Weekly digest: PLS mini-symposium, open access agreements and predatory publishing

Jo Gordon

On the menu this week, we bring you a round-up of a mini-symposium on plain language summaries. We also hail developments in open science as pioneering open access agreements are signed in both Latin America and Asia. A new book on the impact of predatory publishing has been launched to get us all pondering this issue, and we learn that Altmetric badges are to be added to Oxford University Press digital books. Dig in and enjoy!    

To read:

EMWA Conference mini-symposium on plain language summaries via The Publication Plan | 10-minute read

For those who missed the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) Conference mini-symposium on plain language summaries (PLS), this report highlights the key discussion points and take-home messages from the meeting. Organized in collaboration with Open Pharma Members, the half-day session featured presentations from a range of people representing medical writers, pharma companies, publishers and patients. The symposium aimed to present the current PLS landscape from a range of stakeholder perspectives and provided a chance to share resources and research on PLS development.

The largest research institution in Mexico announces open access agreement with PLOS via PLOS Blogs | 4-minute read

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the non-profit open access publisher PLOS have announced a pioneering 1-year open access agreement that means UNAM researchers will be able to publish in select PLOS journals without incurring article processing charges from next year. This step means that researchers in Latin America and Asia will face fewer cost restrictions and can potentially share their work more widely.  

Joint statement to promote open science agreed between 10 Japanese universities and Springer Nature Group via Springer Nature Group | 3-minute read

Nine members of Japan’s Research Universities Consortium have joined with the privately funded Tokyo University of Science to pilot an open access agreement that will enable over 900 institutional research articles to be published open access in over 2000 of Springer Nature’s journals. The new agreement is the largest of its kind in Japan and means researchers at the participating universities can potentially share their work more broadly and with lower direct publishing costs.

Predatory publishing via LSE Impact Blog | 6-minute read

To coincide with the launch of his book The Predator Effect, author Simon Linacre discusses the real-world impacts of predatory journals. Simon highlights the challenge of defining what is meant by ‘predatory publishing practice’ and how the negative effects of this phenomenon have been downplayed in the past. Given that 16 000 journals are now listed on Cabell’s Predatory Reports database and that these publications can propagate disinformation by creating an ‘infodemic’ – while also wasting countless sums of funding money – Simon argues that they pose a real risk to society at large that must be taken seriously.

Altmetric badges to be added to OUP book content via STM Publishing News| 2-minute read

This week, it was announced that Altmetric badges are to be added to all digital books published by Oxford University Press (OUP). OUP, the world’s largest university press, has used Altmetric badges on its online journals for several years, providing authors with valuable metrics on the reach and visibility of their publications. Adding the badges to books as well is part of OUP’s goal of becoming a digital-first publisher. 

Have you watched our Open Pharma Symposium ‘Who can we trust? Open science and pharma research’? Watch it here on our YouTube channel!