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Blogging for the 21st Century

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Scientific collaboration in the era of COVID-19

and 4 collaborators

We're in a crisis 

We are in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis. Just weeks since its outbreak, the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has already affected, and will continue to affect, our daily lives, around the globe, for the foreseeable future. The answers and the solutions to this crisis will come from science. But the crisis affects science, too.
It affects students, educators, and researchers; not just their day-to-day lives, social ties, and work routines, but also their ability to actively collaborate, convene in face-to-face meetings, attend academic conferences, teach and learn in an open university setting, pay a visit to the library, work overnight at the laboratory, and so on.
But the thing is: science cannot stop. Scientific progress must go on. For each one of the challenges that scientists face in this time of crisis, there is, or there will be, a solution. We believe that the solution is not to be found in a single technological tool, product, framework, institution, funding agency, or company. It is the global cyber-infrastructure of scientific collaboration, built on scientific rigor, intellectual curiosity, and cooperation, that will enable science to advance in such difficult times. 

The power of scientific collaboration

As scientists, publishers, science communicators and technologists, we believe that: 
a. Science is the solution to the ongoing crisis. Now more than ever, reliance on the scientific method, rigor and clarity of scientific communication, transparency, reproducibility, and seamless sharing of all research data (including negative results), are fundamental to solving this health crisis and advancing human progress.
b. Global collaboration and cooperation, beyond and above national and economic interests, is necessary not only at the scientific level, but also at the political and societal level. We're more interconnected and interdependent today than ever. And such interconnectedness extends to the ecological ecosystem in which we live. A crisis of such scale requires global solidarity, bipartisan political action, civic participation, and long-term thinking.

1,000+ preprints and counting 

and 2 collaborators

1,000 preprints

This week we reached an important milestone: 1,000 documents on the Authorea Preprint repository. You can visit and browse the repository at https://authorea.com/preprints
What is a preprint? Preprints are early versions of a scientific manuscripts, shared with the public prior to formal peer review. A preprint on Authorea receives a DOI. It can be a complete scientific manuscript submitted to a journal, an essay, a whitepaper, or a blog post. Preprints on Authorea can contain datasets, code, figures, interactive visualizations and computational notebooks.
A preprint is the fastest and most effective way to share early research findings with the scientific community and the public.
As shown in Figure \ref{148118}, we experienced tremendous growth of posted preprints in the last couple of months, since the launch of Wiley Open Research at the end of November 2019.

NEW! A redesigned equation editor

We recently redesigned our equation editor that allows you to insert equations and mathematical notation using a visual editor as well as LaTeX.
How to use it: start a new document or open an existing one. Click Edit at the top of the document and find the \(\mathbf{x^2y}\) button in the toolbar. 

What's new

  1. a brand new look
  2. more mathematical support (we upgraded our KaTeX rendering engine to v. 0.11.1)
  3. a rich toolbar with so many more useful symbols, operators, and letters
  4. quick switch from visual editor (fig \ref{997418}) to LaTeX editor (fig \ref{366376})
  5. ability to display the equation inline, as in \(e=mc^2\) or on a new line, numbered, as below, in Equation 1  (Note: the number will appear when you quit editing)
\[ \Psi = \prod_{n=1}^N\Psi \left (\mathbf{r}_n,s_{zn}, t \right ) \]

Embedding videos, music, and other rich media

Starting today, you can now include videos, images, music, charts, and other kinds of rich media in your Authorea documents.

How to add rich media

To get started, create a new document or open an existing one. Enter edit mode and click Insert -> Rich Media. Then paste a URL.

What kind of rich media can I embed?

Thanks to our API connection with iframely, you can embed content from 1900+ publishers such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Google Maps, Spotify, Vimeo, or Tableau. The card generated in Authorea will allow you to view images, interact with apps, play music, interact with surveys, cards, GIFs, AMP, simple APIs, etc.

What's new? What are we working on? Authorea's Product Roadmap 2020 🗓

and 3 collaborators

As the year comes to a close, we reflect on what we accomplished in 2019 and what we have in store for 2020.

Host articles, preprints, files, data, code, more 

and 1 collaborator

At Authorea, we made it possible to host data behind figures in your documents from the very beginning. Starting today, however, you can add arbitrary datasets and files to your Authorea document.

How to add files in your documents

It's easy! Start a new document or open an existing one and in the toolbar select Insert 👉File, then select a file to host (Figure 1). The hosted file will look like this:

DOIs are now free! One-click publishing for preprints, articles, data and code

and 1 collaborator

As of today, you can assign DOIs to your content for free

At Authorea, we have been offering publishing tools to authors for a long time. DOIs are the industry standard for registering content with the scholarly record by getting a persistent identifier. (What is a DOI?).
As of today, we're making it possible for everyone to publish content in one click. Just sign up to Authorea with an account and follow the steps below:

Writing a response to reviewers

You recently submitted your first manuscript for publication, and you were pleased when the editor decided to send the manuscript out for peer review. Now you have gotten the reviews back, and the editor has asked you to revise your manuscript in light of the reviewers' comments. How should you tackle this task?
The comprehensive guide by \citet{Noble_2017} "Ten simple rules for writing a response to reviewers" gives you some concrete tips to organize and write a compelling letter for reviewers addressing their comments.
Rule 6 states: 
Use typography to help the reviewer navigate your response:
Use changes of typeface, color, and indenting to discriminate between 3 different elements: the review itself, your responses to the review, and changes that you have made to the manuscript.
If you are writing your manuscript in Authorea, you can now very easily produce a changelog of your manuscript (the changes you have made to the manuscript) which you can export as PDF and include in your response to reviewers. 

Our Product Roadmap 2018-2019 🗓

and 1 collaborator

Here's our product roadmap for the next 12 months, so that you know what is keeping us busy these days, and what to expect from Authorea.

Authorea is acquired by Atypon and joins the Wiley family

We have some big news 🙊

What the future of research writing and publishing could look like

Research writing and publishing is broken. Hyperbole you say? Perhaps, but I am not sure how else to describe a system where I could have a child faster than I could formally publish a research paper \cite{Björk2013}. A system where I can no longer access some of my own work now that I have left academia or even worse a system where the public could never really access my work despite funding it through Federal grants \cite{Bj_rk_2017}. Sure, there are some cases where these statements are not true but for the most part they are and that is troubling. The list of problems goes on: papers have become harder to read over time and increasingly full of hype or spin \cite{Plav_n_Sigray_2017,Vinkers_2015}, the literature becomes more biased everyday--devoid of "negative results," and most work is largely irreproducible \cite{Collaboration2015,Begley2012} or at the very least never independently verified. So, yes, research publishing is broken and research is being hurt by how it is communicated.  How did it get this way and how can we improve it?
Historically, researchers primarily communicated amongst each other by giving talks, publishing books, and writing letters. In 1655 research publishing was formalized with the launch of the first journal, Philosophical Transactions \cite{Oldenburg_1665}. The process remained largely unchanged until the 1960's and 70's, when peer review was introduced (this was facilitated by new technologies like photocopying). And that's mostly it–nothing else has changed despite even the introduction of the industry-changing world wide web. Compare Einstein's 1916 publication \cite{1915SPAW.......844E} on the prediction of gravitational waves to the publication detecting gravitational waves \cite{Abbott_2016}–100 years difference, massive changes in research technologies, identical format and largely the same publication process.

Getting Started with Authorea🚶‍

and 1 collaborator

Hello, and welcome to Authorea!👋  We're happy to have you join us on this journey towards making writing and publishing smoother, data-driven, interactive, open, and simply awesome. This document is a short guide on how to get started with Authorea, specifically how to take advantage of some of our powerful tools. Of course, feedback and questions are not only welcome, but encouraged--just hit the comment icon at the top of the document 💬and join the conversation.

The Basics

Authorea is a document editing and publishing system built primarily for researchers. It allows you to collaborate on documents and publish them easily. Each Authorea document can include data, interactive figures, and code. But first, let's get started! 

1. Sign up.

If you're not already signed up, do so at authorea.com/signup.  Tip: if you are part of an organization, sign up with your organizational email.
 

2. First steps

During the signup process you will be asked a few questions: your location, your title, etc. You will be also prompted to join a group. Groups are awesome! They allow you to become part of a shared document workspace. Tip: during signup, join a group or create a new one for your team.
Overall, we suggest you fill out your profile information to get the best possible Authorea experience and to see if any of your friends are already on the platform. If you don't do it initially during sign up, don't worry; you can always edit your user information in your settings later on.
Once you've landed on your profile page (see below). There are a few things you should immediately do:
  1. Add a profile picture. You've got a great face, show it to the world :) For reference, please see Pete, our chief dog officer (CDO), below. 
  2. Add personal and group information. If you haven't added any personal information, like a bio, a group affiliation, your ORCID, or your location, do it! You might find some people at your organization already part of Authorea, plus it is a great way to build your online footprint, which is always good for getting jobs.

