Focus on Figshare: using ‘collections’ and ‘projects’

This post has been written by Liz Stovold, Research Data Support Manager and Information Specialist, Cochrane Airways.

What is Figshare?

Figshare provides the infrastructure for the St George’s Research Data Repository. The repository facilitates the discovery, storage, citing and sharing of research data produced at St George’s. It is possible to store and share a range of research outputs in the repository including datasets, posters, presentations, reports, figures, and data management plans. Each item that is published via the repository receives a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which makes it easy to cite, share and promote your work.

Screenshot of the St George's Figshare landing page.

What is a collection?

One of the features of Figshare is the ability to create a citable collection of individual related items. You can choose to publish a collection publicly, or opt to keep it private. Collections can be added to over time and republished as they are updated with new items. There are several advantages to using collections, such as the ability to group themed research outputs together in one place, and to showcase a portfolio of work.  

Here at SGUL, Cochrane Airways – a research group based in the Population Health Research Institute – decided to create a collection of the posters and presentations that they have produced over a number of years. A Figshare collection enables the Group to showcase and cite their research dissemination activities and share with funders and other stakeholders. It also provides them with one place to store these outputs instead of saving them across a variety of shared and personal drives.

What is a ‘project’?

A Figshare ‘project’ also enables researchers to group together related items, but it differs from a collection in that it allows multiple collaborators to contribute and to add notes and comments. You can choose to make your project public or keep it private. The project itself doesn’t have a DOI, but the items within a project can do. A project can contain a mix of publicly available data and private data visible only to the project collaborators.  

Cochrane Airways are piloting a Figshare project to store, share and publish reports and other documents that have been produced as part of their priority setting work. A project hosted on Figshare allows them to collate the output of their ongoing work, share documents within their group, and publish documents with a DOI as and when needed.


Could a collection or project in Figshare be useful for you or your team? Contact the SGUL RDM Service at researchdata@sgul.ac.uk to discuss your needs, or see SGUL Research Data Management for more general information and guidance.

New Read and Publish deals for 2021

Since last year’s announcements, SGUL Library has expanded our number of “Read and Publish” deals, giving SGUL researchers even more opportunities to publish open access – this year we have new arrangements with publishers such as Oxford University Press, BMJ Publishing and Cambridge University Press, in addition to others such as Springer and Wiley.

Under these Read and Publish deals, open access fees for publishing original research in many journals from participating publishers are waived.

The deals are called read and publish because the institution has paid for SGUL staff and students to have access to read articles in the subscription journals covered, PLUS, where the SGUL researcher is the corresponding author, research articles can be published under a Creative Commons licence at no extra cost. This is visualised below:

Image shows a large green circle containing a smaller blue circle, containing an even smaller yellow circle. The largest circle is labelled 'university subscription', the middle circle is labelled 'Read articles' and the smallest 'Publish open access'.

To be eligible to publish open access, you’ll need to be the corresponding author on the paper, and either a member of St George’s, University of London staff, or a student at St George’s, University of London. You’ll be expected to use your SGUL affiliation on any articles where the fee is waived under this scheme. Guidance on acknowledging affiliation is contained in SGUL’s Research Publications Policy.

Corresponding authors who are members of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff with honorary status at SGUL won’t normally qualify for these deals, although if the paper acknowledges a UK funder and a co-author with a relevant grant is based at SGUL, the paper may still qualify – please contact us for further advice.

As well as increasing the opportunities for SGUL researchers to make their research openly available, these deals will also help researchers to comply with funder mandates to publish open access (a CC-BY licence will usually be the one to select for funded research papers).

Which publishers are included in these new deals?

