Editori Stories: Journal for Reproducibility in Neuroscience – a peer-reviewed open access journal

”Bottom line is, the platform fills an important gap in the scientific publishing process: the need for academic-led journals,” says Plinio Casarotto, editor of the new Journal for Reproducibility in Neuroscience, peer-reviewed scientific journal published on the University of Helsinki’s Editori platform. Casarotto’s interview starts a new series of articles on the Think Open blog.

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A new series of interviews begins on the Think Open blog, presenting journals published on the Editori platform. In these interviews, editors of the journals talk about open publishing in general and their experiences and views on Editori service provided by the Helsinki University Library (HULib).

The series begins with an interview with Plinio Casarotto (TUHAT, ORCID, @p_casarotto), who is a postdoctoral researcher at Neuroscience Center and a founding editor for Journal for Reproducibility in Neuroscience.

What kind of journal is your journal?

Plinio Casarotto: ”The Journal for Reproducibility in Neuroscience (JRepNeurosci), is a forum to publish peer-reviewed attempts to replicate full studies or single experiments in the field of Neuroscience. The journal was founded in February 2020, and launched in March 2020. We publish articles with novel data in the format of full article or letter, reviews and comments in the topic of reproducibility. The editorial board is composed of academics of many levels of experience, from PIs to Masters’ students, as well as early career researchers. The authors and readers are the members of several communities in the field of Neuroscience. As mentioned, all original studies and reviews are peer-reviewed, with the option of double-blind peer-review, by external referees. Commentaries are revised by the editorial board. The articles are published and shared on Twitter and by newsletter.”

All original studies and reviews are peer-reviewed, with the option of double-blind peer-review, by external referees. Commentaries are revised by the editorial board.

Why did you choose the Editori platform?

PC: ”The platform was recommended by the staff of Helsinki University Press. The JRepNeurosci was born in the Editori platform. Personally, the minimalist and simple outline, combined with the processing system, makes it easy for non-specialists to manage the platform.”

What kind of tool is Editori for journal editors?

PC: ”From our perspective, the OJS platform is very clean and simple to operate. We recommend the authors to submit a single file, with all figures and legends embedded, which speeds up the manuscript processing and forward to reviewers. The best feature of the platform is its simplicity and flexibility. We published our first issue on August 17th, and announced through Twitter. On the first day we had 120 views of the files, and according to Twitter we engaged directly more than 6000 people. So far the feedback has been very good and we are already looking for the articles of the next editions.”

The minimalist and simple outline, combined with the processing system, makes it easy for non-specialists to manage the platform.

PC: ”Since the platform is used in several journals worldwide, the general feedback from authors is very good. Errors and bugs in the system are usually quickly corrected, as we experienced with the plug-in to link the author’s profile to ORCID and with some bugs on registering editorial history in one submission. Both problems were solved in less than a week. Of course the whole platform would benefit if the HULib or the University of Helsinki allocated more resources, especially IT support to Editori, if it is planned to be expanded.”

What tips would you have for those journal editors who are planning to become Editori users?

PC: ”Go for it! That is my recommendation as an Editori user. The platform is simple, clean, neat and responsive. The website and journal settings are intuitive, although the OJS use requires some training, which is easily provided, the whole system/website/training won’t take more than a week. Bottom line is, the platform fills an important gap in the scientific publishing process: the need for academic-led journals. The current system of scholarly communications requires a lot of resources, both pecuniary and structural, to create and maintain a journal. On top of our responsibilities in the lab (or equivalent), we are required to perform (usually free of charge) work as reviewer to companies profiting from the authors/institutions. In this scenario, Editori provides a first step to take back the system hijacked by commercial publishers. The platform won’t solve the structural problems in our current system, but it certainly gives hope to have a more sustainable and fair publishing system in the future. An interesting information would be ’how much does Editori cost?’ vs the benefits it brings to the training of students and establishment of new journals.”

Editori provides a first step to take back the system hijacked by commercial publishers. The platform won’t solve the structural problems in our current system, but it certainly gives hope to have a more sustainable and fair publishing system in the future.

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