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Key features of ScienceOpen: Integrated, moderated, and inclusive

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?

We are integrated

We track the output from over 26 million authors, via our contextual metadata network – not just those who have created a profile on our site. So if you want drill down on the researcher data, this is it! You can sort a researcher’s papers by Altmetric score, usage, citations and more to better understand their work. But you can also create a profile, follow other users, share and connect.


Unlike other platforms, we don’t expect you to manually upload your papers. We automate this via ORCID integration instead. I mean, it’s 2020, this just makes sense.

Manual uploading of research often requires 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.

This is a big no-no for us. We strive to create a legal framework for sharing content. We work with Open Access articles from platforms like SciELO and PubMed Central, and directly with a huge range of publishers to make sure that the content on ScienceOpen is legal and fully integrated across platforms.

If your papers are Open Access, it’s quite likely that we’ll have them already. If not, we can at least have the metadata records drawn from ORCID and CrossRef, and track usage activity and metrics on our platform.

By using ORCID in this way, we make sure that publication records are legal, ethical, and moderated, but most importantly integrated with other key parts of research infrastructure.

We are moderated

At the moment we have more than 60 million research articles and records on our platform. Each of these is open to our commenting and post-publication peer review system.

This is one of the best parts of our platform, and we have more than 170 post-publication peer reviews to date to show it! Every single one is courteous, professional, and informative, and we strongly encourage more researchers to embrace these opportunities as open peer review becomes more commonplace.

Post-publication peer review in action! (link)

These peer reviews are also moderated by ORCID to maintain some standard of quality control that goes beyond status or any sort of academic hierarchy. Any sort of system like this requires a standard of moderation, and we believe that by integrating with ORCID this is the fairest and most robust way of doing so.

We give power to researchers and reward them for it

We also have more than 200 researcher-led collections. Here, the collection editor has the power to invite peer reviews from anyone to any of the articles within their collection. Exactly like the traditional peer review system, but across all journals and publishers, and moderated by and for research communities.

To perform a peer review, all you need are 5 records associated with your ORCID to demonstrate that you are an active and professional researcher. If you’re earlier on in your career and see something that you just have to peer review, let us know and we’ll be more than happy to make exceptions.

Peer reviews are integrated with CrossRef and licensed CC-BY, so they are re-usable, citable, and permanent records of your reviewing activities. This means that all your review activities can be integrated with ORCID, Publons, and ImpactStory, helping to build your profile as a researcher.

Example of a post-publication peer review on Publons

We are free

We don’t profit from your work or use it in any way except to put your research in context. We don’t sell it to anyone. We work with publishers and researchers to provide a better data-rich service for everyone!

If there are articles that you want integrated into the platform, but we don’t have yet, simply send us a list of DOIs and we’ll work our magic and get them up for you as soon as we can. We cross-reference all our metadata with, wait for it, CrossRef, to make sure everything is fully integrated, permanent, and more discoverable.

We are inclusive

We don’t just focus on HSS or STEM. This is why we integrate research from across fields (e.g., recently the Open Library of Humanities recently joined us), and from all geographic regions. In 2016, SciELO integrated more than 500,000 Open Access articles with us from across Latin America, for the first time putting all of this research on the same level as that from research indexed in PubMed Central.

We don’t think that journals or publishers should be used to assess or judge the quality of research. The best way to assess this is by the community post-publication based on content digestion and re-use, which is why we bring it together all on one platform.

We believe that research works best when we break down barriers, not isolate ourselves into fields or silos.

We are the future

This year we will also be relaunching MyScienceOpen with a whole cadre of new features. We can’t let on too much yet, but will be working more on helping researchers to actively maximise the visibility and re-usability of their research.

Stay tuned!

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