up my PhD (I love procrastinating). I had been personally interested in what is generally now termed ‘open science’ for about 5 years prior, and working with ScienceOpen seemed to fit with my ideals, while learning more about the scholarly communication and publishing industry. You often hear people complaining that researchers don’t know enough about the publishing industry or process itself (still true), and I wanted to equip myself with some knowledge to help with this.
Season’s greetings from ScienceOpen! We hope you all have an excellent festive period, and wish you all warmth, love, and laughter going into the New Year.
We would like to extend our special thanks to all of our users who have continued to help support ScienceOpen this last year, and continue to use our services to help make science that little bit more open.
An advent collection adventure
In December, we are running a special advent calendar to highlight some of our favourite researcher-led collections over the last couple of years. Each day, we’ll reveal a new one to you here, each one a chance for you to learn about a new topic, or interact with the expertly-curated papers in each.
Collection editors are some of the most impactful users of ScienceOpen, and we want to use this opportunity to send our deepest thanks to them for their continued engagement.
Give yourself a little extra discovery time!
Can you recall the last time that you read an article purely for fun, without the pressure of deadlines, for the sake of discovery or out of curiosity? Each day, a new window of our advent calendar will open up a unique field of research innovations, solutions and perspectives. Each one is designed to help us to develop a better understanding of the world around us.
It’s time to slow down, and give a little extra discovery time for yourself. You give the time, we bring the joy of discovery! So wrap yourself into a cozy blanket and enjoy satisfying your curiosity. Luxury? Of course, it is! But it’s all yours.
To kick off the holiday season, we would like to announce a little competition for all you researchers! Review an article in any ScienceOpen Collection before the end of December and we will enter you into a prize drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.
To enter, all you need to do is log in to ScienceOpen, explore our collections and review any article in your field. This video will help you in getting started and here you can read more about peer review on ScienceOpen. Reviewing requires and ORCID and 5 publications. If you do not meet these requirements, but would still like to review a paper, contact us.
We are looking forward to your reviews and will announce the winner on January 2nd, 2018.
Choosing to review one of the articles in our advent calendar would be a great way to show your appreciation to those researchers who have dedicated their time to providing a valuable research resource to their communities.
“Search is the new journal!”, was one of the rallying cries at the recent Force11 meeting in Berlin. But what does this mean? Well, we have a bit of a problem in research – there is so much content being published these days, about 2-3 million papers each year from around 50,000 journals! It has never been more crucial to have efficient ways of searching to discover relevant work for your research question. No single human is capable of this alone.
Now, we know Google Scholar is usually everyone’s search engine of choice for research articles. But when you pop in a search term, how do you know what research is good, what’s relevant to you, what people are talking about? You just get an enormous list that trails off with ever-decreasing relevance, and are supposed to be able to figure that all out yourself. We can do better.
Quality and quantity
Efficient search is the core issue that our freely accessible multi-layer discovery engine is helping to solve. The current database at ScienceOpen has more than 36 million article records, and growing at around 100,000 new records each week. Each of these records is linked within the database to other articles through our open citation network.
We use this citation information, and other article metadata, to provide an enriched search ecosystem for users. The purpose of this is to allow users to drill down to relevant research using a range of different contexts and criteria, saving time and energy, and facilitating research discovery at multiple dimensions.
Sort by citation count
Citations are still one of the main forms of ‘academic’ currency in a modern research world. Citations only measure how many times a piece of work has been cited without additional context. As such, they are a simple proxy for ‘scholarly discussion’ of a piece of work, but beyond this are essentially devoid of legitimacy as a metric.
Sorting a search result by citations allows you to see what is most popular in a research context, and which articles have been particularly important in developing new disciplines, ideas, and ways of thinking. Identifying highly-cited articles provides for you a great starting point for further discovery. Citations reveal to you the lineage of ideas – start at the top, and work your way down! Understanding the historical context of ideas is critical for good research, and ScienceOpen helps you to explore this.
Sort by Altmetric score
Altmetric scores are a combined measure of social attention for articles. They give us a nice idea of how much an article is being discussed in news outlets or on social media. If you want to keep up with the buzz in your field, or find out what’s of interest in another, ScienceOpen gives you the tools for that.
Our customised hosting services are designed to help publishers showcase and distribute the Open Access journals that they publish to maximum effect. These are the natural extension of our marketing and indexing services, developed on the basis of our years of experience in content management architecture layered with advanced discovery technologies. By working with a range of publishers and content types, we have built a flexible platform to inter-connect scholarly articles at the level of their metadata, and establish a forum for user interaction around them. For Open Access journals, however, we are able to offer further advantages by embedding the full text articles within our discovery environment.
We have designed our Open Access hosting service with a range of beneficiaries in mind:
We provide seamless, interactive, and engaging user access to all your published content, over a range of formats and types, maximising dissemination and re-use.
We put you at the forefront of emergent technologies that are helping to revolutionise our industry through development of scholarly infrastructure.
