A call for disruptive innovation in science publishing

Cooper (2012) quotes: “A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect.” -Wikipedia

Then proposes: Now that Nature Precedings is no more, a new disruptive open data-sharing platform (ODSP) for the life sciences is needed. Based, in part, by the model Nature Precedings established. Here I propose 5 qualities of an ideal ODSP and outline 10 benefits (see Table 1) to scientists for embracing such a potentially disruptive model. 

Table 1. Benefits of An Ideal Open Data-Share Platform

1. Negative data can be reported and shared

2. Preliminary data reporting can foster collaborations

3. Demonstration of feasability and preliminary data for grant applications with shrinking page limits

4. Students can publish their findings on small projects that enable them to establish themselves in scientific research

5. Novel findings can be established in a permanent and citable digital record

6. Findings from unfunded pilot projects can be reported

7. Free general public access to scientific findings

8. Copyright is retained by the creator of the work, the researcher, not the publisher

9. Fast (days) compared to the established peer review model (months)

10. Venue for early crowd-funding of small project 

The above list was published in a new online venue, figshare.com. Is this the wave of the future? Here’s a paragraph from the “about” page on figshare.com.

Figshare allows researchers to publish all of their research outputs in seconds in an easily citable, sharable and discoverable manner. All file formats can be published, including videos and datasets that are often demoted to the supplemental materials section in current publishing models. By opening up the peer review process, researchers can easily publish null results, avoiding the file drawer effect and helping to make scientific research more efficient. Figshare uses creative commons licensing to allow frictionless sharing of research data whilst allowing users to maintain their ownership.

Since each post in The Pterosaur Heresies is a mini-paper, I fully support the aims and objectives of this effort. With regard to palaeontology, so far only Andrew Farke and Greg Paul have made contributions to figshare.com.

Cooper D 2012. A call for disruptive innovation in science publishing with a new open data-sharing platform for the life sciences. figshare.com 3.0 2011 Nature Precedings. pp. 2

3 thoughts on “A call for disruptive innovation in science publishing

  1. I’m sure more Palaeontologists have made contributions so far..? Right? I’ve uploaded a lot of material, but can’t make it public until publication yet :)

  2. As far as improving on supp mat as a venue for sharing the data associated with articles, there’s quite a healthy stream of paleo data being made available through datadryad.org now that the paleo society journals are behind the effort.

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