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Open research session
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CHRIS WAREING
SCHOOL OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
 I am a computational fluid dynamicist. I have worked across several disciplines since my
PhD research at Manchester, nominally in Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 2001 – 2005.
 Post-doc’d in:-
 Astrophysics, at UMIST as it returned to being part of the University of Manchester (2005-2007)
 Mathematics at Leeds (2007-2010)
 Chemical Engineering at Leeds (2011-2014)
 Astrophysics (2014-2021)
 Peer-reviewed journal publications in 8 different widely accessible journals:
 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Astrophysical Journal, Physics of
Plasmas, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Journal of Plasma Physics, AIChE Journal, International
Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.
 Peer-reviewed conference publications in 7 further less accessible journals:
 Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering,
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Turbulence, Heat and Mass Transfer, AIP
Conference Proceedings, Energy Procedia, Procedia Engineering.
 Un-reviewed conference publications in 3 more practically inaccessible journals
BACKGROUND
 There is an established strong preprint practice in Astrophysics (since April 1992!)
 Preprints are posted to arXiv > astro-ph https://arxiv.org/archive/astro-ph
 Several subcategories:- (not exclusive categories – either/and/or)
 Astrophysics of Galaxies (to which I posted my first paper and have used ever since!)
 Cosmology and Non-galactic Astrophysics
 Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
 High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
 Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
 Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (Others: Computational Physics, Fluid Dynamics)
 Posting to astro-ph is done through submitting a PDF document through an online
portal. Some checking is done, but errors are a submitter’s responsibility!
 Within reason, anything can be submitted – peer-reviewed papers at any stage (without
copyright), conference contributions, chapters, books, talks, reviews, outreach…
PREPRINT PRACTICE
 Wide Range, Large Volume:
 “arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,841,879 scholarly articles in the fields of physics,
mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems
science, and economics. Materials on this site are not peer-reviewed by arXiv.”
 Accessibility – no barriers
 Daily digest emails of new submissions in your chosen category, which I have subscribed to nearly continuously since
2001. Frequency is user adjustable.
 I read it and act on submissions I find interesting over the first coffee of the day!
 Impact - worldwide
 Sub-disciplines have newsletters which are often sent out monthly, e.g. the Star Formation Newsletter or the AGB Stars
Newsletter. Often a large fraction of active researchers in the area are subscribed to these newsletters.
 As your career progresses and demands on your time increase, this can be best way to engage senior professors.
 To submit material to the new publications sections of these newsletters, nowadays an arXiv code is submitted and
everything else is automatic.
 Approachability – level playing field
 I receive and reply to emails from researchers across the world who have seen my submissions.
 I email people who have submitted material I’m interested in for a variety of reasons
 In some ways, it’s a pyramid scheme!
 My PhD supervisor encouraged me to use it, I require my PhD student to use it and so it goes on!
WHY DOES IT WORK?
 Initially of course it was just the done thing…
 Later, to ensure as wider dissemination of my work as possible
 And of course to achieve dissemination through newsletters
 To provide a static copy of the post-review work that is accessible worldwide, with
linking to the dataset where appropriate
 To support grant submissions with ‘submitted’ but not yet ‘accepted’ papers or
conference materials
 To publish otherwise unavailable conference materials
 Nowadays, the likes of ResearchGate has come along.
 Such portals have their advantages – used almost like social media
 And their disadvantages, non-static, confused by multiple sources, social media downsides!
 When I moved into Chemical Engineering and found no such practice, this was
when I also switched to submitting to White Rose Research Online
 Allows all my papers to be accessible for end-user and REF purposes
WHY DO I POST PREPRINTS?
 Peer-reviewed research materials (>95%)
 Author-accepted versions of journal papers, conference papers
 Further un-reviewed research materials
 Conference papers, talks, posters…
 Data (as a matter of course since 2016)
 Through preprints, I usually share links to a data repository
 arXiv has a limit on the size of submission that makes including a dataset tricky
 Code… Rarely!
 As a rule, I don’t share code in an fully open fashion (e.g. GitHub)
 Code is available on request, or preferably for collaboration
 The kind of codes I specialise in require expert usage and I’ve seen too many examples of
code either poorly used or used outside of its original applicability range (e.g. in fluids, for
an extreme range of pressure or temperature).
WHAT DO I SHARE?
 Pros – all of which I have benefitted from
 Universal accessibility
 Publish anything
 Rapid dissemination - though Journals have often caught up here minimising time between
acceptance and online publication
 Positive feedback – revise your manuscript if you have missed something
 Influence future research directions
 Interim evidence for productivity
 In astrophysics, astro-ph could be seen as the prime/sole enabler of open peer review
 Cons
 Possible lack of in-depth review – check submission details carefully!
 Negative feedback – it will happen at some point! Somebody will strongly disagree with you…
 ‘Publish’ anything!
