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Category: About SO

Finding relevant articles in the information haystack

Image credit: @academicssay, Twitter
Image credit: @AcademicsSay, Twitter

Previously I saw a headline that read “Search is so 2014”! I stopped and questioned whether I agreed with that statement. The article then went on to describe some of the more interesting developments in how to find the “right article in the rapidly growing information haystack” and some of them matched my own picks which include:

  • SNAP from Jstor Labs – a mobile app that allows you to take a picture of any page of text and get a list of research articles from JSTOR on the same topic.
  • Sparrho – a content recommendation engine that aggregates and distills information based on user preferences and makes personalised suggestions. We invited their team to post a guest blog.
  • Knowledge domain visualizations (Peter Kraker, LSE Impact Blog) – present the main areas in a field, and assigns relevant articles to them.

However, I still believe that there is a role for Search in 2015, even as it is eventually replaced or enriched by more sophisticated tools.

The part Search plays here at ScienceOpen is particularly important given that we are just beginning our quest to aggregate the world’s Open Access content in all disciplines. The corpus here is growing (nearly 1.5 million articles from nearly 2.5 million authors). The pace of scientific literature growth is rapid, expanding at the rate of more than 2 articles per minute (Mark2Cure).  Both are good reasons why we have been focusing our development efforts on improving the precision of our search results because to some extent “if you can’t find it, it doesn’t exist”.

For Search to qualify as “good” in my book it needs to be precise, fast and flexible. Here’s my mini review of ScienceOpen Search:

  • Search delivered rapid and accurate results, so two thumbs up here.
  • The results could be parsed using the aggregation source (PubMed Central, ArXiv and ScienceOpen) or the name of the originating journal/publisher.
  • For the geeks among you, our Search is powered by ElasticSearch.
  • When I forgot the exact spelling of an author name, this field offered me possible name options to pick from (nice).
  • As a publisher myself, I had to try searching by company name. I was surprised to find 1555 OA articles by the American Chemical Society(ACS) on our platform. I also found 2816 articles from Elsevier. This is a tiny fraction of their output but at least something is there.
  • In a nod to our belief that Journals will become increasingly less important (and hopefully the strangle hold of the IF will be released) as researchers aggregate content themselves (for example using our new Collection tool), users can search by Collection (which has it’s own tab).
  • Once you’ve found a relevant article, we provide the XML (and PDF) because let’s be honest, in the digital future, a static PDF probably won’t be of much use.

I want to acknowledge the ScienceOpen Dev team (Raj, Ed and X, led by Tibor) for their excellent work on this release.

 

 

In:  About SO  

Scholarly publishing for the network generation

Image credit: Forever and Always Two Bright Flowers on Blue Sky by Pink Sherbet Photography, CC BY

Image credit: Forever and Always Two Bright Flowers on Blue Sky by Pink Sherbet Photography, CC BY

Before I get on with the substance of this post about an article that CEO Stephanie and I wrote together that was recently published, I want to draw your attention to this picture which I chose for us. From the moment we met at a PLOS altmetrics event at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, we got along famously. Working with her for the past year, through the highs and lows of trying to bring change to the stubbornly resistant field of scholarly communication, has been an absolute pleasure. I look forward to sharing many more experiences together.

As many of you know, Stephanie is a road warrior for OA and travels extensively in Europe presenting on the future of scholarly communication and the ScienceOpen vision. After a trip to Portugal last year, where she was invited to speak at the ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) meeting, she met Lorraine Estelle, Executive Director of Digital Content and Resource Discovery and CEO Jisc Collections and co-editor of Insights: The UKSG Journal. Afterwards, Stephanie received an invitation to submit an article to Insights (free to publish and OA) about the approach and business model of ScienceOpen as presented at the ICOLC.

With only so many hours in the day, Stephanie invited me to join her in writing this article. After many hours of writing effort, a pleasant submission process via Ubiquity Press, a few rounds of fair minded peer-review revisions (anonymous!) and some hand holding from Ally Souster, Publications Assistant at the UKSG, our Case Study entitled: Scholarly publishing for the network generation is now published.

