Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

Happy New Year! On the theme of new, this week, we look at a new rule on data transparency from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the new Enhanced Publication Options Navigator from MPIP, Wiley’s new acquisition of open access publisher Hindawi and a new community platform from eLife. We also learn about the impact of open access on sustainable development goals and get a primer on open access from Science.

US Environmental Protection Agency finalizes data transparency rule via The Washington Post | 6-minute read

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule to limit what research it can use to make regulatory decisions. The new rule requires that studies used to shape public health policy publicly disclose their raw data. However, many researchers believe that this is inappropriate because environmental health studies often involve sensitive medical data or patient identifying information. Applying this new rule to such studies could mean that many landmark environmental health studies cannot be used by the EPA, which has led some, including Andrew Rosenberg (Director at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists), to believe that the decision may be a front for dismantling environmental regulation.

MPIP launches its Enhanced Publication Options Navigator via Twitter | 1-minute read

Medical Publishing Insights & Practices (MPIP) has announced the launch of its new Enhanced Publication Options Navigator (EPON). The EPON replaces MPIP’s Open Access Journal Tool for Industry and includes up-to-date information on policies about open access, enhanced publications content and plain language summaries for a huge number of medical journals. The simple tool allows users to search by journal title, publisher or subject area – so check out the open access policies of your favourite publication today!

Hindawi acquisition expands Wiley’s open access portfolio via The Bookseller | 2-minute read

Publishing giant Wiley has announced the purchase of open access pioneer Hindawi for £219 million. Hindawi was one of the first publishers to convert its entire portfolio to pure open access, and its acquisition will bring more than 200 gold open access journals to Wiley, roughly doubling Wiley’s gold open access journal count. Wiley believes that the acquisition will add “quality, scale and growth to the company’s open access publishing programme”.

For the good of Sciety: eLife discusses community platform via Scholastica | 10-minute read

In this interview, eLife’s Head of Technology Paul Shannon and Product Manager Hannah Drury discuss a new online community platform. The platform, called Sciety, has been built by the development arm of eLife and its partner organizations in close collaboration with the communities they serve. A hybrid between a social network and an aggregation service that links preprints with peer reviews, Sciety allows users to discover new, relevant content by following different topics and communities.

The impact of open access on sustainable development goals via Springer Nature | 4-minute read

A joint study by Springer Nature, The Association of Universities in the Netherlands and a Dutch consortium of university libraries and the National Library of The Netherlands has found that content relating to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has a wider impact when published under gold open access policies. It has also revealed that open access SDG content is downloaded more often and has higher Altmetric attention scores than subscription content in the same journals, and also reaches a greater number of non-academic readers. Read the full report here.

Science marks Plan S coming into effect via Science | 19-minute read

Plan S, which requires that research funded by cOAlition S research funders is made open access immediately upon publication, comes into effect this month. To mark this milestone, the journal Science has produced this handy guide to the open access landscape, including what open access is and how it benefits researchers.

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