In:  Peer Review  

Can blog posts be used as peer reviews?

There are many many amazing blogs and bloggers out there that provide critical comments, context, and feedback on the ‘formally published’ research literature. One problem with these though is that they are often divorced from the papers themselves, perhaps lost on obscure websites, or not hitting the right target audience. This seems like an awful waste, don’t you think?

While some great initiatives such as The Winnower will now publish blog posts openly, these still are not connected to the papers that they are based on, if they are indeed written about particular papers. But what do researchers think about blogging as a form of scholarly communication in the form of post-publication peer review?

So as with most of my ponderings, I took to Twitter to get some feedback with a little poll. I actually framed the question a little ambiguously, but this shouldn’t sufficiently skew the data in any direction (I hope).

What is interesting to me is that 41% of people who answered, who undoubtedly did not constitute just a researcher sample, do not consider blogging to ‘count’ as peer review. I would really love to know why this is the case for some people. Perhaps they haven’t seen good examples, or perhaps just because it’s not formalised in any way, and quite disassociated from the research literature.

Continue reading “Can blog posts be used as peer reviews?”  

In:  Research  

Amazing new research at ScienceOpen!

Many of you are probably aware of this, but as well as our main aggregation/open peer review functions, we also totally publish! We’re an Open Access publisher, and employ innovative methods of peer review around this.

We just wanted to draw your attention to some great new research that we’ve recently had the pleasure of publishing!

Continue reading “Amazing new research at ScienceOpen!”  

In:  About SO  

Cool new features at ScienceOpen

At ScienceOpen, we’re constantly upgrading our platform to provide the best possible user interaction experience. We get feedback from the research community all the time, and try to adapt to best meet their needs.

So today, we’re happy to announce two neat little features in our latest updates.

Firstly, all Open Access articles now have a cute little symbol next to them, making it even easier for you to discover open content. This shows up on all of our Open Access content across nearly 14 million article records now. Making open content stand out is a great way to encourage others to adopt open practices, as well as help people see which content they can re-use most easily.

New features 1

As well as this, we have a new browsing function built into our collections. Sometimes, collections are pretty big. Our new SciELO collections have some with tens of thousands of open access articles, and sifting through that manually is not exactly a valuable use of ones time.

New features 2

With this new function, you can now filter content within collections by journal, publisher, keywords, and even filter them by citations or Altmetric scores. Discovering content relevant to your research should be smart and efficient, and this is what our platform delivers. Try it out on this collection, or build your own!

Do you have any comments or feedback at your experiences with ScienceOpen? Let us know! Contact Jon.Tennant@scienceopen.com

In:  Guest Blog  

Guest post: Strings of an open data ‘code’

This is a guest post, translated from Spanish on Forbes Mexico, by Nina V. Tscheke

At ScienceOpen, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to Forbes Mexico for mentioning us in a really great post of theirs about how open data and sharing can accelerate the research process. The timing for this is perfect in due to the recent launch of SciELO on our platform. A special thank you to Alfredo Taborga for writing the piece, the original version of which can be found here.

Here is the full reproduced article, with permission:

Open data can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and encourage the coexistence in a world with fewer walls and more freedom.

If those who read my articles are more or less my age, they should remember the acclaimed novel The Da Vinci Code. I remember how I devoured it. I couldn’t stop reading. I also remember friends of mine who took it as an accurate account of reality within which the church tries hard to obscure the great miracles of the world. It is not their fault; they simply fell victim to the positivistic education that is imparted in this country.

If the plot was written now, Brown would have a different ending and a radical change of story in it:

A murder in the Louvre and some clues in Da Vinci’s pictures lead to the discovery of a mystery that had been protected by a secret society for more than 2000 years. It is suspected that this discovery could bring down the pillars of Christianity. Robert Langdon tries to get into the Vatican Library to gain access to ancient manuscripts that would support his theory… Sophie Neveu, who would probably be part of the millennial generation, laughs, takes out her smartphone and types Vatican Library into Google. (The first line on the page reads “Digitalize to Disclose”.) Two pages open from the top section of the page (the Vatican people did a good job with the search engine marketing).

