On top of our search and discovery platform ScienceOpen has built a ‘social networking’ layer to allow researchers to interact with each other and with the content on our site.
We don’t see ourselves so much as a social platform like Facebook or ResearchGate, but more as a professional community space for researchers to exchange knowledge and progress their research field in the open, and receive credit for doing so.
But what are the key features needed for any modern research platform like this?
Unlike other platforms, we don’t expect you to manually upload your papers. We automate this via ORCID integration instead. I mean, it’s 2017, this just makes sense.
Platforms such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu rely on individuals to manually upload their research, often requiring a lot of effort and time. Furthermore, there is a total loss of legal certainty, as often it is copyrighted publisher versions which are uploaded onto the platforms, and integrated into their data systems.
At ScienceOpen, we’ve just upgraded our search and discovery platform to be faster, smarter, and more efficient. A new user interface and filtering capabilities provide a better discovery experience for users. ScienceOpen searches more than 27 million full text open access or article metadata records and puts them in context. We include peer-reviewed academic articles from all fields, including pre-prints that we draw from the arXiv and which are explicitly tagged as such.
The current scale of academic publishing around the world is enormous. According to a recent STM report, we currently publish around 2.5 million new peer reviewed articles every single year, and that’s just in English language journals.
The problem with this for researchers and more broadly is how to stay up to date with newly published research. And not just in our own fields, but in related fields too. Researchers are permanently inundated, and we need to find a way to sift the wheat from the chaff.
The solution is smart and enhanced search and discovery. Platforms like ResearchGate and Google Scholar (GS) have just a single layer of discovery, with additional functions such as sorting by date to help narrow things down a bit. GS is the de facto mode of discovery of primary research for most academics, but it also contains a whole slew of ‘grey literature’ (i.e., non-peer reviewed outputs), which often interferes with finding the best research.
As well as this, if you do a simple search with GS, say just for dinosaurs, you get 161,000 returned results. How on Earth are you supposed to find the most useful and most relevant research based on this if you want to move beyond Google’s page rank, especially if you’re entering this from outside the area of specialisation? Simply narrowing down by dates does very little to prevent being overwhelmed with an absolute deluge of maybe maybe-not relevant literature. We need to do better at research discovery.
Open Access Week is the annual event to show our global support for all things open access! The theme this year is all about committing to putting open into action in order to take real steps towards open scholarship and supporting a stronger research framework.
SPARC have created an action portal of various activities you can undertake this week to help yourself and your colleagues support open access. These are:
Make a list of open access journals in my discipline I would consider publishing in and share it with colleagues.
Start a conversation about Open Access during a research group meeting, journal club, or staff meeting.
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.
Many of you are probably aware of this, but as well as our main aggregation/open peer review functions, we also totally publish! We’re an Open Access publisher, and employ innovative methods of peer review around this.
We just wanted to draw your attention to some great new research that we’ve recently had the pleasure of publishing!
This is a guest post, translated from Spanish on Forbes Mexico, by Nina V. Tscheke
At ScienceOpen, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to Forbes Mexico for mentioning us in a really great post of theirs about how open data and sharing can accelerate the research process. The timing for this is perfect in due to the recent launch of SciELO on our platform. A special thank you to Alfredo Taborga for writing the piece, the original version of which can be found here.
Here is the full reproduced article, with permission:
Open data can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and encourage the coexistence in a world with fewer walls and more freedom.
If those who read my articles are more or less my age, they should remember the acclaimed novel The Da Vinci Code. I remember how I devoured it. I couldn’t stop reading. I also remember friends of mine who took it as an accurate account of reality within which the church tries hard to obscure the great miracles of the world. It is not their fault; they simply fell victim to the positivistic education that is imparted in this country.
If the plot was written now, Brown would have a different ending and a radical change of story in it:
A murder in the Louvre and some clues in Da Vinci’s pictures lead to the discovery of a mystery that had been protected by a secret society for more than 2000 years. It is suspected that this discovery could bring down the pillars of Christianity. Robert Langdon tries to get into the Vatican Library to gain access to ancient manuscripts that would support his theory… Sophie Neveu, who would probably be part of the millennial generation, laughs, takes out her smartphone and types Vatican Library into Google. (The first line on the page reads “Digitalize to Disclose”.) Two pages open from the top section of the page (the Vatican people did a good job with the search engine marketing).
Dear reader, this is open data… The concept isn’t new, but its formal definition is. Although I have friends who would criticize me for using Wikipedia as a source, I will take the liberty of just doing that. Because the access to open and unrestricted information is paramount, especially to this entry of my blog.
