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In:  Announcements  

Max Planck Authors publish free in ScienceOpen

The Max Planck Society (MPG), an independent, non-profit German research organization and ScienceOpen, the research + Open Access publishing network based in Germany and the USA, have signed an agreement (official PR) that will allow authors affiliated to MPG as members of one of its 82 institutes and research facilities, unlimited free publication of posters and research articles in 2015.

The Max Planck Society is a co-founder of the international Open Access movement and has negotiated favorable publishing terms for its researchers at all career levels with a range of OA titles that now include ScienceOpen, which offers three main services to researchers:

  1. Aggregates nearly 1.4 million OA articles (PubMed Central & ArXiv)
  2. Immediate publication
  3. Facilitates transparent & network based peer review after publication

Following the Max Planck Digital Library OA Ambassadors Conference, ScienceOpen fielded a short survey to some MPG researchers (143 completions) to gauge their likely support for this partnership. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive – 95% of respondents said that they would welcome a collaboration between MPG and ScienceOpen.

ChartMPI

Other encouraging signs from the survey included nearly 90% of participants who were willing to publish in a journal that offers Non-Anonymous Peer Review after publication and 86% who don’t believe that Impact Factors are a good method to evaluate the quality of individual articles and authors.

We also want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank those working at the MPG from our Editorial Board for their support. They include the following researchers, feel free to reach out to them directly for more information about the publishing process at ScienceOpen.

Board Member MPI City
Andreas Bartels Biological Cybernetics Tubingen
Peter Fratzl Colloids and Interfaces Potsdam
Pascal Fries Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience Frankfurt
Elisa Izaurralde Developmental Biology and Biochemistry Tübingen
Rüdiger Kniep Chemical Physics of Solids Dresden
Stefan Offermanns Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim
Ulrich Pöschl Chemistry Mainz
Jurgen Renn History of Science Berlin
Didier Stainier Heart and Lung Research Bad Nauheim
Josef Zihl Psychiatry Munich

Frank Sander, General Manager of the Max Planck Digital Library said “since we have received many positive acknowledgements from senior Max Planck researchers, we are happy to now provide this one year pilot which allows unlimited publications with ScienceOpen free of charge for all Max Planck affiliates.”

ScienceOpen CEO, Stephanie Dawson, said “all of us at ScienceOpen are delighted to end our year on such a positive note by establishing this important relationship. We look forward to a productive 2015”.

If your society or organization wishes to make a similar arrangement with us, please email Liz.

In:  Announcements  

Academic Publishing in Europe Conference 10 – looking forward to participating in 2015

Image credit: Happy New Year (without stress), by Miquel Angel Pintanel Bassets, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Image credit: Happy New Year (without stress), by Miquel Angel Pintanel Bassets, Flickr, CC BY-SA

It may be the beginning of the Holiday season, but here at ScienceOpen we’re already looking forward to our speaking engagements in 2015!

First up, co-founder Alexander Grossmann, Physicist, Publisher and Professor, is going to be participating in a session on “new publishing developments” (venue, NH Hotel Berlin Mitte) on Monday 19th January between 3.30 and 5pm.

The agenda for this “pre-conference day” is particularly relevant to us. Here’s an excerpt taken from the conference program so that you can see why: “Open Access has changed a lot within scholarly publishing. One thing that is often overlooked is the fact, that it required academia to become much more actively involved in the publishing process. This has created both a new way of thinking around publishing as well as a number of very interesting start-ups. The APE 2015 Pre-Conference Day will look at the “What is Next” for our industry”.

As many of you know, we’re on a mission to “democratize publishing” and have Community Editor roles available for researchers, appointed by our Editorial Team, which give them the ability to curate, commission and manage content in their own article Collection or Mini Journal. In return for their expert knowledge and effort, we offer a modest stipend ($1500) that can be put towards travel to attend conferences that are particularly relevant to their field. We welcome applications for these roles.