Up-Goer Five Challenge: Explain Your Research Using the Ten Hundred Most Common Words

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
Writing is hard. Writing about complex concepts is even harder. Writing about complex concepts with little writing training, that's research communication. And while research writing is difficult and often under-taught, it is critical to the success of a researcher and research. Implicit in the dictum publish or perish, is that you must write. Researchers write papers, syllabi, grants, progress reports and a variety of different documents on a daily basis. Yet researchers don't typically write for the public...or for fun. Today, we'd like to change that, with the Up Goer Five Challenge! A contest that challenges researchers to use only the ten hundred most common words to explain their research. We're offering everyone that participates in the Upgoer five challenge a free premium membership on Authorea for a year! We think such a challenge is great for PIs, postdocs, students, and anyone doing research and it is great for the community and public. We also think it's quite fun!

To enter, follow these steps:

  1. Signup at authorea.com/signup to create an account.
  2. Upon signup, select the group "Up-Goer Five" to join the challenge.
  3. Describe your research using the ten hundred most common words with the Up-Goer five text editor
  4. Copy and paste your entry into a public Authorea document.
  5. Hit "Publish" on the toolbar to publish your document to the Up-Goer five group.
  6. Assign a digital object identifier (DOI) to make it citable.
  7. Share it socially and challenge your friends! (#upgoerfive)

The most powerful platform for scientific blogging 💪

and 3 collaborators

When you think of blogging you might think of a blog for cuddly cats, party parrots, the '90s, or celebrity gossip (we will not link to any of those, except cuddly cats). You probably do not think of ground breaking research, original ideas, and a powerful mechanism for research communication. And while you may be largely right, there is a world of blogging that is extremely important, a community that we wish to empower and serve with our latest feature release at Authorea, scientific blogging. In this post we wish to highlight how blogging can improve research, improve researchers career prospects, and why researchers should use a system designed for research blogging, like Authorea.

Blogging as a place for correcting the scientific record

Blogging has proven to be integral towards maintaining and correcting the scientific literature. In fact, in many cases it is blogs and other forums where scientific fraud as well as common errors are first highlighted and ultimately corrected \cite{Yeo_2016}.  

Blogging as a place for publishing "grey literature"

Blogging allows researchers to post different types of content, ranging from journal clubs, peer reviews, single-figure observations, class essays, opinions, etc. There is a huge value to the research community to share "different" types of content, blogging allows researchers to easily do that.
 

Blogging as a place of public outreach

Nearly all original peer-review publications are paywalled. Meaning it is difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of the world to legally access scientific research. Blogs, however, are nearly all completely open and accessible. More than that, they are also often times accessible in language. The discoveries and recommendations for which society invests substantial economic and human capital, should be directly disseminated by the people who really understand them, and not by the media and the political class, who often over-hype and in some case even distort the results. Blogging can be the long sought bridge between academia and the general public, something increasingly becoming required by grant agencies.

Blogging as a way to advance your career

Blogs are by and large thought of as a distraction from communicating scientific ideas in a way that "counts." However, blogs can in many cases have a much larger impact on your career by providing you a forum to communicate with the world. Not all careers and hirers have such a limited way of thinking as tenure committees.
Want to start blogging today? Create a group with us for free here. Want a custom design? Email us at hi@authorea.com 

Q&A with protocols.io

and 4 collaborators

What is your mission?

We founded Authorea with the mission of accelerating and opening up scientific discovery. We were frustrated that a writing tool didn't fully suit the needs of researchers -- especially researchers in a web-first, data-driven world.  Our mission is to reinvent how research documents are written and shared to capture the power of the web. In short, we allow researchers to create 21st century documents for 21st century research.

What is the story behind Authorea?

Authorea was started by two physicists, Alberto Pepe and Nathan Jenkins, who met while working at CERN in Geneva. CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web. The web was initially created to be a scientific information network that would allow researchers to share and disseminate scientific insights as fast as possible . The web today touches many facets of our lives: we produce massive volumes of content for the web, in HTML. Yet, scientific information is by and large still written, published and exchanged in formats which are not fully web compatible. PDFs and Microsoft Word documents, for example, are printer-centric rather than web-centric. Our plan with Authorea was to bring the writing process and its products (scientific manuscripts) to the web.
We're a small group of former researchers from variety of different backgrounds, including life sciences, physics, math, computer science, and even the classics! 

Authorea and the American Association for Cancer Research Partner to Streamline Research Editing & Publishing

and 2 collaborators

BROOKLYN, NY, August 28 2017 – Authorea, the online document editor for researchers, has partnered with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world’s first and largest cancer research organization.  By working with the AACR, Authorea aims to help researchers more easily format and submit their papers by offering one-click submission to journals published by the AACR.
The AACR, founded in 1907, publishes some of the world’s most important discoveries in cancer research and is comprised of over 37,000 members in 108 countries. Christine Rullo, Publisher and Vice President, Scientific Publications at the AACR, says, “We’re excited to partner with Authorea for a more seamless submission option for researchers writing on Authorea.”
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, adds: “Our association with the AACR will help to advance research writing and editing for clinicians and scientists who work in all aspects of cancer research.  Authorea aims to bring document editing into the 21st century while supporting authors in meeting their professional goals.”
Launched in 2014 and used by over 100,000 researchers from all disciplines in academia as well as leading private research companies, Authorea allows researchers to collaborate in real-time for an easier and more seamless writing and publishing experience. The journal templates below assist authors in structuring their manuscript as appropriate for each of the AACR journals. 

Templates

Press Contact
Adyam Ghebre, Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About Authorea
Authorea is an online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 21,900 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.

Authorea and BioRxiv partner to bring preprints into 21st century

and 4 collaborators

BROOKLYN, NY, July 18, 2017 -- Authorea, the collaborative document editor for researchers, today announced a partnership and direct submission agreement with bioRxiv, the leading preprint server for biological research. The agreement enables researchers writing documents on Authorea to submit preprints directly to bioRxiv with one-click.
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea says: "bioRxiv is having a tremendous impact in the life sciences. We're excited to work with bioRxiv and their highly engaged community to offer more powerful preprinting capabilities for authors. Authorea's mission is to accelerate scientific discovery by making tools that help researchers write and disseminate their work. bioRxiv is an important partner in this pursuit. "
bioRxiv, a non-profit service of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory funded in part by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,  has emerged as the go-to place for life scientists to preprint scholarly research. Today, hundreds of preprints a month are posted, the rate of submission is rising rapidly, and the service now contains more than 11,000 preprints. As life-scientist support swells dramatically, bioRxiv will demonstrate that preprinting in the life sciences is critical to advance the body of research faster than could otherwise be done.
Richard Sever, co-founder of bioRxiv, says: "bioRxiv's goal is to speed up research by allowing authors to share work as quickly and easily as possible. Authorea has created a great, next-generation authoring tool for scientists, and we're delighted to integrate with them to allow direct submission. Hopefully this is just the first step in a partnership that will make writing, sharing and discovering papers easier."
You can learn more about directly submitting to bioRxiv here.

Turn-key research writing and publishing with Authorea for groups and teams

and 2 collaborators

Authorea aims to make research writing and dissemination more effective and modern for all of research. That means academic research as well as tech, biotech, pharma, real estate, and financial research, to mention a few. One question we receive almost across all groups when discussing how Authorea might be able to help researchers is: "Can we customize the appearance of articles and profile pages to use on our own site?" Our answer: "Yes, soon." 
Today, we're happy to introduce the ability for groups, labs, teams, private companies, and large organizations to customize the appearance of their organization page as well as their documents (see Fig \ref{303825}). This group-based feature is currently available only to licensed groups (see pricing page).

Authorea and SSRN Partner to Offer Authors a Better Way to Write and Edit Documents

and 4 collaborators

BROOKLYN, NY, September 12, 2017 -- Authorea, the online document editor for researchers, has partnered with the SSRN, one of the world's leading preprint repositories with recent expansion in the life and physical sciences. The partnership allows researchers to write and edit their documents on Authorea and directly publish their work at SSRN with a few simple clicks.
Authorea, launched in 2014, has developed a new way for researchers to write, edit, and collaborate on research documents and today serves over 100,000 researchers from all disciplines.
SSRN, launched in 1994, allows researchers to freely share working papers, conference papers, and preprints across 30 disciplines, including Economics, Law, Philosophy, Biology, Chemistry, and others. With over 700,000 research papers, it is the second largest preprint server in the world.
Gregg Gordon, CEO of SSRN, says, "Authorea has developed a powerful editor for researchers that makes document editing and collaboration easy. We're excited to be working with Authorea to bring a new way of writing and submission to our community of researchers and are keen on advancing this partnership further over time. Authorea is a dynamic tool enabling scholars to easily write mathematical and scientific formulas all in one document without cumbersome formatting often associated with complicated computations."
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, says: “We're excited to partner with SSRN to offer a better way for researchers to write, edit, and publish their documents. Authorea was founded to bring document editing into the 21st century and we're happy to partner with SSRN towards this goal."
Step-by-step instructions: How to submit to SSRN
Press Contact
Adyam Ghebre,
Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About Authorea
Authorea is an online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.

The arXiv of the future will not look like the arXiv

and 2 collaborators

The arXiv is the most popular preprint repository in the world. Since its inception in 1991, the arXiv has allowed researchers to freely share publication-ready articles prior to formal peer review. The growth and the popularity of the arXiv emerged as a result of new technologies that made document creation and dissemination easy, and cultural practices that incentivized collaboration and data sharing. The arXiv represents a unique place in the history of research communication and the Web itself, however it has arguably changed very little since its creation.  Here we look at the strengths and weaknesses of arXiv in an effort to identify what possible improvements can be made based on new technologies not previously available. Based on this, we argue that a modern arXiv might in fact not look at all like the arXiv of today.  

The American Astronomical Society & Authorea Partner for Enhanced Collaborative Document Editing and Direct Submission 

and 3 collaborators

BROOKLYN, NY, July 29 2017 -- Authorea, the online document editor for researchers,  has partnered with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the world's leading organization for astrophysicists and astronomers. With the partnership, researchers wishing to publish in AAS journals can now use Authorea to prepare their manuscripts and submit directly to any AAS journal for publication. The integration ensures documents automatically conform to AAS journal submission requirements, substantially reducing formatting time and effort.

From Collaborative Authoring to Collaborative Reviewing

and 1 collaborator

Publishing needs to keep up with research writing

Modern research is written collaboratively, online, and with more accompanying data and media than ever before. The number of collaborators is going up \cite{Adams_2012} and in many cases the time to publish is going up as well \cite{Powell_2016} -- it's truly a time of great change in the research world. 
At the same time, researchers have more publication options than ever before \cite{Larsen_2010}. The proliferation of publication options means that researchers have endless options for their work. How do researchers choose the best venue for their work? What happens when the first venue declines to publish a piece -- how do the authors find an alternative? How can publishers evolve to these changing demands? 

Most of the time submission is grueling for authors

As most seasoned authors know, the submission process is neither easy nor enjoyable. Often there is a long road ahead of submit-reject-reformat-submit-revise-resubmit-proof. It's not fun. One of the most vexing issue for authors is the intense amount of formatting that goes into conforming to a particular journal style. Submission requirements are vastly different from publication to publication and the result is that authors must spend enormous amounts of time preparing manuscripts.

Enter Authorea

Authorea is an online document editor that is collaborative and format-neutral. Authorea helps researchers write a manuscript in a vanilla style and then output to thousands of styles (see fig \ref{391184}). Authorea users, which number close to 100,000 and are growing daily, may also submit directly to hundreds of journals. 

The Society for Neuroscience & Authorea Partner for One-Click Submissions

BROOKLYN, NY, May 22, 2017 -- Authorea, the online home for researchers to write and disseminate documents, has partnered with Society for Neuroscience (SfN), the world's leading neuroscience organization. With the partnership researchers interested in submitting to SfN may use Authorea to submit manuscripts directly to eNeuro and The Journal of Neuroscience with one click. The integration greatly reduces formatting and data entry overhead for Authorea users by ensuring documents conform to SfN submission requirements automatically.
With the recent launch of its flagship document editor, Authorea has become the go-to place for researchers to write scholarly articles. Researchers have the freedom to write in multiple markup languages, store data alongside in-progress documents, establish collaborative workflows, insert and format citations, and much more. Submitting directly to the world's leading publishers allows any researcher writing on Authorea to have many options for publication.
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, says: “We're happy to be working with Society for Neuroscience to make collaboration and publication easier for neuroscientists. We're excited to work with such an important and engaged community.”
Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest and most prestigious neuroscience organization with over 40,000 international physicians and scientists. Founded in 1969 it publishes some of the world's leading research in the field of neuroscience.
Templates for submission to SfN can be found below
Press Contact
Adyam Ghebre, Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About Authorea
Authorea is an online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.

The Preprint Citation Bump     

and 2 collaborators

Abstract

Preprints are widely acknowledged to be beneficial to the research community. However, the career implications of an author preprinting their work are unclear. Here we discuss the implications of researchers preprinting their work in terms of precedence, visibility and citation impact, and manuscript editing. In short, we show that researchers that preprint their work have a citation boost ranging from 83% to 269% and that preprints can in practice improve your manuscript and that can limit "scooping."

What are preprints?

Preprints are publication-ready research articles that have yet to undergo peer review and be formally published. They are free, openly accessible, and widely reusable under permissive copyright licenses.  They accelerate research communication by putting dissemination under researcher control. While preprints are widely viewed as beneficial for research and are the norm in certain disciplines like physics, math, computer science, and statistics, preprinting is relatively new in other disciplines, like the life sciences, psychology, sociology and others.  In these fields - that are new to preprints - questions and confusion can arise around preprinting, potentially hampering their uptake and utility.

The benefits of preprinting

Below we highlight the benefits of preprinting your work at the individual level in an effort to encourage researchers to take control of their research. This article aims to show that preprinting is not just good for the community, but also good for the individual scientist, as outlined in "The selfish scientist’s guide to preprint posting" \cite{Kriegeskorte}.

Preprints allow researchers to claim precedence on a discovery

With funding rates at an all-time historic low (see figure \ref{849950}) researchers are hyper-competitive in many aspects of their careers. This competition, while good to an extent, can severely limit data sharing and open discussion, two practices necessary for the advancement of research.  One particular fear of researchers is that they might be "scooped," (ie their discovery is shared by someone else first).  

Why the ArXiv of the future will look like Authorea

and 1 collaborator

What is the ArXiv?

The arXiv, or actually, ar\(\chi\)iv (pronounced "archive", since \(\chi\) = "chi" 🤓 ) is the most popular preprint repository in the world. (Read: What is a preprint?) It was started in 1991 by physicist Paul Ginsparg (hi Paul! 👋 ) to become a way to quickly and freely give the scientific community access to the submission-ready research papers, as e-prints. While the arXiv initially covered only the fields of physics and astronomy, it grew over time to encompass other fields, such as computer science, quantitative biology, statistics, and quantitative finance. The rise of arXiv has been mostly limited to fields that use LaTeX, a typesetting system for math-heavy documents. This is because:  (1) the most efficient way to submit papers to arXiv is by uploading a LaTeX file which gets compiled to PDF, and (2) pre-printing has historically been a practice popular in the hard sciences --- at CERN, it was performed via inter-library exchange of scanned papers before the web even existed \cite{pepe2005cern}. However, in recent years, pre-prints are catching on as a free (and legal!) mechanism to openly and quickly share research also in the life sciences (see ASAPbio, and BiorXiv, for example).

How do ArXiv and Authorea compare?

At first glance, ArXiv and Authorea may not seem related to one another. ArXiv is a content repository, while Authorea is a content creation system. However, Authorea - with the launch of a number of publishing features - is quickly becoming an open repository, as well. We think that the open research repository of the future will have a lot of the features and traits that Authorea is developing. Here's why:

1. A scholarly repository is more than a PDF dump

There is growing consensus in scholarly communication circles that academic publishing needs to move "beyond the PDF" (see the manifesto of Force 11). PDFs are a great portable format for printing, but they are not the best format to share, discuss, and read on the web. Every article on arXiv is a PDF (built from LaTeX). As such, it is static, 2-dimensional and non-actionable. It is not a stretch to say that a paper in PDF is merely a digital photograph of a piece of paper. We can, and are doing, better than that. Authorea's repository is a collection of Open Access and Open Science (i.e. data driven) web native papers.

Three Scientific Papers With Pets as Authors 🐾 

and 2 collaborators

The majority of the world's population has not and will not ever publish a scientific paper. That fact is even more true for pets. Yes, dogs, cats, hamsters. Pets. Surprisingly, however, there are papers with pets as authors. Here's a selection of three articles coauthored by our furry friends.

1. Hamster: Tisha 🐹 

Do you have a paper with a Nobel laureate? No? Well... Hamster Tisha does! The pet hamster of the physics Nobel laureate Andrew Geim was co author on the publication "Detection of earth rotation with a diamagnetically levitating gyroscope" \cite{Geim_2001}. Go Tisha!

Opening Citations to Open Research

and 1 collaborator

The importance of citations in scholarship

Citations are arguably one of the defining features of research communication. Linking the corpus of knowledge together, across time and space, they connect Einstein's work at the beginning of last century \cite{Einstein_1906} to researchers writing important physics research today \cite{Stanislavsky_2017}. This web of knowledge is immensely powerful for the analysis of ideas over time and for determining what might be important or not. If you imagine the scholarly corpus as a brain you can think of scholarly citations as its neural connections.

Authorea Researcher Spotlight - Dr. Joe Bathelt

and 1 collaborator

Dr. Joe Bathelt, a scientist at the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge, researches brain mechanisms of typical and atypical cognitive development in children, with a particular focus on neural constraints. We interview Dr. Bathelt to find out more about his research and why he chose Authorea to write his recent paper, now published in Cerebral Cortex.

Rockefeller University Press & Authorea Make Collaboration and Submission Easier For Authors Through Partnership

and 2 collaborators

BROOKLYN, NY, March 20, 2017 – Authorea, the online collaborative document editor for researchers, has partnered with Rockefeller University Press (RUP), a leading publisher in the life sciences, to offer better collaboration and submission options for scientists. With this partnership, researchers writing on Authorea can submit directly to The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, or The Journal of General Physiology with one-click submission.
Authorea has integrated with a growing list of journals in the past year as it pushes to become the one-stop shop for researchers to write collaborative work and disseminate it widely. Researchers writing on Authorea can write in multiple markup languages (including rich text, Markdown, and LaTeX), can easily search, insert, and format citations, as well as automatically format their manuscripts for submission to leading publishers like RUP.
The Rockefeller University Press provides scientists and the public with peer-reviewed results of groundbreaking research and vital news and information they can trust. With a strong commitment to quality and integrity, RUP strives to publish excellent science using the latest technologies. It carries out rigorous and fair peer-review, applying the highest standards of novelty, mechanistic insight, data integrity, and general interest. All three journals are led by active scientists in partnership with professional editors, ensuring that RUP represents the communities it serves.
Rob O’Donnell, Director of Publishing Technologies at RUP, says: “RUP journals have allowed format-neutral submission for years, making the process fast and efficient for authors. We are happy to integrate with Authorea, who take that efficiency one step further by allowing authors to submit to JCB, JEM, or JGP directly from the authoring tool.”
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, says: “We want to make research more robust, open, and impactful. Rockefeller University Press publishes some of the most important journals and research in the world and we’re happy to partner with them to make the writing, submission, and ultimately publication process easier for researchers.”
The partnership makes formatting and submitting extremely simple for researchers so that they spend less time formatting and more time on their essential work. With this integration,
Press Contact
Adyam Ghebre, Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About Authorea
Authorea is the online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.

American Geophysical Union and Authorea Partner to Offer One-Click Submission of Manuscripts

and 1 collaborator

BROOKLYN, NY, March 28, 2017 – Authorea, an online collaborative editor for research documents, has partnered with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to offer one-click direct submission of articles written on Authorea to a collection of leading earth and space science journals published by AGU.
AGU, founded in 1919, is a not-for-profit professional organization representing 60,000 members in 137 countries. AGU publishes over 6,000 articles annually across its catalog of journals. Authorea has now integrated direct submission to the following AGU journals:
• Earth and Space Science
• Earth’s Future
• Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
• GeoHealth
• Geophysical Research Letters
• Global Biogeochemical Cycles
• Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
• Journal of Geophysical Research:
        – Atmospheres
        – Biogeosciences
        – Earth Surface
        – Oceans
        – Planets
        – Space Physics
        – Solid Earth
• Paleoceanography
• Radio Science
• Reviews of Geophysics
• Space Weather
• Tectonics
Authorea provides industry leading writing tools for researchers. Authors may write in multiple markup languages (including richtext, Markdown, and LaTeX), can search and insert citations from the web or from another reference manager, and can insert data sources and rich media into the document itself.
The partnership streamlines the formatting and submission process for authors. Whereas before authors could spend hours or days formatting documents to meet submission requirements, Authorea automatically formats, packages, and sends submissions to the journal, greatly reducing the time cost of submission for authors.
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, says: “We’re excited to partner and work with AGU to make the editing and submission of research articles easier and more efficient for earth and space science researchers. AGU publishes some of the world’s most important research and we’re excited to integrate to make publishing more streamlined and effective.”
Brooks Hanson, Director of Publications at AGU, says: “As a leader in scientific collaboration and innovative publishing, we’re always looking for ways to improve our publications, scientific collaboration, and the experience for our authors. In partnering with Authorea, AGU provides our authors and researchers with another tool to simplify the submission process allowing them to spend more time focused on their research and less on formatting submissions.”
Press Contact
Adyam Ghebre, Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About Authorea
Authorea is the online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.

Introducing the 21st-century preprint: HTML, versioned, citable, data-rich.

and 2 collaborators

Authorea was founded with the mission of improving how researchers write and publish their findings. We created a platform that allows researchers to write across formats, to automatically add and format citations from over 86,594,377 scholarly documents, to directly submit to a growing list of leading journals, and to collaborate easily across continents and disciplines with superior version control.  We built Authorea to be the most powerful editor for researchers because we believe that research is fundamentally important in all aspects of life.  Today, we're happy to announce our latest addition to the Authorea toolset: the ability for researchers assign a digital object identifier (DOI) to their Authorea documents.  With this release, you can now write, cite, host data, and preprint on Authorea.
What is a preprint?
Preprints are publication-ready research papers that are made public before peer review and formal publication. Preprints are designed to address the speed of scientific communication, the accessibility of knowledge and the existing tendency to report mostly positive results.  Preprints have a long history in research dissemination and are part of the story about how the web was created. They have long been used in physics and math with nearly 10,000 preprints posted per month at ar\(\chi\)iv and are starting to gain rapid adoption in other disciplines like the life sciences.  In fact, the growth of preprints in other disciplines was named one of Science's events that shaped 2016.

A New Version Control System for Research Writing 

and 2 collaborators

Today, we're happy to announce the release of a new and improved version control for Authorea documents: History view. 

What is version control?

A version control or revision control system automatically records changes to a piece of text over time. As a result, a document will contain underneath it the story of how it came together -- who made which contributions and when -- with the ability to track changes on a granular level over time. The Authorea system is based on Git, the most popular version control system in the world and one originally developed by the creator of the Linux operating system. 

Without Data, Are We Just Telling Nice Stories?

At the foundation of research is data.  The papers we write and the figures we make revolve around it and it is what we spend countless hours collecting. And yet, most raw data remains absent from major studies \cite{Alsheikh_Ali_2011}.  This is a problem that has received much attention the past few weeks,  with preliminary findings being released from the Cancer Reproducibility Project, a large multi-year effort to see how robust top cancer studies are \cite{2017}.  Like previous studies in psychology \cite{2015} and cancer \cite{Begley_2012}, the findings from the reproducibility project, that a large percentage of findings are irreproducible or at least very difficult to reproduce raise serious questions and doubts about how we conduct and communicate our research.
Authorea was founded to reinvent the research article so that it is data-rich, interactive, transparent, and replicable.  Not only did we want to make Authorea a place where researchers could collaborate easier and communicate their results more quickly, we also wanted to make sure that the data behind the study could be easily shared.  This is why each article on Authorea is a repository in itself that allows you to host data directly within your article.  We enabled integrations with Jupyter notebooks and various data visualization tools not just to make the document more aesthetically pleasing, but to make it easier to analyze each other's work.  A quote in The Atlantic summarized one problem we're working to fix quite well:
"If people had deposited raw data and full protocols at the time of publication, we wouldn’t have to go back to the original authors," says Iorns. That would make it much easier for scientists to truly check each other’s work.- The Atlantic
We believe that static snapshots of research living in PDFs behind paywalls are inimical to the advancement of research and the findings from the various efforts looking at reproducibility in research support this.  Authorea is first and foremost a modern collaborative editor--we want to make it easy to write your work and utilize the power of the web-- but we're much more than this, with preprint capabilities (DOIs coming soon), direct submissions to journals, and data hosting, we are working to make research communication more robust on numerous levels. Why should the most important documents in the world be shared and disseminated so poorly? They don't have to be and in fact, we're seeing encouraging signs that the next generation of researchers will do it differently.
The following are just a few student papers all utilizing open data sets and analyses on Authorea.
We hope you'll join us and write your next paper with us.  How we make research more robust as a community starts with us as individuals.  

