The DPG Spring Meeting in Berlin (15-20th March) is the largest Physics conference in Europe and the second largest after the APS March meeting.
As part of a pilot poster publishing initiative from the division heads of the Low Temperature and Semiconductor Physics Divisions, researchers presenting posters at these Spring Meeting sessions can publish them free in ScienceOpen. This offer is not officially endorsed by the DPG itself, other Divisions are welcome to participate if they wish.
If you have put the time and effort into creating a poster and want it to “live on” beyond the event, someplace other than the lab hallway or rolled up in your office, then we would be delighted to publish it here.
Your poster will receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and will be published Open Access under the Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0) in ScienceOpen Posters (eISSN 2199-8442). These two divisions of the DPG will also have their own Poster Collection on the platform under their name. Publishing a digital poster is any ideal way to:
Share and discuss (preliminary) research results with your peers (and publish a full article when you are ready)
Track the impact of your poster, by counting citations and recording alternative metrics, such as downloads or shares on social media
Add another publication to your résumé complete with additional metrics that “add value” to the content
To get involved, all you need to do is to download the Poster Metadata Form, complete it and send it back to Editorial@ScienceOpen.com, together with your poster (PDF) and a catchy image (PNG, JPG, or GIF). The form contains further instructions on “How to fill out Poster Data” as well as a “Discipline List”. Please note: at least the corresponding author needs to create a ScienceOpen account before the poster can be published.
Kind regards: Prof. Dr. Alexander Grossmann, Founder and President of ScienceOpen (and a Physicist) and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Eckern, Institute of Physics, University of Augsburg, Chair of the Low Temperature Division, DPG.
Image credit: Forever and Always Two Bright Flowers on Blue Sky by Pink Sherbet Photography, CC BY
Before I get on with the substance of this post about an article that CEO Stephanie and I wrote together that was recently published, I want to draw your attention to this picture which I chose for us. From the moment we met at a PLOS altmetrics event at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, we got along famously. Working with her for the past year, through the highs and lows of trying to bring change to the stubbornly resistant field of scholarly communication, has been an absolute pleasure. I look forward to sharing many more experiences together.
As many of you know, Stephanie is a road warrior for OA and travels extensively in Europe presenting on the future of scholarly communication and the ScienceOpen vision. After a trip to Portugal last year, where she was invited to speak at the ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) meeting, she met Lorraine Estelle, Executive Director of Digital Content and Resource Discovery and CEO Jisc Collections and co-editor of Insights: The UKSG Journal. Afterwards, Stephanie received an invitation to submit an article to Insights (free to publish and OA) about the approach and business model of ScienceOpen as presented at the ICOLC.
With only so many hours in the day, Stephanie invited me to join her in writing this article. After many hours of writing effort, a pleasant submission process via Ubiquity Press, a few rounds of fair minded peer-review revisions (anonymous!) and some hand holding from Ally Souster, Publications Assistant at the UKSG, our Case Study entitled: Scholarly publishing for the network generation is now published.
One of the most gratifying parts of writing this article, as a relatively new start-up, was the opportunity to lay out the ScienceOpen belief system and the importance of combining publishing and software expertise for success in digital scholarly communication. Here’s a little excerpt for those of you who don’t have time to read the whole article:
in immediate publication in order to speed up research. We publish the author’s PDF in ‘Preview’ with digital object identifier (DOI) within about a week of submission
that siloing OA content on publishers’ websites does not lend itself to creative reuse; a good reason to aggregate 1.4 million articles (currently from PubMed Central and arXiv) on our platform
that journals, whether ‘mega-’, highly specialized or super selective, are becoming outmoded. We need channels to serve OA content that meet community needs
in giving the power for content creation, curation and review fully back to the research community who have the required discipline-specific expertise
that whether content is ‘worthy’ is a matter for the community to decide, which is why we only offer post-publication peer review (PPPR) (non-anonymous) for our ScienceOpen journals
in expert review, and therefore insist that those participating must have five publications linked to their ORCiD to maintain the level of scientific discourse on the site
that the conversation about research is never over, which is why we don’t put a hard line under content and call it ‘approved’ and why we offer versioning”.
The ScienceOpen team combines publishing expertise (backgrounds and experience with PLOS, De Gruyter, Wiley, Springer, Nature Publishing Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] and The Scientist) with a software company. Often publishers cannot easily adapt to the changing needs of the communities they serve because they are not software developers and, increasingly, this is the key ingredient needed for success in the digital world. This means that although they may want to change their offering, they simply can’t do so as quickly as they might like because their legacy systems hold them back.
