Weekly digest: Medical Writing, Open Science and Open Pharma, and NIH preprint pilot

Mark Elms

In our last weekly digest of 2022, we take a look at the December 2022 issue of Medical Writing, which was guest-edited by our very own Chris Winchester and Tanya Stezhka, alongside Martin Delahunty. In other news, we hear about the expansion of the NIH Preprint Pilot and the benefits of paid-for open access publishing. We also hear about DORA’s upcoming 10th anniversary celebration, and we read about the link between research integrity and reproducibility. Finally, we read about the growth of TOP Factor, as well as the signing of a transformative agreement for Japanese open access.

To engage with:

Open Science and Open Pharma: the December 2022 issue of Medical Writing via Medical Writing

What better way to head into the holiday season than 2022’s final issue of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) journal Medical Writing? The issue, titled Open Science and Open Pharma, was guest-edited by our very own Chris Winchester and Tanya Stezhka, alongside Martin Delahunty (Founder and Managing Director of Inspiring STEM). It brings together a wide range of opinions from medical writers, publishers and scientists on the importance of open and accessible science. The issue will also highlight what we at Open Pharma are doing to promote and enhance open science practices within the pharma industry. Beginning in this digest, we will provide a weekly highlight of one of the articles from the issue. Read the first of these below!

To read:

An introduction to Open Science and Open Pharma via Medical Writing | 8-minute read

And where better to start than at the beginning! In the introductory article to the Open Science and Open Pharma issue, Chris Winchester, Tanya Stezhka and Martin Delahunty outline the importance of open science and open access, as well as what to expect from the December 2022 issue. Featured articles include a summary of the 2022 Open Pharma symposium, a discussion on the use of accessible terminology for a broad range of audiences, and an evaluation of the ethical considerations when sharing research data. You can also read the full issue here!

Expansion of the NIH Preprint Pilot via National Institutes of Health | 2-minute read

Launched by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM), the NIH Preprint Pilot makes preprints of NIH-supported COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 research available via PubMed Central, allowing users to search for these publications as they would for peer-reviewed articles. The pilot also evaluates researcher perceptions and practices around preprints. Launched 2 years ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIH Preprint Pilot has found that preprints increased the discoverability of NIH-supported research and that using preprints did not decrease researcher trust in NLM and its resources. Following this initial success, the pilot will be extended in 2023 to include all NIH-funded research, regardless of research topic.

Show me the money! The benefits of paying for open access publishing via bioRxiv | 30-minute read

Publishing open access usually involves authors having to pay an article processing charge (APC), which can be prohibitively expensive for less well-funded authors. As a result, many authors have to weigh up whether the potential benefits of publishing open access are worth the extra expense. In this preprint hosted on bioRxiv, the authors evaluate whether paying to publish open access in a subscription-based journal results in greater discoverability, impact and citations when compared to paywalled articles in similar journals. They found that, in most cases, publishing open access does result in a citation advantage, and they recommend that authors with limited funds pursue open access alternatives that do not require a fee.

DORA explores plans for its 10th anniversary celebration via DORA | 3-minute read

The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a San Francisco-based initiative that aims to improve “the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated” beyond commonly used metrics such as journal impact factor. Next May, DORA will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! To celebrate, DORA is planning a global series of events looking back at their achievements over the past decade, as well as casting an eye to the future and discussing what challenges remain. As part of these global events, DORA is also organizing two plenary sessions titled DORA at 10: a look at our history and the bright future of responsible research assessment. These will take place on 16 May 2023, and registrations will open in January 2023.

Research integrity and reproducibility: two sides of the same coin via The Scholarly Kitchen | 6-minute read

The progression of scientific knowledge is potentially being stalled by scientific fraud, malpractice and irreproducible data. In order for science to advance, research must be conducted correctly and with transparency, accountability and traceability. This article by Phill Jones (Co-Founder of MoreBrains Consulting Cooperative) discusses what is being done to ensure research integrity and to fight off fraudulent activities, such as paper mills and image manipulation. Phill also talks about the interplay between reproducibility, research infrastructure and research integrity, highlighting how the current incentives, business models and network effects lead to poor research and even malpractice.

The growth of TOP Factor via Center for Open Science | 3-minute read

TOP Factor is an online tool that provides a metric for how well a journal is implementing open science practices in its publishing policies. It does this by measuring journal policies based on their alignment to the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines. Designed by journals, funders and societies in 2020, TOP factor has now grown to include policy evaluations of more than 2000 journals, and this number is expected to continue growing as open science practices become not only normalized but also mandated.

The land of rising open access: an open access agreement between JUSTICE and T&F via STM Publishing News | 2-minute read

In 2020, the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources (JUSTICE) laid out its open access roadmap with the objective of increasing open access to Japanese research. To aid in their mission, JUSTICE has announced a new transformative agreement with publishers Taylor & Francis (T&F). This transformative agreement will allow researchers at Japanese institutions to publish open access in T&F and Routledge Open Select journals without having to pay an APC.

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