The LBMCC cancer lab found a new home on the Internet when it moved into its Polaris platform for research from MyScienceWork. Tailor-made, yet interconnected under the umbrella of a single global portal, these online platforms provide institutions with a stage on which to promote their research, plus all the tools to optimize the dissemination of their work. Marc Diederich, Director of the LBMCC lab in Luxembourg, explains why he chose a Polaris platform for his team and the concrete benefits that motivated this move.
Marc Diederich used to share the abstracts of his teams’ papers on Facebook, but it didn’t have much effect on their visibility. He tried LinkedIn, but found his biochemistry community not very active on the site and the tool for uploading publications unwieldy. Dr. Diederich and many of the researchers in his Luxembourg-based cancer biology lab have profiles on ResearchGate. “For two years, we’ve been putting our publications on there and we’ve seen a boost in our number of citations and downloads.” In 2014, the time had come for the scientist to equip his lab with a tool that would maximize the visibility and impact of the important work they do understanding the molecular basis of leukemia and hunting for new anti-cancer compounds. Today, the Polaris platform of the LBMCC (Laboratoire de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire du cancer) is online and ready to be explored.
“Researchers today are more and more tuned in to metrics,” Marc Diederich feels. “Not just journal impact factor, but the impact of their own work, their citations and international visibility. More and more, universities are also taking metrics like the Eigen Factor and the H-Index into account in the promotion and evaluation of researchers. We need to optimize these metrics with tools, information and interaction on the scientific level.”
Polaris offers an innovative solution based on new, interconnected digital tools and the community sharing its strengths on a single international platform. This creates a virtuous circle between scientific information and its impact on society and the general public. Dr. Diederich expects the LBMCC’s repository to optimize the exposure of their work, helping the lab reach not only researchers in their immediate field, but also in other disciplines, and non-scientists concerned by cancer research, as well.
There are different levels to the platform, the LBMCC director explains, and which tools are most useful will depend on the person. As the head of a lab, the visibility of their research is most important to Dr. Diederich: “This platform is a tangible tool to boost our citations.” He can imagine younger researchers on the bench, though, making use of the networking tools, asking around for this or that plasmid, or post-docs looking for job offers. “For this intermediate career stage, there is a real utility, beyond pure scientific information.” Although, scientific information, there is to be found! The search engine integrated into the Polaris platforms delves into the MyScienceWork database of more than 30 million publications.
The LBMCC’s platform will replace the lab’s old internet page and become its official website. “We’ll see to what extent we can create a certain dynamic [on the site],” Marc Diederich says. I hope to see something develop where people are coming to see what we do, where they’ll contact us to ask for reprints, details, and collaborations.”