Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

This week, we learn about Horizon Europe’s commitment to open access, why open science should include open protocols, and how many COVID-19 trial investigators intend to share their data. We also look at a new open book initiative from the MIT Press, the next steps for interactive manuscripts and a new centre promoting reproducibility in research from Stanford University.

Horizon Europe mandates open access publishing Nature | 7-minute read

Horizon Europe, the European Union’s huge new research and innovation fund, is expected to place a greater focus on open science than its predecessor, Horizon 2020. Recipients of Horizon Europe grants will be required to deposit accepted peer-reviewed articles in online repositories and to make their research data available for reuse. Recipients will also be encouraged to post their manuscripts to a new platform called Open Research Europe, on which the papers will undergo open peer review. The fund is set to provide a record €95.5 billion for basic and applied research over the next seven years.

Open science needs open protocols via The Scholarly Kitchen | 7-minute read

Scant Materials and Methods sections ought to be consigned to history, argues David Crotty (Editorial Director of Journals Policy at Oxford University Press) in this article. In the past, this vital manuscript section was often the first to be cut down by authors trying to meet strict page limits in print journals. This left readers with little chance of being able to reproduce experiments or even judge whether data collection was sound. Given that online journals have no such limits on page space, David suggests that supplementary materials and entire stand-alone articles could be devoted to detailed and open method reporting.

Most COVID-19 trials won’t share data via Trials | 12-minute read

The majority of clinical trials relating to COVID-19 don’t include plans to make patient-level data available on publication, as reported in this recent article. The authors analysed the data-sharing intentions of the investigators of 924 COVID-19 trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov and found that 16% declared an intention to share their data, with 39% of these investigators intending to share immediately. However, almost 50% of trial investigators did not intend to share data at any time. The sharing of patient-level data is not yet the norm in clinical trial reporting. However, during the ongoing pandemic, sharing comprehensive trial data could help to accelerate the development of COVID-19 treatments.

MIT Press launches open book initiative via MIT Press Blog | 3-minute read

The MIT Press has announced the launch of a new initiative to provide open access scholarly books. For a recurring participant fee, Direct to Open will provide libraries with access to all new MIT Press monographs as well as a number of archive titles. Sales of individual titles from university presses have been steadily declining, and it is hoped that this new model will make the production and dissemination of these publications more sustainable.

A new ERA for reproducible publishing via eLife | 3-minute read

The Executable Research Article (ERA) project is ready to enter its next phase of development. The project is a collaboration between open access journal eLife and open source software suite Stencila, and allows researchers to enrich their articles with interactive code and data. eLife has already started publishing this new generation of research articles, and the new developments should make it easier for authors to prepare, edit and use ERAs.

Academics set up reproducibility centre via The Stanford Daily | 3-minute read

A group of professors and researchers at Stanford University have launched the Center for Open and REproducible Science (CORES), which aims to increase the reproducibility and transparency of science. Inspired by a reproducibility crisis in psychology research and recent fraud scandals in the biomedical sciences, the centre hopes to bring the principles of open science to all corners of the academy.

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Coronavirus mental health and well-being resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention