Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

This week, we learn about a new open access quantum computer, the hidden costs of non-compliance with clinical trial results disclosure regulations and new author guidelines for plain language summaries from Taylor & Francis. We also look at the launches of the European Commission’s open access platform and Jisc’s toolkit for university presses, and we learn why open access should be the default.

Open access quantum computer opens for business via SciTechDaily | 3-minute read

The US Department of Energy has launched a new open access quantum computing system at Sandia National Laboratories. The use of the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed (QSCOUT) is available free of charge to researchers worldwide. This initiative will allow scientists to use quantum computing to solve problems such as drug design and discovery and to study quantum computing itself, without the need for expensive and restrictive commercial systems.

The hidden costs of clinical trial non-compliance via PinkSheet | 4-minute read

Many small biopharmaceutical companies are reluctant to share data and so remain non-compliant with clinical trial transparency (CTT) regulations, finds this analysis by TrialScope. Companies with fewer than 100 trials listed in ClinicalTrials.gov achieved less than 50% compliance with current US CTT regulations, while companies with over 100 trials listed achieved more than 97% compliance. The financial penalties for non-compliance set by the US Food and Drug Administration are high –   up to $12 316 per non-compliant trial per day. What’s more, non-compliance may have additional detrimental effects on a company’s market value and could even delay or derail merger and acquisition transactions.

Introducing the new Taylor & Francis author guidelines for PLSs via Taylor & Francis | 3-minute read

The Taylor & Francis Author Services website has recently added new guidance on writing and publishing plain language summaries (PLSs). The guidelines outline why we should all be writing PLSs and provide information about the capabilities of the publisher’s journals, including where PLSs can be hosted online depending on their format.

European Commission launches open publishing platform via EU Reporter | 1-minute read

This week marks the official launch of the European Commission’s open access publishing platform, Open Research Europe. The platform will host publications resulting from research funded by the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes. More than 90% of the papers funded by Horizon 2020 have already been published open access, but the European Commission is committed to making 100% of the research it funds immediately accessible to researchers and citizens alike. The new platform brings this goal one step closer.

Jisc launches open access toolkit for university presses via STM Publishing News | 2-minute read

Jisc has launched a new toolkit to help university and library presses to find sustainable ways to publish open access. The number of new university presses is expected to rise as academics attempt to take back control of their content from large commercial publishers. Developed with input from existing university presses, the best practice toolkit provides guidance for new and existing presses on topics including budgeting, viability, sustainability and attracting authors. The toolkit is available under a Creative Commons Attribution licence, meaning it can be freely shared, reused and repurposed.

Make open access the default via Jisc Blog | 3-minute read

In this opinion piece, Chris Banks (Assistant Provost [Space] and Director of Library Services at Imperial College London) discusses the importance of ensuring affordable open access is at the forefront of the ongoing negotiations between Jisc (acting on behalf of 157 UK universities) and publishing giant Elsevier. Elsevier is anticipated to receive £50 million in income from UK research articles in 2021, but only a quarter of these articles are expected to be published open access. Chris argues that this money should be spent on research, not on building paywalls around content.

On a final note …

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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

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention