We made it! ScienceOpen reached a major milestone: 50 million article
records in 5 years of making science open! What’s more, this number is
increasing faster and faster as we index more articles. ScienceOpen’s
aggregation engine enables us to track citation genealogies and identify
similar publications from published articles, making it possible to
exponentially push the boundaries of our research discovery environment.
To mark our successful 5-year journey to 50 million records, ScienceOpen CEO Stephanie Dawson talks about the meaning of this milestone for ScienceOpen’s future and scholarly communication in general.
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.
ORCID have recognised the discovery and networking platform ScienceOpen for leadership in integrating their services as part of their Collect and Connect program.
Under ORCID’s mantra of “Enter once, reuse often”, Collect and Connect is designed for member organizations to collect, display, connect and synchronize data between research information systems. This was developed to streamline the integration process across a range of research systems, funders, and publishers.
ORCID has been at the foundation of ScienceOpen since inception, enabling verified users to integrate their published content, build collections, and perform post-publication peer review across publishers and journals for free.
CEO of ScienceOpen, Stephanie Dawson, said “We are delighted to be among the first recognized by ORCID as part of their Collect and Connect Program. ORCID has been essential to our development, and together we will continue to build a robust scholarly infrastructure for all stakeholders.”
ScienceOpen features alongside other leaders, including eLife, Overleaf, and Editorial Manager, all committed to creating valid assertions about scholarly connectivity in a reliable, trustworthy, and transparent way.
Laure Haak, Executive Director of ORCID, said “ScienceOpen has been a huge supporter of ORCID – both by demonstrating in practice how iDs enable profile platforms and also through your incredible researcher engagement activities. Our badges are a small but important official acknowledgement for your actions. Thank you for your leadership in the open research community!”
Making an impact in a research discovery ecosystem
We designed these new features for you to make an increased impact, and keep track as your research progresses. All of this is provided to you within the context of a discovery environment of more than 31 million article records. It just makes sense to have these profile and article enhancement features integrated into an ecosystem where people are actually discovering and re-using research. And for free, of course.
Hi Jonathan! Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about your research interests?
My research is focused on the neuroscience of language processing, and how sensory and cognitive systems interact to enable communication. We are interested in questions like:
How can we understand people we’ve never heard before?
Why is having a conversation in noise harder for some people than for others?
How similar is brain activity across a group of people?
My lab spends a lot of time studying people with hearing loss and cochlear implants because of the profound effects these have on sensory processing. We rely on converging evidence from behavioral studies, structural MRI, and functional neuroimaging.
We recognise that sometimes it’s not clear exactly what you’re supposed to do when joining a new research platform. What are the important features, what’s everybody else doing, how do I make my profile as strong as possible? Well, hopefully this will make it easier for you. If you’re still wondering ‘What’s that ScienceOpen thing all about?’, hopefully this will add a bit of clarity too!
More than 8 million researchers already have an ORCID account, which acts as both a unique identifier and an integrated profile for them. Registration for it takes 30 seconds, and is now a core part of scholarly infrastructure, with many journals requiring an ORCID profile prior to article submission. Make sure it’s well-populated with all of your published papers, (drawn automatically from Web of Science, Scopus, or CrossRef). Easy!
This collection is focused on the wide field of research on ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens. It aims to include papers on a wide variety of disciplines related to ticks and the pathogens they transmit, focused (but not limited) to morphology and systematics of ticks, ecology, reports of pathogens in both ticks and their hosts. A secondary aim is to provide global view of the effects of climate and land use changes on the pattern of distribution of these arthropods.
Can you tell us why you tell us about your research interests in ticks and tick-borne diseases?
I am Agustín Estrada-Peña. I have several titles behind my name, but they do not have importance in this context. Let’s just say that I am Professor of Zoonoses and Parasitology in the University of Zaragoza (Spain). My work is focused on ticks and tick-transmitted organisms. I did work on systematics, physiology, life cycles, and the probable impact of environmental change on the pathogens they can transmit. I have been enrolled with FAO, WHO, and recently with the European Center for Disease Control in different aspects regarding human and animal health and ticks. My current interest is on the way the ecological relationships between ticks, microorganisms and vertebrates emerged and evolved. I am working on new ways to explore these relationships and on the molecular aspects behind them.
On top of our search and discovery platform ScienceOpen has built a ‘social networking’ layer to allow researchers to interact with each other and with the content on our site.
We don’t see ourselves so much as a social platform like Facebook or ResearchGate, but more as a professional community space for researchers to exchange knowledge and progress their research field in the open, and receive credit for doing so.
But what are the key features needed for any modern research platform like this?
Unlike other platforms, we don’t expect you to manually upload your papers. We automate this via ORCID integration instead. I mean, it’s 2020, this just makes sense.
Manual uploading of research often requires a lot of effort and time. Furthermore, there is a total loss of legal certainty, as often it is copyrighted publisher versions which are uploaded onto the platforms, and integrated into their data systems.
At ScienceOpen, we’ve just upgraded our search and discovery platform to be faster, smarter, and more efficient. A new user interface and filtering capabilities provide a better discovery experience for users. ScienceOpen searches more than 27 million full text open access or article metadata records and puts them in context. We include peer-reviewed academic articles from all fields, including pre-prints that we draw from the arXiv and which are explicitly tagged as such.
The current scale of academic publishing around the world is enormous. According to a recent STM report, we currently publish around 2.5 million new peer reviewed articles every single year, and that’s just in English language journals.
The problem with this for researchers and more broadly is how to stay up to date with newly published research. And not just in our own fields, but in related fields too. Researchers are permanently inundated, and we need to find a way to sift the wheat from the chaff.
The solution is smart and enhanced search and discovery. Platforms like ResearchGate and Google Scholar (GS) have just a single layer of discovery, with additional functions such as sorting by date to help narrow things down a bit. GS is the de facto mode of discovery of primary research for most academics, but it also contains a whole slew of ‘grey literature’ (i.e., non-peer reviewed outputs), which often interferes with finding the best research.
As well as this, if you do a simple search with GS, say just for dinosaurs, you get 161,000 returned results. How on Earth are you supposed to find the most useful and most relevant research based on this if you want to move beyond Google’s page rank, especially if you’re entering this from outside the area of specialisation? Simply narrowing down by dates does very little to prevent being overwhelmed with an absolute deluge of maybe maybe-not relevant literature. We need to do better at research discovery.