We are pleased to welcome Stuart Cooper to the ScienceOpen team as Global Business Development Manager. Stuart brings a wealth of sales experience in the publishing industry. We are, therefore, excited to work with him to expand ScienceOpen’s offerings and client base.
Open for Business
We are often asked about the business model behind ScienceOpen, so here is a short outline for clarification. ScienceOpen offers a whole range of search and discovery tools to researchers for free – from dynamic author profiles based on ORCID to post-publication peer review and “Collection” curation tools. At the same time, we offer paid services to publishers, societies, institutes and other content producers, who can take advantage of the technological infrastructure of the ScienceOpen discovery environment to unlock the context around their articles and journals and showcase their authors’ work. ScienceOpen can provide Open Access hosting, advanced metadata analysis, flexible topical collections, journal brand promotion and even full publishing solutions. We work with publishers large and small to find customized solutions for their content presentation and promotion needs.
Context environment of 39 million records driving search and discovery
Link back to publisher webpage via read button
Dynamic search and filtering of all content at journal, publisher, author and collection level
Article and journal level usage statistics
Author profiles and self-promotion tools for users to add lay summaries and track usage
Journal branding or flexible publisher-branded topical collections promoted with a banner on all relevant content in the 39 million article records
Community-run, researcher-led topical collections further promote usage
Commenting and recommendation functionalities
Post-publication peer review tools to engage community
With ScienceOpen, publishers can gain insight into how their content fits into the bigger research picture and how they can support their authors for maximum visibility and increased impact.
If you are a publisher or editor and would like to learn more about the ScienceOpen platform infrastructure, you can fill out this webform or contact Stuart Cooper at Stuart.Cooper@ScienceOpen.com. Join us today!
The UCL Press announced ambitions for its megajournal project during a town hall event on January 16th 2018 with Dr. Paul Ayris, CEO of UCL Press and Pro-Vice-Provost (Library Services), and Prof. David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), describing the wide-reaching goals and ideals that have moved the university in this undertaking. See the UCL news pages.
The town hall began the discussion by inviting Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust who gave some insight into their successful Wellcome Open Research megajournal, describing the rationale behind the move and how its researchers have taken to it.
UCL Press, having partnered with ScienceOpen to provide a hosting platform for its current eight academic journals, invited Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen, to discuss the further developments and vision toward providing researchers and publishers the infrastructure towards more open and transparent peer review and publication models, with increased search and discoverability.
Catriona MacCallum, previously with the Open Access publisher PLoS and consultant on the first megajournal PLoSONE, and now Director of Open Science with Hindawi, then painted a broad picture of the values, tools and advantages of an open science framework from an individual, institutional and societal perspective.
Ian Caswell, UCL Press Journals Manager, then outlined the aims and ambition of the UCL Press megajournal project to offer researchers and academics the opportunity to publish cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work, characterized by openness.
The next step of the UCL Press megajournal is to begin a campus-wide consultation on the needs and expectations of the UCL community in terms of open peer review and versioning, editorial oversight, topical focus, and technicalities.
A megajournal is by definition of broad scope so as to encourage inter-/cross-disciplinarity and to provide a publishing outlet for content that is not easily categorized. The UCL Press megajournal will begin with a focus on environmental sciences, including contributions from earth sciences, geography, UCL’s medical school, population sciences and UCL Institute of Education. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a platform for the entire university and beyond. Interested UCL researchers outside of these fields should contact UCL Press Journals Manager Ian Caswell about expanding the scope of the platform.
Some topical selection, however, can be very useful for readers in discovering new and related articles in their field. Traditionally, enforcing a narrow definition of scope has been the role of the editor. With this in mind, the ScienceOpen platform opens up the possibility for researchers to create their own topical selection from the whole scholarly corpus. UCL researchers are invited to explore this possibility and create a ScienceOpen “Collection” with the top articles in their fields that can also include articles published in the megajournal or other UCL Press journals. To apply for Collection Editor status contact Stephanie Dawson at ScienceOpen.
The aim of the UCL Press megajournal is to publish sound research, rather than hyped-up results. It aims to welcome research of all kinds like negative or inconclusive results, descriptive papers, protocols, methods or data papers, literature reviews. The focus of the platform will not be on “impact factor”, but rather individual article and author metrics which can be tracked on the platform and used in individualized search and sort mechanisms within the ScienceOpen discovery environment. The consultation and development of the UCL Press megajournal is still on-going and further details will be announced as to its exact aims and scope and submission criteria.
Open and Post Publication Peer Review
By utilising open peer review, we can promote accountable, responsible, and high quality assessment and evaluation of publications. However, what is the purpose and character of “open” and “post-publication” peer review in an open access megajournal? One way to think of it is the tradition of publishing “book reviews” in the social sciences and humanities, which could provide a good model. Other platforms such as Copernicus, F1000 Research or newcomer SciPost have functional systems of review that are closer to the journal peer review model. UCL Press will be consulting with researchers on how the platform can provide the best quality feedback from peers in a constructive way within the technical scope of the platform.
