ScienceOpen is a research network and open access publishing platform that was founded in 2013 with the aim of making scientific research more accessible and transparent. In the era of digital publishing, open access has become increasingly important for scientific progress, as it allows research to be shared freely and more widely, leading to increased collaboration, visibility, and impact. [Wikipedia]
Importance of open access publishing in science:
Traditionally, scientific research has been published in subscription-based journals that are inaccessible to many researchers and the public due to the high cost of access. Open access publishing, on the other hand, allows anyone with an internet connection to access and use scientific research without financial or legal barriers. This democratization of scientific research has the potential to accelerate scientific progress and make scientific knowledge available to a wider audience, leading to more informed decision-making and better solutions to global challenges. Open access publishing also enables researchers from low- and middle-income countries to participate in the global scientific community and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
History of ScienceOpen
ScienceOpen was founded in 2013 by Alexander Grossmann and Tibor Tscheke with the goal of making scientific research more accessible and transparent. The platform was launched in beta in early 2014, and by the end of the year, it had over one million articles indexed and available for discovery.
In 2015, ScienceOpen formed a partnership with Pensoft Publishers, a leading open access publisher in the field of biodiversity, to enhance the discoverability and visibility of Pensoft’s research articles. This partnership was followed by collaborations with other publishers and organizations, including Brill, IOS Press, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), among others.
In 2016, ScienceOpen launched a new feature called “post-publication peer review,” which allows any researcher to provide feedback on published articles, making the peer review process more transparent and collaborative.
In the following years, ScienceOpen continued to expand its services and features, including the launch of a new search engine and article collections in 2017, and the integration of ORCID identifiers for authors and reviewers in 2018.
Today, ScienceOpen has become a leading open access platform, hosting over 65 million articles and providing researchers with a range of tools and services to enhance the discoverability, accessibility, and impact of their research.
Features and services of ScienceOpen:
- Open access publishing platform: ScienceOpen offers a publishing platform for researchers to publish their research in open access format, which enables anyone to access the research without financial or legal barriers. The platform is designed to be user-friendly, allowing researchers to submit their manuscripts easily and to track the status of their submission.
- Peer review system: ScienceOpen has a peer review system in place that allows reviewers to provide feedback on articles that have been submitted for publication. This process ensures that published articles meet a certain standard of quality and rigor.
- Post-publication peer review: In addition to the traditional peer review process, ScienceOpen offers a post-publication peer review system that allows anyone to provide feedback on published articles. This system encourages transparency and collaboration, and helps to ensure that published research is accurate and reliable.
- Article collections and search engine: ScienceOpen has a search engine that allows users to search for articles based on keywords or authors. In addition, the platform has curated article collections, which are groups of articles that have been selected based on a specific theme or topic. These collections make it easier for users to find relevant research in their field of interest.
- ScienceOpen Blog: ScienceOpen also maintains a blog that provides updates on the latest developments in open access publishing and scientific research. The blog features articles written by researchers and experts in various fields, and covers a wide range of topics related to open access, peer review, and scientific communication.
Overall, ScienceOpen offers a range of features and services that make it easier for researchers to publish their research in open access format and to increase the visibility and impact of their work. By providing a platform for open and transparent communication of research, ScienceOpen is helping to accelerate scientific progress and to make scientific knowledge more accessible to a wider audience.
Benefits of ScienceOpen:
- Accessibility and visibility for research: ScienceOpen’s open access publishing platform and search engine make it easier for researchers to publish their work and for users to discover and access research. This increases the visibility and accessibility of research, particularly for those without access to traditional subscription-based journals.
- Collaborative opportunities for authors: ScienceOpen’s post-publication peer review system allows authors to receive feedback and collaborate with other researchers to improve the quality of their work. This can lead to new collaborations and opportunities for future research.
- Quality assurance through peer review: ScienceOpen’s peer review system and post-publication peer review process ensure that published research meets a certain standard of quality and rigor, which helps to maintain the integrity of the research and the reputation of the researchers.
- Facilitation of interdisciplinary research: ScienceOpen’s search engine and article collections make it easier for users to find research in fields outside their own, which can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and new research ideas.
- Data sharing and reusability: ScienceOpen allows authors to share their research data along with their published articles, which can facilitate data reuse and secondary analyses, leading to new research discoveries.
Overall, ScienceOpen offers a range of benefits to researchers, publishers, and users, by promoting open access to research and facilitating collaboration and discovery. By increasing the accessibility and visibility of research, ScienceOpen is helping to accelerate scientific progress and to make scientific knowledge more widely available.
Criticisms and Limitations of ScienceOpen:
- Limited impact factor: Despite hosting millions of articles, ScienceOpen currently has a relatively low impact factor compared to traditional subscription-based journals, which can limit the visibility and impact of the research published on the platform.
- Quality control: While ScienceOpen has a peer review system in place, some have criticized the platform for not having stringent enough quality control measures in place, which could lead to the publication of low-quality or even misleading research.
- Lack of financial incentives: Since ScienceOpen operates on an open access model, authors are not typically paid for their articles, which can limit the pool of high-quality research that is submitted to the platform.
- Limited scope of research: While ScienceOpen hosts articles from a variety of fields, the platform is still limited in the scope of research that is published on the platform, which can limit its usefulness for certain fields or research topics.
- Reliance on external partnerships: ScienceOpen relies heavily on partnerships with publishers and organizations to provide content for its platform, which can limit the diversity and independence of the research published on the platform.
Overall, while ScienceOpen has many benefits for researchers and users, it is not without its limitations and criticisms. However, as the field of open access publishing continues to evolve, ScienceOpen has the potential to address some of these limitations and to further promote open and transparent communication of research.
ScienceOpen is a unique open access publishing platform that offers a range of features and services to researchers, publishers, and users. The platform promotes accessibility and collaboration in research, by providing a user-friendly publishing platform, peer review systems, and article collections that make it easier for users to discover and access research. While ScienceOpen is not without its criticisms and limitations, it has the potential to play a significant role in the future of scientific communication and to increase the accessibility and impact of research across a range of fields. As the field of open access publishing continues to evolve, ScienceOpen will likely continue to adapt and improve its offerings to meet the needs of researchers and users alike.