Sara Bowman
Sara Bowman
Project Manager, Center for Open Science

center for open science.PNGThere has been a lively discussion during the last few years about strategies for improving research and publishing practices in science. Beyond the research community itself, the issues of transparency and reproducibility are now priorities at many of the major funders in the U.S. and elsewhere including NIH and NSF, and the White House.

Nearly one year ago, a diverse group of about 50 researchers, journal editors, funders, and society leaders gathered at the Center for Open Science (COS) in Charlottesville, VA to continue the discussion about transparency and reproducibility, and leave with concrete, actionable guidelines. Over 2 days, the group crafted what are now known as the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. The TOP Guidelines provide templates of policies and procedures that journals can adopt to encourage greater transparency and reproducibility of the research they publish. With a few tweaks, funders can adopt the TOP guidelines as policies for the research they sponsor. To date, over 500 journals and 50 organizations have become TOP Guidelines signatories.

This week, Wiley joined as the 51st organizational signatory to the Guidelines. Wiley has become an organizational signatory because so many of its journal and partner societies are taking an interest in improving transparency in general, and in the TOP Guidelines in particular. Before this announcement, 33 journals published by Wiley had already become TOP signatories (you can view, sort, and search the list by journal title, publisher, society, and subject area at cos.io/top).

Both journal and organizational signatories to TOP are expressing their support for the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility, with journal signatories committing to conduct a review for potential adoption within a year.

What do the guidelines say?

The guidelines are domain-agnostic, so they can be adopted across disciplines. They’re also modular, covering 8 different components of the research process:

• Data Citation
• Data Transparency
• Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency
• Research Materials Transparency
• Design and Analysis Transparency
• Preregistration of Studies
• Preregistration of Analysis Plans
• Replication

Each component includes 3 different levels, giving journals the opportunity to adopt part or all of the standards, and select a level of stringency that is most appropriate for them. This simultaneously provides flexibility and offers the benefits of standards across domains. A table summarizing the guidelines is below - Levels 1-3 are included along with Level 0, which is not part of the guidelines but is included as a baseline for comparison. You can read the guidelines in full detail on the TOP website.

Who’s adopting? And at what levels?

The vast majority of the signatories are still in the process of reviewing the Guidelines. While it’s too early to know what levels of TOP the signatories may adopt, we do plan to gather this information as decisions are made. The TOP Committee hopes to facilitate a community of editors who can share their experiences with implementation and offer advice on best practices.

There are some great examples of the guidelines already in practice - journals that have implemented these practices before the TOP Guidelines came to fruition. These journals can be models for others trying to figure out how to implement the Guidelines. There are more journals with policies like these out there - I’m just highlighting a few:

Citation Standards
American Sociological Review and Political Analysis have implemented data citation standards for their publications.

Data, Analytic Methods (Code), and Materials Transparency
The American Journal of Political Science has author guidelines that already match Level 3 of TOP. AJPS requires authors to submit all data, code, and materials to a trusted third-party repository prior to publication, and the analyses are independently reproduced by analysts at the University of North Carolina’s Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. It’s a really interesting process, and you can read more about it in their blog post.

Preregistration of Studies
There are a handful of journals encouraging the preregistration of research studies by offering Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices to their authors, Level 2 of the Guidelines. These journals are Psychological Science, European Journal of Personality, Journal of Social Psychology, and Language Learning.

Level 3 of the Guidelines prescribe using the registered report format of publishing as a submission format for replication studies. Registered reports have the study methodology and analysis plans peer reviewed before the research outcomes are known. Acceptance for publication is based on the importance of the research question and the soundness of the study plan. If the plans pass peer review, the report is granted “in-principle acceptance,” meaning that as long as the researchers follow the plan (or document and justify why they do not), the study will be published regardless of its outcome. This gets at the issue of publication bias. Perspectives on Psychological Science is facilitating and publishing Registered Replication Reports - what’s outlined in Level 3 of the guidelines, with a twist of crowd-sourcing the data collection. Perspectives is publishing registered reports solely in this way, but it’s worth noting that there are nearly 20 journals publishing registered reports for novel work and replications alike.

How can you get involved?

We welcome community involvement! This is just version 1.0 - we expect TOP to evolve. We encourage feedback about what does or doesn’t work in implementation to improve the Guidelines.

If you’re an editor, add your journal to the list of signatories. If you’re an author, ask the editors of journals in which you publish to become signatories. If you’re part of a society or organization that’s in a position to become a signatory - do so! And encourage others to do so, too.

The Transparency and Openness Promotion Committee meeting was organized by COS, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) and Science Magazine, and was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Credit Image: COS | Openness, Integrity, and Reproduciblity

Open recognition and reward

Posted Jan 29, 2016
    Phil Wright
Phil Wright
Senior Marketing Manager, Author Marketing, Wiley

presents.jpgAs we come to the end of open access week, this post takes a detailed look at the theme of open recognition and reward and looks at 4 initiatives.

Author disambiguation – enabling recognition and future reward

Author disambiguation is key to author recognition. Whether your funding organization wants to review your past work before making an award, your institution needs you to provide a list of work before your promotion review, or potential collaborators are struggling to find if you’re the right person for their project, how do you openly, quickly and easily differentiate your research activities from everyone else? How can you get the recognition and reward that you deserve – without endless form filling? Many believe that the solution is ORCiD – a voluntary and open unique identifier that connects you to your research activities – ensuring your work is unambiguously attributed and discoverable by all.

As a member organization, Wiley is a big supporter of ORCiD and our online submission sites already encourage authors to register for an ORCID iD and then associate it with their account. But how does this optional unique identifier help with research evaluation and author recognition?