One of the most gratifying parts of writing this article, as a relatively new start-up, was the opportunity to lay out the ScienceOpen belief system and the importance of combining publishing and software expertise for success in digital scholarly communication. Here’s a little excerpt for those of you who don’t have time to read the whole article:

“ScienceOpen believes:

  • in immediate publication in order to speed up research. We publish the author’s PDF in ‘Preview’ with digital object identifier (DOI) within about a week of submission
  • that siloing OA content on publishers’ websites does not lend itself to creative reuse; a good reason to aggregate 1.4 million articles (currently from PubMed Central and arXiv) on our platform
  • that journals, whether ‘mega-’, highly specialized or super selective, are becoming outmoded. We need channels to serve OA content that meet community needs
  • in giving the power for content creation, curation and review fully back to the research community who have the required discipline-specific expertise
  • that whether content is ‘worthy’ is a matter for the community to decide, which is why we only offer post-publication peer review (PPPR) (non-anonymous) for our ScienceOpen journals
  • in expert review, and therefore insist that those participating must have five publications linked to their ORCiD to maintain the level of scientific discourse on the site
  • that the conversation about research is never over, which is why we don’t put a hard line under content and call it ‘approved’ and why we offer versioning”.

The ScienceOpen team combines publishing expertise (backgrounds and experience with PLOS, De Gruyter, Wiley, Springer, Nature Publishing Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] and The Scientist) with a software company. Often publishers cannot easily adapt to the changing needs of the communities they serve because they are not software developers and, increasingly, this is the key ingredient needed for success in the digital world. This means that although they may want to change their offering, they simply can’t do so as quickly as they might like because their legacy systems hold them back.

The reason that we combine publishing and software expertise is that we think it is this combination that will make it possible for us to rapidly adapt to the changing needs of researchers. For example, the conversation about the future of research communication now includes the openness of data, the evaluation of impact (both article and author) plus the reproducibility of research. All these topics are hotly debated on blogs, Twitter and in the mainstream press which places them before the public for their consideration. This only seems right and proper since taxpayer funding is a core component of research.

Heading down this open path is easier for nimble and technology-empowered organizations such as ScienceOpen because there is truth in the old adage that ‘one thing leads to another’. Establishing non-anonymous PPPR in and of itself increases the transparency of the research process and makes it ideally suited to tackle issues of reproducibility such as reminding reviewers to ask for more clarity in methods, or suggesting more experiments or even ways to collaborate”.

Thanks to everyone who gave us the opportunity to write this piece and supported us throughout the process.

Non-Anon Post-Pub Peer Review in action!

Image attribution: Stop and Go, Nana B Agyel, Flickr, CC BY
Image attribution: Stop and Go, Nana B Agyel, Flickr, CC BY

One of the trickiest parts about launching anything new, also true for PLOS ONE too back in the day (hard to believe now!), is that the best way to explain what you do is to show it in action. Since we only officially launched in May, we’ve been watching some interesting use-cases develop, by which we mean ScienceOpen articles with Non-Anonymous Post-Publication Peer Review (PPPR). Even though we publish with DOI in about a week, it’s taken a little longer for the reviewers to have their say (reviews also receive a DOI), but we’re finding that what they say is well worth reading.

These articles and their associated reviews reassure us that PPPR, which some feel is still pretty radical, is a nascent but potentially healthy way to improve the way we review research. They also start to show that PPPR can benefit all sorts of research. If it can work for less spectacular, negative or contradictory research, then perhaps it will shine for once in a lifetime findings (which are of course far more rare).

Example 1. Professor Hugo Ten Cate (et al), a member of our Editorial Board, from Maastricht University, Dept of Internal Medicine, Maastricht, The Netherlands, published an article entitled “The anti-coagulants ASIS or APC do not protect against renal ischemia/ reperfusion injury” with us. It has received two PPPR from relevant experts, one by Professor Nigel Mackman and the other by Professor Ton Lisman. What really helps to tell the story of this article, from the author’s perspective, is that Hugo has made a video in which he explains that the results of this paper were not spectacular, in fact they were mostly negative, but that doesn’t mean that the article shouldn’t be published (and other journals did not want to do that) because it balances out other papers that show positive outcomes. Naturally, we agree with him!

