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Open geoscience

23 Jul

Not so long ago I was in a meeting with EGU’s young scientist representatives, who had gathered online to discuss the issues facing those early in their academic careers. One member of this dedicated team put forward a compelling notion: that the future of open access is in the hands of today’s early-career researchers. This post aims to answer the question that followed: “how could EGU’s team of eager early-career researchers help their peers grab hold of the open opportunities out there?” by offering up a few routes to open science…

A lot of hard work, carefully created figures and data don’t make it to your publications, but they are still a useful part of the scientific process and can help other scientists if they can see what you found. A great way to share this sort of information is on Figshare – and it’s citable too.

The same goes for conference presentations – don’t let them gather dust on your desktop. The aim of a conference is to share your work more widely, so, when you’re done, put your slides up on sites like SlideShare to share it beyond the conference. Keep your contact details in the presentation and you could find yourself with new collaborators.

Open the doors to more collaborative geoscience. (Credit: Oxyman)

Open the doors to more collaborative geoscience. (Credit: Oxyman)

Posters can be made open too. After our annual General Assembly, we invite authors to upload their posters and presentations, but there’s no need to restrict your openness to the EGU conference. F1000 posters is an open access repository for posters in biology, so if your work bridges the biogeosciences, be sure to submit it there. If you’re in another field, try Figshare (despite the name, it’s not just for figures!).

The EGU offers a number of open access journals for the Earth, planetary and space sciences, but there are many more journals where you can publish your work, if the scope of EGU journals doesn’t quite cover your field. The American Geosciences Institute hosts a comprehensive list of open geo journals on their website, and the Directory of Open Access Journals is exactly what it says on the tin – a hub of high quality open access publications. The stringent criteria required to enter their database means that predatory open access journals are filtered out.

But what about impact? Going open doesn’t mean lower impact, in fact, with your paper being openly available to all, it’s more likely to be seen and cited, so the impact at the article level could well be higher than if it was in a subscription-based publication. You can track the impact of your research outputs using ImpactStory, or by using the Altmetric bookmarklet to keep tabs on more than just citations, from where it’s featured in news articles and blog posts to where it’s been mentioned on social media and more.

Don’t let your work gather dust. (Credit: How Matters)

Don’t let your work gather dust, share it. (Credit: How Matters)

The European Research Council considers that providing free online access to publications is the most effective way of ensuring that the fruits of the research it funds can be accessed, read and used as the basis for further research. Many funders are also moving in this direction, providing further incentive to publish open access papers.

When your manuscript is ready, submit it to a preprint server (e.g.,,, or EGU papers have an open review process, which helps ensure the assessment of a submitted manuscript is thorough and fair, but it also means that the science is out in the open sooner – the merit of a preprint. This helps establish precedence, highlighting that you were working on something first, and can remove barriers to scientific progress (we all know peer review can take a while!). Some establishments aren’t a fan of this though; so before you put a preprint online, check Sherpa/Romeo to make sure your institute, funding body and the journal(s) you’re interested in are on board with the benefits of preprints.

Models are near ubiquitous in the geosciences and their importance in assessing the impact of climate change goes without saying. But what if you couldn’t replicate the results of, say, an important climate model? You would need to go back to the model’s code and see where your calculations and the ones before differed. Sharing code is compulsory for journals like Geoscientific Model Development, but many don’t stipulate the need to share it. You can go one step further to help your community by sharing your code on GitHub, whether it’s compulsory for your latest article or not.

Free the work from your desktop folders. (Credit:

Free the work from your desktop folders. (Credit:

With all these opportunities to go open, wouldn’t it be great if you had an opportunity to keep track of all your outputs? There’s an answer for that too – ORCID. ORCID is a unique researcher identifier that links all your research outputs, from manuscripts and conference abstracts to grant submissions and research figures, ensuring you get credit for the work you do.

For something less formal, but perhaps more open in that you can go beyond the academic community, try blogging about your research – we readily welcome guest posts here on GeoLog, but there are many places you can set your science free. Try The Conversation, SciLogs, pitching your idea to another geoscience blogger or better yet, establishing your own blog to write on. You can also go further to promote your research and facts about your field on social media – a great way to form connections with other academics and put your work in the public eye.

These are just a few thoughts on open geoscience, but there are likely more ways go open than could ever be summarised in a single post. Take this is a starting point, seek out more options for yourself, and, if you already have a few tips on how to make geoscience more open, spread the word.

By Sara Mynott, EGU Communications Officer

If you have any thoughts on other ways geoscientists can move towards open science, please add your thoughts to the comment thread below. 

