Wellcome Open Research launches with first articles

Wellcome Open Research, Wellcome’s publishing platform, launches today. Its first articles are published and freely available to view1, and will shortly undergo open peer review. They span a range of formats – from more traditional research articles to data notes, software tools and study protocols, and are from academics across a range of career levels.

Using publishing services developed by F1000, the Wellcome Open Research platform enables Wellcome grantees to make their research outputs available faster and in ways that support reproducibility and transparency.

Using a model of immediate publication followed by transparent invited peer review, the platform allows for publication of any type of findings that authors wish to publish – from more traditional narrative-based articles to incremental findings, methods, protocols, datasets and negative/null results.

Professor Jim Smith, Director of Research at the Francis Crick Institute and Wellcome Open Research Advisory Board member, said: “Open research drives innovation and discovery, promotes transparency, and improves trust and reproducibility. This platform provides a ready opportunity for all Wellcome grantees to share their research.”

The transparent peer review process encourages constructive feedback from experts focussed on helping the authors improve their work, rather than on making an editorial decision to accept or reject an article behind closed doors.

Authors choose their referees, allowing them to suggest those most appropriate to their work and whose comments they can later cite to demonstrate the quality of their work. The subsequent referee reports are published openly with the reviewer’s identities for all to see. This model has been demonstrated by F1000Research.

Clara Grabitz, a Master’s student who was working in Wellcome Principal Research Fellow Professor Dorothy Bishop’s lab during her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, and has an article published today said:

“Having a platform like Wellcome Open Research to publish on is truly beneficial for early career researchers, as our work appears quickly, without the delays inherent in the closed peer review process. It’s important to me that my outputs are open access too, it means there are no barriers around my research.”

Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at Wellcome, said:

“Our long-held view is that researcher assessment should be based on actual outputs – supported by article-level metrics and transparent comments from referees – rather than using the journal’s name, or its impact factor, as a proxy of quality.

“As a funder-based platform, we hope Wellcome Open Research will spark a change in the way research and researchers are assessed.”

Rebecca Lawrence, Managing Director of F1000, said:

“With their tradition of leading innovation in the way research is communicated, Wellcome are leading in a profoundly different publishing approach to improve the way researchers share their findings. This innovative service is open to all their grantees and shifts the control of the process from research journals directly to researchers themselves. Platforms like these could trigger a seismic shift in how new findings of all types are transmitted, reducing bias, improving reproducibility and reducing research waste, while creating a fairer system for evaluating research and researchers for future jobs and grants.”

Articles will be openly available from November 15 at 12.00 GMT. Before then a full list of articles and/or full articles are available on request.

1.For more information about Wellcome Open Research please go to wellcomeopenresearch.org