School of Biosciences at the forefront of open-access publishing and international research networking

Posted on Friday 9th May 2014

Roland BrandstaetterDr Roland Brandstaetter from the School of Biosciences has been appointed as a guest associate editor of Frontiers to host a new research topic in the section Neurology: Sleep and Chronobiology.

Frontiers is at the forefront of building the ultimate Open Science platform driving innovations and new technologies around peer-review, article and author impact metrics, social networking for researchers, and a whole ecosystem of open science tools. It is the first – and only – platform that combines open-access publishing with research networking, with the goal to increase the reach of publications and ultimately the impact of articles and their authors. Frontiers was launched in 2007 and, since then, has become one of the largest and fastest-growing open-access scholarly publishers with over 20,000 high-quality, peer-reviewed articles across a variety of specialty niches in science, medicine and technology, and high-impact researchers serving on the editorial boards. Frontiers counts over 6 million monthly page views.

Frontiers Research Topics aim at creating an online dialogue on a focused research area, with manuscripts encompassing recent advancements from various groups, the latest methods, opinions, and more. Dr Brandstaetter, who has focused his most recent research on circadian disruptions in humans, said: “Working at the forefront of open-access publishing and international research networking is a very interesting new challenge. At Frontiers it is the topic editor, not the journal, who decides the scope of a topic. Much like an online conference, potential contributors then submit proposals for manuscripts rather than being invited. It is an opportunity to highlight a certain research focus, intensify collaborations and drive the next research in the field. I feel honoured that I have been selected by Frontiers to host this research topic following a thorough evaluation by the editorial board. It demonstrates that my new research direction is already paying off at the impact level and at the level of traditional performance measures in research, such as publishing and international recognition.”

Nature FrontiersRecently, Nature Publishing Group (NPG) and Frontiers have formed an alliance to further open science. NPG and Frontiers will work together to empower researchers to change the way science is communicated, through open access publication and open science tools. Bilateral links between nature.com and frontiersin.org will ensure that open access papers are visible on both sites. “Frontiers is innovating in many ways that are of interest to us and to the scientific community,” said Dr Philip Campbell Editor-in-Chief, Nature.

“In Frontiers, we have a partner who shares our desire to further research through increasingly open communication amongst scientists. Our alliance will accelerate both NPG and Frontiers’ experiments, improvements and innovations.” - Steven Inchcoombe, Managing Director, Nature Publishing Group.

Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers form alliance to further open science from Frontiers on Vimeo.

The research topic hosted by Dr Roland Brandstaetter has its focus on the impact of circadian phenotypes on health, well-being, and performance, and is aimed at attracting high-quality papers on a variety of ‘sleep’ and ‘chronotype’ related issues. Dr Brandstaetter said “Different circadian phenotypes, i.e. ‘owls’ and ‘larks’ respond differently to environmental challenges and there is convincing evidence that owls and larks differ in genetics, physiology, and behaviour. We have to consider at least two distinct ‘phenotypes’ in the human population, early circadian phenotypes and late circadian phenotypes and the consideration of these will become a central theme in human biomedical research and public health in the future. Another important aspect is that open-access publishing has been discussed to become central in the REF 2020 evaluation and, thus, we have already started to set the scene for a successful REF 2020 submission at the beginning of the first year of the new REF period.”

For further information on the Frontiers research topic ‘Circadian lessons from owls and larks: The impact of circadian phenotype on health, well-being, and performance’, please contact

Dr Roland Brandstaetter
Frontiers Guest Associate Editor
School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
email: r.brandstaetter@bham.ac.uk