The ScienceOpen platform infrastructure allows for any registered user with an ORCID and “expert” status (5 published articles) to review any paper. The author or any user can also invite reviewers via the platform. Potential reviewers who do not meet these basic criteria can still review an article if the editor decides to give them reviewer status. Because each review receives a DOI and is deposited with the publishing metadata hubs Crossref and ORCID, it is challenging to include anonymous and unaccountable reviews on the platform.
If peer review is conducted transparently and openly, authors must have the possibility of revising their articles and tracking those revisions on the platform. The ScienceOpen platform can provide the infrastructure for this versioning system, however, questions remain on how versioning will inform best publication practice, like should the first submission of an article be regarded as a “preprint” which can be taken down if the community review is very negative or published elsewhere? Alternatively, on the other hand, should it be regarded as a publication from the start with the first version only being retracted in extreme cases? Each policy has its advantages and disadvantages which requires careful discussion towards development into a working model.
The level of editorial oversight is another question that all megajournals must decide upon. In the first phase of the megajournal project, it is likely to have a focus to staff and students of UCL, but does not necessarily mean the megajournal will be limited to only UCL authors. As the journal expands its scope and audience to accept articles from beyond the university, it may become necessary to adjust and reassess the review process before publication to prevent poor or fraudulent research from being added to the corpus of published scholarly work.
The UCL Press megajournal will publish all articles open access with a Creative Commons CC BY license. The ScienceOpen platform will require ORCID IDs from all authors and Fundref IDs for funding bodies are encouraged. Open references through CrossRef as part of the I4OC initiative and open data summaries in manuscripts to link to or describe how to access the data underlying the publication, will be available for use for the UCL Press megajournal. All of these technicalities are still under consultation at UCL Press and further announcements will be made on the UCL Press website and social media.
Launching a megajournal for UCL is a project that requires vision and commitment from the university and the community. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let’s change the landscape of scholarly communication together!
Diamond Open Access journals shining bright on the colorful Open Access landscape. These independent scholarly forums provide immediate Open Access completely free of charge to both authors and readers. Their mission of making academic knowledge a public good is achieved with support from academic institutions and donations but more importantly it is achieved by the passionate volunteer work of editors, editorial board members, and reviewers.
To help these valuable contributions to become more visible, we run a free indexing competition for APC-free OA journals and offer our winners a Featured Collection for one year for free. Collections are a specialized and customized promotional service to increase visibility and findability of selected journals or selected research topics within our discovery platform and can easily be used to also track and measure usage of research articles.
In the last round of 2017, focus was on the field of medicine and health, since Open Access to research might nowhere be of more immediate importance. Our winners connect research from Europe, India, and Asia and give you an insight of the latest medical innovations as well as research on physical and mental wellbeing.
Welcome to 2018! In December we highlighted our topical Collections on ScienceOpen and asked you to review any paper in a collection to enter a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. Today we would like to thank everyone who shared their expertise on ScienceOpen over the last year and are happy to announce the winner: Agustín Estrada Peña of the University of Zaragoza, Spain.
Agustín is editor of the collection Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens, a comprehensive overview with over 11,000 articles covering the whole spectrum from biology and habitats to molecular mechanisms of disease and epidemiology. The ScienceOpen collection format allows researchers to search within these papers with a wide range of filters and quickly change the top view with sort by date, citations, Altmetric Score, usage and more to drill down and find interesting new work.
Well, it has finally come to that time. After two years at ScienceOpen, I’m sad, but also excited, to announce that I’ll be leaving at the end of the year. Sad because I’ll be leaving an amazing team of creators, thinkers, and doers – people who I’m proud to call not just my colleagues, but also my friends. Excited though because this means that new adventures await!
An open journey
I started at ScienceOpen back in January 2016, while still writing up my PhD (I love procrastinating). I had been personally interested in what is generally now termed ‘open science’ for about 5 years prior, and working with ScienceOpen seemed to fit with my ideals, while learning more about the scholarly communication and publishing industry. You often hear people complaining that researchers don’t know enough about the publishing industry or process itself (still true), and I wanted to equip myself with some knowledge to help with this.
Season’s greetings from ScienceOpen! We hope you all have an excellent festive period, and wish you all warmth, love, and laughter going into the New Year. We would like to extend our special thanks to all of our users who have continued to help support ScienceOpen this last year, and continue to use our services to help make science that little bit more open.
An advent collection adventure In December, we are running a special advent calendar to highlight some of our favourite researcher-led collections over the last couple of years. Each day, we’ll reveal a new one to you here, each one a chance for you to learn about a new topic, or interact with the expertly-curated papers in each. Collection editors are some of the most impactful users of ScienceOpen, and we want to use this opportunity to send our deepest thanks to them for their continued engagement.
