Author: Kevin Jasini

ScienceOpen’s Accessibility Statement

ScienceOpen’s journey has been consistently improving in its pursuit of a more open and accessible publishing landscape for all. Our focus has always been on fostering open science and developing innovative publishing products and solutions that enable smooth scientific communication and exchange. With over a decade of experience in digital publishing, we have managed to successfully address accessibility gaps in the digital publishing landscape.

We believe that inclusivity is key to fostering a thriving scientific community. To achieve this, ScienceOpen continually upgrades its network, ensuring that the platform evolves with one clear objective: to make scientific knowledge accessible to a global audience.

Our network keeps on upgrading with one goal in mind: Science Open & Accessible for All.

At ScienceOpen, we proudly uphold the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), ensuring that all our digital content is WCAG 2.1 compliant and that our solutions foster an inclusive and accessible environment for users of diverse abilities.

One of the cornerstones of our accessibility initiatives is the integration of alt-text elements into our digital infrastructure. These elements manifest on the HTML full-text article landing pages, significantly enhancing content accessibility for all users. This strategic move not only aligns with our commitment to inclusivity but also contributes to an improved overall user experience on ScienceOpen.

Example of a figure with alt-text from the article 'Reflections on the Power of the Pen'
Example of a figure with alt-text from ‘Reflections on the Power of the Pen’

Authors and editors who contribute content to ScienceOpen play a pivotal role in this accessibility journey. Our platform empowers them to easily add alternate texts for images featured in their articles during the regular submission process. This not only enriches the scholarly content hosted on ScienceOpen but also ensures that information is readily available to a broader audience.

Moreover, we understand the importance of catering to the diverse needs of our user base. By providing features that allow for text-to-speech compatibility, keyboard navigation, and customizable font sizes, we aim to create an environment where every user can engage with scientific content on their own terms.

Our dedication to accessibility goes beyond mere compliance.

In the simplest terms, ScienceOpen is a commitment to breaking down barriers in the world of digital publishing, not just a platform. We envision a future in which science is truly open and accessible to all, and we invite you to join us on this life-changing journey. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we encourage you to contact us if you have any accessibility concerns, which will help to strengthen our collective efforts to make Science Open and Accessible to All.

Image with figure containing alt-text in an article by the Journal of Disability Research.
Screen readers are able to read out the figure title and an alt-text describing what is depicted to help make the text more comprehensive for visually impaired people.

Stay tuned while we keep upgrading ScienceOpen!

Last Updated: December 2023

This commitment to accessibility was last reaffirmed on December 2023, marking another step in our ongoing journey towards a more inclusive and accessible scientific community.

Contact for Accessibility Concerns:

If you encounter any accessibility issues or have specific concerns, please contact us at feedback@scienceopen.com. We are committed to addressing and resolving accessibility challenges to enhance the user experience.

Peer Review on ScienceOpen

Peer Review on ScienceOpen

Review by academic peers is an essential part of the scholarly publishing and communication process. By sharing their expert opinion, researchers evaluate and improve the research of their peers.

To support Open Access journals with a range of workflows, the ScienceOpen publishing infrastructure offers a traditional blinded review to meet the needs of certain communities. While we actively promote open review post publication, journals can also choose more traditional review options.

Our publishing platform enables scholars to contribute as reviewers across diverse fields of research and disciplines, allowing for simple and rapid publishing.

If you have been invited by an editor to provide your expert opinion on a submitted manuscript, here are a few guidelines to support you.

There are some general things to keep in mind when reviewing an article on ScienceOpen:

  • Your ScienceOpen profile needs to be synchronized with your ORCID account, to demonstrate that you are an active and professional researcher.
  • Reviews need to be constructive, courteous, and well-written.
  • All publications on ScienceOpen are open to commenting and post-publication peer review.
  • Everyone can invite other scholars, colleagues or peers to review any article.

Once you have linked your ScienceOpen account to your ORCID, you can start reviewing a paper by following the steps below:

How to Review?

1. Follow the link provided in your invitation e-mail and click on ‘Review Article’

Don’t forget to inform the editor that you can review an article within the deadline by clicking on the “Yes” or “No” buttons in your e-mail invitation. From the link in your invitation you can access the article. You can download the pdf or read in our pdf viewer pane.

2. Review and provide a rating for the article.

When you start the review process you will be asked to evaluate the paper in four different categories from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (excellent). The categories are as follows:

  • Level of importance: Is the publication of relevance for the academic community and does it provide important insights? Does the work represent a new approach or new findings in comparison with other publications in the field? (note that this doesn’t preclude publication, as the paper has already been published!)
  • Level of validity: Is the hypothesis clearly formulated? Is the argumentation stringent? Are the data sound, well-controlled and statistically analysed? Is the interpretation balanced and supported by the data? Are appropriate and state-of-the-art methods used? Note that ScienceOpen also accepts publication of “negative” results (we just don’t think of them as being ‘negative’..)
  • Level of completeness: Do the authors reference the appropriate scholarly context? Do the authors provide or cite all information to follow their findings or argumentation? Do they cite the all relevant publications in the field?
  • Level of comprehensibility: Is the language correct and easy to understand for an academic in the field? Are the figures well displayed and captions properly described? Is the article systematically and logically organized?

3. Provide a written review. 

After rating the manuscript, reviewers may submit a written review (up to 10,000 characters). Reviews should stick to the aims and objectives set out above and follow a similar structure of major points followed by minor points and a conclusion with an overall impression of the manuscript. We trust that you will strive to make your review constructive, yet critical. The review text box allows you to add special characters, formulas, images, links and more. You are welcome to write your review in another program and just copy and paste into the box. Complete your review by adding a short summary sentence and don’t forget to mention any conflicts of interest. Press Continue button at bottom of page.

4. Check your Draft review and finalize by clicking Submit

Read through the draft of your review. You can make any changes with the “Edit” button or click “Submit” to submit your review to the editors. The authors will see your report but not your name.

When submitting your review, please keep in mind the following checklist.

Checklist for all reviewers

  • Do you have an account on ScienceOpen?  If not, follow the instructions here.
  • Did you link your ScienceOpen profile to ORCID publication history? Reviewers are usually required to have published at least five scientific articles. However, if you were invited to review an article on ScienceOpen you only need to have an ORCID ID linked to your ScienceOpen profile and you are good to go.
  • Did you do your best to minimize bias? When writing a review, you must officially declare that you have no “competing interests” that might compromise your independent assessment. Please read our statement on competing interests.
  • Did you ensure that your review remains annonymous? Sometimes reviewers add mistakenly their name or affiliation in the review text. If that is the case and you want to have your name published as a reviewer, please follow our guidelines on open peer review on our About page.

In our experience, all reviews at ScienceOpen have been civil, progressive, and detailed and we expect that researchers will strive for high quality, and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting professional researchers.

For further details, please refer to the short tutorial video below:

At ScienceOpen we have been developing infrastructure for peer review for over 10 years because we believe that it increases trust in science. Over the years we have continued to explore new tools and workflows to support preprint management, post-publication review, and the promotion of scholarly excellence on our network and beyond.