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Speeding up Research with Preprints

Rolf Dietrich Brecher, Speeding up, Flickr, CC-BY SA

The “Preprint” allows researchers to openly share their results with peers at an early stage and still publish the final version in the peer-reviewed journal of their choice. From the start, ScienceOpen has supported preprints and their essential role in speeding up science by integrating arXiv preprints in the physical sciences on the platform. We now include over 1.4 million arXiv records on ScienceOpen. In our new release we have added even more preprints to the mix, with a focus on the biomedical sciences.

Preprints in the biological and medical sciences were kickstarted by the founding of bioRxiv in 2013, and by the advocacy organization ASAPBio in 2015 and have taken off rapidly since then. Now on ScienceOpen we have added records for over 20,000 bioRxiv preprints to our discovery environment, together with the capacity to include records from other preprint servers such as PeerJ Preprints, Preprints.org and ChemRxiv. Up next are all the great preprint servers on OSF Preprints. We are working hard!

Preprints have the advantage of being rapidly and freely accessible. However, they have not undergone a peer review process and must be read with a more critical eye. Preprints are, therefore, clearly flagged on ScienceOpen. During his physics PhD, ScienceOpen co-founder Alexander Grossmann and his colleagues went first to the arXiv for the newest results to build upon and shape their thinking. They knew it was unfiltered and not peer reviewed, but they were often already at the next step in their research by the time the final version was published. Many features on ScienceOpen were created with this kind of speed in mind.

Preprints in context on ScienceOpen

Search preprints on ScienceOpen

To help the researcher find preprints within the context of the published literature, searches on ScienceOpen can be filtered to view only preprints or may exclude preprints to concentrate only on peer-reviewed literature. Current sources for preprint records are directly from arXiv or from Crossref.

Further, ScienceOpen offers a full suite of tools to peer-review and curate preprints. Our peer review system was developed together with our extensive editorial board to ask broad but pertinent questions across all disciplines. Article reviews, after the model of book reviews, are published with the author’s ORCID and get a Crossref DOI to ensure discoverability. Found a preprint that you are interested in, but want an expert opinion? Invite a reviewer! On every article page researchers can either review an article themselves or invite an expert colleague to do so with the click of a button.

ScienceOpen Collections also allow editors to add preprints to their collections to stay right at the cutting edge and open up a discussion. Preprints can be exchanged for the full publication at a later date.

Preprint in a ScienceOpen Collection

ScienceOpen Collections were conceived as topical selections of articles created by experts – by and for the researcher community with no costs involved. Adding preprints to the mix can increase the speed and lower the cost of the flow of information. Apply today!

If a preprint is missing from our platform, you can easily add it by uploading the DOI via the “Request article” function on your user dashboard. As author you are also welcome to add a lay summary, thumbnail image, keywords and disciplines to increase the discoverability of your work within the ScienceOpen environment and beyond.

At ScienceOpen we are committed to supporting the research community. For the past year we have had an increasing number of requests to add particular preprints from a range of services. We are happy that we could add this feature to our discovery environment. Your feedback is always welcome feedback@scienceopen.com!

Submit your manuscript via ScienceOpen

Choosing a journal to publish your research is not easy. Among thousands of journals you must decide which one will get the best visibility for your work. ScienceOpen can’t answer that question for you, but we can make it easier with a “Submit a manuscript” button.

Growth in scholarly journals. Source: University of Pittsburgh Library

It requires time and real investigative work to understand the character of a journal and its editors, its selection and validation process, reputation, audience/specialization, distribution modality, rights management, publication costs… and this knowledge is never definitive because journals’ rules regularly change.

With a whole suite of filters and sorting possibilities, the ScienceOpen discovery platform can help you to drill down into a journal’s content and gain insight about how connected a journal is – Do they share references? More links back to your paper means more potential readers. Do they deposit rich metadata with affiliations, abstract, license information and more with Crossref? If your paper is open access, you want computers to know! Do they use social media and other tools to promote individual articles? Altmetrics are becoming increasingly important. ScienceOpen can give you a different perspective on how publishers will treat your article. Now, found one you like? Submit with one click.

Submit a Manuscript: new on ScienceOpen

Featured journals on ScienceOpen, here Future Science OA, open up their content for effective search and discovery within a “Collection” framework on our platform. The Featured collection also highlights the way journal content is being used by interactive features on the site – added to researcher-led Collections, peer reviewed, recommended, shared and more. Our goal is to help the researcher asses the content and the context of a journal to see how their work might fit it. You would like to see your manuscript in this same context? Then click “Submit”!  The new “Submit a manuscript” will take you straight to the journal’s submission page. Editorial decisions are all carried out by the journal.