  • BMJ Publishing, including titles such as Archives of Disease in Childhood, Gut, Heart and Sexually Transmitted Infections (your research must be acknowledging one or more specific UK funders to qualify). Note: This deal does not include open access waivers for publishing in the BMJ, or wholly open access titles.
  • Cambridge University Press, including titles such as British Journal of Psychiatry, Cardiology in the Young, Epidemiology & Infection and Twin Research and Human Genetics.
  • Oxford University Press, including titles such as Brain, Clinical Infectious Diseases, European Heart Journal, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Infectious Diseases and Virus Evolution.
  • The American Physiological Society, including titles such as American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology and American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. Researchers will also be eligible for a one year APS membership.

See our webpages for further information on the publishers and journals included in these deals, and information on how to apply.

Open Research Platforms

As well as these opportunities to publish open access, a growing number of funders are providing open research platforms for researchers to publish the results of their research rapidly. These include:

Are you funded by the Wellcome Trust?

If you are funded by the Wellcome Trust, remember that their open access policy has changed for journal articles submitted from 1st January 2021. All original, peer reviewed research articles funded by the Wellcome Trust and submitted from this date must be made freely available via PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC by the final publication date, and must be published under a CC BY license (unless Wellcome has agreed to the use of a CC BY-ND license).

The following statement must be included on original, peer reviewed research articles funded by Wellcome and submitted from 1st January 2021:

“This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.”

This rights retention strategy, developed by cOAlition S, will allow Wellcome funded authors to publish in their choice of journal, while also complying with the Wellcome Trust’s new open access policy.

COAlition S have also produced this graphic to explain the rights retention strategy.

For more information on Wellcome’s open access policy, have a look at our Library web page setting out the key points you need to know.

Questions?

Contact us at openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

Or see our Open Access FAQs webpage

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

Open Access Week 2020: Open with Purpose

This week, October 19th-25th, is Open Access Week, an annual, international event dedicated to celebrating and promoting Open Research.

This year’s theme is Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion, acknowledging that current systems are often built on a past of historic injustices and that in building new systems, we need to be mindful of who we are and aren’t including, who we are prioritising and whether we are perpetuating a legacy of injustice.

To find out more, visit www.openaccessweek.org, or follow the official twitter hashtag, #OAWeek. We’ll also be tweeting and retweeting from the library account, @sgullibrary, and, if you’re in the library, look out for our poster on how to find open access material.

You can also find posts we’ve made in previous years under the Open Access Week tag on this blog.

Here at SGUL we support open research via our Research Publications Repository (SORA) and our Research Data Repository. We currently have over 4870 full text papers available via SORA, with an average 4180 downloads a month, and these numbers are rising every day. And, since its launch three years ago, we’ve had 17,163 downloads of public content in our Research Data Repository.

As well as supporting SGUL researchers to make their publications openly available via SORA, the Library is also signing up to Read and Publish deals, several of which are new in 2020. These deals work by giving SGUL patrons access to read journals, and giving SGUL corresponding authors the opportunity to publish original research articles on open access, as visualised below:

(from our blogpost on our Read and Publish deals)

Research outputs that aren’t traditional publications, such as research data, source code, poster presentations and so on, can be uploaded to our Research Data Repository, where they will be preserved and, where appropriate, made available for other researchers to explore and re-use. The Research Data Repository has been updated recently – have a look at our blog post from last week to find out more.

If you’d like to know more about SORA or about our Research Data Repository, please get in touch at sora@sgul.ac.uk (for SORA) or researchdata@sgul.ac.uk (for the Research Data Repository, or for general help managing your data throughout the research lifecycle).

Want to get involved?

Here are some ways to consider making your research practices more open:

  • Upload your author’s accepted manuscripts to a repository such as SORA: this means that, publisher copyright permitting, we will be able to make them available to people who might not otherwise have been able to access them. You can do this via your CRIS profile at http://cris.sgul.ac.uk/ – if you have any questions, you can contact us at sora@sgul.ac.uk
  • Get in touch with researchdata@sgul.ac.uk about making your other research outputs openly accessible via our Research Data Repository, or for ideas on where to find open data and other outputs you can use in your own research.
  • Think about uploading a preprint of your research to a preprint server. Posting papers to preprint platforms has increased greatly since the start of the pandemic – you can find out more about preprints, such as what they are and what to consider before posting, by reading our blogpost from last year on preprints in the medical, biological and health sciences.
  • Follow the conversation via the twitter hashtag #OAWeek – and add your own thoughts and reflections!

