Scicasts: “A massive increase in the power of digital technology over the past decade allows us today to publish any article, blog post or tweet in a matter of seconds.
Much of the information on the web is also free – newspapers are embracing open access to their articles and many websites are copyrighting their content under the Creative Commons licenses, most of which allow the re-use and sharing of the original work at no cost.
As opposed to this openness, science publishing is still lagging behind. Most of the scientific knowledge generated in the past two centuries is hidden behind a paywall, requiring an average reader to pay tens to hundreds of euros to access an original study report written by scientists.
Can we not do things differently?
An answer to this question led to the creation of a number of new concepts that emerged over the past few years. A range of innovative open online science platforms are now trying “to do things differently”, offering researchers alternative ways of publishing their discoveries, making the publishing process faster and more transparent.
Here is a handful of examples, implemented by three companies – a recently launched open access journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), an open publishing platform F1000Research from The Faculty of 1000 and a research and publishing network ScienceOpen. Each has something different to offer, yet all of them seem to agree that science research should be open and accessible to everyone.
New concept – publish all research outputs
While the two-centuries-old tradition of science publishing lives and dies on exposing only the final outcomes of a research project, the RIO journal suggests a different approach. If we can follow new stories online step by step as they unfold (something that journalists have figured out and use in live reporting), they say, why not apply similar principles to research projects?
“RIO is the first journal that aims at publishing the whole research cycle and definitely the first one, to my knowledge, that tries to do that across all science branches – all of humanities, social sciences, engineering and so on,” says a co-founder of the RIO journal, Prof. Lyubomir Penev, in an interview to Scicasts.
From the original project outline, to datasets, software and methodology, each part of the project can be published separately. “The writing platform ARPHA, which underpins RIO, handles the whole workflow – from the stage when you write the first letter, to the end,” explains Prof. Penev.
At an early stage, the writing process is closed from public view and researchers may invite their collaborators and peers to view their project, add data and contribute to its development. Scientists can choose to publish any part of their project as it progresses – they can submit to the open platform their research idea, hypothesis or a newly developed experimental protocol, alongside future datasets and whole final manuscripts.
Some intermediate research stages and preliminary results can also be submitted to the platform F1000Research, which developed their own online authoring tool F1000Workspace, similar to ARPHA….(More)”