Frequently Asked Questions
What is 1science oaFindr?
A purpose-designed discovery system for open access scholarly and research papers in all fields, all languages, and from all over the world.
Who is oaFindr for?
Students, faculties, researchers, librarians and analysts.
What does it do?
oaFindr facilitates the work of end-users through consistent retrieval of peer-reviewed articles with just one click.
What does it cover?
Peer-reviewed green and gold open access papers published in arts, humanities, and sciences journals. By sciences we mean applied sciences, engineering and technology, behavioral sciences, health sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences.
Is it designed exclusively for university and college libraries?
We are initially concentrating our efforts on providing a set of products for university and college libraries. That said, we also designed oaFindr to be immediately useful for users in government, hospitals and clinics, NGOs, research centers and private enterprises, and even for patrons of public libraries.
How can oaFindr help libraries save on costs?
Cost savings can happen in two ways.
Users of oaFindr will be able to quickly discover freely available articles and consistently download them with just one click. As a result, libraries will receive fewer requests for interlibrary loans and for documents delivered by commercial services, and therefore save money.
The second way libraries will be able to save money is by pruning out subscriptions to little-used journals, from which a sizeable portion of articles can be retrieved using oaFindr.
How will it be possible for libraries to determine which journal subscriptions are less cost-effective?
Together with Science-Metrix, our affiliate company, we are offering oaFigr, a series of competitively priced custom-made reports detailing the percentage of papers available in open access for each journal subscribed to. The report will also mention how many papers were published in which journals and how many references were made to these journals by authors in given institutions.
If no author from this institution published in a given journal and no references are made to this journal, a library may consider pruning it from its collection, especially if a large part of the content can be retrieved by oaFindr. Conversely, a library could decide to start subscribing to a particular journal because its university's faculties often publish in it or refer to it in their articles.
What sets you apart from the competition?
Width, depth, simplicity, speed, and accuracy. We are not aware of any other discovery platform dedicated to getting all open access peer-reviewed scholarly content available anywhere on the World Wide Web.
We are determined to bring concentrated, high-quality content to analysts, librarians, researchers and students. It's not only about harvesting the right content, but also about displaying relevant papers in a freely flowing interface. Since the inception of 1science, our focus has been on combining fun and function: we have therefore spent considerable time working with librarians, researchers and students to build a system that they will enjoy using while rapidly finding the articles they want.
How is oaFindr different from Google Scholar?
Google Scholar is a great product but it contains more than just peer reviewed scholarly articles, and its contents are far from always being openly available. In oaFindr, researchers' productivity is optimized, not compromised: researchers do not have to sift through pages of irrelevant material to retrieve just a few high-quality papers. We want to make sure researchers, students and librarians can do their work swiftly and effectively. oaFindr will allow them to achieve this by finding high-quality articles, always having a link to those articles, and being able to visualize multiple articles with one click of a button. Also, at 1science, there is no limit to the number of results one can find: we don't decide for researchers that they only need the first 1,000 papers.
Students and even faculties usually prefer searching in very simple systems. Are you catering to these needs?
Sure thing! That was our starting point. We wanted to produce a unique, unencumbered user experience. This is why we insisted that once presented in the search results, every paper would be consistently available with one click. We say consistently, as regardless of the location of the papers, they will always be retrieved in the same manner—no need to go through the somewhat frustrating experience of searching through dozens of serials vendors' interfaces to retrieve papers.
Does your platform support advanced search?
Absolutely. With our team of information system power users who wanted to be able to retrieve very specific papers very rapidly, this was a design feature from the get-go. We designed two advanced search modes—one to build queries with drop-down menus, and the other to allow the use of complex search syntax. Dialog™ aficionados won't feel they were ignored!
Can you integrate your solution in discovery systems?
We are actively considering this solution for the near future. The main challenge is the dynamic aspect of open access material. Our system is monitoring the Web in real time to make sure that the link to each document we serve is still live. This is much more dynamic than the content traditionally offered by discovery systems, which consists of static data delivered by content vendors or by institutional catalogues that are not frequently updated. We are now working on creating a sub-system within the discovery system that will render the same quality results as our purpose-designed open access papers platform.
How are you contributing to the OA movement?
