6 July 2016

Wellcome Open Research: a new publication initiative

Wellcome Open Research is a new initiative which allows researchers to publish their results faster and more transparently. The service is powered by F1000Research which is an innovative publishing platform that uses post-publication peer-review to eradicate publication delays. By using this platform Wellcome research will be published immediately on submission (presumably with the status 'awaiting peer-review' if it follows closely the F1000 processes), this is then followed by formal peer-review. Wellcome also say that peer-review will be transparent and open, with referees' reports and names published alongside the paper. This is said to encourage more constructive feedback, as well as allowing reports to be cited.

Besides publication speed, another advantage of using WOR (or F1000 for that matter) is that there is wider scope for the sorts of material that can be published. As well as standard narrative articles researchers can also publish negative results and datasets, as well as incremental findings.

Using WOR to publish results is fully compliant with the Trust's open access policy and also complies with the requirements for data sharing. APCs for Wellcome funded research will also be funded centrally by Wellcome Trust.

Is it important to point out that Wellcome is not requiring any grant recipients to use this new service. But they hope authors will look at the service and recognise the benefits it offers in terms of transparency, the types of content that can be included, and the speed of publication. Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome also comments that “One of the long-term aims of this approach is to start a shift in research and researcher assessment away from journal-based measures and towards direct assessment of the output itself, whether it be an article, or in another form such as a dataset or software tool.” http://f1000.com/resources/160706_WellcomeOpenResearchFINAL.pdf

Wellcome Open Research is due to launch in autumn 2016, so watch this space.

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