Weekly digest: APPA–MAPS 2022, Horizon Europe and preprints

Mark Elms

This week, we highlight an upcoming medical affairs conference run jointly by APPA and MAPS, as well as a webinar discussing open science in Horizon Europe. We read about how preprint usage has changed over the past decade and what motivates authors to publish preprints. We also hear about the mixed reaction to eLife’s new publishing model and read an interview with a professional patient advocate. Finally, we read about how publishing speed has increased over the past 10 years and about a collaboration between PLOS and ScienceOpen to promote a new climate change collection.

To engage with:

APPA–MAPS 2022 Joint Medical Affairs Summit for Australia & New Zealand 2022 via MAPS

The largest annual gathering of medical affairs professionals in the Australasia region is coming to Sydney, Australia on 17–18 November! This year, the Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS) and the Australian Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (APPA) joint conference is titled From vision to action – medical affairs’ time to lead is now and will feature a plethora of exciting events such as keynote speakers, networking opportunities, workshops, plenary sessions and much more! You can read more about the programme of events here and you can still register for the conference up to the 17 November deadline.

A webinar discussing open science in Horizon Europe via Rannís

The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) is hosting a free webinar all about open science in the European Union’s research funding programme Horizon Europe. The webinar will question how Horizon Europe is approaching open science and how Icelandic institutions are implementing open science practices in relation to Horizon Europe-funded projects. It will also feature Michalis Tzatzanis, an expert in responsible research and innovation from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. The webinar takes place on 14 November and, although it is free, registration is required – you can register here.

To read:

To preprint or not to preprint? That is the question via PLOS ONE | 1-hour read

bioRxiv – a preprint server for biology operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – has seen a rapid surge in preprint submissions over the past decade. But what motivates authors to publish their work as a preprint? And what concerns do they have in doing so? This study published in PLOS ONE has conducted a survey to understand the motivations, concerns and selection biases of 1444 bioRxiv authors. Overall, they found that the clearest motivators for authors were increasing awareness of their work, faster dissemination speeds and an expectation that their work would be more highly cited. Conversely, authors’ concerns centred on a reluctance to publicly share work that has not been peer reviewed and a lack of awareness surrounding preprints.

A mixed reception for eLife’s new model via Nature | 5-minute read

Last month, we brought you news of eLife’s new publication model, where no papers will be rejected after peer review and all peer-reviewed papers will instead be published as ‘reviewed preprints’. This has drawn a mixed reaction from researchers. On a positive note, some researchers have said that it moves “peer review from a gatekeeping exercise to an open assessment of the quality of research”. On the other hand, some are saying that eLife’s reputation and prestige will suffer if it doesn’t reject papers based on negative peer reviews. This article by Holly Else describes further researcher opinions to the new model, both positive and negative.

An interview with professional patient advocate Dakota Fisher-Vance via The Publication Plan | 15-minute read

The importance of patient advocates in medical research is increasingly being recognized, with their voices and input being crucial throughout a well-designed research project. This is especially true for patients with rare diseases, such as Dakota Fisher-Vance, who has a rare and inherited cancer predisposition syndrome called familial adenomatous polyposis. Dakota is now a Global Patient Advocacy Associate Director at BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, as well as a Co-Founder of Young Adult Cancer Connection. This interview discusses plain language summaries, patients as authors, and her experiences as a professional patient advocate and a patient with a rare disease.

Need for speed: how publishing speed matters via The Scholarly Kitchen | 8-minute read

This article by Christos Petrou – Founder and Chief Analyst at Scholarly Intelligence – reviews how the speed of scholarly publishing has changed in the past 10 years and why publishing speed matters so much to authors. He found that publishing and dissemination have become faster over the past decade, with the increase in speed primarily occurring at the production and peer review stages. Interestingly, the average speed of peer review also varied by research field, with structural biology being relatively rapid at 94 days, while organizational behaviour and human resources crawls along at 322 days. Christos also discusses how a journal’s turnaround time has frequently been rated as a highly important factor in author decisions about where to publish.

Open science initiatives to tackle the climate crisis via STM Publishing News | 2-minute read

PLOS has teamed up with ScienceOpen to promote its new collection on Climate Change and Human Health. Arguably focusing on the most pressing issue of our time, this climate change collection – to be published in PLOS Climate and PLOS Global Public Health – is currently seeking submissions. Successful articles will also be hosted on the ScienceOpen repository.

Have you watched our Open Pharma Symposium ‘Who can we trust? Open science and pharma research’? Watch it here on our YouTube channel!