Month: July 2017

ReConEvent Highlights

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Some of the highlights from ReConEvent* over the years.

(A full list of speakers is here)

Based on popularity from views on our YouTube Page, the most popular talk in 2017 was the one provided by Becky Douglas from University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

Becky 17

How to share science with hard to reach groups and why you should bother

Biomedical Physicist Lewis MacKenzie at University of Leeds gave an excellent talk which was also very popular.

Lewis 17

What helps or hinders science communication by early career researchers?

In 2017, we also experimented for the first time with Unconference sessions. The first one was by Nicola Osbourne: EDINA, University Of Edinburgh. 

Nicola 17

 Best Footprint Forward

Over the years, we’ve had a number of speakers either from Digital Science or from one of their portfolio companies. The most recent speaker we’ve had from Digital Science was Phill Jones, Director of Publishing Innovation.

Phill 17

Inputs, Outputs and emergent properties: The new Scientometrics

Jean LiuProduct Development Manager for Altmetric delivered a great talk for us.

Jean 17 1

The wonderful world of altmetrics: why researchers’ voices matter

Our own more detailed summary of 2017.

Some external coverage of our 2017 conference.

Nicola Osbourne live blogged it (she is Scotland’s finest person at doing such a thing in our opinion).

In addition, Plant Epigenetics PhD student Emily May Armstrong wrote this guest post for the University of Glasgow’s Researcher Development Blog.

Seems like a lot to take in? If you want to explore further, you can check out all of ReCon’s video coverage from a broad range of speakers on their blog. Inspired by ReCon, the UofG Library Team will also be holding an event for researchers on 27 October with tours, talks and tools to help you with research communication!

Short report from Phill Jones at the Digital Science blog.


By far, our most popular talk from 2016 was delivered by Geoffey Bilder from CrossRef.

citation fetish

The Citation Fetish

Jeroen Bosman & Bianca Kramer from Utrecht University Library tend to combine their resources when giving a talk as they did for us.

Bianca 2015

Of shapes and style: visualising innovations in scholarly communication

Our own more detailed summary of 2016.

In addition to the conference, we also held a hackday the day after it. Summary here.

The hackday was sponsored by CrossRef & JISC.

Crossref logo

JISC logo

External coverage of our 2016 conference by Frank Norman, a Librarian, Information Services at the Crick Institute..

ReCon 2016 – my favourite small conference

ReCon has become my favourite small conference about publishing and research. It’s held each June in Edinburgh. I attended it in 2015 and really enjoyed it. There were stimulating presentations on non-trivial topics, and plenty of interesting conversations over coffee and lunch. So I went again this year with high expectations that were not disappointed.


Some highlights from our event in 2015. Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology at Imperial College gave the following popular talk for us.

Stephen Curry 2015

Re-thinking research with a view to impact: an academic perspective

Also that year, Peter Burnhill who was the Director of EDINA (at that time) gave an excellent talk.

peter burnhill title

Where data and journal content collide: what does it mean to ‘publish your data’?

Euan Adie, CEO and Founder of Altmetric returned to his roots in Edinburgh to deliver the following talk.

euan adie title

Seven Lessons: what we’ve learned from trying to measure impact

Our own more detailed summary from 2015.

We also held our first hackday that year. Summary here.

The hackday was sponsored by GitHub & Mendeley.




Thus far, our most prolific speaker by far has been Cory Doctorow. It was an honour to have Cory come and talk in 2014 (the conference was then called EdinPubConf).

coryEPC-attr-1600x1178Cory 2014

Information doesn’t want to be free: three laws for creative success in the digital age

At the time, Timo Hannay was Managing Director at Digital Science (prior to that, Timo was the publishing director of Web Publishing at Nature Publishing Group). He spoke for us in 2014 and delivered an excellent Keynote talk.


Publishers: Saviours of science

Mark Hahnel, Founder of figshare came to speak for us in 2014.

Mark Hahnel 2013

Open Data: Viva La Revolution

Further details of the 2014 event here.


Our selected highlights from our first event in 2013. At that time, Cameron Neylon was Director of Advocacy at PLOS.

Cameron 2014

Publish or Perish? The profound shift in scholarly publishing and how the future looks

We were extremely pleased that Linda Gillard was available to give a talk for us at EdinPubConf in our first year (2013). This was our most popular talk that year.


Why I went indie (and why I’m staying indie)

Further details of the 2013 event here.

*In 2013 and 2014, the event was branded with the name EdinPubConf (EPC) and our excellent team consisted of Joanna Young, Graham Steel, Rachel Willmer & Jan Wessnitzer.




A compilation of videos and slides from #ReCon_17

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recon crowd

(All pictures are Public Domain here and videos are CC-BY)

Here is a Storify of #ReCon_17 Twitter activity. Also see this liveblog by Nicola Osbourne.

All available slides are in this Open Science Framework Collection.

SESSION ONE: Publishing’s future: Disruption and Evolution within the Industry

Moderated by Graham Steel

Pablo De Castro: Open Access Advocacy Librarian at the University of Strathclyde

100% Open Access by 2020 or disrupting the present scholarly comms landscape: you can’t have both? A mid-way update

With the momentum provided by research funders’ Open Access policies like HEFCE’s, Wellcome’s and RCUK’s, Open Access implementation has reached its maturity in the UK. The broad political agreement at the Amsterdam Conference last year to aim for full OA by 2020 at an EU level has added extra leverage to the attempt to progress with large-scale OA implementation across a fairly fragmented policy landscape. Even with the intrinsic contradiction between quickly reaching 100% OA and disrupting the present scholarly communications landscape, there’s a growing consensus that we’re heading towards a ‘new’ situation where Academia may regain some control over its own research output. The presentation looks into the current status of this process, examining the impact of disruptive initiatives like the Open Library of Humanities, the no-hybrid OA policies or Sci-Hub.

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Phill Jones: Director of Publishing Innovation, Digital Science

Inputs, Outputs and emergent properties: The new Scientometrics

The analyses of citation counts and the Impact Factor have long formed the basis of research evaluation at the individual, institutional, and national levels. While an important indicator of scholarly interest and reuse, citations do not entirely capture the impact that a given piece of research makes, nor does it provide insight into every facet of research activity. This concept is known as the ‘Evaluation Gap’. Over the past decade or so, new forms of research evaluation have begun to gain traction among policymakers, including those who hire and promote academics. Starting with the altmetric revolution, scientometricians are looking at awarded grants, patents, policy documents and a range of other indicators to give a more complete picture of research activity and outputs.

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Stuart Lawson: Doctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London

Against Capital

The ways in which scholars exchange and share their work have evolved through pragmatic responses to the political and economic contexts in which they are embedded. So rather than being designed to fulfill their function in an optimal way, our methods of scholarly communication have been distorted by the interests of capital and by neoliberal logic. If these two interlinked political forces – that suffuse all aspects of our lives – are the reason for the mess we are currently in, then surely any alternative scholarly communication system we create should be working against them, not with them. The influence of capital in scholarly publishing, and the overwhelming force of neoliberalism in our working practices, is the problem. So when the new ‘innovative disrupters’ are fully aligned with the political forces that need to be dismantled, it is questionable that the new way of doing things is a significant improvement.

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Text of this talk is here and slides here.

Gemma Milne: Co-Founder, Science Disrupt

Redesigning Science for the Internet Generation

Uber disrupted taxis; Airbnb disrupted hotels; Amazon disrupted retailers…all because they didn’t look at the existing solutions and look to improve upon them – but instead, by totally redesigning what those industries had built in a time before the internet. The idea of disruption is not new – ‘Silicon Valley’ has been flourishing for 30 years – but, ironically, despite being invented as a result of science, the internet has left researchers decades behind. So – what does peer review and publishing and wet lab work look like in a world of Tinder, CTRL+C and Skype? How do you begin to think about innovating in a world of long processes, fierce bureaucracy and prolonged stagnation? How can you truly ‘disrupt’ science?

