Hi Ashley, and thanks for joining us here! Could you start off by letting us know a little bit about your background?
Certainly! I began college aiming for a Zoology degree while working at the University’s library. My love for information grew in proportion to my struggle for mastering Physics and Organic Chemistry. My senior year I transferred disciplines and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) focused on Library and Information Science. For the next decade, I worked in both public and academic libraries and began pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Washington (to be completed this summer. Yay!) Now I have found myself submersed in the realm of scientific knowledge and research dissemination. I find this to be a perfect way to combine all my passions – science, knowledge, and service to others.
When did you first hear about open access and open science? What were your initial thoughts?
The first time I heard about these topics was while interning at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the Knowledge and Research Services department. My initial thought was “How have I not heard of this before?!”. Having worked in libraries for many years I was familiar with the serials crisis and the importance of research, but I had not been introduced to the Open Access movement. Then I thought, “Of course Open Access should be the norm!”. Knowledge should be a public good.
“Of course Open Access should be the norm!”. Knowledge should be a public good.
What’s it like working for the Gates Foundation? How much of your time do you spend working on ‘open’ related things?
I really love working for the Gates Foundation – it’s providing me with the opportunity, each day, to work towards a greater good. A message that is posted throughout the foundation is “All Lives Have Equal Value” and I take this to heart. This is the first institution where I have been employed to embrace innovation and move initiatives forward fairly quickly. One of our tenets is that we will take risks that others can’t or won’t and I’m proud of this. Currently, I spend about 90% of my time on Open Access. This encompasses internal and external communications, advocacy of our policy, and working with our grantees to make their research open access. We’ve recently joined the newly launched Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) to work with other research funders worldwide to adopt mandates like ours. Together we can create a funding environment where Open Access or even Open Science is the norm. I am beginning to see the impact that my work has on the scientific community and it’s very exciting. We have other partnerships in the works that will be announced soon to continue to support the Open Access movement.
Hi Gautam! Thanks for joining us here. Could you start off by letting us know a little bit about your background?
Hi Jon, thanks for having me here!
I’m a postdoc in Buzz Baum’s lab at UCL working on the evolution of cell division- all the way from Archaea to unicellular eukaryotes. I found myself in London in mid-2015 after a bit of continent-hopping that included a stint as a cell-biologist-in-training at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore and a PhD in Systems Biology at Stanford University.
When did you first hear about open access and open science? What were your initial thoughts?
Back in 2005, when I was an undergraduate in India without proper library access. PLOS and PMC came to the rescue! At the time paywalls were a very real and practical hindrance, but I must confess I didn’t think much about the actual ethics of publishing until well into my PhD.
As a postdoc in the UK, how do you feel about recent policy changes around Open Access?
I think the UK is making some positive moves, such as requiring Open Access for compliance with the Research Evaluation Framework. Funding agencies like the BBSRC and Wellcome Trust defray the costs of “gold” Open Access for published research supported by their grants. However, in the absence of accompanying reforms in the publishing industry or revised evaluation criteria for scientists, many of these policy changes will simply funnel more taxpayer money towards established scientific journals, providing more of a stopgap than a long-term solution.
I must confess I didn’t think much about the actual ethics of publishing until well into my PhD
One of our favourite upgrades is how each of more than 24,000 journals are featured and displayed. Now it is possible for anyone to see what journals exist on our platform and how many articles are tracked for each one of them. That’s the first step. Try searching for your favourite journal, or even a journal you work for, and seeing what we have for it.
A whole new year means a chance to start or continue building your profile as an Open Scientist! There are so many ways you can do this, from publishing Open Access and sharing your research data, to helping to teach students how to code or use GitHub. Every little bit helps.
Here are ten recommendations from us to kick-start the New Year with an Open Science bang!
At ScienceOpen, we are constantly upgrading and adapting our platform to meet the needs of the different stakeholders in scholarly publishing. We work with a huge range of publishers (e.g., Brill, Open Library of Humanities, Higher Education PressPeerJ, Cold Spring Harbor) and listen to the needs of researchers, together building solutions to help enhance the global research process.
With the re-launch of ScienceOpen, we really are pushing forward to create a multi-purpose, solution-oriented platform that aligns with ongoing trends in scholarly publishing.
ScienceOpen for publishers and editors
Our new platform provides an invaluable service for publishers and editors. We provide aggregate metrics for re-use, including the number of readers on our platform and the summed Altmetric score. As you can see in the example below for BioMed Central, these numbers can be used to look at how well you’re competing with other publishers, as well as how your content is being read and re-used by researchers. Content on the site is aggregated through PubMed Central, SciELO, ORCID and arXiv or added via reference analysis with a DOI metadata check with Crossref. Or publishers can work directly with us to add their content to the site for a fee. We now offer extra features like a “read” button link back to the publisher version of record. We are happy to index content of all license types.
The more of your content we have on our platform, the better the level of service we can provide for you.
Only by listening to and understanding truly diverse voices can we gain a deeper appreciation of the issues surrounding Open Science. By taking on board what others have to say and learning from them, we strengthen ourselves and the community, and understand how to put things into practice more easily.
A new year means a new chance for us all to do the best that we can for ourselves, for research, and for broader aspects of society. So we’re not stopping, and continuing to showcase some of the best researchers from around the world and how they’re working to make a difference. We’re starting the 2017 series with Mr. Wang Dapeng, an Assistant Researcher at the China Research Institute for Science Popularization.
When did you first realise you wanted to get into academia and the world of scholarly publishing? What was it that turned you?
8 years ago, I came to my present organisation, which is an institute dedicated to science communication research, and that was my first time to deal with science research. However, I worked at the administrative office, which is where I began to read some academic papers about science communication. However, according to the evaluation system, we need to write and publish papers, so I realized that I need not only be familiar with academia, but enter the field by doing research and publishing papers. Furthermore, publishing research papers was another way of being noticed by the peers in your field.
We have unified our search interface and applied it to all of our author/member profiles, collections, journals and publishers. That’s a whole lot more research context, metadata, metrics, and useful functionality. The newly upgraded usage statistics are incredibly useful in seeing who us re-using your work and how. This additional dimension is built on top of our newly enhanced search and discovery platform, and provides a powerful way for researchers to develop research, article context, and also their individual profiles within the research community, and all in the open.
We built a ‘research collider’ to make magic happen
At ScienceOpen, we offer a platform where any researcher can comment on, and post-publication peer review any research article they want to. By creating thematic collections, you can bring this into a community space, putting work and additional commentary in the context of related research. By having collection editors that can invite people to review articles, we retain the moderation aspect that is crucial to developments in open peer review. We give the power to researchers to do what they want, when they want, and to use and share their expertise in the most efficient possible way.
As part of our ongoing development of ScienceOpen 2.017, we have designed an exciting and most importantly, pretty, new context-enhanced webpage for each of our 27 million article records. Such enriched article metadata is becoming increasingly important in defining the context of research in the evolution of scholarly communication, in which we are moving away from journal- to article-level evaluation.
Statistically significant upgrades
All of the statistics have been moved to the top of the page, including the number of page views or readers, the Altmetric score, the number of recommendations, and the number of social media shares.
Newly featured statistics include the top references cited within, the top articles citing that paper, and the number of similar articles based on keywords and topics. These new features are great for authors as content creators, researchers as users, as well as publishers for understanding the popularity and context of research they publish.