The arXiv is a server that hosts ‘eprints’ or ‘preprints’ of research papers, and is a key publishing platform for many fields, particularly physics and mathematics. Founded back in 1991 by Paul Ginsparg, it currently hosts over 1 million research articles, with more than 8000 submissions per month!
Despite now being in the running for 25 years, the arXiv still represents one of the greatest technological innovations to utilise the Web for scholarly communication.
While the majority of the content submitted to the arXiv is subsequently also submitted to traditional journals for publication, there is still content which never goes beyond its confines. Irrespective of this, communities engaged with the arXiv still cite articles published there, whether or not they have been formally published in a journal elsewhere.
This is the whole purpose of the arXiv: to facilitate rapid peer-to-peer communication so that science accelerates faster. The fact that all articles are publicly available is incidental, and just happens to be a topic of major interest with the growing open access movement.
However, the arXiv is not peer reviewed in the formal sense. It is moderated, so that junk submissions can be removed, or manuscripts recategorised, but it lacks the additional layer of quality control of traditional peer review.
So while some might think this poses a risk, ask yourself this question: do you re-use articles critical to your research without making sure that you have checked and understand the research to a sufficient degree that you can appropriately cite it? Because that’s peer review, that is, and it applies irrespective of whether an article has already been peer reviewed or not.
Doing peer review is tough. Building a Collection is tough. Both are also time consuming, and academics are like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland: never enough time!
So while the benefits of open peer review and building Collection need to be considered in the ‘temporal trade off’ world of research, what are some other things researchers can do to help advance open science with us?
Here’s a simple list of 10 things that take anything from a few seconds to a few minutes!
Rate an article. You don’t have to do a full peer review, but can simply provide a rating. Come back later and provide a full review!
Recommend an article. Click, done. Interested researchers can see which articles are more highly recommended by the community.
Share an article. Use social media? Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, or further on ScienceOpen.
Comment on an article. Members with one item in their ORCID accounts can comment on any article.
Follow a Collection. See a Collection you like (like this?) Click, ‘Follow’, done.
Comment on a Collection. Like with all our articles, all Collection articles can be commented on, shared, recommended and peer reviewed.
Become a ScienceOpen member. It’s not needed for many of the functions on our platform, but does mean you can engage with the existing community and content more. Register here!
Have you replicated someone’s results? Let them know that in a comment!
Think someone’s methods are really great? Let them know in a comment!
Did someone not cite your work when they should have? Let them know in a comment!
All articles can be commented on. All you need to have is a membership, and an ORCID account with just one item. Easy! Commenting can be as short and sweet or long as you like. But sometimes a comment can be worth a lot of researchers and communities, just in terms of offering new thoughts, perspectives, or validation. Also, comments are great ways for junior researchers to engage with existing research communities.
We have new Collections coming out of our ears here at ScienceOpen! Last week, we saw two published on the bacterium Shewanella, and another on the Communication Through Coherence theory. Both should represent great platforms and resources for further research in those fields.
The latest is on the diverse field of Atomic Force Microscopy. We asked the Editor, Prof. Yang Gan, to give us a few details about why he created this Collection.
This collection is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of atomic force microscopy (AFM). March 3, 1986 saw publication of the land-marking paper “Atomic force microscope” by G. Binnig, C. G. Quate and C. Gerber (Phys Rev Lett, 56 (1986) 930-933, citations >8,800) with the motivation to invent “a new type of microscope capable of investigating surfaces of insulators on an atomic scale” with high force and dimension resolution. This can be used to measure local properties, such as height, friction, and magnetism, so has massive implications for science.
Since then, AFM has given birth to a large family of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) or SXM where X stands for near-field optical, Kelvin, magnetic, acoustic, thermal, etc. More than 100,000 journal papers, ~6,000 papers/yr since 2008, have been published if one searches the Scopus database with “atomic force microscopy” or “force microscope”. On ScienceOpen, there are over 6,000 article records if one searches using the keywords “atomic force microscopy” too. Nowadays, many disciplines — physics, chemistry, biology, materials, minerals, medicine, geology, nanotechnology, etc — all benefit greatly from using AFM as an important and even key tool for characterization, fabrication and processing.
With nearly 2 million scholarly articles published each year and very limited time (squeezed in between grant proposals, departmental reviews, teaching, writing and the occasional family dinner!), researchers have to pick and choose carefully which articles they read. Recommendation by trusted colleagues is one of the most important filters used by researchers to make decisions on where to focus their attention. This is where ScienceOpen Collections come in!
An academic journal provides topic-specific bundling, editorial selection, quality assurance and often a sense of community. But with shrinking library budgets, spiraling subscriptions prices and new digital tools, it may be time to look for an alternative. Why not facilitate experts themselves to create “virtual journals” after publication drawing from all available articles, regardless of publisher or journal? Readers will still enjoy the authority and selection of thought leaders, authors can enjoy the prestige of having their article “included” and the cost to the library – zero. Plus, shifting prestige to post-publication structures can also prevent “sky-is-the-limit” APCs for fancy brand journals as we move towards more Open Access.
