Weekly digest: Open access week

Akhil Bansal

Welcome to Open Access Week 2021! There are many talks taking place this week, both live and recorded, on the latest developments in open access. You can also read about the future of open access and learn about an unprecedented new index of over 100 million journal articles.

To read:

An index to mine the world’s research papers via Nature | 6-minute read

The General Index is an index of words and short phrases contained in more than 100 million journal articles. The index, created by technologist Carl Malamud and released in October 2021, holds tables of more than 350 billion words and sentence fragments listed next to the articles in which they appear. It is hoped that the index will help scientists use software to glean insights from published work. The index has been heralded by some researchers as a major development to help them search the literature using a procedure known as text mining. Others, however, are concerned about the legality of the index because the index contains text from paywalled literature.

Predicting the future of open access via Wiley | 8-minute read

Wiley asked several of their partners and colleagues about their first-hand thoughts and experiences on the open access journey thus far, and to predict where open access might take the world in the next 10 years. They also touch on some of the challenges facing open access research and how they might be solved.

Improving representation of researchers from low- and middle-income countries via Stockholm University Press | 6-minute read

The Stockholm University Press share their insights from the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association conference from September 2021. The authors comment on the under-representation of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in research. They point to some of the key difficulties and barriers faced by LMIC researchers. For example, many researchers from Uganda do not have a credit card. This prevents them from accessing scholarly publications because many publishers require payment via a credit card to access paywalled content online. The article also advocates for diamond open access publishing and for greater cooperation between high-income countries and researchers from LMIC.

To listen to:

Open access and SPARC via Creative Commons | 35-minute podcast

Open Access Week this year focuses on building structural equity and takes place from 25 to 31 October 2021. There will be hundreds of live and recorded talks, including the latest podcast episode from Creative Commons. Featuring Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), the podcast explores the work of SPARC in advocating for research and education to be made open and equitable by design.

NetworkPharma weekly webinar featuring Open Pharma via Youtube | 42-minute video

Listen to a recording of a panel discussion on plain language summaries, equity and open access, with a focus on our recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications. The panel features Slávka Baróniková (Galápagos), Adeline Rosenberg (Oxford PharmaGenesis), Kelly Soldavin (Taylor & Francis) and Alan Thomas (Ataxia and Me).

To engage with:

52nd EMWA Autumn Conference via European Medical Writers Association

This year, the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) is running a hybrid conference, in London and online, featuring sessions on open access for medical publications, plain language summaries and real-world evidence. This includes a session from Open Pharma’s Chris Winchester on our recommendations for plain language summaries. The conference runs from 4 to 24 November 2021, and more information about the programme is available here.

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!