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Author: Jon Tennant

Higher Education Press indexing partnership with ScienceOpen

Higher Education Press (HEP) will be indexing one of their flagship Open Access journals, Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering (FASE), with ScienceOpen, adding to our current archive of over 11 million article records.

FASE is one of the leading Open Access journals in the fields of Agricultural Engineering, Resources and Biotechnology, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Applied Ecology, Crop Science, Forestry Engineering and Fisheries, Horticulture, and Plant Protection.

By adding their content to ScienceOpen, they gain increased visibility through our platform and promotional services (like this article!), which increases its value amidst a heterogeneous global publishing market.

This cooperation between HEP and ScienceOpen helps to recognise the great work that Chinese publishers are doing to spearhead Open Access publishing, and our dual commitment to enhancing the visibility and impact of scholarly research in Engineering Science fields.

CEO of ScienceOpen Stephanie Dawson said “Open Access is a growing force in China, and we are happy to work with one of the leading publishers, Higher Education Press, to help increase the visibility of Chinese Open Access globally. We are pleased to use Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering to launch this new partnership, as it publishes excellent research in a field addressing pressing issues such as food security in a changing world.”

What are we doing with the new content?

Collection screenshot
Day 1 after releasing the Collection.

For starters, the journal now has its own Collection! This means each article can be shared, recommended, peer reviewed, and commented upon, and as the content is all OA it’s easily discoverable and accessible via the publishers website.

The advantage of this for HEP is that they gain lots of additional traffic to their content. What publisher doesn’t want that? This means more downloads, and more re-use of the research they publish, which in turn increases the quality and prestige associated with the journal brand. You can track the attention of the Collection easily via reader count aggregates, and altmetric aggregates, as seen here, as well as other measures of re-use.

Researchers can now openly peer review and re-use their content too, which adds substantial value to both the research process and the journal brand again, which are both important in a scholarly publishing system that is becoming progressively more open. We’ll report the progress in these statistics again in a month so you can see the additional attention indexing with us generates!

The Collection contains some absolutely awesome papers too! Check these examples out:

  1. Biofuels and food security. A pretty important issue, I think we can all agree on!
  2. Another on protein and food security in China.
  3. Does air pollution affect food security in China?
  4. Another page in the ongoing CRISPR
  5. How does grain leave its water footprint around China?
  6. How to get high and efficient grain yield in rice.
  7. How much food is wasted in China?
  8. Cloned sheep. Enough said.
  9. The genetic variation of Appaloosa horses from Argentina.
  10. This one has ‘gene knockout sheep’ in the title, and CRISPR.

Indexing at ScienceOpen is a great way to enhance journal visibility and facilitate maximal re-use of research content.

Who else wants to join us? J (contact CEO Stephanie.Dawson@ScienceOpen.com for more information) (press release)

Open Science stars: Iara Vidal

We’re running a series to showcase some of the different perspectives in the scholarly publishing and communication world, and in particular regarding the theme of ‘Open Science’. We’ve already heard from Joanne Kamens about her work in making open data repositories and campaigning for greater diversity in STEM; Dan Shanahan discussed issues with the impact factor and assessment in academia; Gal Schkolnik let us know about her research into Shewanella and experiences with Open Access publishing; and Israel Bimpe described his story as a student from Rwanda and global health champion. So quite a mix, and it’s been great to get such a variety of thoughts, perspectives, and experiences.

But we’re not stopping there! We spoke to Iara Vidal who is working on her PhD in Information Science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and has plenty of experience with altmetrics and also in working as a librarian. Here’s her story!

Hi Iara! So can you tell us a bit about your background to get things rolling?

Sure! I had my first experience with scientific research in high school. I was in what we call a “technical school” here in Brazil, studying to be a meteorological technician. In 1998 me and some other students did a study correlating rain levels with the incidence of certain diseases whose transmission is somehow related to water. It was great fun to go looking for all the data we needed, and we actually got a poster accepted at the 10th Brazillian Meteorology Conference (pdf is available here, if you’re curious and can read Portuguese – there’s a short English abstract but that’s it). That was my first scientific event – and honestly, conferences are probably my favourite aspect of academia to this day. For college, I changed from Meteorology into Library Science. I joined a research group in my university and kept presenting papers in small scientific events and student meetings. It was an amazing experience, but when I graduated in early 2005 I decided to go work in libraries instead of staying in academia. I *love* being a librarian, but things became difficult when, through reasons that are too complicated to explain here, I ended up as the sole librarian in a federal agency. Much as I tried, I could not improve my situation. So, in 2012, I decided to leave and pursue an academic career. I got my master’s degree in Information Science in 2014, and have been working on my PhD since 2015.

When did you first hear about open access and open science? What was your initial reaction?

I think I first heard about open access in the early 2000s, maybe in one of the Library and Information Science student meetings I used to go to. But it was only in the past few years that I got more involved in the issue. In 2013 I attended a conference celebrating the 15th anniversary of the SciELO Network (http://www.scielo15.org/en/about/), which got me really excited not only about open access, but also about the role of Latin America and other peripheral regions in all this. As I researched more about open access I got to know about open science as well. My reaction to all this was of excitement (hell yeah let’s free knowledge!), but also questioning: how do we get people to change their behaviour? I think the answer lies in incentives, which increased my interest in research evaluation. I studied altmetrics in my master’s and am now moving to article-level metrics, but the end goal is improving evaluation.

How do we get people to change their behaviour? I think the answer lies in incentives, which increased my interest in research evaluation.

Continue reading “Open Science stars: Iara Vidal”  

Open Access in Rwanda: The story of a medical student

Continuing our series on getting different perspectives into the field of ‘Open Science’, we spoke to Israel Bimpe, a pharmacy student at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Rwanda, and a youth role model and champion for global health issues as the Vice President (and Chairperson of the African Regional Office) of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation. He spoke to remind us that Open Science is a global challenge, and I hope this interview helps to illuminate that.

Hi Israel! Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m a Pharmacy Student at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Rwanda, doing my final year, which is just an internship, and very excited to graduate in July.

Rwanda! (Source)
Rwanda! (Source)

When did you first hear about ‘open science’ and ‘open access’? What were your first thoughts about them?

I heard about Open Science and Open Access during the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva where I met a friend who was calling for more Open Science and Open Access in a random hostel lobby group discussion. It was so interesting that I got to check about it and even registered for the conference in Brussels (OpenCon), for which I was unfortunately not selected due to my limited knowledge probably.

Open Access would then be very important for students and medical professionals here in matters of accessing updated and accurate information

You are very passionate about global health equality and social justice. Where do you see open access and open science fitting into this?

I have been thinking about ways of linking up my passion to my interest in Open Science and Open Access, but still struggling to bridge them. I feel like my passion is more of civic engagement and interest on open science and open access more into education and science. Moreover, I rarely read/hear my Global Health and Social Justice Role model refer to Open Access and Open Science. It is quite still confusing for me.

Israel raises the Rwandan flag after he was elected chairperson of IPRF-Africa Region (Source)
Israel raises the Rwandan flag after he was elected chairperson of IPRF-Africa Region (Source)

We do struggle very much, as we can only access very old, non-accurate research.

How important is open access to students and medical professionals in Rwanda?

This not only applies to Rwanda but Africa in general in order to advance education and science, we need to access recent and up to date information. A practical example is that, I, in my whole education never used a paper published in the past two to five years. Excuses are usually that it’s expensive to access them and how easy it is to access the platforms. Open Access would then be very important for students and medical professionals here in matters of accessing updated and accurate information, as well Professional Development for a better practice.

Continue reading “Open Access in Rwanda: The story of a medical student”  

In:  Collections  

Creating Collections now even easier!

In a recent post, we made a bit of a fuss about ScienceOpen Collections, even suggesting that they could be one possible future for academic-led journals! We then went on to show how you can use Collections to create your own quasi-journals based on the arXiv, similar to the concept of ‘overlay journals’.

Recently, Figshare also launched their pretty cool Collections feature, which is awesome in embracing the additional dimension of non-traditional research outputs with this concept. Figshare now joins ScienceOpen and Mendeley, among others, in recognising the value of thematic groups of digital objects, where the scope and content is defined by the research community, independent of journals and publishers.

ScienceOpen now has 175 Collections, each one representing a place to openly engage with research through peer review, discussion, sharing, and recommending. Each one is managed by a group of Editors or a single Editor, whose role is to assemble the Collection, curate it, and foster community engagement.

The value of this is twofold. Firstly, Editors create and manage a valuable resource for their communities, which anyone can openly contribute to. Secondly, this provides a platform to develop new skills for researchers: public peer review, community management, editorial control. Each of these is part of an essential and core skill-set for researchers.

download (1)

If you would like to become a Collection Editor, simply shoot us an email at: Jon.Tennant@scienceopen.com, or tweet us at @science_open if that’s your preferred method (or just leave a comment here)! All it takes to become an Editor is your interest. We don’t exclude anyone, we just want to know who is building one so we can provide the best support possible!

We look forward to working with you and making science more open 🙂

Pimp my search engine

Search engines form the core of discovery of research these days. There’s just too much information out there to search journal by journal or on a manual basis.

We highlighted in a previous post the advantages of using ScienceOpen’s dual-layered search and filter functions over others like Google Scholar. Today, we’re happy to announce that we just made it even better!

Say you want to search all of PeerJ’s content. Pop ‘PeerJ’ into the journal search, and it’ll come up with all their content, as it’s all indexed in PubMed. Hey presto, there you have 1530 papers, all with full texts attached. Neat eh! And that will update as more gets published with PeerJ, so you know what to do.

1

But that’s a lot of content. What you’ve just discovered is the PeerJ megajournal haystack. We want to filter out the needles.

Continue reading “Pimp my search engine”  

What if you could peer review the arXiv?

What is the arXiv?

The arXiv is a server that hosts ‘eprints’ or ‘preprints’ of research papers, and is a key publishing platform for many fields, particularly physics and mathematics. Founded back in 1991 by Paul Ginsparg, it currently hosts over 1 million research articles, with more than 8000 submissions per month!

Despite now being in the running for 25 years, the arXiv still represents one of the greatest technological innovations to utilise the Web for scholarly communication.

While the majority of the content submitted to the arXiv is subsequently also submitted to traditional journals for publication, there is still content which never goes beyond its confines. Irrespective of this, communities engaged with the arXiv still cite articles published there, whether or not they have been formally published in a journal elsewhere.

This is the whole purpose of the arXiv: to facilitate rapid peer-to-peer communication so that science accelerates faster. The fact that all articles are publicly available is incidental, and just happens to be a topic of major interest with the growing open access movement.

The growth of the arXiv (Source)
The growth of the arXiv (Source)

However, the arXiv is not peer reviewed in the formal sense. It is moderated, so that junk submissions can be removed, or manuscripts recategorised, but it lacks the additional layer of quality control of traditional peer review.

So while some might think this poses a risk, ask yourself this question: do you re-use articles critical to your research without making sure that you have checked and understand the research to a sufficient degree that you can appropriately cite it? Because that’s peer review, that is, and it applies irrespective of whether an article has already been peer reviewed or not.

How do you peer review the arXiv?

Continue reading “What if you could peer review the arXiv?”  

Open science stars: An interview with Dr. Gal Schkolnik

Last week, we kicked off a series interviewing some of the top ‘open ​scientists’ by interviewing Dr. Joanne Kamens of Addgene, and had a look at some of the great work she’d been doing in promoting a culture of data sharing, and equal opportunity for researchers. Today, we’re bringing you another open science star, Dr. Gal Schkolnik, who recently published a really cool Collection with us on the bacterium Shewanella. Here’s her story!

Hi Gal! So can you tell us a bit about your research background, and how you originally got interested in science?

I did my BSc in Chemistry at the Tel Aviv University and my MSc at the Weizmann Institute, analyzing  the chemical composition of deforestation-fire smoke from the Amazon, where farmers and corporations yearly set hectares of rainforest on fire for agriculture and pasture. For my PhD at the Technische Universitaet Berlin I measured the electric fields at protein surfaces and self-assembled monolayers. Now I’m researching Shewanella, an electroactive bacterium that can transfer electrons across its outer membrane. As you can see, I always start on a completely new field, because my greatest passion in life is acquiring knowledge – so learning something new is my favorite kind of challenge. I’m basically just a kid who never got over the “why” stage, haha. Plus I had some very inspiring teachers at school – two wonderful women who nurtured my natural tendency to go deep in pursuit of answers to the hardest questions.

