|21 February, 2019
|Chris Macdonald & Geri Keane
In this Q&A Chris Macdonald, Head of Research at Pancreatic Cancer UK and Geri Keane, Senior Clinical Fellow in Hepatology at Kings College Hospital and Honorary Research Fellow at UCL, discuss their thoughts on the application and future of AMRC Open Research.
What are the advantages of AMRC Open Research?
GK: As a group, researchers are very much aware that the way research is published is changing and there is a move towards more open forms of publication. We have found this style of publication has several advantages. Firstly, the speed of publication; the process from submission to publication took a matter of days in comparison to months or even years with other journals. Secondly, the openness and transparency of the review process was also very attractive. The authors could suggest reviewers, who are experts in the field and knew the topic well. Finally, all our dialogue and revisions would be available alongside the final version of our article.
The ability to access the research, informs studies and prevents duplications. It is of the utmost importance that there is transparency within this research community.
CM: There are so many tricky aspects to Pancreatic Cancer research: at a basic level, it’s a very technically challenging cancer to research and currently there is a vicious cycle of underfunding research in the UK; and this is born of the societal nihilism associated with Pancreatic Cancer.
The last thing that a small, relatively nascent research community needs is to be limited by yet another barrier – a paywall. The ability to access the research, informs studies and prevents duplications. It is of the utmost importance that there is transparency within this research community. There is also a trend and misconception of journals that positive results mean impact, quality or progression is nonsense – anyone who has any experience of research knows that negative results underpinned by quality research are as impactful as the positive.
By signing up to AMRC Open Research we hope that the work and impact of Pancreatic Cancer UK researchers – but really all research – is judged objectively based on the quality and not influenced by profit or trends.
How does AMRC Open Research impact your work?
GK: Having presented our data before, at national and international conferences, we know there is considerable interest in the topic. Publishing with AMRC Open Research has meant our article is available in a timely manner. Also being open access will certainly increase readership, impact and the reach of this article.
CM: In the short term, I think it will demonstrate that quality and transparency drives decision-making. We hope that this will add to the growing shift by the research funding community towards open access. For wider research, this should mean that whole sector issues around duplication, reproducibility, and bias towards positive results within research can be fully addressed.
We have incredible supporters and a lot of what drives them is the hope for research to deliver new treatments and interventions. Open access platforms like AMRC Open research, mean that every single person who supports us can see where their time and money goes and makes their contribution more tangible. For people with Pancreatic Cancer, it means they have a more efficient, open and informed research community that will develop the early diagnosis and new treatments they so desperately need.
Publishing with AMRC Open Research has meant our article is available in a timely manner. Also being open access will certainly increase readership, impact and the reach of this article.
How will AMRC Open Research help shape your future?
GK: This was the first time we have published with AMRC Open Research and we were new to the process, but I have to say it was straight forward and the team were supportive. Overall our experience has been excellent. We will use this method of publication again.
CM: Pancreatic Cancer is the most lethal of the common cancers, it has been chronically underfunded for decades and survival rates haven’t changed for 40 years. We need to be doing everything we can as an organisation to improve those numbers. Our five-year plan means we need to be pushing for new treatments, early diagnosis and overall better care for people with Pancreatic Cancer. We believe that being part of AMRC Open Research will allow us to reach our five-year strategic goal.
If you would like to check out Geri’s article or any of the articles published on the platform please visit AMRC Open Research. To find out more about Pancreatic Cancer UK, their work, goals and fundraising events please visit their website.