Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

As much of the world faces a second wave of COVID-19 and local lockdowns, we at Open Pharma continue to hope that all our readers are staying safe and well. We also know that the deluge of information on the COVID-19 outbreak can be incredibly taxing on our mental health so, throughout this period, we have been including links to several well-being resources at the bottom of each weekly digest and will continue to do so. We at Open Pharma would again like to encourage all our readers to look after themselves and their community, to wear a mask and to continue to follow advice from their country’s government and health organizations.

And now, the latest news in open science!

Open access publishing saves lives via The Publication Plan

The benefits of open access publishing are clearly manifold and have been discussed at length throughout Open Pharma’s various communications, but the benefits are more apparent and more crucial than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, researchers are calling for efforts to practice open science principles to ensure that COVID-19 research is performed in an equitable and transparent manner, but there are still many obstacles that prevent smooth delivery; these are particularly problematic in data collection and interpretation, the publication process, and the misuse of science communication.

Want to hear more about how open access publishing saves lives? Don’t forget to register for our NetworkPharma Zoom webinar as part of Open Access Week 2020, which will be held at 12:00 BST on Wednesday 21 October and will feature a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on open access.

Sansone et al, 2020: data repository criteria via Zenodo

Here, FAIRsharing Community members propose a set of criteria for selecting appropriate data repositories for hosting open data. These criteria have been designed in the hopes of helping to reduce the complexity of journal data policies, to increase the efficiency of repositories and to streamline the overall process.

Lachapelle, 2020: COVID-19 preprints via medRxiv

Although the rates of preprints relating to COVID-19 and coronavirus research surged during the early stages of the pandemic, this peak, which was based on the ratio of preprints to peer-reviewed published articles, began to drop off around mid-August. Here, the author introduces a beta-version application programming interface to monitor rates of publication of COVID-19 preprints using the CORD-19 data set.

Deal or new deal via Jisc

Jisc, the consortium that organizes digital infrastructures for UK higher-education institutions, has entered into a new deal with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) to allow its researchers to publish open access in PLOS journals without paying any article processing charges. The deal also covers future collaboration on data and metrics.

Elsevier’s position on open access via Elsevier

Elsevier prides itself on being one of the “fastest-growing open access publishers”, with nearly 500 full open access titles; this is underpinned by its commitment to open science. In this interview, Philippe Terheggen (Managing Director of Science, Technology and Medical Journals) discusses what this commitment means and how researchers and institutions can help to drive collaboration, inclusion and transparency of open science.

Mielke et al, 2020: metrics for transformative journals via the Journal of Medical Systems

Researchers from the Trans-O-MIM project at the Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics have established a new metric for evaluating a journal’s transformation from subscription-based access to open access. Using the journal Methods of Information in Medicine, the authors identified which transformative parameters to input into their metric and developed a scenario-based analysis to evaluate the potential success or failure of a journal’s transformation.

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

Coronavirus mental health and well-being resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention