“Do you feel, nevertheless, like Open “Science” is not for you as a book publisher in the humanities and social sciences? Wrong! While the use of Crossref DOIs as persistent identifiers for journal articles has become the industry standard, it is still relatively new territory for books and chapters. The metadata registered with most book DOIs is also significantly less rich, usually lacking abstracts and citations, thus providing less text and fewer nodes of connectivity for search engines to work with. This can result in lower discoverability for the main output types – books and chapters – of the humanities and social sciences. ScienceOpen began indexing books and chapters in 2019 and now has over two million records with validated DOIs.
A quick search for books, however, immediately highlights how slim most of the book metadata available through Crossref is. To help smaller publishers enrich their book metadata, ScienceOpen created the free platform BookMetaHub, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, that can translate metadata from the XML format used for book sellers and libraries, ONIX, into a Crossref-ready format. This richer metadata can help book publishers to benefit from the advantages in discoverability.
Another way to upgrade to Open Science is to explore open and transparent peer review. Just by committing to accept manuscripts that have been posted online as a preprint, publishers can support the research community. Add this information to your journal pages and instructions or write a blog to get the word out: researchers are still sometimes unsure what counts as “previously published.”
In a next step you could agree to consider open peer reviews of preprints as part of your peer review process or to allow your reviewers to sign or post their review reports. ASAPbio offers a wealth of resources for authors and journals around preprint review. And if you decide to choose a fully open or transparent peer review model for your next journal, make sure to give reviews a DOI in the Crossref peer review XML schema to make them citable and discoverable in their own right. There are an increasing number of journals and publishers embracing some form of open review including BioMedCentral, EMBO, Copernicus, eLife, JMIR, F1000 Research, and ScienceOpen. Ross-Hellauer and Görögh (2019) provide some thoughtful guidance for getting started.
Finally, one of the main goals of Open Science is to engage the general public and raise levels of trust in science and academia. Projects range from citizen science participation, plain-language lay summaries, multilingual publishing.
Academic publishers are already engaging with Open Science and driving it forward. But there is more work to be done before a seamless flow of information connects researchers “for the benefits of science and society” and speeds up the pace of innovation to address some of the big challenges that lay before us.”