“Search is the new journal!”, was one of the rallying cries at the recent Force11 meeting in Berlin. But what does this mean? Well, we have a bit of a problem in research – there is so much content being published these days, about 2-3 million papers each year from around 50,000 journals! It has never been more crucial to have efficient ways of searching to discover relevant work for your research question. No single human is capable of this alone.
Now, we know Google Scholar is usually everyone’s search engine of choice for research articles. But when you pop in a search term, how do you know what research is good, what’s relevant to you, what people are talking about? You just get an enormous list that trails off with ever-decreasing relevance, and are supposed to be able to figure that all out yourself. We can do better.
Quality and quantity
Efficient search is the core issue that our freely accessible multi-layer discovery engine is helping to solve. The current database at ScienceOpen has more than 36 million article records, and growing at around 100,000 new records each week. Each of these records is linked within the database to other articles through our open citation network.
We use this citation information, and other article metadata, to provide an enriched search ecosystem for users. The purpose of this is to allow users to drill down to relevant research using a range of different contexts and criteria, saving time and energy, and facilitating research discovery at multiple dimensions.
Sort by citation count
Citations are still one of the main forms of ‘academic’ currency in a modern research world. Citations only measure how many times a piece of work has been cited without additional context. As such, they are a simple proxy for ‘scholarly discussion’ of a piece of work, but beyond this are essentially devoid of legitimacy as a metric.
Sorting a search result by citations allows you to see what is most popular in a research context, and which articles have been particularly important in developing new disciplines, ideas, and ways of thinking. Identifying highly-cited articles provides for you a great starting point for further discovery. Citations reveal to you the lineage of ideas – start at the top, and work your way down! Understanding the historical context of ideas is critical for good research, and ScienceOpen helps you to explore this.
Sort by Altmetric score
Altmetric scores are a combined measure of social attention for articles. They give us a nice idea of how much an article is being discussed in news outlets or on social media. If you want to keep up with the buzz in your field, or find out what’s of interest in another, ScienceOpen gives you the tools for that.
Last week, we unveiled MyScienceOpen, our new professional networking platform for researchers. MySciencOpen comes with a whole cadre of new features that combine the functionality of a range of existing social platforms, and bring them directly to you all in one place. You get access to all of this at the click of a button through our ORCID integration. Free, legal, and easy!
But how can you track this increased impact? Aha, well, we thought of that. Every user at ScienceOpen now has a whole suite of brand new metrics that track how their content is being re-used across ScienceOpen.
Quantifying your context
Everyone can see the tab for your content in context. These show how many total ‘nodes’ or connections your work forms in the context of the ScienceOpen platform. We show:
Your total number of publications
Your total number of different journals published in
We recognise that some times it’s not clear exactly what you’re supposed to do when joining a new research platform. What are the important features, what’s everybody else doing, how do I make my profile as strong as possible? Well, hopefully this will make it easier for you. If you’re still wondering ‘What’s that ScienceOpen thing all about?’, hopefully this will add a bit of clarity too!
Here are the main things you need to know about ScienceOpen:
Get an ORCID account
More than 3 million researchers already have an ORCID account, which acts as both a unique identifier and an integrated profile for them. Registration for it takes 30 seconds, and is now a core part of scholarly infrastructure, with many journals requiring an ORCID profile prior to article submission. Make sure it’s well-populated with all of your published papers, (drawn automatically from Web of Science, Scopus, or CrossRef). Easy!
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.
As part of our ongoing development of ScienceOpen 2.017, we have designed an exciting and most importantly, pretty, new context-enhanced webpage for each of our 27 million article records. Such enriched article metadata is becoming increasingly important in defining the context of research in the evolution of scholarly communication, in which we are moving away from journal- to article-level evaluation.
Statistically significant upgrades
All of the statistics have been moved to the top of the page, including the number of page views or readers, the Altmetric score, the number of recommendations, and the number of social media shares.
Newly featured statistics include the top references cited within, the top articles citing that paper, and the number of similar articles based on keywords and topics. These new features are great for authors as content creators, researchers as users, as well as publishers for understanding the popularity and context of research they publish.
We publish from across the whole spectrum of research: Science, Technology, Engineering, Humanities, Mathematics, Social Sciences. Every piece of research deserves an equal chance to be published, irrespective of its field.
We also don’t discriminate based on the type of research. Original research, small-scale studies, opinion pieces, “negative” or null findings, review articles, data and software articles, case reports, and replication studies. We publish it all.
At ScienceOpen, we believe that the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a particularly poor way of measuring the impact of scholarly publishing. Furthermore, we think that it is a highly misleading metric for research assessment despite its widespread [mis-]use for this, and we strongly encourage researchers to adhere to the principles of DORA and the Leiden Manifesto.
