Diverse Approaches to Peer Review

Portrait of Albert Einstein in a museum. Source:

Peer Review Week, Sep 10-15, 2018

Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the role of peer review in maintaining scientific quality. This year marks the event’s fourth anniversary of bringing together researchers, institutions, and organizations committed to the message that good peer review is crucial to scholarly communications. This year Peer Review Week on the topic of diversity aims:

  • To emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication
  • To showcase the work of editors and reviewers
  • To share research and advance best practices
  • To highlight the latest innovation and applications.

Although peer review itself is not as young as the week-long event organized in its celebration, it is still a relatively new invention. Albert Einstein published his original papers in non-peer-reviewed German journals through 1933, most famously in the Annalen der Physik. Max Planck, one of the journal’s editors of the time, described his editorial philosophy as:

To shun much more the reproach of having suppressed strange opinions than that of having been too gentle in evaluating them.

After moving to the US, Einstein was so shocked that his paper submitted to the Physical Review in 1936 was met with negative criticism that he decided not to publish with them at all. Ironically, the paper in question hypothesized that gravitational waves do not exist. In retrospect, peer review saved Einstein the controversy and the embarrassment that would have ensued if he had published his original article. Continue reading “Diverse Approaches to Peer Review”  

The British Journal of Pharmacy joins ScienceOpen

Image Credit: Adrian Scottow, Pharmacy, Flickr, CC BY-SA

ScienceOpen is pleased to announce a partnership with the University of Huddersfield Press, a primarily open access publisher of high quality research, to promote the British Journal of Pharmacy – a new featured collection of scientific articles in pharmaceutical sciences.

British Journal of Pharmacy is an online, peer-reviewed, open access journal with no article processing charges (APCs). This publication is a product of University of Huddersfield Press’ mission to improve access to scholarly work for the benefit of all by publishing innovative research as open access. The journal publishes research on the latest developments in pharmacy in the form of scholarly papers and critical reviews. Submissions can be accepted from a wide range of pharmaceutical sciences including, among others: pharmacy, molecular pharmacy, drug delivery and targeting, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics, pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, pharmacovigilance, and innovations in teaching pharmacy.

University Press & Marketing Manager, Megan Taylor, said “The University of Huddersfield Press aims to improve access to scholarly research for all – we are looking forward to working with ScienceOpen to make our innovative research available to even wider audiences.” Continue reading “The British Journal of Pharmacy joins ScienceOpen”  

Publish your conference poster at ScienceOpen

Image Credit: Anthony Easton, Open, Flickr, CC BY

Fast, free and easy! ScienceOpen has been publishing posters open access for years with over 160 posters on the platform. We have now updated our publication module to offer researchers a free and simple interface to upload, publish and promote their posters – all with a CC BY license and access to a full suite of tools to promote and track usage and impact.

Early career researchers often have their first experience of presenting their work in the form of a conference poster. Posters are an effective way to communicate the essence of a research project in a compact space and provide an opportunity to present preliminary results and get feedback from the scientific community before publishing.

To help researchers share their results beyond the conference, ScienceOpen is launching in beta a new feature allowing any scholar to publish a poster on our platform in just a few minutes. Simply register on ScienceOpen with your ORCID and then click on the ‘Submit manuscript’ button in the ScienceOpen Posters Collection header. Upload your poster pdf file and add metadata such as title, abstract and keywords plus a catchy image and you are ready to go! An editor will review your submission before publication. ScienceOpen offers a range of tools to increase your digital profile. You can share your published poster on social media with just a click and then track usage on the article page. Continue reading “Publish your conference poster at ScienceOpen”  

New featured collection: Trace Elements and Electrolytes

Ever wondered about the relationship between mental strain and Magnesium loss? Or questioned whether there is more to transdermal absorption of magnesium than make-believe? Maybe you have heard that effort, performance, and recreation need can be predicted by metabolic markers including electrolytes?  If you would like to find answers to the many questions related to trace elements and electrolytes, look no further than the brand new online collection of articles published by Dustri-Verlag on ScienceOpen: Trace Elements and Electrolytes.