Open access availability is increasing rapidly, but until now, uptake has been limited by the lack of a purpose-designed discovery platform. oaFindr will change this by giving users consistent one-click access to carefully curated high-quality content. It is important to have a purpose-designed system, as the internet is changing all the time and freely available material comes and goes. Uptake of OA is dependent on researchers and students trusting that content presented to them is truly available. oaFindr monitors the Web in real time to radically reduce the likelihood of landing on that dreaded 404.
So what exactly is 1science oaFindr+ software?
oaFindr+ is powered by 1science discovery technology and allows universities and colleges to retrieve, account for and diffuse their OA papers regardless of where in the world they were deposited. Just like a traditional institutional repository, oaFoldr contains what is produced by those associated with a university or research center. In contrast to a traditional institutional repository, however, it harnesses the power of crowd depositing, making it extremely powerful: for a scholarly paper with multiple authors, often from different institutions, only one author has to self-archive for all authors, and all institutions, to benefit. For example, a university in Los Angeles could now show for itself a paper deposited by a researcher in Tokyo—provided the paper contained an institutional affiliation from the Los Angeles university.
Does oaFindr+ integrate with existing repository software?
oaFindr+ can be used as standalone to rapidly get up to speed with the OA movement as it allows universities to rapidly repossess a large part of their own scientific publications. It can also be used alongside existing repositories where it acts as a discovery layer that combines locally deposited contents with the content harvested by 1science spiders from all over the world (both green and gold papers with their associated metadata).
How are you adhering to embargoes or ensuring that papers retrieved by your software are legitimately available for free?
We have created technology to discover peer-reviewed papers available on the Web, whether they are green, gold or hybrid OA, or even ROA (Robin Hood Open Access or Rogue Open Access, depending on one's perspective). Neither 1science nor end-users have the time, means or incentive to police the Web. Should they feel compelled to do so, copyright owners who think papers should not appear on a website can ask for these papers to be removed by the website or web page owners.
What process does 1science follow to distinguish between legitimate open access publishers and predatory OA outfits?
We are extremely sensitive to this issue and use all available information to ensure we are providing access to high-quality, peer-reviewed, open access articles. We also make sure that publishers are not excluded on non-academic grounds.
What are your street credentials?
The project originated at Science-Metrix where it remained in stealth mode for most of 2013 and 2014. Science-Metrix specializes in research evaluation and bibliometrics and has, since 2002, completed over 400 studies for clients such as the European Commission, the US National Science Foundation, the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation and most of the Canadian science-based government departments. In addition to the 20 or so staff at Science-Metrix, the 1science team has rapidly grown to about 15 experts in a year, most of them working on software development.
What made you decide to develop 1science technology?
Back in 2012, the European Commission selected Science-Metrix to perform an important measurement contract on open access. The study had to plot the evolution in open access availability of peer-reviewed articles published over some 10 years. The study found that about 50% of peer-reviewed papers were now available for free.
The lead on this project was Science-Metrix CEO, Dr. Eric Archambault. Eric had started studying the research environment in 1987 while doing a degree in Science, Technology and Society. He followed these studies with a Master's in Science, Technology and Industrialisation, and a DPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies, both at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU, U. of Sussex). Having worked intensely with bibliometric methods since starting his doctoral research in 1991, Eric knew a thing or two about scientific publishing. When he saw that, as of late 2012, close to 50% of peer-reviewed papers could be found in one place or another on the Web and were freely downloadable, he immediately thought "this has to be a tipping point." The scientific, technical and medical publishing industry has an annual turnover of about $10 billion for English journals alone, and half of the contents of these journals was available to users for free!
Well, not exactly free. The study revealed that the few million papers in the sample could be found in about 100,000 different places on the Web and required a lot of stamina to locate. A discovery system was clearly needed to allow users to unleash the full potential of open access. As no one on the market was offering such a solution, we set out to develop this technology, and haven't looked back since.
I am a first-time researcher and about to publish my work. Can you help me identify open access journals to publish in?
In association with Science-Metrix, our affiliate company that specializes in bibliometrics, we will be progressively integrating analytics such as lists of OA journals with relevant impact metrics. Stay tuned!
Can individuals subscribe to your products?
Subscriptions are available at an institutional level. Please contact your library or documentation center if you have an interest in one of our products.
Do you offer different pricing packages and can you cater to my specific needs?
Yes, we have designed a tiered pricing model which fairly reflects usage and payment capacity in small, medium, and large institutions. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your specific needs. We are an extremely focused company but exist to serve the needs of our user community. Chances are we'll find a solution to your specific needs.