Weekly digest: patient reimbursement, open access journal toolkit and AI-based fraud detection

Jo Gordon

This week, we spotlight a recent Open Pharma guest blog about reimbursing patient authors. We read about an AI-generated visualization of the biomedical literature that could help detect fraudulent articles. We also read a commentary on the challenges facing UK academic libraries when negotiating open access agreements with publishers. We highlight a new online toolkit from OASPA and DOAJ that helps support open access journals. Finally, we watch a webinar that introduces three OPERAS projects that are working to improve open access equity in scholarly publishing across Europe.

To read:

Open Pharma guest blog on reimbursement of patient authors via Open Pharma | 8-minute read

Patients are increasingly involved in medical research publications as authors, reviewers, editors and members of publication steering committees. Unlike healthcare professionals who benefit professionally from being involved in medical publishing, patients gain limited direct benefit. In our recent guest blog, Sarah Griffiths (Communications Director and Lead of the Patient Engagement Team at Oxford PharmaGenesis) explores the current debate around the reimbursement of patients involved in medical publications. She concludes that there is an unmet need to standardize policies and to develop best practice guidance that is clear and understandable.

An atlas of biomedical literature to help track down fabricated studies via Science | 8-minute read

Recent research suggests that the publication of fraudulent journal articles, including those associated with paper mills and fake authorship, is a growing problem. Researchers are responding by designing artificial intelligence (AI) tools to detect fabricated research among the millions of articles published each year. This articleoutlines one such example. González-Márquez and colleagues developed and freely published AI-based code that generates a two-dimensional atlas of around 21 million biomedical articles. Publications are mapped by abstract similarity onto a circular visualization, with articles from the same field tending to group together. When exploring the data, the researchers found that their atlas grouped fraudulent, retracted papers into ‘islands’. They were able to identify other non-retracted articles that were suspected to be fraudulent by scrutinizing these clusters. This research may provide an automated way of assessing the integrity of the publication landscape in the future.

UK libraries sign a Springer Nature deal they don’t seem to like via The Scholarly Kitchen | 13-minute read

Jisc recently announced a new 3-year open access agreement between Universities UK and Springer Nature. This contract was agreed despite a number of the participating universities having significant reservations, including unease among researchers about the publisher’s high article processing charges. This opinion piece, written by Peter Barr (Head of Content and Collections at the University of Sheffield Library), summarizes the complex issues involved. He notes that academic institutions lack leverage when negotiating with big publishers that control prestigious journals because these institutions need their researchers to publish in these journals in order to secure future funding. Academic libraries (through Jisc) are therefore limited in their ability to achieve truly transformative deals with big commercial publishers. But, until researchers move away from submitting to legacy publishers, libraries are forced to settle for less-than-ideal terms.

To engage with:

OASPA and DOAJ launch a new open access toolkit via OASPA

A new open access journals toolkit was launched this week by co-founders of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This online, user-friendly toolkit aims to support both new and established open access journals by providing practical guidelines, resources and templates to help publishers establish and maintain high-quality open access journals. It will be made available in several languages. Ultimately, the project aims to advance global scholarly publishing standards and best practices by making it easier for journal publishers to transition to open access.

To watch:

Webinar on creating community-driven pathways to equitable open scholarly publishing via DIAMAS project | 90-minute watch

Many organizations are working towards a shared goal of equitable and open scholarly publishing. In the first in a series of webinars, three Open Scholarly Communication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities (OPERAS) projects outline their 2-year plans for driving positive change in this direction. First, Johan Rooryck (Executive Director of cOAlition S) presents the DIAMAS project that aims to build sustainable open access diamond publishing in Europe. Next, Margo Bargheer (Head of Electronic Publishing at the State and University Library Göttingen) showcases the CRAFT-OA project that is focused on providing technical improvements for regional journal platforms to become diamond open access. Finally, Niels Stern (Director of OAPEN and Co-Director of the Directory of Open Access Books) provides an overview of the PALOMERA project, which is providing resources and recommendations to drive open access books. The webinar concluded with a group discussion on how they will accomplish their joint vision for an open, equitable publishing ecosystem.

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