 

Journal overview at your fingertips on ScienceOpen

Further information about a journal is available directly on ScienceOpen through the Featured collections, for example the UCLPress journal Architecture MPS. The Collection details page provides space for the owner to describe the journal: its identity, webpage, editors, editorial board, aims and scope, submission guidelines, publication costs and audience. This quick overview can be helpful in making an informed decision about your next publication.

The Statistics of a journal on ScienceOpen can also be checked (number of articles added over time, number of views over time, number of shares…). It’s a great tool to get an overview of the activity of a journal, and it also allows comparison with the activity of journals in the same field on ScienceOpen. Moreover, Following a Featured collection will provide you with an update whenever new content is added.

ScienceOpen uses the context of a body of scholarly articles to make information more accessible and interactive. This new “Submit a manuscript” feature paired with the intuitive interface of ScienceOpen and insights provided by our data can save time for researchers in making an informed decision about where to publish their next paper.

As a publisher or journal editor contact Stephanie Dawson or Stuart Cooper to start your Featured journal collection today.

Read what you are looking for! ScienceOpen integrates more Open Access data

One of the biggest challenges for researchers is time. So when you find an abstract of interest and have just a moment to actually read, you need the full text right now. With our newest release, the ScienceOpen discovery environment incorporates open access data from Impactstory to provide researchers with more ways to read the paper.

Institutional repositories, open access aggregators, self-archiving, preprint servers – the last years have seen a proliferation of access options. The new ScienceOpen article page, therefore, aims for transparency and choice on nearly 40 million article records.

ScienceOpen is excited to work with the Unpaywall data from Impactstory to provide more information about open access licenses and access options for our users. This powerful dataset is being used by several discovery engines to enrich the search experience. Jason Priem of Impactstory says, “we’re thrilled to welcome ScienceOpen as our latest partner to integrate Unpaywall data, and excited about how this new integration furthers our goal to make Open Access content truly ubiquitous for researchers and readers.”

Potsdamer Platz Berlin, Andreas Levers, Traffic Light, Flickr, CC BY-NC

A green light for reading

The publisher’s version of record is a reader’s most reliable source. With our latest release we highlight this version on the article page with a green “Publisher” button for better orientation. Editors and publishers work hard to make the most accurate version of research results available to the community and changes to the version of record are often tracked on the publisher website via Crossref’s Crossmark service. With so little time in the day, reading the original is your best bet.

However, if further freely-accessible versions are available according to data from Unpaywall, these links are also provided and clearly labelled. Repository versions can be helpful outside of academic settings. And sometimes we have not identified an Open Access license, but Unpaywall has – so we, of course, want to give the reader this information as well!

If ScienceOpen indexing is based on the full text XML available on our platform (Open Access Hosting customers or PubMed Central Open Access articles), then the ScienceOpen access button is highlighted green. The same is true if we are getting our indexing information from SciELO. Our goal is always to help users find the best version for their needs.

“By offering more access choices, ScienceOpen has become so much more useful for researchers,” said Nina Tscheke, who has been involved in research community outreach over the past year. “This is an important step towards meeting researchers needs.”

ScienceOpen continues to develop tools and features for researchers and publishers to provide a superior discovery environment for scholarly research. If you are a publisher, editor, society or institute, talk to us today about our platform technology. Contact Stephanie Dawson for more information.

In:  Announcements  

Is your paper achieving maximum impact? With our new partnership with Science Impact it’s even easier to engage a wider audience!

In the current scholarly ecosystem, communicating your research results doesn’t stop at the point of publication. Increasing the accessibility of your research and engaging audiences beyond your own institution and peer groups became inevitable steps in reaching out from the massively increasing global research output to create real impact.

At ScienceOpen, we are seeking the best ways of serving open communities by amalgamating their needs and turning them into new research management and discovery features. Our post-publication services are designed to offer all scientists transparent and effective ways to communicate their knowledge and enhance the visibility and discoverability of their publications. Recently, we announced new features enabling authors to add non-specialist summaries to their articles indexed on ScienceOpen.

Storify your research and open it up for the public

Although we see many great non-specialist summaries added so far to articles on ScienceOpen (you can see nice examples here, here or here), we are also aware of the fact that it’s not always easy to write an effective, non-specialist summary of specialized work. In many cases researchers simply don’t have the time or the expertise to make their science accessible to the broader public.