Dear reader, this is open data… The concept isn’t new, but its formal definition is. Although I have friends who would criticize me for using Wikipedia as a source, I will take the liberty of just doing that. Because the access to open and unrestricted information is paramount, especially to this entry of my blog.

Wikipedia defines open data as “any piece of information that is free to be used, reused and distributed, subject to the sole requirement of crediting the author”.

Open data can refer to maps, information about the genome, about science or biodiversity. This brings it into conflict with restrictions of patent rights, copyrights, licenses, etc.—whereas its greatest defenders assert that these very restrictions conflict with the common good.

Let’s move away from this discussion possible to become byzantine; it is true that open data could not better be represented than with the words by Luciano Ammenti, CIO of the Vatican Library, as ushered in an interview he gave my friend Leandro Africano for the Revista Pulso in Argentina: “The documents inside the Vatican Library are not the Vatican’s, but the people’s.”

He refers to texts of Christianity just as well as, among others, to incunabula by Homer, Sophocles, Dante, and the first edition of the bible. Anyone can now consult the more than 80,000 manuscripts and 8,900 documents, going way beyond the capacity of 200 persons that the baroque hall has. Visit @vaticanlibrary for more information, because surely the Vatican is totally “social media savvy”.

I would also like to share another project that is a GREAT example for open data: it is called ScienceOpen.com and was fathered by a great friend of mine who thinks that we all can do something to make this world a better place.

ScienceOpen is a huge data repository providing open access to scientific publications. It offers almost 13 million articles by more than 9 million authors, extensively classified and searchable by relevance and context.

In a world with global threats like the previous pandemics this is something that cannot be underrated. Science Open transforms into a potential to share global solutions to these problems.

The very World Health Organization links Science Open as a platform to share research about the Zika virus. You ask yourself who shares their information? Well, it comes from everyone: institutions, scientists, Nobel Prize winners; what’s more, while I am writing these lines, they are incorporating gigantic collections such as SciELO’s — a great example of scientific open data in Latin America.

“Information is power” is a phrase quite overused; however, if access to information can change the plot of a novel so radically, I absolutely think that this accessibility can change the way we do research, shorten the time needed to find cures to illnesses, and thus encouraging a coexistence in a world with fewer borders, fewer walls, fewer prejudices, and more freedom.

In:  Altmetrics  

The future of Altmetrics webinar – today!

ScienceOpen and Altmetric are pleased to co-host a webinar at 4th July at 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM BST titled: “The future of altmetrics”. Register here.

Altmetrics are non-traditional metrics that can be used as alternative measures of scholarly impact. As an article-level metric, they contain information about how research is shared and re-used in a digital environment, such as mentions in tweets, blogs, or Wikipedia pages. They are becoming increasingly important for researchers as they offer a much richer understanding of how their research is being used by broader communities.

The European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics has recently launched an open consultation entitled ‘Next-generation altmetrics: responsible metrics and evaluation for open science.

For this one-hour long webinar, we have a fantastic panel of expert speakers for you!

  • James Wilsdon of Sheffield University
  • Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen
  • Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric

James Wilsdon is the Chair of the Expert Group leading the consultation, and Professor of Research Policy and Director of Impact and Engagement in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Since 2013, he has been Chair of the UK’s Campaign for Social Science, and recently chaired an independent review of the role of metrics in the management of the UK’s research system, which published its final report The Metric Tide in July 2015.

From 2001-2012 Stephanie Dawson worked in various positions at the academic publisher De Gruyter in Berlin in the fields of biology and chemistry in both journals and book publishing. In 2013 she took on the role of managing director for ScienceOpen GmbH in Berlin. She worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. and at Ralph Rupp at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany, before changing fields and getting a PhD in German Literature from the University of Washington.

Euan Adie founded Altmetric in 2011 out of the growing altmetrics movement. Altmetric is a Digital Science company based in London specialising in tracking and analysing the online activity around scholarly research outputs for researchers, institutes and publishers. Euan had previously worked on Postgenomic.com, an open source scientific blog aggregator founded in 2006.

Our experts will cover the technical, political, and practical implications of altmetrics and the development of next-generation metrics.

Registration with valid email required to obtain webinar information. The webinar is free of charge and without restrictions.

