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.
At ScienceOpen, we want to play our part here. We have built an automatically updating research collection on climate change for anyone and everyone. It has almost 7,500 research articles, each of which are Open Access. This means they are freely available for anyone to read, re-use, and share without restriction!
Research on emerging green technologies such as renewable energies, low-impact development strategies, advanced materials, smart water, and waste water management and remanufacturing is indispensable in tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues through continuous technological advancement.
Improving scientific literacy in these evolving fields is crucial, and at ScienceOpen we are helping to provide basic access to the latest important research.
Our recent additions of 2 publisher-led and 2 researcher-led collections bring together a selection of the latest innovations in the fields of energy engineering and management and ecology. They help us rethinking the relationship between our built and natural environment in the context of grand global challenges and offer life greening solutions for a sustainable social civilization.
Hi Jonathan! Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about your research interests?
My research is focused on the neuroscience of language processing, and how sensory and cognitive systems interact to enable communication. We are interested in questions like:
How can we understand people we’ve never heard before?
Why is having a conversation in noise harder for some people than for others?
How similar is brain activity across a group of people?
My lab spends a lot of time studying people with hearing loss and cochlear implants because of the profound effects these have on sensory processing. We rely on converging evidence from behavioral studies, structural MRI, and functional neuroimaging.
Today we are pleased to announce the winners of the April round of our free Open Access indexing competition.
These journals come from around the world, and by offering free-to-publish Open Access options for researchers, we in turn offer them free integration into our platform to help build their status and visibility.
The following journals will all become part of our next-generation indexing and discovery platform:
Published by the Russian New University, this journal is devoted to cardiological issues with special focus on cardiovascular system performance and diagnostics. The title of the journal, Cardiometry, is a new field in cardiology providing application of the most up-to-date technologies of measurements of heart and cardiovascular system performance parameters and considered as an interdisciplinary scientific field joining cardiology, biophysics, biomechanics, IT and metrology.
Published by European Publishing, this journal encompasses all aspects of tobacco use, prevention and cessation that can promote a tobacco free society. Their aim is to foster, promote and disseminate research involving tobacco use, prevention, policy implementation, disease development- progression related to tobacco use, tobacco use impact from the cellular to the international level and the treatment of tobacco attributable disease through smoking cessation.
Published by the University of Tehran, Desert covers all aspects of environmental management of arid, semi-arid and desert environments and addresses issues ranging from basic to socio-ecological systems of arid, semi-arid and desert ecosystems.
Published by the Instituto Florestal (Institute of Forestry) of São Paulo, this journal is dedicated to works in Forestry Sciences and related sciences written in Portuguese, English or Spanish. It publishes articles in the following thematic areas: urban tree planting, protected areas and nature conservation, wildlife conservation, ecology, forestry policy and economy, genetics and forest improvement, geography and environmental planning, hydrology, plant taxonomy and phytogeography and forest products technology.
All of these journals fulfil the double challenge of publishing high-quality Open Access research while charging no APCs to their authors. As such, they provide significant contributions to open scholarship as well as democracy in science from month to month.
To support these great efforts, we recently partnered with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) to help make these valuable sources of the published scholarly record more visible and easily accessible in a competitive global research environment.
Bringing together results from different fields of research and geographical regions, successful applicants will add new colours to our research network of over 31 million articles and growing.
Thank you to everyone who applied for the latest round of ScienceOpen’s free indexing competition! We are also grateful to DOAJ for their valuable contributions.
To apply for the next round, an application form can be found here. As a little help, you can find our guidelines here. Good luck!
This collection is focused on the wide field of research on ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens. It aims to include papers on a wide variety of disciplines related to ticks and the pathogens they transmit, focused (but not limited) to morphology and systematics of ticks, ecology, reports of pathogens in both ticks and their hosts. A secondary aim is to provide global view of the effects of climate and land use changes on the pattern of distribution of these arthropods.
Can you tell us why you tell us about your research interests in ticks and tick-borne diseases?
I am Agustín Estrada-Peña. I have several titles behind my name, but they do not have importance in this context. Let’s just say that I am Professor of Zoonoses and Parasitology in the University of Zaragoza (Spain). My work is focused on ticks and tick-transmitted organisms. I did work on systematics, physiology, life cycles, and the probable impact of environmental change on the pathogens they can transmit. I have been enrolled with FAO, WHO, and recently with the European Center for Disease Control in different aspects regarding human and animal health and ticks. My current interest is on the way the ecological relationships between ticks, microorganisms and vertebrates emerged and evolved. I am working on new ways to explore these relationships and on the molecular aspects behind them.
Expanding the limits of the materials available and thereby satisfying everyday needs was always a key challenge and the cornerstone of human cultural development. The constant discovery and development of new materials and the improvement of their performance to meet the challenges of the current day world grew out to be a faster and faster evolving discipline called Materials Science in the competitive global economy.
