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“Constantly question and challenge everything, especially the status quo.”

21 Dec 2016

Jon Tennant is our “F1000 Specialist of the Month”. He recently finished his PhD on mass extinction at the end of the Jurassic at Imperial College London. Throughout his PhD, he has campaigned for better ‘open research’ practices and published an article justifying the reasons for open access. He is the Communications Director for ScienceOpen, part of the Open Leadership Cohort of the Mozilla Science Lab and the Open Knowledge Leadership team, a freelance science writer and consultant, and wrote the kids book Excavate Dinosaurs!

F1000 Specialists are PhD students, postdocs, clinicians and researchers who help their colleagues use F1000PrimeF1000Workspace and F1000Research, and spread the word about F1000 within their institutes. If you’d like to become an F1000 Specialist yourself, you can sign up here.

 

What are some things you have done as F1000 Specialist?

I’ve been pretty busy recently bouncing around the world for different open science-y things. Recently, I’ve talked about Open Science as a PhD student at the Ministry of Science in Slovenia, attended OpenCon in Washington DC and organised a satellite OpenCon in Berlin. I led a panel discussion on the future of peer review at SpotOn London and gave the keynote talk at ISMTE Europe in Brussels about Open Communication in Scholarly Publishing. F1000 usually features in these talks as it is helping to push the boundaries of scholarly publishing and peer review. I’m also leading a more creative project envisioning what the future of peer review might look like.

 

What are some key features of F1000 that you suggest others take advantage of?

Rapid publishing. Our article published on F1000Research took about 15 minutes to submit, a week for publication, and a further two weeks to be completely peer reviewed. That’s pretty fast, and rapid publishing is a massive benefit to more junior researchers working to get their feet on the publication ladder. As the peer review process is completely open and transparent, you see a real benefit of constructive feedback from your peers, as well as additional comments from others that really help to enhance your research.

 

Do you have any tips or advice for young scientists?

Constantly question and challenge everything, especially the status quo. Push your personal boundaries, develop a range of new and diverse skills, and embrace as many new experiences and perspectives as possible. Also, publish your research often and early, BUT don’t rush things – take the time to consider all the potential flaws, context, and implications of your research, and make your first formal steps into scholarly publishing strong ones. Find something you love, and dedicate your time to it. Don’t overburden yourself or take on too much though – do your absolute best in all things, but don’t burn yourself out for work. It’s never worth it.

 

Finally, can you tell us a little bit about your work?

Sure! I’ve just finished my PhD at Imperial College London, where I was researching whether or not there was a mass extinction at the end of the Jurassic, around 145 million years ago (latest article). As well as that, I study the evolution of the extinct ancestors of modern crocodiles (latest article). Alongside my research, I am the Communications Director for ScienceOpen so I spend a lot of my time embedded in all aspects of Open Research, and particular in trying to encourage researchers to adopt more open practices such as in peer review and publishing.

 

We recently spoke to Jon about why he decided to publish his article on the academic, economic and societal impacts of open access with F1000Research.

Why did you choose F1000Research? from F1000Research on Vimeo.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in F1000 Research