PREPRINTS – PROS AND CONS

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Open Lunch 1: Preprints & open peer review in different disciplines

  • 1. Open research session - preprint experiences CHRIS WAREING SCHOOL OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
  • 2.  I am a computational fluid dynamicist. I have worked across several disciplines since my PhD research at Manchester, nominally in Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 2001 – 2005.  Post-doc’d in:-  Astrophysics, at UMIST as it returned to being part of the University of Manchester (2005-2007)  Mathematics at Leeds (2007-2010)  Chemical Engineering at Leeds (2011-2014)  Astrophysics (2014-2021)  Peer-reviewed journal publications in 8 different widely accessible journals:  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Astrophysical Journal, Physics of Plasmas, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Journal of Plasma Physics, AIChE Journal, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.  Peer-reviewed conference publications in 7 further less accessible journals:  Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Turbulence, Heat and Mass Transfer, AIP Conference Proceedings, Energy Procedia, Procedia Engineering.  Un-reviewed conference publications in 3 more practically inaccessible journals BACKGROUND
  • 3.  There is an established strong preprint practice in Astrophysics (since April 1992!)  Preprints are posted to arXiv > astro-ph https://arxiv.org/archive/astro-ph  Several subcategories:- (not exclusive categories – either/and/or)  Astrophysics of Galaxies (to which I posted my first paper and have used ever since!)  Cosmology and Non-galactic Astrophysics  Earth and Planetary Astrophysics  High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena  Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics  Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (Others: Computational Physics, Fluid Dynamics)  Posting to astro-ph is done through submitting a PDF document through an online portal. Some checking is done, but errors are a submitter’s responsibility!  Within reason, anything can be submitted – peer-reviewed papers at any stage (without copyright), conference contributions, chapters, books, talks, reviews, outreach… PREPRINT PRACTICE
  • 4.  Wide Range, Large Volume:  “arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,841,879 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. Materials on this site are not peer-reviewed by arXiv.”  Accessibility – no barriers  Daily digest emails of new submissions in your chosen category, which I have subscribed to nearly continuously since 2001. Frequency is user adjustable.  I read it and act on submissions I find interesting over the first coffee of the day!  Impact - worldwide  Sub-disciplines have newsletters which are often sent out monthly, e.g. the Star Formation Newsletter or the AGB Stars Newsletter. Often a large fraction of active researchers in the area are subscribed to these newsletters.  As your career progresses and demands on your time increase, this can be best way to engage senior professors.  To submit material to the new publications sections of these newsletters, nowadays an arXiv code is submitted and everything else is automatic.  Approachability – level playing field  I receive and reply to emails from researchers across the world who have seen my submissions.  I email people who have submitted material I’m interested in for a variety of reasons  In some ways, it’s a pyramid scheme!  My PhD supervisor encouraged me to use it, I require my PhD student to use it and so it goes on! WHY DOES IT WORK?
  • 5.  Initially of course it was just the done thing…  Later, to ensure as wider dissemination of my work as possible  And of course to achieve dissemination through newsletters  To provide a static copy of the post-review work that is accessible worldwide, with linking to the dataset where appropriate  To support grant submissions with ‘submitted’ but not yet ‘accepted’ papers or conference materials  To publish otherwise unavailable conference materials  Nowadays, the likes of ResearchGate has come along.  Such portals have their advantages – used almost like social media  And their disadvantages, non-static, confused by multiple sources, social media downsides!  When I moved into Chemical Engineering and found no such practice, this was when I also switched to submitting to White Rose Research Online  Allows all my papers to be accessible for end-user and REF purposes WHY DO I POST PREPRINTS?
  • 6.  Peer-reviewed research materials (>95%)  Author-accepted versions of journal papers, conference papers  Further un-reviewed research materials  Conference papers, talks, posters…  Data (as a matter of course since 2016)  Through preprints, I usually share links to a data repository  arXiv has a limit on the size of submission that makes including a dataset tricky  Code… Rarely!  As a rule, I don’t share code in an fully open fashion (e.g. GitHub)  Code is available on request, or preferably for collaboration  The kind of codes I specialise in require expert usage and I’ve seen too many examples of code either poorly used or used outside of its original applicability range (e.g. in fluids, for an extreme range of pressure or temperature). WHAT DO I SHARE?
  • 7.  Pros – all of which I have benefitted from  Universal accessibility  Publish anything  Rapid dissemination - though Journals have often caught up here minimising time between acceptance and online publication  Positive feedback – revise your manuscript if you have missed something  Influence future research directions  Interim evidence for productivity  In astrophysics, astro-ph could be seen as the prime/sole enabler of open peer review  Cons  Possible lack of in-depth review – check submission details carefully!  Negative feedback – it will happen at some point! Somebody will strongly disagree with you…  ‘Publish’ anything! PREPRINTS – PROS AND CONS