The agenda for the next two days (venue, Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences) looks equally inspiring and features many top rate speakers. If we don’t know them personally, we feel like we do through our Twitter connections! Here are just a few of the luminaries that are presenting and moderating but check out the full line up:

  • Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services & Acting Head of Library, Wellcome Library, London
  • Dr. Ralf Schimmer, Head, Max Planck Digital Library, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Munich
  • Alex D. Wade, Director, Scholarly Communication, Internet Services Research Group, Microsoft Research,Redmond, WA
  • Drs. Jan Velterop, Advocate and Advisor, Open Access and Open Science, Guildford
  • Dr. Matt Cockerill,Co-Founder of Riffyn, Riffyn, Oakland

Reviewing the program in detail did make us smile however. There’s a session on Wednesday, at 8.30am, entitled: Wake-up Session: how to make money with Semantics, moderated by Richard Padley, CEO, Semantico, Brighton. All we can say is that we hope someone remembers to have the coffee pot on for Richard and that the topic of “making money” makes his audience suitably jazzed!

 

In:  Announcements  

The next wave of Open Access? If you never try, you will never know!

Image credit: Umbrella movement, Alex, K.M. Yau, Flickr, CC BY
Image credit: Umbrella movement, Alex, K.M. Yau, Flickr, CC BY

One question that has always intrigued me is “what new activities are enabled when Open Access content from different publishers is available on the same platform and the community is given the tools to curate it”?

Now, thanks to the growth in Open Access content, our latest feature release which includes refined search and community tools for content curation (thanks Ed, Dave, Raj and Jeff from the Dev team), it could just be that I am one step closer to finding out.

To get back to basics, ScienceOpen offers three main services to researchers:

 

1. We aggregate OA content from other sources

2. We offer rapid publishing services

3. We facilitate expert peer review after publication

The new features that we just released on Friday last week, were built to help researchers find and curate content from nearly 1.4mm articles on our site (per 1. above). All the major OA providers have content here, PLOS, BMC, F1000Research, PeerJ etc. While we were working on this release, we also added new drill down search options including the ability to filter by content source: ScienceOpen, ArXiv and PubMed Central. This is an important add because the community said they wanted greater delineation between our own and mirrored content. The first step for us in response to this feedback was to offer visual markers and now we’ve added filtering to make this abundantly clear.

In terms of what to do with the articles once they have been located, we’ve developed a rather nifty Collection tool to help draw content together and customize it’s appearance, you can see two initial examples here using our own content: ScienceOpen Research and ScienceOpen Posters.  We’ve also developed a new role called “Community Editor” and our Editorial team will offer these positions to researchers (the role carries a modest stipend). These indiviudals can choose which existing content they want to feature in their Collection and if they wish, decide which articles need to be written in order to fill content gaps and call for more. Editors are also empowered to invite others at all career levels to assist them. It also seems likely that societies, disease organizations and other groups will be interested in customized channels and they are equally welcome to get involved.

So what’s motivating us to do this?

Image credit: justinc, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
Image credit: justinc, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

It’s about democratizing publishing in the broadest possible sense of the phrase.

  • We believe that siloeing OA content on Publisher’s websites isn’t in the true spirit of Open Access and we’re proud to be first to break the mold in this regard. Which publisher brands research is irrelevant as long as the content is sound.
  • We believe that “journals”, whether “mega”, highly specialized or super selective are becoming outmoded. What we need are channels where OA content can be digitally spliced, diced or amassed in anyway the community prefers.
  • We believe in giving the power for content creation, curation and review fully back to the research community who have the discipline specific expertise to do the best possible job in these roles. Researchers, at all career levels, gain valuable roles (as Reviewers and Community Editors) and experience which raise their professional profile and give them some (DOI’s, modest stipends) recognition (more is required).
  • We believe that whether content is “worthy” is a matter for the community, which is why we only offer Expert Post-Publication Peer Review (Non Anonymous).
  • We believe that the conversation about research is never over, that’s why we don’t put a hard line under content and call it “approved” and why we offer versioining.

We recently hired Richard Gallagher, an esteemed alum of Nature, Science and The Scientist, to the ScienceOpen team in the role of Consulting Editor, to help us develop this vision.

We may be a tiny minnow, swimming with some big fish in an even larger pond, but we are relishing our role of moving with (and sometimes against) the tide to transform research communnication.

In:  Announcements  

A warm OA welcome to Richard Gallagher – Consulting Editor

Richard Gallagher
Richard Gallagher

It gives us great pleasure to announce the addition of Richard Gallagher, an esteemed alum of Nature, Science and The Scientist, to the ScienceOpen team in the role of Consulting Editor. Richard is based in the Bay Area so his appointment expands our Californian footprint, our other locations being Berlin (Editorial HQ) and Boston (Software and Development HQ). Richard is a convert to the Open Access cause and is an enthusiastic supporter so we’re delighted to have him join at this time of great change!

Richard’s research background includes a BSc in Immunology and a PhD in Cell Biology (cell adhesion and immune response) from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. After this, Richard became a Post-Doctoral Fellow at University College, Dublin, Ireland where he studied Immunological aspects of Sarcoidosis and his final post in academia was as a Wellcome Trust Lecturer in Immunology at Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.

He made the transfer to publishing in 1989 and never looked back! He was the Chief Biology Editor, Nature, and then its Publisher; he established the Science office in Europe where he was Office Head and Senior Editor and he was Editor and Publisher at The Scientist.

Despite this illustrious background, Richard is an eminently approachable individual, always up for a new challenge and well known and liked in the Scientific Publishing Industry. On a personal note, I worked for Richard at Nature and am simply delighted to have this opportunity to work with him again.

Richard’s role at ScienceOpen is pivotal in terms of empowering the research community to take leadership roles on the site and curate discipline specific Open Access content from a range of top Publishers (including PLOS, BMC, Faculty 1000 Research, PeerJ etc) into Collections or mini-journals that they can create using tools specifically built for the task. “Community Editor” Roles, with a modest stipend, will be available for those who want to participate, so watch this blog and our Twitter and Facebook page for further announcements.

Image credit: Scotland Grunge Flag by Nicolas Raymond, Flickr, CC BY
Image credit: Scotland Grunge Flag by Nicolas Raymond, Flickr, CC BY

And just in case you are curious, Richard is a Scotsman born and bred, he would have voted YES on independence and owns a kilt!

If you want to contact Richard directly, please email him at Richard.Gallagher@ScienceOpen.com.

 

Fees waived for Early Career Researchers – happy #OAWeek2014!

 

OA week

Alex pic It’s true that it’s been a while since I was climbing the scientific career ladder! My path was somewhat different to many but diversifying is more common now than it was then, for many different reasons that I shall briefly explore below.

For 10 years, I worked as a physicist and lecturer at the Jülich Research Centre, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Munich, and the University of Tübingen. In 2001 I entered scholarly publishing – working at Wiley-VCH, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer and finally at De Gruyter as Vice President Publishing STM. Today, I am a Professor of Publishing Management at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences.

By most standards, I’ve had a good run and I am not done yet – these days I also enjoy my role as President of ScienceOpen working with a terrific team of enthusiastic colleagues in Berlin, Boston, and San Francisco. However, I remain mindful and respectful of my research roots and spend as much time as possible talking with young facultypromoting their thinking and doing everything I can to support them because it seems to me that a scientific career got a lot harder than it was when I did it, and it wasn’t easy then.

To demonstrate my support of “Generation Open” and in honor of Open Access Week 2014, today I am personally announcing that we are waiving publication fees for Earlier Career Researchers until November 30th 2014 on ScienceOpen, the research + open access publishing network.

Far from being “riff-raff”, per Steven McKnight the President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who asserted that “the average scientist today is not of the quality of our predecessors” in this unfortunate essay, I believe, in contrast, that today’s scientists battle harder than ever to conduct quality science.

Image credit: Hands tied, Geraint Rowland, Flickr, CC BY
Image credit: Hands tied, Geraint Rowland, Flickr, CC BY

That young researchers continue to make progress with their hands tied is remarkable – reduced funding; cut throat commpetition for what money remains;  intense pressure to reach tenureship; more pressure to publish; a glut of talent (good for science but makes it harder to stand out) and not enough job openings.

