F1000 Research – join us and shape the future of scholarly communication

Posted by Rebecca Lawrence, 30 January 2012

We are delighted to announce our plans to launch F1000 Research (from Faculty of 1000), a novel, fully Open Access publishing program. The project, which will begin publishing later this year, is intended to address three major issues afflicting scientific publishing today: timely dissemination of research, peer review and sharing of data.

F1000 Research will diverge from traditional journal publishing as follows:

  1. Immediate publication (beyond an initial sanity check) upon submitting to the repository. It no longer makes sense to wait months or years to read, comment, or build upon another lab’s work, and similarly to hold back your own data and insights until the archival version is released, without the benefit of wider peer feedback. All work at pre-review stage will be very clearly indicated as such.
  2. Open, post-publication peer review. This means no closed editorial decisions based on personal biases or subjective views of possible impact. Review will be a simple formal check by invited reviewers confirming that the work is scientifically sound, with commenting optional. At this and any stage following deposition of the work, any registered reader can also comment on the work and authors can respond. An “approved” or “not approved” stamp with the invited reviewers’ name(s) and comments will then accompany the article.
  3. Revisioning of work.  Authors are encouraged, and tools are provided, to engage in dialog and to revise their work with either small amendments using versioning, or through bigger updates to their work in separate but linked articles.
  4. Raw data repository. Authors are strongly encouraged to publish accompanying data either separately or with the associated analytical narrative; if separate, different (or additional) authors can be credited and two publications will be citable. Datasets can also be published without any associated analysis and conclusions, simply with basic protocol information. Standardized templates are being developed with industry leaders to permit the data and associated information to be indexed and mined, potentially for further publication credit.
  5. “Article” format is not predefined. A range of formats will be acceptable, from the standard research article, to discursive speculation based on preliminary results, to data tables and protocols, to posters and slides (as currently viewable in F1000 Posters).  We will encourage whatever format is appropriate to describe the work in a succinct format; this can later be expanded upon or supplemented in the repository, or published elsewhere, but serves as the author’s stake in the subject, with a timestamp, reviewer comments, and call for feedback.
  6. “Article” content is not predefined. Types of content that are currently routinely rejected or not even conceived of as publishable material will be encouraged for submission: e.g. negative results, case studies, thought experiments, preliminary analyses and incomplete datasets, all of which are important for the public record.

The default will be to use the most open of the Creative Commons licences, CC-BY for articles and, although we will not be hosting the data ourselves, we will be encouraging use of the CC0 licence for the data. In some instances however, there may be strong reasons not to use these licences in which case we will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Please join us!

Many questions remain as F1000 Research is fine-tuned to break new ground in scholarly publishing.

  • How much formal refereeing is required?
  • What is an article amendment versus an update?
  • What incentives are required to encourage post-publication refereeing, author response and revisions, and sharing of raw but template data?
  • What author fees are appropriate for the different types of content?

It is essential to build this new model with open discussion and debate that includes the bioresearch community, institutions, funders, data centres and repositories, and data mining and informatics groups.  Thus, prior to launching the actual journal in the coming months, this blog will serve as a meeting place to moderate the discussion.  We hope you’ll join us here, via the RSS feed, Twitter: @F1000Research, and other social networking venues to tackle how we practically implement the vision that has brought us this far.


UPDATE: See the extensive discussions about this post on Retraction Watch, ArsTechnica and Times Higher Education.

F1000Research is an original open science publishing platform for life scientists that offers immediate open access publication, transparent post-publication peer review by invited referees, and full data deposition and sharing. F1000Research accepts all scientifically sound articles, including single findings, case reports, protocols, replications, null/negative results, and more traditional articles.

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