Research Tools: eLife Introduces ReFigure, an Open-Source Browser Extension For Science Curate Scientific Findings Across Publisher Websites and Repositories
Today, we are introducing ReFigure, a new science curation and publication tool supported by the eLife Innovation Initiative.
ReFigure is a chrome extension and website that allows researchers to connect new and previously reported findings across publisher websites and repositories.
It is currently in beta and being developed in the open on GitHub.
ReFigure was born from an idea that research outputs should be incremental, immediately connected to published findings and not confined to the websites of individual journals. For instance, there should be a way to rapidly curate a collection of related figures across publications based on similar experimental hypotheses, making it easier to identify whether the findings were reproducible. We also wanted to highlight new insights by connecting our own research findings, whether reproduced, negative or incremental new findings, to relevant, previously published research.
In version one of ReFigure, we have built a simple Chrome extension that allows users to connect figures across both publishers and publications, as well as their own data. Our beta version supports research materials available through eLife, PLOS, PubMed Central (PMC) and Figshare.
ReFigures get published on ReFigure.org, allowing users to have a central access point for managing their own ReFigures. ReFigure leverages the availability of open-access research, showing the value of connecting research artefacts across domains, publishers and repositories. Important connections between discoveries can be made when there are no paywalls in the way. ReFigure.org is itself open access, improving the discoverability of incremental data and curated insights.
As we designed ReFigure, we wanted to make sure that the tool would make it easy for researchers to use for the intended purpose: connecting research artefacts across different publisher websites. To stay close to prospective user’s needs and behaviours, we conducted surveys and held focus groups to test our assumptions and refine our designs. An early survey with 69 respondents identified a heightened awareness of interim research products as well as concerns about sharing early data. Multiple focus groups ranging from 2-15 participants provided insight that steered our development.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.