11 Responses to New OA Publisher Aims to Compete with Preprint Servers

  1. Dorey, Gerald says:

    And yet the “most read” article carries a publication date of 30 October 2014 https://www.scienceopen.com/document/vid/f56d0ae5-c8f0-46b1-a4e8-7f1e63dfefc6
    ???

  2. Hello, Jeffrey. Here, I will briefly deal with my own experience with SO so far. Actually, I never received any email from them about arXiv papers of mine either before or after they asked me to contribute with a dedicated paper. I found in SO several papers on mine listed also in arXiv, but I do not see anything strange in this, since there are many other repositories tapping into arXiv: the CERN preprint server, eprintweb, etc. My publsihing experience with SO was quite good so far, and I have already received two meaningful and useful reviewes from a couple of renown experts in my field. At the moment, I did not pay anything (it should be a sort of complimentary welcome gift for incoming authors, which I appreciated). About arXiv, it is, of course, a fundamental pillar in disseminating academic knowledge and all of us are greatly indebted to it, but is is not free from drawbacks, as shown by their questionable conduct in the entire case of the Forst-Felici affaire, when I. Ciufolini, in order to fabricate a false consensus against myself and the GP-B team, posted on arXiv fake papers written by him using two different pseudonyms. Indeed, after exposing him twice, they self-censored their own retraction comments several times in a contradictory ballet, probably under any sort of pressures. Details here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.23238/abstract
    and here http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2014/05/10/pseudonyms-vs-sock-puppets/#.U4SxgPl_uSo

  3. Jeffrey,
    Thank you for your open feedback. Despite the fact that I may apparently not agree with most of your concerns and comments I frankly appreciate that you have initiated this discussion. I believe that this will assist us a lot to make our initiative more popular among potential users in scholarly research. And as we both know this has been always a challenge for all new ideas or projects in science and technology.
    ScienceOpen is a new OA platform to enable users to easily track, access and comment articles or preprints of current research, transparently receive feedback by peers, or start an open discussion about it. As far as I know these functionalities have been often suggested for example as add-on features for existing preprint servers (as Timothy Gowers and others did) but were never implemented in a single platform for all disciplines in scholarly publishing. Therefore, just to address one of your points, I believe that our initiative will strengthen the position of preprint servers rather than to weaken it.
    Before I became the founder of ScienceOpen, I had been working as active researcher in Physics for more than a decade. To be open: I would have loved to get access to these features at that time and this was also the feedback I did receive from many scientists in the recent months. My team and me approached many hundreds of reseachers in person in the last year and I was impressed to receive so much enthusiasm and active support in reply to our vision.
    Therefore I would be also glad to get constructive feedback from you to enable us to further develop the site. Please feel free to share your ideas with me. Thank you.
    Alexander

    • J.J. says:

      Can you address the question of the use of content licensed under noncommercial CC? Since your company is apparently for profit.

      • Thanks, of course I may answer it if you feel not sure about that issue, and I made the experience that not every scholar oversees the situation of CC licensing.

        As we know CC-BY NC explicitly says that “a commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation”. However, we do neither charge e.g. for use of any articles nor do we take them an re-sell. It’s all free and we made the data accessible as it has been obviously the intention of the authors.
        Since you were addressing the issue that we are a project aiming for profit (hopefully yes, to let us compensate at least a part of the huge investment from our own pockets ;-) ): Please let us recall that CC’s definition does not turn on the TYPE of user: whether you are a nonprofit or charitable organization or not does not interfere with CC-BY NC licensing.

        If you feel still unsure about that what I said please have a look at http://www.creativecommons.org

        Alexander

  4. Thank you again for starting that discussion. Please let me come back to the catchy statement in the headline of your blog post because it appears to be misleading for other readers, too: We are not hosting content but simply using the article metadata to make them searchable in our database. That’s the very purpose of metadata, NC or not. Any user who has accessed ScienceOpen will have realized that the article itself is linked out to the original ressource, for example either arXiv or the original journal post. Therefore let me ask myself: Are we a preprint server? No, we aren’t. So I do not completely understand your statement that we are going to “compete with preprint servers”, I am afraid. If this statement summarizes the conclusion of your analysis I would ask you to make that point more clear. Thanks.
    Alexander

    • Well, looking closely at your spam email, you encourage researchers to stop submitting to places such as arXiv and instead submit to ScienceOpen. This sounds like competition to me. If I own Coca Cola, and I say, “Why buy a Pepsi when you can buy a Coca Cola?”, then I am competing with Pepsi. Coca Cola, Pepsi. ScienceOpen, arXiv. Same thing.

  5. Charging authors $800 is a commercial use. In that, SO makes some money from its services – it therefore offers a commercial service. You pay money as an author, so you get access to the services that SO offers. This is how all commercial OA journals work.
    However, you have prompted me that in my journal, we recently changed to CCBY to do the right thing- I am going to amend this now to insure commercial reposting is not allowed.

    • Thanks. Let me ask first: Which journal do you refer to and would you like to share your full profile and name with readers of this post and me? The reason why I am asking is that I would like to support tranparency and openness not only in publishing but in a professional communication, too ;-)

      Thank you for your feedback. Just to be precise: You are talking about professional publishing services offered by ScienceOpen, not about accessing oa articles or preprints posted under a CC license elsewhere and not about those (free) functionalities at the site which we have been discussing above: network, search, communication, peer-Review, etc. All these funtionalities are (of course) free of charge.

      Yes, authors who want to publish their work as a new article at ScienceOpen and want to get extra publishing services as DOI assignation, editorial check, copyediting, typesetting, XML-conversion etc, will pay an article processing charge (APC) as it is standard at any other oa publisher. This is a commercial service. And as mentioned in my reply to J.J. yesterday there is no conflict with CC licensing and it’s nothing wrong about it ;-)

      Finally, let me briefly comment on your last statement: As an author who wants to publish open access, therefore assigns a CC-BY license to the article and pays money to the Publisher, I would be very surprised seeing my publisher in the role of somebody who wants to permit free and open access of my work. This is the very reason to publish open access and it would be amazing to obstruct it. Please feel free to comment if you feel that this is not accurate. Thanks.

  6. Dom says:

    I had one of these emails informing me that my article was now available! I had published it a year earlier in BMC Biology (proper OA, decent impact factor), so I was a little surprised and worried that someone was apparently ‘republishing’ my paper.

    I questioned these guys and when pushed they removed my article – its already freely available where I chose to publish it. I would be interested to see how many other harvested articles have, or could be removed on author request.

    Although not the arguments I used to have my article removed, the following bothered me:

    (1) the article looked as if ScienceOpen had published it (unless you look carefully).

    (2) it was then being used as a marketing tool for their publishing activity – mixing, in the same email, “we’ve archived your freely available paper” with “we can publish your next paper (for profit)”.

    The slick video where one of them talks about enjoying ‘working with scientists’ made me smile as it does not seem to fit a model where they ‘help themselves’ to work without asking. The first is a two sided concept (collaboration) while the second is very one sided.

  7. lantzelot2014 says:

    I just received an email from them. It was addressed to me but giving a different name than mine in the greeting, referring to an article of mine that I never wrote. And none of the provided links work. For fun I googled the title of the article that they claim that I wrote. It does indeed exist on arXiv, but with yet another author name, not even matching the name in the greeting.
    Does not seem very serious to me, I’ll spend my time elsewhere.

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