To help our researcher community in opening up their research and reaching and engaging a wider stakeholder audience, ScienceOpen has teamed up with ScienceImpact, an award-winning team of leading science communication staff with decades of combined experience publishing academic books, papers, and broad science publications. This partnership gives our users direct access to ScienceImpact’s non-specialist summary services and provides them with the means to have complex scientific concepts translated into accessible language for a broader audience. Their editorial and design staff works closely with all featured researchers to craft summaries that disseminate the aims, objectives, and impact of your research.

If you have already begun to think about how you can communicate your research to wider audiences but don’t feel confident about it, you are in the right place! You can thrust this into the hands of professional science communicators and get your non-specialist summary in 3 easy steps:

  1. Go to your profile page
  2. Click on the Impact banner
  3. Fill in the form on ScienceImpact’s website.

ScienceImpact non-specialist summary

Here you can find out more about how this process works or discuss the production of a lay summary for your research paper.

Expand your audience and amplify your message

Adding non-specialist summaries to your articles enables the communication of your research and its impact in a format and language that all stakeholders will understand.

  • For funders

Being able to clearly articulate the economic, scientific, and societal impact of your project is crucial from the very first steps of your research lifecycle. When it comes to funding decisions, reviewers of your grant application, who are rarely representing your specific field, need to understand clearly how your research can make the world a better place.

  • For researchers from other areas

Communicating your research and making it connectible for audiences beyond your own institution, peer group, and field of research carries the potential of opening it up for interdisciplinary cooperation. In fact, using simple everyday language might be refreshing even for your own research community as well. Do them a favor and make your papers look nice, concise, and easy to see through.

  • For the public

We are in the midst of a global information and knowledge crisis. Access to scientific research has never been more important to provide the basis for debates on critical issues such as climate change, global health, and renewable energies.

By translating your research results into benefits for society, you can play your part in making science more understandable to everyone without restriction. Just because a research paper is freely available, that does not mean that it’s also accessible and everyone will be able to read it and understand the content. What we all need is to make sure that the maximum number of people possible can enjoy and re-use what we have discovered without having to work their way through dense technical language. Don’t alienate your work from taxpayers who fund it.

amplify your message
Amplify your message! (source)

Maintaining fair and inclusive scientific communication attitudes and investing in the proper explanation of your findings is like gathering a good research karma: it works for you, works for science, and works for the society at large. We give you tools and access to outputs—but it’s you who can make them truly accessible.

 

In:  Announcements  

Open for Business – Welcome Stuart Cooper!

We are pleased to welcome Stuart Cooper to the ScienceOpen team as Global Business Development Manager. Stuart brings a wealth of sales experience in the publishing industry. We are, therefore, excited to work with him to expand ScienceOpen’s offerings and client base.

Open for Business, Mark Morgan, Flickr, CC BY

Open for Business

We are often asked about the business model behind ScienceOpen, so here is a short outline for clarification. ScienceOpen offers a whole range of search and discovery tools to researchers for free – from dynamic author profiles based on ORCID to post-publication peer review and “Collection” curation tools. At the same time, we offer paid services to publishers, societies, institutes and other content producers, who can take advantage of the technological infrastructure of the ScienceOpen discovery environment to unlock the context around their articles and journals and showcase their authors’ work. ScienceOpen can provide Open Access hosting, advanced metadata analysis, flexible topical collections, journal brand promotion and even full publishing solutions. We work with publishers large and small to find customized solutions for their content presentation and promotion needs.

We offer

  • Context environment of 39 million records driving search and discovery
  • Link back to publisher webpage via read button
  • Dynamic search and filtering of all content at journal, publisher, author and collection level
  • Article and journal level usage statistics
  • Author profiles and self-promotion tools for users to add lay summaries and track usage
  • Journal branding or flexible publisher-branded topical collections promoted with a banner on all relevant content in the 39 million article records
  • Community-run, researcher-led topical collections further promote usage
  • Commenting and recommendation functionalities
  • Post-publication peer review tools to engage community

With ScienceOpen, publishers can gain insight into how their content fits into the bigger research picture and how they can support their authors for maximum visibility and increased impact.

If you are a publisher or editor and would like to learn more about the ScienceOpen platform infrastructure, you can fill out this webform or contact Stuart Cooper at Stuart.Cooper@ScienceOpen.com. Join us today!

UCL Press Megajournal – What’s next?

The UCL Press announced ambitions for its megajournal project during a town hall event on January 16th 2018 with Dr. Paul Ayris, CEO of UCL Press and Pro-Vice-Provost (Library Services), and Prof. David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), describing the wide-reaching goals and ideals that have moved the university in this undertaking. See the UCL news pages.

University College London

The town hall began the discussion by inviting Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust who gave some insight into their successful Wellcome Open Research megajournal, describing the rationale behind the move and how its researchers have taken to it.

