ReproducibiliTea Blog

Octopus | 19/05/23 | Dr Alexandra Freeman and Tim Fellows

Our final Edinburgh ReproducibiliTea session of the 2022-2023 term was all about Octopus. No – not the animal! is a new platform for registering and publishing research in a way that’s free, fast and fair for everyone.

We were joined by Dr Alexandra Freeman from Cambridge University and Tim Fellows from Jisc who both work on creating and developing the Octopus platform.

Alexandra began the talk with an introduction of how Octopus came about and the problems it aims to fix. She drew on her experience working with the media to discuss how journals’ goal of publishing interesting and “impactful” stories conflicts with their purpose as a primary research record.

Octopus aims to overcome this problem by becoming a new platform for publishing primary research records. Alexandra notes that many parts of the research process involve different skillsets, resource requirements and expertise. In contract to journal articles, Octopus breaks research down into eight different types of publication (like the eight limbs of an octopus):

  1. Problem
  2. Hypothesis
  3. Methods / protocol
  4. Results / data
  5. Analysis
  6. Interpretation
  7. Real world application
  8. Peer review

Each component can have different authors and receives its own DOI. Different components can also branch off from each other, for instance two methods for testing the same hypothesis or two analyses of the same data.

In addition to registering and publishing new work, researchers can also add their open access publications to Octopus.

Tim finished the talk with a live demo of Octopus, and the session ended with a Q&A. Please note the Q&A was not recorded.

For more information on Octopus and to publish or register your own work, visit their website and follow them on Twitter @octopus_ac.

You can also watch the recording of the session on YouTube.

This blog is written by Emma Wilson


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