Weekly digest: NASA open access, code sharing and data sharing

Mark Elms

This week, we read responses from SPARC and OASPA to NASA’s open access plan. We also read about code sharing in biological research, about recommendations for data sharing, and about biorepositories for improving equitable access to diagnostic tools. Finally, we read an interview with HIFA’s global coordinator about its new global survey, and we learn the results of an analysis of a decade of data sharing surveys.

To read:

SPARC responds to NASA’s open access plan via SPARC | 10-minute read

In response to the Office for Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) 2022 open access mandate on federally funded research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced a plan to make all of its research open access as part of its Public Access Initiative. To help shape its open access plan, NASA has provided an opportunity for interested parties to provide feedback on the plan. Taking up this opportunity, SPARC has written a response detailing their support of NASA’s plan, as well as offering some suggestions.

OASPA also responds to NASA’s plan via OASPA | 14-minute read

The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) has also provided a response to NASA’s request for information (RFI). The response strongly endorses and supports NASA’s approach to open data and open software, and also provides answers to four of the five questions posed by NASA’s RFI. Although widely supportive of NASA’s plan, OASPA’s response provides suggestions for improvement, such as enhancing the discoverability of research, greater equity in publishing, and providing funding for more open access publishing routes.

Code sharing remains extremely uncommon in biological research via Research Square | 6-minute read

As biological data sets grow, so does researchers’ reliance on code to help them untangle the vast amounts of information. Unfortunately, as this preprint reports, code sharing in biological research publishing remains very rare, with 95% of scientists failing to publish code. This is despite the finding that code sharing can substantially increase citations, especially when combined with open access publishing. The preprint also discusses other potential benefits of code sharing and concludes by encouraging biologists to embrace open code.

Data sharing for research: a report via Future of Privacy Forum | 1-hour read

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) has released a report summarizing recommendations for data sharing in research. Aimed at companies and researchers wishing to share data, the report was created by analysing data sharing partnerships between companies and academic researchers in order to produce a series of case studies. Titled Data sharing for research: a compendium of case studies, analysis, and recommendations, the report details eight significant findings from the analysis and highlights that data sharing is moving from being a desirable option to being an expectation.

Biorepositories to improve equity in diagnostic tool accessibility via PLOS Global Public Health | 20-minute read

Diagnostic tools are critical for effective healthcare systems, but they are often lacking or completely unavailable in low-resource settings such as lower-income countries. This article, published in PLOS Global Public Health, discusses the importance of open access biorepositories for improving access to critical diagnostic tools. The article also discuss the experience of PATH – a nonprofit public health organization – in creating an open access biorepository in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the steps taken, what was needed to set up the biorepository, the ethical and legal considerations, and what lessons have been learned.

An interview with HIFA via The Scholarly Kitchen | 12-minute read

Following the launch of Healthcare Information for All’s (HIFA) global survey on universal access to healthcare information earlier this week, the Scholarly Kitchen sits down with HIFA’s Global Coordinator, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, to learn about all things HIFA.

Evaluating 10 years of data sharing and open science via London School of Economics | 6-minute read

Since 2011, a team at DataONE led by Carol Tenopir has been conducting global surveys of scientists, managers and government employees involved in the environmental sciences to learn about their opinions on data sharing. The results of these surveys – published in 2011, 2015, 2018 and 2020 – have now been pooled by the researchers to evaluate how attitudes to open data and open science have changed in this time. The researchers also discuss common themes dictating the uptake of open science practices such as data sharing that emerged from the analyses.

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