From August 2015, The Wellcome Trust requires that grant applicants must include their ORCID iD when they sign up with their grant application system. The reason behind this is to help researchers answer questions to secure their next grant, ‘…everyone is asking similar questions of their grant holders: what have you produced?; how openly accessible is the work you’ve published?; what shape is your career trajectory taking, and how have we changed that?’

In June 2015, Italy announced that it was implementing ORCiD nationally with 70 universities and four research centers initially participating. ‘The project’s goal is to ensure that at least 80% of Italian researchers have an ORCID iD, with links to their research output back to 2006, by the end of 2016.’ As institutions and funders continue to look for ways to track, quantify and measure their academic output, many are hopeful that ORCiD is the foundation needed to make this possible. ‘…,the incoming national assessment of research (VQR 2011-2014) will constitute an occasion not to be missed to provide all Italian professors and researchers with the ORCID identifier and to link to it the publications submitted for evaluation.’

Self-promotional tools – maximizing the recognition and reward opportunity

Research surveys, including our own, have identified that authors are active in promoting their research – as they attempt to stand out from their peers and ‘get noticed’ in their respective field. Furthermore, 89%* of these ‘self promoters’ indicated that they were concerned with measuring the impact of their work. We therefore focus our author promotional resources on helping you get the recognition you deserve.

At the forefront of our author self-promotional strategy is our partnership with Kudos – a service that helps you measure, monitor and maximize the visibility and impact of your published articles. As of October 2015, there were more than 70,000 users, including 22,000 Wiley authors, using Kudos. You can find out more by watching our video. But what does Kudos actually achieve? “The Kudos service helps authors explain (and then share) their work in plain language, enabling people in their immediate field to skim the work more quickly, and those in adjacent fields to understand its relevance to their own work.” Charlie Rapple, Co-Founder Kudos.
This increased discoverability makes it more likely that your work will be found and accessed, and you get the recognition and reward that you deserve.

Altmetric – supporting immediate recognition and reward

With the development of new article discoverability tools such as social media, blogs, videos and news outlets, there is a growing desire to incorporate some of the new article-level metrics (alongside ‘traditional’ metrics), such as the Altmetric service, to understand the more immediate and broader impact of a research article. In 2014, Wiley rolled out the Altmetric service to all journals on Wiley Online Library. The service allows you to freely track online activity and discussions about your individual scholarly papers from social media sources, including Twitter, Facebook and blogs, the mainstream media and online reference managers such as Mendeley and CiteULike. The Altmetric ‘score’ is updated daily and is open for everyone to see, follow and understand. In the past 12 months over 150,000 Wiley articles have received a mention#.

As part of assessing academic impact, there is growing evidence that institutions are monitoring article-level metrics in addition to traditional metrics such as citations. “In 2015, Altmetric data were included alongside usage and citation data, as part of the Usage and Impact reports that Wiley create and provide to all 53 Cochrane Review Groups every August. Cochrane Review Groups now consider Altmetric data when deciding which Cochrane Reviews to prioritize for updating. The data are also used by the groups to encourage authors to update their Cochrane reviews.” Gavin Stewart, Associate Editor, Cochrane.

This is further typified through the growing services offered to institutions such as the Altmetric for Institutions service. There is much you can do yourself to increase the online discussions around your work. Increasing your Altmetric score therefore represents a new and different way of achieving the recognition and reward that your work deserves.

Peer Review – creating recognition and reward

In this final section we turn our focus to Reviewers. Researchers spend a substantial amount of time reading and reviewing, but often feel under acknowledged for this important contribution to the community. Many journals offer some form of reward for their reviewers – for example, the ACES journals and their sister titles from ChemPubSoc Europe (CPSE) recently announced a pilot program to reward the top 5% of their reviewers with the opportunity to publish their next ACES or CPSE journal article open access, free of charge. Good feedback for reviewers is also important. In recent surveys reviewers have told us how highly they value feedback on the usefulness of their review and editorial outcomes – essentially, acknowledging that their time spent reviewing has been time well spent.

However, academic recognition and credit for reviewing activity are two different sides of the same coin. At Wiley we are currently running a pilot with Publons to openly give researchers credit for their peer review activity. “Peer review is the foundation for safeguarding the quality and integrity of scientific and scholarly research. Wiley’s objective is to develop a program of reviewer services in order to engage reviewers and recognize their contribution.” Miriam Maus, Vice President - Editorial Management, Wiley.

Publons have recently partnered with ORCiD to enable reviewers to link ORCID iDs to a Publons account, meaning that if you have a Publons profile you can easily connect your reviewer activities to your ORCID iD. We are also exploring other opportunities to uniquely attribute review activity to individuals via ORCiD.

As we look ahead, Wiley is committed to developing a program of services that engage and support both authors and reviewers, and help them gain the recognition and reward that they deserve. Open recognition and reward is here to stay, and we plan to be at the very heart of it.

*Based on 949 completed responses from a survey to Wiley authors from 2014. 610 indicated they had promoted their work in the previous 12 months, with the majority wanting more help/support to do this. 89% (of the 610) indicated that they were concerned with measuring the impact of their work.

#Generic term for anything that Altmetric finds valuable enough to be captured, e.g. Tweets, Facebook posts, Mendeley saves etc.

Image Credit/Source: Blend Images/Getty Images

    Vikki Renwick
Vikki Renwick
Assistant Marketing Manager, Author Marketing, Wiley

bridge+over+water.jpgTo coincide with Open Access Week 2015, we hosted a webinar to give authors tips on how to successfully publish open access; from finding the best journal, to complying with mandates and promoting their published paper.

Natasha White and Liz Ferguson, both from Wiley, were joined by Alice Meadows from ORCiD and Charlie Rapple from Kudos for a 60 minute journey through the world of open access. Authors from 15 different countries tuned in, asking some great questions about ORCiD, Kudos and the publishing process in general.

Many of the questions asked about ORCiD were from our early career researchers. A few highlights include:

- You can register for an ORCiD before you’ve published your first paper.
- You can associate anything with a DOI to your ORCiD, as well as manually associate books and book chapters.
- ORCiD is not intended to be a profiling tool – you can choose how much of your work is made public.
- Your ORCiD can be linked to your social profiles.
- If you change institutions your ORCiD can be taken with you.
- Trusted users can be added to your account to update your profile on your behalf.

Questions around the Kudos platform recapped some of the key ways in which Kudos can help promote your work:

- Kudos uses metrics from usage data, citation data and Altmetrics, and maps it against your promotional activity to measure the most effective channel to promote your article.
- Kudos can highlight the most efficient way to increase the reach of your work.
- You can use Kudos for everything you’ve published that has a DOI.
- Institutions are increasingly using Altmetrics to monitor the reach of published work.

During the webinar we asked viewers to vote in some popup polls – here’s what we learned:

80% of viewers had not published open access.
22% of viewers who published open access did so under both green and gold open access.
64% of viewers have an ORCiD.
66% of viewers promoted their article via social media or academic networks.  The remaining viewers have not promoted their article.

If you missed this webinar or one of our previous ones, you can watch them all on demand via the Wiley Author Services Channel.

Image Credit/Source: bingdian/Getty Images

    Kelly Neubeiser
Kelly Neubeiser
Author Marketing, Wiley

Think, check, submitJPG.JPG

The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is “Open for Collaboration” – a reminder to authors, funders, publishers and the whole of the research community how important collaboration is to advancing the open access movement. New partnerships and innovative ventures between all stakeholders – from societies to publishers – encourage the reach and growth of quality scholarly research.

The production of open access content begins with you, the researcher. As the open access publishing landscape continues to evolve, valuable resources for helping you learn about the process have never been more important. Cue Think. Check. Submit., a new cross-industry initiative designed to support researchers on the road to publication.


The mission of Think. Check. Submit. is to help researchers identify high-quality journals which would be appropriate for submitting their research. Think. Check. Submit. is an easy-to-use online checklist built on indicators that allow you to thoroughly investigate individual journals, ensuring that whichever publication you choose is the right fit for you and your work. The campaign is led by representatives from various organizations, including ALPSP, DOAJ, ISSN and SPARC.


Picture this: You’ve finished your first research article and you’d like to get it published. Which journal should you pick? Think. Check. Submit. aims to eliminate the stress of this all too familiar scenario. Early-career researchers will benefit greatly from this new service, as will English Second Language-researchers and those who may not have access to or be aware of the extent of existing scholarly content. Ultimately, though, Think. Check. Submit. is meant to help all researchers searching for a trusted place to publish their work.


As the output of scholarly content grows, so does the risk of deception and malpractice. Think. Check. Submit. seeks to combat both issues. According to The STM Report, the number of academic journals grows by 3.5% each year – nearly 1,000 journals were launched in 2014 alone and new ones are launched daily. Since March 2014, DOAJ has processed 6,000 applications, of which 2,700 have been rejected, 1,800 are in process, and 1,500 have been accepted. That makes choosing the best journal for your work a difficult task, especially for those less experienced with the process. Now, more than ever, it is essential that you have the right tools and services to help you make informed decisions.

Beyond Think. Check. Submit., authors can turn to freely available resources such as the new Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD) and Quality Open Access Market (QOAM). Developed through partnerships between scholarly organizations and the International ISSN Centre, ROAD offers descriptions of over 12,000 open access journals, conference proceedings, academic repositories and more. Like Think. Check. Submit., QOAM, a service based on academic crowd sourcing, also helps authors in the market for the ideal journal for their work.

For more information, visit http://thinkchecksubmit.org/ or follow the project on Twitter.

Image Credit: Banner:https://hub.wiley.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/38-1422-99966/Think%2C+check%2C+submitJPG.JPG

There's no question that sitting down to begin the process of writing an article for publication can be daunting. Below are 5 tips to help you improve the overall quality of your paper, thereby improving your chances of getting published.

5 tips for writing better science papers Infographic 3.png

    Christine Thomsen
Christine Thomsen
Marketing Manager, Author Marketing, Wiley

Today marks the start of Open Access Week 2015, and it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on some milestones from the last year, and also look ahead to the future.

Open Access to Research

Gold Open Access

We’ve launched several new open access journals over the past year, bringing our total of fully open access journals to 54, with 8 more expected to launch or convert from subscription to open access by the beginning of 2016. Advanced Science, part of the recognized Advanced Materials journal family, launched in December 2014 and publishes premium research from all areas of science. We were recently pleased to announce the launch of our newest open access journal, Global Challenges. This unique journal is dedicated to creating a global, collaborative community to deliberate some of the modern world’s greatest challenges, bringing together science, technology and the social sciences to identify viable solutions to ensure that research informs policy. Watch the launch video here.

New and existing society partnerships afforded us new opportunities to publish several new open access journals on behalf of these partners. This includes the Journal of Interdisciplinary Nanomedicine from the British Society for Nanomedicine, Ecosphere and Ecosystem Health and Sustainability from The Ecological Society of America (joining January 2016), and FEBS Open Bio from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (also joining January 2016).

OA Week Infographic.pngEarlier this year, we announced a policy to adjust subscription prices for any shift from subscription-funded articles to pay-to-publish open access articles. UK library consortium Jisc Collections has partnered with us to pilot offsetting agreements for articles published on an open access basis. The pilot agreement gives institutions funding both subscription and open access publication charges credits to be used on article publication charges.