Give yourself a little extra discovery time! Can you recall the last time that you read an article purely for fun, without the pressure of deadlines, for the sake of discovery or out of curiosity? Each day, a new window of our advent calendar will open up a unique field of research innovations, solutions and perspectives. Each one is designed to help us to develop a better understanding of the world around us. It’s time to slow down, and give a little extra discovery time for yourself. You give the time, we bring the joy of discovery! So wrap yourself into a cozy blanket and enjoy satisfying your curiosity. Luxury? Of course, it is! But it’s all yours.
To kick off the holiday season, we would like to announce a little competition for all you researchers! Review an article in any ScienceOpen Collection before the end of December and we will enter you into a prize drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.
To enter, all you need to do is log in to ScienceOpen, explore our collections and review any article in your field. This video will help you in getting started and here you can read more about peer review on ScienceOpen. Reviewing requires and ORCID and 5 publications. If you do not meet these requirements, but would still like to review a paper, contact us.
We are looking forward to your reviews and will announce the winner on January 2nd, 2018.
Choosing to review one of the articles in our advent calendar would be a great way to show your appreciation to those researchers who have dedicated their time to providing a valuable research resource to their communities.
“Search is the new journal!”, was one of the rallying cries at the recent Force11 meeting in Berlin. But what does this mean? Well, we have a bit of a problem in research – there is so much content being published these days, about 2-3 million papers each year from around 50,000 journals! It has never been more crucial to have efficient ways of searching to discover relevant work for your research question. No single human is capable of this alone.
Now, we know Google Scholar is usually everyone’s search engine of choice for research articles. But when you pop in a search term, how do you know what research is good, what’s relevant to you, what people are talking about? You just get an enormous list that trails off with ever-decreasing relevance, and are supposed to be able to figure that all out yourself. We can do better.
Quality and quantity
Efficient search is the core issue that our freely accessible multi-layer discovery engine is helping to solve. The current database at ScienceOpen has more than 36 million article records, and growing at around 100,000 new records each week. Each of these records is linked within the database to other articles through our open citation network.
We use this citation information, and other article metadata, to provide an enriched search ecosystem for users. The purpose of this is to allow users to drill down to relevant research using a range of different contexts and criteria, saving time and energy, and facilitating research discovery at multiple dimensions.
Sort by citation count
Citations are still one of the main forms of ‘academic’ currency in a modern research world. Citations only measure how many times a piece of work has been cited without additional context. As such, they are a simple proxy for ‘scholarly discussion’ of a piece of work, but beyond this are essentially devoid of legitimacy as a metric.
Sorting a search result by citations allows you to see what is most popular in a research context, and which articles have been particularly important in developing new disciplines, ideas, and ways of thinking. Identifying highly-cited articles provides for you a great starting point for further discovery. Citations reveal to you the lineage of ideas – start at the top, and work your way down! Understanding the historical context of ideas is critical for good research, and ScienceOpen helps you to explore this.
Sort by Altmetric score
Altmetric scores are a combined measure of social attention for articles. They give us a nice idea of how much an article is being discussed in news outlets or on social media. If you want to keep up with the buzz in your field, or find out what’s of interest in another, ScienceOpen gives you the tools for that.
Our customised hosting services are designed to help publishers showcase and distribute the Open Access journals that they publish to maximum effect. These are the natural extension of our marketing and indexing services, developed on the basis of our years of experience in content management architecture layered with advanced discovery technologies. By working with a range of publishers and content types, we have built a flexible platform to inter-connect scholarly articles at the level of their metadata, and establish a forum for user interaction around them. For Open Access journals, however, we are able to offer further advantages by embedding the full text articles within our discovery environment.
We have designed our Open Access hosting service with a range of beneficiaries in mind:
We provide seamless, interactive, and engaging user access to all your published content, over a range of formats and types, maximising dissemination and re-use.
We put you at the forefront of emergent technologies that are helping to revolutionise our industry through development of scholarly infrastructure.
Embedded within our discovery environment and synchronous with our own content growth goals, our model drives users to your content, based on providing intuitive solutions and connections from semantic frameworks and discovery technologies.
By working with a range of publishers and transcending disciplines, our research network constantly finds new connections for users to explore. This enriched context is based on article-level citation and reference analysis, with each nod, or link, in this network designed to expand the horizons of researchers and help them to discover previously unknown relevant research. Recently, we took the diverse field of Archaeology and integrated it into this mix to see what happens.
Let’s take a look at what all this new research has to offer! They reveal to us the material remains of ancient cultures, historical accounts of past lives, and tell us stories about what is it like doing Archaeology in a modern, digital research environment.