The scientific, technical and medical community faces a distinct set of challenges when it comes to researching, reviewing, publishing and distributing their findings. Among the top areas of concern are accessibility, reliability and reproducibility. Being able to expand on the findings of previous STM authors is a crucial component in both the researching and publishing process, which is why researchers need access to credible, peer-reviewed journals that value integrity and academic excellence.
However, the field of STM is rapidly expanding and increasing in its complexities. The growth of scientific research has contributed to the rising demand for meta-research, which refers to when scientists access and analyze how scientific experiments are performed and reported. This type of study is imperative for ensuring the quality of STM discoveries are accurate and, therefore, legitimate, which is why some journals are taking definitive action to improve the reproducibility of scientific works.
Difficulty with data
Recently, the biology unit of the Public Life of Sciences journal, announced it was adding a Meta-Research Section that would be used solely for "evidence-based research on research." According to PLOS Biology Senior Editor Stavroula Kousta, this branch was created to increase the visibility of life science works, as well "help reduce waste and restore the public's trust in science."
Over the years, many STM researchers have expressed the difficulties often experienced when working with peers' data. Some have argued that enforcing a more uniform approach to scientific publishing could expedite the process of reproducing experiments. Others believe that making the system too simple could result in academic researchers publishing their findings too quickly. One concept that the vast majority of people would agree with, though, is that quality STM publishing hinges on accurate and accessible data.
Digital publications for scientific research
Open source STM journals interactive platforms that offer both authors and publishers the flexibility and insight needed to facilitate scientific progression and discovery. Ejournals and electronic publications possess innovative features and functionalities that adequately manage the rapidly evolving needs and complexities of the STM community. One of the capabilities of open access journals that make them especially appealing to researchers is the data manipulation component, which makes it easy for scientists to work with the numbers and figures of their peers' studies. Rather than working with static documents, STM authors are able to access Web-based resources that offer more agility.
"Interactive journals give STM publishing increased capabilities."
In addition to improving collaboration efforts and increasing visibility levels, articles that are published through open access journals are downloaded and cited more than those of its traditional counterpart, according to the University of Technology at Eindhoven. In addition, these academic and scientific works are published faster and reach a broader range of people.
Studies have shown that one of the top concerns pertaining to open source journals is the lack of established reputation they have, which has influenced some to believe the publications on these journals won't be as credible or authoritative. However, researchers have also found that the level of skepticism and hesitance people have about the platform are decreasing over time.
In fact, a global survey conducted by The Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan indicated that researchers are becoming increasingly accepting of open access publishing. In 2014, 40 percent of those surveyed said they were wary about the quality of these publications but, in 2015, only 27 percent were.
NPG Head of Insights Dan Penny indicated that the acceptance of open access and interactive journals will likely continue to grow as these models gain popularity and receive financial support from funders. He also added that high quality scientific research published by researchers could help improve the perception of these journals.
It's Public *Library* of Science.