People who have no access to journal subscriptions can use ScienceOpen to gain more knowledge about electroactive bacteria and their possible applications.

Continue reading “Open science stars: An interview with Dr. Gal Schkolnik”  

Open Science Stars: An interview with Daniel Shanahan

Last week, we kicked off a series interviewing some of the top ‘open ​scientists’ by interviewing Dr. Joanne Kamens of Addgene, and had a look at some of the great work she’d been doing in promoting a culture of data sharing, and equal opportunity for researchers. Today, we’ve got something completely different, with Daniel Shanahan of BioMed Central who recently published a really cool PeerJ paper on auto-correlation and the impact factor.

Hi Daniel! To start things off, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I completed a Master’s degree in Experimental and Theoretical Physics at University of Cambridge, but must admit I did my Master’s more to have an extra year to play rugby for the university, rather than a love of micro-colloidal particles and electron lasers. I have always loved science though and found my way into STM publishing, albeit from a slightly less than traditional route.

Continue reading “Open Science Stars: An interview with Daniel Shanahan”  

Open science stars: An interview with Dr. Joanne Kamens

 

Open science is a rapidly evolving field, with a huge diversity of actors involved. We want to highlight some of the superstars helping to spearhead the evolution of scholarly communication, who are real positive forces for change. The first of these is with Joanne Kamens PhD, who currently is the Executive Director for Addgene, a repository for the life sciences. We asked her about open science, the impact this can have on diversity in research, and the value of repositories. Here’s her story!

Hi Joanne! So can you tell us a little bit about your background to get things started?

After graduating University of Pennsylvania I went directly to graduate school in the Harvard Medical School Division of Medical Sciences where I received a PhD in genetics. For you historians, it was the first year that the Division existed allowing students to move around PIs in many departments.  I defended my thesis while 6 months pregnant and had my son while still working in that lab. I had a great mentor in Dr. Roger Brent (now at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle).  I studied transcription using yeast and helped demonstrate that an acidic domain of the Rel protein was activating when brought in proximity to the promoter region. Again for historical perspective, PCR was invented while I was in grad school and I got to beta test the first MJ research PCR machine (M worked on my floor) which had no outsides. Roger Brent’s lab was one of the labs that created the yeast two-hybrid screening system and I have always been a lover of molecular biology technology which serves me well at Addgene.

How does PCR work? (Source)
How does PCR work? (Source)

Continue reading “Open science stars: An interview with Dr. Joanne Kamens”  

10 simple ways you can interact with ScienceOpen

Doing peer review is tough. Building a Collection is tough. Both are also time consuming, and academics are like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland: never enough time!

So while the benefits of open peer review and building Collection need to be considered in the ‘temporal trade off’ world of research, what are some other things researchers can do to help advance open science with us?

Here’s a simple list of 10 things that take anything from a few seconds to a few minutes!

You can find this on every single article record (11 million!) and interact in a multitude of ways.
You can find this on every single article record (11 million!) and interact in a multitude of ways.
  1. Rate an article. You don’t have to do a full peer review, but can simply provide a rating. Come back later and provide a full review!
  2. Recommend an article. Click, done. Interested researchers can see which articles are more highly recommended by the community.
  3. Share an article. Use social media? Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, or further on ScienceOpen.
  4. Comment on an article. Members with one item in their ORCID accounts can comment on any article.
  5. Follow a Collection. See a Collection you like (like this?) Click, ‘Follow’, done.
  6. Comment on a Collection. Like with all our articles, all Collection articles can be commented on, shared, recommended and peer reviewed.
  7. Become a ScienceOpen member. It’s not needed for many of the functions on our platform, but does mean you can engage with the existing community and content more. Register here!
  8. Have you replicated someone’s results? Let them know that in a comment!
  9. Think someone’s methods are really great? Let them know in a comment!
  10. Did someone not cite your work when they should have? Let them know in a comment!

All articles can be commented on. All you need to have is a membership, and an ORCID account with just one item. Easy! Commenting can be as short and sweet or long as you like. But sometimes a comment can be worth a lot of researchers and communities, just in terms of offering new thoughts, perspectives, or validation. Also, comments are great ways for junior researchers to engage with existing research communities.

From a Collection on Perspectives in Scholarly Publishing.
From a Collection on Perspectives in Scholarly Publishing.