Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the role of peer review in maintaining scientific quality. This year marks the event’s fourth anniversary of bringing together researchers, institutions, and organizations committed to the message that good peer review is crucial to scholarly communications. This year Peer Review Week on the topic of diversity aims:
To emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication
Although peer review itself is not as young as the week-long event organized in its celebration, it is still a relatively new invention. Albert Einstein published his original papers in non-peer-reviewed German journals through 1933, most famously in the Annalen der Physik. Max Planck, one of the journal’s editors of the time, described his editorial philosophy as:
To shun much more the reproach of having suppressed strange opinions than that of having been too gentle in evaluating them.
After moving to the US, Einstein was so shocked that his paper submitted to the Physical Review in 1936 was met with negative criticism that he decided not to publish with them at all. Ironically, the paper in question hypothesized that gravitational waves do not exist. In retrospect, peer review saved Einstein the controversy and the embarrassment that would have ensued if he had published his original article. Continue reading “Diverse Approaches to Peer Review”
In the current scholarly ecosystem, communicating your research results doesn’t stop at the point of publication. Increasing the accessibility of your research and engaging audiences beyond your own institution and peer groups became inevitable steps in reaching out from the massively increasing global research output to create real impact.
Storify your research and open it up for the public
Although we see many great non-specialist summaries added so far to articles on ScienceOpen (you can see nice examples here, here or here), we are also aware of the fact that it’s not always easy to write an effective, non-specialist summary of specialized work. In many cases researchers simply don’t have the time or the expertise to make their science accessible to the broader public.
To help our researcher community in opening up their research and reaching and engaging a wider stakeholder audience, ScienceOpen has teamed up with ScienceImpact, an award-winning team of leading science communication staff with decades of combined experience publishing academic books, papers, and broad science publications. This partnership gives our users direct access to ScienceImpact’s non-specialist summary services and provides them with the means to have complex scientific concepts translated into accessible language for a broader audience. Their editorial and design staff works closely with all featured researchers to craft summaries that disseminate the aims, objectives, and impact of your research.
If you have already begun to think about how you can communicate your research to wider audiences but don’t feel confident about it, you are in the right place! You can thrust this into the hands of professional science communicators and get your non-specialist summary in 3 easy steps:
Go to your profile page
Click on the Impact banner
Fill in the form on ScienceImpact’s website.
Here you can find out more about how this process works or discuss the production of a lay summary for your research paper.
Expand your audience and amplify your message
Adding non-specialist summaries to your articles enables the communication of your research and its impact in a format and language that all stakeholders will understand.
Being able to clearly articulate the economic, scientiﬁc, and societal impact of your project is crucial from the very first steps of your research lifecycle. When it comes to funding decisions, reviewers of your grant application, who are rarely representing your specific field, need to understand clearly how your research can make the world a better place.
For researchers from other areas
Communicating your research and making it connectible for audiences beyond your own institution, peer group, and field of research carries the potential of opening it up for interdisciplinary cooperation. In fact, using simple everyday language might be refreshing even for your own research community as well. Do them a favor and make your papers look nice, concise, and easy to see through.
For the public
We are in the midst of a global information and knowledge crisis. Access to scientific research has never been more important to provide the basis for debates on critical issues such as climate change, global health, and renewable energies.
Maintaining fair and inclusive scientific communication attitudes and investing in the proper explanation of your findings is like gathering a good research karma: it works for you, works for science, and works for the society at large. We give you tools and access to outputs—but it’s you who can make them truly accessible.