Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring changes in publishing practices, a preprint on missing safety data, a copyright infringement lawsuit, promoting Principle 5 of Plan S and price transparency, PubMed’s new preprint platform, and how to define and identify predatory journals.

Recipes for perpetuity via The Scholarly Kitchen

This month’s installation of The Scholarly Kitchen’s Ask the Chefs column asks: “What aspect of scholarly and academic publishing might be permanently changed because of our current circumstances?” Several of the ‘chefs’ weigh in on how the publishing industry has adapted its business practices in response to COVID-19 and which of these adjustments may be here to stay.

Rodgers et al. 2020: important safety data on potential COVID-19 drugs are missing via medRxiv

Hosted on medRxiv, this preprint examined the availability of safety data from ClinicalTrials.gov registered trials of 19 drugs that have shown potential for treating COVID-19. Of the 3754 completed trials included in the review, only 31.2% had published their results on ClinicalTrials.gov, and a staggering 40.4% did not have any published results, either on the registry or in the academic literature.

Hachette Book Grp. v. Internet Archive via Bloomberg Law

Four major publishing houses – Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House – have joined together to sue the Internet Archive for copyright infringement. The online archive is accused of pirating and digitally distributing over 1.3 million books without the appropriate payment or approval.

Promoting price transparency via Jisc

Principle 5 of Plan S centres on transparency for journal subscription costs and promotes adherence to approved price transparency frameworks. With more and more publishers moving towards an open access publishing model, Anna Vernon (Head of Licensing, Jisc Collections, Jisc) argues that this is the perfect opportunity to solve structural issues pertaining to subscription costs; the time is up on price obfuscation for institutional journal subscriptions.

A PubMed preprint platform via NCBI Insights

The National Library of Medicine (NLM)’s PubMed Central is launching a 12-month preprint pilot project on 8 June 2020. The concept for the preprint repository builds on guidance from the National Institutes of Health and is the first phase of the NLM’s attempt to streamline and implement processes for accelerated distribution of science.

Identifying predatory journals via Wiley

Definitions of predatory journals have historically been somewhat ambiguous, with some critical voices even suggesting that these journals of questionable integrity be redefined as ‘parasitic’ or ‘damaging’. Nevertheless, predatory journals are on the rise, and several tools ­– such as Cabell’s Blacklist and Think Check Submit – exist to help authors identify trusted journals.

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