We look forward to having you tune in!

For further information, please contact Jon.Tennant@scienceopen.com

In:  Aggregation  

Welcome to the Italian Society of Victimology

We are pleased to announce that the Italian Society of Victimology (ISV) has indexed their flagship journal The Criminology, Victimology and Security Journal with us.

Raffaella Sette of the ISV said “We chose to index our journal with ScienceOpen because for us it is a great opportunity for disseminating our journal at an international level.”

All articles are fully open access, which we’ve added a little logo to now for all OA articles on our platform.

Society for Victimolohy

Some of the top new articles to check out are:

  1. Homicidal frenzy in serial killer couples (link)
  2. Investigative journalism, the victims and freedom of the press (link)
  3. Violent behaviour in REM sleep: clinical, criminological and forensic (link)
  4. Regulatory reform on violence against women in relation to the nature of the crimes committed (link)
  5. The perception of the maternal role in mothers in prison (link)
  6. The dilemma of Jerusalem. The problem of urban development among policy and integration of communities (link)
  7. Consultation on violence towards men (link)
  8. The association of the Mafia and the Roman capital (link)

Most of the articles are in Italian, so for non-Italian speakers it’s a great chance to brush up on a new language, or worth using a browser like Google Chrome to auto-translate the text.

We look forward to helping to make this fascinating research more open to the world, and exposing the context around it all.

CEO of ScienceOpen Stephanie Dawson said “We are very excited to see the Italian Society of Victimology adopting a CC BY 4.0 license. By embedding this in the xml content for articles we can make it easier for our users to re-use the research by making sure it is explicitly open.”

For more information about our indexing services, please contact our Sales and Acquisitions Manager Agata.Morka@scienceopen.com.

Combating the reproducibility crisis in research – Joe Akin

In the last Open Science Stars post, we spoke with Obinna Ojemeni who gave us an eye-opening account about the state of Open Access in Nigeria. We’re shifting gears again this week and delving into the murky world of reproducible research, a bit of a hot topic at the moment. Joe Akin of Scimpact was kind enough to tell us about how he is helping to make science more open and reproducible.

Hi Joe! Can you tell us a little bit about your background to get things rolling?

I have always been interested in science and technology. It was this interest that, in part, drew me to attend the US Air Force Academy and afterwards serve as a scientist in the Air Force Research Laboratory, supporting the demanding technological needs of the US Air Force. After completing my service and wanting to direct my scientific effort towards biomedical science, I pursued a PhD in immunology at Harvard University. Because of the university’s great breadth of scientific pursuits, I was able to find a lab where my previous expertise in engineered materials and biomaterials was useful within the context of immunology research—novel materials for cancer vaccine delivery.

When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What were your original thoughts?

I first heard these concepts at the Council of Science Editors conference in the spring of 2015. I thought they sounded like laudable ideas, and I was particularly interested on two fronts:

  • How to get scientists to change from convention and support a new paradigm?
  • How to get publishers to do likewise, especially when it threatens the financial outlook for their institutions?

What was the rationale behind building Scimpact? How does this fit into your future vision for Open Science?

The impetus for Scimpact grew out of Girija and my frustrations, towards the end of our PhDs, in knowing that a lot of the hard work we had done would never be communicated to the larger scientific community and the prospect of many others duplicating the work we had done, needlessly. I believe it was an altruistic driver, from the outset.

Credit: Scimpact
Credit: Scimpact

What are the advantages of using Scimpact over traditional publishing models?

Scimpact aims to integrate with a lot of the current activity around making science more open. We are just one piece of a potential solution. We focus on the under-resourced element of making reproducibility of results transparent. We believe reproducibility can be the foundation for communication, rather than novelty.

We believe reproducibility can be the foundation for communication, rather than novelty.

Continue reading “Combating the reproducibility crisis in research – Joe Akin”  

The state of Open Access in Nigeria: Let’s stop talking, and start doing! – Obinna Ojemeni

Open Science is a global issue. This series has so far highlighted perspectives from our open science stars from around the world, and we believe having this diversity is critical to have a well-informed viewpoint on the state of research in general.

So this week, we are absolutely delighted to have Obinna Ojemeni with us from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria.