The reason that we combine publishing and software expertise is that we think it is this combination that will make it possible for us to rapidly adapt to the changing needs of researchers. For example, the conversation about the future of research communication now includes the openness of data, the evaluation of impact (both article and author) plus the reproducibility of research. All these topics are hotly debated on blogs, Twitter and in the mainstream press which places them before the public for their consideration. This only seems right and proper since taxpayer funding is a core component of research.
Heading down this open path is easier for nimble and technology-empowered organizations such as ScienceOpen because there is truth in the old adage that ‘one thing leads to another’. Establishing non-anonymous PPPR in and of itself increases the transparency of the research process and makes it ideally suited to tackle issues of reproducibility such as reminding reviewers to ask for more clarity in methods, or suggesting more experiments or even ways to collaborate”.
Thanks to everyone who gave us the opportunity to write this piece and supported us throughout the process.
The largest number of articles come from PLOS ONE (not surprisingly, it’s the world’s largest journal) and BioMed Central. If you stop and think about it, it’s good to unite these publishers around content, that’s the true spirit of Open Access.
As some of you may have noticed, we have a different take on Collections here at ScienceOpen and don’t see why all the articles have to come from the same publisher as is usually the case. Since we’ve also aggregated nearly 1.5 million OA articles, we decided to build a little “collection widget”, establish a new role of “Community Editor” (comes with a modest stipend) and have researchers themselves curate a collection or “mini-journal” in their discipline.
In this way, we hope it will become more obvious which disciplines or niche sub-fields are still short on OA content, Community Editors are also empowered to call for more submissions. In topics where there is already an abundance of OA articles, the art form becomes finding ways to surface the best content and who better to curate it than an expert researcher (rather than a professional editor).
As always, getting a new concept off the ground is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. To demonstrate how Collections work, we asked our Consulting Editor Richard Gallagher to pick a topic, choose some articles (and comment on his top 10 as to why he chose them), write an editorial and finally use the widget to pull it all together.
The result of his endeavors is the ScienceOpen Collection on Cancer Immunotherapy. Then we decided to interview Richard so that he could share his experiences and encourage others to apply for the role of Community Editor themselves (to those who have already stepped up, thanks for participating):
Q. What’s your scientific/professional background and how did it help you select these articles
A. I am a mucosal immunologist if I go back far enough. I’ve been involved in scientific editing for over 20 years and always had a more than passing interest in immunotherapy for cancer: it presents a challenge on so many levels, but the potential is enormous.
Q. What were your criteria for article selection?
A. Simply put, I looked for research that could have a substantial impact on the treatment of cancer, however far from application it may currently be. The fact that among the articles there are new therapies, combinations of therapies, new techniques for cell preparation and better approaches to monitoring patient responses shows the breadth of progress in the field.
Q. What was the hardest part of curating this collection?
A. Culling very good research! Like any list of “the most exciting research” is it subjective. I have provided notes as to why I selected each article for reference.
Q. What was the easiest part of curating this collection?
A. Since all of the papers have all undergone peer review of one sort or another, they were generally in very good shape
Q. What skills are required to successfully curate a collection?
A. Not so much a skill but an interest in the field in broad terms is a must. An ability to briefly summarize the significance of complex findings is required too.
Q. How long did it take you to curate this collection?
A. I did it over a six week period, spending maybe 10 hours per week. This is the first Collection that I had done (or in fact anyone had done!) for ScienceOpen so that time involved thinking about the criteria for selection and how the summaries should be handled, as well as selecting the articles.
Q. What types of people would be most suitable for the role of “Community Editor”?
A. Scientists who love to read and think widely about their subject. I remember always being drawn to journal clubs and departmental presentations, I got real enjoyment out of learning something new and digging around in a wide range topics. The ideal curators or community editors could be PhD students or post-docs that like this aspect of the work. Perhaps two or three of them from different labs working together would be an interesting way of organizing the community team, some mentorship might also be helpful.
Q. What would you like to see happen as a result of this collection?
A. The collections need to be updated on a regular basis by the curators. This will produce a valuable resource for little time investment: no-one can stay current across a broad swathe of the literature and this will draw attention to the most interesting OA research being published. It would be terrific if these collections became starting points for discussions of particular articles and where the field is (or should be) headed. On a purely practical level, I would like to see others taking part in Post-Publication Peer Review of these articles and giving feedback on my selection criteria which I have provided for every article.
To apply for the role of Community Editor yourself or to apply on behalf of a team, simply email Sebastian Alers with your resume and a cover note.
Just a quick post to say that we are delighted to have been accepted as members of OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association) and the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals). You can see our listings here and here.
