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Author: Jon Tennant

In:  Announcements  

New free indexing competition winners

ScienceOpen offers free indexing to Open Access journals that are free for authors to publish in, as part of our mission to enhance open scholarship.

We recently partnered with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to help make these valuable contributions to the scholarly record more visible.

In the latest round of our indexing competition, we are pleased to announce three new journals from across Europe that will be integrated into and promoted on our platform. These are:

  • Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, from Croatia

Published by the University of Split, this journal publishes articles from the Social Sciences, including topics in industries, land use, labour, and industrial management.

  • Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, from Spain

Published by the Universidad de La Laguna, this journal publishes articles in Spanish, Castilian, and English in the fields of Language and Literature, Linguistics, Communication, and the Mass Media.

  • Studia z Filologii Polskiej i Słowiańskiej, from Poland

Published by the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, this journal publishes articles from the field of Linguistics in Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and English.

Continue reading “New free indexing competition winners”  

In:  Peer Review  

A new gold standard of peer review is needed

How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered to be objective? How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered as a ‘gold standard’ of any sort?

Traditional, closed peer review has these traits, but yet for some reason held in esteem as the most rigorous and objective standard of research and knowledge generation that we have. Peer review fails peer review, and its own test of integrity and validation, and is one of the greatest ironies of the academic world.

What we need is a new standard of peer review that is suitable for a Web-based world of scholarly communication. This is to help accommodate the increasingly rapid communication of research and new sources of information, and bring peer review out of the dark (literally) ages and into one which makes sense in a world of fast, open, digital knowledge dissemination.

What should a standard for peer review look like in 2017?

The big test for peer review, and any future version of it, is how does the scientific community apply its stamp of approval?

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In:  Peer Review  

What are the barriers to post-publication peer review?

At ScienceOpen, we have over 28 million article records all available for public, post-publication peer review (PPPR), 3 million of which are full-text Open Access. This functionality is a response to increasing calls for continuous moderation of the published research literature, a consistent questioning of the functionality of the traditional peer review model (some examples in this post), and an increasing recognition that scientific discourse does not stop at the point of publication for any research article.

Post-publication peer review at ScienceOpen in action!

In spite of this increasing demand, the uptake of PPPR across different platforms seems to be relatively low overall. So what are some of the main reasons why researchers might feel less motivated to do PPPR, and is there anything we can do to increase its usage and adoption as part of a more open research culture?

What even is ‘post-publication’ peer review?

There is a general mentality among researchers that once research has been published, it has already ‘passed’ peer review, so why should it need to be peer reviewed again?

Continue reading “What are the barriers to post-publication peer review?”  

In:  Other  

Innovative new features launched at ScienceOpen

For formal press release, see our Press Room and STM Publishing News.

ScienceOpen has launched a suite of powerful new features on its platform, including filters for Open Access articles and author affiliations. Using state-of-the-art technology, ScienceOpen enriches and exposes the context of research articles for a dynamic, multi-level search and discovery experience.

ScienceOpen currently indexes more than 28 million article records, 3 million of which are Open Access, and is rapidly accruing new content from a range of publishers across the STEM and HSS fields.

These new filtering functions will assist researchers in identifying relevant Open Access content more easily, and in exploring the output of particular institutes and universities. Publishers will also be able to easily document the impact of their Open Access content.

CEO of ScienceOpen, Dr. Stephanie Dawson, said “Our pace of innovation makes ScienceOpen one of the most interesting and fast-moving players in the market. We are delighted to continue to add new features to the search and discovery interface. We work very closely with the research community and publishers to provide the services that they need.”

Additional new features being released also include being able to sort content by the affiliation of an author at the time of publication, as well as the date articles were indexed at ScienceOpen. This means that ScienceOpen is rapidly becoming the smartest and most precise way to discover relevant research.

A filter for Open Access articles on ScienceOpen has been in constant demand from researchers. Co-founder of ScienceOpen, Prof. Alexander Grossmann, said “In a scholarly publishing environment where Open Access is becoming more common, we have to find ways to maximize its potential. Being able to more easily discover Open Access content will greatly enhance the research process for users across the globe.”

Publishers with the most Open Access content on ScienceOpen
In:  Other  

Promoting your articles to increase your digital identity and research impact

Authors are undoubtedly the best positioned to promote their own research. They know it inside out, they know people who might be most interested in it, and they know the places to maximise the potential audience. But still, with an increasing number of publications every year, it is important that researchers know how to promote their research to maximum effect, whether it is Open Access or not.

Here are our top ten suggestions to help increase your reach and impact! Most of these fall under two categories: Networking and maintaining your digital identity, and sharing your research to enhance its impact. Both are important in a modern scholarly environment, and can help to give you that competitive edge while making sure your’re maximising the potential of your research.

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In:  Peer Review  

A post-publication peer review success story

 

In 2016, Dr. Joel Pitt and Prof. Helene Hill published an important paper in ScienceOpen Research. In their paper, they propose new statistical methods to detect scientific fraudulent data. Pitt and Hill demonstrate the use of their method on a single case of suspected fraud. Crucially, in their excellent effort to combat fraud, Pitt and Hill make the raw data on which they tested their method publicly available on the Open Science Framework (OSF). Considering that a single case of scientific fraud can cost institutions and private citizens a huge amount of money, their result is provocative, and it emphasizes how important it is to make the raw data of research papers publicly available.