Open Access Policy Compliance

With the ever increasing number of policies and mandates for open access, we’ve worked to simplify the process of compliance for our authors through the creation of various tools. Our new Open Access Policy Finder enables authors to check the details of their Funder or Institution’s open access policy, as well as to determine whether their payments are covered by one of our 69 Wiley Open Access Accounts. Our green and gold open access navigation maps guide authors through the open access publishing route, depending on their funder requirements.

As the adoption of open access continues to increase, we’ve seen several funders announce new policies for research they fund. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s recently announced Open Access policy requires funded authors to publish under the most recent version of the CC-BY license. As of January 1, 2017, papers funded by Gates must be openly available immediately with no embargo period. Gates-funded authors can comply with the new policy when publishing in the majority of journals in Wiley's open access program (including OnlineOpen) which offer authors the opportunity to publish their articles under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY license.

Wiley has rolled out a new Funder Picker tool, using FundRef, an initiative of CrossRef.org. This allows authors to provide us with information on the funder(s) supporting their research during the manuscript submission process, and will minimize the time authors have to spend on administrative tasks around funding compliance and self-archiving further down the publication process.

Wiley sends all appropriate gold open access articles to PubMed Central. With green open access Wiley supports its authors by posting the accepted versions of articles by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance by the journal. Beginning this September we are fully automating this process so it’s more efficient, with less room for error. Our systems will automatically select and convert articles into the correct format and send them to PubMed Central, providing a better service to authors and the funders supporting the research.

Green Open Access

Wiley is a founding member of CHORUS (Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States). CHORUS was established to assist authors receiving funding from US Federal Government agencies in complying with Public Access mandates. CHORUS saves authors the administrative burden of self-archiving by ensuring that their manuscript is made available on Wiley Online Library after an embargo period.

Through CHORUS, we currently support authors funded by the US Department of Energy (USDoE), and Smithsonian Institution by making the accepted version of your article freely available on Wiley Online Library 12 months after publication online, in accordance with the Public Access Plan. We expect other agencies to follow in the next 12 months, with a number of governments around the world interested in exploring future opportunities with CHORUS.

Open Research Data

Our focus is on improving communication, understanding and transparency of research by making its wider outputs- data, code and other artefacts- openly available. Our first step is to migrate data from supplemental material to a central position in research articles. We already support very successful data sharing efforts with the Dryad Digital Repository and recently announced a partnership with figshare that will make it easy for authors to upload data and associated materials during familiar manuscript submission, review and publication processes. As a consequence of these and future repository integrations, data, code and other information are made freely available under a CC0 license in repositories suited to that content. Wiley will support the service by introducing new data sharing requirements to many of our journals and by including a new ‘data accessibility’ statement in articles so that readers can easily find the openly available research materials and authors can demonstrate that they have complied with journal or funder requirements.

Open recognition and reward

Wiley is a big supporter of ORCiD, a unique identifier that ensures an author’s work is unambiguously attributed and discoverable by all, and through our partnership with Kudos, we give authors tools to measure, monitor and maximize the impact of their research. The Altmetric service has been introduced across our journals so that the wider impact of the articles we publish is visible, and we are one of very few publishers engaged in a pilot with Publons to give researchers credit for their peer review activity. We will continue to add policy and publishing innovations that contribute to greater openness and recognition, and dig a bit deeper into this area in this blog post.

Open collaboration

In 2015, we worked on a number of international initiatives with many different stakeholders. This includes collaborating with the European Commission to support their Open Science agenda. Colleagues at Wiley participated in a number of workshops and conferences, including:

• European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation’s Open Science conference, June 2015
• Expert meeting Open Access – preparing for the Dutch EU Presidency Brussels, June 2015
• Alternative Open Access Publishing Models: Exploring New Territories in Scholarly Communication, Brussels on 12 October 2015.

Open on the horizon

With more than 700K registered global users and more than 1.3MM visits in 2014, our Author Services site is at the forefront of the author experience. We are pleased to announce that a new design is currently in the works and is expected to launch early in 2016. The new Author Services will further improve the author experience, including a better visual look and feel, easier, faster navigation and improved performance.

We are working closely with our society partners and leading thinkers in open research on defining the semantic, data-enriched article of the future; where tables, figures, data and narrative are collated and stored as structured data using open web standards for markup that allows us to ingest and store content in semantically described micro-formats.

Our recent initiatives culminate to fulfill one defining mission: To increase the reach and breadth of quality scholarly content. We continue to strive to improve the author experience with the hopes of creating dynamic opportunities for future collaborations.

    Mary Kate Stopa
Mary Kate Stopa
Library Services, Wiley

plane2.jpgEach year there are hundreds of library conferences covering a variety of topics. They give librarians across the world a chance to meet each other and share their ideas. While they benefit all librarians, they are of special value to early career librarians.

I recently spoke to Emma O’Hagan about her experience as an early career medical librarian at Western Michigan University. Her insights revealed just how important conferences can be to early career librarians.

One of the overarching themes in Emma’s responses was the chance conferences give librarians to step out of the bubble of their own libraries. Early in their careers, they may only have experience working at one library or one type of library.

“It’s easy early in your career to do things exactly like other people in your library,” Emma said. “I mimicked my fellow reference librarians and their instruction styles pretty heavily in the first year or two. You need someone to guide you, but there comes a point where you have to start thinking about what works best for you. I think that’s one of the main reasons to attend conferences early in your career, you can see how other people are doing things.

“The first time I went to the MLA meeting I think I’d been a librarian for just a year or two and I got some new ideas about instruction that served me well.”

The exchange of ideas and perspectives at conferences also helps librarians solve problems. “I work in a very small library and it’s easy to get stuck on just one possible solution to a problem,” Emma said. “I think this can be true at larger libraries as well, especially if there isn’t a lot of turn-over.”

Of course, vendors often unveil their latest products and services at conferences. “At Charleston I always seem to learn about a great new product. Browzine, Altmetric, Kudos, Mendeley, I think I got my first look at all of these in Charleston.” said Emma “Even if isn’t something we’re not going to use at my library, I still want to know about it.” No matter what technologies their libraries use, conferences keep librarians current with industry trends.

Conferences also provide early career librarians with an opportunity to set out on the path to thought leadership. Emma explained that “submitting a poster abstract isn’t nearly as intimidating as writing a full article which may end up being rejected in the peer-review process. Obviously, it’s also a great way to start meeting other people in your field, outside your own institution and if you can start with something small like a poster or a shorter talk then sometimes that turns into something else – an editor might approach you about turning it into an article or you might be asked to participate in a panel.”

Despite all of the benefits of conferences, it can be difficult to obtain funding to attend and costs add up quickly. “I’ve been lucky to work at libraries where there’s been enough funding for me to attend at least one conference per year,” said Emma, but this is not the case for all early career librarians. If there is funding available, it may only be for a local or state conference instead of the more popular national conferences.

In order to show our support of the library community and make it possible for more early career librarians to attend conferences, Wiley has launched the first ever Wiley Scholarship for Early Career Librarians. The scholarship is a $1,500 reimbursement grant that early career librarians can use towards attending ALA Midwinter, ER&L, MLA, SLA, or ALA Annual.

The competition is open to all academic and research librarians in the first five years of their career. This can also include Library and Information Science students who are working towards their Master’s Degree in the field.

To apply, you must answer a short questionnaire and upload a résumé or CV along with an interview you conduct with an academic or research librarian. Applicants must think of five to seven questions to ask about the changing role of librarians. We encourage you to present the interview in a creative format. From written transcript to podcast to video, we will accept all submissions.

To learn more and apply to the Wiley Scholarship for Early Career Librarians, visit our website. We look forward to receiving your submissions and learning about your library!

Image Credit/Source: hxdyl/Shutterstock

    Gina Wisker
Gina Wisker
Professor, Brighton University

wedding+rings2.jpgThe supervisor/student relationship is not always a happy story. Running supervision and doctoral student workshops in several countries, I hear of as many problematic relationships and derailed (at least temporarily) supervisor/student research journeys as I do successful ones.
Postgraduates and supervisors speak of: lack of direction, unclear expectations at the start of the PhD journey, neglect and absence, lacking, unclear or personally damaging feedback on work, lack of challenge and confirmation of achievement, lack of support for writing development.

A few thoughts:

Getting started

Establish what kind of a relationship it is and make it work.  This is a personal/professional relationship that could last from three years onwards and, if you decide to be an academic researcher beyond the PhD, you could be co-writing, co-researching and co-delivering at conferences well after gaining your PhD. Should you work in business, science or the public sector, you might seek out your supervisor as a consultant.  These academic working relationships have the potential to be fruitful, enjoyable, intellectually demanding and rewarding.

Ground rules and managing expectations

Initiate discussions about how the supervisory relationship will work in practice and what is expected of you as a doctoral student. This includes discussing regularity of supervision, location, timing, pre-work, staged work, accessibility, when and where you meet, and what work to send in advance. Develop an agenda for discussing work and let your supervisor know how helpful it would be if constructive feedback is returned before you meet.  Set up clear schedule expectations and ask them when they are happy to be contacted about small issues, quick questions or longer conceptual or institutional issues.  If your supervisor initiates these structure relations and clarifies expectations and responsibilities, that’s excellent. If he/she does not, then you need to politely initiate and seek clarification, so that once the structure and expectations are in place, you can get on with the work.

Getting on with your supervisors

Not everyone who supervises doctoral students is naturally oriented towards close nurturing and managing structured relationships, the ones which I believe work best.  Some researchers and academics who become supervisors are very focused on their own research work, quite shy personally, and unaccustomed to the organized, managed, and stimulating behaviors needed in successful supervision.  My advice in these scenarios is to try and work out what kind of supervisor(s) you have, so you can learn when to prompt, ask questions, and share personal information.  If you have more than one supervisor (which is now common) ideally they should work as a team, and together you all can decide whether you should be supervised by both together or separately. Some advisors might not work well together, so if you find yourself caught between contradictory advice, ask for clarification without setting one against the other.


Doctoral research learning has its own behaviors, interactions and language which need to be recognized and managed. You will be expected to think critically and develop ideas. You need to listen, question, analyze, and communicate in the form of a theorized, evidence-based argument in spoken and written form.

For students from learning cultures which differ from that of the supervisor, or the institution, such clarification and established ways of interacting are even more essential. Sometimes assertiveness, politeness, deference, confusion with ‘insider’ research language, expectations of researchers, and cultural and institutional norms which differ from your own can lead to awkward miscommunications.

Ask if you don’t know

If you don’t understand a term or the expectations of pieces of work, ask.   If you do not fully understand different behaviors and expectations, ask your supervisor, and ask other students. All students, and particularly those from another culture from that of the supervisor or the institution, can spend a long time puzzling over terms, behaviors, and expectations, seek clarity, ask and work it out together.

Get writing early on

Much can be made manageable if interactions and expectations are all made clear.  Ask for models of successful work, obviously don’t copy them, but look at the structuring of the work, the way argument, theory, story, evidence, and data are woven in to a written thesis to make a case for the ways this work makes a contribution to knowledge. Identify how the use of literature works in a dialogue with the new work, the ways in which methodology and method are argued for, and the ways in which other students deal with problems and develop writing rhythms.


You are not just dependent on your own supervisor. Entering a research journey is also about entering a world-wide research community. Your supervisor is the first point of contact, but you also can talk in person or online with other students, people who write in your field, other researchers and with university services such as the library staff. Many problems can be solved if you talk to others who have been researching in the university community a little longer than you. While there should be a clear strategy of working with your supervisors at the start of your research journey, other communities could be essential should things go wrong. Both the formal institutional system and the informal research learning community are there to augment the support provided by a supervisor. Make the most of research groups, informal study opportunities, or people you meet at conferences who are working in similar areas.

