Weekly digest: OA journal publications, a new APC model and AI

Mark Elms

This week, we learn about the benefits, challenges and limitations of open access. We read about the American Chemical Society’s new APC model, about a survey of researchers on the use of AI in science, and about the role of AI in peer review. We also read about the new OSI dataset from PLOS and about five hurdles to overcome to achieve full and immediate open access. We look back at September with an open science round-up from the International Science Council, and we highlight an upcoming webinar from Taylor & Francis on recent developments in the world of academic open science.

To read:

Benefits, challenges and limitations of open access health journal publishing via BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine | 15-minute read

Open access is a core principle of open science and aims to make scientific research accessible to and reusable by all. This article, written by researchers from the UK EQUATOR Centre at the University of Oxford, discusses the main benefits of open access, the available routes to open access, and the challenges and limitations of open access. In terms of benefits, the authors summarize that open access provides the right to access research, improves reproducibility, bolsters innovation, reduces waste and influences policymaking. Conversely, the authors note that open access and open science don’t necessarily equate to good science, so ethical and methodological problems can remain.

The American Chemical Society announces new APC model via The Scholarly Kitchen | 5-minute read

At the end of September, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced a new open access option that allows authors to publish their research using a zero-embargo green open access model. Instead of an article processing charge (APC), ACS’s new model uses what it describes as an “article development charge (ADC)”. To find out more about this new model, Rick Anderson (University Librarian at Brigham Young University) from the Scholarly Kitchen sat down with Sarah Tegen (Senior Vice President and Chief Publishing Officer at ACS) to learn what makes an ADC different to an APC, how the new model works, the costs associated with it and more.

A survey of scientists on the benefits of drawbacks of AI in research via Nature | 10-minute read

As artificial intelligence (AI) tools become increasingly common in science and research, a survey by Nature of 1600 researchers from around the world has found that most of them believe AI will become a “very important” or “essential” research tool in the next 10 years. But this anticipation of ubiquity does not come without its concerns, with many researchers expressing worry over how AI is transforming the way research is done. This article summarises the main findings of the survey, highlighting both the positive and negative impacts of AI in research, as well as what researchers anticipate the role of AI will be in the future.

Man or machine? The future of peer review via The Scholarly Kitchen | 15-minute read

In this blog post, authors from the Scholarly Kitchen aimed to better understand how humans and AI can work together to improve peer review. To do this, they interviewed Chhavi Chauhan (Director of Scientific Outreach at the American Society of Investigative Pathology) and Chirag Jay Patel (Head of Sales and Business Development in the Americas at Cactus Communications) – two publishing experts who specialize in ethical, equitable and sustainable publishing solutions, including AI – to gather their thoughts on the future of peer review.

PLOS releases latest OSI dataset via PLOS | 2-minute read

Following the release of the first open science indicators (OSIs) dataset by PLOS in December 2022, the fourth update to the dataset has now been released. Covering the period from January 2019 to June 2023, the update provides new results about the levels of data sharing, code sharing and preprint posting (the three original OSIs) in published scientific literature. The new update has also added a new OSI to the set – protocol sharing. Read this blog post to find out more about what the new data show. You can freely download all of the data released so far here.

Five hurdles that have hindered full and immediate open access via Plan S | 12-minute read

Hear from Robert Kiley (Head of Strategy at cOAlition S) as he reflects on 20 years of working towards full and immediate open access. Using his experience at both the Wellcome Trust and cOAlition S, Robert highlights five key issues that have hindered the transition to open access and discusses how things are changing. The five issues are as follows: (1) reforming researcher assessment has been too slow; (2) APC-based business models and subscription are highly inequitable; (3) research funders and institutions don’t work collaboratively; (4) commercial publishers receive too much attention over new publishing models; and (5) rights retention should have been a critical part of open access from the start.

Roll up, roll up. It’s a September open science round-up! via International Science Council | 10-minute read

The International Science Council has written a round-up of all things open science that happened in September! Learn about open science highlights like the 2023 United Nations International Day of Universal Access to Information and read the big stories of the month, such as the G20 Chief Science Advisers’ Roundtable Meeting and Crossref acquiring the Retraction Watch database. The round-up also looks ahead at upcoming events and opportunities in open science, such as the first ever edition of the Bordeaux Neurocampus Open Science Workshop.

To engage with:

Open science developments in academic research via Taylor & Francis

Aimed at writers and publication teams working in or with pharma, this webinar will discuss the latest developments in academic research that are promoting the principles of open science. Hosted by Matt Cannon (Head of Open Research at Taylor & Francis), the webinar will focus on open science principles such as data, code and material sharing, as well as preprint use, transparency and reproducibility. The webinar takes place on 16 October 2023, and you can register here!

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