Weekly digest: open science policy, social media guidance, and UKRI OA policy

Mark Elms

This week, we share our recent blog post on the pitfalls and opportunities in open science policy evaluation. We read about the PMCPA Social Media Guidance published earlier this year, about updates to the UKRI open access policy, and about five ways to use altmetrics for academic success. We learn about the reaction of the academic and publishing worlds to the Council of the EU’s new open access principles, and about what the COVID-19 pandemic taught us about open science. Finally, we watch a debate on clinical trial transparency, and we highlight that submissions are now open for presentation proposals at OASPA 2023.

To read:

Pitfalls and opportunities in open science policy evaluation via Open Pharma | 8-minute read

Open access is a central pillar of open science. By making digital information freely accessible to everyone, the open access movement aims to maximize the benefits of scientific advancement in an equitable way. However, open science goes beyond open access. Evaluating the success of open science policies and their contribution to reduced health and access inequalities is critical but requires meaningful evaluation frameworks. In this blog post, we discuss the strengths and limitations of commonly used evaluation metrics for open access publishing policies in the broader context of open science and consider their health equity implications for the global research community.

PMCPA Social Media Guidance 2023 Q&A via PMCPA | 30-minute read

At the beginning of 2023, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) published new social media guidance to help pharma companies remain compliant with the industry’s code of practice. To supplement this guidance, the PMCPA ran two webinars to help pharma representatives safely navigate the potential minefield of social media compliance. It has now also released a Q&A document based on these webinars. Recordings of the webinars are freely available to watch (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

Updates to UKRI open access policy via UKRI | 4-minute read

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the national funding agency for scientific research in the UK. Since April 2022, UKRI has mandated that UKRI-funded peer-reviewed research must be published open access so the research can be built upon by the research community and freely accessed by wider society. From January 2024, UKRI will be updating this open access policy to cover UKRI-funded monographs, book chapters and edited collections. To provide more information on the policy and the upcoming updates, UKRI is hosting a webinar on 15 June 2023. You can register for the webinar here.

A five-step plan for effectively using altmetrics for academic success via London School of Economics | 6-minute read

Ten years on from the first mention of the term ‘altmetric’, this blog post by Andy Tattersall (Information Specialist at the University of Sheffield) discusses five ways he has found altmetrics to be useful in helping him achieve success in academia.

Mixed reaction to the Council of the EU’s proposed open access model via Nature | 4-minute read

On 23 May 2023, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted a set of principles regarding scholarly publishing. These included a call for EU member states to implement an open access publishing model that presents no cost to readers or submitting authors. Although not legally binding, the move has been welcomed by members of the academic community. On the other hand, representatives from the scholarly publishing world have called the suggestions unrealistic and lacking in detail. This blog post from Nature looks at these contrasting reactions in more detail.

How the pandemic showed the way forward for open science via PLOS | 8-minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic was an extremely tough period for many, but it may have perfectly illustrated how important open science is on the global stage. This is according to Alison Mudditt (CEO of PLOS) in this blog post. Countries across the world urgently needed the latest research to guide their public health policy responses. In response, COVID-19 research and data were made immediately accessible to scientists and policymakers globally. Preprints and other tools for sharing data and results were also used more frequently to share science openly, and international clinical trials were launched at a frequency never seen before. So, in this post-pandemic age, Alison wants to know “why the same approach isn’t required to solve problems like the climate crisis or finding a cure for cancer”.

To watch:

A debate on sanctioning sponsors for failing to report clinical trial results via Consilium Scientific | 1-hour watch

The UK government is planning to introduce legislation that would allow drug regulators to withhold approval for new clinical trials if old trial results are not made public by sponsors. Other research funders around the world are also considering introducing similar sanctions. This debate, featuring four experts from the medical research field, looks at whether sanctions are the best way forward to ensure clinical trial results are made public. While all participants agreed more must be done to increase clinical trial reporting transparency, there was lively disagreement about whether sanctions are the correct course of action.

To engage with:

Proposals for presentations now open for OASPA 2023 conference via OASPA

The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) will be hosting its annual conference between 19 and 21 September 2023. This year’s online conference will focus on “making equitable open scholarship a reality” and is now inviting submissions for Poster lightning talk presentations. These short talks will provide presenters an opportunity to showcase new projects, ideas and initiatives alongside a poster. More information about the conference can be found here. The submission deadline for proposals is 26 June 2023, and proposals can be submitted here!

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