ScienceOpen has a special interest in Earlier Career Researchers (ECR) and has posted other items of interest to this group, for example: “How to make science more open – 7 ideas for early career researchers“; a guest blog from Gary McDowell at Tufts entitled “Post-docs are doing it for themselves” and advice from leading OA figures such as Mike Eisen (co-founder of PLOS) on the thorny issue of whether it’s possible to publish Open Access and have a successful career or attain tenure (we’d like to think yes, it is possible!).  If you want to contribute to our blog then please refer to these guidelines.

To take advantage of my free publishing offer, all you have to do is be able to demonstrate that you are an ECR, typically defined as graduate student or Post-Doc. As long as one of the corresponding authors on an article or poster is an ECR, then all authors qualify for free publication. You must submit before 12am CET on November 30th 2014 to be eligible.

For those of you who are unfamilar with ScienceOpen here’s a quick run down, with short videos, of our services:

If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me @SciPubLabemail me personally, or comment on this post and I will respond. Come and join us to experience ScienceOpen!

In:  Announcements  

Poster publishing – where science meets graphic design

When it comes to preparing a poster for presentation, there are some amazing poster resources on the web for researchers at all levels of poster proficiency.

For those starting out, I like How to create a research poster from the Bern Dibner Library (simple and basic). For a comprehensive primer, I like Designing Conference Posters from Colin Purrington (comprehensive advice delivered with a sharp wit). Finally, if you are artistic and proficient (see Benjamin Gorman’s “draft” poster pictured below, looks great already!), then Dr Zen’s Better Posters and his constructive critiques can help to make your posters even more powerful.

Benjamin Gorman’s draft poster.
Benjamin Gorman’s “draft” poster.

To quote Dr Zen, “academic conference posters are often ugly, with tiny text, confusing layouts and dubious color schemes”. They may be so bad they elicit this reaction (animated GIF), courtesy of #whatshouldwecallgradschool. If we step back and think about the reasons why, it is because posters fuse two skill sets, research communication and graphic design, and both are slightly removed from the primary competence of “doing science”.

However, curiously, in an article entitled Poster Perfect in The Scientist, Colin Purrington observed that “Although occasionally there would be visually pleasing posters that promoted less-than-stellar science”, he usually found that “the attractiveness of a poster was highly correlated with the quality of the science”. Graphic design and scientific inquiry require different skills, but oddly enough, it appeared that “the people who understood the beauty of fonts had a sense of pitching their science” he said.

One reason to invest effort in preparing and printing a poster, is to communicate the essence of your research in a relatively compact space with the opportunity to interact with your audience if your content catches their eye. This may be particularly appealing for earlier career researchers who aren’t ready to publish or those who would rather avoid public speaking.

Previously, the other slightly frustrating part of poster preparation was their relatively short conference shelf life, possibly followed by a (by then dog eared) display of the poster in the lab. However, as is the case with so much of life, the internet has transformed this space such that digital poster publishing is the new normal. Posters can now happily live online and attract attention to your work in perpetuity.

Here at ScienceOpen, publishing posters is simple and pretty much like publishing an article but cheaper. Posters are published as a PDF in in ScienceOpen Posters (eISSN: 2199-8442). There are two routes to get involved, either your conference organizer has an arrangement with ScienceOpen and they pay a reduced fee and you can publish for free, nice! Or you fly solo and pay $120. Naturally, your poster is available for Non-Anonymous Post-Publication Peer Review just like our articles. To submit a poster, simply email our Editorial Office.

To kick off our poster section, we’ve published nearly 30 posters in total – 7 posters from the American Chemical Society Meeting; 7 from the International Symposium of Silicon Chemistry; and 13 from the European Students Conference where we awarded our first ScienceOpen Poster Awards.

Welcome to our wonderful world of digital posters!

In:  Announcements  

Save the date: participative Bay Area OA week event for Generation Open

Image credit: Rom Mader, Free Poster for OA week, Blue Sky Rural Mountains Version, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Image credit: Ron Mader, Free Poster for OA week, Blue Sky Rural Mountains Version, Flickr, CC BY-SA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE September 24th 2014 – Dan Morgan (UCP) is joining the organizing team, a warm OA welcome to him and the University of California Press crew! For a free ticket to the event, please see this Eventbrite

A few Bay Area Open Access people – Liz Allen (ScienceOpen), Pete Binfield (PeerJ, with Georgina Gurnhill in the UK), Lenny Teytelman (Zappy Lab) and Laurence Bianchini (My Science Work), who are expanding to the Bay Area, welcome) – got together and brainstormed what our ideal OA week event would look like.

