One of the realities of modern science is that publications and citations are key metrics when evaluating performance impact of scientists. Data papers can be compared to papers describing a newly found taxon: the articles have a standard format and data set users will cite the data paper in a manner, similar to how scientists cite authority when mentioning a scientific name. Thus, scientists contributing data sets will also gain publication credit, while the number of citations their data set generates will provide a way of measuring the scientific value of the data.
Biofresh Blog: What motivated you to launch a family of innovative journals for the publication and dissemination of biodiversity information?
Lyubomir Penev: The main motivation is perhaps that, as a biodiversity scientist, I have often been disappointed with the speed and manner with which conventional journals handle manuscripts and data. I was even more disappointed with the dissemination of published results, which are often hidden behind a pay-wall barrier with restrictions for copyright and use. Our journals build on three important pillars, namely open access, high-tech XML-based editorial workflow, and active dissemination of the results we publish for our authors.
BB: Why do you think scientists should make the effort to submit data papers: what’s in it for them?
LP: There are many benefits here and they are certainly not restricted to the authors of data papers alone. First, data collectors, managers and authors will be properly credited through a permanent scientific record, priority registration and citation of the data paper. Second, the extended metadata associated with a data set will be properly described and published in order to make data easy to share, use and re-use for others scientists. Sharing data will open new perspectives for collaboration with other scientific groups and institution. Last but not least, re-use of original and collated data sets will tremendously increase the efficiency of public funds investments in gathering all these data!
BB: To what extent do you think data journals will change the way we do Science?
LP: The change will be dramatic and extremely useful in my opinion. The appearance of new data visualization and analysing tools will lead to an ever increasing interest in inter-operability and collation of data with compatible data gathered by other groups. This should provide exciting new views and produce better proven scientific results.
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