Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring new endorsements of the Open Pharma position statement on open access, the ISMPP U webinar on COVID-19 and publication planning, an effort to make ClinicalTrials.gov more user-friendly, the importance of lay summaries, a coalition of publishers, the COVID-19 Antiviral Candidate Compounds Dataset, an investigation into the diversity of preprint servers and an analysis into the peer review processes of predatory journals.

Scriva Medical Communications and Epi-Fit endorse the Open Pharma position statement! via Open Pharma

Open Pharma is pleased to announce that Scriva Medical Communications and Epi-Fit have recently endorsed our position statement on open access. The position statement now has 34 organizational endorsements, including eight from publishers!

ISMPP U: COVID-19 and publication planning via ISMPP

The latest webinar from the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), which had over 800 live attendees when it aired on 29 April 2020, explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical publication planning. The webinar featured an informative panel discussion involving representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and medical communication agencies; this has been summarized by The Publication Plan.

Making ClinicalTrials.gov more user-friendly via STAT News

ClinicalTrials.gov has existed in various forms since 1997, when it was launched in response to the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act, which mandated that a public registry of all clinical trials be established. Although ClinicalTrials.gov provides comprehensive overviews of trial information, it could learn from its more user-friendly counterparts Trials Today, CenterWatch and Smart Patients, on which search functions and filters are designed with patients and lay readers in mind.

Schindler et al. 2020: trial results summaries via Medical Writing

This review, published in Medical Writing, highlights the importance of including plain language summaries in scientific publications and providing trial results summaries of clinical trial results. Feedback from stakeholders and lay representatives identified visual and graphical displays as key components of lay summaries.

A coalition of COVID-19 publishers via OASPA

A coalition of publishers, represented by the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), has issued an Open Letter of Intent outlining its commitment to the rapid and open review of all COVID-19 content. The coalition currently comprises eLife, FAIRsharing, F1000 Research, Hindawi, Outbreak Science Rapid PREreview, PeerJ, PLOS and The Royal Society.

CAS’s open access antiviral database via Outsourcing Pharma

The COVID-19 Antiviral Candidate Compounds Dataset – curated by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society – is a new open access platform that lists over 50 000 chemical substances with known or potential antiviral activity.

Abdill et al. 2020: how international are preprint servers? via bioRxiv

This authorship analysis of 67 885 preprints hosted on bioRxiv found that, in many countries, the adoption of preprints is disproportionately lower than their research outputs. A significant number of preprint authors were from the USA and the UK, and many journals appear to favour preprints from some countries over others.

Predatory journals and peer review via The Publication Plan

A recent study published on bioRxiv has found that, contrary to popular belief, many predatory journals do engage in peer review processes, albeit to a lower standard than reputable peer-reviewed journals. A team of researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation uncovered a surprising amount of overlap between the Publons database of peer review reports and predatory journals identified on Cabell’s List and Beall’s List.

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