The Fitbit of Research Writing    

and 1 collaborator

At Authorea we're constantly thinking about how to make research writing easier, faster, and more robust from initial idea all the way through publication. Beyond stressing over making Authorea an impeccable experience and tool for researchers, we also like to think outside of the box for new innovative features that may not be on our immediate radar but are things we'd like to focus on at some point in the near future. Authorea X, if you like.
Today, we'd like to ask for your feedback on one of the new ideas we're working on. We actively sought your feedback when we redesigned our new editor and would like to continue to involve researchers in the development of Authorea as much as possible. After all, we're building a great experience for you!
In our latest brainstorming session, we discussed how we could help researchers improve their writing beyond what we're currently doing.  Specifically, how could we make the writing process one informed by data?  We identified a few key things we thought were important to the researcher based on requests as well as on our own observations and came up with what we're tentatively calling: "the Authorea Fitbit of research writing."  

The Authorea Fitbit of research

While there are numerous metrics aimed at measuring the output of a researcher and the impact of their work \cite{Abbott_2010}, there is no easy way to track how a researcher is writing.  Some researchers have started manually keeping track of their writing progress on Twitter like the online #acwrimo community or the "thesis-writing tracker" by Achintya Rao of CERN but this is somewhat laborious and really just added work.  We think we can do better than a daily tally.  We can automatically track your writing patterns and share with you in a useful dashboard your typical behavior as well as your progress over a certain period of time. With such a system we would hope to be able to provide answers to the following:
  • What time do I write most frequently at?  
  • What are the most common words that I use?  
  • How frequently do I write?
  • How many words am I writing per day, per week, and per year?
These are the things that we think researchers may like to know and thus we started quickly mocking up what this could look like on Authorea.  Our mocks are just initial sketches, heavily inspired by Github, and we hope, with your feedback, that they could become something very useful to researchers.  What would you track about your writing if you could? Tweet at us @authorea or leave a comment on Facebook or this article! 

eLife and Authorea Partner to Simplify Submission For Authors

and 1 collaborator

CAMBRIDGE, UK, Friday, January 13, 2017 -- Authorea, the leading online editor for writing and publishing research documents, is integrating eLife into its submission system to give authors more options for direct submission to journals.
eLife, the non-profit initiative backed by leading research funding organizations and led by scientists, operates a platform for research communication that recognizes and encourages responsible practices in science. eLife is now working with Authorea to allow authors to write and submit research directly to the journal as quickly and easily as possible.
eLife’s partnership with Authorea aims to reduce the burden of submission on authors. A new document editor for researchers, Authorea makes it easy to write research documents and to host these online or submit them to journals for publication.
Authorea gives authors the ability to write in multiple markup languages and host documents directly as standalone preprints. There are also hundreds of export styles for these documents, and Authorea’s recent integration with EJournalPress (EJPress) provides a direct link to eLife, simplifying the journal submission process.
Josh Nicholson, Chief Research Officer at Authorea, says: "We're excited to partner with eLife, a major innovator in research publishing. eLife is an ideal submission destination for the tens of thousands of researchers who use Authorea to write groundbreaking research, and we look forward to partnering with eLife to help scientists gain great exposure for their discoveries."
Melissa Harrison, Head of Production Operations at eLife, adds: “We’re delighted to be working with Authorea to make the submission process easier for authors. We hope to see this and other partnerships continue over the coming months, so that we can provide our authors with the best possible writing and publishing tools available to them.”
For more information, please contact:
Emily Packer, Press Officer, eLife
01223 855373
Adyam Ghebre, Outreach, Authorea
+1 (646) 598-9285
About eLife
eLife is a unique collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to improve the way important research is selected, presented, and shared. eLife publishes outstanding works across the life sciences and biomedicine -- from basic biological research to applied, translational, and clinical studies. All papers are selected by active scientists in the research community. Responses are consolidated by the Reviewing Editor into a single, clear set of instructions for authors, removing the need for laborious cycles of revision and allowing authors to publish their findings quickly. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at elifesciences.org.
About Authorea
Authorea is the online document editor for research and the place where scientific collaboration happens. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. Authorea is on a mission to accelerate science through a superior web-based research-writing platform that delivers powerful tools and capabilities to researchers.

Sample of Science and Authorea Partner for Better Writing Experience

and 1 collaborator

NEW YORK, NY, January 18, 2016 -- Sample of Science and the collaborative writing platform Authorea have partnered to empower researchers around the world to share materials samples more efficiently. Development of novel materials is a growing area of research and the Sample of Science and the Authorea partnership makes it easier for researchers to write brief descriptions of their materials and share the samples with other scientists.
"Sample of Science is solving an important problem in the field of chemistry and materials sciences. We are happy that Authorea can serve as the writing platform for submissions to Sample of Science. If samples from experiments are made more openly accessible, it can help make research more efficient -- something we value greatly” said Alberto Pepe, CEO of Authorea. “Authorea and Sample of Science share a passion for giving researchers great tools that help them do better work.”
Sharing samples of newly synthesized materials is an important step in the research cycle. For example, a carbon material developed in Berlin can subsequently be validated or utilized by research groups in Boston. Scientists who want to increase the visibility of their research and facilitate new experiments can write brief descriptions of their novel materials samples using the Authorea platform. All materials, together with brief descriptions, will be made available on the Sample of Science portal.
Felix Evert, managing director of Sample of Science, is certain that the partnership will improve the research process for scientists who synthesize novel materials. “Better science is all about enabling researchers to disseminate the right information more efficiently. Authorea is an excellent digital writing tool. The lean online template for submission of brief sample descriptions is ideal for chemists and materials scientists who want to communicate their findings quickly," Evert explains.
 
For more information, please visit: 
Sample of Science was founded in 2015 as a digital platform which connects researchers synthesizing novel materials with researchers who need them. The platform publishes open access description of novel materials and facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations based on materials from experiments. The company is located at the Freie Universität Berlin which is also one of the first cooperation partners of Sample of Science. www.sampleofscience.com
    Felix Evert
    Phone +49 162 276 2928
Authorea is the online document editor for researchers that is accelerating scientific discover. Authorea is trusted worldwide by leading researchers writing and publishing content in every discipline, from astrophysics to zoology. The online document editor supports a wide range of markup languages and scientific integrations, including the most popular citation management, graphing, and visualization plugins. www.authorea.com
    Adyam Ghebre
    Phone +1 646 598-9285

Introducing the Editor of the Future

and 3 collaborators

Authorea is on a mission to build the best research document editor and publishing platform ever made. We believe that the best way to accelerate scientific discovery is to give full control of document creation and distribution to the researcher, and that the best way to do that is to build a web-based editor that enables researchers to collaborate and disseminate their work seamlessly.
Authorea,  like many research projects, started with a question: Why is the research writing process so slow? We started with the rough notion that the internet age was failing to deliver optimal tools for things like collaborative writing and submitting works to publishers.  We refined this core idea and launched Authorea two years ago.
Since then, we've devoted tens of thousands of hours to understand how to build software that makes it easier for researchers to do groundbreaking work. At the beginning of this year, we started building our new editor -- Authorea Beta -- the editor that will bring Authorea to the mainstream to benefit researchers in every discipline.
Today, we're happy to share with you Authorea Beta. Writing research online has tremendous potential for collaboration, dissemination, and discovery. We're here to bring writing online to researchers and we'll be with you every step. 

Authorea: accelerating discovery through online collaboration

Authorea: our pitch.

It has been said that in order to cure cancer, we must first cure cancer research. At Authorea we're improving how researchers work and make breakthrough discoveries by tackling one of the most important parts of the research cycle, which is as important as research itself: scientific communication. Our mission is to reinvent the scientific article - the main vehicle of scientific dissemination - that hasn’t changed in format and scope since the birth of the scientific method. We're bringing the power of the modern web to a process that has not changed in 400 years in order to make research more open, collaborative, accessible, transparent and data-driven. In scientific terms, we're a paradigm shift. Join us as we write the future of research, literally.

Authorea Researcher Spotlight: Achintya Rao

Achintya Rao, a science communicator who works with the CMS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, is currently pursuing his PhD in Science Communication. We first met Achintya when chatting with him through our support chat and then later in person at OpenCon 2016, where he gave a talk on Open Data and Culture Change at CERN. We're pleased Achintya uses Authorea and we enjoyed following up with him here to learn more about his research and how he uses Authorea for it.

