The Benefits of Using Research Platforms for Science


Research Platforms
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Open science, social media, and computer-readable markup language are essential components of a platform. The complexity of scientific activities is reflected in the structure and differentiation of the science economy. As a platform grows, it must be able to accommodate the complexity of science while maintaining its value of a platform. The benefits of using a research platform are numerous. 

Open science

There are numerous benefits to a social science research network and open science, including reproducibility. Open science requires researchers to publish their findings in a computer-readable markup language (CRM), unlike traditional publishing practices, such as HTML. This allows researchers to publish their meta-data and research data on search engines, unlocking their findings’ value. By contrast, non-actionable PDF files are no better than a digital photograph of paper, not suitable for online dissemination.

Open science can increase scientific productivity by improving collaboration. In traditional publishing, researchers often discard valuable data after publishing. Available science promotes reuse, reducing costs and maximizing the return on investment. In addition, researchers have long reported that the reproducibility crisis of scientific findings was a significant problem for conventional methods. Open science addresses this problem by facilitating open access to data, software, and publications. Increasing the visibility and discoverability of their work can also lead to new opportunities to collaborate with other researchers and scientists.

Open access

Despite the advantages of Open Access, it has a downside: it is much more difficult to publish research. As a result, open-access journals usually have a lower impact than subscription publications. However, many reputable open-access journals have recently emerged, including Nature Communications, PLOS One, and Scientific Reports. Read on to discover the downsides of open access and how you can make the most of it. After all, the goal is to make science accessible to as many people as possible.

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In addition to allowing scientists to publish their findings, open-access journals can help them to distribute their results in new ways. Researchers no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on subscriptions to their favorite serials. Instead, they can make their findings available to anyone with Internet access through open access journals. Since these journals are freely available on the Web, they are an ideal way to disseminate their findings to a broader audience.

Social media

There are a variety of benefits to using social media for scientific research. For example, a recent Pew Research Center survey of social media users found that most see science-related posts. Among these users, 44% say that they see unique content on their platform, while 26% say they follow pages that discuss science. These results are striking, especially given the size of the Facebook audience. But even if scientists don’t have millions of followers on Facebook, they can still use the site as a platform for their science-related research.

Researchers can keep in touch with colleagues using social media. The Executive Director of ScienceOnline, Karyn Traphagen, cites Twitter as the number one arena where members of her community share research information. They can provide information on upcoming conference sessions, presentation details, and more. Moreover, they can offer valuable connections to scientists and potential students. Finally, they can present their research slides or videos to a broader audience through Twitter.

Publication in a computer-readable markup language

A computer-readable markup language (CRML) can describe a text document. Its unique syntax identifies similar units of information and provides instructions to applications that process documents in an automated fashion. This is particularly useful for documents that contain complex mathematical or financial data or complex diagrams and choreographic notation. CRML is widely used for scientific and technical publications and is widely supported by publishers. Its benefits are many, and its potential is limitless.

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The future of markup languages will revolve around extensible languages that can be enhanced and customized for specific purposes. To succeed, CRML must be modular and expandable. One example is XML, which can eventually replace web browsers with more robust applications. One such application is Microsoft Office applications. CRML is also becoming increasingly common in scientific and technical documents. Here’s a primer on CRML.

Costs

The costs of publishing research are rising exponentially, driven by the price of new technology and publication volume. As a result, publishers are also delivering an enhanced product for their users. High-end platforms offer hyperlinks to data and metadata and sophisticated search functions. These systems also support alert functions and reader feedback and can deliver content to secondary publishers and Internet indexing services. Low-end systems include simple search, standard access control mechanisms, and providing content to secondary publishers.

One of the most comprehensive cost analyses of open access came from University of California librarians in 2016. They estimated how much each UC campus spent publishing gold-open access articles in the same year as three comparison institutions. This was a shocking result. However, more institutions will likely follow suit and cut their article publishing fees in the future. This will be a long process. Until then, the research community will have to figure out how to make these platforms more affordable and sustainable for everyone.

Impact on society

Science’s role will likely undergo a fundamental transformation in our increasingly digital and fragmented society. While science will never offer a single universal truth, it can still provide methodologically verifiable interpretations and stimulate reflection. As we face more uncertain situations, science has a special responsibility to play for society. Science can better serve its purpose by using research platforms to communicate its results and promote societal good.

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Researchers must engage with stakeholder communities to achieve the desired impact and make it tangible. Many funding agencies and national assessment programs emphasize impact evaluation, particularly outside of academia. The review is likely to comprise a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators. In addition, researchers will need to develop new skills to demonstrate impact. In the future, impact evaluation could form a fundamental part of career development and institution reputation.


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Michelle Gram Smith
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