Research Remix

July 24, 2007

Conversation with Publishers on Open Notebook Science

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather Piwowar @ 11:16 am

I continued my rounds of the ISMB publisher booths.

The bottom line: 
Great news.

Posting research progress and results on blogs and wikis prior to submission is just fine according to every publisher representative who was confident in their answer.

The details:

Representatives (often senior editors) from PLoS, IOP publishing, CRC Press, and Oxford Journals all said “no problem.”  The one minor exception:  The rep from Oxford Journals said that of the 200+ journals in their family, she believes that a few *may* have a different and more strict policy, but she wasn’t sure.

The reps from John Wiley and Springer were not familiar enough with their policies in this area to comment.

Haven’t managed to find the Elsevier rep yet.

1.  Many of the “not a problem” reps explained that their publishing house has a history of publishing in math and physics, which set a precedent in this area
2.  Many of the reps didn’t seem to have ever been asked about pre-print servers, or about posting research progress and results on blogs and wikis prior to publication. 

Heart-warmingly, Mark Patterson from PLoS said, “oh, ala Jean-Claude Bradley.  We totally support it.”  :)

The rep fro IOP publishing (PhysicalBiology) made a point of mentioning that they sponsor and support a user-friendly interface to the pre-print server arXiv:

It was certainly valuable for me to discover that all of these bio/biomedical informatics publishers did not view Open Notebook Science as a hurdle to submission (Open Access and Open Licensing of the eventual article itself aside).

I could maybe have guessed it based on their green/gold/whatever pre-print policies, but good to hear directly nonetheless.


  1. Awesome! This is a great service to anyone doing, hoping to do, or trying to persuade others to do, ONS.

    Comment by Bill — July 24, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  2. Indeed Heather, it is very important for you to keep talking and spread the word.

    I do think that much of the fear is probably unwarranted but of course we need a solid test case of publishing ONS work in a journal. We’re working on it….but we still need results from a few key experiments for a decent paper.

    Comment by Jean-Claude Bradley — July 25, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

  3. So last time I checked, neither Cell nor Science were cooperating with Precedings. Has anything changed on that front?

    Comment by Mr. Gunn — July 26, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Hi Heather,

    This is really interesting. Journal policies on their websites usually accept the use of pre-print servers, the use of blogs and wikis is not discussed, so it’s good that the journal reps are able to give the green light on this.

    I’m trying to compile a list of journal policies towards open notebook science, but so far I only had two responses, from Elsevier and BMC. Perhaps you would be interested in collaborating with this, if you have time? I will email Matt Hodkinson after reading your last post.

    Comment by Mike — August 2, 2007 @ 10:46 am

  5. […] [below], which left me guessing. What does “publish” mean? For most publishers I’ve talked to it means “published in an official capacity” and they don’t count blogs or […]

    Pingback by Preprints of conference submissions? « Research Remix — March 24, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

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