Any questions? Get in touch with us:

We look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager

Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant

Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

The Changing Face of Peer Review

To coincide with Peer Review Week Sept 16-20, this is an overview on current developments in peer review, with some thoughts on the future, and information on how Library Services can offer support to our researchers.

Three people sitting around a table talking to one person standing next to the table pointing with a pen at a tablet.

What is peer review and why is it important?

Peer review is the process by which scholarly work is submitted to the scrutiny of other experts in the same field. It’s thought to date back to the seventeenth century1, but has become increasingly standardised since the mid twentieth century2. It’s now an important part of the scholarly publications process, helping to assess and improve research papers before formal publication. A report published last year by Publons3 (part of Clarivate Analytics) found that peer review was overwhelmingly valued by researchers. There are different models of peer review, such as blind review (where authors and reviewers may not be known to each other) through to more open models of reviewing (see below, fig 2 in the Publons report)3.

Why is there a “peer review crisis”?

Peer review is far from perfect, however. Research that contains errors or fraud isn’t always picked up, and reviewers aren’t always objective: unconscious bias can affect peer review4, and even double blind reviewing isn’t always completely anonymous, especially in smaller fields where reviewers are more likely to be able to identify authors based on topic or writing style. Peer review also often goes unrewarded: reviewers are not usually paid for their work, and researchers may not cite this work as part of their scholarly profile when applying for jobs or promotions.

Recent research in PLoS One has also suggested that some reviewers can lazily accept low-quality manuscripts, bringing down the overall quality of research5.   That the website Retraction Watch exists highlights that peer review does not always fulfil the functions expected.

How is the open research agenda changing peer review?

Open peer review refers to a variety of different models that broadly support the principles of open research. The features of these models might include:

  • Named, identifiable reviewers.
  • Reviews that are published alongside the final article.
  • Participation by the wider community as opposed to just a small number of invited reviewers, whether on pre-review manuscripts or on the final version.
  • Direct discussion between authors and reviewers.
  • Reviews taking place on a different platform to publication6.

The different models have in common a desire to improve the peer review process, making it more transparent, accountable and accessible7.

Recent research has found that publishing peer review reports doesn’t compromise the review process, though only 8.1% of reviewers were willing to publish their identity alongside the report8.

Peer reviewing data

Data sharing has exploded in recent years. It is becoming commonplace in the academic publication process in light of the huge volumes of data being created in research and the challenges of irreproducible research. But while data sharing is becoming routine, peer review of data underlying publications is not always common.

Leading the way in data peer review are data journals. Data journals specialise in publishing descriptions of high value scientific datasets or analyses/meta-analyses of existing datasets. Submissions to data journals are peer-reviewed.

Other journals are quickly catching up. Peer reviewers may be asked to appraise the data underlying any publication, not just data-focused papers. Journals may have their own guidance for assessing datasets but PLOS provides some very practical criteria:

  1. Is the data accessible?
  2. Can you tell what you’re looking at?
  3. Does the data you see match the data referenced in the manuscript?
  4. Does the presentation of the data make sense?
  5. Does the data itself make sense?

The SGUL research data management service can help you to prepare your data for sharing and peer review. Contact us at researchdata@sgul.ac.uk for more information.

What might drive developments in the future to improve peer reviewing – for researchers, and for science?

Logo of DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment)

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment of 2012, commonly known as DORA, and to which St George’s University of London is a signatory, sets out a statement of intent and some guiding principles around a move away from a narrow set of metrics such as journal impact factor as a measure of assessment. Acknowledging that researchers may undertake a wide range of scholarly activities, and produce outputs other than journal articles, could lead to better recognition of and reward for peer reviewing.

