Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

This week, we look at the fallout from Springer Nature’s most recent open access announcement as well as Emerald Publishing’s commitment to open abstracts and the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association’s online conference sessions. We also share advice on how to write a plain language summary and on how to stay relevant in the rapidly changing world of scholarly publishing. Finally, we hear the Editor-in-Chief of Nature’s thoughts on open access.

Anger and disappointment over Nature’s open access fees via Forbes | 17-minute read

Last week, Springer Nature reiterated its pledge to embrace open access publishing – and the hefty fees it will charge for the privilege. In a press release, the publishing giant announced that, from January 2021, all authors will have the option to publish open access. However, as Madhukar Pai (Research Chair at McGill University and Associate Director of the McGill International Tuberculosis Centre) points out, this option is by no means accessible to all authors. Through interviews with researchers in the Global South, Madhukar captures their disappointment and frustration at the steep price tag, with the article processing charge for a single open access Nature paper exceeding the annual salary, or even entire grant budget, of many of these researchers.

Emerald Publishing joins Initiative for Open Abstracts via Emerald Publishing | 2-minute read

Emerald Publishing has announced that it has joined the Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA). While Emerald already makes its abstracts freely accessible, its commitment to I4AO – a collaboration between scholarly publishers, librarians and researchers that advocates open access to scholarly abstracts – means that its abstracts will now be deposited to a trusted repository as well. This will not only make the abstracts more discoverable for human readers but will also make them machine-accessible for computational analysis and machine learning.

Watch all sessions from the OASPA 2020 Conference online now! via YouTube

Catch up on the presentations from the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) 2020 Online Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing with these session recordings, which include panel discussions on transparency in publication costs and on how attitudes towards open access have changed in 2020.

The plain language summary: write it before you do anything else via BMJ Opinion | 4-minute read

In this opinion piece, journalist and patient representative Roger Wilson shares his advice for developing effective plain language summaries. Writing concise and meaningful plain language summaries can be a sticking point for many medical researchers. That is why Roger suggests they draft their summaries while still in the planning stages of their research – before they get bogged down in the data and details. The summaries can then become living documents that can be reviewed and rewritten as the research progresses, while also ensuring that the research objectives are kept in focus. Roger also shares some useful resources for writers developing plain language summaries, including a glossary of alternative words to help researchers ditch the jargon.

Staying relevant in a changing industry via The Scholarly Kitchen | 8-minute read

Over a 20-year career, Jennifer Regala (Director of Publications/Executive Editor at the American Urological Association) has witnessed many changes in the world of scholarly publishing – from the rise of digital publications to the outsourcing of copy-editing and proofreading services. In this opinion piece, Jennifer shares her insights from her varied experience as an editor. Her key focus areas for future-proofing your career? Mentorship, learning and networking (yes, even during a pandemic!).

“I do hope that the spirit of transparency and early sharing of information is here to stay” via Hindawi | 5-minute read

In this interview, Magdalena Skipper talks about her career journey to becoming the first female Editor-in-Chief of Nature and shares her thoughts on open science. In particular, she praises the degree to which data sharing and preprint servers have been adopted by researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention