Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Katie Willetts

Featuring a rundown of the latest results from EU Trials Tracker, how pharma could help make vaccine clinical trials trustworthy again, a survey of researchers’ attitudes towards peer reviewing, the citation advantage of preprints, the next consortium to commit to open science and a reminder of the EMWA virtual events.

Remember, remember … to report your clinical trial results via EU Trials Tracker

While it might only be bonfire night here in the UK, EU Trials Tracker are already working on their ‘naughty or nice’ list, documenting which clinical trial sponsors in the EU are the best and worst at reporting their findings. By law, all trials on the EU Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR) must disclose their results within a year of trial completion; however, to date, only 68% of due trial results have been reported. At the top of the list with 100% of trials reported are several pharmaceutical companies, including BI, Bayer and Merck Sharp & Dohme, and other organizations, namely Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Leeds. Let’s just hope for those at the bottom that this list will be checked twice!

Greater transparency equals greater trust via First Opinion

As clinical trials for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 continue, policymakers in the USA are concerned that more needs to be done to increase trust in vaccines among Americans. With only 21% of Americans reported to ‘definitely plan to get vaccinated’, this article, written by the team behind the Good Pharma Scorecard, outlines how enhancing research transparency may help to increase public trust in vaccine development. Key elements highlighted to improve transparency include trial registration, public results reporting, publication, and data and protocol sharing along with the documents necessary to understand them.

Combatting reviewer fatigue via The Publication Plan

Most publication professionals will appreciate that rigorous peer review takes time, with more manuscripts submitted to journals than available peer reviewers. A survey of over 1200 researchers conducted by IOP Publishing and Publons revealed interest in the paper to be the key driver for reviewer involvement and that algorithms that can match reviewers to the right publication may be beneficial to maximize engagement. One-quarter of survey respondents also indicated that they received too many requests to peer review manuscripts than they had time address.

So, what’s the relationship between preprints and citations anyway? via Quantitative Science Studies

Research by Fraser and colleaguesinvestigated the citation and altmetrics advantage of bioRxiv, a preprint repository for biological sciences. Preprints that were deposited on bioRxiv had a citation advantage of 63% over non-deposited articles published in the same journal and month.

CHIST-ERA commits to open science via chist-era

CHIST-ERA, a consortium of research funding organizations supported by the European Commission, has released its Open Science Policy Statement. Commitments outlined in the statement declare that by 2023/2024, 100% of publications produced by CHIST-ERA will be published open access and the associated data will be made available following the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship.

EMWA Virtual Conference – taking place NOW via EMWA

The European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) Virtual Conference is now in full swing, with the 8th EMWA Symposium taking place today (Friday 6 November 2020), featuring Open Pharma’s Chris Winchester and Tim Koder! However, the fun doesn’t end there, with 20 workshops running from 7 to 19 November. You can browse the full schedule of events here.

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