Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences
Elizabeth Marincola is a longtime leader of science publishing, advocacy, education, communication and policy. She is Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences, a pan-African organization dedicated to the advancement of quality science across the Continent. At AAS, she is leading the development and launch of AAS Open Research, an innovative, transparent publishing platform. Marincola prior served as CEO of PLOS, publisher of the world’s largest open access journal. She was President of the Society for Science & the Public, Publisher of Science News, and Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology. She has served on multiple national and international advisory committees and boards, including the Board of Directors of eLife and the Strategic Planning Committee for the NIH National Library of Medicine. Marincola received the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. She received her A.B. from Stanford University and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Scientists everywhere in the world experience similar frustrations in disseminating the results of their research: delays of months or more; access constraints; bias resulting from opaque peer review; incomplete availability of data, and perhaps most damaging, the tyranny of the Impact Factor, which induces scientists to chase acceptance in a succession of journals, hoping to publish in the one with the highest possible IF – exacerbating the delay problem. African scientists are subject to all these barriers, with amplified effects resulting from the status of many as relatively unknown, often from unknown institutions. This submits scientists in Africa and other developing countries to an uneven playing field. African science can thrive best as it can anywhere in the world: by giving researchers themselves the tools with which to pursue and communicate their research. To this end, the African Academy of Sciences has engaged F1000 to offer AAS Open Research, an open, transparent, dynamic, immediate and peer-reviewed publishing platform. AAS OR publishes research immediately, after it passes ethical and technical checks, from any scientist whose credibility is established by association with the Academy or its funding arm, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). Output includes standard research articles as well as methods, study protocols, software tools, case reports, research notes, etc., and is peer reviewed by experts following publication. All versions, and the reviews themselves, are transparent, offering credit and exposure not just to authors but also to reviewers. Work is fully indexed after it passes peer review. Innovative approaches such as AAS Open Research promise to enable scientists in Africa not just to catch up with the Global North, but to lead the world in scientific communication by returning control from publishers and editors to where it belongs: scientists themselves.