Which side are you on boys?

As promised, I publish here a recent correspondence between Angel Correa, a colleague at the Brain, Mind & Behaviour Research Center of the University of Granada, and the editor of an Elsevier journal. I do not wish to express my opinion here —although the title and image of this post may be giving a hint— nor to reveal the identity of the editor. I prefer to listen to what my fellow colleagues think about which are the obligations and responsibilities of authors and journal editors in the emerging landscape of open scholarly communication. Continue reading “Which side are you on boys?”

Our preprint on brain-heart communication in athletes and sedentary young adults, available for peer review

Our recent research, revealing significant differences in how the brains of physically trained and sedentary young adults process information from the heart, is now available for commentary and formal peer review in two preprint repositories: SJS (@social_sjs) and bioRxiv (@biorxivpreprint). Each of these repositories comes with advantages and disadvantages. BioRxiv is already backed by a large community, provides a DOI for indexing and citing, and tracks article usage statistics across the web. Its big disadvantage is that, just like in any other repository, articles simply sit there waiting to be published in a traditional journal in order to acquire some quality indicator —no matter how inaccurate and perverse— that will inform readers and be useful for authors in the advancement of their careers. SJS, on the other hand, is the first and only repository that facilitates a formal peer review process. Its big disadvantage is that it is not yet supported by a big community that would ensure sustainability and greater visibility. Continue reading “Our preprint on brain-heart communication in athletes and sedentary young adults, available for peer review”

Report back from the COAR 2016 annual meeting

Last week I attended the COAR (@COAR_eV) 2016 annual meeting hosted by the University of Vienna. I was invited by COAR’s executive director Kathleen Shearer to give a talk on peer review on top of repository networks and to participate in a working group that will discuss and provide recommendations for “Next Generation Repositories”. Continue reading “Report back from the COAR 2016 annual meeting”

Using existing infrastructure to transform peer review

A commentary I coauthored with Gary McDowell for the forthcoming ASAPbio conference on the future of preprints in Biology. It was originally published at the ASAPbio commentaries section: http://asapbio.org/open-scholar

In reforming the culture of peer review and moving towards a system that embraces the use and recognition of pre-print servers, we are cognizant of the need to avoid re-inventing the wheel, by identifying and using existing infrastructure and initiatives that can assist in furthering this goal. Continue reading “Using existing infrastructure to transform peer review”

Europe’s unpreparedness to support peer review innovation

I recently came back from Brussels where I attended the Information Days on the Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures Work Programme. I was there to present the LIBRE project —you can watch a video of all presentations here (LIBRE starts at 2:22:08)— and to have the chance to meet other project coordinators looking for European funding.

In his opening presentation on the call for open access e-infrastructures, Jarkko Siren from the European Commission made clear that one of the scopes of this grant is to develop new services in support of open science, including new forms of publishing and new forms of peer review. The budget for this grant is 13 million Euros from which 4 million will be spent for article processing fees to support the gold open access model. For this call only one proposal will be selected and it is a common secret that this money will go to the consortium that includes OpenAIRE, an open access repository that was supported by the previous European Framework Programme FP7. In other words if you want a part of the pie you are either in the OpenAIRE consortium or you do not stand a chance. Naturally, I approached OpenAIRE’s technical coordinator who was present at the meeting and asked her what are their plans regarding peer review. She replied that they are still investigating on the matter and do not have a clear agenda. I then sent a more formal letter to her and to the project coordinator asking if they would be interested in considering Open Scholar as a member of their consortium to assist in peer review innovation. The reply was that they would examine our offer at the next OpenAIRE scientific board meeting, but they do not expect to have room for many more additional partners. Continue reading “Europe’s unpreparedness to support peer review innovation”

LIBRE presentation for Horizon 2020

Today I made a brief presentation of Open Scholar and the LIBRE project at the Information Days on Horizon 2020 that was held in Brussels from 12-14 of February. I had the chance to receive first hand information about the e-Infrastructures calls, listen to many interesting proposals and discuss about possible collaborations with potential partners.

Here is a link with all the presentations: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/events/cf/h2020-e-infrastructures/ec-presentations.cfm Continue reading “LIBRE presentation for Horizon 2020”

Beyond open access: facing academia’s real problems

On Thursday 5th of December, I gave a talk on how to move beyond open access and face academia’s real problems, at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The talk focused on how the journal monopoly over three of the most basic processes in scholarly communication —validation, evaluation and dissemination— is creating problems even more important than the lack of accessibility to research output. The LIBRE platform was presented as an alternative, free, journal-independent, community-based model of research validation and evaluation where the author is at the center of an open and transparent peer review process. Continue reading “Beyond open access: facing academia’s real problems”