Co-Founder | AuthoreaHi Jenna- I understand your concern: no matter how open and innovative you may want to be, at the end of the day, as a scientist, you are required to publish in "high quality" journals, because that is the only way to get tenure, grants, and recognition in your community. I think that in the next few years we will see new metrics and methods to assess a scientist' contribution (metrics that go way beyond a journal's impact factor and/or number of citations). But, while we wait for that to happen, what can you do TODAY? Two things come to mind:(1) deposit a pre-print or post-print of your article in an institutional, disciplinary (or any other) repository that is indexed by scholarly search engines. A pre-print is the version immediately prior to what is published in a journal (and post-print immediately after). Even if you lose your copyright on the published version, the pre-print and post-print versions are YOURS. By depositing an open version of your work, you are giving the entire world open access to your work (and you and your work also become more visible!). If you write an article on Authorea, all you have to do is make it public and it will be a pre-print!(2) if you have datasets and code associated with your work, publish them with the paper. Publishing the data and code behind your papers/images make your work more likely to be reproduced (and again, they make you and your work more visible!). Most journals today do not allow you to deposit data and code with your paper. Putting a link to a dataset in your paper is not enough because those links die with time. There are tools like Figshare, Zenodo and Dataverse that allow you to deposit data/code and get a DOI for it. In Authorea, you can take even a step further and include the data and code inside your paper. My dream is that the paper of the future will make data and code first class citizens.
Co-Founder | AuthoreaHi kerovon, thanks for the question. The infamous Impact Factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular period (e.g last 5 years). As such, it's an important metric in the publishers' world. Nature, Cell, Science, all have very high impact factors, and scholars are pushed to submit their 'best' research to these journals. In fact, having an article published in one of these prestigious journals can make the difference between getting tenure or not. This said, research published in a high impact factor journal is not necessarily 'better'. It is usually research that appears groundbreaking and potentially has a broader reach, but not always. Also, to make the paper fit the tight format of a high impact journal, scholars are usually forced to cut down important details, often making their science hard to reproduce. Conversely, an important finding that was not published in a high-impact factor journal might be overlooked, cited less and have smaller immediate reach on the community (which is busy reading the high impact factor journals). My impression is that open repositories (like the arXiv and Authorea) can allow a much more democratic assessment of the importance of a research article, without the need for the existence of an impact factor. The impact of paper should not depend on the impact factor of the journal that decided to publish it, but only on the quality and importance of the science it contains.