Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Steph Macdonald

Featuring persistent object identifiers for research organizations, an investigation into the standards of reporting randomized clinical trials, the co-production of scientific research and the development of the next set of Good Publication Practice guidelines.

The ROR-ing success of persistent object identifiers via The Scholarly Kitchen

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) play a key role in ensuring that research outputs are accessible and discoverable. Digital object identifiers are used to tag research outputs that can be attributed to individual authors through an ORCID iD. However, until recently, there were no truly open PIDs for research organizations and institutions. The Research Organization Registry (ROR) is a community-led project that aims to develop sustainable and usable identifiers for research organizations worldwide. Launched in January 2019, ROR holds data for almost 100 000 research organizations, each with a unique ROR identifier and associated metadata. Unlike other identifiers, ROR is interoperable with other PID organizations, such as the Global Research Identifier Database, meaning the ROR identifiers can be mapped to any PIDs previously assigned to a given institution. Although libraries and academic institutions appear to be the target audience for ROR, surely such identifiers could also be integrated into pharma-funded research outputs.

Is open always best? via BioMed Central

The results of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) can have an impact on treatment decisions and patient care plans. Therefore, it is essential that all RCT outcomes are clearly reported and that abstracts discussing RCTs adhere to CONSORT-A guidelines. This study aimed to investigate the completeness of outcome reporting in abstracts from articles presenting RCT results published in subscription and open access journals. The authors analysed 149 abstracts from subscription journals (The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine and The Lancet) and 119 abstracts from open access journals (BioMed Series journals and PLOS journals). Trial outcomes were completely reported in 79% and 65% of abstracts from subscription and open access journals, respectively. Abstracts from subscription journals reported a median of 13 of a total of 16 CONSORT-A items, while abstracts from open access journals reported 11 of a total of 16 items. The article concludes by urging open access journals to take appropriate measures to ensure better RCT outcome reporting and adherence to CONSORT-A guidelines.

Scientific research – a co-production? via BioMed Central Blog Network

Shouldn’t the individuals whom research is for have a say in the way in which it is conducted? Last week, BioMed Central (BMC) released a collection of papers exploring the parameters of research co-production. Research co-production involves researchers working together with research users, such as policy makers and system leaders. Although researchers are experts in methodology and experimental design, research users have a better knowledge of research context, which can be utilized in planning and decision-making. BMC hopes that this collection of papers will help to increase the uptake of research co-production across disciplines.

Time 4 an update via The MAP

This week, the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) announced that the new version of the Good Publication Practice (GPP) guidelines is now under development. The GPP guidelines are essential to ensuring best practice and high standards of medical publications, and are used in numerous countries worldwide. The latest iteration of these guidelines, GPP4, will address the key evolving areas within medical publications.