Example 2.  Assistant Professor Nitika Pant Pai (et al), a member of our Editorial Board at McGill University in the Department of Medicine and a Scientist at the MUHC Research Institute, published an article entitled “Head to head comparisons in performance of CD4 point-of-care assays: a Bayesian meta-analysis (2000–2013)” with us. It has received a detailed review from Dr Paul Drain, a Medicine Resident at Stanford University.  Again, the author made a video in which she enthusiastically explains her support for Open Access and the concept of PPPR.

Example 3. Daniel Graziotin, a PhD student in Computer Science at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, published an article entitled “Green open access in computer science – an exploratory study on author-based self-archiving awareness, practice, and inhibitors,” with us which is an exploratory study of the awareness/practice/inhibitors of self-archiving among authors in an Italian computer science faculty. It has received two reviews, the first from Professor Stephen Curry (on our Editorial Board) and the other from Dr Alexandros Koulouris. In this case, the author gave us an interview to explain the background to this initial piece of research.

Example 4. Professor Nikos Karamanos (et al), a member of our Editorial Board from the University of Patras in Greece, published an article entitled “EGF/EGFR signaling axis is a significant regulator of the proteasome expression and activity in colon cancer cells” with us. It has received two reviews, one from Prof Dr Liliana Schaefer and the other from Assistant Professor Satoshi Tanida. Again, the author gave us an interview in which he explains the background to his article and his feelings on OA.

What do these use-cases tell us? Mostly that its early days, so meaningful observations are perhaps premature! However, here are some thoughts:

  • The reviewers that are being invited to the scientific conversation are participating and broadening the debate
  • The reviews are respectfully delivered with a straightforward tone, even when critical (probably because they are Non-Anon)
  • It’s good to see papers from the medical community, arguably the quintessential OA use-case for researchers, patients, their families and friends
  • The reviewers are appropriately matched to the content, authors can suggest up to 10 and anyone with 5 or more publications on their ORCID iD can review any content on the platform
  • The authors are largely, but not exclusively, from our Editorial Boards (no surprises here since they are usually the first to support a new publishing venture and are more senior so are freer to experiment)
  • Reading Non-Anon PPPR is a new skill requiring balancing a scholars background with their reviews and comparing/contrasting them with those of the others
  • None of these authors have yet used Versioning to revise their original articles in the light of reviewer feedback received (although this article is now on version 2)

Anyways, we hope you enjoy watching how PPPR at ScienceOpen evolves as much as we do! Feel free to leave a comment on this post to continue the conversation.

In:  About SO  

ScienceOpen – making publishing easier. Why review?

Image credit: AJ Cann/Flickr, CC BY-SA
Image credit: AJ Cann/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Reviewing with ScienceOpen, the new OA research + publishing network, is a bit different from what researchers may have experienced elsewhere! To see for yourself, watch this short video on Post-Publication Peer Review.

Q. For busy researchers & physicians, time is short, so why bother to review for ScienceOpen?

A1. Firstly, because the current Peer Review system doesn’t work 

David Black, the Secretary General of the International Council for Science (ICSU) said in a recent ScienceOpen interview “Peer Review as a tool of evaluation for research is flawed.” Many others agree.

Here are our observations and what we are doing to ease the strain.

Anonymous Peer Review encourages disinhibition. Since the balance of power is also skewed, this can fuel unhelpful, even destructive, reviewer comments. At ScienceOpen, we only offer non-anonymous Post-Publication Peer Review.

Authors can suggest up to 10 people to review their article. Reviews of ScienceOpen articles and any of the 1.3mm other OA papers aggregated on our platform, are by named academics with minimally five publications on their ORCID ID which is our way of maintaining the standard of scientific discourse. We believe that those who have experienced Peer Review themselves should be more likely to understand the pitfalls of the process and offer constructive feedback to others.

Martin Suhm, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany and one of our first authors said in a recent ScienceOpen interview “Post-Publication Peer Review will be an intriguing experience, certainly not without pitfalls, but worth trying”.

A2. Second, reviews receive a DOI so your contributions can be cited

We believe that scholarly publishing is not an end in itself, but the beginning of a dialogue to move research forward. In a move sure to please busy researchers tired of participating without recognition, each review receives a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) so that others can find and cite the analysis and the contribution becomes a registered part of the scientific debate.

All reviews require a four point assessment (using five stars) of the level of: importance, validity, completeness and comprehensibility and there’s space to introduce and summarize the material.

