10 September 2015

New publishing initiatives: from authoring to archiving and beyond

Following on from our recent post on Outernet two recent announcements about new research publication platforms have attracted attention in the Open Access community:

Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal 
Pensoft's RIO extends publication into areas it hasn’t been associated with – project proposals for grant funding and project-related reports, methods and workflows that rarely see the light of day. It also builds on current OA trends by supporting publication of data, software, and research articles much of which is increasingly the subject of funder OA mandates. It claims “the most transparent, open and public peer-review process”; Public, Formal peer review is optional and is a paid-for service. Work will typically be accepted on the basis of a “sanity check” and public peer review:
  • All outputs of the research cycle including grant proposals
  • Everything from STEM to HSS
  • Granularity – authors can pick and choose the services they need
  • Impact - category labels help define interdisciplinary research
  • It claims to be low cost
  • Submissions open November 2015
It builds on the ARPHA XML authoring platform that eliminates the need for typesetting and allows reviewers to comment directly on the manuscript text as well as providing a full submission and editorial system.

Ross Mounce and Daniel Meitchen, Open Access advocates who have a deep understanding of research methods and research publication are founding editors. Peter Murray-Rust, the Cambridge-based chemist and leading light of Open Access and Open Data sits on its Advisory Board. Murray-Rust is known to be in favour of transparency in the ownership, governance and structure of OA platforms as well as in peer-review. There is some evidence that supporting researchers are responding to perceived publisher self-interest and poor service and a desire to take back control of their publishing.

As Science reported recently, there is scepticism around making grant proposals public due to the competitive nature of research funding. It will be interesting to see how researchers re-use published grant proposals and whether research is done that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.  James Wilsdon’s recent report The Metric Tide pointed out that no firm conclusion can be drawn whether funded researchers receive more citations*.

Source: Priem, J. and Hemminger, B. M. 2012. Decoupling the scholarly journal. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. Image licensed under CC BY-NC.
Rua
Ubiquity Press is developing an open source book workflow management platform in response to demands from authors and editors. The source can be found on GitHub. Its main aim is to assist with monograph publishing. This would make it a direct competitor to PKP’s well-established Open Monograph Press platform. PKP also provide the Open Journal System used at St Andrews to host the Journal of Terrorism Research and other Open Access titles.

Both platforms are the result of conversations between researchers and publishers criticising closed, traditional publishing on the one hand and supporting open, adaptable models on the other.  The effect is driving rapid change in the industry, as reported by Nature.

*Supplementary Report I: Literature Review

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