Research. Research. Research. Life of a researcher has no end. It doesn’t matter if you are Einstein or Tesla, you would probably go to the library or if you are lucky enough to be born in this era and you probably just search through the internet. But does scientific research need to stay that way?
So, how do people research? There is Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar, Pubmed, PLOS, or Nature Communications. You might separate the use of such search engines depending on what kind of papers you want. Inspirations for Google Scholar. Preprints for arXi. Code for Paper with code. In reality, Google Scholar has too many papers to find a specific paper matching your keywords. You might be mostly into preprints? arXiv’s UI/UX is not too pleasant. And Paper with code is too specific for codes. You want to just find and read papers but it takes so much .
According to our research, a researcher could waste 900 hours per year just looking for papers they don’t need. Well, how big is this number? It’s equal to the whole time a researcher could spend on his technical work annually.
At present, preprint is strongly associated with computer science. This can be attributed to the fact that preprint is open and enhances cooperation, reflecting the culture of engineers. Onikle believes this is what Science should be like. In spite of that, preprint has not gained mass adoption in other fields of science. Even with fields such as biology and medical where there is relatively higher usage of preprint, it is mostly concerned with the topics related to machine learning and AI.
Onikle does not expect that there would be a substantial growth in “conventional” science field where published and peer-reviewed research are valued. No one can argue against the role machine learning and AI will be playing in various fields of research we can expect steep rise in supply for preprints. We believe within 10 years, if not earlier, computer science will be significant presence in all the fields.
The issue is not all about the hard work involved in researching; it is also the money. Specifically, the money that is used for scientific research, which mostly comes in the form of grants that are provided from the government. With government grants there are usually a criterion that require researchers to yield results within 3 to 5 years. Usually, the grants do not cover the income of the researcher, therefore they have no choice but to be part of a university and allocate his/her resources to teaching and other duties associated with being a professor. It goes without saying that research takes time to generate genuinely innovative science.
Scientists do not research for sake of their interest but to have a job or to keep funding agencies happy. When scientists fail to gain funding from government or university sources, they are forced to appeal to businesses or interest groups. Scientists reluctantly choose to produce studies to help the agenda of business rather than common good.
I must be not only one when I get blocked with a pop-up message “$29.99 for the full text.” This is an issue with research is the price of academic journals such as Nature and Science. Soaring subscription fees of academic journals have forced universities to terminate their contracts creating more strain for researchers The prices of academic journals have continued to rise for decades, more than six times higher than they were 30 years ago. In which, the rate of price increase was 7–8% per year. Therefore, university libraries do not have the financial capability to pay for such journals, nevertheless individual researchers.
Science needs a new solution for research, evaluation, and method for sharing. Onikle wants to solve these issues through the power of preprints. We believed for the most time that: Top Journal = Top Articles = High Replicability but, this is not what Science should be about. Journal created the “slow” nature of academia we have today. Preprint will bring the quickness necessary for our new society. Onikle hopes provide a platform where people will be able to discuss on the platform creating the openness that was lacking in science. Scientific knowledge was made by openness and discussion. If there is no openness, science will not evolve. We believe we can change that with you.
Written by Wanonno Iqtyider