In 2017, the DOI provider Crossref announced that they would now support registering peer reviews as well as other types of research outputs9. Other services such as Publons and ORCiD10,11 also offer ways for researchers to track and get credit for their reviews, where these reviews are openly available12.  

Given the known problems with peer review, and the growing number of manuscript submissions, it’s no surprise that as noted by Nature13, publishers are starting to employ Artificial Intelligence to try and improve those processes that can be automated – without taking away from decision making by human editors. For example, Frontiers journals have announced the use of AI to help with quality control and reviewer identification14.

While as the Publons report finds, “the scholarly community lacks a robust measure of review quality”, more openness of the peer reviewing process, and wider use of identifiers to link reviewers and their reviews, could enable more analysis and agreement of what constitutes good peer review.

In conclusion, new technologies, publishing models and funder mandates present opportunities for the scientific community to improve the peer review process – a process which at its best allows researchers to engage in a constructive dialogue to improve research and the communication of research findings.

Queries about open research?

Contact us

CRIS & Deposit on acceptance: sora@sgul.ac.uk

Open Access Publications: openaccess@sgul.ac.uk

Research Data Management: researchdata@sgul.ac.uk

We look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager
Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant
Jennifer Smith, Research Publications Librarian

If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.

References

1. Tennant JP, Dugan JM, Graziotin D et al. (2017) A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review [version 3; peer review: 2 approved]. F1000Research, 6:1151 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.12037.3)

2. Ware M. Peer review: benefits, perceptions and alternatives. Publishing Research Consortium. 2008; p. 6. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.214.9676&rep=rep1&type=pdf [accessed 12/09/19]

3. Publons (2018) Global state of peer review https://doi.org/10.14322/publons.GSPR2018 [accessed 12/09/19]

4. Meadows, A (2018), “Eight Ways to Tackle Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review” The Scholarly Kitchen. Available at https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/09/13/eight-ways-to-tackle-diversity-and-inclusion-in-peer-review/ [Accessed 12/09/19]

5. D’Andrea R, O’Dwyer JP (2017) “Can editors save peer review from peer reviewers?” PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186111. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186111 [accessed 12/9/19]

6. Ross-Hellauer, T (2017), “What is open peer review? A systematic review” [version 2; peer review: 4 approved]. F1000Research, 6:588 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11369.2) (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11369.1)

7. Ross-Hellauer, T (2017), “Open peer review: bringing transparency, accountability and inclusivity to the peer review process”, LSE Impact Blog. Available at https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/09/13/open-peer-review-bringing-transparency-accountability-and-inclusivity-to-the-peer-review-process/ [accessed 12/09/19]

8. Bravo, G; Grimaldo, F; López-Iñesta, E; Mehmani, B; Squazzoni, F (2019), “The effect of publishing peer review reports on referee behavior in five scholarly journals”, Nature Communications 10:322 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08250-2

9. Lin, J (2017), “Peer reviews are open for registering at Crossref”. Available at: https://www.crossref.org/blog/peer-reviews-are-open-for-registering-at-crossref/ [accessed 12/09/19]

10. ORCID Support (2019), Peer Review https://support.orcid.org/hc/en-us/articles/360006971333-Peer-Review

11. PLOS Blog (2019), You’ve completed your review – now get credit with ORCID  https://blogs.plos.org/plos/2019/06/youve-completed-your-review-now-get-credit-with-orcid/ [accessed 16/09/2019]

12. Tennant, JP (2018), “The state of the art in peer review”, FEMS Microbiology Letters, Volume 365, Issue 19, fny204, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsle/fny204

13. Heaven, D (2018), “AI peer reviewers unleashed to ease publishing grind”, Nature 563, 609-610 (22 Nov 2018) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-07245-9

14. Frontiers, Science News (2018) AI-enhanced peer review: Frontiers launches next generation of efficient, high-quality peer review Dec 14 2018; https://blog.frontiersin.org/2018/12/14/artificial-intelligence-peer-review-assistant-aira/