ECS is celebrating International Open Access Week by giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research will look like. This year’s theme is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.” ECS is taking down the paywall October 22-28 from the entire ECS Digital Library, making over 141,000 scientific articles and abstracts free and accessible to everyone.
This is the fourth consecutive year ECS will take down its paywalls during Open Access Week, an annual event organized by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Eliminating the paywall during Open Access Week allows ECS to give the world a preview of the potential of its Free the Science initiative.
Free the Science is ECS’s move toward a future that embraces open science to further advance research in our field. This is a long-term vision for transformative change in the traditional models of communicating scholarly research. ECS last opened its digital library in April 2018 for the second Free the Science Week.
“ECS is working to disseminate scientific research to the broadest possible audience without barriers,” says Mary Yess, ECS chief content officer/publisher. “Through Open Access Week, we’re able to once again highlight a new scholarly publishing model that promotes authors and the science they do.”
An online platform that had once offered a voice to scientists – to join in on debates and discussions of other scientists and inquisitive minds – may now be a thing of the past. Social news website Reddit hosts r/science, one of the world’s largest online science communities, which ran a popular Ask Me Anything Q&A (AMA) series that picked the brains of academics about topics like climate change, physics, and astronomy has come to an end. This was all due to a change in Reddit’s algorithm, changing how posts were ranked and making it nearly impossible to compete with the charm of cute animal GIF’s in the competition of upvotes.
The demise of the Ask Me Anything Q&A series is considered a major setback for the science community. The forum grew to nearly 19 million users, now left with no other platform that offers quite the same reach, accessibility, and engagement.
“With flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, and the rest of the anti-science brigade making their views heard in almost every corner of the internet, it’s a difficult time for those who value insightful discussion of peer-reviewed science online,” says Alastair McCloskey, a digital content coordinator in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Read his full article here.
ECS prides itself on publishing high-quality, rigorously vetted content in its peer-reviewed journals, the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology.
As one of the last remaining independent, nonprofit society publishers of electrochemical and solid state science and technology, ECS is committed to the provision of valuable and efficient services for its authors, whose research accelerates advances toward sustainability on a global scale.
Success in this endeavor requires the Society’s constant critical attention—to its authors, its publications, and vacillating trends in scholarly publishing.
To that end, ECS would like your feedback.
After over 115 years of peer-reviewed research, what is it that keeps authors publishing in ECS journals? In what ways do ECS journals excel?
To those who have opted to publish elsewhere, how might ECS journals adapt to meet your needs as an author? What aspects of ECS journals need reexamination?
Above all else, what do you look for in a scientific journal?
Whether you’re a proponent or a critic of ECS journals, please take a few minutes to tell us more.
Any feedback you are able to provide—positive or negative—will assist ECS in evaluating the strength and scope of its peer-reviewed journals.
Share your thoughts today to help shape the future of these publications!
By: Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science
In the Fall of 2011, Sarah Mackenzie, the maid of honor at my wedding, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Sarah and her family were motivated to learn as much as they could about the disease to advocate for her care. They weren’t scientists, but they started searching the literature for relevant articles. One evening, Sarah called us, angry. Every time she found an article that might be relevant to understanding her disease, she ran into a paywall requiring $15-$40 to access it. Public money had paid for the research, yet she was barred from making any use of it. Luckily, she had us. Most people in Sarah’s position don’t have the luxury of friends at wealthy academic institutions with subscriptions to the literature.
During this time, I was pursuing an interest in the business models of scholarly communication. I wanted to understand the ways in which these models interfered with the dissemination of knowledge that could improve quality of life. Sarah’s experience illustrated one key part of the problem–the outcomes of research should be public goods, but the business models of publishing make them exclusive goods. Lack of access to published literature limits our ability to apply what we know to improving others’ quality of life. If doctors can’t access the literature, they can’t keep up with the latest innovations for care. If policy makers can’t access the literature, they can’t create evidence based policies. To advance solutions and cures, the outcomes of research must be open.
ECS’s Ask Me Anything thread is officially live on /r/Science.
Please note: you will need a Reddit account in order to post questions, comment, or vote in the discussion. If you do not already have one, you can create a free account on Reddit’s website.
Revisit the thread later today, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST. During this time, ECS President Johna Leddy and ECS Transactions Editor Jeffrey Fergus will respond to questions that have been posted, prioritizing the ones that have received the most upvotes.
On Thursday, December 14, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST, ECS President Johna Leddy and ECS Transactions Editor Jeffrey Fergus will answer your questions about open science, the Free the Science initiative, and the Society’s forthcoming preprint server, ECSarXiv, during ECS’s second Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA).
The online discussion will take place as part of the /r/Science community’s Science AMA Series. All are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the discussion.
Any questions related to the topics listed above are fair game. Start preparing yours!
We are podcasting the question and answer section of the live broadcast ECS did of the OpenCon satellite event held at the 232nd ECS Meeting in October of 2017.
ECS OpenCon was a community event aimed at creating a culture of change in how research is designed, shared, discussed, and disseminated, with the ultimate goal of making scientific progress faster.
ECS was the first scholarly society to host an OpenCon satellite event.
In a recent interview, ReasonsTV sat down with PLOS co-founder Michael Eisen to discuss open access, the academic publishing monopoly, and ways to democratize scientific progress.
PS: ECS’s Free the Science initiative is a move toward a future that embraces open science to further advance research in our field. This is a long-term vision for transformative change in the traditional models of communicating scholarly research.
Other ECS programs that advance the shift to open science include the upcoming launch of ECSarXiv, a preprint server through a partnership with the Center for Open Science, enhanced research dissemination with Research4Life, ECS OpenCon, and expanding our publications to include more research in data sciences.
A new open access publication platform for African researchers is set to launch in early 2018. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has partnered with open access publisher F1000 to launch AAS Open Research, which will provide a transparent, post-publication peer review system for AAS-funded and affiliated researchers.
By using the F1000 publishing platform, African researchers will be able to immediately publish their work online and gain access to an efficient, transparent peer review. Once the article appears online, F1000 will arrange a peer review that will appear alongside the article. The authors of the work will then have the opportunity to make recommended changes based on the review. Upon passing peer review, the papers will be indexed in abstract databases.
The implementation of this system aims to level the playing field for research in low-income countries, where the perception of the quality of research may be lower than that of higher-income countries. Additionally, it also allows for African researchers to quickly and easily find a home for their work.