Weekly digest: UKRI open access, G20 research and Cochrane

Mark Elms

This week, we read a report looking at the effectiveness of UKRI’s open access policy and we also look at Clarivate’s 2023 G20 nations’ research performance scorecard. We learn about the current tribulations at Cochrane, about the PALOMERA project and about the lack of association between journal impact factor and peer review quality. Finally, we read about some new features on the OSF platform, and we highlight an upcoming OASPA webinar on the role of open science in tackling climate change.

To read:

A report on the effectiveness of UKRI’s open access policy via UKRI | 90-minute read

A major funder of UK scientific research, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has commissioned a report evaluating the effectiveness of its open access policy. The report looks at the current state of the policy and presents a series of recommendations for improving the policy’s effectiveness. The report also discusses the feasibility of these recommendations and the resources needed to achieve them. You can read the full report here, as well as an executive summary.

Clarivate releases its G20 research performance scorecard for 2023 via STM Publishing News | 5-minute read

Ahead of the G20 summit in India on 9–10 September 2023, Clarivate has released its annual G20 scorecard of global research performance trends in G20 countries. Compiled by analysts and data scientists at the Institute for Scientific Information, this year’s scorecard shows that more than half of the UK’s research output in 2022 was published in open access journals, that the citation impact of US research is falling in most subject areas and that India’s research output is five times smaller than the similarly populated China due to disparities in gross domestic product. You can find out more of the key findings and engage with the full scorecard here.

Funding cuts and closures at Cochrane via Nature | 8-minute read

Cochrane – an organization that aims to help patients, the public, professionals and policymakers make evidence-based choices about health interventions – is facing substantial funding cuts and closures. This follows the withdrawal of funding by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) in March, which has prompted major reorganization within Cochrane including the planned closure of Cochrane UK in March 2024. This Nature article looks at the history of Cochrane and discusses some of the potential factors that led the organization to this point. The article also discusses what reorganization may mean for Cochrane, as well as for the researchers that use its data.

A new blog series on the PALOMERA project via Hypotheses | 6-minute read

Launched in January 2023, the European Union-funded PALOMERA project aims to understand why so few open access funder policies include books, and what can be done to improve this situation. The project is expected to end in December 2024 and, as the project heads into its last year, a new blog series featuring members of the PALOMERA project has been launched. The debut blog features Niels Stern (Managing Director at OAPEN) as he discusses why he thinks the project is important and his role within it.

Is there a correlation between journal impact factor and the quality of peer review? via PLOS Biology | 25-minute read

The impact factor of a journal is often associated with its quality; however, evidence for this purported correlation is scarce. This article, published in PLOS Biology, aimed to evaluate this association by analysing 10 000 peer review reports from over 1500 biomedical journals with impact factors ranging from 0.21 to 74.7. Although they found that the average length of the peer reviews increased with impact factor, the researchers concluded that, overall, the impact factor of a journal is a bad predictor of peer review quality.

OSF introduces new search capabilities to enhance discoverability and sharing of research via Center for Open Science | 6-minute read

The Center for Open Science’s (COS) OSF platform is a free, open access platform that helps researchers to find data, papers and materials, and also acts as a repository for content such as preprints. Now, COS has introduced a number of new features to enhance the searchability of the platform and increase the discoverability of content. You can try the new OSF search features here!

To engage with:

The role of open science in tackling climate change via OASPA

The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) is hosting a webinar on 13 September 2023 focusing on the role of open science and scholarly communication organizations in tackling the climate crisis. Chaired by Monica Granados (Assistant Director of Open Climate at Creative Commons), the webinar will feature talks from Vincent Lariviere (Canada Research Chair on the Transformations of Scholarly Communication at the Université de Montréal) and Kris Karnauskas (Professor of Climate Science at the University of Colorado Boulder), and will provide a chance for questions and discussion. The webinar is free but requires registration, which you can do here.

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