An increasing number of firms are publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals. This practice, which for several decades has been only the prerogative of public institutions like hospitals and Universities, has been increasingly capturing the attention of private companies.
Is it advantageous for private firms to disclose their R&D findings?
Firstly, publishing scientific papers contributes to build credibility with good return on investment. Such papers can be considered a scientific stamp for a specific innovation or product validation due to the quality of the data being evaluated by independent international experts in the field. In a society where many claims are made without supporting evidence, scientific validation boosts the prestige of a company, thereby providing competitive advantage.
This brings me to the second point: funding. Scientific publications are crucial for getting public funding, which helps improve the R&D of a private firm, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on public funding to support R&D activities.
Another advantage that should not be underestimated is that a private firm which engages in scientific publishing is able to attract and retain top quality scientists, a decisive factor for the technological progress of a company and disruptive innovation.
What are the main concerns?
This said, there are also a number of concerns that may induce private firms to discard scientific publishing that are worth further discussion.
In first place, it is a common believe that publishing scientific papers is a very time-consuming task. Nowadays the average time form submission to the final decision is only 3 months, particularly in biological, zootechnical and agricultural sciences. In my opinion, this constitutes as a reasonable time frame for private companies if their goal is to increase their scientific credibility over time.
Secondly, it is thought that when publishing a paper, companies jeopardize their intellectual property. This would be the case if private firms had to disclose all the specifics of their products. But, as a matter of fact, some components of a publication can remain private, and therefore trade secrets can be maintained. Moreover, the dissemination of knowledge increases its diffusion and by publishing papers firms induce other firms to do the same. This promotes the concept of ‘open science’ that encourages collaboration amongst firms and benefits the scientific community.
A final concern is the lack of workforce to complete the writing. Writing a paper is often labelled as a low-priority task and is often put aside. This is where Scite can help, particularly by catalyzing the process of writing a scientific manuscript and taking the most out of the R&D data that has been generated over time. Scite will also help to select the right journal to publish in. It is important to stay away from predatory journals, which are exploitative open-access academic publishing businesses that charge publication fees without providing the necessary editorial and publishing support.
In conclusion, the benefits of peer-reviewed publications for private firms are evident and the process per se is feasible. This is why more and more companies are embarking in this adventure even though writing scientific manuscripts can be a time-consuming process. But when time is limiting, Scite can help you. Focus on your core business, while Scite helps you bring science to life.