In 2012 we launched LIBRE, a prototype for a free, online, multidisciplinary article and data repository that enables the formal, continuous and transparent evaluation of all posted material by the entire scientific community. LIBRE also introduced innovative tools to allow the collective organisation of the global research output, and to hand over to the academic community the responsibility of its dissemination without the need for intermediaries.
Due to lack of financial support, after a trial period the LIBRE project was discontinued.
Today, the organisation, evaluation and access to scientific articles is under the control of academic journals, mostly printed and distributed by large and powerful publishing houses. These grand publishers capitalise on articles and reviews provided to them for free by academics, and sustain a knowledge exchange system that is being criticised as exclusive, outdated, conservative and inaccessible. Although this system serves the interests of publishers and certain academic circles, it poses a serious obstacle to the proliferation and socialisation of knowledge itself.
LIBRE is our proposal for a new way of organising, evaluating and disseminating our work, which can evolve in parallel to the current academic publishing system, but hopefully become a viable, more efficient, fair and transparent alternative.
“The fate of your work is presently decided behind closed doors by two or three anonymous reviewers who never get proper recognition for their services”
With the implementation of a formal protocol, LIBRE enables the continuous and transparent evaluation of scientific works by an unlimited number of experts through Open Peer Reviews.
The entire community assesses both online peer reviews and reviewers, thus providing incentives to reviewers while helping improve the quality and fairness of the scientific evaluation process.
Open peer reviews are posted under an open license and assigned a DOI in order to become citable items. This allows reviewers to submit original ideas or even unpublished data knowing that their authorship is protected and that their contributions can be rewarded by citations.
“At present, finding documents about a specific topic depends on where these documents are published and what keywords or database the reader chooses to use. This allows important works to be overlooked or underestimated, especially by newcomers in a field. You don’t want this to happen to your own research!”
LIBRE let’s you create collections of key references (of articles, books, etc) on specific research topics. These collections called Open Bibliographies are accessible by all users.
Everyone can contribute to Open Bibliographies, by adding references of their own work and those of others and by ranking the existing ones according to their importance.
This open and dynamic library of article collections hands over to the academic community the responsibility to maintain updated reference lists, so that no important works are overlooked or underestimated. Importantly, it helps researchers entering a new field to quickly identify all relevant articles according to the collective expertise of the community.
“There is currently no global consensus on the classification of scientific areas. Each publisher or database uses a different classification scheme, which is usually static, does not account for the rapid development of new areas and makes the consistent use of keywords and tags problematic”
Scientific areas dynamically built collectively. The names and locations of Knowledge Domains are continuously edited and refined by the entire scientific community.
These knowledge domains form a Tree of Knowledge that keeps growing and changing as science evolves, and which facilitates the identification of relevant authors and research works.
“Your scientific expertise is currently measured by citation indices, like the Impact Factor, or by article usage statistics that do not convince about their capacity to reflect research quality and are not widely accepted among the academic community”
A multi-parametric system of evaluation to separately rate the quality and visibility of individual articles, authors and reviewers.
The algorithm to calculate these Open Metrics is open to the community.
The relative weights of different parameters in the final rating are subject to modifications by users.
“Your life’s research is currently dispersed in a sea of journals waiting to be discovered and connected by the interested reader”
Research Stories is a safe and permanent home for all your research output. Create a new story for each of your main areas of investigation.
Connect all your relevant work in a coherent timeline to show the evolution of your research from working ideas to published manuscripts.
Invite your colleagues and the community to follow, comment and even formally review your work and transform your static manuscripts to dynamic, interactive entities.