Introducing ESurf

3 Apr

ESurf, more formally known as Earth Surface Dynamics is the new open access journal from the EGU. Focussing on the processes that affect the Earth’s surface at all scales, ESurf aims to communicate the interactions of Earth surface processes with the lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and pedosphere. Highlighting field measurements, remote sensing and experimental and numerical modeling of Earth surface processes.

The first issue of Earth Surface Dynamics!

As with most other EGU journals, Earth Surface Dynamics has an open review process, where the submitted papers are also available in an open access discussion forum (Earth Surface Dynamics Discussions). What’s more, because ESurf is the ‘new kid on the block’, all submission charges are currently waived, so it’s free to submit, free to access and free to use. Brilliant!

Take a look at the first issue here and to keep updated on the latest research in Earth Surface Dynamics, follow the journal on Twitter (@EGU_ESurf).

More information about the launch of this great open access journal is also available on the EGU website.

Events for Young Scientists at EGU 2013

20 Mar

Short Courses

Open Access (OA)

Demystifying Open Access – an open discussion for early career researchers tackling how OA can benefit young scientists without compromising their careers. From what it costs to publish an open access paper to how we can measure its impact, all interested scientists are invited to drop in and join us over drinks in a marketplace of discussion.

How to apply for a job. It’s a topic rarely addressed in postgraduate courses, but in this session, career training experts will help you make the most of your strengths and show them off to a potential employer. Pick up some tips about finding the right job for you, preparing a good CV, and writing a targeted cover letter.

The Blogs and social media in scientific research session explores the ways in which scientists can use blogs and social media to communicate their work. Why should scientists blog or use Twitter?  How do they find the time? And what are the benefits? A panel of blog and social media-savvy scientists will talk about their experience before opening the discussion to the audience.

Last year’s communicate your science workshop

If you’re a Geomorphologist, you’ll be set for the week as the Geomorphology division has loads on offer! Pickup skills on dating techniquesproject supervisionopen access publishing  and you can also meet the master for tips from seasoned academics.

If you’re a Hydrologist, there’s also the opportunity to meet experts in the field in a round-table discussion with established scientists. You can also pick up pointers on writing the perfect hydrology paper.

See the session programme for more short courses at EGU 2013.

Meeting other Geoscientists during the tweet up at last year’s General Assembly.


The opening reception on Sunday, 7 April is a great opportunity to meet people, network, get to know the Assembly venue. There is free food and drink as well as specific places for Young Scientists to meet up on the Green Level. Tall signs will tell you where to go, so stop by to meet fellow early career researchers, division presidents and the Young Scientist representatives for the EGU (Jennifer Holden and Sara Mynott).

Earlier in the day, there will also be an opportunity for women in the geosciences to attend a networking event run by the Earth Science Women’s Network, for more information and how to register, see here.

Check this post for more details on networking opportunities at the General Assembly.

Have your say!

What would you like us to do for you? Join us over lunch (food provided!) to find out what the EGU can do to for Young Scientists and let us know what you’d like more of. These will take place on Tuesday 9 April and Thursday 11 April.

Other Sessions

The Medal Lectures, which highlight the work of brilliant scientists. Head on over to the lectures on the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists (ML4-ML7) and be inspired!

You can also join in a conference call for Young Researchers in Earth Sciences, which aims to promote interdisciplinary research efforts among early career researchers.

EGU Twitter Journal Club 5 — Policy briefing: Water resource resilience

8 Nov

It’s time for the fifth edition of the EGU’s Twitter Journal Club, our interactive online discussion about a timely scientific article. If you have not yet taken part in one of these discussions, read more about it in our introductory post and make sure to participate when we meet online next week! 

This time, we will be discussing the recent peer-reviewed policy briefing Water Resource Resilience, produced by the UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST).

The discussion will take place on Twitter next Thursday 15 November at 14:00 CET, and you can take part by following the EGU’s Twitter account (@EuroGeosciences) and using the hashtag #egutjc5 on your tweets. Please email the EGU’s Science Communications Fellow Edvard Glücksman if you have any further questions.

Happy reading!

The availability of water resources is fundamental for society and economic activities. (Photo: Edvard Glücksman)

Water Resource Resilience

Published 17 September 2012 | POST notes POST PN 419

Summary. The availability of water resources is fundamental for society and economic activities. This POSTnote describes the reasons for uncertainties in water resource availability for future supply and demand and possible responses to managing these risks in the medium term.

Questions to think about:

1. How would you summarise this briefing in a tweet?

2. How does the framework presented here apply internationally, particularly in other European countries?

3. Why are Environmental Flow Indicators (EFIs) important?

4. What would you add to this paper, if given an extra two pages of space?



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