Introducing Our New Editor

and 1 collaborator

A new era


Fall marks a new era for Authorea. Summer was already very eventful -- 8,200+ custom journal templates, increased rendering speed, dictionary support for new languages, improved article metadata, better import and export functionality, and many more improvements (see our product roadmap). Fall is going to be even more eventful! We are launching a modern design and an improved rich-text editor! Our editor "rewrite" marks the culmination of months of work and it is the biggest project we've undertaken since founding Authorea. We hope you'll like it.

We'll be rolling out the new Editor to all our users over the next few weeks after our private beta test. You'll get a message very soon with a link to opt-in.

There is a chance that the Beta Editor is already active for your account. Want to turn it on? Go to your User Settings, then click Editor Preferences and if available, select your Default Editor to be Beta. Every new article you will create from the top navbar (Create New) will be in Authorea Beta.

Here are some of the updates we think you’ll find exciting:

A modern new look


It took a long time but we finally have a dashing new look: familiar and easy to use like most modern word processors, and at the same time perfectly tailored for the writing needs of researchers. And this is just the beginning. We will continue improving your reading and writing experience.


The death of the term paper, the rise of students as authors.

Scholarly publishing is hard, really hard.  Researchers submit their manuscripts to journal after journal after journal in hopes of publishing their work in the most prestigious outlet. Because of how long and strenuous the publishing process is it's been compared to birth, a battlefield, and a lottery.  Individual student publishing at the graduate or undergraduate level is nearly unheard of--we'd like to change that.

Authorea Acquires Scientific Publisher The Winnower

and 1 collaborator


BROOKLYN, NY, NOVEMBER 10, 2016 --

Authorea (http://www.authorea.com), the online collaborative platform for researchers, today announced it has acquired The Winnower (https://www.thewinnower.com), a pioneering research publisher that offers advanced publishing tools to individual authors.
With the acquisition, Authorea enhances the foremost online platform for researchers to write, cite, collaborate, host data, and publish all in one place. The acquisition follows a financing round led by Lux Capital and joined by Bloomberg Beta, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, TechHammer, ff Venture Capital, and New York Angels.

"We are building a powerful toolset for researchers to collaborate," said Authorea CEO Dr. Alberto Pepe. “We're supporting a research model that puts the author first, allowing him or her to write technical research documents online -- with a data layer underneath -- and to control fully the output and dissemination of that effort. We're pleased to welcome aboard the team at The Winnower, which will help provide additional publishing options to our researchers."

The Winnower, founded by Dr. Joshua Nicholson in 2014, is a leading publisher of preprints and grey literature -- outputs that are often overlooked by traditional publishers.

"The Winnower offers traditional research publishing tools, such as a digital object identifier and permanent archival, to non-traditional documents like Reddit r/science Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) transcripts, blog posts, preprints, grant applications, citizen science reports, and more," said Dr. Nicholson. "We're delighted to join the forward-thinking team at Authorea. We share the mission of accelerating scientific discovery through superior research communication tools, and a big part of that is providing authors the tools to control their research from initial spark to output."

##



What might peer review look like in 2030? Find out at SpotOn16.

SpotOn London is back for a one day conference on Saturday, November 5th at Wellcome Collection. The event is jointly held by BioMed Central, Digital Science and the Wellcome Trust. It is part of a series of community events aimed at researchers, science communicators, and anyone interested in science policy.

Creating a domino effect: what can we all do, however small, to make research more open and reproducible?

Issues related to research transparency and reproducibility are becoming increasingly recognized for their importance in communicating and conducting research. However, practices by most academics could be improved.

Open Sourcing Our Exporter

and 1 collaborator

A common workflow in submitting scientific work to a peer-reviewed venue, such as a journal or conference, is to adhere to specially provided submission guidelines. To many this story is painfully familiar: your document must satisfy a long enumeration of requirements, including an official citation style, font face, margin and font sizes, single- or multi-column, frontmatter arrangements, ... The list goes on.

The work on styling a finished document alone is known to take anywhere from a day to a week, irrespective of which tool you used - Word and LaTeX users alike had to sweat it out. What makes this situation a nightmare rather than an annoyance, however, is that more often than not a manuscript is rejected and needs to be resubmitted to a different venue, where this tedious procedure needs to be repeated from scratch. And that process can repeat for several iterations. As academics are urged to publish their work as quickly and often as possible, this type of friction accumulates.

Essay Contest: How has social media enhanced your research? 

Social media is generally discouraged in science today. A recent article, "I'm a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer" castigated scholars with active online social lives. Most advisors won't ask you to "tweet out our paper" or "write a blog post about our findings" and it's likely that you'd close Twitter or Reddit if your colleague or advisor walked by. Some conferences have taken it so far as to enforce a "no tweeting" policy. But social networking is here to stay and will likely become even more integrated into our lives and research.

The Value of Ignorance in Science 

and 4 collaborators

Last Thursday, September 22nd, we held our 5th New York open science meetup (#opensciencenyc). Science journalists, Columbia faculty members, and enthusiasts from our open science meetup group came out to hear Dr. Stuart Firestein talk about ignorance in scientific research and why it is necessary and valuable (yes, you read that right).

Reinventing Peer Review

Peer review is arguably necessary for effective communication amongst researchers.  Authors, editors, and the public rely on peer review to ensure a first measure of trust in scientific communication.  While peer review is considered to be integral in scholarly communication by most, its shortcomings are becoming evident. Former editor of JAMA and NEJM Drummond Rennie once said, "if peer review was a drug it would never be allowed onto the market." Is this true? Does peer review, as it is done today, cause more harm than good?

Publish and Prosper: Reddit AMA with Authorea Co-Founder and CEO, Alberto Pepe

and 2 collaborators

Hello world! This Thursday, September 15th from 1:00 - 3:00 pm EST, Authorea Co-Founder and CEO, Alberto Pepe will be participating in Reddit's r/science Ask Me Anything (a.k.a. AMA) series. 

AMAs were created by the Reddit community as an opportunity for interesting individuals to field questions about anything – and everything! AMAs hosted on Reddit have become an exciting platform for people to have direct discussions and gain insight into the lives of unique individuals, like President Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and many others. 

Thursday's AMA discussion topic, "Publish and Prosper; How to Challenge Elsevier" will touch on:

  • how to break the cycle of the individual in academia and squash the collective obsession with academic rankings; 
  • how open science and open scholarship will positively shape the future of academic publishing and increase the rate of scientific discovery;
  • introduce the 'paper of the future'; whereby a static paper is no longer viewed as an acceptable form of submission, rather a digital-born format that allows the reader to access and interact with the most important elements of a researcher's work: the data and code.

Join the discussion by posting your questions as early as 9:00 am EST! Alberto will be live starting at 1:00 pm EST.

https://redd.it/52vtf7

Do the right thing: 11 Courageous Retractions

and 3 collaborators

Retraction Watch is a blog that tracks retractions in science -- and it's probably a site you never want your research to be on. To many, retracting your work means that you've committed fraud, and in most cases can be the end of a researcher's career. However, that's not always the case: in fact, retracting your work for the right reasons can even be good for your career and good for science (Lu 2013). Retraction Watch highlights cases where scientists did not retract their work due to fraud, but rather because it was "the right thing."  Here we take the opportunity to further highlight these pieces and the courageous scientists that did the right thing despite an enormous stigma.

We believe the future of scholarly communication will be more dynamic than it is today. By definition, this will require more corrections and retractions.  Authorea was built to show the full history of a document, from creation to final publication. We allow annotations of the literature and believe that a more dynamic and robust form of communication is the future -- it's what we're building. Join us!

6 Publisher Policies Antithetical to Research

and 3 collaborators

How researchers communicate with one another and the world has changed very little over the last 350 years. Attempts to improve the process have been implemented throughout the years, not all of which have been to the benefit of research. Here we highlight some policies implemented by various publishers that we believe are antithetical to research communication and what we're doing to try to fix them.

65 out of the 100 most cited papers are paywalled.      

and 1 collaborator

The web was built specifically to share research papers amongst scientists. Despite this being the first goal of the modern web, most research is still published behind a paywall. We have recently highlighted famous math papers that reside behind a paywall as well as ten papers that have achieved a near rockstar status in research and the public. Here we systematically look at the top one hundred cited papers of all time and find that 65% of these papers are not open. Stated another way, the world’s most important research is inaccessible from the majority of the world.

A few facts about the top 100 cited papers:

  1. The weighted average of all the paywalls is: $32.33, rounding to the nearest cent.

  2. There are 1, 088, 779 citations of the Open Access articles, so, if they cost the same on average as the Paywalled articles and were paid for individually, they would cost a total of: $35, 199, 108.44–that’s 14 Bugatti Veyrons, or enough to buy everyone in New York City a Starbucks Tall coffee and chocolate chip cookie. In comparison, the total amount for the paywalled articles, assuming everyone bought the paywalled articles individually, is $54, 722, 252.80.

