Biophysics Colab shifting to full ‘Publish, Review, Curate’
service for authors
Impact statement: The expanded service will provide biophysicists with a new way of validating their research.
Cambridge/London, UK – 4pm GMT / 11am ET, Friday, February 17, 2023
Biophysics Colab is pleased to announce that it will shift to a full ‘Publish, Review, Curate’ (PRC) model later this year. Their expanded service will provide authors with an alternative option to traditional journals for the review and dissemination of their work.
Biophysics Colab is an international collaboration of biophysicists working to improve the way original research is evaluated. The group has been running a preprint review trial since 2019, which has proved popular among authors due to its service-oriented approach that focuses wholly on authors’ best interests. Now, Biophysics Colab is building upon this service by giving authors the option to create a final ‘version of record’ – equivalent to a journal article – after peer review of their preprint. This curation step will complete Biophysics Colab’s vision of a community-run PRC service, originally inspired by a proposal from Stern and O’Shea*.
Kenton Swartz, Editor-in-Chief of Biophysics Colab, says: “We are excited to advance this new PRC model, which enables the biophysics community to deploy their scientific expertise and provide authors with a collegial and non-adversarial service to validate their research. In the future, we will leverage this model to establish new peer-review communities that can rapidly communicate other areas of research.”
Biophysics Colab is the first endeavour of the open science publishing initiative, Science Colab – a non-profit, community-run project supported by eLife, with a mission to add value and credibility to the scientific literature in a way that supports and benefits the community. Both Science Colab and the non-profit eLife share a similar vision of a publishing ecosystem in which the significance of research is recognised independently of journal title.
The peer-review service offered by Biophysics Colab is founded on equitability, inclusiveness and transparency. Its collaborative process involves diverse teams of reviewers – ranging from early-career researchers to senior scientists – who identify preprints of interest and provide constructive and collegiate feedback to authors. A curator oversees this process, which results in a single, efficient, consolidated report that 96% of reviewers have chosen to publicly sign. As an acknowledgement for their time and expertise, Biophysics Colab pays a nominal sum to both curators and reviewers for each preprint they review.
A number of authors have commented on the positive impact that Biophysics Colab’s review process has had on their work. Zheng Shi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University, USA, says: “We are very grateful to the curators and reviewers at Biophysics Colab for taking note of our preprint and providing a really helpful report. Their numerous suggestions were invaluable as we revised our manuscript. I look forward to seeing how Biophysics Colab will further transform academic publishing.”
The collaboratory will soon begin to formally validate reviewed preprints as versions of record – a citable record of the final version of the work. However, authors submitting preprints to Biophysics Colab will remain in control of their study, choosing when to declare it as final. This reflects eLife’s new publishing model and makes Biophysics Colab the first group to adopt a flavour of it.
Several curators for Biophysics Colab are attending the 67th Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Diego from Feb 18–22, where they will be talking to delegates and answering questions about their new PRC service. They will be available at the eLife booth between 1–3pm PST on the days of the exhibit. Further details about the launch date for the new workflow and call for submissions will follow in the summer.
To learn more about Biophysics Colab’s PRC model, visit https://www.sciencecolab.org/biophysics-colab.
For more information about the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, visit https://www.biophysics.org/2023meeting.
To read more about eLife’s new publishing model, see https://elifesciences.org/inside-elife/741dbe4d/elife-s-new-model-open-for-submissions.
*Stern BM, O’Shea EK (2019), ’A proposal for the future of scientific publishing in the life sciences’, PLoS Biology.
Lesley Anson, Executive Director
Emily Packer, Media Relations Manager
+44 (0)1223 855373
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 the review and curation of research. By delivering constructive feedback on publicly available preprints, Biophysics Colab supports researchers to form the best possible interpretation of their data, and will soon provide an option to curate peer-reviewed studies as versions of record. Learn more at https://www.sciencecolab.org and follow on Twitter @BiophysicsColab.
eLife transforms research communication to create a future where a diverse, global community of scientists and researchers produces open and trusted results for the benefit of all. Independent, not-for-profit and supported by funders, we improve the way science is practised and shared. From the research we publish, to the tools we build, to the people we work with, we’ve earned a reputation for quality, integrity and the flexibility to bring about real change. eLife receives financial support and strategic guidance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org/about.
Biophysics Colab brings review and curation to
biophysical preprints on Sciety
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.
This announcement was originally published by Sciety on November 3, 2021.