One of the key things we have been working on at Hindawi over the last 12 months is our journals’ connection with researchers and ensuring they are right at the heart of all we do. In the Publishing and Editorial teams we are keen to trial initiatives that serve researchers throughout the life of their research, not just during the process of publishing a traditional research paper. So we are pleased to present part of our recent work with Morressier, the repository for early stage research, which connects published Hindawi papers with the original poster.
Morressier was founded in 2014 by Sami Benchekroun, Justus Weweler and Rino Montiel as a way for conference organisers and societies to host, manage and showcase abstracts, posters and presentations in a workflow and platform approach. We know from our academic careers, posters take a long time to prepare, they are presented at conferences and that is usually the end of their life — though they might hang on a wall in the lab or institution. Morressier ensures these valuable research outputs are stored and made accessible and usable online so that they can be discovered and referenced by others beyond the conference they were presented at.
Being digitally available also means that they can potentially be connected with any peer reviewed published work downstream of the original conference. In a world where advancing open science is now more critical than ever to solve the global problems in front of us, connecting work from all stages of the research process should increase and accelerate access, understanding and use of a variety of research outputs.
We carried out an analysis with Morressier on the documents hosted on their platform and the articles published in our journals. It’s clear that many of our published authors first made their research available by presenting it at a conference and depositing the poster on the Morressier platform. We analyzed hundreds of posters and articles from across the life and medical sciences communities and found at least 75 papers which are linked with posters hosted on Morressier.
Of this sample set of 75 conference posters it was nearly a year, on average, after first being presented at a scientific conference that they appeared as published research papers in one of our journals. The quickest authors were able to convert their work into a published peer reviewed paper within 40 days. These papers were all in neuroscience; indicating that perhaps this research area is able to react more quickly following conferences, or their posters are more fully developed, or maybe they tend to present more advanced research at conferences. The posters taking longest to reach publication at Hindawi were all within surgical and medical fields – which is not surprising as researcher working directly with patients in a clinical setting might not be able react as quickly to conference feedback due to the nature of the work they’re undertaking and the type of research they’re conducting which often leads to Case Studies or Case Reports on specific medical conditions. A tiny minority of the papers we analyzed (<10%) were published first as an article and then the original poster was uploaded onto Morressier – these papers were primarily in cancer research which might indicate concerns academics in this area have about sharing their research before formal publication, as well as the fast moving nature of the field.
We analyzed a few papers in more detail and it's surprising how little changes between the poster and the published paper in terms of the major conclusions even though the papers are quite clearly an extended version of the original results – as shown in the example below (you can find the original posters on morressier.com and the published articles on hindawi.com - as well as accessing the supporting data available alongside the finished articles). Like many of the posters we analyzed, it seems to take about six months after presenting a poster for this to then be submitted to a journal. This shows, to me at least, that there is huge value in presenting your work at a conference and using the feedback you get from your peers to develop your paper further so it fully supports the data you already have.
In the future we are aiming to enable authors to upload preliminary research outputs such as posters to our journals at the point of submitting their final research article. We will then provide these outputs to Morressier who will curate them for digital display, upload them to their platform and provide DOIs so that the author can get full credit for all elements of their research. Both we and Morressier will provide bi-directional linking between the preliminary and final published research, helping to better showcase the life of the research. To further support this aim, Morressier will also provide poster authors with the ability to submit their research directly to relevant Hindawi journals from their platform.
We are working hard to support the academic community and to drive forward open science: collaborating with Morressier helps us to do both and highlights prior work in a unique way alongside the final accepted and published research paper. As we know, the paper will lead onto other outputs and data sources which will link up with and create a whole new poster to be presented at a new conference – helping to complete the visibility of a full circuit of the published research lifecycle.
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