Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Featuring the impact of medical research, the importance of open citations, and the latest in the feud between German universities and Elsevier

Health and medical research is the most impactful research on the internet, so why is more of it not open? via Times Higher Education

Data released by Altmetric clearly show that health and medical research made the biggest waves on social media of all academic research published in 2017; however, unfortunately, half remains behind a paywall. With sensationalism and ‘fake news’ on the up, it seems important that impactful research is freely accessible to mitigate the spread of misinformation and media distortion.

Citations should not be proprietary information via Nature

Co-founder of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), David Shotton, sees the benefits of open citations as a fundamental part of open science. He calls for funders to ensure that the research they fund is not only open access, but that the associated references are also freely available for end users.

Patients need access to medical information via BMJ Opinion

As part of the growing push for involvement of patients in their care, this article explores the patient experience of treatment of chronic illness, including the importance of open access medical research in traversing the ‘knowledge desert’ that they may encounter in the doctor’s office.

The top open access stories of 2017  via Martin Paul Eve blog

The start of a new year is always a time of reflection and rejuvenation; so what happened in open access last year and how will 2018 look? This article picks out the top open access stories of 2017 by month in a summary that is both succinct and comprehensive.

An update on the transition towards open access via Universities UK

This report explores several aspects of the ongoing transition towards open access in the UK, including the available open access options, uptake rates, how open access articles are used, and the financial implications for funders and learned societies.

German Universities retain access to Elsevier journals … for now via Nature News

The standoff between Elsevier and a community of German universities that started in 2017 continues in 2018. Elsevier has granted temporary access to their journals to provide more time for negotiations to conclude in the face of the real threat that over 200 universities may end their subscriptions to all Elsevier journals.

How long does it take to publish a paper? via Quantixed

One of the most infuriating aspects of scientific publishing is the length of time it takes to publish, which is a major problem in fast-moving subjects. This blog covers a research group’s attempt to quantify the length of time from submission to publication for each of their papers. Presented intuitively, the data are now updated to the end of 2017.