Weekly digest: preprints, privacy and reagent sharing

Mark Elms

This week, we highlight a webinar about the PLOS viewpoint on preprints, and we read about the balancing act between transparency and privacy in data sharing policies. We also learn about the benefits of reagent sharing between researchers, and the enhancement of open science within Lippincott® journals. We also hear about a new partnership between Springer Nature and scite, and the potential pitfalls of non-commercial clauses in licensing agreements. Finally, we read about how health information provided by Cochrane is available in a number of languages other than English.

To watch:

A PLOS discussion on preprints via vimeo | 60-minute watch

Preprints are an important component of research communication, and they are also beneficial for transparent peer review and inclusivity. This is the view of PLOS, as discussed in this webinar hosted by Dan Morgan, Raffaella Bosurgi, Lindsay Morton and Marcel LaFlamme. The panellists address a number of topics, such as the value of preprints to diverse audiences and the various types of preprints, as well as fact-checking a number of claims made about preprints. You can find out more about preprints at PLOS here.

To read:

Data sharing: transparency vs privacy via Medium | 10-minute read

A careful balance needs to be struck between transparency in data sharing and the need for privacy of personal or confidential information. This post by Santosh Shevade, an independent healthcare innovation consultant, explores some of the approaches taken by regulators across the globe to try and achieve this balancing act. This includes policies in pharma, the British National Health Service and the Indian National Health Authority.

The free exchange of reagents in the scientific world via The Scientist | 12-minute read

Scientific progress is built on the premise of ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. However, many obstacles, usually financial, exist that prevent researchers from reusing materials and reagents to replicate, build upon and progress scientific research. But what if scientists freely shared their reagents within the research community rather than patenting or selling them for profit? The author of this post, Amanda Heidt, highlights the example of JQ1 – a drug that was freely shared by the developers with those who asked and for which the structure and synthesis method has been published. This article discusses the promises of this approach, as well as potential stumbling blocks and challenges.

Wolters Kluwer enhances the Lippincott® portfolio via Wolters Kluwer | 2-minute read

Lippincott®, an imprint of publishing giant Wolters Kluwer, has taken a forward step into greater open science with the announcement of two research enhancement platforms. The first of these is Lippincott® Preprints, which serves as a preprint sharing platform for researchers across the globe. The second is the Lippincott® Data Repository, which will allow scientists to more easily share their data to enhance transparency and allow them to receive increased validation and scrutiny of their findings. You can read more about these enhancements to Lippincott® here.

Springer Nature partners with scite via STM Publishing | 2-minute read

The award-winning scite platform, which allows researchers to discover and connect publications more efficiently via Smart Citations, has teamed up with Springer Nature for a 6-month pilot. This adds to scite’s growing list of partnerships, which includes publishers such as Wiley, The Royal Society and The National Academy of Sciences. Smart Citations are currently displayed on approximately 3 million articles, and scite is used by over 100 000 people worldwide. This new partnership with Springer Nature is another important step in scite’s mission to improve research dissemination and use.

Non-commercial conditions close doors to open access via Springer Nature Research Data Community | 5-minute read

Authors seeking open access often unnecessarily apply non-commercial conditions, such as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial, to their publishing licences. Although it may be an attempt to prevent companies, who often shield their own data as intellectual property, from taking advantage of open data sets, it goes completely against the ethos of open access research. This is the opinion of Tristan Matthews, a research data specialist at Springer Nature. As well as going against the grain of true open access, Tristan also argues that such non-commercial clauses have unintended consequences owing to vague descriptions of what is and what isn’t commercial usage.

Cochrane’s Tower of Babel via Cochrane | 2-minute read

Although sometimes described as the lingua franca of science, the majority of the world’s population do not speak English at all. Unfortunately, this results in many people not being able to access high-quality health information or research publications because they are not readily available in a language that they understand. Cochrane, an organization that provides health information to clinicians, researchers, patients and policymakers, is trying to address this problem. Cochrane now provides articles, reviews, podcasts and news in at least 16 different languages from across the globe.

Have you heard about the Open Pharma Satellite Symposium at the 2022 Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Annual Conference and Awards? Check the programme and register here to secure a place.