We agreed that we wanted to avoid a traditional format and so we settled on:

  • Moderated un-conference where the audience talks and asks questions
  • Simple event theme, we picked “#OpenAccess – it’s up to all of us”
  • “Lightning talks” that anyone can give, 5 image slides in 5 minutes
  • Time to chat and mingle over a drink and something to eat
  • Ideally, a cool venue with great views (with Disabled Access)

Not wishing to brag (but bragging none the less!), we feel that the program below achieves our vision and will support our goal of how early career researchers can make science more open. We ran it past our academic partners UCSF Library (Anneliese Taylor), UAW post-doc union (Felicia Goldsmith) and they liked it too. Now all we need is for you all to save the date and make this an event to remember.

Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Venue: SkyDeck, Berkeley (one of the first research university startup accelerators)

Start time: 6.00pm

End time: 8.30pm

Theme: #OpenAccess – it’s up to all of us

Format (suitable for global cloning!):

8 mins – relax with a drink, a snack and “What is OA?” video by Jorge Cham (PhD Comics), Nick Shockey (Right to Research) and Jonathan Eisen (UCD)

10 minutes – un-conference OA topic selection by audience

20 minutes – topic discussion with moderation (your host for the evening, Lenny!)

10 minutes – grab another drink (alcoholic or non), stave off hunger with nibbles

40 minutes – lightning talks, “#OpenAccess – it’s up to all of us”

Last 30 minutes or so – greeting old friends and making some new ones

Slides for your lightning talk (5 image based slides) should be sent to lenny@zappylab.com no later than Monday October 20th. We will be taping them for social media (you have been warned). We have created an Eventbrite so you can RSVP.

Finally, in the spirit of “the more the merrier” other OA Publishers and Academic Partners who want to participate are welcome to email Liz.

In:  Announcements  

ScienceOpen speaking at 6th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (#COASP)

unesco5

CEO Stephanie Dawson (ScienceOpen) has packed her bags and travelled from Berlin to Paris for the 6th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) meeting from 17-19th September.

Although the 1959 stamp pictured above depicts the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (the conference location), we don’t suggest that Stephanie affix it to her postcard home to the rest of the ScienceOpen team (extolling them to work hard in her absence), since it is a rare collector’s item.

For those of you who are new to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), it is a journal publisher’s trade organization established in 2008. Many people ScienceOpen knows are also speaking at this conference including: Mark Patterson (eLife), Catriona MacCallum (PLOS), Phil Bourne (NIH) and Daniel Mietchen (Museum für Naturkunde).

On Thursday 18th September, from 4.15-5.30pm, as part of the Late Breaking/Show and Tell Session, Stephanie will give a presentation entitled OA Publishing 3.0: Beyond the journal, a redefined role in the research ecosystem“?

Stephanie’s presentation is under wraps for now but will be made available on the OASPA website as soon as possible after the conference. During her talk, Stephanie will explain how the term 3.0, which usually refers to self-publishing, also applies to the future of OA publishing and how ScienceOpen, the new research + publishing network, offers services to authors that enable this transition.

After this is done on Thursday, lucky Stephanie will have dinner at Le Grand Bistro de Breteuil! The rest of the ScienceOpen team are not jealous.

In:  Announcements  

Beyond science, can one size of OA fit all?

The ScienceOpen team are pleased to announce some changes to facilitate the spread of Open Access publishing beyond the sciences, its traditional strong-hold. To encourage those in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) to try OA we are:

Image credit: Berlin Open Access Conference.
Image credit: Berlin Open Access Conference.
  • Lowering our HSS publication fee until such time as more OA funds become available to this community. Needs based partial or full fee waivers are available.
  • Exploring different publication formats, not just articles
  • Actively recruiting members of the HSS community to our Editorial and Advisory Board
  • Seeking recommendations for existing OA HSS content to add to our platform

The story of how we reached this decision is the result of interviews with digital HSS thought leaders (huge thanks to all of them) – Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Peter Brantley, Eric Kansa, Sebastian Heath, Leslie Chan, Ethan Watrall, Jessica Clark, Clemens Wass and Gemma Sou – some fascinating background reading and a healthy desire to educate ourselves on the different needs of those within the humanities and social sciences compared to the sciences and medicine, with which we were far more familiar.