From nanotechnology, metallurgy, medical technology, aviation or computer science, materials science is used to advance understanding in a variety of research areas in order to develop smart oil refinery components, bioactive hip implants, the safest cars, the lightest notebooks and countless other new products and technologies that will make our lives safer, more sustainable and more convenient.
IPP is dedicated to the study of polymers. As such, the journal offers original research contributions, invited review papers and recent technological developments in processing thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers and fibers as well as polymer reaction engineering. For more than 25 years IPP, the journal of the Polymer Processing Society, provides strictly peer-reviewed, high-quality articles and rapid communications from the leading experts around the world. Articles cover topics like:
In line with the recent beetle boom on ScienceOpen, a researcher led collection on Coleoptera has been created on ScienceOpen. In the following interview founder and editor of the collection, Rolf Georg Beutel (Professor of Zoology at the Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Jena) will share a little background and gives us an insight on how it works in practice, how such thematic collections serve research communities. And of course, he will also reveal why beetles are cool.
Hi Rolf, thank you for joining. Can you first tell us a bit about your research background, and how you originally got interested in Entomology? Why did you choose to study Coleoptera?
I must admit that in contrast to many other entomologists I was not interested in insects at all as a child or later as a student of Zoology at the University of Tübingen. I was clearly inspired by an eccentric but outstanding academic teacher, Dr. G. Mickoleit, who suggested I should investigate the head and mouthparts of a very small and very cryptic beetle larva. Even though I had a hard time with my first objects of study, I obviously got hooked and continued studying beetles and other insects for the rest of my scientific career.
Why did you decide to build a ScienceOpen Collection on Coleoptera?
Dr. Stephanie Dawson, whom I have known for more than 10 years, mainly in the context of the Handbook of Zoology series, suggested to me to establish this ScienceOpen collection on beetles. My positive previous experience with her expertise and also with ScienceOpen was confirmed by the impressively efficient process of building and presenting this collection.
Coleoptera is one of the first automatically synchronized collections on ScienceOpen. What were the main principles of building the collection and how it develops?
Coleoptera is an immensely diverse and popular group. The intention was to go beyond the traditional fields of taxonomy and morphology, even though these have certainly their merits and are still very important in different contexts. The established data base will continuously grow and extend, integrating an ever increasing number of open access studies.
Do you have favourite pieces or lines of research in the collection that you find especially relevant to this field?
Primarily I consider myself as a systematist, and therefore I am interested in articles on phylogeny and classification in the first place. Even though many publications in these fields are older and not available as electronic files (or not covered by open access), the new collection already provides an impressive number of relevant studies and will grow with an accelerated rate in the future.
As an evolutionary biologist dealing with beetles among other groups of insects, I appreciate that the data base covers multiple lines of research, as for instance genetics or physiology. This has the potential for reciprocal stimulation of researchers of Coleoptera, beyond the basic disciplines like systematics and taxonomy. These are indispensable tools in biodiversity research and provide an essential reference system for studies in other fields. Connected with topics like for instance the physiological and genetic backgrounds of feeding habits or reproductive biology, evolutionary biology of Coleoptera is getting really exciting. The very rapidly growing molecular data in the “age on phylogenomics” open fascinating perspectives in the investigation of beetles and other organisms.
In which ways your research community benefits from the collection?
The easy accessibility of open access articles on beetles is an obvious advantage of this collection.
Finally, tell us about what is the coolest thing in studying entomology?
Beetles are often very beautiful insects and have attracted attention very early, for instance as religious symbol (Scarabaeus sacer) or material for jewellery, or also simply as food source. Among amateur collectors, who made valuable contributions over the last centuries, only butterflies enjoy a comparable popularity. Talking about what is cool about Coleoptera, it is hard to avoid a statement made by the geneticist and evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane, who allegedly said that God had an “inordinate fondness of beetles”. This mainly refers to the incredible diversity of the group, which presently comprises approximately 380.000 described species, about one-third of all known organisms. The question why Coleoptera was much more successful (in terms of species numbers) than other groups is an intriguing question in itself for evolutionary biologists. Aside from this, beetles are an integrative part of nearly all terrestrial and limnic habitats. Many species are important plant pests but others beneficial as natural enemies of harmful species. What fascinates me most is that after centuries of research crucial phylogenetic issues are still unsolved, like for instance the interrelationships of the 4 extant suborders (“it is the glory of God to conceal things….”). Presently exponentially growing molecular data sets and improved analytical approaches (www.1KITE.org) provide new powerful tools to resolve these issues. This is definitely “cool” and exciting!
Thank you, Rolf, it’s been great getting your insight!
We have unified our search interface and applied it to all of our author/member profiles, collections, journals and publishers. That’s a whole lot more research context, metadata, metrics, and useful functionality. The newly upgraded usage statistics are incredibly useful in seeing who us re-using your work and how. This additional dimension is built on top of our newly enhanced search and discovery platform, and provides a powerful way for researchers to develop research, article context, and also their individual profiles within the research community, and all in the open.