Both of these organizations have a rigorous application process and that’s all for the good given the proliferation of OA publishers. They offer important “white list” services to would be authors, allowing them to check the credentials and approach of publishers that may be unfamiliar to them. It makes sense to have these checks and balances in place and is preferable to alternatives such as naming and shaming which sometimes catches the good and the bad guys in the same net.
As anyone who has ever worked in start-up land will tell you, getting traction and recognition in the early days is quite the uphill battle (even for PLOS and PLOS ONE back in the day where I used to work). We are thrilled to have crossed this milestone!
Here at ScienceOpen, we like to showcase new technologies that may improve the efficiency of research, especially those that focus on speeding up access to information, preferably of the open kind!
We were alerted to the scientific recommendation engine called Sparrho, by a tweet from John Wilbanks (great admiration for this chap). We invited Qingzhi Fan, who has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge and has worked in finance and as a consultant, to explain what Sparrho does and why it of benefit to researchers. Now over to Qingzhi…
Scientists, this is good news and bad news. Whether we like it or not, scientific information has been transformed by the digital age – this means quicker traffic to a greater volume of content than ever before. The challenge of sharing ideas with a broader audience used to be its dissemination; but today, it’s how to grab the right attention, in the right way.
From a scientist’s perspective and as a scientist myself, staying up-to-date with the latest research in my field is as important as working hard in the lab. The wealth of information available today helps speed up breakthroughs, but at the same time confuses, distracts and overwhelms us. There are two issues here: where to find the relevant information and how to do it quickly.
As Richard Van Noorden pointed out in Nature, scientists may be reaching a peak in reading habits. We are adapting: moving away from library and traditional paper prints to read online, moving away from verbose articles to prefer short succinct ones, moving away from reading articles in full and in detail to power-browsing. Yet, reading time itself is often not the real frustration, but the time wasted before finding any relevant information.
The recent emergence of various recommendation services that help researchers stem the rising tide of literature is well described by Elizabeth Gibney in Nature. The idea of using these tools is to be presented with the relevant information without having to look for it, then our job becomes to read and interpret it, even to share it with others.
For example, our scientific discovery platform aggregates and distills information based on user preferences and makes personalised suggestions. The algorithms are designed to learn user needs and go beyond linear keyword search in what can be described as a three-pronged approach:
1) Data-data analysis: using techniques like natural language processing to pull the most relevant research based on the data users provide (keywords, subject area analysis, etc).
3) User-user interactions: users act as the intelligent curators of the recommendations; technology is merely the enabler. Individual user interactions not only improve their own recommendation profile, but also help the whole user community with similar interests.
A good recommendation tool can go beyond scientific articles and act as a one-stop shop for researchers. It will recommend relevant talks, seminars, conferences, posters, patents, grants etc and aggregate all categories of the latest news with filtering functionality. Users can set up automatic newsfeed and not worry about searching and missing the latest information; at the same time, these services often provides opportunity for serendipitous discoveries hidden in places users never normally look.
To every problem there is a solution. For content recommendation, the solution may not be initially perfect since it only gets better with more user interaction, but it may be the life ring you need to stay afloat.
It’s true to say that all our Board Members have a first-rate academic pedigree and this is the case for Guido Guidotti (ORCID/0000-0002-0499-3412). He obtained an MD at Washington University School of Medicine and was a resident in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital. He received a PhD in Biochemistry from The Rockefeller Institute. He then joined the Committee on Higher Degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University, where he is now the Higgins Professor of Biochemistry.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your current research and the article that you published with ScienceOpen?
A. Nearly all the research done in my laboratory is concerned with the properties of protein molecules. During the past 20 years, we have studied enzymes that are attached to the lipid membrane by transmembrane domains and have the active site on the extracellular domain, so-called ecto-enzymes. The central question for the ecto-ATPase of interest, CD39 or E-NTPDase 1, is why is the enzyme attached to the membrane by two transmembrane domains rather than by one, as most other ecto-enzymes are. A possible answer is presented in this article, which describes a mutational analysis of the residues in the transmembrane domains, suggesting that the domain movements of the extracellular part of the protein during catalysis are coupled to rotational movement of the transmembrane domains.
Q. What are your thoughts on Open Access scientific publishing and the likely changes to the future publishing landscape?
A. Since the results of investigations financed by public money should be open to all interested parties, the evolution towards Open Access is inevitable. The only consideration is whether the fee for publication paid by the investigators is sufficient to pay for the cost of publication
Q. In particular, what do you think about the possibility of changing or replacing the traditional model of pre-publication anonymous peer review?