When we launched ScienceOpen, the new Open Access (OA) research + publishing network earlier this year, we interviewed Advisory Board Member and OA guru Peter Suber. We asked him “How important is it that OA penetrates research disciplines beyond science?”. Here’s what he said:

“It is very important in my opinion. I have been arguing since 2004 that OA brings the same benefits in every field, even if some fields present more obstacles or fewer opportunities. For example, the natural sciences are better funded than the humanities, which means they have more money to pay for OA. In particular, there is more public funding for the sciences than the humanities, which means that the compelling taxpayer argument for OA gets more traction in the sciences than the humanities. In addition, books are at least as important as journal articles for humanities scholars, if not more important, and OA for books, while growing quickly, is objectively harder than OA for journal articles. The good news is that OA in the humanities is growing – not faster than OA in the sciences, but faster than in the past. More humanities scholars understand the benefits and opportunities for OA, and are answering the objections and misunderstandings raised against it”.

This graph from a 2010 PLOS ONE article (mirrored here on the ScienceOpen platform) digs a little deeper into this story and shows the relative balance of Gold Open Access (publishing in an Open Access journal) in areas such as Medicine and the Lifesciences in contrast to Green OA (self-archiving of journal articles in an Open Access repository).

 

Björk et al. PLOS ONE. CC BY
Björk et al. PLOS ONE. CC BY

After over twenty years working in scientific and medical research communication at Nature/PLOS and then recently joining ScienceOpen, which welcomes submissions from all areas of the Sciences, Medicine, the Humanities and Social Sciences, I realized:

  • How little I understood about the publication needs of those who work outside the Sciences/Medicine
  • How important it was for my new role that I made an effort to get up to speed

The solution to my dilemma? Run my own mini-research project on Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences to answer the question “can one size of OA fit all?”

For background reading, I spent the best part of a long flight from San Francisco to the UK (10 hours!) making detailed notes from a number of sources. Firstly, “Open Access: a perspective from the humanities” by Peter Mandler, Professor of Modern Cultural History at the University of Cambridge. A White Paper entitled “A Scalable and Sustainable Approach  to Open Access Publishing and Archiving  for Humanities and Social Sciences” by K|N Consultants (Rebecca R. Kennison and Lisa R. Norberg).“Open Access and Being Human” by Martin Paul Eve, co-founder of the Open Library of the Humanities and Editor of the OA journal Alluviun. “The Next Obstacle for OA Publishing in the HSS: More Costs? Or the License?” by Andrea Hacker, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Finally, Podcasts can ‘level the playing field’ for researchers looking to break the mould and share accessible findings by Gemma Sou, the Institute for Development Policy and Management at the University of Manchester, U.K.

As Martin Eve so eloquently wrote: “Open Access could give the humanities fresh energy and public appeal through visibility. It could give us the chance to reach a broader audience and to fulfill the societal function of which we dream”.

After completing my initial desk research, the next step was to interview some digital, open and influential HSS thinkers for myself to see if they corroborated or disagreed with the opinions expressed in my reading material.

Despite my interview subjects being extremely busy, I was delighted to find that I readily secured interviews with the following people: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Peter Brantley, Eric Kansa, Sebastian Heath, Leslie Chan, Ethan Watrall, Jessica Clark, Clemens Wass, and Gemma Sou. I am indebted to them all for their insights and appreciate their time.

My interviews confirmed that, per my background reading, there appeared to be some hurdles to overcome if HSS is to fully embrace Open Access. As one interviewee said ““the knee jerk reaction to the notion that OA will work here, because it works there, is NO!”.