The ScienceOpen Collections offer an expert selection of academic articles across all journals to bring out those hidden gems and undervalued new hypotheses. With post-publication peer review, rating tools and discussion forums, they also invite the reader to contribute – and on ScienceOpen every peer review report is treated as a citable published article with a CrossRef DOI.
This week we are launching several new collections. Professor Dr. Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastric ulcers in 2005. In his collection “When did Helicobacter first colonise humans?” on ScienceOpen he explores the evolution and history of both the bacteria and its relationship with humans. “I appreciate the opportunity to pull together papers from different sources into a thematic collection and start a discussion around them,“ he commented.
Professor Gwyn Gould, at the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology of the University of Glasgow has begun a collection “GLUT4 Biology” to open up a discussion on the regulation of fat and muscle cell glucose transport by insulin. With an estimated 387 million people suffering from diabetes, it is essential to understand the underlying biology. Professor Gould chose to create a ScienceOpen collection because “diabetes research draws upon work published in many different disciplines and distinct journals; keeping track of this can be tricky, especially for new graduate students. I plan to use this as a forum to initiate discussion with a community of scholars interested in this area, but with a particular desire to see graduate students join in and comment on articles of note, and to suggest their own contributions.”
Professor Bernd Fritzsch, Co-Director of the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative at the University of Iowa has created a collection on “Hearing Loss and Restoration“, a topic of increasing importance for our aging society. Hearing impairment is likely the most frequent ailment of the growing cohort of seniors worldwide. While not immediately life-threatening, it cuts seniors off their established communication pattern with possibly serious consequences on mental health and social embedding. Making an annually updated collection of relevant papers that help people see the gain in hearing loss prevention, repair and restoration will serve to align research goals with the needed community outreach of those suffering from this social impairment.
Dr. Johannes (Jan) Velterop has been involved in developing the concept of “Nanopublications” as a means to deal with information on a large scale, at least to construct an overview of the existing knowledge in a certain field and to find possible new connections or associations in the scientific literature that are implicit and have never been explicitly published as such. It is hoped that this approach will offer a way to ingest and digest the essential knowledge contained in large numbers of relevant scientific articles that are increasingly more of a burden and less of a possibility for researchers to read one by one.
“It is as simple as pick and choose,” says Alexander Grossmann, co-founder of ScienceOpen. “My own scholarly publishing collection has already attracted 25 000 researchers. It is terrific that I can now also track the aggregated social mentions.”
With many new collections soon to join these examples, we are excited about this expanding feature. To find out more about becoming a collection editor check out our information here or contact me (Stephanie.Dawson@ScienceOpen.com).
So pick and choose your apples and let’s make an apple pie for the holidays. Together we can change scientific communication to be faster, fairer, less expensive and more open!
These articles (and those that we hope to publish) are curated by Professor Friedrich C. Luft, Director of the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) at Charite and Max Delbrueck Centre in the Helmholtz Association in Berlin, Germany and Dr. Nana Bit-Avragim, Physician-Scientist and Open Access Advocate.
Clinical case reports remain an essential part of lifelong learning in medicine. Reading at least one a day allows clinicians to hone their differential diagnosis skills beyond their own immediate bedside. Indeed, this knowledge is so vital for shaping the best patient outcomes that it deserves to be openly published so that everyone, regardless of their resources, can read and re-use it as they wish enabling them to:
Share interesting and unique disease manifestations and diagnostic methods
Provide invaluable first-hand source of evidence about general and novel therapeutic approaches across the globe
Help identify life threatening adverse reactions to medications
Exchange practice information and generate a wider search for evidence
To all clinicians out there we say “unlock your education doc!” by openly reviewing the articles in this collection or any that you find interesting from nearly 10 million (open articles and toll stubs) items of content on the platform. If that number sounds a bit intimidating, then remember that we have sophisticated search tools (<3 minute video), including an open citation index, to help you find exactly what you are looking for.
EIO is an exciting young Open Access journal covering the gastrointestinal field and published by the award-winning international medical and science publisher Thieme. EIO joins two other Thieme journals (the American Journal of Perinatology Reports and The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Reports) that already have collections on our platform.
Open Access means sharing essential scientific and medical knowledge as widely as possible and ScienceOpen is taking up this challenge to help authors and publishers get added visibility for their work. These articles are available for commenting, sharing, and Post-Publication Peer Review (PPPR), by experts with 5 publications on their ORCID on ScienceOpen. Every review receives a CrossRef DOI so each contribution can be found and cited which gives credit to the important work of reviewers, too.
CEO Stephanie Dawson has worked extensively on this pilot program with Thieme, specifically Frauke Gisela Ralf, Vice President of Open Access and Fiona Henderson, Director International Marketing. Here are Stephanie’s thoughts about the benefits of highlighting OA journals using the Collections tool on ScienceOpen:
“As a research article aggregator (peer-review reformer and publisher) we have brought together open and toll access content to demonstrate how nearly 10 million articles can be pulled together in different ways using our article collection tool with the goal of amplifying the best research results. One method is for a publisher to re-create a journal or highlight their best content on the platform, another is for a Society or individual community member to draw together papers in their area of research specialization or around a theme such as scholarly communication. The digital age offers unlimited permutations of content mash-ups and gives a voice to those with a story to tell, be they a publisher, a society or an individual community member.”
