Impact statement: With a vision toward revolutionising research evaluation, independent of journal title, Science Colab has joined the Sciety platform for the review and curation of biophysical preprints.
Cambridge, UK – 2pm GMT / 10am EDT, Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Sciety is pleased to announce that Biophysics Colab, the latest group to be added to the platform, is driving forward its innovative experiment in the review and curation of new research posted as preprints.
Developed by a team within the non-profit initiative eLife, Sciety is a growing network where the latest biomedical and life science preprints are transparently evaluated and curated by communities of experts in one convenient place. These communities include PREreview, Peer Community In, Review Commons, eLife, the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium and more. Following its addition to Sciety earlier this year, the non-profit Biophysics Colab is now regularly publishing preprint reviews on the platform.
Biophysics Colab is a collaboration of biophysicists working in partnership with eLife to improve the way in which original research is evaluated. It aims to drive forward the principles of open science by providing an environment for peer review that is equitable, inclusive and transparent. The collaboration is the first endeavour of the fledgling non-profit organisation Science Colab, which has an overarching mission to add value and credibility to the scientific literature in a way that supports and benefits the scientific community.
Both Science Colab and eLife share a similar vision of a publishing ecosystem in which the significance of research is recognised independently of journal title. For both organisations, Sciety forms a crucial part of that vision.
Lesley Anson, Executive Director at Science Colab, says: “We set out to find an equitable and inclusive way of evaluating and disseminating research and concluded that the ‘publish, review, curate’ model would provide an ideal solution, particularly as preprints are growing in popularity. The curators at Biophysics Colab identify preprints of interest, provide constructive and collegiate feedback to the authors, and publicly endorse studies that they consider to be rigorous and robust. The process is designed to be fair and transparent for everyone – authors, reviewers and readers – and we’re delighted that the Sciety platform is able to facilitate this.”
“We’re very pleased to welcome Biophysics Colab to the Sciety community,” adds Paul Shannon, eLife’s Head of Technology who is leading the efforts around the platform’s development. “Sciety exists to enable everyone who is reviewing, evaluating and screening preprints to be represented in a central place. Creating such a project means collaborating with users at all stages – our goal for reviewing groups is to ensure the system is as efficient and simple to use as possible. Together, we are providing a stage for communities such as Biophysics Colab to increase the openness of scientific peer review, making it more accountable, transparent and useful.”
Biophysics Colab provides collaborative, community-based and journal-agnostic peer review of preprints. The reviewers do not pass judgment on the significance of a study, but instead highlight its strengths and weaknesses, and provide constructive feedback to tighten the interpretation of the available data. They share a consolidated report with the authors, who are then offered the opportunity to post it on Sciety. Authors can choose to respond to the feedback, in which case their response is posted publicly alongside the reviews. Authors may also post a revised version of their preprint that addresses the reviewers’ comments. Studies that are considered to be rigorous and robust receive a statement of endorsement from Biophysics Colab, which can be seen in the context of the entire process on Sciety’s activity pages.
“Our collegiate approach to peer review is distinct from peer review conducted at traditional journals, which has evolved over time to assist binary decisions about publication,” explains Kenton Swartz, Curator-in-Chief of Biophysics Colab. “We provide a service to authors whose purpose is to strengthen studies to the point where the data and their interpretation are sufficiently robust to support the conclusions being drawn. The likely interest in such studies is communicated through endorsement statements, allowing their significance to be appreciated independently of publication venue.”
For more information about the addition of Biophysics Colab to Sciety, visit https://blog.sciety.org/biophysics-colab.
To view the articles that have been evaluated by Biophysics Colab to date, see https://sciety.org/groups/biophysics-colab/evaluated-articles.
And to find out more about groups on Sciety, see https://sciety.org/groups.
Emily Packer, Media Relations Manager
eLife and Sciety
The home of public preprint evaluation, Sciety is a new tool for helping people navigate the growing preprint landscape, particularly those affiliated with the biomedical and life sciences. Sciety brings together the evaluation output of many different groups that are providing opinions on preprints in the hope that their multiple perspectives will inform the research discovery process. You can learn more at https://sciety.org and keep in touch with the Sciety team by filling out their contact form, following them on Twitter, or giving them a like on Facebook.
About Biophysics Colab
Biophysics Colab is a collaboration of biophysicists whose goal is to improve the way in which original research is evaluated and disseminated. By combining the knowledge and expertise of the biophysics community with the principles of open science, Biophysics Colab provides an equitable, inclusive and transparent environment for peer review. Its free service delivers constructive feedback on publicly available preprints so that researchers can form the best possible interpretation of their data. In the future, Biophysics Colab will launch a journal to curate rigorous and robust studies in the form of articles. Learn more at https://sciety.org/groups/biophysics-colab and follow on Twitter @BiophysicsColab.