Many students experience issues with supervisors even if the supervisors are unaware they are contributing to problems. Issues range from the over attentive supervisor to the ‘absent’ supervisor who rarely directs or engages with your work. As an increasingly autonomous researcher, you will need to develop a clear sense of where your work is going, what help you need, how to manage your own research and writing as well as your supervisor. Hopefully you will get this professional relationship right and your research work and life will run as smoothly as possible.

Further information:

Wisker, G (2008) The Postgraduate Research Handbook. London: Palgrave Macmillan
Wisker, G (2012) The Good Supervisor . London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wisker, G (2015) ‘PhD students: what to do if you don’t work well with your supervisor’ The Guardian

Image Credit:Source: Sawayasu Tsuji/iStockphoto

    Kelly Neubeiser
Kelly Neubeiser
Author Marketing, Wiley

Nobel+medal.jpgSince its inauguration in 1901, the Nobel Prize has been the pinnacle of lifetime accomplishments, awarding in the fields of chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, physics, economics, literature and peace. The coveted honor recognizes those who have devoted their life to bettering the scientific and educational landscape. At Wiley, where the dissemination of quality research is at the company’s core, we are dedicated to valuing our authors who strive to uphold these ideals.Besides groundbreaking achievements, what do six of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates have in common? They've served as authors for Wiley books and journals.

Wiley is grateful for the opportunity to publish so many exceptional researchers, and we are very proud to have these laureates as part of our author community.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Dr. Tomas Lindahl, Professor Paul Mordrich, and Professor Aziz Sancar for discovering multiple DNA repair processes.

Originally from Sweden, Dr. Tomas Lindahl’s  is currently the Emeritus group leader at the Francis Crick Institute and the Emeritus director of the Clare Hall Laboratory, both of Hertfordshire in the UK. Lindahl’s experience with Wiley spans over four decades, when he first published an article in the European Journal of Biochemistry in 1971. His article, Base Excision Repair, was featured in the comprehensive Encyclopedia of Molecular Medicine, which describes a process cited as part of his Nobel Prize work.

Dr. Paul Modrich, Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University, discovered a repair mechanism that corrects wrongly combined base pairs in DNA. Dr. Modrich authored a paper on "mismatch repair" for The EMBO journal

After studying at the Istanbul University of Turkey and gaining his PhD at the University of Texas, Dr. Sancar now serves as the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina. Sancar has written extensively for the Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, offering insight on DNA repair , recombinational repair, base excision repair and more. More recently, he co-authored an article, DNA Damage: Repair in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Chemical Biology.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015
This year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Professor William C. Campbell and Professor Satoshi Ōmura for their work combatting infections caused by roundworm parasites and to Professor Youyou Tu for her discoveries in novel therapy against Malaria.

The Emeritus Professor at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, Professor William C. Campbell's research is primarily focused on parasitology and chemotherapy of parasitic infections. Satoshi Ōmura, inaugural Max Tishler Professor of Chemistry at Wesleyan University, is known for his research in Bioorganic Chemistry. Campbell used one of Ōmura’s bacteria cultures to discover a new antiparasitic compound.

Campbell’s antiparasitic work has been published in Medicinal Research Reviews. Ōmura has coauthored a number of Wiley articles, most recently for The European Journal of Organic Chemistry .

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015
Professor Takaaki Kajita and Professor Arthur B. McDonald are the joint recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Their revolutionary experiments prove that neutrinos have mass, which contradicts the Standard Model of particle physics.

Professor McDonald was the author of the article Future Solar Neutrino Experiments published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The Nobel Prize in Economics 2015
The Royal Swedish Academy of Science awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences to Professor Angus Deaton. Deaton is recognized “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare”. Listen to his reaction to the news here.

Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he has been teaching since 1983. His research is credited with transforming the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics and development economics. Deaton has written for three Wiley journals about topics ranging from cash transfers to the elderly in South Africa to empirical microeconomics.

To access free content from this year’s Nobel Prize winners in the sciences, please visit the individual announcements from ChemistryViews


Image Credit(Nobel Medal): Getty Images

    Anne-Marie Green
Anne-Marie Green
Communication Manager, Wiley

Last week, Dr. Johannes Spinnewijn of London School of Economics was named by the British Academy and Wiley as the winner of the 2015 Wiley Prize, awarded for academic excellence in the field of economics, in particular his research in current and topical policy.


Also last week, Dr. Peter Fonagy of University College London was awarded a lifetime achievement award from Wiley and the British Academy for his numerous contributions to the field of psychology.


We recently had the chance to ask them a few questions about these achievements.


Q&A with Dr. Spinnewijn

Johannes-Spinnewijnjpg.jpgQ. How and why did you decide to pursue the study of economics?

A.My choice for economics has been rather practical. My topical interests were mostly in humanities, but I wanted to do something mathematical in its approach, so I ended up studying economics as a compromise. I have never regretted it afterwards.


Q. Can you tell us briefly about the research which won you The Wiley Prize in Economics?

A. My research is in public economics, trying to integrate theory and empirics. A recent trend in public economics is to revisit important issues that have been studied before, but expressing the relevant policy recommendations in terms of statistics that can be estimated empirically. This exercise has been very fruitful as it provides both a new lens to think about the policy issues and a clear guide for empirical work. I have been applying this in the design of unemployment insurance and health insurance interventions. My work also tries to understand how behavioral frictions distort individuals’ behavior in these contexts and how that affects optimal policy design.


Q. What does winning the Wiley Prize in Economics mean for you?

A. I feel of course greatly honored to receive this prize. I am very pleased with the recognition of my work in public economics. It is a very exciting field to be in today and it has been a joy to try contributing to it at LSE.




