Weekly digest: plain language summaries, open code and ISMPP 2022

Mark Elms

This week, we read about the growing movement towards publishing plain language summaries alongside research. We also hear about the importance of open access to code and computer scripts, as well as a new ORCID initiative that will improve researcher visibility and recognition in the developing world. Finally, we read a summary of the sessions that took place at the 2022 ISMPP Annual Meeting, and we highlight the Knowledge Unlatched spring newsletter.

To read:

The growing popularity of plain language summaries via Cancer Commons | 3-minute read

Patients and the public are often interested in the results of clinical research, but there can be language barriers in published research – such as technical and inaccessible language – that limit public understanding. Plain language summaries (PLS) are resources associated with research articles that are written in accessible, jargon-free language and are gaining increased prominence in scientific publications. In this interview, published in Cancer Commons, Adeline Rosenberg and Chris Winchester from Oxford PharmaGenesis give their viewpoints on the current landscape of PLS, initiatives that produce PLS guidelines and recommendations, and the future and growing popularity of PLS, especially within pharma.

Open code: enhancing understanding and improving reproducibility via PLOS | 3-minute read

Best practice in scientific publishing has recently shifted towards requiring researchers to make all data related to the results of their work publicly available. This article, published by PLOS, argues that code should be no different. In fact, one of PLOS’s journals, PLOS Computational Biology, has introduced code sharing upon publication as journal policy. This article describes how open code is essential for researchers to understand the results of published research, as well as being able to reproduce the work and build upon the findings in subsequent research. This article also includes a 1-hour video discussion with Nikola Stikov and Jean-Baptiste Poline from the University of Montreal and McGill University, respectively.

The blooming of new ORCID initiatives via STM Publishing News | 1-minute read

International publisher Taylor & Francis this week announced its support for a new international ORCID initiative, the Global Participation Fund (GPF). ORCID has helped researchers gain the visibility and recognition that their work deserves. However, some parts of the world – most notably the developing world – are under-represented by ORCID. It is hoped that the GPF will help overcome this gap by providing grants for community outreach and technical integration in these poorly represented areas.

A summary of Day 2 at the 2022 ISMPP Annual Meeting via The Publication Plan | 20-minute read

At the beginning of May, the 18th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) took place in person for the first time in almost 3 years. It was held in Washington, DC and was themed on “future-ready medical communications”. This article, published by The Publication Plan, gives a summary of the afternoon session of Day 2 of the meeting. This session included discussion on social media, climate change commitments, non-peer review publishing and other future directions of the pharma world. Summaries for Day 1, the morning of Day 2 and Day 3 of ISMPP 2022 have also been published.

The Knowledge Unlatched spring newsletter via Open Research Community | 1-minute read

The spring 2022 newsletter by Knowledge Unlatched (KU) highlights some of the recent work conducted by KU. This includes initiatives designed to support researchers with insufficient access to research and funding, as well as providing an array of literature resources and collections. Furthermore, the newsletter advertises a number of upcoming KU webinars focused on pledging support towards open access content and systems.

Have you seen our recent commentary about user perspectives on plain language summaries? Read it here in Current Medical Research and Opinion.