ScienceOpen and Dustri-Verlag, a German publishing house specializing in medical literature, are happy to announce that the first 39 articles from Dustri’s international English-language journal Trace Elements and Electrolytes have found a new form of representation in the collection of the same name. Embedded in the ScienceOpen platform, you can filter these articles by publication date, title, discipline and much more, as well as sort your results by Altmetric score, view count, citations, date, relevance, and rating. Continue reading “New featured collection: Trace Elements and Electrolytes”  

In:  About SO  

How can you search on ScienceOpen?




ScienceOpen has a myriad of features and filters to help you navigate through the 47 million records published on our platform. How many of them are you familiar with? Our customized search engine enables users to quickly find articles they are looking for. Familiarizing yourself with our easily accessible features can save you time on the technicalities. For example, did you know that you can save and export any search results or filter articles for preprints?




Open Access
If are interested in Open Access (OA) publications on ScienceOpen, you can easily filter your search to return only those results. Simply click on ‘Add Filter’ below the search(box), then click on ‘Open Access’ and hit the ‘Search’ button. Your results now include exclusively OA records.

Continue reading “How can you search on ScienceOpen?”  

In:  Collections, Other  

Oceans and Human Impact

Old Mug by Heath Alseike, Flickr, CC BY-SA

In recognition of World’s Oceans Day, ScienceOpen hosted a special article collection published by nonprofit Annual Reviews that address the topics of marine pollution, human impact and environmental stewardship, and marine species’ adaptation. The Oceans collection aims to raise awareness about the grave consequences of plastic debris in our oceans and the overall impact humans have on the marine environment.

Plastics contamination was first reported nearly 50 years ago, following the rise of commercial plastics production. According to ‘Plastics in the Marine Environment’ by Kara Laveder Law, global plastics production surpassed 300 million metric tons per year in 2014. Plastic debris has been detected worldwide in all major marine habitats. In her article, Law presents a framework to evaluate the current “understanding of the sources, distribution, fate, and impacts of marine plastics”. In a similar vein, ‘Plastic as a Persistent Marine Pollutant’ by Boris Worm et al. discusses how marine plastics work their way into the food web in the first place. This article further presents the complex toxicology of plastic particles on marine life and how plastic can transfer up the food chain. Worm et al. offer solutions to the current crisis by suggesting a Global Convention on Plastic Pollution as a collaboration between “governments, producers, scientists, and citizens”.

In Kenneth R. Weiss’ interview with environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck—one of the co-authors of Plastic as a Persistent Marine Pollutant’—we discover that the pileup of plastic debris is more than ugly ocean litter. Jambeck argues that plastic gets consumed by marine organisms, which can be detrimental for both wildlife and humans:

 “Even though plastics are hard materials, at the microscopic level they absorb persistent organic compounds. Persistent organic pollutants like DDT, PCBs, flame retardants and fabric treatments have an affinity for plastic. Plastics act like sponges, soaking them up.” Continue reading “Oceans and Human Impact”  

Beyond the Journal: ScienceOpen and the Microbiology Society Launch Collaboration on New Cross-Disciplinary Collections

For formal press release, see our Press RoomKnowledgespeak and Information Today, Inc.


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. Continue reading “Beyond the Journal: ScienceOpen and the Microbiology Society Launch Collaboration on New Cross-Disciplinary Collections”  

In:  About SO  

What can a Researcher do on ScienceOpen?

Image by Steve Rainwater, Flickr, CC BY-SA

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.

Continue reading “What can a Researcher do on ScienceOpen?”  

Speeding up Research with Preprints

Rolf Dietrich Brecher, Speeding up, Flickr, CC-BY SA

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, 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. Continue reading “Speeding up Research with Preprints”  

Spring Competition: Review an Article on ScienceOpen & Enter a Drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet!


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 to inform and allow researchers communities to take part in discussions regarding their field, increasing overall 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 ScienceOpenExpert status). If you do not meet these requirements but would still like to review a paper, contact us.

To enter the drawing, all you need to do is:

→ Log in to ScienceOpen

→ Explore our Content, our Collections

→ Choose any article in your field and click “Review article”.

You can also “Invite someone to review”. This video will help you in getting started.



We look forward to your reviews & will announce the winner on April 30th, 2018!

Good luck!