Q&A with Dr. Fonagy

Peter-Fonagy-300x126.pngQ. As this is a lifetime achievement award, can you tell us which accomplishments in your career you are most proud of?

A. Research being put to practical use is always very pleasing. The original research with two PhD students on attachment in expectant mothers predicting forward to the future child’s relationship with their parent is probably the finding that I think is most relevant, but none of us anticipated the impact that understanding the mechanisms underpinning the associations would have on prevention and early intervention. Writing brief forewords to practical guides to parenting based on these ideas brings me the greatest pleasure.


Q. As one of the founders of the concept, how would you explain mentalization to those unfamiliar with it?

A. Mentalization doesn’t need explaining. It is the most natural of all human mental capacities. We talk about understanding people and we mean understanding their thoughts, their feelings, their wishes as these relate to what they do. We never think about our own actions, other than as prompted by some wish, desire or belief. Understanding that other people have minds and that their actions are the product of their thoughts and feelings is probably as close to a definition of a human being as we can get.


Q. What does winning this prize mean to you?

A. It’s an enormous honor to be in the company of great psychologists such as Martin Seligman, Michael Tomasello and Anne Treisman. Whilst I shall never be able to think of myself as being a deserving recipient I do feel proud on behalf of the many collaborators I have worked with over the years who genuinely deserve this prize. I have enjoyed my work because if has always been work in teams and I have been extraordinarily lucky in having the most able and talented individuals to work with across a range of disciplines. I am principally pleased to receive the prize as a celebration of the contribution they have made to psychological science and allied disciplines.


Image Credit (first image)Dr. Johannes Spinnewijn Source: London School of Economics

Image Credit (second image)Dr. Peter Fonagy,Source: University College, London

    Sarah Callaghan
Sarah Callaghan
Senior Researcher, British Atmospheric Data Center

Peer review is widely considered to be the best way to check the validity and correctness of a piece of published research. It’s unsurprising then, that there is a drive to apply the principles of peer review to other research outputs, such as software, workflows, and of course data.


I won’t be saying anything revolutionary when I say that data is complicated. Journal articles are (pretty much) a standardized format, easily accessible for review, and not requiring special tools to interrogate what is in the paper. This does not mean that reviewing papers is easy, but just that there is an extra layer of complication on top of data which needs to be addressed before review can happen.


For a start, data are widely heterogeneous. In just the earth sciences, data can come in forms as varied as:


  • Time series, some still being updated e.g. meteorological measurements
  • Large 4D synthesised datasets, e.g. Climate, Oceanographic, Hydrological and Numerical Weather Prediction model data generated on a supercomputer
  •   2D scans e.g. satellite data, weather radar data
  •   2D snapshots, e.g. cloud camera
  •   Traces through a changing medium, e.g. radiosonde launches, aircraft flights, ocean salinity and temperature
  •   Datasets consisting of data from multiple instruments as part of the same measurement campaign
  •   Physical samples, e.g. fossils


Of course, all these types of data will come in their own (sometimes specialized and proprietary) formats, often requiring specialized software to open the files and read the data. It’s often not as simple as clicking on a link and reading a html or pdf document. And in cases where data are stored in commonly used formats, like spreadsheets, extra information is still needed to determine what the numbers in the cells actually represent, and how to use them.


human-genome-shelved.jpgData are also big. A reviewer may be happy to review a 20 page paper on the train, but printing out 2 TB of data tables is not really an option (and even if you did – it would be very difficult to make sense of it all!) The hard copy of the Human Genome, at the Wellcome Collection in London, is an excellent example of the sheer physical size of some datasets, and also the impossibility of using it, or reviewing it, in any meaningful way solely from the hard copy.


It can also be very difficult to determine when a dataset is “finished.” Some data are collected over the course of years/decades/centuries, with the community wanting to use the most up-to-date data now. If an ongoing dataset is reviewed, obviously the review only applies to the data that was collected up to the point of the review. But what of the data collected after? Is that still covered by the review? My answer is yes, to a certain extent, because the review doesn’t just look at the data – it looks at the methodologies of collection, the data management and archiving processes, and the metadata published along with the data – all of which remain valid for data collected after the review.


While peer review evaluates the quality of a piece of research, evaluating the quality of data is not as easy as it seems. For example, a dataset might be collected for one purpose (e.g. listening to atmospheric fading on an Earth to satellite communication channel which has too much noise in the received signal). However, this noise is exactly the sort of data that researchers studying the effects of scintillation (changes in the refractive index of the atmosphere) are interested in. So a dataset with too much noise is “bad” for a researcher working on fading, while “good” for a researcher working on scintillation. In some cases, a dataset might be marginally useful now, but in human-genome-book.jpgtwenty or a hundred years, it could be exceptionally valuable. For example in the eighteenth century, ships’ captains regularly made meteorological measurements and recorded them in the ship’s log. They would have had no idea at the time that their measurements would be an incredibly valuable resource for investigating the effects of climate change several hundred years later!


With all these complications, it seems that reviewing data should be a horrible, difficult job – a perception that puts reviewers off even attempting to review data. From personal experience, I can say that reviewing data isn’t as hard as you’d expect – provided guidance is given on what the review is trying to determine.


As I said earlier, the quality of a dataset is often determined by what use one wants to make of it. But regardless how useful a dataset might be in the future, if it is not documented and archived properly, all its potential is wasted. My thinking is that data peer review should focus on the fundamental question of “Can this dataset be used by others, sometime in the future?” That question leads you to ask about the supporting information (metadata) provided with the dataset, the formats that the data is stored in, and the longevity and trustworthiness of the repository it is archived in. Datasets can rely on domain specific knowledge for their use (though implicit domain knowledge may well disappear over time), but it is better and safer to provide as much metadata and associated documentation as possible.


