At ScienceOpen, we have over 28 million article records all available for public, post-publication peer review (PPPR), 3 million of which are full-text Open Access. This functionality is a response to increasing calls for continuous moderation of the published research literature, a consistent questioning of the functionality of the traditional peer review model (some examples in this post), and an increasing recognition that scientific discourse does not stop at the point of publication for any research article.
In spite of this increasing demand, the uptake of PPPR across different platforms seems to be relatively low overall. So what are some of the main reasons why researchers might feel less motivated to do PPPR, and is there anything we can do to increase its usage and adoption as part of a more open research culture?
What even is ‘post-publication’ peer review?
There is a general mentality among researchers that once research has been published, it has already ‘passed’ peer review, so why should it need to be peer reviewed again?
We believe that Open Access to medical research is critical for advancing health research and saving lives. Part of our mission at ScienceOpen is to bring together the latest results from different fields, and cultural and geographical regions. For this reason, we are happy to announce our new partnership with the Ireland-based publisher Compuscript, whose two biomedical journals: Family Medicine and Community Health and Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications are now indexed on ScienceOpen. Both journals publish peer reviewed, open access research articles with a focus on results from China. Let’s take a closer look at them!
Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA)
Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications is the official journal of the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC), devoted to exploring novel developments in cardiovascular disease, and to promote cardiovascular innovations and applications for the betterment of public health globally. The journal publishes basic research that has clinical applicability relating to coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, prevention of cardiovascular disease with a heavy emphasis on risk factor modification.
The latest issue is dedicated to recent advances in noninvasive cardiac imaging, such as:
Open Access to research is perhaps nowhere more important than in the field of medicine and health. This is why we’re happy to have a huge amount of Open Access research from Dove Medical Press integrated into our platform to enhance its visibility and discoverability.
Dove Medical Press was founded in 2003 and specializes in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology, and especially medicine. As a result of our new partnership, more than 14,400 of their freely accessible articles from 9 of their top international, peer-reviewed, online journals addressing both researchers and professionals are now indexed on ScienceOpen.
ScienceOpen currently indexes more than 28 million article records, 3 million of which are Open Access, and is rapidly accruing new content from a range of publishers across the STEM and HSS fields.
These new filtering functions will assist researchers in identifying relevant Open Access content more easily, and in exploring the output of particular institutes and universities. Publishers will also be able to easily document the impact of their Open Access content.
CEO of ScienceOpen, Dr. Stephanie Dawson, said “Our pace of innovation makes ScienceOpen one of the most interesting and fast-moving players in the market. We are delighted to continue to add new features to the search and discovery interface. We work very closely with the research community and publishers to provide the services that they need.”
Additional new features being released also include being able to sort content by the affiliation of an author at the time of publication, as well as the date articles were indexed at ScienceOpen. This means that ScienceOpen is rapidly becoming the smartest and most precise way to discover relevant research.
A filter for Open Access articles on ScienceOpen has been in constant demand from researchers. Co-founder of ScienceOpen, Prof. Alexander Grossmann, said “In a scholarly publishing environment where Open Access is becoming more common, we have to find ways to maximize its potential. Being able to more easily discover Open Access content will greatly enhance the research process for users across the globe.”
Publishers are continuously innovating with new formats for topical selections of literature. Today we are happy to announce our partnership with Karger, a leading biomedical publisher of international speciality journals and books covering basic and clinical research. Two of their thematic articles packages, one on Stroke and another one on Diabetes are now indexed on our platform.
Karger Topical Article Packages, our recent additions to the field of medicine, aim to support researchers in keeping up with the vast and rapidly growing research literature, and provide the quality assurance of rigorous peer review and editorial selection. Last year alone PubMed tracked 38,000 articles on diabetes and over 18,000 on stroke. With these numbers, editorial selection is a great help for researchers.
A unique feature of these collections is that their scope is not restricted to just one journal. Instead, they provide topical selections from across the entire range of the Karger publishing program. Articles are selected on the basis of a keyword-related semantic search on the abstract level. Such a relevance-based organizing principle results in a quick and convenient overview of the latest methodological and technological developments from one of the leading biomedical publishers.
From here, you can apply all the usual enhanced search and discovery filtering options, including sorting content by date, citations, Altmetric score, and readership, as well as discovering related content from across our network of 28 million research articles. For researchers, this is a great way of staying in touch with the latest and most relevant research published in your field.
Below you can find a teaser from their main topics and selected articles.
1. Stroke: Karger Topic Article Package
Being one of the leading cause of death and various physical, psychological and social disabilities, research on Stroke is an essential subfield of Biomedical Science. The new collection covers the most recent advances in the field. Some of the most important topics covered include:
The collection brings together peer reviewed research articles from more than 20 journals and covers the latest developments, solutions and best practices in the curation and prevention of Diabetes and its many complications. Some of the main topics covered are:
The thematic and article-level perspective of these collections is a new direction in content curation beyond the journal that we are happy to experiment with together with Karger. They also fit well into our current research network: 42.151 articles on Stroke and 122.570 articles on Diabetes opens up the wider research context for these two collections and helps aid discovery while expanding our knowledge horizons.
Our search pages also work at the collection and journal levels help you quickly and easily find exactly what research you are looking for.
If you have any feedback on our search and discovery functions, please contact us here. And if you are a publisher looking to integrate your content and enhance its context and visibility, please contact us here.
Authors are undoubtedly the best positioned to promote their own research. They know it inside out, they know people who might be most interested in it, and they know the places to maximise the potential audience. But still, with an increasing number of publications every year, it is important that researchers know how to promote their research to maximum effect, whether it is Open Access or not.
Here are our top ten suggestions to help increase your reach and impact! Most of these fall under two categories: Networking and maintaining your digital identity, and sharing your research to enhance its impact. Both are important in a modern scholarly environment, and can help to give you that competitive edge while making sure your’re maximising the potential of your research.
Publishing can be a big, expensive business, or it can be done on a small scale by research communities themselves – by researchers for researchers. For very narrow topics and small research communities it can make sense to just do it yourself and there are wide range of journals that offer a formal peer review process, editorial oversight, publishing services and a Creative Commons open access license to authors but still charge no APCs.
To support these great efforts, ScienceOpen offers free indexing for up to 10 APC-free OA journals per month, and the best candidate receives a free journal collection page for 1 year. We are pleased to announce a partnership with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) in making these valuable contributions to the scholarly record more visible.
In order to qualify for our free indexing offer your journal must meet the following requirements, all of which contribute to enhancing the visibility and discoverability of your content.
Be indexed in DOAJ and without publication charges
The Directory of Open Access Journals lists over 9000 open access scholarly journals meeting certain quality standards. Listing in DOAJ is a requirement for the ScienceOpen free indexing program to assure good quality articles from an editorial standpoint. Furthermore, having DOAJ IDs also ease the indexing procedure significantly. With your articles registered in DOAJ, the only thing you have to do is to check there are no APC or other publication charges and to send ScienceOpen a list of the DOAJ ID-s for each article record and your content will be indexed in no time.
The Pitt and Hill (2016) article was read and downloaded almost 100 times a day since its publication on ScienceOpen. More importantly, it now has 7 independent post-publication peer reviews and 5 comments. Although this is a single paper in ScienceOpen’s vast index of 28 million research articles (all open to post-publication peer review!), the story of how this article got so much attention is worth re-telling.
Prof. Stark runs a course on the theory and application of statistical models. In his course, groups of students replicate and critique the statistical analyses of published research articles using the article’s publicly available raw data. Obviously, for this course to work, Prof. Stark needs rigorous research articles and the raw data used in the article. In this sense, Pitt and Hill’s article on ScienceOpen was an ideal candidate..
The groups of students started their critical replication of the Hill and Pitt article in the Fall semester of 2016 and finished right before the new year. By getting students to actively engage with research, they gain the confidence and expertise to critically analyse published research.
The Post-Publication Peer Review function on ScienceOpen is usually only open to researchers with more than 5 published articles. This would have normally barred Stark’s groups from publishing their critical replications. However, upon hearing about his amazing initiative, ScienceOpen opened their review function to each of Prof. Stark’s vetted early career researchers. And importantly, since each peer review on ScienceOpen is assigned a CrossRef DOI along with a CC-BY license, after posting their reviews, each member of the group has officially shared their very own scientific publication.
All of the complete peer reviews from the groups of students can be found below. They all come with highly detailed statistical analyses of the research, and are thorough, constructive, and critical, as we expect an open peer review process to be.
Furthermore, unlike almost every other Post Publication Peer Review function out there, the peer reviews on ScienceOpen are integrated with graphics and plots. This awesome feature was added specifically for Prof. Stark’s course, but note that it is now available for any peer review on ScienceOpen.
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!
Insects are everywhere. The fact that their diversity surpasses any other group of organisms is an amazing evolutionary success story, and they have a significant impact on the environment and therefore upon our own lives. Our recent additions from the field of entomology open up new perspectives to the study of these colourful creatures. They help us to develop a better understanding on the role insects play within a range of environments, and the solutions they can provide to everyday and global problems.
More specifically, they tell us about:
The significance of their contribution to biodiversity and its critical role in human culture
The role that insects play within a given environment
The kinds of ecological interactions with humans and other lifeforms on earth and the ways people benefit from sharing their life space with insects
Their positions in food webs
Their morphology, evolution, and biomechanics
The challenges in the description and classification of this diverse group of animals