Monday, March 4, 2013

Neuro-Cloud Launches Free Textbook Project is an Open Data-Share Platform designed to foster transparency, the free exchange of data and open collaboration in neuroscience and outreach to communities interested in the brain. Due to the time expense and manpower needed to publish in a standard journal, a lot of good data stays on the shelf unpublished. Neuro-cloud takes advantage of credible pre-print archives to establish precedent and encourage citations for use in future grants/research.  This gives smaller datasets a means of distribution and fosters collaboration by facilitating ratings, comments and emails for investigators.

Open access publishing (OA) is a movement to make scholarly articles free and readily available to the public through the internet.  OA is a departure from the traditional print journal business model in that revenue does not come from subscriptions.  Because OA publishers are web-based, they are able to operate on alternative revenues such as author’s fees which research funders often allow to be included in grants.  Because access is free, articles in OA journals are easy to find and cite, and since Google Scholar and other search engines are becoming more common starting places for research than libraries OA articles enjoy the same visibility as the articles in traditional high impact print journals.

More specific to the Neuro-cloud project is the emergence of OA pre-print archives that allow researchers to share data and preliminary findings to the scientific community prior to peer reviewed publication.  These archives allow for establishment of precedent as well as early feedback to guide and improve research.  Neuro-cloud goes a step further by putting small data sets and research without a feasible outlet for publication in a streamlined and easy to read format.  In this way good solid research that does not meet the criteria for immediate publication is given a platform for distribution, expansion and collaboration.

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