Providing this supporting information is time consuming and takes effort, but there is an increasing recognition by funders and researchers that properly archiving and documenting data is worth the effort and should be funded. Making data open for peer review gives other benefits besides error-checking and protection against fraud.It also opens data for collaboration and exploitation by industry and out-of-discipline researchers, promotes the dataset, and makes it easier to track the data’s impact.


Peer review of data will require different skills than peer review of articles. One way to deal with this is to split the review into different types, each asking different questions, for example:


  •   Editorial review – “Does the dataset have a permanent identifier?” “Is the dataset stored in a trusted repository?” “Are the access conditions clearly laid out and following journal guidance?”
  •   Technical review – “Is the data in an appropriate, community standard, format?” “Are tools and services provided to facilitate visualisation and manipulation of the data?” “Is there enough metadata so that non specialist users can understand what the data is and how it was collected?”
  • Scientific review – “Is the metadata provided accurate?” “Are there suspicious values in the data that shouldn’t be (e.g. are there negative values for rain rate)?” “Is the dataset fit for the purpose it was collected for?” “Is the dataset suitable for any other uses?”


We are still in the very early stages of peer review for data, so we’re only just starting to come up with solutions for many of these problems. Of course, given the heterogeneity of data, and the broad spread of academic disciplines, we simply won’t be able to create a generic solution!


This is an interesting time for data, and for the whole academic publication process. I’m looking forward to seeing what solutions we develop.


Caption (first image) Hard copy of the Human Genome at the Wellcome Collection, London Source: Sarah Callaghan

Caption (second image) A look inside one of the books of the hard copy of the Human Genome at the Wellcome Collection, London Source: Sarah Callaghan

    Elizabeth Lorbeer
Elizabeth Lorbeer
Library Director, Western Michigan University School of Medicine

labryinth.jpgThe role of the librarian is to connect users to information. We do so by organizing and managing content and its connection points, but    our role goes further by making content “social” so that it’s findable. According to Ulrich’s, a source for bibliographic and publisher information, there exist over 300,000 periodicals and 400 abstracting and indexing sources to assist in identifying content. When I think about how users access scholarly content, the expression “path of least resistance” comes to mind. There is so much content for information seekers to sift through that libraries have advanced past the online catalog for quick look-up to installing a discovery system to unify all of their electronic and print resources in one index. It allows our users to discover content quicker, with a single search interface, using filters to achieve desired results. But, this is where publishers need to think how to make their content social and likable by the relevancy rankings within discovery systems and search engines. If anyone is going to find your published content, it will need to appear at the top of the search results page.


Traditional bibliographic databases subscribed to by academic libraries are still popular sources to find peer-reviewed works. I recently ran a report on user activity on my library’s website that revealed the top referring sources were PubMed at 46%, followed by the full-text aggregated databases at 26%, and Google Scholar at 6%. (Note that my library solely serves a health professional community.) Referring links do not tell the entire picture of system-wide use, as institutional users will download and use mobile apps on their handheld devices. The library promotes the use of other PubMed apps such as Unbound Medicine’s uCentral and PubMed On Tap. As much as we, the content creators and information organizers, want to be the starting pathway for information seekers, they may begin somewhere else. Popular starting points are search engines such as Google and Google Scholar, journal reader apps (eg, BrowZine, Docphin, and Read by QxMD), and social networking sites such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, which are now acceptable go-to resources for vetted content in the academic community. As a result, library and publisher websites face competition from third-party applications and social networking sites as sources to find interdisciplinary and topic-specific content. What this means is that traditional library bibliographic databases are disrupted by freely available discovery sources. The abstracting and indexing services offer controlled vocabulary for searching for topics, whereas search engines crawl billions of webpages and build a simple index where results are ranked by relevance. The difference in results from a controlled source to a relevancy-ranked source is astounding. The content that is the most “social” is found first by the Web crawlers even though it might not be considered the best available research.


Librarians have embraced alternative discovery services by collaborating with third-party developers to supply article-level links to subscribed and demand-driven content through the OpenURL link resolver services. My library employs 360 Link from Serials Solutions (a division of ProQuest) to send our electronic serial and monograph holdings to Google Scholar. It is a monthly automated process that allows our users who choose not to search the bibliographic databases the ability to find library-subscribed peer-reviewed content. When our users search from within Google Scholar, if an article or book chapter is available through our online library, they can connect to the full-text content through the linkout. Additionally, Google Scholar will also alert the user if a full-text version is available through an institutional repository or publisher’s open access. website. The mobile journal reader apps work the same way, allowing the library to register with the application developer to make the connection to the content. Some apps offer the ability to track the individual’s reading habits to record continuing education credits and offer the librarian usage reports of which subscribed resources are being accessed from within the app. As more academic institutions embrace primary learning using handheld devices, having the ability to customize third party apps will become necessary in order to be adopted by collaborative learning environments.


App use is growing among the academic community as a way to stay connected to the current research and maximize learning efficiency. My school has adopted Inkling as its single source to deliver required textbooks to students. Using the Inkling mobile app permits course instructors to highlight and annotate the digital text and allows both faculty and students to share notes as a means of fostering collaborative learning. Additionally, instructors can create individual ebooks to distribute independent guided learning events outside the classroom. What lies ahead for academic libraries is how to distribute content to their users who are relying increasingly on their tablets for primary learning.

As didactic lectures are being transformed to team-based learning events, learners need quick access to content to ask questions and participate in discussion. Applications that can deliver reliable, evidenced-based results and break down information into digestible chunks will be preferred by learners.


The above article was originally published in Editorial Office News, the official newsletter of the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors.


Image source: Ilya Terentyev/iStockphoto

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