Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring new guidance on transformative agreements and hybrid journals from cOAlition S, Springer Nature’s commitment to Plan S, results from ISMPP’s survey on author order, consultations with UNESCO on open science, the theme of this year’s Peer Review Week, Registered Reports and a re-examination of what disciplines are considered to be relevant to COVID-19.

Approaches to transformative agreements and hybrid journals via cOAlition S

Consultations and feedback from stakeholders on cOAlition S’s original guidance on transformative agreements and hybrid journals have driven several changes to the criteria outlined in Plan S. Specifically, commitment thresholds for the percentage of papers published open access have been lowered from 75% to 50%, and the December 2024 deadline has been relaxed. The required annual absolute increases in key performance indicators have also been lowered from 8% to 5%, and the published guidance has been further simplified.

Springer Nature joins Plan S via Nature

Following the aforementioned revisions to cOAlition S’s stance on hybrid journals, a recent press release from Springer Nature outlines the publisher’s commitment to transition to open access publishing in alignment with Plan S. Although this transition won’t take effect until January 2021, around 35% of papers published in Nature already acknowledge funding from organizations that are part of cOAlition S.

Standardizing authorship order via The Publication Plan

Results from a survey conducted by the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) show that an objective scoring of a researcher’s contribution to a manuscript is the most popular approach to determining authorship order. The ISMPP Author Algorithm Task Force is working on producing a standardized framework to ensure consistency in the approach to authorship.

Open science consultations via UNESCO

To enable the drafting of the new Recommendation on Open Science, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called for online consultations to reach a global consensus on open science. The new recommendation will build upon the 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers.

Peer Review Week 2020 via The Scholarly Kitchen

Peer Review Week is an annual online event to celebrate and build confidence in the peer review process. This year’s theme is trust, with a focus on the use of preprints in response to COVID-19 and on training for early career researchers. Here, Alice Meadows highlights that trust is a key topic because public trust in science is at an all-time high.

COVID-19 and Registered Reports via Medium

The Royal Society Open Science journal is expediting the review process of Registered Reports relating to COVID-19 and waiving the publication fees for the corresponding papers. Andrew Dunn, Senior Publishing Editor, says Registered Reports ‘encourage better research practices’ and are therefore of immense benefit during a global crisis.

Widening the net of coronavirus-related papers via Times Higher Education

Many publishers have adopted an open access approach to papers relating to COVID-19, often in response to government mandates such as those seen in France. However, the criteria for what is considered relevant to COVID-19, and therefore must be open access, needs to be re-examined and widened to enable effective interdisciplinary cooperation and research.

We at Open Pharma would like to continue to encourage all our readers to look after themselves and their community and continue to follow advice from their country’s government and health organizations.

Coronavirus mental health and wellbeing resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention