Is the time right for a preprint server for life science?

On the other hand, physicists like to say physics is to math as sex is to masturbation.Academics in physics, economics, or math often think that life scientists (like myself) are weird because life science doesn’t have a preprint server. Life science is a fast-paced discipline, but there’s no place where the latest research can be found, discussed, and where the primacy of results can be established. There’s a lot of value in life science research (the reproducible subset, that is) but instead of staking your claim to a finding shortly after you get the data, many researchers feel like they have to write a polished paper, submit it to a prestigious journal, and wait nerve-wracking months to years for the process of review, rejection, resubmission to finally make their results available to a subset of others in their field.As submission-to-publication times grow, fears of someone else getting there first grow and there are often accusations of “anonymous” reviewers asking for more experiments, just to delay the publication of a paper from a competing lab. What can be done about this? Read More »

Interview with eLife, a new tech-forward #openaccess journal

I recently caught up with the very busy eLife team to ask them a few questions, along the same lines as the PeerJ interview I did earlier this year. While there are many new open access journals launching every year, we think this one is special because they’re breaking the traditional mold in some significant ways: bringing transparency to reviews, implementing full open access as opposed to just free-to-read access, and redesigning the publication processes to implement modern technology. They’re also intending to be highly selective, somewhat breaking the newly popular megajournal mold from which PLOS ONE was cast and which most major traditional publishers have hastened to copy.Read More »

Liveblogging Open Science Summit

I’m here at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View for Open Science Summit. This is my third year at the conference and it’s so great to see so many familiar faces. I’ll be talking about the developments in open access over the past few years and updating this page as the day progresses.

9:00 – The day starts off with Tyler Neylon recounting the story of the Cost of Knowledge petition. He’s drawing from a historical view to project into the future of open access.Read More »

Here's one solution for the reproducibility crisis in scientific research.

We talk a lot about open access here, but one thing we haven’t delved into as much as we could is the quality of the research. We have plenty of data on the attention the world’s academics are paying to research outputs (watch this space for more on this) but we haven’t done as much to address the quality aspect as we have done to address the quantity of freely available research via open access. Today, that’s all going to change.Read More »

An interview with the founders of PeerJ, an innovative new academic publishing startup.

We’re very excited to announce today the launch of PeerJ, a fascinating new experiment to find an open access business model which improves upon accessibility, submission time, and the peer review mechanism. One reason we’re excited is that Mendeley and PeerJ share quite a bit of common history. Our former research director, Jason Hoyt, is one of the co-founders, and the other co-founder is Pete Binfield, the former publisher of one of our closest publishing allies, PLoS ONE. This development is also exciting in the context of the massive public support of open access and the other publishing startups in this space, such as eLife and F1000 Reports.Read More »

Support free access to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. #OAMonday

At Mendeley, we believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. We have worked with colleagues in the library, publishing, research, student, university, epatient, and advocacy communities to develop tools and promote policies that will make research more efficient so that we can address the great challenges of our time.

Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.

We have a brief, critical window of opportunity to underscore our community’s strong commitment to expanding the NIH Public Access Policy across all U.S. Federal Science Agencies. The administration is currently considering which policy actions are priorities that will they will act on before the 2012 Presidential Election season swings into high gear later this summer. We need to ensure that Public Access is one of those priorities.

The highly successful Public Access Policy of the US National Institutes of Health proves that opening access can be done without disrupting the research process. Here’s an opportunity to get guaranteed legislative action on open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research. Access is a global issue, so you don’t have to be a US resident to sign, you just need an email address:

Sign the petition here and please share with your colleagues.

On sharing research and the value of peer-review: Mendeley's response to #SOPA and the Research Works Act.

UPDATE: The RFIs have now been posted and there’s a petition opposing the RWA on

The US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently issued a Request for Information on their existing policy requiring some federally-funded work to be submitted to Pubmed Central, where it’s freely accessible to the public. We were pleased to have the opportunity to respond and a summary of our response is below. Before getting into that, however, I’d like to take a little detour and talk a little about our mission and how that relates to the scholarly endeavor. Our mission at Mendeley is to help researchers organize research, collaborate easily with colleagues, and discover new research. Read More »