  3. That’s 23 Bugatti Veyrons, or enough to buy everyone in New York City a footlong from Subway.

  4. Although 65% of the most cited papers are paywalled, only 61% of those paper’s citations are from paywalled journals. Thus the open access articles in this list are, on average, cited more than the paywalled ones.

Paywalling the laws of the universe.

and 1 collaborator

Pythagoras’ Theorem a2 + b2 = c2 Pythagoras, 530 BC
Logarithms logxy = logx + logy John Napier, 1610
Calculus $\frac{\mathrm{d} f}{\mathrm{d} t} = \lim_{h \to 0} \frac{f(t~+~h)~-~f(t)}{h}$ Newton, 1668
Law of Gravity $F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$ Newton, 1687
The Square Root of Minus One i2 = −1 Euler, 1750
Euler’s Formula for Polyhedra V − E + F = 2 Euler, 1751
Normal Distribution $\psi(x) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \rho}} e^\frac{(x~-~\mu)^2}{2~\rho^2}$ C. F. Gauss, 1810
Wave Equation $\frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2}$ J. D‘Ambert, 1746
Fourier Transform f(ω)=∫−∞f(x)e−2 π i x ωdx J. Fourier, 1822
Navier-Stokes Equation $\rho \left ( \frac{\partial \mathbf{v}}{\partial t} + \mathbf{v} \cdot \nabla \mathbf{v} \right ) = - \nabla p + \nabla \cdot T + f$ C. Navier, G. Stokes, 1845
Maxwell’s Equations ∇ ⋅ E = 0 J. C. Maxwell, 1865
$\nabla \times E = - \frac{1}{e} \frac{\partial H}{\partial t}$
∇ ⋅ H = 0
$\nabla \times H = \frac{1}{e} \frac{\partial E}{\partial t}$
Second Law of Thermodynamics dS ≥ 0 L. Boltzmann, 1874 PAYWALL
Relativity E = mc2 Einstein, 1905 PAYWALL
Schrödinger’s Equation $\mathrm{i} \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial t} \psi = H \psi$ E. Schrödinger, 1927 PAYWALL
Information Theory H = −∑p(x)logp(x) C. Shannon, 1949 PAYWALL
Chaos Theory xt + 1 = k xt(1 − xt) Robert May, 1975 PAYWALL
Black-Scholes Equation $\frac{1}{2} \sigma^2 S^2 \frac{\partial^2 V}{\partial S^2} + r S \frac{\partial V}{\partial S} + \frac{\partial V}{\partial t} - r V = 0$ F. Black, M. Scholes, 1990 PAYWALL
Euler’s Transformation $\sum_{n = 0}^\infty (-1)^n a_n = \sum_{n=0}^\infty (-1)^n \frac{\Delta^n a_0}{2^{n+1}}$ Euler, 1755 PAYWALL
Russell’s Paradox Let R = {x ∣ x ∉ x}, then R ∈ R ⇔ R ∉ R Russell, 1902
Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem G(x):=¬Prov(sub(x, x)) ⇒ PA ⊢ G(⌜G⌝) ↔ ¬Prov(⌜G(⌜G⌝)⌝) Gödel, 1931

Sweet, Sweet Irony: 7 Papers That Should be Open Access But Aren't 

and 2 collaborators

What better way to argue for the benefits of open access than to publish a research paper with restricted access rights? While open access has been shown to be beneficial for researchers and the public by numerous studies (some of which are listed below), these same papers make it pretty self-evident that the move to full open access is going to take some time.
It is true that more and more open access articles appear each year -- some predict that the volume of open access publications will overtake subscription publications by 2018 -- yet despite the increase in publishers and researchers adopting open access as a modus operandi, paywalls still remain on the vast majority of articles, including many which tout the benefits of open research.
The following is a list of articles that while advocating for open research remain, ironically, behind paywalls:

10 Famous Articles Still Behind a Paywall

and 2 collaborators

Some research findings have permeated all parts of our culture -- so much so that we often take the actual ideas and access to them for granted. Would you believe that Einstein's "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" remains behind a paywall, despite being more than 100 years old?

Here we show 10 famous papers that have achieved a similar "rockstar" status in the public imagination yet are still subject to paywalls. At Authorea, we believe that open communication is the key to advancing research. We're working every day to make it possible for researchers to have full control over their work and its dissemination. 

Interactive and discoverable preprints

and 3 collaborators

Scholarly communication is advancing culturally and technologically towards a better future.  There are an increasing number of disciplines and people publishing their content under open-access licenses, publishing their work as preprints, and publishing different types of content from data to posters to single figures. We're happy to be part of this push towards a more dynamic and transparent system of communication. In fact, it's one of the reasons we exist--to improve how leading researchers and student's alike communicate their ideas amongst each other and to the world. These are the world's most important ideas, how we communicate them is important.

9th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival x Authorea

and 2 collaborators

Authorea is delighted to announce a landmark sponsorship with Imagine Science Film Festival, a not-for-profit organization that fosters collaboration between scientists and filmmakers. The sponsorship is part of Authorea's ongoing commitment to heighten the relevance of scientists' research as a benefit to society and to cultivate collaboration across disciplines and borders. We're excited for the opportunity to reach a broader audience with the Imagine Science Film Festival, as they inspire passion for science through film and art.

"The Imagine Science Film Festival is a conversation between scientists, filmmakers, and artists to explore the latest scientific advances and theories in unique and thought-provoking ways." - Nate Dorr, Director of Programming

Research Olympics

and 2 collaborators

The 2016 Olympics have captivated the world -- records are breaking, medal counts are climbing, and nationalism is roaring! It's all very exciting. It should get even more exciting in Tokyo in four years time at the 2020 games when several new sports are scheduled to be introduced, including surfing, skateboarding, and... research! Okay, research definitely won't be included, but what if it were? How would each country fare? Here we look at research output vs. Olympic prowess on a per-country basis.

8,249 more reasons to use Authorea

Write, edit, submit, revise, resubmit, resubmit, resubmit, resubmit.... Okay, you get the point: we send our manuscripts to lots of journals. The time formatting and reformatting manuscripts is a pain and it is one we are working to ease.  Your valuable time should be spent on your research, not tiresome formatting.  

Today, we've added 8,249 article templates to Authorea! With the addition of these templates we now make it easy for you to write your article for just about any journal out there. We hope you won't submit to all 8,000+ different journals but at least you now have the power to do so!  We've also made it easy for users to create their own templates, so if you see a template missing, please feel free to create one.

So...How does it work? It couldn't be any simpler. Just browse our template section for inspiration. Don't start from scratch. Our templates give you a mold that you can shape to your liking. Working feverishly on a research paper, grant proposal, university thesis or a class project? We do them all. 

Focus on your writing on the web, and enjoy Authorea's single streamlined web view of scholarly text. Once finished, you're truly finished - forget about formatting issues. With just a couple of clicks through our Export flow, you're ready to send in that submission!  Authorea's journal templates follow correct citations guidelines outlined by the journals, at no extra effort for our authors.

We're really just getting started. If you need to send a printout to a colleague in draft shape, line-numbered and double-spaced, it's a selection away. Different journal? Same breeze. Your text, data, visuals, and citations will be updated automatically behind the scenes. In the unlikely event you hit a hurdle, our 24/7 support team will be happy to quality control your article and quickly get it back on the fast track to getting published.

This is the first step towards making the writing and publication process as seamless as possible but we've got lot's more coming. We hope you'll join us so that we can make scholarly writing and publishing more effective and more enjoyable.


Happy writing!

Open Science Meetup with Stuart Firestein

and 1 collaborator

Authorea is excited to announce our 5th NYC Open Science Meetup on Thursday, Sept 22nd, 2016!

Academics Turned Founders: Andrew Preston, Publons

and 1 collaborator

Peer review is an important issue in scholarly communication.  Arguably, it is the defining characteristic between a blog and a scholarly article. Authorea believes in exploring new models of peer review in ways that peer reviewers can be rewarded and recognized.  Accordingly, we offer authors and the public at large the ability to annotate documents, to write post-publication peer reviews, and to post work immediately and openly.

Publons, an innovative young company co-founded by Andrew Preston and Daniel Johnston, was started specifically to improve how peer review is coordinated, accomplished, and rewarded.  We've known Andrew for a few years and are happy to have him as our first interviewee in a new series we're calling Academics Turned Founders.

