Weekly digest: open science in Africa, Scite.ai and forensic scientometrics

Sophie Nobes

This week, we feature a recent AfricArXiv webinar on the adoption of open science across Africa, and we signpost an upcoming ASAPbio webinar about AI in publishing and preprints. We read about the implications of the refreshed Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation open access policy, and about the emerging field of forensic scientometrics. Finally, we learn about a recent spate of journal editor resignations and examine the latest open science indicator data from PLOS.

Adopting open science in Africa via AfricArXiv | 55-minute watch

In this recording from the AfricArXiv Open Science Webinar Series, Keletso Masisi (Student Ambassador at the Southern African Network for Biosciences) and Nokuthula Mchunu (Deputy Director at the National Research Foundation of South Africa) discuss strategies used by the African Open Science Platform to encourage the adoption of open science across the continent. More information about this webinar and future events in the series can be found on the AfricArXiv website.    

Scite.ai: AI in publishing and preprints via ASAPbio

How can the publishing community capitalize on the potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) while maintaining the integrity of research outputs? Join ASAPbio and Josh Nicholson (Co-founder of Scite.ai) on 22 May to learn about Scite.ai and to discuss the positives and negatives of using AI in academic publishing. Registration for this event is free.

Forensic scientometrics: the emerging study of research integrity via The Scholarly Kitchen | 8-minute read

“The complexity of maintaining research integrity is driving the development of a new disciplinary field dedicated to the study of research integrity forensics” argues Leslie McIntosh (VP of Research Integrity at Digital Science) in this post. With funders, institutions and journals placing greater focus on research integrity and a growing awareness of research misconduct, Leslie believes the time is right to formally recognize the field of forensic scientometrics.

Implications of the updated Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation OA policy via Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | 4-minute read

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a refresh of its open access (OA) policy. The updated policy – which will take effect on 1 January 2025 – will end support for article processing charges (APCs) and will require authors to deposit their research outputs as preprints. In this article, Estee Torok (Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) explores the rationale for the policy update, with additional insights from Heather Joseph (Executive Director at SPARC).

Competing priorities lead to editor resignations via Nature | 5-minute read

The first quarter of 2024 saw coordinated resignations by editors from five journals. In this article, Katharine Sanderson (Senior Reporter for Nature Portfolio) explores how these resignations may be related to changes in publishing business models and objections to the use of APCs by for-profit journals.

PLOS open science indicators via PLOS Blogs | 2-minute read

PLOS has released 6 years of open science indicator data, containing rates of data repository use, code sharing and preprint adoption for more than 100 000 articles published between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023. The results demonstrate that rates of preprint deposition for PLOS articles have plateaued since late 2020, whereas rates of data and code sharing continue to rise. The full data set is available to download via Figshare.    

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