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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the launch of our new unified search interface, we restructured the Author Profile page on ScienceOpen, providing dynamic ways to explore an author’s output.
For a very prolific author like Ray Dolan, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL and author of 674 articles, it can be hard work for a reader to even just scroll through the titles of his total output. The new ScienceOpen author profile, however, provides the researcher a variety of avenues to delve into this content on their own terms. They can sort publications by Altmetric score, citations, usage, date or reviews – to find the view that fits their needs.
The left side-bar overview shows top collections, journals, publishers, keywords and disciplines. Users can also search within the publication list with a free-text search or add up to 14 filters to find exactly the content that is relevant to them
The top metrics bar provides a view on total usage of the articles on the site and activity by the author. And if you want to know more about the background of the author just click on the profile button for biography and more.
How does it work? From the beginning ScienceOpen has worked closely with ORCID and required an ORCID ID for active participation in the network. We draw our information therefore from a user’s public profile. If we detect an author who is not identified in our network with an ORCID (we are tracking nearly 15 million authors), we mark the profile as “record” to indicate a lower level of reliability; for example, this profile from Jonathan A. Eisen:
Below are several examples of interesting profiles on ScienceOpen to inspire you. We welcome you to search, explore, link your ORCID to your own profile and share your experience with us. At ScienceOpen we are striving to serve the academic community and always welcome your input.
At ScienceOpen, we’ve just upgraded our search and discovery platform to be faster, smarter, and more efficient. A new user interface and filtering capabilities provide a better discovery experience for users. ScienceOpen searches more than 27 million full text open access or article metadata records and puts them in context. We include peer-reviewed academic articles from all fields, including pre-prints that we draw from the arXiv and which are explicitly tagged as such.
The current scale of academic publishing around the world is enormous. According to a recent STM report, we currently publish around 2.5 million new peer reviewed articles every single year, and that’s just in English language journals.
The problem with this for researchers and more broadly is how to stay up to date with newly published research. And not just in our own fields, but in related fields too. Researchers are permanently inundated, and we need to find a way to sift the wheat from the chaff.
The solution is smart and enhanced search and discovery. Platforms like ResearchGate and Google Scholar (GS) have just a single layer of discovery, with additional functions such as sorting by date to help narrow things down a bit. GS is the de facto mode of discovery of primary research for most academics, but it also contains a whole slew of ‘grey literature’ (i.e., non-peer reviewed outputs), which often interferes with finding the best research.
As well as this, if you do a simple search with GS, say just for dinosaurs, you get 161,000 returned results. How on Earth are you supposed to find the most useful and most relevant research based on this if you want to move beyond Google’s page rank, especially if you’re entering this from outside the area of specialisation? Simply narrowing down by dates does very little to prevent being overwhelmed with an absolute deluge of maybe maybe-not relevant literature. We need to do better at research discovery.
We publish from across the whole spectrum of research: Science, Technology, Engineering, Humanities, Mathematics, Social Sciences. Every piece of research deserves an equal chance to be published, irrespective of its field.
We also don’t discriminate based on the type of research. Original research, small-scale studies, opinion pieces, “negative” or null findings, review articles, data and software articles, case reports, and replication studies. We publish it all.
At ScienceOpen, we believe that the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a particularly poor way of measuring the impact of scholarly publishing. Furthermore, we think that it is a highly misleading metric for research assessment despite its widespread [mis-]use for this, and we strongly encourage researchers to adhere to the principles of DORA and the Leiden Manifesto.
This is why for our primary publication, ScienceOpen Research, we do not obtain or report the JIF. We provide article-level metrics and a range of other article aspects that provide and enhance the context of each article, and extend this to all 25 million research articles on our platform.
A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions (link)
How can academia kick its addiction to the impact factor (link)
For years now, the journal and the publisher have held sway over many aspects of discovery and evaluation of research and researchers. The development of the Web was expected to disrupt this, but innovation has been slow. Collectively, the research community have been cautious in embracing the power that has been granted to us for integration, sharing, and using semantic technologies to enhance how we read, communicate, and re-use the scientific record.