The Pitt and Hill (2016) article was read and downloaded almost 100 times a day since its publication on ScienceOpen. More importantly, it now has 7 independent post-publication peer reviews and 5 comments. Although this is a single paper in ScienceOpen’s vast index of 28 million research articles (all open to post-publication peer review!), the story of how this article got so much attention is worth re-telling.

Enhanced article-level statistics and context – just one of 28 million on our platform!

Peer review history

The manuscript was submitted and published in January 2016, and the final typeset version of the article was available for download on March 1st. Shortly after this in May 2016, PhD student Chris Hartgerink publicly peer reviewed the article, summarising it as “Interesting research, but in need of substantial rewriting.”

It was after this that the article came to the attention of Prof. Philip B. Stark, an Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the most highly read article on our platform with over 39,000 views to date!

Prof. Stark runs a course on the theory and application of statistical models. In his course, groups of students replicate and critique the statistical analyses of published research articles using the article’s publicly available raw data. Obviously, for this course to work, Prof. Stark needs rigorous research articles and the raw data used in the article. In this sense, Pitt and Hill’s article on ScienceOpen was an ideal candidate..

The groups of students started their critical replication of the Hill and Pitt article in the Fall semester of 2016 and finished right before the new year.  By getting students to actively engage with research, they gain the confidence and expertise to critically analyse published research.

The Post-Publication Peer Review function on ScienceOpen is usually only open to researchers with more than 5 published articles. This would have normally barred Stark’s groups from publishing their critical replications. However, upon hearing about his amazing initiative, ScienceOpen opened their review function to each of Prof. Stark’s vetted early career researchers. And importantly, since each peer review on ScienceOpen is assigned a CrossRef DOI along with a CC-BY license, after posting their reviews, each member of the group has officially shared their very own scientific publication. 

This also means that each peer review can be easily imported into any user’s ORCID, Publons, and even ImpactStory profiles – the choice is yours!

Public, post-publication peer review works

All of the complete peer reviews from the groups of students can be found below. They all come with highly detailed statistical analyses of the research, and are thorough, constructive, and critical, as we expect an open peer review process to be.

Furthermore, unlike almost every other Post Publication Peer Review function out there, the peer reviews on ScienceOpen are integrated with graphics and plots. This awesome feature was added specifically for Prof. Stark’s course, but note that it is now available for any peer review on ScienceOpen.

Continue reading “A post-publication peer review success story”  

In:  Announcements  

Digging dinosaurs at ScienceOpen

Today, we’re happy to announce the integration of the Journal of Paleontological Techniques (JPT) onto our platform! This journal is all about sharing and opening up the methods that palaeontologists use in their day-to-day research.

So if you love Jurassic Park and dinosaurs, this collection is perfect for you! All articles are Open Access, which means they are free to read, share, and re-use by anyone.

Sophie the Stegosaurus, on display at the Natural History Museum in London (source)

Here are some of our absolute favourite new articles:

Continue reading “Digging dinosaurs at ScienceOpen”  

In:  About SO  

Key features of ScienceOpen: Integrated, moderated, and inclusive

On top of our search and discovery platform ScienceOpen has built a ‘social networking’ layer to allow researchers to interact with each other and with the content on our site.

We don’t see ourselves so much as a social platform like Facebook or ResearchGate, but more as a professional community space for researchers to exchange knowledge and progress their research field in the open, and receive credit for doing so.

But what are the key features needed for any modern research platform like this?

We are integrated

We track the output from 16 million authors, via our contextual metadata network – not just those who have created a profile on our site. So if you want drill down on the researcher data, this is it! You can sort a researcher’s papers by Altmetric score, usage, citations and more to better understand their work. But you can also create a profile, follow other users, share and connect.

Metrics!

Unlike other platforms, we don’t expect you to manually upload your papers. We automate this via ORCID integration instead. I mean, it’s 2017, this just makes sense.

Platforms such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu rely on individuals to manually upload their research, often requiring a lot of effort and time. Furthermore, there is a total loss of legal certainty, as often it is copyrighted publisher versions which are uploaded onto the platforms, and integrated into their data systems.

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In:  Profiles  

ScienceOpen membership – the how, the what, and the why!

ScienceOpen is a free network for rewarding and encouraging Open Science practices.

But what exactly can you do on our platform..?

  • New, enhanced collection features

But isn’t ScienceOpen just another social networking site?

With 101 platforms for researchers available these days, and each one vying for the proud title of ‘Facebook for science’, why should you bother with ScienceOpen?

Continue reading “ScienceOpen membership – the how, the what, and the why!”  

Ashley Farley of the Gates Foundation: “Knowledge should be a public good.”

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.

Credit: Ashley Farley

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.

Continue reading “Ashley Farley of the Gates Foundation: “Knowledge should be a public good.””