Single Observation Publishing

At Sciencematters, you do not have to wait to assemble all the data to tell a story! Through our journals, Matters and Matters Select, we publish only single observations, properly conducted and robustly validated. Each article is triple-blind peer reviewed and is a publication on its own. This provides scoop protection to the authors and frees them to pursue and publish each observation as directed by the data, rather than by a need to create a story. Since it’s a single observation, the authors can submit fast (typically less than an hour), the reviewers can review it faster and the readers can grasp it better.

Our WYSIWYG template that we specifically designed for you allows you to intuitively and quickly submit any type of observation. Depending on the peer review rating, it either gets published in Matters Select (the journal that publishes outstanding observations) or Matters (the journal that publishes all other technically sound observations).

We accept more data than other journals – standard observations, orphan data, confirmatory data, and contradictory data. When a single observation is important for others, we publish the results rapidly, providing a real-time assessment of their reproducibility in different labs around the world. In short, we publish scientifically sound single observations.

We adhere to the specifications laid out by the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE)

Triple-Blind Peer Review

Once you submit your observation, it is considered simultaneously for Matters Select as well as Matters, the two single-observations journals of Sciencematters. Your submission enters a triple-blind peer review process, meaning that the handling editors have no personal information on the authors and assign the observations to reviewers solely on the basis of the content. The reviewers also do not know who you are, where you live or the institution where you work.

Your observation is therefore reviewed solely on its merits: Is it technically sound? Is it robust? In the case of experimental research where the outcome of a phenotype is measured by varying a parameter, are the results statistically sound? If the answer to these questions is yes, we will publish your observation. We will try to review your submissions in 2 weeks or less, and publish it immediately upon submission of qualifying reviews. The reviewers’ comments will also be posted along with the article.

This process guarantees fairness and provides equal chances for all scientists around the globe. All submissions are evaluated solely on technical quality. In addition, to be considered for the Matters Select journal, we also evaluate on the basis of novelty and impact. To do so, all observations are scored on a scale of 0-10 on technical quality, novelty and impact.

Outstanding observations (score of 8-10 in all categories) will be published in Matters Select, while all other scientifically sound observations will be published in Matters (score above 4 just in the technical quality). If an observation is rejected (score of 1-3 in the technical quality) the authors have the option to either submit their observation to the Matters Archive (along with the reviews and score) or withdraw the observation, improve upon it, and submit it once again.

The triple-blind peer review process meets the review criteria described in the Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA), to which Sciencematters is a signee.

Linked Real-Time Publishing

Once you have published the first seeding observation at Matters or Matters Select you can then come back and publish your subsequent observations, thereby extending your initial finding naturally into a string of observations that tells the real storyline behind the science (author’s horizontal linking). Others can also extend from any of the observations that you published at Matters and Matters Select (vertical linking). By linking all those observations together with our proprietary algorithm, we can then generate graphical context of your science that no other journal can provide. It’s like a LEGO for science!

Post-Data Story Publishing

Once a group of authors has accumulated a sufficient body of linked, peer reviewed publications at Matters (reaching a minimal network size), we encourage them to submit a narrative integration of their observations to Matters Narratives, the third journal of Sciencematters. This journal publishes narratives in a novel format where the readers know that every single observation in the paper has been subjected to rigorous triple-blind peer review and also post-publication review by the community. Furthermore, the reader will have access to the reviews of each observation, and thereby obtain deeper insight into the strengths and weaknesses of every component of the paper.

This real-time publishing model allows science to be reported as it occurs, and without regard to whether it is a standard observation, an extending observation, orphan data, confirmatory data, or contradictory data. What emerges is a linked web of scientific discoveries that paints an honest picture of how science is done. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. Together. Because, science (alone) matters.

Open, Fast And Affordable

We believe in free access to scientific data. Hence, all articles published in Matters are, of course, freely available to everyone through our Open Access Creative Commons licence. We also allow publishing of the raw and unprocessed data linked to the article, thus promoting Open Data and Science.

Matters charges $150/submission for non-profit entities, $300/submission for for-profit entities, though the first 500 submissions are free of charge. We direct 50% of the gross receipts to the handling editors and reviewers who do the real work of science publishing. For those handling editors and reviewers who do not wish to, or are not able to, accept payment for editing and reviewing papers, we offer an option to contribute to covering the charges for researchers from the rural parts of developing countries. We, at Sciencematters, would like to keep the publishing charges free for all the researchers from rural parts of the developing countries to ensure that they have equal opportunity to publish science.

We need a revolution in science publishing. To do this, we need you. If you would like to become an handling editor or reviewer, please apply online.