UCL Press, having partnered with ScienceOpen to provide a hosting platform for its current eight academic journals, invited Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen, to discuss the further developments and vision toward providing researchers and publishers the infrastructure towards more open and transparent peer review and publication models, with increased search and discoverability.

Catriona MacCallum, previously with the Open Access publisher PLoS and consultant on the first megajournal PLoSONE, and now Director of Open Science with Hindawi, then painted a broad picture of the values, tools and advantages of an open science framework from an individual, institutional and societal perspective.

Ian Caswell, UCL Press Journals Manager, then outlined the aims and ambition of the UCL Press megajournal project to offer researchers and academics the opportunity to publish cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work, characterized by openness.

The next step of the UCL Press megajournal is to begin a campus-wide consultation on the needs and expectations of the UCL community in terms of open peer review and versioning, editorial oversight, topical focus, and technicalities.

Topical focus

A megajournal is by definition of broad scope so as to encourage inter-/cross-disciplinarity and to provide a publishing outlet for content that is not easily categorized. The UCL Press megajournal will begin with a focus on environmental sciences, including contributions from earth sciences, geography, UCL’s medical school, population sciences and UCL Institute of Education. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a platform for the entire university and beyond. Interested UCL researchers outside of these fields should contact UCL Press Journals Manager Ian Caswell about expanding the scope of the platform.

Some topical selection, however, can be very useful for readers in discovering new and related articles in their field. Traditionally, enforcing a narrow definition of scope has been the role of the editor. With this in mind, the ScienceOpen platform opens up the possibility for researchers to create their own topical selection from the whole scholarly corpus. UCL researchers are invited to explore this possibility and create a ScienceOpen “Collection” with the top articles in their fields that can also include articles published in the megajournal or other UCL Press journals. To apply for Collection Editor status contact Stephanie Dawson at ScienceOpen.

The aim of the UCL Press megajournal is to publish sound research, rather than hyped-up results. It aims to welcome research of all kinds like negative or inconclusive results, descriptive papers, protocols, methods or data papers, literature reviews. The focus of the platform will not be on “impact factor”, but rather individual article and author metrics which can be tracked on the platform and used in individualized search and sort mechanisms within the ScienceOpen discovery environment. The consultation and development of the UCL Press megajournal is still on-going and further details will be announced as to its exact aims and scope and submission criteria.

Open and Post Publication Peer Review

By utilising open peer review, we can promote accountable, responsible, and high quality assessment and evaluation of publications. However, what is the purpose and character of “open” and “post-publication” peer review in an open access megajournal? One way to think of it is the tradition of publishing “book reviews” in the social sciences and humanities, which could provide a good model. Other platforms such as Copernicus, F1000 Research or newcomer SciPost have functional systems of review that are closer to the journal peer review model. UCL Press will be consulting with researchers on how the platform can provide the best quality feedback from peers in a constructive way within the technical scope of the platform.

The ScienceOpen platform infrastructure allows for any registered user with an ORCID and “expert” status (5 published articles) to review any paper. The author or any user can also invite reviewers via the platform. Potential reviewers who do not meet these basic criteria can still review an article if the editor decides to give them reviewer status. Because each review receives a DOI and is deposited with the publishing metadata hubs Crossref and ORCID, it is challenging to include anonymous and unaccountable reviews on the platform.

Versioning

If peer review is conducted transparently and openly, authors must have the possibility of revising their articles and tracking those revisions on the platform. The ScienceOpen platform can provide the infrastructure for this versioning system, however, questions remain on how versioning will inform best publication practice, like should the first submission of an article be regarded as a “preprint” which can be taken down if the community review is very negative or published elsewhere? Alternatively, on the other hand, should it be regarded as a publication from the start with the first version only being retracted in extreme cases? Each policy has its advantages and disadvantages which requires careful discussion towards development into a working model.

Editorial oversight

The level of editorial oversight is another question that all megajournals must decide upon. In the first phase of the megajournal project, it is likely to have a focus to staff and students of UCL, but does not necessarily mean the megajournal will be limited to only UCL authors. As the journal expands its scope and audience to accept articles from beyond the university, it may become necessary to adjust and reassess the review process before publication to prevent poor or fraudulent research from being added to the corpus of published scholarly work.

Technicalities

The UCL Press megajournal will publish all articles open access with a Creative Commons CC BY license. The ScienceOpen platform will require ORCID IDs from all authors and Fundref IDs for funding bodies are encouraged. Open references through CrossRef as part of the I4OC initiative and open data summaries in manuscripts to link to or describe how to access the data underlying the publication, will be available for use for the UCL Press megajournal. All of these technicalities are still under consultation at UCL Press and further announcements will be made on the UCL Press website and social media.

