Welcome to 2022! At ScienceOpen we are looking forward to working with you in the new year. Since I was a kid I loved the new year as a moment to reflect on what I had accomplished and on all the plans that I hoped to realize in the coming months. So it is a great pleasure to share with you some of the highlights from the past year and give a peek at where we are heading.
Open Access Hosting and Publishing
ScienceOpen offers a full Open Access hosting service that embeds the journal version of record directly into an open discovery environment. We have had this service for a few years working with UCL Press, BCS and UNISA and have further developed together with them manuscript submission, peer review management and, new in 2021, copy-editing workflow tools.
But 2021 saw a surge of interest. We were excited to add Pluto Journals with a program of 21 social science journals on pressing topics of the day like the Journal of Fair Trade, Critical Diversity Studies or the new International Journal of Disability and Social Justice. We also published the first volume of the African Journal of Engineering and Technology by the Sudanese Researchers Foundation. They struggled with issues like the government shutting off the internet after a military coup but managed to publish some nice articles using the ScienceOpen technology (consider supporting the Sudanese Researchers Foundation by going here). We are also proud of an implementation for the Journal of Ecological Society in Pune, India that is now creating article level DOIs for their back content that until now was only available as a single issue pdf files. New is also the journal Zoonoses, and the Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research.
We continually improved the user experience for our hosted content with a PDF preview pane, direct access to the full version from the search results, improved navigation to the journal and issue from the article page, a “Cite as” button and article-type flag. Behind the scenes we upgraded our metatags for Google Scholar and set up delivery to a number of indexing services.
Looking forward: We are adding geolocation data based on IP addresses to our reporting for our customers and eventually readers to provide more precise usage data. We will also focus on adding different workflows to our peer review management system and hope to see more publishers begin to experiment with open peer review.
Books and Metadata
One of the major topics for the ScienceOpen team in 2021 was book metadata. We were proud to have won a grant from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) for an open metadata hub to help book publishers make their metadata more FAIR (Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable). That took us down a rabbit hole of ONIX and MARC XML, Crossref DOIs, ORCID integration and more. We were excited to welcome Amsterdam University Press, Michigan University Press and University of Maribor Press as clients and provide them with support in depositing rich metadata with their DOIs at Crossref while highlighting their portfolio within the ScienceOpen discovery environment.
Looking forward: One of the challenges that book publishers face is the incompatibility of metadata formats designed for the book market (ONIX) or the library (MARC).We therefore already have numerous publishers lined up to use the book metadata services in the new year. The beta version of our open book metadata hub will be launching shortly and we will be working with a number of publishers to test it. Throughout the year we plan to add further features to this platform such as ROR and FundRef IDs.
One of the unique and exciting products we developed last year was a functionality to integrate ScienceOpen’s cutting edge discovery technology into a 3rd party website. We came up with the name “INTEGRATOR” for this tool and created our first implementations for the Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research, the journals Zoonoses, Blockchain in Health Care Today and Telehealth and Medicine Today. We experimented with different levels of customization – different color text and flags, search defaults and facet menus. The Integrator allows any customer – publisher, library, institute, pharmaceutical company and more – to add content and a rich, interactive discovery interface to their website with just a few lines of code. The possibilities are endless.
Looking forward: In 2022 we will work with current and new customers to explore ways to increase the value of their websites with new content and discovery features. One particular focus in this regard will be the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which has been a central theme at ScienceOpen over the past two years. We will be looking for ways to help publishers display flexible, automated collections of their book and journal content on their website that highlights their engagement with the SDGs and beyond.
The list of projects for 2022 is long but these are some of the highlights. We truly appreciate the feedback and support of the researcher community, editors, reviewers and publishers who help us to improve the ScienceOpen platform and hope you will continue to share your experiences and ideas with us in the coming year. I would like to say a special thanks to the ScienceOpen team who believe in our vision and work so hard every day to make it a reality. I am looking forward to working with you all in the new year. Cheers!
Stephanie Dawson, CEO
Featured Image Credit: geralt by Pixabay Images