What if scientists published everything?

Will RIO Journal be the most open of its kind?

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A large amount of scientific research is published in scientific journals, and there has been a lot of debate around offering open access to these articles, along with the underlying data, software, and methods. There is a new journal that launched recently with the goal of going beyond traditional scientific publishing by encompassing all outputs of the research cycle.

What does this mean? The RIO Journal (Research Ideas and Outcomes) is launching with the goal of publishing a number of things not currently published, in addition to more conventional outputs on a single collaborative platform. This includes things such as project proposals, data, methods, workflows, software, project reports, and research articles.

Traditionally it was only possible to publish research articles, with software and data being added in some specific cases. The other things were often there, but sent directly to the funding agencies, reviewed by committees, and were largely unavailable to the wider community. This new journal has the goal of not only providing a cohesive venue to publish all these things, but to provide the most transparent, open, and public peer-review process across all areas of academic research (where most journals restrict themselves to one or two specific areas).

The RIO Journal will begin accepting submissions on November 1 and will offer simple publishing options. It is also offering the capability to publish immediately with peer-review/validation taking place after the fact. This ensures work can be shared as soon as you hit publish, and the platform will clearly indicate whether work has been reviewed.

The journal offers low-cost publishing, starting at just 50 Euros, with a modern platform designed for online document collaboration. As someone who has published in a number of journals, it should not be understated how important these two factors are. Publication fees are often 10-20 times the starting fee, and the tools were designed upon a much older infrastructure where 'photo-ready' was still a relevant term. It is important for journals to remain accessible both financially and from a usability standpoint.

It is exciting to see new movement in this area, and I look forward to seeing the first publications on the platform. The journal uses the CC BY 4.0 license for all publications and marks up documents to make it easier to use automated/machine assisted processes for analysis. We should encourage more of the process to be published, a great deal of time is spent on things such as research proposals, reports, and case studies that could have much more impact if published.

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About the author

Marcus D. Hanwell
Marcus D. Hanwell - Marcus D. Hanwell | Marcus leads the Open Chemistry project, developing open source tools for chemistry, bioinformatics, and materials science research. He completed an experimental PhD in Physics at the University of Sheffield, a Google Summer of Code developing Avogadro and Kalzium, and a postdoctoral fellowship combining experimental and computational chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Kitware in late 2009. He is...