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@ The Library

Open Access Science

by Michael Pujals on 2019-01-31T14:29:15-08:00 in Publishing, Dominican Scholar | Comments

I noticed that over the last week or so, there have been a few stories about open access science initiatives. Rather than several posts, we'll combine them into one.

Chemistry and Biology Preprints on the rise

Nature recently wrote about the rise in the number of the preprints available to biologists though the bioRxiv repository and soon after Chemical & Engineerign News wrote a story about chemistry preprints in ChemRxiv

Let's backtrack for a moment and talk about preprints and subject repositories. Let's start with some definitions, in the publishing world there are Preprints, Postprints, and the Publisher's version of an article:

  • Preprints are articles that have yet to go through the peer-review process
  • Postprints have been peer-reviewed but they haven't been formatted by the publisher
  • Publisher's version is the final version of the article that appears in the journal with all the formatting in place

In the early 1990s physicists found that publishing in journals hampered the ability to share research quickly; the time delay slowed down the advancement of research. To speed up sharing they created arXiv (pronounced as archive) a repository where researchers could upload their preprints that went through a moderation process rather than full peer-review. The information got out much more quickly speeding up advancements in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, and Economics. arXiv now houses 1, 494,667 electronic preprints.

More recently, biologists and chemists have created their own online subject repositories. The article in Nature states that: "researchers posted, on average, 1,711 preprints a month to bioRxiv in the first 11 months of 2018" and that "analysis also shows that the number of downloads from the site has topped 1 million per month."

Additionally, "Two-thirds of the preprints posted on bioRxiv in or before 2016 were later published in peer-reviewed journals, most within six months of their initial posting to the site."

Read more:

What bioRxiv’s first 30,000 preprints reveal about biologists (Nature, 1/22/2019)

Chemistry preprints pick up steam (Chemical & Engineering News, v.97 no. 3)

The National Library of Medicine is Making it Easier to Discover Data Sets

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) have created Data Discovery at the National Library of Medicine

According to the site: "As part of its work to fuel data-driven discovery and innovation, the National Library of Medicine has launched Data Discovery, a platform to provide access to datasets from selected NLM resources. Users can explore, filter, visualize, and export data in a variety of formats, including Excel, JSON, XML, as well as access and build with these datasets via API"

Read the Article: Data Discovery at NLM for more information

Go to Data Discovery at the National Library of Medicine

New Article: What is Open Science, and How Can Radical Collaboration Facilitate It?


Open science is a multi-faceted movement serving as a goal and a motivation for many stakeholders, from researchers to information professionals and from funders to the general public. Aspects of open science include: open sharing of research materials such as data and code, collaborative research platforms, crowdsourcing platforms, blogs, open peer review, open educational resources, altmetrics, and more. These diverse aspects can be classified into schools of thought and are emphasized by members of various open-focused communities to different degrees (from intense belief to neutral to opposition in some cases). Regardless of the differences in views between diverse communities and differences in aspects or approaches, each of these forms of open science allows for additional levels of understanding, participation, or both by people external to the group producing the science.

Read the full article



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