Wellcome Open Research will use services developed by F1000Research to make research outputs available faster and in ways that support reproducibility and transparency. It will enable Wellcome grantees to publish a wide variety of outputs from standard research articles and data sets, through to null and negative results.
The platform will use a model of immediate publication followed by transparent invited peer review, with inclusion of supporting data, enabling researchers to reanalyse, replicate and reuse the data, all of which will help to improve the reproducibility and reliability of the research it publishes.
Once articles pass peer review, they will be indexed in major bibliographic databases and deposited in PubMed Central and Europe PMC.
Wellcome Open Research will disseminate results almost immediately, ensuring critical advances in urgent areas of research are not held up by lengthy journal processes.
The transparent peer review process will encourage constructive feedback from experts focussed on helping the authors improve their work, rather than on making an editorial decision to accept or reject an article.
Wellcome Open Research is the latest in a number of initiatives by Wellcome that aim to improve the way research findings are disseminated, including support for the pioneering open access journal eLife.
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F1000Research charges for its service per article on the basis of word length, with a US$150 fee for articles of up to 1,000 words, $500 for 1,000–2,500 words and $1,000 for longer articles. Wellcome will pay these fees on behalf of its grantees. Articles that pass peer review will appear in abstract databases such as PubMed and in the PubMed Central and Europe PMC open-access repositories, with the citation Wellcome Open Research.
Some have questioned the rigour of the F1000Research review process, noting that reviews tend to be short and positive. But Kiley, who calculates that reviews of research articles published using F1000Research are 400 words long on average, rebuts these criticisms: “It doesn’t take very many words to explain that something is either seriously problematic or largely fine,” he says. “Furthermore, the fact that the referees’ name and referee report are public means the referees are more careful and conscientious to back up their comments because they know that they will be publicly judged.”
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Robert Kiley, Wellcome’s head of digital service, commented that one of the long-term aims of the platform was to “start a shift in research and researcher assessment away from journal-based measures and towards direct assessment of the output itself, whether it be an article, or in another form such as a dataset or software tool”.
“This model shifts towards wholly open research publishing, and will bring benefits to researchers and institutions, as well as to society more broadly,” he added.
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