Weekly digest: BMJ open access, OASPA elections, and ChatGPT

Mark Elms

This week, we read about new BMJ open access agreements in France and about the OASPA board of directors election. We also read about scientists using ChatGPT to write a research paper, about PLOS’s open science indicators, and about open access book publishing. Finally, we hear about the expansion of the Accessible Data experiment and the outcomes of OASPA’s third webinar on equity in open access.

To read:

A French connection: three new open access agreements in France via STM Publishing News | 2-minute read

BMJ has announced three new read-and-publish agreements in France. These agreements allow authors from partnered institutions to publish papers open access in any of BMJ’s standard and gold open access journals without incurring any article processing charges (APCs), which are instead covered by the authors’ institutions via the agreement. Eligible authors will also be able to read articles from these journals at no direct cost to them. The French institutions that have signed these agreements are Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Côte d’Azur and Université de Bordeaux.

OASPA signals the white smoke: results of the board of directors election 2023 via OASPA | 2-minute read

The four new members of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) board of directors will be Caroline Edwards (Executive Director of the Open Library of Humanities), Susan Murray (CEO of African Journals Online), Sofie Wennström (Analyst and Managing Editor at Stockholm University Press) and Juan Pablo Alperin (Associate Director of Research at the Public Knowledge Project). The 3-year terms of four of the current 11 OASPA Board Members come to an end in September 2023, and these vacant seats will be filled by the new Board Members. According to OASPA rules, Board Members are elected following nominations by OASPA members, and two of the seats should go to fully open access publishers and two should go to service and infrastructure providers to maintain the distribution of organizations represented on the board.

How good is ChatGPT at being a scientific author? via Nature | 4-minute read

Two scientists have created a research paper in less than an hour using ChatGPT while they were out having lunch. They did this by downloading a publicly available data set and feeding it into a software package they had designed. This software fed the data along with prompts into ChatGPT, which created and refined a scientific article. On their return from lunch, the scientists found a “clear written manuscript with solid data analysis” that was “fluent, insightful and presented in the expected structure for a scientific paper”, according to this article in Nature. But there were negatives as well. The article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using ChatGPT to write scientific articles, and what the future of artificial intelligence in scientific writing may be.

Using open science indicators to quantify openness via PLOS | 4-minute read

To increase the adoption of open science practices, we need data on the current levels of openness in scientific publishing and on how open science trends change over time. To this end, PLOS have produced a set of open science indicators (OSIs). These are sources of data that identify and quantify open science practices across PLOS articles and compare them to similar open access articles from other publishers. A data set containing almost 3.5 years of data is currently available. The first three OSIs focus on data sharing, code sharing and preprints. This article, written by Iain Hrynaszkiewicz (Director of Open Research Solutions at PLOS), gives an overview of the current OSIs and what the future holds, which, for example, may include adding more data points and new indicators to the OSI data set.

A different approach to open access books via The Scholarly Kitchen | 6-minute read

Recent years have seen a growth in alternate approaches to open access book publishing beyond charging authors book processing charges. But many of these alternate approaches are out of reach for most institutions. This article, written by David Parker (Co-founder and Publisher of Lived Places Publishing), takes a deep dive into the world of open access book publishing, including the potential approaches, the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches, and the associated costs.

The Accessible Data experiment at PLOS via PLOS | 5-minute read

PLOS, with support from the Wellcome Trust, developed and launched the Accessible Data experiment in March 2022. The preliminary results after just over a year of data collection have incentivized PLOS to extend the duration and scope of the experiment. In addition to the initial goals of increasing the reuse of data sets linked to PLOS articles and increasing the use of data repositories, the scope has been expanded to help understand whether there are meaningful differences in how readers engage with different types of data and research outputs. This article from PLOS looks at what the experiment has found so far, what these findings mean for data sharing, and what the next steps are.

Report from OASPA’s third workshop on equity in open access via OASPA | 18-minute read

The report from OASPA’s third workshop on equity in open access is now available to read. This workshop focused on APCs and what can be done to make APC-based open access publishing less exclusionary than it currently is. The full report of the workshop can be read here. You can also read the reports from the first and second workshops.

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