The reproducability of research has been one of the hot topics of the past year, with several studies highlighting the poor ability to replicate findings from research.

One of the more prominent of these found less than half of over 100 psychology related studies could be replicated, with this attempt recently named as the most important breakthrough of 2015 by Science.

It has prompted a number of attempts to improve matters.  The open source journal PLOS have recently opened a meta-research portal that aims to expose the latest best practice research about research, and hopefully by virtue of this raise the standard of research more widely.

A major part of its mission is to increase the transparency of research, both in terms of access to it, but also access to the support materials that underpinned each paper.

Transparent research

It’s very much in this vein that a consortium of UK universities has recently established a new open access platform for publishing scholarly articles.

The platform, called the White Rose University Press, was created by the Universities of Sheffield, York and Leeds, and will publish peer-reviewed academic papers, textbooks and conference literature from both the UK and abroad.

The venture has three core goals:

  1. The support of open access publishing
  2. Ensuring high levels of academic quality
  3. The creation of new opportunities for publishing

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, said: “The White Rose Universities Consortium combines world-class scholarship from Yorkshire’s three leading research-intensive universities. Making this resource available to academics and other partners in the UK and around the world will remove barriers to sharing knowledge and the work which can grow from this, which is good news for education and for wider society.”

The portal is working with the open access publisher Ubiquity Press to power their service, which includes a comprehensive production infrastructure providing copy-editing, typesetting, design and layout, marketing, print-on-demand, and a suite of related services.

These are available through an intuitive, user-friendly platform which helps both readers to access and engage with the scholarship, and authors and editors-in-chief to manage the submission, peer-review, and production processes.