Hi Obinna! Thanks for joining us. Could you tell us a bit about your background?

I am from the South-eastern part of Nigeria and the third/last of the three sons of my parents. I attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education & Mathematics. After my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) program, I proceeded to the premier University of Ibadan where I obtained both Master of Education and Master of Information Science in 2010 and 2014 respectively. A Science Educationist and Information Scientist by training, and presently a University Teacher in the newly formed department of Library and Information Science, Enugu State University of Science & Technology. I am also a Doctoral (PhD) student in Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I’m studying Information Science with special focus on developments in Nigeria’s Open Access publishing landscape and bibliometric studies.

When did you first realise you wanted to be researcher? What was it that turned you?

That would be probably after my Master of Education degree program in the department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan, which is also where I learnt how to do research and had academics that inspired me too. Besides having been trained as an Educationist, the best career would be to educate the younger generation and encourage them too as well as change the poor perception about the teaching profession.

I would rather emphasize that I come from a family of teachers, both my paternal grandparents were secondary (grandfather) and primary (grandmother) school teachers respectively. While my Mother was a Secondary school teacher, which is why I decided to take the family legacy to another level by becoming a University Teacher 🙂

When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What did you first think about it all?

I was introduced to Open Access by my Master of Information Science Project Supervisor, Dr Williams Nwagwu at Africa Regional Centre for Information Science (popularly known as ARCIS) in University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Before then I was proposing a bibliometric study of a local journal published by a scholarly society and suggesting its’ inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), but had no knowledge of the concept of Open Access. So I was mandated by my supervisor to read up studies on Open Access which gave me background knowledge of the concept and the BBB declarations that facilitated its adoption globally.

My first thought was the reality that little or no research would have been possible in Nigeria without the free availability of OA publications via the internet. And we as Nigerians especially Academics, are doing little or nothing to foster its sustenance.

Continue reading “The state of Open Access in Nigeria: Let’s stop talking, and start doing! – Obinna Ojemeni”  

In:  Other  

Review Instructions for ScienceOpen

At ScienceOpen, you can peer review any of 60 million research articles (and climbing every day!). That’s right! Any one you want. Even if an article has been published and ‘passed’ peer review, you can still comment on it. The only reason there would ever be no value in doing this would be if all published work were completely infallible, which is clearly not the case.

To review an article, you must create a LOGIN ID for ScienceOpen and ORCID by following the instructions here.

The ScienceOpen community has agreed to only allow formal peer reviews from ScienceOpen members that have published at least 5 articles in peer reviewed journals. For this reason, please do not forget to add your publication history on ORCID. Only if you do not have an ORCID account can a peer review manager at ScienceOpen set up an account for you. If you would like for someone to do this, please send an email to dan.cook@scienceopen.com before proceeding. Put the phrase “Create accounts” in the subject line, and put your name and email address in the body of the email.

Continue reading “Review Instructions for ScienceOpen”  

In:  ORCID  

ORCID integration at ScienceOpen

ORCID integration has been at the heart of our publishing system since our inception. We like to think that this demonstrates that ScienceOpen was already thinking way ahead of the curve for the future of publishing, and recognising the importance of infrastructure and the value of unique identifiers. ORCID is now a major part of the scholarly communications infrastructure, and becoming more so with each passing day.

At ScienceOpen, registration with us requires registration with ORCID. In fact, if you register with us, we will automatically provide you the options for registering with ORCID.

Why is this important?

At ScienceOpen, we have always supported the use of ORCID within our services. Membership at ScienceOpen can be updated directly using your ORCID profile, providing seamless integration of the two.

To comment, review and rate articles, we require an ORCID along with membership at ScienceOpen. If you have more than 5 articles within your ORCID profile, you’ll gain Expert member status with us, and free reign of services! We feel this is important to maintain a high standard of quality for our peer review services. This isn’t to say that those without ORCID wouldn’t be great referees, it’s just that this is an explicit minimum standard.

Here’s a little table to help make this a little easier to understand. We’re evolving all the time to adapt to the needs of the research community, so please let us know if there’s anything we can do to enhance our services!

Continue reading “ORCID integration at ScienceOpen”