Weekly digest: an open science agenda, rewards for peer reviewers, and COVID-19 preprints

Luke Bratton

This week, we learn about an open science agenda for 48 European countries and Knowledge Unlatched’s commitment to make hundreds of health and human sciences publications open access in 2022. We also see a summary of the second day of the 2022 ISMPP European Meeting and the launch of the PeerJ Token to reward peer reviewers. Finally, we check in on the progress of the NHS Make it Public strategy and learn about the reliability of preprint content.

To read:

The EUA defines its open science priorities via EUA | 1-minute read

The European Universities Association (EUA) represents more than 850 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries. Through The EUA Open Science Agenda 2025, the EUA aims to support its members in the transition to open science by focusing on three key priorities: (1) universal and perpetual open access to scholarly outputs in a just scholarly publishing ecosystem, (2) findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) research data, and (3) institutional approaches to research assessment.

Knowledge Unlatched to make hundreds of publications open access in 2022 via Knowledge Unlatched | 2-minute read

Knowledge Unlatched currently provides open access to more than 3000 books and 50 journals worldwide through a crowdfunding model, according to which donors pledge funding in order to free health and human sciences publications from their cost barriers. Pledges made in 2021 will enable the transition of hundreds more publications to open access in 2022.

2022 ISMPP European Meeting: Day 2 via The Publication Plan | 20-minute read

The 2022 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) took place on 25–26 January. Last week, we saw a summary of the topics covered on Day 1 of the online meeting. Topics covered on Day 2 included: the effectiveness of peer review; how to maximize the impact of digital publication enhancements; the available guidance for patient involvement in medical publications; the improvement of clinical trial rigour and reproducibility by enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion; rethinking the publication process with machine-readable documents; and the impact of artificial intelligence on the medical communication field.

The introduction of PeerJ Tokens to reward peer reviewers via PeerJblog | 3-minute read

Peer review is a time-consuming and arduous yet vital part of the publication process, but reviewers are rarely rewarded for their efforts. Open access publisher PeerJ recently announced the introduction of PeerJ Tokens to reward its peer reviewers and academic editors with discounts on article processing charges. PeerJ Tokens can be transferred to colleagues and pooled among co-authors.

A strategy for transparency and openness in health and social care research via NHS Health Research Authority | 4-minute read

The Make it Public strategy, launched in 2020, aimed to ensure that trusted information from health and social care research is made publicly available and accessible to all. Naho Yamazaki, Head of Policy and Engagement at the NHS Health Research Authority, reflects on what has been achieved over the last 18 months, with a greater proportion of clinical trial registrations, more accessible research summaries and easier trial reporting than previously through standardized final reports, as well as new guidance on plain language summaries.

From preprint to publication: COVID-19 research undergoes few changes following peer review via PLOS Biology | 30-minute read

With the rise of open access preprints during the COVID-19 pandemic, questions have been raised about whether content shared before peer review is reliable. Research recently published in PLOS Biology compared the content of COVID-19-related preprints on bioRxiv and medRxiv with their subsequent peer-reviewed publications. The content of figures was found to be largely unchanged between preprints and their subsequent publications, and only a small number of changes were recorded in study conclusions.

Have you read our recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications? Find out more here and join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #PlainLanguageSummaries!