Should authors wish to make minor or major changes to their work in response to review feedback, then ScienceOpen offers Versioning. Versions are clearly visible online, the latest are presented first with prominent links to previous iterations. We maintain & display information about which version of an article the reviews and comments refer to, this allows readers to follow a link to an earlier version of the content to see the article history.

A3. Finally, because problems are more visible

When Peer Review is done in the open by named individuals, we believe it should be more constructive and issues will surface more quickly. The resolution of matters arising isn’t simpler or quicker because they are more obvious, but at least they can be seen and addressed.

Here’s a quick overview of ScienceOpen services:

  • Publishes ALL article types: Research, Reviews, Opinions, Posters etc
  • From ALL disciplines: science, medicine, the humanities and social science
  • Aggregates over 1.3 million OA articles from leading publishers
  • Publication within about a week from submission with DOI
  • Transparent Post-Publication Peer Review with DOI
  • Proofs, easy corrections and versioning
  • Article Metrics to track usage and impact
  • Compliant with all Funder OA mandates (CC BY)

Welcome to the next wave of Open Access Publishing. Join us today.

 

In:  About SO  

ScienceOpen – making publishing easier. Why publish?

Publishing with ScienceOpen, the new OA research + publishing network, is a bit different and quicker from what researchers may have experienced elsewhere! Here’s a short video that explains how we make publishing easier.

Q. For busy researchers & physicians, time is short, so why bother to publish with ScienceOpen?

A. So you can share your results quickly and get back to your research.

At ScienceOpen, we understand that the publishing process is all too often painful and time consuming. This picture demonstrates why rapid and informal web publishing plus Post-Publication Peer Review could well be the future!

Here’s a quick overview of ScienceOpen services:

  • Publishes ALL article types: Research, Reviews, Opinions, Posters etc
  • From ALL disciplines: science, medicine, the humanities and social science
  • Aggregates over 1.3 million OA articles from leading publishers
  • Publication within about a week from submission with DOI
  • Transparent Post-Publication Peer Review with DOI
  • Proofs, easy corrections and versioning
  • Article Metrics to track usage and impact
  • Compliant with all Funder OA mandates (CC BY)

ScienceOpen strives to offer services to researchers for a price ($800) that is significantly less than most OA journals. Full and partial fee waivers are available to those in need in low and middle income countries and in less well funded disciplines.

Welcome to the next wave of Open Access Publishing. Join us today.

 

 

 

 

In:  About SO  

ScienceOpen – making publishing easier. Why register? 

Registering with ScienceOpen, the new OA research + publishing network, is almost as easy as pushing this button. To see for yourself, watch this short video or just sign up now (it takes about the same length of time).

Q. For busy researchers & physicians, time is short, so why bother to spend it registering with ScienceOpen?

A. So you can be part of the conversation to move research forward. 

We’re one of the first to maintain the level of expert discussion on our platform by allocating roles and privileges (such as Peer Review) based on the number of publications listed on your ORCID iD.

Have five or more publications on your ORCID iD? You are an Expert or Scientific Member.

  • Review any of over 1.3 million OA articles on Science Open and get a DOI
  • Lead Group discussions about relevant OA articles, make a Collection and call for more submissions

Have one or more publication? You are a Member.

  • Comment on articles

No previous publishing history? Publish for the first time with us.

  • Authors can invite up to 10 experts to review their article
  • Non anonymous peer-review should result in more balanced and relevant feedback
  • Use workspaces to collaborate on any document, publish elsewhere if you’d prefer

Don’t want to register at all? A pity, but naturally you can still read and re-use over 1.3 million OA articles

  • Convenient to have multiple OA publishers on one platform

For those who are new to us and that’s pretty much everyone, here’s a quick overview of ScienceOpen services:

  • Publishes ALL article types: Research, Reviews, Opinions, Posters etc
  • From ALL disciplines: science, medicine, the humanities and social science
  • Aggregates over 1.3 million OA articles from leading publishers
  • Publication within about a week from submission with DOI
  • Transparent Post-Publication Peer Review with DOI
  • Proofs, easy corrections and versioning
  • Article Metrics to track usage and impact
  • Compliant with all Funder OA mandates (CC BY)

Welcome to the next wave of Open Access Publishing. Join us today.

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