ScienceOpen and the Microbiology Society are pleased to announce a collaboration on new ways to showcase cross-disciplinary research. The ScienceOpen discovery environment provides state-of-the-art technological infrastructure to promote exciting new initiatives from the Society’s journals.
Interdisciplinarity is key for the Microbiology Society in reaching a wide range of researchers, from microbiologists, clinicians, epidemiologists, social scientists and policymakers to physicists, chemists and engineers. In line with their mission to advance the understanding and impact of microbiology by connecting communities worldwide, the Society is exploring new ways to package digital information, from pop-up journals to mini-review formats, to bring diverse researchers together to solve global problems.
ScienceOpen has created a flexible “Collection” product to highlight publisher content within the larger context of academic research – with over 43 million articles and records on the site. The Microbiology Society is taking advantage of the full scope of interactive features available to researchers on ScienceOpen. As well as promoting the Open Access journal Microbial Genomics, the Society is using ScienceOpen to promote cross-disciplinary products that draw on articles from multiple journals, such as the new pop-up journal on antimicrobial resistance X-AMR, the Microbiome collection created in conjunction with the British Society for Immunology, and the Microbe and Virus Profiles created in conjunction with top microbiologists and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, both of which offer concise reviews for experts and beyond.
Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Director of Publishing at the Microbiology Society, believes “As publishers, we have to reach out to researchers on the platforms they use, rather than expecting them to come to us. ScienceOpen offers us an opportunity to do that. The new Collections offering is a great supplement to the journal promotion tools on the platform, and we’ve particularly appreciated being able to curate collections that draw on content from multiple journals and even multiple publishers”.
CEO of ScienceOpen, Stephanie Dawson, said “We are excited about these new collections that go beyond the journal. As a discovery platform ScienceOpen is uniquely situated to help advance cross-disciplinary research. We aim to support publishers in reaching new audiences and authors in this space with our Collection product.”
A range of aggregated collection- and article-level metrics will provide enriched usage statistics to track the success of these experiments in ScienceOpen’s continuously expanding research database.
About ScienceOpen: ScienceOpen, founded in 2013 in Berlin and Boston by Alexander Grossmann and Tibor Tscheke, is a freely-accessible, interactive discovery platform for scholarly research. From smart, multidimensional search to research collections and open peer review, it offers a full spectrum of options to effectively find and share research results.
About the Microbiology Society: The Microbiology Society is a membership charity for scientists interested in microbes, their effects and their practical uses. It is one of the largest microbiology societies in Europe, with a worldwide membership based in universities, hospitals, research institutes and schools.
ScienceOpen provides researchers with a wide range of tools to support their research – all for free. Here is a short checklist to make sure you are getting the most of the technological infrastructure and content that we have to offer. What can a researcher do on ScienceOpen?
Multi-dimensional search in millions of article records for quick orientation: Filter your search by 18 filters including open access, preprint, author, affiliation, keyword, content type, source, and more. Sort your results by Altmetric score, citations, date, usage, and rating. Use the article Collections by other researchers to help narrow your search.
Export search results in EndNote, BibTex, and Reference Manager (RIS) formats for easy integration with other reference management systems. Up to 200 citations exported at a time.
Save your search to find the newest articles in your field with one click. ScienceOpen is adding thousands of articles to the database daily.
Bookmark the articles you are interested to explore later.
Edit a Collection to present the best research in your field for better discovery by your peers. Or, run it as an overlay “journal” with the newest preprints. Create a comprehensive bibliography of a subject or just highlight the top 20 papers in your discipline. The Collection functionality is built to flexibly meet a wide range of goals for the research community.
Review an article to share your expertise with the community. An article review, similar to a book review, provides an analysis of the work and recommendations to readers. A review on ScienceOpen is linked with ORCID and published with a Crossref DOI and best-practice XML metadata for discovery across all systems. To ensure expert reviews, the ScienceOpen requires 5 publications for automatic reviewer status. We make exceptions on an individual basis, so just get in touch with the ScienceOpen team if you would like to review (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also invite any researcher to review an article with one click.
Write an Author Summary to explain your research in plain language to the general public. You can add a summary, thumbnail image, keywords, and disciplines to your article record on ScienceOpen to increase the discoverability of your research.
Articles missing? You can help us to improve the ScienceOpen database by uploading the DOIs of important articles that you are missing on the site. You can then add these to your Collection, publication list, or bookmarks.
Your ScienceOpen Profile is integrated with ORCID for a low-maintenance presence on the platform. Add publications from or to your ORCID record with one click. Biography, affiliation, education, and more can be synchronized with ORCID.
An interactive bibliography on ScienceOpen opens your publications to search and sort by altmetrics, citations, date, and more. Gain insight about your own work and share with your colleagues
Track usage, citations, altmetrics of your publications on ScienceOpen and watch it develop over time. A whole suite of metrics are available at your fingertips.
Follow researchers for updates on their activities and to expand your network.
We love to hear back from our users about features that are particularly useful or ones that are missing. Just get in touch at email@example.com or on Twitter @Science_Open or Facebook.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
This Spring, we are organising a little competition for all you researchers! Review an article on ScienceOpen before the end of April, and we will enter you into a prize drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.
Open Peer Review on ScienceOpen
ScienceOpen counts currently more than 40 million articles including 3.7 million open access articles as well as more than 1.4 million preprint articles. All these articles are open on ScienceOpen to a fully transparent review process: open identities, open reports, and open interaction on the platform (see our precedent blogpost here).
At ScienceOpen, we believe that “Open Science” is not just about sharing research data. For us, “Open Science” aims to make research and underlying data accessible in order toinform andallow researchers communities to take part in discussions regarding their field, increasingoverall participation and relevant inclusion of different perspectives.
Open peer reviews are also crucial in this current context of rapid development of open science and digital scientific communication. If the openness of scientific contents is a first victory for the advancement of research and innovation, open peer review still needs to be embodied in this practice to establish its full credibility and full benefit. (Picture: CC0 1.0)
What does reviewing on ScienceOpen bring concretely to reviewers?
→ Reviews are published under Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY (4.0) and will receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) from Crossref. This makes them fully equivalent to any Open Access publication, and they can be cited or integrated further into platforms like Publons, Impactstory, or ORCID.
→ As open access publications indexed on ScienceOpen, reviews are public and can be found easily on the platform using the filter “Content type”: “Review”. For a more precise search, this filter can be used for example in combination with the title of an article.
→ Reviewing articles on ScienceOpen is a great way to show the reviewer’s involvement in his/her research field and his/her appreciation for researchers who have dedicated their time to providing a research resource to their community.
Ready, set, go!
The only requirement to write a review on ScienceOpen is to be registered with ORCID (already done with a ScienceOpen profile) and have at least five publications assigned to the ORCID account (with which you reach ScienceOpen–Expert status). If you do not meet these requirements but would still like to review a paper, contact us.
The International Women’s day was created in 1910 and it is still celebrated today to remind us that women and men still don’t have the same rights: lower salary with equal skills, lower access to education… and the recent events regarding sexual harassment remind us more than ever that violence against women is one of the most widespread violation of human rights on the planet.
Regarding women in Science, the day for International Women and Girls in Science was only created three years ago and was celebrated on the 11th of February. According to the United Nations, women are still underrepresented in the various fields of science: “A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world.”
Let us remember that between 1901 and 2017 only 49 women got a Nobel Prize, of which 4 are in physics (<2%), 2 are in chemistry (<4%), and 12 are in medicine (~11%).
“In fact, according to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%.”UN
As a woman and an ex-researcher myself, my feeling regarding this day is divided between the strong need to highlight and recognise globally the unacceptable inequalities and unfairness between men and women—and the fear to be reduced only to my gender.
For me “being a woman” and particularly “being a woman in science” can’t be used as a criterion of competence in the same way that “being a man” or “being a man in science” can’t be used as one either. I would even say that I find it as contemptuous to be excluded because I am a woman as to get privileges only for this reason, too.
I think it is important that this day stays a way to discover and recognise the ability of women in different fields in regard to their creativity, intellectuality and their others various qualities in the same way as for men.
Women’s collections on ScienceOpen
For ScienceOpen, this day can be used as another day to promote collections and make research known. So, let’s introduce scientific women who are involved in various research fields—not only since today but for years!—and who created 25 researcher collections on ScienceOpen to share with you these years of research:
You can also consult the new collection: Women in Science, created recently on ScienceOpen by Annual Reviews as a tribute for scientific women: This collection was created to “recognize some of the experts that have contributed to Annual Reviews’ journals.”
Women working at ScienceOpen
I cannot finish this post without introducing myself and some of my colleagues at ScienceOpen. I am Sarah Rioton and I am French. I started to work as Research Communities Manager at ScienceOpen in January. Before, I did chemical engineering studies at CPELyon and then a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. After my studies, I decided to leave France to settle down in Germany. My experience in research made me conscious of the value of communicating scientific knowledge, and I found a good opportunity to do that with ScienceOpen! I think that the respect of rights equality is a daily duty and I don’t want to be defined as a “woman in science” but as a researcher as I was, or as a manager in research communication as I am.
Let’s introduce now Stephanie Dawson who is the chief executive officer at ScienceOpen, and my colleague Nina Tscheke who handles customer integration and sales support. We work every day to make the research more visible and accessible to everyone with ScienceOpen:
CEO Stephanie Dawson grew up in northern California and studied Biology at Yale University. She then worked at the labs of Susan Parkhurst at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle WA and Ralph Rupp, at the MPG Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany before changing fields and getting a PhD in German Literature from the University of Washington under Jane Brown. From 2001-2012 she worked in various positions at the academic Publisher De Gruyter in Berlin in the fields of biology and chemistry in both journals and book publishing. In 2013 she joined the ScienceOpen management team.
Nina Tscheke provides Customer Integration and Sales Support. After having dwelt in the sphere of literary and cultural studies, with special attention to critical race theory, gender, and minority studies and having helped introduce several generations of students at the JLU into the very field it was now time for her to move on and beyond the academical field. She was delighted to have found a new place/opportunity with ScienceOpen where she can further help in accumulating and disseminating the global knowledge while at the same time providing access and a networking platform for all.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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:
Go to your profile page
Click on the Impact banner
Fill in the form on ScienceImpact’s website.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!