Wikipedia defines open data as “any piece of information that is free to be used, reused and distributed, subject to the sole requirement of crediting the author”.
Open data can refer to maps, information about the genome, about science or biodiversity. This brings it into conflict with restrictions of patent rights, copyrights, licenses, etc.—whereas its greatest defenders assert that these very restrictions conflict with the common good.
Let’s move away from this discussion possible to become byzantine; it is true that open data could not better be represented than with the words by Luciano Ammenti, CIO of the Vatican Library, as ushered in an interview he gave my friend Leandro Africano for the Revista Pulso in Argentina: “The documents inside the Vatican Library are not the Vatican’s, but the people’s.”
He refers to texts of Christianity just as well as, among others, to incunabula by Homer, Sophocles, Dante, and the first edition of the bible. Anyone can now consult the more than 80,000 manuscripts and 8,900 documents, going way beyond the capacity of 200 persons that the baroque hall has. Visit @vaticanlibrary for more information, because surely the Vatican is totally “social media savvy”.
I would also like to share another project that is a GREAT example for open data: it is called ScienceOpen.com and was fathered by a great friend of mine who thinks that we all can do something to make this world a better place.
ScienceOpen is a huge data repository providing open access to scientific publications. It offers almost 13 million articles by more than 9 million authors, extensively classified and searchable by relevance and context.
In a world with global threats like the previous pandemics this is something that cannot be underrated. Science Open transforms into a potential to share global solutions to these problems.
The very World Health Organization links Science Open as a platform to share research about the Zika virus. You ask yourself who shares their information? Well, it comes from everyone: institutions, scientists, Nobel Prize winners; what’s more, while I am writing these lines, they are incorporating gigantic collections such as SciELO’s — a great example of scientific open data in Latin America.
“Information is power” is a phrase quite overused; however, if access to information can change the plot of a novel so radically, I absolutely think that this accessibility can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and thus encouraging a coexistence in a world with fewer borders, fewer walls, fewer prejudices, and more freedom.
ScienceOpen and Altmetric are pleased to co-host a webinar at 4th July at 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM BST titled: “The future of altmetrics”. Register here.
Altmetrics are non-traditional metrics that can be used as alternative measures of scholarly impact. As an article-level metric, they contain information about how research is shared and re-used in a digital environment, such as mentions in tweets, blogs, or Wikipedia pages. They are becoming increasingly important for researchers as they offer a much richer understanding of how their research is being used by broader communities.
For this one-hour long webinar, we have a fantastic panel of expert speakers for you!
James Wilsdon of Sheffield University
Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen
Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric
James Wilsdon is the Chair of the Expert Group leading the consultation, and Professor of Research Policy and Director of Impact and Engagement in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the UK’s Campaign for Social Science, and recently chaired an independent review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015.
From 2001-2012 Stephanie Dawson 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 took on the role of managing director for ScienceOpen GmbH in Berlin. She worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. and at Ralph Rupp at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany, before changing fields and getting a PhD in German Literature from the University of Washington.
Euan Adie founded Altmetric in 2011 out of the growing altmetrics movement. Altmetric is a Digital Science company based in London specialising in tracking and analysing the online activity around scholarly research outputs for researchers, institutes and publishers. Euan had previously worked on Postgenomic.com, an open source scientific blog aggregator founded in 2006.
Our experts will cover the technical, political, and practical implications of altmetrics and the development of next-generation metrics.
Registration with valid email required to obtain webinar information. The webinar is free of charge and without restrictions.
The amount of published scientific research is simply enormous. Current estimates are over 70 million individual research articles, with around 2 million more being published every year. We are in the midst of an information revolution, with the World Wide Web offering rapid, structured and practical distribution of knowledge. But for researchers, this creates the monolith task of manually finding relevant content to fuel their work, and begs the question, are we doing the best we can to leverage this knowledge?
There are already several well-established searchable archives, scientific databases representing warehouses for all of our knowledge and data. The most well-known include the Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar, which together are the de facto mode for current methods of information retrieval. The first two of these are paid services, and attempts to replicate searches between all platforms produce inconsistent results (e.g., Bakkalbasi et al., Kulkarni et al.), raising questions about each of their methods of procurement. The search algorithms for each are also fairly opaque, and the relative reliability of each is quite uncertain. Each of them, though, have their own benefits and pitfalls, which are far better discussed elsewhere (e.g. Falagas et al.).
So where does this leave discoverability for researchers in a world that is becoming more and more ‘open’?