Frontiers Open Science Platform enables scientific excellence at scale

Open Science innovations at Frontiers

Frontiers’ mission is to make quality content across all areas of research openly available to all. Born digital nearly 10 years ago, a key strategy to review, publish, evaluate and disseminate research efficiently and at high quality is our state-of the-art Open Science Platform. By investing in talented IT teams — nearly half of our 370 staff are IT experts and engineers — and driving technological innovation in-house, we have released a series of innovative digital services that are impacting the way scholarly publishing is evolving.

With an agile development approach, and taking into account invaluable feedback from thousands of editors, reviewers and authors, we release new updates and tools every two weeks. Our technological tools are aimed to continuously support our 75,000 editors in peer-reviewing content, developing and overseeing their journals, specialty sections and article collections, and include the state-of-the-art Digital Editorial Office and the new Research Topic Management platform. Our Collaborative Review Forum aims to facilitate rigorous peer review in an interactive and efficient way. We pioneered Article Impact Metrics to enable researchers to track the worldwide impact of their articles and built Loop, the research network, to better disseminate their articles and maximize their impact.

Engaging world-class researchers on our Open Science Platform in the content, rather than burdensome administrative tasks, is a cornerstone of achieving a publishing operation that delivers scientific excellence at scale.

And our Open Science approach works: analyses based on the 2016 Journal Citation Reports and 2016 CiteScore show that Frontiers journals rise within a few years of their launch to be among the most impactful in their fields, both in terms of total citations generated and their Impact Factors. Frontiers’ digital model allows us to innovate rapidly and scale efficiently as the journals grow.

This ability to be a driving innovation force has been recognized with numerous awards, including the ALPSP Award for Innovation in Scholarly Publishing in 2014 and an EU Innovation Finalist in 2017. It is also reflected in the impressive growth of high-quality articles gathering an increasing number of views and citations year on year. To date, Frontiers has published 75,000 articles which have received over 300 million views and downloads and over 535,000 citations (source: Scopus).

Frontiers’ focus is to empower researchers by constantly providing better and more efficient services and ensuring that quality research can be shared and accessed openly, so that researchers can innovate faster for the benefit of all humankind.

Innovations pioneered on our Open Science Platform

  • Cloud-based, scalable publishing engine supporting every phase of the publishing process, including registration, submission, review, publication and invoicing

  • Article Collection Management: Research Topics Platform

    • Research Topics are themed article collections spotlighting hot research areas and organized by leading researchers

    • Our Research Topics Platform is specifically designed to encourage interdisciplinary research collaboration, and includes:

      • Efficient online management of article collections for Topic Editors

      • Impact Metrics to track worldwide reach and readership

      • eBook production

  • Journal Management: Digital Editorial Office

    • Our platform tools enable our editors to manage the peer-review process efficiently and at high-quality, while at the same continuously grow world-class journals

    • Digital Editorial Office — a dedicated online cockpit for our editors to manage their journals & editorial boards, and quality-control manuscript submissions and peer-review

  • Research Evaluation: Impact Metrics

    • In 2008, Frontiers pioneered online Article Impact Metrics measuring worldwide views and downloads on our articles

    • Since then impact metrics evolved to include demographic information, and external data sources such as citations via Cross Ref and Scopus and social media mentions via Altmetric

    • Impact Metrics provide an objective and transparent way to evaluate research, taking into account the profile, location and behavior of readers

    • Our suite of impact metrics includes article impact, author impact, research topic impact, journal impact, and more

  • Research Dissemination: Loop

    • We don’t stop when the article is published — designed to maximize impact for articles and authors, our Loop network ensures that articles are widely disseminated and authors discoverable

    • Online profiles for authors, reviewers and editors showcasing publications, collaborations, editorial contributions and impact

    • Smart algorithms to disseminate articles to relevant people and communities

    • In 2017 alone, our editors’ Loop profiles received more than 10 million views, authors’ profiles over 15 million views and Frontiers articles over 100 million views and downloads

  • Research Outreach: Frontiers for Young Minds

    • Science is the motor of the world and needs to reach the public in an easy to understand and engaging way. Frontiers for Young Minds targets the youngest audiences to stimulate love and understanding for cutting-edge science straight out of the labs.

    • Free open-access science journal for kids and reviewed by kids

Figure 1: The Frontiers Open Science Platform — innovations and services

Open Science at Frontiers - innovation timeline

Figure 2. Frontiers innovations and services timeline