At ScienceOpen, we believe that opening up article-level information will be part of the next wave of innovation in scholarly publishing and communications. Our CEO, Stephanie Dawson, spoke about this with Research Information recently, conveying the idea that we need to embrace the power of modern technologies to unlock the multi-dimensional intrinsic value of articles in their broader ‘context’.
At ScienceOpen, we’re constantly upgrading our platform to provide the best possible user interaction experience. We get feedback from the research community all the time, and try to adapt to best meet their needs.
So today, we’re happy to announce two neat little features in our latest updates.
Firstly, all Open Access articles now have a cute little symbol next to them, making it even easier for you to discover open content. This shows up on all of our Open Access content across nearly 14 million article records now. Making open content stand out is a great way to encourage others to adopt open practices, as well as help people see which content they can re-use most easily.
As well as this, we have a new browsing function built into our collections. Sometimes, collections are pretty big. Our new SciELO collections have some with tens of thousands of open access articles, and sifting through that manually is not exactly a valuable use of ones time.
With this new function, you can now filter content within collections by journal, publisher, keywords, and even filter them by citations or Altmetric scores. Discovering content relevant to your research should be smart and efficient, and this is what our platform delivers. Try it out on this collection, or build your own!
I want to share with you something cool that we have developed at ScienceOpen.
In my former life, as an editor working for a traditional scientific publisher, I had a broad overview of my subject area, but my level of expertise was not close to that of a practicing researcher working in the field. Every day I needed to answer questions like “Who is the most influential researcher in niche area X?”; “How does our recently published work stack up against similar articles Y?”; “Are people talking more about topic A or B?”.
Editors are not alone with these pressing questions. Everyone who searches for information in a field beyond their immediate expertise faces similar problems. In an Elsevier study 87% of researchers reported cross-disciplinary searching in new fields at least once a month.
So what was my solution at the time? Back then, in our small publishing house, a subscription to privately held scholarly databases that could run to ten or twenty thousand dollars, was just out of the question. We could make an educated guess; but knowledge is always preferable to guessing. So, we ended up taking the subway across town to use the major databases that were only available at the library. In those days, I would have done anything for a freely available open citation network that could tell me the top cited papers and authors across all publishers, recommend related articles, and show what topics are getting the most traction in the popular media.
What did I have to do to get my freely available open citation network? Together with the ScienceOpen Team WE BUILT ONE!! This tool is so awesome that I constantly have to stop myself from accosting strangers on the subway to tell them how much easier we just made their search experience. “Forget about the library,” in case they are on their way to access Web of Science or Scopus, “you can search from your home, office, or right now on your smart phone!”
So how does it work? ScienceOpen already covers over 10 million articles and is growing fast. Type in your search term and filter your results in a myriad of ways. Only articles published in the last two years? Easy. Only Open Access? Check. Even while using these criteria, a search for “Diabetes” brings back 13,053 results. Dilemma. What to read? Sort your results by “Cited by count”. The citation numbers don’t claim to be comprehensive, but they do provide an accurate picture of the relationships between citations on the site. And already, it’s made it easier for me to get a quick overview of what the community finds most important. I can also start asking questions like: why are some papers with an Altmetric score of over 500 cited 20 times, and other papers with an Altmetric score of 3 cited hundreds of times?
When I pick a paper to explore more deeply, ScienceOpen offers me the list of the paper references – sorted by citation number, a list of cited authors linked to their other publications in the network, and similar articles based on keywords and title. I can play with this tool all day. But if I need to find a reviewer, a collaborator, an author, an expert, then I am already well on my way. No more long subway rides to access privately held scholarly databases.
Try out this new ScienceOpen feature and tell a friend (but maybe not a stranger on the subway!).