Octopus aims to change the way research is published and improve its quality.
(24 Jun 2022) Ground-breaking publishing platform Octopus is being launched next week (29 June), and researchers are invited to attend the online event to find out more.
Octopus aims to enable fast, free and fair publishing of research that is open to all, and which focusses on the intrinsic quality of research.
It sets out to avoid researchers being tempted to ‘sell good stories’ in their work, and instead rewards them for rigour and specialism. Whilst traditional journals will remain a way for research findings to be disseminated, Octopus will provide a primary research record for publishing and research as it happens. – the place where the research community will be able to record full details of ideas, methods, data and analyses, and for these to be peer reviewed and assessed for quality.
It will allow faster sharing of results with credit given to individual work at all stages of the research process – including peer review.
Shifting the incentive structure of research
Last year, Octopus Publishing Community Interest Company (CIC) was awarded £650,000 funding over three years in collaboration with Jisc from Research England’s emerging priorities fund to support the technical development required to move Octopus from a prototype to a global service.
Unlike a traditional research publishing model, Octopus breaks down the publication of research into eight smaller modules or elements:
- Hypothesis/theoretical rationale
- Real-world implementation
- Peer review
These elements are linked together to form branching chains, but each can be authored by different people.
An entirely new model
Thanks to the funding from UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), and the design of the platform, research recorded in it is free to read and free for researchers to publish, in an attempt to break down barriers to research for researchers with fewer resources. It also builds in ways to try to minimize bias in the assessment of work based on a researcher’s gender or the institution they work at. The emphasis is on speed, openness, fairness and ease of use, in order to prioritise pure, intrinsic quality of research.
The press release in full is here.