With that in mind, here’s what I learned during my research:

  1. “The Article” is not a universally shared unit of communication. In HSS longer formats such as monographs and books are the norm although interest in and acceptance of online articles is growing partly because there are no space limitiations in this format. Additionally, Reviews and other added value content are common place and not many OA journals offer this service.
  2. Similarly, “The Journal” doesn’t only carry the most important works and are less likely to be owned by huge for profit publishers but rather by socieites for whom they represent a valuable source of revenue. Profits from these journals can be slimmer with fewer longer articles without multiple authors to split the bill.
  3. “The Article Publication Charge (APC)”, which is typically paid by an author’s institution or funder in the sciences, is not ideally-suited to the varied publication formats of HSS.
  4.  Also, “Article-Level Metrics” aren’t necessarily a natural fit in HSS although there’s clear interest in how to measure the impact of digital objects.
  5. In terms of licensing, there’s concern over the suitability of the CC BY license given the prevalence of the use of third party materials from protective museums and archives. My solution, from a science perspective, would be to license the authors work CC-BY and to secure relevant permissions and credit them as such (admittedly a pain to undertake). However, during my reading I discovered that certain museums and archives charge more for permissions in an OA journal and that issues surrounding commercial re-use of painstakingly created materials and the historical requirement for accurate attribution abound. Life is never simple.
  6. Finally but very importantly, Article Publication Charges (APC) as priced for the Sciences are not readily affordable to those working in HSS because of their low level of funding and inflexibility in terms of using grants to pay publication fees. Also, there seems no possibility of reserachers paying APC’s from their own pockets because of  their frequently low salaries (and it wouldn’t be fair to expect this anyway).

These points are neatly summarized by K|N Consultants who observed “In HSS, articles are not the only publication type of value or even the most valued type of publication; external funding for research is minimal or non-existent; and societies often consider their publications to be the primary benefit they offer their members, and many find it difficult to imagine how they would support their society’s activities if their current publishing operations were to change”.

To conclude, we’re pleased to be able to offer full and partial fee waiver pricing flexibility to the HSS community, this is in addition to the following ScienceOpen features that are available to all:

We recognize that ScienceOpen can’t “solve” for Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences but we hope these overtures will be welcomed by this community. Please continue this conversation by commenting on this post, find us at @Science_Open or email me.

 

In:  Announcements  

Partnering the World Health Summit to expand access to global health research

WHS

ScienceOpen, the new Open Access (OA) research + publishing network, and the World Health Summit, the preeminent forum for addressing global health issues, are delighted to announce their strategic partnership.

The topical issue of climate change and health is top priority at this year’s Summit. As Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director General said “the evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health. Solutions exist and we need to act decisively to change this trajectory”. Other topics include Universal Health Coverage and Healthy Aging.

A clear signal that the global health community welcomes a more open conversation on these pivotal issues, has been the increase of OA to the scientific and medical literature as an ideal way of disseminating knowledge. Many of the speakers at the WHS 2014 are already publishing their findings in OA journals and are choosing to make research in this field freely available for everyone to read and re-use (with attribution) which:

  • Broadens the conversation with those in low income countries
  • Facilitates global research cooperation
  • Provides health policy makers with quality information
  • Helps clinicians and patients make better informed decisions

The new partners align around their shared vision that real and lasting change in global health is catalyzed through collaboration and open dialogue. “Only a global collaboration that unites academia, the private sector, politics and civil society can provide the key to solving the problems of health and health systems today and tomorrow “ explain the WHS Presidents 2014, Prof José Otávio Costa Auler Jr. and Prof Detlev Ganten.

The Summitt, which attracts 1200 participants and is to be held from October 19-22 at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, was initiated in 2009 on the occasion of the 300th year anniversary of the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

ScienceOpen, headquartered in Berlin (with offices in Boston and San Francisco, USA), has aggregated over 1.3 million OA articles from leading publishers from over 2 million networked authors which allows users unfettered accesss to medical and health knowledge from a variety of sources. It welcomes submissions of all types of content (Research Articles, Reviews, Posters etc.) from all disciplines and offers

In recognition of this exciting new partnership, ScienceOpen is open for submissions pertaining to the forthcoming World Health Summit which we are also privileged to be attending.