Weekly digest: open access milestones, misinformation and collaboration

Akhil Bansal

This week, we talk about UNESCO’s open science framework and Springer Nature’s milestone of publishing one million open access articles. We highlight a report that focuses on the importance of open science and greater collaboration in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an interview with Francis Collins of the US National Institutes of Health. Finally, we get an update on clinical trial transparency from TranspariMED and share a short video on open science from the National Library of Medicine.

To read:

The importance of the UNESCO open science framework via The Conversation | 8-minute read

Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist (Office of the Chief Scientist), wrote an article about the importance of UNESCO’s internal framework on open science. She argues that this framework (1) recognizes the importance of open science in addressing global challenges and (2) creates universal definitions, standards, values and principles for the open science movement.

Major milestone for Springer Nature via STM Publishing | 4-minute read

Springer Nature has become the first publisher to have published one million gold open access articles. This means that 25% of all articles published in Springer Nature journals since 2005 are gold open access. In celebration of this milestone, the publisher also announced that it will fund the planting of 10 000 trees – one for every employee – over the next year. Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature, shares the organization’s experience of transitioning to open access and their plan for the future in a recent blog post.

COVID-19, open access and collaboration via Research on Research Institute | 8-minute read

The Research on Research Institute recently released their report on the COVID-19 pandemic, which argues that the speed and quality of scholarly communication is a shared responsibility that requires greater collaboration. The report also explores the ways in which the pandemic changed the scientific publishing landscape, such as accelerated and new forms of peer review, data sharing and the increased adoption of preprints.

Francis Collins on misinformation in science via Nature | 7-minute read

Francis Collins will be stepping down as the director of the US National Institutes of Health at the end of 2021 and was also previously the head of the Human Genome Project. Here, he shares some of his insights and perspectives on the state of scientific communication. In particular, he warns of misinformation in science and how a broad range of stakeholders (including publishers, researchers and industry) have to work together in addressing this challenge.

Improving clinical trial reporting via TranspariMED | 4-minute read

Many institutions across Europe are trying to improve their clinical trial reporting and the uploading of their results of trials onto trial registries. Here, the University of Edinburgh share their processes for reporting, the challenges they have faced and their plans for the future.

To engage with:

A background video on open science via YouTube

The National Library of Medicine have made a short, 2-minute video that introduces the concept and key principles of open science. This is a helpful resource to help build awareness of what open science is – perhaps one to share with your friends and colleagues!

Have you read our recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications? Find out more here and join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #PlainLanguageSummaries!