What's Open Access Good For? Absolutely everything!

and 5 collaborators

Research: the process by which we understand the world, ourselves, and other phenomena ranging from the alpha helix of a protein to the societal movements in politics is what life is.  That may be a bit too grandiose, but research is an integral part of advancing humankind forward.

Said differently, research is the engine by which progress occurs.  Yet, performing successful research is something that is not easy. Unlocking the secrets of life is a laborious task and it requires cooperation amongst people in real time as well as those that came before us.  Key to this progress is clarity, completeness, and access.  One might guess that this is the what defines the research publishing community.  One might be wrong.

Scholarly research is for the most part locked behind expensive paywalls in forms that resemble more of something like a trophy than a document used for conveying important of pieces of research in the best manner possible.  While there are lots of things occurring in scholarly research that don't make sense, one blatant one stands out.  We charge researchers to access other researchers documents-- not in the name of sustainability, but in the name of profit.  In fact, we had to invent a word to describe a publication process that is conducive to research: open access.  What is #OpenAccess and what is it good for?  Absolutely everything, as far as research is concerned.


Scholarly Publishing: Unnecessarily Slow in the Modern Era.

and 3 collaborators

Scholarly publishing is slow, really slow.  The time from submission to publication takes on average one year, likely an underestimate considering the fact that many authors are forced to submit to multiple publishers.  

What Really Happened: Fleming's Penicillin Discovery

Penicillin: medicine's greatest discovery. The super-substance became the world's first antibiotic and made many lethal bacterial infections a thing of the past. The man credited with its discovery is Alexander Fleming, who received the Nobel prize (among numerous other honors and distinctions) for his work. What started as an accident--spores floating in through an open window-- turned into a revolution, completely changing the nature of medicine. Incredible. But is that really what happened?

What Really Happened: Darwin's Finches

Finches are often thought to be the key to Charles Darwin's theory on evolution. These birds were present on the Galapagos Islands when Darwin visited. They varied in size and (perhaps most memorably to grade school evolutionary biology enthusiasts and textbooks) beak shape--seemingly different species of finches appeared on the different islands. Often credited with the inspiration for Darwin's idea of descent with modification, finches are a famous example of Darwin's theories in action... But how much credit do they really deserve? 

Dear Social Media, Get DNA Chirality *Right*

and 1 collaborator

DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. It is the molecule of life and it is being abused.

Abused not by PCR machines and sloppy grad student's in labs but by journalists, designers, and many others on social media.

How is it being misrepresented? Like people, DNA has a handedness (right handed vs left handed), or in scientific jargon chirality.  DNA is right-handed, meaning it twists up and to the right.  It may not be obvious from just looking at the double helix but it's all in the twist. See image below.

What Really Happened: Benjamin Franklin's Kite Experiment

Ben Franklin, his kite, and lighting.  Likely, you've seen or heard about Ben Franklin's Kite experiment somewhere--a stamp, a textbook, or a popular science magazine. It's nearly as famous as the apple that fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head, but did he really conduct the experiment?  If so, was he the first? The first report of extracting energy from lightning was published in May 1752 from Thomas Dailbard and his group in France.  They used a forty foot tall iron structure, not a kite.  A few months later Jacques De Roma, described his proposal to use "a child's toy" to test if electricity could be captured from the clouds.  It was not until August of that year that Franklin published his own description. Although typically a man of detail, Franklin wrote how one could use a kite to capture electricity from the clouds during a storm. He described how easy it would be to conduct the experiment, as if to convince readers to try.  In fact, a few months after his publication he published a call to his readers for their own experiences with different materials, maybe the first example of #citizenscience?

All great truths begin as blasphemies: In Defense of "Silly" Research

and 1 collaborator

"Research is intended to solve life's mysteries."

The Decline of Accuracy in Science Communication: Who is to Blame?

and 1 collaborator

Proper science reporting can take a while. And it should, as daily science news stories—new treatments, tests, products, and procedures—have a huge impact on consumers. While Americans' trust in the media is at an all-time historical low, still 4 in 10 Americans trust mass media. Many journalists are accused of cutting corners, sacrificing accuracy in an attempt to push interesting (and often false) scientific findings at vulnerable readers.

In Kill or cure?, Paul Battley lists Daily Mail’s "ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it." Below, we've included the list of articles associated with Aspirin, which apparently both causes and prevents cancer.

Authorea User Spotlight: Jenna Morgan Lang

and 2 collaborators

What is the main takeaway from your current research and why is it important?

Nope! 8 Rejected Papers That Won the Nobel Prize

Nobel prize winning ideas are not always accepted by the community.  By definition, they are paradigm shifting, revolutionary. Accordingly, many breakthroughs that are in our textbooks today were initially rejected, if not ridiculed, by the scientific community. Howard Temin proposed a reversal of the central dogma, wherein RNA could create DNA.  It was called "ludicrous" and his Nobel "came after a lonely battle to overcome derisive criticism from scientific leaders who refused to believe in his theory that some viruses carry their genetic information in the form of RNA, which is then copied into DNA in infected cell." Similarly, Werner Arber, the scientist who discovered restriction enzymes worked, "in a climate of almost total indifference, notably that of the committees and organizations tasked with allocating funds for research" Jacob 1998.
Here we outline 8 Nobel prize papers that were initially rejected by anonymous pre-publication peer review and ask, "What Nobel ideas are we rejecting and/or delaying today?"

Interdisciplinarity: Working Together Takes Work      

Cell asked its 40 Under 40 what they thought was the biggest problem facing young scientists today. Todd P. Coleman, associate professor at UCSD stated:
A big challenge, but one that I enjoy, is that the important—many of the most societally relevant—problems can no longer be just solved with physics like for the transistor or biology like the for Polio vaccine.  It is increasingly the case that we need to bring different groups of people together from very different disciplines to partner and tackle important problems. It is like the analogy that we can no longer act like golf or tennis players—we have to now think in terms of baseball or football. A baseball team will not be successful if it is full of shortstops.

Top 3 Social Media Tools Every Researcher & Scholar Needs

Data Visualization: Create Powerful Infographics

and 1 collaborator

Data visualization helps scientists communicate complex information both effectively and engagingly because being able to visualize information helps brains digest and retain. Thus, infographics are not only impactful, but using them can increase research visibility as they are more easily shared online—like through Twitter!

However, not all visualizations are created equally. Wrong presentation—chart type, typography, colors, etc.—can diminish impact and even misrepresent data entirely. Here are our top tips for making quality infographics.

7 Crazy Things You Didn't Know About DNA

1. There is enough DNA in an average person’s body to stretch 10 billion miles. That's approximately the distance from the Earth to Pluto and back!

Secure Research Funding With Visuals

and 1 collaborator

Among the many challenges scientists face today, a major headache is securing funding. Generally, scientists receive funding based on how much attention their research is estimated to generate. The more popular the topic, the more likely it is to receive funding. For instance, research on cancer gene BRCA2 is more likely to gain traction than frog copulation processes... for now. Fishing in a smaller pool of money means that scientists need a competitive edge to get a bite.

Fear not! There are ways to increase attention and discussion of the research for popular and nonpopular topics alike. Infographics and interactive data allow researchers to communicate more effectively and engage readers in a refreshing way. Content with visuals get 94% more total views and is 40x more likely to get shared on social media (Lee). Thus, visualized data can be the path to funding. 

Essay Contest: How has social media enhanced your research? 

and 6 collaborators

Social media is generally discouraged in science today. A recent article, "I'm a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer" castigated scholars with active online social lives. Most advisors won't ask you to "tweet out our paper" or "write a blog post about our findings" and it's likely that you'd close Twitter or Reddit if your colleague or advisor walked by. Some conferences have taken it so far as to enforce a "no tweeting" policy. But social networking is here to stay and will likely become even more integrated into our lives and research.

Authorea Spotlight: Viputheshwar Sitaraman (Draw Science)

Who is the youngest person in the U.S. to ever raise venture capital funding? Vip Sitaraman.

Vip—no relation to Very Important Person, although he is pretty damn cool—is a 3-time entrepreneur, scientist, and designer extraordinaire. He is at the helm of GMTRY (parent company of Draw ScienceRXN, and Explica), an open access publishing platform that turns academic papers into infographics. Did we mention he's 18 years old?

Data Visualization: Tools for Creating Infographics

We weren't all born with the eye-for-design or abe to afford a graphic designer for every need. Luckily, there are many high-quality and free online resources out there to help—did I mention free? Here's a list of my top favorites plus a few points of differentiation for each.

Happy designing!

When the Obstacle is the Course: Job Security in Academia

This post is part of the series called Obstacles in Academia, which aims to highlight the many challenges young scientists face today.

Data Visualization: Intro to Infographics