We are naturally delighted that Thieme Publishers have expanded their cooperation with us and look forward to speaking with other publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair which this year runs from 14-18th October to see what we can do for them.
ScienceOpen, the research and Open Access publishing network are delighted to announce that, together with partners The Global Health Next Generation Network (GHNGN) – a multidisciplinary group that strengthens the voice of students and young professionals in this field and encourages them to share scientific knowledge, today we have published a new Global Health article collection.
We have a meme and hashtags “#review4GH” and “#ScienceOpen4GH” to encourage others to participate in the online dialogue. The topics covered are complex and difficult but as a group that represents the future leaders of tomorrow’s global health world, the GHNGN are using social media to encourage their membership and beyond, to take part.
The publication of this Collection is timely given their imminent 2nd International Conference in Barcelona on June 25th. They will be sharing their experiences of working with ScienceOpen on this Collection with those attending and encouraging them to add their articles to it so the Collection continues to live and grow.
The reason that they chose to forge a closer relationship with ScienceOpen is because of our active support of Earlier Career Researchers and the fact that we conveniently combine 3 services on one platform namely:
Gold Open Access (OA) publishing – articles that are freely available to read and re-use
Non-Anonymous Post-Publication Peer Review – for the most transparent feedback
OA content aggregation – making it easier to browse and re-use the literature, regardless of publisher
At ScienceOpen, we’re pretty pleased with how Collections, which uniquely feature articles from multiple OA publishers chosen by a researcher based on their interests, are shaping up.
We have published eight so far and many more are in the works. Thanks to all of you who took the plunge and got involved. Leading by example is so important if we are to bring real and lasting change to scientific communication.
Here are a few enhancements to make life as a Collection Editor that bit easier. Naturally you can still use our search engine (powered by elastic, not literally!) of over 1.5 million OA articles to find relevant content and add it to the Collection. Although now the process of selecting what goes into your Collection has been improved by the addition of Altmetrics to all articles. In terms of giving you more control, we’ve also introduced a drag and drop feature so that you can arrange your article choices in whatever order you like.
In terms of the more fun parts of being a Collection Editor, you can still visually customize the look and feel of your Collection and publish an accompanying Editorial with DOI (free) to explain why you published it and what behaviors you hope to encourage by demonstrating change to your peers. For those of you who go to the lengths of adding comments to each article with a note of the reasons why you chose it, we’ve rewarded that effort by making the comments immediately visible on your Collection page and others can reply to you right there too.
And as a final touch to the all important effort:reward factor (a little ego boost if you will, when things go right anyways!), your Collection Statistics are also visible. Alex is doing quite nicely on this front!
Although we’re delighted at the number of Collection Editors who have stepped up, we welcome more. If you want to join us, then please review this page and send us an email.
As ever, a shout-out to our Boston based dev team for helping Collections to flourish.
Here at ScienceOpen we’re a gold Open Access (OA) publisher, a peer review reformer and a content aggregator – our platform features 1.5 million articles sourced from PubMed Central, ArXiv and ScienceOpen.
In recognition of the London Book Fair 2015 and the associated spotlight this week on all matters publishing related, we’re highlighting two new Open Access (OA) article Collections. A top scientific union and a major medical publisher are using our platform to give their OA content increased visibility and facilitate Post-Publication Peer Review.
Building this Collection on our platform, allows the IUCr, a leading non-profit International Scientific Union, to show its broad ranging content which is of interest to researchers from different disciplines that use results obtained from diffraction methods.
Not only is this content open for additional discussion after publication it can also be combined with other articles to form new Collections.
Jonathan commented, “I was delighted to bring together a collection of our leading papers from our new fully open-access journal IUCrJ and showcase them in a collection on the ScienceOpen platform. The additional visibility and opportunity to interact with the content which comes with this new portal will be an important step forward for all chemists, biologists and physicists working in the area of structure determination.”
Here at ScienceOpen we wear a few different hats! We’re a gold Open Access (OA) publisher, a peer review reformer and a content aggregator.
This week, with the London Book Fair 2015 about to start, we are celebrating publishers and societies by profiling the innovative ways that they are using our platform!
It gives us great pleasure to report how a top scientific union and a major medical publisher (see below) are now using our platform to give their OA content increased visibility and facilitate scientific discussion.
With 1.5 million OA articles and a high performance search engine on ScienceOpen, users can slice and dice the content as they like. And often that selection criteria may be a trusted publisher or innovative journal. ScienceOpen is making that easy! With ScienceOpen Collections we’re able to highlight the articles of publishers and societies. Other innovative ways to use the Collection Tool are discussed in this blog post.