This is why for our primary publication, ScienceOpen Research, we do not obtain or report the JIF. We provide article-level metrics and a range of other article aspects that provide and enhance the context of each article, and extend this to all 25 million research articles on our platform.
A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions (link)
How can academia kick its addiction to the impact factor (link)
Free to publish Open Access journals offer an incredible service to the research community and broader public, with editors often working long hours with no compensation. We want to recognise this effort and reward it with free indexing on our platform!
More visibility for your journal
Journals indexed on ScienceOpen:
Reach new audiences and maximize your readership
Drive more usage to your journals
Upload your content to a unique search/discovery and communication platform
Open up the context of your content
What do we need from you?
An application form can be found here. Fill it out, and submit to our team. Simple!
On the last day of every month, we will select and announce the winners via social media, and begin the next cycle! Out of the applicants, we will select up to 10 journals per month for free indexing, and the best application will get a free featuredjournal collection too! All others will roll over into the next month.
At ScienceOpen, we’re constantly upgrading our platform to provide the best possible user interaction experience. We get feedback from the research community all the time, and try to adapt to best meet their needs.
So today, we’re happy to announce two neat little features in our latest updates.
Firstly, all Open Access articles now have a cute little symbol next to them, making it even easier for you to discover open content. This shows up on all of our Open Access content across nearly 14 million article records now. Making open content stand out is a great way to encourage others to adopt open practices, as well as help people see which content they can re-use most easily.
As well as this, we have a new browsing function built into our collections. Sometimes, collections are pretty big. Our new SciELO collections have some with tens of thousands of open access articles, and sifting through that manually is not exactly a valuable use of ones time.
With this new function, you can now filter content within collections by journal, publisher, keywords, and even filter them by citations or Altmetric scores. Discovering content relevant to your research should be smart and efficient, and this is what our platform delivers. Try it out on this collection, or build your own!
Context is something we’ve been thinking a lot about at ScienceOpen recently. It comes from the Latin ‘con’ and ‘texere’ (to form ‘contextus’), which means ‘weave together’. The implications for science are fairly obvious: modern research is about weaving together different strands of information, thought, and data to place your results into the context of existing research. This is the reason why we have introductory and discussion sections at the intra-article level.
But what about context at a higher level?
Context can defined as: “The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.” Simple follow on questions might be then, what is the context of a research article? How do we define that context? How do we build on that to do science more efficiently? The whole point for the existence of research articles is that they can be understood by as broad an audience as possible so that their re-use is maximised.
There are many things that impinge upon the context of research. Paywalls, secretive and exclusive peer review, lack of discovery, lack of inter-operability, lack of accessibility. The list is practically endless, and a general by-product of a failure for traditional scholarly publishing models to embrace a Web-based era.
Well, we’ve had some absolute stars recently in our ‘open science’ series! If you haven’t seen them yet, head over and check them out – such a diverse array of experiences and perspectives! Today we spoke with Josh King, the founder of Brevy. It’s an awesome new platform, and we’ll let Josh tell you more about it here, enjoy!
Hi Josh, thanks for joining us! Could you tell us a bit about why you started Brevy?
Brevy is an independent, volunteer group of a few stubborn individuals who work on the project during our off hours (read “nights and weekends”). While my own day job is in science outreach, I work with a couple of other partners (a fantastic computer science start-up owner and a behavioural psychologist make up our merry band) to help direct and maintain the site. We’re nothing special on our own, so the real stars here are those that pitch a hand adding summaries to Brevy or introducing it as class assignments to help grow the body of content!
When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What did you first think?
That would likely be during my undergraduate years studying biochemistry and becoming hopelessly frustrated trying to write reports using papers I often had no access to (even with our university library!). At the time, I thought the concepts as fanciful dreams, but thankfully here we are with open access a growing paradigm and various open science platforms blossoming around the web.
What do you think the biggest problem with the current scholarly publishing system is?
Meaningful publishing. By reasonable estimates, at least more than a 1,000,000 academic papers are published each year. These works are published on platforms known largely only to academics, and then only to that specific subset of academia. Publications on these platforms are not always accessible even to this select group and generally do not well support further dialogue or dissemination, with a surprisingly significant number going uncited. Taken pessimistically, this is tantamount to ejecting hundreds of thousands of new pieces of knowledge into the void each year.
We can be optimistic about this however! Taken optimistically, there are hundreds of thousands of possibly exciting and ground-breaking new ideas all of the time that most of us don’t know about! But to see it this way, to truly believe it, we have to start caring about the meaningfulness of research. We have to start thinking about different types of impacts than citation count and means of prestige other than the journal name. And we have to care what our work means to the world outside academia.