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eLife, in collaboration with software engineer Vincent Tunru from Flockademic and the Center for Open Science (COS), is supporting the development of Plaudit – a mechanism for academics to share their research recommendations openly with readers.
Stemming from a concept refined at the eLife Innovation Sprint 2018 by a team of publishers, technologists and researchers, Plaudit aims to provide an easy way to recognise the value of scholarly content, regardless of where it is published. The tool has three main benefits for users: those who recommend research objects lend their authority to the endorsement, the authors of the objects benefit from the endorsement, and readers gain insight into the objects’ potential value.
To recommend research using Plaudit, individuals first login with their ORCID iD – a unique code for identifying researchers and highlighting their contributions to the scholarly record. Once logged in, they can provide their endorsement of a piece of research, indicating with just a few clicks whether they consider it to be clear, robust and/or exciting, which is then reflected next to that research.
Plaudit utilises an open infrastructure of connections with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and ORCID iDs, feeding data into Crossref Event Data. The data is open-licensed, meaning it can be used in novel ways without restriction. Completely independent of any publisher frameworks, Plaudit has the potential to be integrated easily across platforms. “With this project, we hope researchers will be incentivised to use platforms such as preprint servers and other rapid publication and sharing services,” says Tunru, who will play a lead role in the implementation of the tool. “Ultimately, this could help put the focus back on the research rather than on the name of the journal it is published in.”
eLife aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. As part of its Innovation Initiative, the organisation hosted an eLife Innovation Sprint in May for researchers, developers, technologists and more to develop prototypes of innovations that bring cutting-edge technology to open research communication. The interest in Plaudit following the event led to a decision by eLife, Flockademic and COS to develop a test implementation of the tool, with the aim of integrating it into COS’ OSF Preprints platform.
Giuliano Maciocci, eLife’s Head of Product, says: “Plaudit is an opportunity to add a lightweight, authoritative and transparent layer of feedback to any research object, and has the potential to serve as a complement to other styles of both formal and informal review. I am looking forward to working with Vincent and COS to get this concept in front of users over the next few months.”
Plaudit was created at the eLife Innovation Sprint 2018 by: Vincent Tunru, Software Engineer, Flockademic; Sara Bosshart, Open Access Publisher, IWA Publishing; Mattias Björnmalm, Research Fellow, Imperial College London; Joe Wass, Principal R&D Engineer, Crossref; Mark Patterson, Executive Director, eLife; and Alf Eaton, Developer, Atypon.
The code for Plaudit can be accessed on GitLab.
More details about the tool are available at https://plaudit.pub.
For more information about Plaudit and other projects developed as part of the eLife Innovation Sprint, see: https://elifesciences.org/labs/bdd4c9aa/elife-innovation-sprint-2018-project-roundup
eLife is a non-profit organisation inspired by research funders and led by scientists. Our mission is to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. We invest in innovation through open-source tool development to accelerate research communication and discovery. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Learn more at elifesciences.org/about.
About Center for Open Science
The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology and culture change organisation founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research. We build communities around open-science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open-source software tools. OSF is a web application that provides a solution for the challenges facing researchers who want to pursue open-science practices, including: a streamlined ability to manage their work; collaborate with others; discover and be discovered; preregister their studies; and make their code, materials and data openly accessible. Researchers can also submit preprints for early dissemination of their research using the OSF Preprints platform. Learn more at cos.io and osf.io.
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