Gemma 17



Nicola Osbourne: EDINA, University Of Edinburgh

Best Footprint Forward

How well are your online tracks and traces representing you? In this short talk Nicola Osborne will offer some advice on managing your digital footprint by making a positive impact with social media, amplifying your scholarly work, and building a great professional profile to help you communicate your work.

Nicola will also touch on the importance of making sure your work is also fit for the future, with a brief introduction to an exciting new project, Reference Rot in Theses: A Hiberlink Pilot, which is building tools and approaches to support researchers like you to ensure the URLs you cite remains valid and provide access to relevant snapshots of the web long after you’ve submitted that thesis or publication.

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Open access: the basics – led by Pablo De Castro & Stuart Lawson

unconf 1

(Not filmed)

Some of the resources that were mentioned:-

Peter Suber – Open Access Overview

A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access

A longer version

UK University Journal Costs


SESSION TWO: The Early Career Researcher Perspective: Publishing & Research Communication

Moderated by Joanna Young

Michael Markie: Publisher for F1000 Platforms

Getting recognition for all your research outputs

The ways in which early career researchers are currently evaluated typically ignores much of the valuable activity they undertake, for which they do not receive credit.   At F1000, we are working to change this by partnering with major research funders and institutions (e.g. Wellcome, Gates Foundation) to provide platforms to capture a much broader range of activities and delineate more clearly the contributions of each individual. This includes enabling publication of all types of research outputs, from posters, to small pieces of data & code, to negative/null results, all the way to full narrative research articles. We are also developing new approaches to enable the quality, reach and impact of that work to be captured at the level of the output, independent from the venue of publication, using CRediT to recognise individual researcher contributions.

Open Peer Review enables the contribution of referees to scientific review and discussion to be captured, with referee names published alongside the review, identified as principal or co-referee together with information on their specific area of expertise. By getting the funders on board, we hope to break the hegemony of the traditional STM publishers, change the way science is communicated, and ultimately enable researchers to receive recognition for all their work.

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Anna Ritchie: Product Manager for researcher profiles and stats on Mendeley

Make an impact, know your impact, show your impact

Advancing science is more important than ever, yet researchers face increasing pressure and new challenges in the changing research landscape. Elsevier is evolving its products and services to support researchers with changing needs, not only in publishing their work, but throughout the research lifecycle. I’ll talk about a few ways in which Elsevier helps researchers to try to increase the impact of their work, including Mendeley as a platform for monitoring and showing your impact.

Anna 17


Becky Douglas: University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy

How to share science with hard to reach groups and why you should bother

Increasingly, institutions and researchers are recognising the benefits of science communication and public outreach. Many are now finding it necessary to report on outreach activities in order to complete annual reviews and promotion and grant applications. Certainly, with so much research being publicly funded it is clearly only fair that the public get to hear about where their money goes. However, it is important that this does not become a simple box-ticking exercise. In this talk I will discuss why we need to reach out to those groups who might not be your typical audience at a science festival, and I will make some suggestions about how to go about this.

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Lewis MacKenzie: Biomedical Physicist, University of Leeds

What helps or hinders science communication by early career researchers?

Early career researchers are often excellent science communicators. However, they also face substantial and numerous pressures around their career and life, resulting in science communication falling by the wayside. This talk will explore the factors that make it hard for early career researchers to pursue science communication, and ask what can be done to help science communication continue through the turbulent career transition phases that face early career researchers.

