Sharing research with the public in an easy-to-digest form
Two new initiatives to support researchers in reaching beyond their usual academic audiences
By Publishing Director Dr. Floris de Hon, Publisher Deirdre Dunne, and Executive Publisher Donna de Weerd-Wilson | Posted on 17 February 2015
There is growing pressure on the academic community to demonstrate the value of its research to a wider readership.
Elsevier has developed two new initiatives to support researchers in this goal and help them reach beyond their usual academic audiences:
- Atlas is a virtual journal and monthly award recognizing research that significantly impacts on people's lives around the world.
- STM Digest is a new service presenting Elsevier's published research to the general public in a digestible format.
With the slogan "Research for a better world," Atlas will aim to show the value of science and scientific publishing in ways that resonate with current global challenges. Relevant research articles will be summarized by journalists, and presented alongside podcasts, videos and interviews with the authors.
- "'SuperAmma' to the hand washing rescue", The Lancet Global Health
- "'Sustainable' coffee: what does it mean for local supply chains in Indonesia?", World Development
- "Making construction safety social", Automation in Construction
How Atlas works
Each article will be handpicked by an external advisory board that includes representatives of some of the world's most renowned non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They will choose from a shortlist of articles suggested by the publishers of Elsevier's almost 2,200 journals. The key criterion for selection will be the social impact of the research.
Once selected the author/s of the article will be presented with the Atlas award and our science writers will work with them to turn their research into an easy-to-understand story. The selected articles will also be made freely available on ScienceDirect.
Whereas other Elsevier-owned journals sit on ScienceDirect, Atlas lives on Elsevier.com, with articles also posted on our company-wide community site, Elsevier Connect. You can follow the journal on Twitter: @ElsevierAtlas.
Although the journal has launched with three articles, it will initially add one new article per month which will fall into one of four broad categories: people, planet, resources, and technology.
STM Digest is a collection of summaries of original research papers with social impact or a focus on policy. These summaries have the potential to make research more accessible, improve engagement in science, and benefit wider society. They will be published online next to the original article on ScienceDirect and will be freely available.
The pilot will initially highlight articles in Elsevier's Environmental & Ecology and Economics & Finance journals and will likely expand to include other portfolios in 2015.
How STM Digest works
The initiative is a collaboration between Elsevier's STM Journals group and the cloud-based research management and social collaboration platform, Mendeley.
Research Ambassadors, who are early career researchers, will work closely with the publishers and editors of specific Elsevier journals in their area of expertise to monitor recently accepted papers each month and select the most relevant papers for the STM Digest. The Ambassadors will then write clear summaries of the selected journal articles and, with the approval of the article authors, those summaries will be published alongside the original research article on ScienceDirect, and will feature on the relevant journal's homepage on Elsevier.com.
STM Digest's first articles are now available; below we highlight a small selection:
- "Behavioural and transcriptional changes in the amphipod Echinogammarus marinus exposed to two antidepressants, fluoxetine and sertraline", Aquatic Toxicology
- "Harmonising conflicts between science, regulation, perception and environmental impact: The case of soil conditioners from bioenergy", Environment International
- "The biological effects of antidepressants on the molluscs and crustaceans: a review", Aquatic Toxicology
A Mendeley STM Digest Group will provide a virtual meeting space to discuss the summaries and they will be shared with a wider audience via Mendeley's social media sharing facility. Articles that are not open access will be made freely available for three months, and authors are encouraged to share a link to their article via email and social networks.
You can follow news from STM Digest on Twitter @STMDigest
Interested in becoming a Research Ambassador?
Some of the benefits include:
- The chance to work closely with journal authors, editors, publishers and the Mendeley team
- Access to new and novel research
- Full access to ScienceDirect and Scopus
- A Mendeley Premium Account
- Inclusion in the new Mendeley Resources group, with the opportunity to talk with fellow Ambassadors and share best practices
- The possibility of your translations being included in Mendeley's Advisor and Librarian newsletters
- A stepping stone to becoming a journal reviewer, author, Editorial Board member or editor