Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Steph Macdonald

Featuring Altmetric’s Christmas list, the current status of transformative agreements in relation to Plan S and a review of the ICMJE’s data sharing policy.

Move over Santa, there’s a new list in town via Altmetric

This week, Altmetric released its list of the top 100 research outputs of 2019. Altmetric works by collating activity from a range of sources to capture online conversations surrounding scholarly articles. In 2019, Altmetric monitored 2.7 million research outputs, which were mentioned collectively over 62.5 million times online! Coming in at number one, with an Altmetric score of 13 557 (on 20 December 2019), is a preprint titled ‘Few-Shot Adversarial Learning of Realistic Neural Talking Head Models’, which was posted to arXiv in May. Having been mentioned in almost 61 700 Tweets (on 20 December 2019), the article reached audiences across the globe, serving as testament to the impact and reach of preprints.

They’ll be checking to see which transformative agreements are naughty or nice via The Scholarly Kitchen

cOAlition S has assured stakeholders that it will consider developing a framework for transformative journals if: the share of open access content gradually increases; subscription costs are offset by income from publishing payments; and journals have a clear vision to transition to full open access in a reasonable time frame. Unsurprisingly, cOAlition S has listed criteria, under the title ‘Plan S’, that a journal must fulfil to be regarded as ‘transformative’. The plan states that transformative journals must show an increase of at least 8% per year in the proportion of open access publications. Journals must transition to a full open access model either by 2024 or when 50% of their articles are open access, in addition to providing a complete breakdown of the costs of all their publishing services. The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers and Springer Nature have already raised concerns over these criteria. Springer Nature, in particular, has pushed back on the ‘unfair rules’, proposing more lenient timelines and a more relaxed set of metrics. With the consultation on transformative journals framework remaining open until 6 January 2020, it will be interesting to see what other publishers and research stakeholders have to say about the current framework proposed by cOAlition S.

Christmas – a time for sharing joy (and data) via The MAP

From 1 July 2018, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria stated that all clinical trials submitted to ICMJE journals would require a data sharing statement. Over 1 year later, The MAP Working Group and the Global Transparency and Trends Committee carried out a pilot study to assess the potential impact that data sharing statements have had on the scientific publishing community. The pilot study was conducted using a survey, which was sent to large and medium/small pharma companies and to biotechnology companies. Data sharing statements were available for 92% of large pharma companies and 75% of medium/small pharma companies, and for 50% of biotechnology companies. Almost half of the large pharma companies reported that they have received data requests since publishing their data sharing statements alongside their research. The authors of the survey noted that, although it is encouraging to see that most of the pharma companies have a data sharing statement in place, there is still a long way to go before data sharing is commonplace in medical research.