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SESSION TWO PANEL DISCUSSION with Becky Douglas, Michael Markie, Anna Ritchie & Lewis MacKenzie.

panel one


Laura Henderson & Michael Markie: Peer Review: The Basics & What you Need To Know



Graham Steel: Preprints – A Journey Through Time

As an entity, whilst preprints have been around for some time, there have been a number of significant developments over the last few years. In this short talk, Graham will take you through a journey in time, touching upon the history, developments and what the future may hold in terms of preprints.

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20 minute follow on discussion – VIDEO


SESSION THREE: Raising your research profile: online engagement & metrics

Moderated by Joanna Young & Graham Steel

Laura Henderson: Editorial Program Manager, Humanities & Social Sciences and Physical Sciences & Engineering Frontiers Media.

Green, Gold, and Getting out there: How your choice of publisher services can affect your research profile and engagement

In today’s academic world, it is important for every researcher to raise their profile and get maximum engagement with their publications. The rapid rise of Open Access in publishing reflects that need. But what are the differences between the Open Access formats – Green, Gold, and more? When choosing a publishing route (and particular publisher), you know that peer review and indexing are major quality indicators, but what extraordinary services should researchers be selectively seeking, and how can these help ensure better visibility and recognition?

At Frontiers, we were born digital and fully open access, with the ongoing aim of constantly innovating to meet the needs of our academic authors. Let’s talk about what discoverability tools a top-level academic publisher should offer (and how Frontiers provides these): from article-level to author impact metrics and networking tools, to community engagement and targeted research promotion.

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Rachel Lammey: CrossRef Member & Community Outreach team

What are all these dots and what can linking them tell me?

Your research doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We’re familiar with linking articles (dots) to other articles, data, versions, and authors. So far, so traditional. However, interest is growing in tracking other platforms, tools and sources that might cite and use research (other dots). Wikipedia, Reddit, Twitter, blogs, and more—they all support the discussion, sharing, and promotion of research—so why not add them into the mix?

That’s what Event Data will help you do; it provides a unique record of the web activity related to individual research outputs. Not just articles, but also books, datasets, preprints, and anything with a Crossref DOI. We make that data openly available through a public API. What can this data tell us? That’s where you come in: what’s your interpretation of these dots? How would you evaluate this data in the context of your work? Give us some food for thought (and action)!

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CrossRef – Event Data

A CrossRef guide for Researchers

CrossRef Services – video series

Jean Liu: Product Development Manager for Altmetric

The wonderful world of altmetrics: why researchers’ voices matter

Altmetrics are metrics and qualitative data about the online attention received by research outputs. With over 49 million mentions about research collected by data provider (14 million mentions from 2016 alone), there is a wealth of fascinating information to analyse. Over the past 5 years, the awareness and usage of altmetrics experienced a meteoric rise amongst the scholarly community, with publishers being some of the earliest adopters. Now, universities, funders, and even pharmaceutical companies are taking an interest. But the core of altmetrics are the researchers, who act as both recipients and producers of online attention that gets captured. So how can researchers manage the narratives surrounding their work, watch out for media spin, and ensure that they get credit where it’s due? Altmetrics present an opportunity for researchers to really understand the audiences they are reaching, and find new ways for making their voices heard.

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Charlie Rapple: Co-Founder of Kudos

How to help more people find and understand your work

With so many tools and networks for sharing your research, how do you know which ones will be most effective? The bad news is there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. The good news is that Kudos will tailor an answer just for you. This talk will look at some of the different ways you might communicate around your work, and show how you can use the free Kudos system to help you track those communications, and map them directly against your publication metrics (readership, citations, altmetrics) so you can see which efforts have the highest impact.

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SESSION THREE PANEL DISCUSSION with Rachel Lammey, Jean Liu, Laura Henderson & Charlie Rapple.

Panel 2

Many thanks again to our Audio/Visual team for the day, Peter Doris and Radek Ignatowicz of Nexus Digital Media for filming the Conference.

Main CameraRadek

And finally, a thank you to our amazing Sponsors!

Crossref logo


F1000 logo

PLOS 2017 new


scientific editing company