F1000 Research: post-publication peer review and data sharing
What are scientists doing to promote open access to data? Rebecca Lawrence discusses a new publishing venture by one group of scientists, looking to shake up scientific publishing.
Disclaimer: F1000 is not affiliated with the Wellcome Trust. Views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
You only need to look at the recent increase in the number of meetings and workshops dedicated to the issues surrounding open science, open data and novel ways of sharing and communicating science (e.g. Wellcome Trust’s eLife) to see that we are on the verge of a transformation in scholarly communication.
I work for Faculty of 1000, a post-publication review service, with a peer-nominated ‘Faculty’ of 10,000 experts that identifies important publications in biological and medical research. This week we announced plans for a new type of open access publishing project, F1000 Research.
When it begins later this year, F1000 Research will differ from traditional journal publishing in a number of ways. Firstly, it will use open, post-publication peer review, which means no closed editorial decisions that can be subjected to personal biases or views on future impact. Article acceptance will be a simple formal check by invited reviewers confirming that the work is scientifically sound. These reviewers can comment on the work if they wish, as can any registered user. Authors will be encouraged to respond to any comments, revising their work if required. As the research progresses, the authors will be able to submit separate, but linked, update articles.
We will also be encouraging the submission of a range of article formats, including standard articles, posters or slides, and content types, such as negative results or case studies. Furthermore, we will be strongly encouraging our authors to publish accompanying data – either separately, or along with the main article. If produced separately, additional (or different) authors can be credited and both publications will be citable. Datasets can also be published, without any associated analysis and conclusions, following basic protocol templates.
How to encourage researchers to submit this data is one of the issues we need to address. However, the growing support for the open sharing of data, shown by funders such as the Wellcome Trust and governments in the UK and the US, will go some way to help in addressing these concerns.
F1000 was founded by Vitek Tracz, who previously founded the open access publisher BioMed Central. He explains the reasoning behind F1000 Research:
“The Open Access model has addressed effectively the issue of inadequate access to research findings. It did not address the major issues around communicating the research finding: the delays in access, the limitations of peer review, and the complexities of data publishing. It is up to collaboration between researchers and publishers to come up with a solution, and we are determined to be a part of it.”
There are still many details to be worked out, including the pricing structure for the different types of submissions. Prior to launching the actual repository, we are opening up discussion of many of these issues in a blog at F1000Research.com and invite your thoughts and contributions.
Rebecca Lawrence is Director, New Product Development at Faculty of 1000 Ltd, and is leading the F1000 Research publishing project