Weekly digest: Cochrane’s new journal, Australasian open access, and misinformation

Mark Elms

This week, we hear about Cochrane launching its first open access journal, as well as a new partnership between Elsevier and the Council of Australian University Librarians. We read about the results of a survey on the politicization of research and misinformation in the post-pandemic age, and about how open access fees are prohibitive to many researchers. We also read an article on the opportunities and risks of open science. We listen to a podcast about the open research data set service DataverseNO, and we watch a video discussing the growth of plain language podcasts. Finally, we highlight that registrations for the 2023 European Meeting of ISMPP are now open.

To read:

Cochrane launches its first open access journal via Wiley | 2-minute read

Cochrane – a global network of healthcare professionals, patients and the public – has announced that submissions have opened for its first open-access journal, called Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods. The journal, launched in partnership with Wiley, provides researchers with the opportunity to publish open access articles focusing on “different types of evidence syntheses across health and social care” with the aim to inform, develop and progress how evidence synthesis is planned, produced and disseminated.

New partnership between Elsevier and the Council of Australian University Librarians via News Direct | 4-minute read

The largest transformative agreement in the Australasian region has been signed by Elsevier and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL). This agreement aims to support a transition to immediate open access to Australasian research for readers around the globe while also allowing Australasian readers to freely access global research. Taking effect from January 2023, this 3-year agreement will allow CAUL-affiliated institutions to make their research immediately open access when they publish in Elsevier journals. You can read more about Elsevier’s mission statement on open access here.

Politicization, researcher abuse and misinformation in a post-pandemic world via Publishers Weekly | 3-minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be the perfect breeding ground for misinformation and the politicization of research. As a result, these continue to be major issues within the medical and research worlds in the ‘post-pandemic’ age. These concerns have been highlighted in this Elsevier-sponsored Confidence in Research report that was published earlier this month. The report found that 79% of American researchers are worried about the politicization of research, and that American researchers are particularly prone to experiencing online abuse or acrimonious interaction compared to researchers from other countries. The full report is freely available to read here.

Open access fees remain prohibitive for many researchers via STM Publishing News | 4-minute read

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have released the findings of a survey titled Exploring the hidden impacts of open access financing mechanisms. The results of this survey reported that many researchers find it difficult to obtain the money to pay the article processing charges (APCs) that allow them to publish their research open access. The report also shows that researchers often forgo professional development opportunities in order to save money for paying APCs. The report concludes by saying that more must be done to financially support researchers, and that open access mandates – such as the US’s Office of Science and Technology Policy mandate announced earlier this year – must not perpetuate the prohibitive nature of APCs.

A discussion on the risks and benefits of openness via Frontiers in Political Science | 20-minute read

Open science presents many benefits to the research community, such as data sharing, the dissemination of ideas and the creation of collaborative forums for research. However, this article published in Frontiers in Political Science discusses some of the risks and ethical concerns of open science. According to the authors, these include access to sensitive information, privacy, affordability and potential harm to marginalized groups. This article aims to explore the opportunities of open science, while also analysing what ethical, inclusivity and security issues need to be considered when practicing open science.

To listen to:

Enter the Dataverse via SoundCloud | 25-minute listen

In this episode of the Open Science Talk podcast, Leif Longva (Librarian at the University of Tromsø) and Philipp Conzett (Senior Research Librarian at the University of Tromsø) discuss the first 5 years of the open research data set service DataverseNO since its inception in 2017. DataverseNO now holds around 1300 datasets from researchers at fourteen partner institutions, with all data sets checked, curated and compliant with the FAIR principles.

To watch:

The future of medical communications? Plain language podcasts via YouTube | 50-minute watch

Plain language summaries are a very effective way for researchers to share their work with a wider audience to increase its transparency, accessibility and inclusivity. Podcasting is a new and growing medium through which to communicate the latest clinical data and expert opinion to the wider public, including patients and their families. In this podcast hosted by Peter Llewellyn (Director of NetworkPharma), Peter gathers MedComms experts around the microphone to discuss their experience of creating plain language podcasts. These guests include Caroline Halford (Development Director for Medical Education at Springer Healthcare), Niamh Clarke (Associate Publishing Manager at Springer Healthcare), Catherine Elliot (Senior Scientific Director at Envision Pharma Group) and Simon Stones (Medical Writer at Envision Pharma Group).

To engage with:

The 2023 European Meeting of ISMPP is open for registrations via ISMPP

The annual European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) returns to London, UK, on 24–25 January 2023! With a host of expert speakers, exhibitors, workshops, networking opportunities and much more, this year’s meeting will focus on fuelling creativity and how publication professionals can access their own inner creativity. The full conference agenda can be viewed here, and registrations have now opened!

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