Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring an abstract from ISMPP’s 16th Annual Meeting, Springer Nature’s commitment to DORA, a reflection on how COVID-19 is impacting clinical research, interpretations of the meaning of open science, preprint policy updates from PLOS, a public appeal to the EMA and what’s standing in the way of open access.

Coco et al. 2020: surveying open access awareness via Current Medical Research and Opinion

This abstract (on page 10 in the collection), which will be presented at next month’s 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), presents the results of a survey on the importance and awareness of open access publishing in pharma. Of note, 44% of the survey respondents were aware of the Open Pharma position statement on open access. All respondents were familiar with the term ‘journal open access’.

Springer Nature commits to DORA via Springer Nature

Springer Nature is not only the latest signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) but is also the first major publisher to sign the document. DORA outlines recommendations for publishers, among other types of research institutions and funding bodies, to ensure that research is assessed fairly. Springer Nature will be upholding these guidelines by providing extensive metrics for research assessment, ensuring responsible authorship practices, participating in the Initiative for Open Citations, relaxing constraints on reference limits in research articles and encouraging the citation of primary research over review articles.

International Clinical Trials Day in the era of COVID-19 via ABPI

To mark this year’s International Clinical Trials Day, Dr Sheuli Porkess, Executive Director for Research, Medical and Innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), considers the impact of COVID-19 on clinical research. While COVID-19 is driving more than 1500 trials for antivirals, prophylactics and vaccines, national quarantines and social distancing are significantly slowing down clinical research in other therapy areas.

Interpretations of ‘openness’ via Copyright

In February 2020, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published a request for information to consult with the public on open science. The consultation, which closed in early May, revealed a myriad of differing opinions on what ‘open science’ really means. Four major themes of open access were uncovered across the responses: data, code, peer review and publications.

PLOS policy updates on preprints and press embargoes via PLOS

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has updated its processes for publishing articles that have previously been posted as preprints. In light of recent research highlighting the value of press embargoes, PLOS’s new practice will now apply a consistent press embargo to all articles, even those previously posted on preprint servers. Here, PLOS presents its research on press embargoes and discusses the positive impact the practice has on ensuring high-quality and efficient science communication.

A letter to the EMA via STAT News

The Cochrane directors for Austria, France, Germany and Ireland, and the leaders of Germany’s Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care have called upon the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to release all clinical study reports and full clinical trial results pertaining to COVID-19.

Open access hurdles via Ex Libris

Recent discussions within the Ex Libris Research Management Advisory Council has revealed three key issues that are limiting the uptake of open access publishing and that should be resolved: how researchers and institutions can manage article processing charges for open access publishing; how researchers can store their data in a discoverable way; and how institutions can measure the impact of research when journal citations are no longer sufficient.

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