A. In my opinion, reviews should not be anonymous because a reviewer should be prepared to support the remarks made about the paper in a straightforward and candid fashion, and not hide behind the shield of anonymity. However, there is the view that a paper should be vetted for accuracy before publication and it will take time to convince authors that transparent discussion after publication is preferable to anonymous pre-publication review. The experiment being done by ScienceOpen is essential in this endeavor
Q. What about evaluation systems for the work of younger scientists? Is Impact Factor adequate, in your opinion, to evaluate the importance of scientific results?
A. Evaluation of the work of scientists, young and old, should be based on direct knowledge of the work. Abdicating personal judgment of the science in favor of using the opinion of journal editors, i.e. Impact Factor, to find out the quality and originality of a paper is not a good practice. Furthermore, assigning importance to a result is a dubious enterprise, as the definition of important is personal and variable
Q. Why did you choose ScienceOpen as a venue for your recent publication?
A. I am in favor of post-publication review by identified scientists as a more transparent way to achieve dissemination of information and support the effort of ScienceOpen in this regard. Disclaimer : approximately 220 articles describing work done in my laboratory have been published, 110 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and 30 in Biochemistry which are publications of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Chemical Society, respectively. The process of publication in these journals has been straightforward and in general problems were resolved rationally. I have a high opinion of these journals.
As the future leaders of tomorrow’s global health world, the 700 students and young professionals from various disciplines in the Global Health NGN, present a unified voice to improve knowledge exchange, strengthen training programs and promote career development in global health. You can find out more about them by reading their 2014 Barcelona conference report here. Supporting Earlier Career Researchers has been a focus for ScienceOpen since its launch in May 2014 and this announcement gives further momentum to that effort.
In the coming months, this partnership will manifest itself in publishing the scholarly output of this group where appropriate, for a discounted price and specifically conference posters that ScienceOpen will publish free of charge.
Additionally, The Global Health NGN will also be able to make use of free ScienceOpen tools such as: Groups to run Journal Clubs, Discussions and Workshops and Collections to unite Global Health content from over 1.4 million articles from leading Open Access publishers currently aggregated on the ScienceOpen platform.
ScienceOpen Editor, Nana Bit-Avragim, an MD and translational scientist with a focus on molecular and developmental Cardiology with a passion for extending the reach of Open Access in Global Health said “all of us at ScienceOpen enjoy supporting “Generation Open” in their quest to express their opinions and share research knowledge as broadly as possible, especially in a field such as this which is of such critical global importance. We look forward to a productive partnership”.
Ragna Boerma (Global Health NGN) is an MD with an MSc in Global Health, currently pursuing her PhD in Neurogenetics said, “Global Health strives for better health care for all, worldwide. Better health care starts with knowledge, which should be freely available for everyone in an equitable way. This is why Global Health NGN supports Open Access and ScienceOpen.”
If you would like to contact the Global Health NGN then please email Camila González Beiras, VP External Affairs.
Here at ScienceOpen, we’re delighted to get the New Year off to such a great start!
The Max Planck Society (MPG), an independent, non-profit German research organization and ScienceOpen, the research + Open Access publishing network based in Germany and the USA, have signed an agreement (official PR) that will allow authors affiliated to MPG as members of one of its 82 institutes and research facilities, unlimited free publication of posters and research articles in 2015.
The Max Planck Society is a co-founder of the international Open Access movement and has negotiated favorable publishing terms for its researchers at all career levels with a range of OA titles that now include ScienceOpen, which offers three main services to researchers:
Aggregates nearly 1.4 million OA articles (PubMed Central & ArXiv)
Facilitates transparent & network based peer review after publication
Following the Max Planck Digital Library OA Ambassadors Conference, ScienceOpen fielded a short survey to some MPG researchers (143 completions) to gauge their likely support for this partnership. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive – 95% of respondents said that they would welcome a collaboration between MPG and ScienceOpen.
Other encouraging signs from the survey included nearly 90% of participants who were willing to publish in a journal that offers Non-Anonymous Peer Review after publication and 86% who don’t believe that Impact Factors are a good method to evaluate the quality of individual articles and authors.
We also want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank those working at the MPG from our Editorial Board for their support. They include the following researchers, feel free to reach out to them directly for more information about the publishing process at ScienceOpen.
Colloids and Interfaces
Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience
Developmental Biology and Biochemistry
Chemical Physics of Solids
Heart and Lung Research
History of Science
Heart and Lung Research
Frank Sander, General Manager of the Max Planck Digital Library said “since we have received many positive acknowledgements from senior Max Planck researchers, we are happy to now provide this one year pilot which allows unlimited publications with ScienceOpen free of charge for all Max Planck affiliates.”
ScienceOpen CEO, Stephanie Dawson, said “all of us at ScienceOpen are delighted to end our year on such a positive note by establishing this important relationship. We look forward to a productive 2015”.
If your society or organization wishes to make a similar arrangement with us, please email Liz.
It may be the beginning of the Holiday season, but here at ScienceOpen we’re already looking forward to our speaking engagements in 2015!
First up, co-founder Alexander Grossmann, Physicist, Publisher and Professor, is going to be participating in a session on “new publishing developments” (venue, NH Hotel Berlin Mitte) on Monday 19th January between 3.30 and 5pm.
The agenda for this “pre-conference day” is particularly relevant to us. Here’s an excerpt taken from the conference program so that you can see why: “Open Access has changed a lot within scholarly publishing. One thing that is often overlooked is the fact, that it required academia to become much more actively involved in the publishing process. This has created both a new way of thinking around publishing as well as a number of very interesting start-ups. The APE 2015 Pre-Conference Day will look at the “What is Next” for our industry”.
As many of you know, we’re on a mission to “democratize publishing” and have Community Editor roles available for researchers, appointed by our Editorial Team, which give them the ability to curate, commission and manage content in their own article Collection or Mini Journal. In return for their expert knowledge and effort, we offer a modest stipend ($1500) that can be put towards travel to attend conferences that are particularly relevant to their field. We welcome applications for these roles.
The agenda for the next two days (venue, Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences) looks equally inspiring and features many top rate speakers. If we don’t know them personally, we feel like we do through our Twitter connections! Here are just a few of the luminaries that are presenting and moderating but check out the full line up:
Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services & Acting Head of Library, Wellcome Library, London
Dr. Ralf Schimmer, Head, Max Planck Digital Library, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Munich
Alex D. Wade, Director, Scholarly Communication, Internet Services Research Group, Microsoft Research,Redmond, WA
Drs. Jan Velterop, Advocate and Advisor, Open Access and Open Science, Guildford
Dr. Matt Cockerill,Co-Founder of Riffyn, Riffyn, Oakland
Reviewing the program in detail did make us smile however. There’s a session on Wednesday, at 8.30am, entitled: Wake-up Session: how to make money with Semantics, moderated by Richard Padley, CEO, Semantico, Brighton. All we can say is that we hope someone remembers to have the coffee pot on for Richard and that the topic of “making money” makes his audience suitably jazzed!
It seems that nearly every day there’s a new online conversation about Post-Publication Peer Review (PPPR). We participate in nearly every single one because PPPR is a hallmark of what we do at ScienceOpen.
It’s probably true to say that over the course of my career (PLOS & Nature), I’ve experienced many permutations of research communication but the one that I like the best is the one we offer at ScienceOpen. Before I joined in May, the team here had quietly developed a unique and smart way to make PPPR work.
It seems that now is the right time to clearly explain ScienceOpen’s unique approach to “publish then filter”. As the debate about PPPR intensifies it’s important to understand that “not all PPPR is equal”. Here’s our recipe:
We publish articles with DOI within about a week after an initial editorial check – we don’t publish everything that we receive.
We provide proofs, basic copy-editing and language help during the production cycle – if you think all OA publishers offer this, you’d be wrong!
We facilitate Non Anonymous Post-Publication Peer Review (PPPR) from experts with at least five peer-reviewed publications per their ORCID to maintain the level of scientific discourse on the platform. We believe that those who have experienced Peer Review themselves should be more likely to understand the pitfalls of the process and offer constructive feedback to others.
We have versioning for authors who wish to respond to review feedback and revise their article.
You might think that running a publishing platform built around PPPR would keep us awake at night worrying about fake reviews and identities but oddly it doesn’t. We agree with Anurag Acharya, the co-founder of Google Scholar who stated in a recent Nature interview that when everything is visible, under your name, you can be called on it at anytime, so why risk ruining your reputation? Additionally, ORCID also has protections built into their system.
We think the ScienceOpen approach might just be the next wave of OA and there are some who agree with us. These include the experts on our Editorial and Advisory Boards such as Peter Suber, Stephen Curry, Anthony Atala, Bjorn Brembs, Raphael Levy, Philip Stark, Nick Jewell and many others.
But, what really convinces me that PPPR is the way forwards and that our method is going to give the community enough confidence to make the switch are the experiences of our authors. It’s easy to ignore yet another innovative organization telling you why their approach is the best but the voices of the community are always the most compelling.
PS If you have an article that you’d like to publish before the end of the year, there’s still time to do so with us.