 

Launching a megajournal for UCL is a project that requires vision and commitment from the university and the community. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let’s change the landscape of scholarly communication together!

You will find the slides from the town hall event at DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.1234, made available under a CC BY license.

Stephanie Dawson, ScienceOpen and Ian Caswell, UCL Press

A diamond Open Access journey around the globe

Diamond Open Access journals shining bright on the colorful Open Access landscape. These independent scholarly forums provide immediate Open Access completely free of charge to both authors and readers. Their mission of making academic knowledge a public good is achieved with support from academic institutions and donations but more importantly it is achieved by the passionate volunteer work of editors, editorial board members, and reviewers.

To help these valuable contributions to become more visible, we run a free indexing competition for APC-free OA journals and offer our winners a Featured Collection for one year for free. Collections are a specialized and customized promotional service to increase visibility and findability of selected journals or selected research topics within our discovery platform and can easily be used to also track and measure usage of research articles.

In the last round of 2017, focus was on the field of medicine and health, since Open Access to research might nowhere be of more immediate importance. Our winners connect research from Europe, India, and Asia and give you an insight of the latest medical innovations as well as research on physical and mental wellbeing.

Continue reading “A diamond Open Access journey around the globe”  

The New Year under Review

The New Year under Review

Welcome to 2018! In December we highlighted our topical Collections on ScienceOpen and asked you to review any paper in a collection to enter a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. Today we would like to thank everyone who shared their expertise on ScienceOpen over the last year and are happy to announce the winner: Agustín Estrada Peña of the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

Street Artist SAM3 Image via http://photovide.com/street-art-murals-world/

Agustín is editor of the collection Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens, a comprehensive overview with over 11,000 articles covering the whole spectrum from biology and habitats to molecular mechanisms of disease and epidemiology. The ScienceOpen collection format allows researchers to search within these papers with a wide range of filters and quickly change the top view with sort by date, citations, Altmetric Score, usage and more to drill down and find interesting new work.

Agustín reviewed the paper The global distribution of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. More reviews of articles in this collection by the tick community are highly welcome. Help to make this an important resource for all! To learn how you can add to this knowledge database check out our resources on reviewing on ScienceOpen. Remember, all reviews are published with a CC BY Open Access license and receive a Crossref DOI. Continue reading “The New Year under Review”  

In:  Announcements  

Leaving ScienceOpen – Time to say goodbye

Well, it has finally come to that time. After two years at ScienceOpen, I’m sad, but also excited, to announce that I’ll be leaving at the end of the year. Sad because I’ll be leaving an amazing team of creators, thinkers, and doers – people who I’m proud to call not just my colleagues, but also my friends. Excited though because this means that new adventures await!

An open journey

I started at ScienceOpen back in January 2016, while still writing up my PhD (I love procrastinating). I had been personally interested in what is generally now termed ‘open science’ for about 5 years prior, and working with ScienceOpen seemed to fit with my ideals, while learning more about the scholarly communication and publishing industry. You often hear people complaining that researchers don’t know enough about the publishing industry or process itself (still true), and I wanted to equip myself with some knowledge to help with this.

Continue reading “Leaving ScienceOpen – Time to say goodbye”  

ScienceOpen Advent Calendar 2017

Season’s greetings from ScienceOpen! We hope you all have an excellent festive period, and wish you all warmth, love, and laughter going into the New Year.
We would like to extend our special thanks to all of our users who have continued to help support ScienceOpen this last year, and continue to use our services to help make science that little bit more open.

An advent collection adventure
In December, we are running a special advent calendar to highlight some of our favourite researcher-led collections over the last couple of years. Each day, we’ll reveal a new one to you here, each one a chance for you to learn about a new topic, or interact with the expertly-curated papers in each.
Collection editors are some of the most impactful users of ScienceOpen, and we want to use this opportunity to send our deepest thanks to them for their continued engagement.

Give yourself a little extra discovery time!
Can you recall the last time that you read an article purely for fun, without the pressure of deadlines, for the sake of discovery or out of curiosity? Each day, a new window of our advent calendar will open up a unique field of research innovations, solutions and perspectives. Each one is designed to help us to develop a better understanding of the world around us.
It’s time to slow down, and give a little extra discovery time for yourself. You give the time, we bring the joy of discovery! So wrap yourself into a cozy blanket and enjoy satisfying your curiosity. Luxury? Of course, it is! But it’s all yours.

 

 

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