Why I chose figshare for my homeless manuscript | Erin C. McKiernan

Items tagged with oa.latex in Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) 2012-09-23


I’m sure all scientists have one – a folder with unfinished manuscripts, or ones that were finished but never found homes. In my case, the folder has manuscripts as old as 6 years and as recent as a few months. But there was one manuscript in particular that I just couldn’t let go. It was work from my dissertation, which is probably one of the reasons I felt so attached to it. I’d invested many hours (some of them while pregnant and far too big to be sitting at an electrophysiology rig) gathering those recordings. In my completely biased opinion, they were beautiful, interesting, and deserved to do more than sit buried in a 300+ page dissertation that few people would ever read.  The problem is there are gaps in the work. We were unable to fully characterize one of the genetic manipulations we were using, leaving doubts about the precise effects on the cells in which it was expressed. There are also a lot of open questions. Some of the results were unexpected and the underlying mechanisms merited further exploration. Additional experiments could have ruled out certain possibilities. But then life happened. I had a baby, graduated, moved away. I wrote up what I had, but with the obvious gaps, the manuscript seemed unpublishable in mainstream journals. I knew what reviewers were going to say and I had no satisfying answers to give them. I no longer had access to the equipment required to do experiments, so collecting more data was out of the question. The manuscript sat in my folder collecting digital dust. For the next two years, I would occasionally read over it again and I always arrived at the same two conclusions: (1) that it included interesting data that deserved to be seen, and (2) that it would not pass peer review in a mainstream journal. So, it was either archive it, or find a non-conventional way to get the work out.  This last week, inspired in part by a recent post by Zen Faulkes @DoctorZen explaining why he published a paper on his blog, I decided that I had to put the work out in some form or another. I considered publishing it on my blog, but since my blog is not well-established, I felt I needed something more visible. I began to debate the pros and cons of posting my manuscript on either arXiv or figshare, and opened it up for discussion on Twitter. Thanks to Bala Iyengar @balapagos, P Desjardins-Proulx @phdpqc, and @figshare who contributed to the discussion and provided information that helped me make my decision. In the end, I’ve decided to go with figshare. Here are just some of the reasons why: [1] Figshare accepts all file formats... [2] Materials are available on figshare immediately after upload... [3] Figshare gives my research a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)... [4] Figshare does not require me to be endorsed to submit... "



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oa.comment oa.repositories oa.green oa.open_science oa.peer_review oa.arxiv oa.impact oa.figshare oa.quality oa.formats oa.social_media oa.twitter oa.prestige oa.repositories.data oa.citations oa.blogs oa.dois oa.latex

Date tagged:

09/23/2012, 10:50

Date published:

09/23/2012, 06:50