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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Dr Zeila Zanolli joins the Physics Editorial College of SciPost

SciPost is a complete scientific publication portal that offers two-way open access articles, i.e. free to publish and free to read. It is funded through donations and institutions, and is an important model in promoting open science.

Dr Zeila Zanolli joined the ICN2 Theory and Simulation Group as a Ramón y Cajal research fellow in 2018. She has now joined the Physics Editorial College of SciPost, a portal with open, refereed and totally free scientific publications. She will be dealing with Condensed Matter Physics topics, including both theoretical and computational approaches.

SciPost is managed and run by professional scientists who aim to reform current practices in scientific publishing. As Dr Zanolli stresses, “we are encouraged to publish open access by the European Council. However, some journals charge 4000€ or even more to do so, when the real cost of a publication is calculated to be less than 400€ by SciPost”. Such high prices artificially inflate the cost of research, and make it impossible for investigators from low-resource groups to publish in certain journals (those with the highest impact factor).

Given that the quality of a group's research is often measured by the impact factor of the journals in which it publishes, the system acts as a roadblock for these less resourced groups, and generates other undesired effects, such as overpublication or – even worse – scientific misconduct. SciPost wants to contribute to solve these problems by offering a two-way open access platform (no subscription fees, no author charges). Their costs are covered through donations from institutions which sponsor this initiative, such as Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF Austrian Science Fund), OpenAIRE (Belgium), Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften (Max Planck Society) or the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).

Dr Zanolli was elected to the board of Young Academy of Europe in November 2018. The YAE is a pan-European initiative of young scientists for networking, scientific exchange and science policy, and has recently backed Plan S for open access science. To Dr Zanolli, joining the SciPost Editorial College is a natural further commitment to open and sustainable science.