Open Access – Royal Society Open Science

This post is about OPEN ACCESS! Interestingly, my advisors were discussing about it during our meeting last week. Google  helped me find the list of open access journal in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open_access_journals

In engineering, one of the open access journal is Royal Society Open Science.

Aims and Scope

Royal Society Open Science is a new open journal publishing high-quality original research across the entire range of science on the basis of objective peer-review.

The journal covers the entire range of science and mathematics and allows the Society to publish all the high-quality work it receives without the usual restrictions on scope, length or impact.

The journal has a number of distinguishing features:

  • objective peer-review (publishing all articles which are scientifically sound and useful to the community)
  • it offers open peer-review as an option
  • articles embody open data principles
  • each article has a suite of article level metrics and we encourage post-publication comments
  • the Editorial team consists entirely of practising scientists and draws upon the expertise of the Royal Society’s Fellowship
  • in addition to direct submissions, it accepts for consideration articles referred from other Royal Society journals

Royal Society Open Science welcomes the submission of all high-quality science including articles which may usually be difficult to publish elsewhere, for example, those that include negative findings. The journal covers life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering and computer science.

It seems like more biological papers were published in this journal. You can only find a few papers related to aerospace, and mechanical engineering.

Here, let’s look at their article types:

Royal Society Open Science publishes the following article types: research article, registered report,invited review, invited perspective and comment and invited reply.

Invited review: The journal will only consider submitted invited reviews for publication. The journal welcomes unsolicited review proposals, but all proposals must first be agreed by the relevant Subject Editor. Proposals for reviews should be no longer than 1 side of A4, include a structural outline with sub-headings to briefly explain description of content, and must succinctly identify the core issue(s) to be addressed. Please note that reviews transferred from other Royal Society Publishing journals will not automatically be considered for publication; instead, before the review will be considered for publication in Royal Society Open Science, a proposal must be submitted for consideration and approved by the relevant Subject Editor, only then will a review be invited from the proposing author(s). Please contact the Editorial Office with details of your proposal.

Invited Perspective:Upon election to the Royal Society, Fellows and Foreign Members are invited to contribute a Perspective article. Perspectives take the form of a review that provides the reader with an overview of the subject and give a personal insight into the advances and challenges the future may hold. Perspectives can be selective in their coverage rather than an in-depth review of an area.

Registered Report:A Registered Report (RR) is a form of journal article in which methods and proposed analyses are pre-registered and peer-reviewed prior to research being conducted (stage 1). High quality protocols are then provisionally accepted for publication before data collection commences. The format is open to attempts of replication as well as novel studies. Once the study is completed, the author will finish the article including results and discussion sections (stage 2). This will be appraised by the reviewers, and provided necessary conditions are met, will be published. Full details can be found here.

Comment and invited reply: Royal Society Open Science publishes short comments on articles previously published in the journal. Comments bring attention to an oversight in a Royal Society Open Science article or propose an opposing view. They are often a critique, providing corrections or offering new analyses. Comments will be published at the discretion of the Editor. However, if factual errors are identified that affect the accuracy of the published record, a correction may be published instead. Comments are self-proposed by any reader shortly after the initial article is published (ideally within 6 months of publication). Comments and replies should be less than 4 pages and should remain concise. The comment is peer-reviewed by the corresponding author of the original article, a referee from the original article, and another impartial referee. If the comment is accepted, the authors of the original article will be invited to submit a reply, which will also be peer reviewed by the two impartial referees who assessed the comment. We will not consider unsolicited, standalone comments. Please contact the editorial office prior to submission with any queries.

Last but not least, it’s interesting to know that this journal requires the authors to provide supporting data and information, including source code, to be made available at the time of submission of the manuscript to ensure that referees have access to the data.

In my opinion, it may be difficult to really share the source codes to the public if we are doing theoretical or numerical analysis. Once they are open to the public, how can we publish the next paper using the code?! Oh well…to be honest, I know that sounds probably pretty selfish and impede the progression of the science though.  However, I don’t mind sharing the experimental data to the public. As it’s very difficult and expensive to build an experiment and produce reasonable data. These data can help computationalists and theoreticalists improve their models and explain the physics.

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