We built a ‘research collider’ to make magic happen
At ScienceOpen, we offer a platform where any researcher can comment on, and post-publication peer review any research article they want to. By creating thematic collections, you can bring this into a community space, putting work and additional commentary in the context of related research. By having collection editors that can invite people to review articles, we retain the moderation aspect that is crucial to developments in open peer review. We give the power to researchers to do what they want, when they want, and to use and share their expertise in the most efficient possible way.
I get the feeling that some researchers regard public, post-publication peer review as a non-rigorous, non-structured and poor alternative to traditional peer review. Much of this might be down to the view that there are no standards, and no control in a world of ‘open’.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
At venues like ScienceOpen and F1000 Research, there is full Editorial control over peer review. The only difference is that there is an additional safe guard against fraud and abuse. In public peer reviews, the quality (and quantity) of the process is made explicit. Both the report and the identity of the reporter are made open. This type of system invites civility and community engagement, and lays the foundation for crediting referees. It also highlights an under-appreciated, overlooked, aspect of the work that scientists do to advance knowledge in the real world.
ScienceOpen Editor Dan Cook said “Personally, I think the public needs to know how hard scientists work to advance our understanding of the world. “
At ScienceOpen, the Editorial office plays two roles. First, the Editorial team for ScienceOpen Research performs all the basic standards checks to make sure that research published is at an appropriate scientific standard. They attempt to protect against pseudoscience, and ensure that the manuscript is prepared to undergo public scrutiny. Second, there are Collection Editors, who manage peer review, curation, and discussion about their own Collections.
Why is Editorial control so important?
For starters, without an Editor, peer review will never get done. Researchers are busy, easily distracted, and working on 1000 other things at once. Opting to go out into the world and randomly distribute your knowledge through peer review, while selfless, is actually quite a rare phenomenon.
Peer review needs structure, coordination, and control. In the same way as traditional peer review, this can be facilitated by an Editor.
But why should this imply a closed system? In a closed system, who is peer reviewing the Editors? What are editorial decisions based on? Why and who are Editors selecting as reviewers?
These are all questions that are obscured by traditional peer review, and traits of a closed, secretive, and subjective system – not the rigorous, objective, gold standard that we hold peer review to be.
At ScienceOpen, we recognise this dual need for Editorial standards combined with transparency. Transparency leads to accountability, which in turn lends itself to a less biased, more rigorous and civil process of peer review.
How does Editorial coordination work with Collections?
Collections are the perfect place to demonstrate and exercise editorial management. Collection Editors, of which there can be up to five per Collection, have the authority to manage the process of peer review, but out in the open.
They can do this by either externally inviting colleagues to review papers within the system, or if they already have a profile with us, then they can simply invite them to review specific papers, and referees will receive an invitation to peer review.
Quality control is facilitated through ORCID, as referees must have 5 items associated with their account in order to formally peer review. And to comment, all you need is an ORCID account, simples!
The major difference between a traditional Editor and a Collection Editor is selection. As a traditional Editor, you wield supreme power over what ultimately becomes published in the journal by deciding what gets rejected and what gets sent out to peer review. As a Collection Editor, you don’t reject anything – you filter from pre-existing content depending on your scope.
FASE is one of the leading Open Access journals in the fields of Agricultural Engineering, Resources and Biotechnology, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Applied Ecology, Crop Science, Forestry Engineering and Fisheries, Horticulture, and Plant Protection.
By adding their content to ScienceOpen, they gain increased visibility through our platform and promotional services (like this article!), which increases its value amidst a heterogeneous global publishing market.
This cooperation between HEP and ScienceOpen helps to recognise the great work that Chinese publishers are doing to spearhead Open Access publishing, and our dual commitment to enhancing the visibility and impact of scholarly research in Engineering Science fields.
CEO of ScienceOpen Stephanie Dawson said “Open Access is a growing force in China, and we are happy to work with one of the leading publishers, Higher Education Press, to help increase the visibility of Chinese Open Access globally. We are pleased to use Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering to launch this new partnership, as it publishes excellent research in a field addressing pressing issues such as food security in a changing world.”
The advantage of this for HEP is that they gain lots of additional traffic to their content. What publisher doesn’t want that? This means more downloads, and more re-use of the research they publish, which in turn increases the quality and prestige associated with the journal brand. You can track the attention of the Collection easily via reader count aggregates, and altmetric aggregates, as seen here, as well as other measures of re-use.
Researchers can now openly peer review and re-use their content too, which adds substantial value to both the research process and the journal brand again, which are both important in a scholarly publishing system that is becoming progressively more open. We’ll report the progress in these statistics again in a month so you can see the additional attention indexing with us generates!
The Collection contains some absolutely awesome papers too! Check these examples out: