Robust data is at the heart of every research article. Increasingly, researchers are making great efforts to make their raw data and software available to other researchers as part of a move to more open and reproducible science. They are carefully managing data generation with new tools and storing digital research data in open data repositories or special subject repositories. But the heterogeneous and sometimes sensitive nature of data raises numerous hurdles. ScienceOpen has taken up the challenge by adding Data Availability Statements to all of its preprint and poster publications and as an additional metadata field for all articles on the site. If your data is open, share it with the world!
“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” (W. Edwards Deming)
Prof. Beutel is editor of the collection ‘Coleoptera’,
a comprehensive overview of over 9,000 research articles covering this
immensely diverse group. This ScienceOpen collection goes beyond the
traditional fields of taxonomy and morphology, and integrates an increasing
number of open access records. Curated by an evolutionary biologist who
considers himself primarily a systematist, the collection covers multiple lines
of research, such as phylogeny, classification, genetics, and physiology. ‘Coleoptera’
is an indispensable tool in biodiversity research and provides an essential
reference system for studies in other fields. Evolutionary biology of
Coleoptera relates to topics such as physiological and genetic
backgrounds of feeding habits or reproductive biology, making it an exciting
group to study. This is especially true in our “age of
phylogenomics”, when rapidly growing
molecular data opens new fascinating perspectives in the research on beetles
and other organisms.
Most of us, whether we are researchers or not, can intuitively grasp what “profile fatigue” is. For those who are thus afflicted, we don’t recommend the pictured Bromo Soda, even though it’s for brain fatigue. This is largely because it contained Bromide, which is chronically toxic and medications containing it were removed in the USA from 1975 (wow, fairly recent!).
Naturally, in the digital age, it’s important for researchers to have profiles and be associated with their work. Funding, citations and lots of other good career advancing benefits flow from this. And, it can be beneficial to showcase a broad range of output, so blogs, slide presentations, peer-reviewed publications, conference posters etc. are all fair game. It’s also best that a researcher’s work belongs uniquely to them, so profile systems need to solve for name disambiguation (no small undertaking!).
This is all well and good until you consider the number of profiles a researcher might have created at different sites already. To help us consider this, we put together this list.
Non-profit: independent, community driven
Publisher: Thomson Reuters
Scopus Author ID
Researcher Network: Academia.edu
Researcher Network: ResearchGate
The list shows that a researcher could have created (or have been assigned per SCOPUS) 7 “profiles” or more accurately, 7 online records of research contributions. That’s on top of those at their research institution and other organizations) and only one iD (helpfully shown in green at the top!) is run by an independent non-profit called ORCID.
Different from a profile, ORCID is a unique, persistent personal identifier a researcher uses as they publish, submit grants, upload datasets that connects them to information on other systems. But, not all other profile systems (sigh). Which leads us, once again, to the concept of “interoperability” which is one of the central arguments behind recent community disatissfaction over the new STM licenses which we have covered previously.
Put simply, if we all go off and do our own thing with licensing and profiling then we create more confusion and effort for researchers. Best to let organizations like Creative Commons and ORCID take care of making sure that everyone can play nicely in the sandbox (although they do appreciate community advocacy on these issues).
Interoperability is one good reason why ScienceOpen integrated our registration with ORCID and use their iD’s to provide researcher profiles on our site. We don’t do this because we think profiles are kinda neat, they are but they are also time consuming and tedious to prepare (especially 6 times!).
We did it because we are trying to improve peer-review which we believe should be done after publication by experts with at least 5 publications on their ORCID iD and we believe in minimizing researcher hassle. This is why our registration process is integrated with the creation of an ORCID iD, which could become pivotal for funders in the reaonably near future (so best for researchers to get on board with them now!).
So given that it seems likely that all researchers will need an ORCID iD (and boy it would be nice if they would get one by registering with us!), then what is also important is that all the sites listed in the above grid integrate with ORCID too and that hasn’t happened yet (you know who you are!). The others have done a nice job of integrating by all accounts.
In conclusion, publishers and other service providers need to remember that they serve the scientific community, not the other way around and this publisher would like to suggest that everyone in the grid please integrate with ORCID pronto!