Publishing that first journal article

A recent training session at the library looked at getting published in a journal for the first-time.  There is a lot to consider and if you can get good advice from supervisors, colleagues and friends in your field that can be really helpful.  How do you choose the right journal to submit to? Should you go for high impact factors or open access?  How long does the whole process take? What about rejections? How does the peer review process work? What about “supplementary materials” and reserach data sets? What is meant by “Open Access”  journals and should you be considering these? And, then, once published, don’t forget to think about how you are going to publicise your research.

Powerpoints and handouts from the day are available alongside some additiona materials and suggestions of useful sources of information on Blackboard.

Free publication of science communication papers in F1000Research in 2014

Open science journal F1000Research has published over 350 papers in biology and medicine since its launch last year, and now also accepts papers about science communication.

To mark the launch of this new part of the journal, F1000Research is waiving the article processing charge on all science communication papers submitted in 2014. This includes papers about science education, all aspects around publishing, open data, science policy, social media, and other areas of communication relevant to science. More information is available here.

F1000Research is an open science journal for life scientists that offers rapid open access publication, followed by transparent peer review by invited referees, and full data deposition and sharing. The journal accepts reviews and commentaries as well as traditional articles, and publishes all sound science (including small studies).

Read existing science communication papers in F1000Research or find out more about the publication model.

Open Peer Review

As part of Open Access week, Rebecca Lawrence (Faculty of 1000) gave the first SURF Seminar talk of this academic year.

Rebecca launched F1000 Posters (an open access repository for conference posters from the world of Bioscience & Medicine). More recently, she has set up F1000 Research, an open access journal but with some interesting and innovative developments in terms of open peer review, and open access to research data.

Under the F1000 Research model, authors can submit articles and have them published online before going through the peer review process.  In-house checks are done to ensure basic standards are met before the article is uploaded, but the actual peer-review is done in the open and online.  The reviews, themselves, can be read and cited. (Each is given a doi .)  Readers can see where reviewers may have regarded the same paper in quite different ways.   Is this to be an important development in the future of scholarly publishing? Already, BMC Medicine  and BMJ Open are insisting upon open peer review, with the reports being published along with the name and affiliation of the reviewers.   

Faculty 1000 goes even further by publishing articles before the peer review process.  The reviewers’ reports then follow and are published online. Reviewers must say whether the work is in their opinion “Approved” or  “Approved with minor reservations” or  “Not Approved”. Once an article has 2 “Approved” or 1 “Approved “ and 2 “Approved with minor reservations”, it will be indexed in Scopus, PubMed, Embase, Cross-Ref and Google Scholar.

What are the arguments in favour of this system?

  • Speed – The traditional peer review process is cumbersome and slow. This way researchers can get their work out fast and avoid being scooped. F1000 Research claim an article can appear online within a week.
  • Recognition of the work of reviewers. Because the reviews are open and will have a doi, they can be read and cited.
  • Preventing or exposing bias in the review process.

These are just a few brief points from Rebecca’s talk. If you are interested in the idea of Open Peer Review, then you may also want to look at:

Peer J

Nature’s peer review debate

You might also be interested in the Guardian’s live chat this Friday (25 Oct between 12-2pm BST): The future of open access research and publishing

Open Access Week Events at Swansea University

 OA International Open Access Week  (21st to 27the October) will soon be upon us and is a chance to catch up with the latest developments and to reflect on how far things have come and where the OA movement is taking us next. Swansea University staff can take advantage of two talks being held during this week to find out more about it:

Monday 21 October (12 to 2pm) SURF Room, Fulton House.   Open Access: From Biomed Central to F1000 Research. Rebecca Lawrence (Faculty of 1000)  will talk about the developments in OA publishing from the early days of BioMed Central to the success of PLOS and the most recent developments of open peer review, open data, and F1000Research.  

Swansea researchers will find this a fascinating insight into the world of Open Access publishing and will have a chance to consider the latest developments and how they might benefit or impact upon their research in terms of  publishing, impact and profile.

To book email:   Buffet lunch will be provided.

Wednesday 23 October (12 to 1pm) APECS, Training Room A, Grove. Open Access: Green? Gold? Confused? Caroline Rauter and Michele Davies(ISS) will be talking about the changing landscape and the impact of research openness beyond academia. They will also be explaining the role of ISS in supporting researchers using the Gold OA route. 

To book email:

RCUK – Revised Policy & Guidance on Open Access + FAQs

RCUK has published  ( 8 April 2013) the latest version of its Policy and Guidance on Open Access. This applies to publication of peer reviewed research articles and conference proceedings which acknowledge RCUK funding. 

It has also provided a FAQ document, which will be updated as and when new questions arise.

The changes aim to further clarify the guidance, and draw on comments received from across the research community, learned societies and publishers following a call for input in March.

Open Access may get another push from the Research Councils

Some academics are still sometimes concerned that publishing in an Open Access journal may not have the same kudos as a subscription journal with a high impact factor. But now, following Willets’ speech to the publishers last week, there is speculation that the Research Councils will consider making open access part of the “excellence criteria for qualifying articles” for REF post-2014. (See article in THES)

Of course, following the “Gold Route” (i.e. author pays model), we can see that often these open access journals can have high impact factors and the fact that they are freely available may increase the number of citations to articles. Journal Impact Factors are, after all, based upon the number of citations to articles published by a journal. The BiomedCentral stable of journals are all building good reputations and impact factors.

And, if authors follow the “Green Route” (self-archiving in an institutional or subject repository), they can publish in a subscription journal but still make their research outputs publicly available so long as they do so within the terms set by the publisher – or negotiated between the author and publisher.