Research talk: Positively disrupting publishing with Octopus

Tim Fellows is joined by Dr Alex Freeman, founder of Octopus.ac, to discuss the platform and its future developments. Together, they explore how Octopus could align with researcher incentives and positively impact research culture.


Dr Alex Freeman, executive director at Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication and founder of Octopus.ac, started her career at the BBC. Alex’s work not only involved the development and making of television series, but also working with associated content to bring science to the widest possible audience.

Her work at the Winton Centre focuses on helping professionals communicate numbers and uncertainty better. Being an advocate of Open Research practices and reform of the science publishing system led her to founding Octopus, a platform designed to provide a new ‘primary research record’ for recording and appraising research ‘as it happens’.

In this episode, we examine how Octopus.ac can resolve the current constraints in research publishing and share what we are up to at the moment, from outreach to platform developments.

We consider the benefits of discovering research in Octopus, breaking down research into smaller publications and publishing open peer reviews. We also raise the topic of impact factors, the limitations and the alternative metrics that might support quality research.

Show notes

Episode guest

Alex Freeman headshot
Dr Alex Freeman
Inventor of Octopus and executive director of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge

Episode host

Tim Fellow headshot
Tim Fellows
Octopus product manager

Additional links