Embedded within our discovery environment and synchronous with our own content growth goals, our model drives users to your content, based on providing intuitive solutions and connections from semantic frameworks and discovery technologies.
Did you know that we have more than 1.3 million preprints on ScienceOpen?
Preprints are first-draft research manuscripts, and have been around for as long as the Web has existed. Some researchers, like physicists, have been posting them online for almost 3 decades, taking advantage of the rapid communication capabilities that the internet enabled. Now, researchers in the Life Sciences and other fields are catching up, with platforms like bioRxiv, the Center for Open Science, as well as the ASAPbio initiative.
At ScienceOpen, we fully support research communities and their adoption of preprints. To make discovering them even easier, we have recently added a preprint filter to our search engine. ScienceOpen currently has 35 million article records as part of our expanding citation network. We are growing each day as new content is integrated from our publishing partners, and sources like PubMed, CrossRef, ORCID and arXiv.
The ScienceOpen discovery and collaboration environment offers state-of-the-art technological infrastructure allowing publishers to create an entirely new kind of showcase for their journals. Our Featured Collections help users to drill down and explore content with over 20 filters and sorting options, combining depth and precision to make discovery more efficient.
Featured Collections deliver great benefits to publishers in terms of content visibility and discoverability. We are therefore happy to announce that we have now hit the 100 Featured Collections milestone!
Some of our top publishing partners helping to reach this goal include:
ScienceOpen is pleased to announce a new hosting partnership with UCL Press, the first fully Open Access university press in the UK, based at University College London. With this, ScienceOpen extends its portfolio of dedicated features for publishers to enhance the visibility and context of their content by adding a suite of full-text hosting services.
All 8 scholarly journals published by UCL Press will be hosted on the ScienceOpen discovery platform and integrated into ScienceOpen’s research network. This will provide a dynamic, transparent and interactive Open Access channel that pushes the boundaries of how we create and communicate knowledge.
“ScienceOpen’s new hosting service is the logical extension of our commitment to putting research in context. With our advanced technology we can ensure that UCL Press articles are found by the right researchers and then give those readers the opportunity to interact with the content in a variety of ways. A range of aggregated journal- and article-level metrics then provide enriched usage statistics for the publisher to monitor impact,” said CEO of ScienceOpen, Dr. Stephanie Dawson.
Peer review at ScienceOpen is a little different to what you might be used to.
Does the fact that a paper has been published, and therefore peer reviewed, mean that it is flawless? Does it mean that the conversation around that research should stop? We do not think so. The only reason there would ever be no value in doing post-publication evaluation would be if all published work were completely infallible. Which is clearly not the case. This is, after all, why we continue to do research and build upon the work of those before us!
Therefore, we enable post-publication peer review across 34 million article records, as a form of final-version commenting. It can also be performed on preprints from the arXiv. These are essentially treated as open, pre-review manuscripts. Users can organise these into collections, and manage peer review entirely themselves as a community process.
We have now added a new feature that enables any of our users to invite another researcher to perform peer review on our platform. This is in the same way that an Editor does for a journal, as part of a fully transparent process – the theme for Peer Review Week this year! The difference to the traditional process of peer review is that this is more democratic as it is open to anyone.
All article pages now have an ‘Invite to Review’ button. Click it, and you have 2 options.
Search within the ScienceOpen userbase to see if the person you want to review already has a profile with us.
Add an email, or list of emails, of who you want to invite to review, if they don’t already have a ScienceOpen profile.
That’s it. It’s that easy. This combines the editorial management of peer review with open participation. We enable this to make sure that the process is fair, but efficient. This means that anyone within your research community can contribute to the research process, should they wish to.
Professor George Perry is the Dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He is recognised as a world expert in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. Today, we spoke with Prof. Perry about his research, including his new ScienceOpen collection.
Hi Prof. Perry! You are recognised as one of the 100 top scientists in Neuroscience and Behaviour, and have incredibly amassed more than 1300 research publications to date! What’s the secret to your success?
Persistence and focus on collecting and publishing highly useful data and insights.
Do you ever find it difficult maintaining your public profile with so many publications? How did you find the ORCID integration at ScienceOpen?
Maintaining numerous profiles as up-to-date requires constant monitoring. Linking datasets with ORCID does assist.
Your research focusses on the processes leading to neuronal damage. What have been your key discoveries to date?
Primarily, establishing oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease. Second, new insights regarding the cell biology of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is the alternative to the amyloid cascade, which dominates our field. The collection presents a biological view of Alzheimer’s disease.
What do you hope to achieve with your ScienceOpen collection? And how can we help you with this?
The collection provides a group of papers that illuminates an alternative to amyloid as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. I use it when communicating with others about weakness and alternatives, and to demonstrate that the amyloid cascade has been questioned for over two decades.
Thank you for your time, Prof. Perry. It has been great to learn from your insight and experience!