Open Science at JEB

This week, 19th to the 24th Octo­ber 2020 is the thir­teenth inter­na­tion­al Open Access Week. This year’s theme is “Open with Pur­pose: Tak­ing Action to Build Struc­tur­al Equity and Inclusion”. 

Open Access (OA) pub­lish­ing is here to stay and with that comes an oppor­tun­ity to recre­ate our entire research frame­work to be fun­da­ment­ally more inclus­ive. At JEB, we fully sup­port access to know­ledge across all levels of soci­ety and year-on-year, our OA con­tent has increased (18.8% of all JEB con­tent in 2019 was fully OA). We cur­rently pub­lish under a hybrid open-access mod­el which means that our con­tent is avail­able through a mix­ture of both OA and sub­scrip­tion-based access. Most import­antly, we are a not-for-profit journ­al. So, what do we do with the funds raised through pub­lish­ing the journal?

We chan­nel any profit raised straight back into the evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy community.

We chan­nel any profit raised, wheth­er through sub­scrip­tions or art­icle pro­cessing charges, straight back into the evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy com­munity. We do this through sub­sid­ising the cost of our bien­ni­al con­gress, reg­u­larly atten­ded by c.1500 evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists, and through soci­ety ini­ti­at­ives. Some are research-focused, such as pro­ject grants or travel awards for early-career sci­ent­ists. How­ever, ini­ti­at­ives also include Equal Oppor­tun­it­ies, a fund­ing stream designed to tackle under­rep­res­ent­a­tion of groups in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, and Glob­al Train­ing to pro­mote the study of evol­u­tion as a dis­cip­line out­with the tra­di­tion­al strong­holds of Europe and the US. We hope that, col­lect­ively, these ini­ti­at­ives will help foster the inter­na­tion­al growth of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy as an inclus­ive discipline. 

As a soci­ety journ­al, our role is primar­ily to show­case the research of our com­munity. We have a part to play in cre­at­ing an inclus­ive envir­on­ment by imple­ment­ing fair and open pub­lish­ing prac­tices. At JEB we do this by remov­ing fin­an­cial bar­ri­ers to pub­lic­a­tion wherever pos­sible and redu­cing the poten­tial for bias.

At JEB we remove fin­an­cial bar­ri­ers to pub­lic­a­tion wherever pos­sible and reduce the poten­tial for bias.

There are no page charges for pub­lish­ing in JEB so it is pos­sible to pub­lish your art­icle with us at zero cost. We are aware that the pub­lic­a­tion land­scape is chan­ging and that fun­ders increas­ingly require ‘Gold OA’. There­fore, all ESEB mem­bers are eli­gible for a 50% dis­count on the cost of OA publishing.

Our peer review pro­cess is double-blind, mean­ing that while a manu­script is under review the iden­tit­ies of authors and review­ers will not be revealed to the oth­er party. This sys­tem puts the research itself centre-stage and reduces the poten­tial for uncon­scious bias that may res­ult in an unfair review. Some have argued that in prac­tice this means clos­ing down part of our pro­cess. To main­tain open­ness whilst redu­cing bias, we are cur­rently par­ti­cip­at­ing in a Peer Review Trans­par­ency Pilot. With the con­sent of the author, reviews are pub­lished on Pub­lons and linked to the manu­script. Review­ers may choose wheth­er or not to have their name pub­lished with their review.

We are com­mit­ted to Open Sci­ence and man­date the depos­ition of data into a pub­lic repos­it­ory for all res­ults pub­lished in the journ­al. We main­tain a mem­ber­ship of Dry­ad, ensur­ing no fees for our authors so that they face no fin­an­cial bar­ri­er in mak­ing the data sup­port­ing their res­ults pub­licly avail­able. As a com­munity-led, non-profit digit­al repos­it­ory, Dry­ad accepts data from any field in any format, ideal for highly inter­dis­cip­lin­ary evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists. Hav­ing removed this fin­an­cial bar­ri­er, Open Data is now a pre­requis­ite for art­icles pub­lished in our journal.

Open Data is now a pre­requis­ite for art­icles pub­lished in JEB

We recog­nise that the sci­entif­ic pub­lic­a­tion land­scape is in a state of change. Look­ing to the future, we feel that a mod­el based entirely on art­icle pro­cessing charges is not equit­able for all. As such, ESEB has formed an advis­ory group, con­sist­ing of 14 soci­ety mem­bers. This group rep­res­ents a breadth of career stages, genders and nation­al­it­ies who, over the com­ing months, will debate what is import­ant to the evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy com­munity when pub­lish­ing their research and the role of JEB as a soci­ety journ­al in the move towards Open Science.

Dr Nic­ola Cook, Man­aging Edit­or @evoNicki

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