Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

This week, we look at the case for open peer review, why article processing charge waivers must be communicated more clearly, and how a group of journals have decided to outsource their peer review decisions. We also learn that Future Science Group has joined Get Full Test Research and about the long-term sustainability of the Subscribe to Open model. Finally, we learn how pharma companies can harness the power of social media and altmetrics.

The case for open peer review via The Conversation | 5-minute read

Scientific journals that use closed peer review offer only a sanitized version of science, argues Alex Holcombe (Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney) in this opinion piece. This sanitization then deprives research consumers – including other researchers, policymakers and journalists – of vital information they need to assess the quality of research and the certainty of its conclusions. Open peer review initiatives, designed by researchers for researchers, could help improve public understanding of the nuances of new research findings.

Article processing charge waivers must be communicated better via The Scholarly Kitchen  | 5-minute read

As part of their efforts to improve equity in scholarly publishing, many open access journals waive article processing charges (APCs) for researchers in low- and middle-income countries who can’t afford them. However, many eligible researchers are still paying APCs, sometimes out of their own pockets, due to a lack of awareness of APC waivers and how to claim them. There is also a lack of consistency between different publishers over which countries are covered by waiver policies. Research4Life, which provides researchers in low- and middle-income countries with online access to scholarly material, has developed a set of best practice guidelines to help publishers clearly define and communicate their policies.

Journals outsource peer review to community organization via Science | 4-minute read

Several journals and publishing platforms, including BMJ Open Science, PeerJ and F1000Research, will now accept articles reviewed by the non-profit community peer review organization Peer Community In Registered Reports (PCI RR). PCI RR, which is funded through donations from universities and scholarly societies, identifies experts to provide peer review for registered reports in medicine and other disciplines. This means that the quality of methodology is assessed before data collection. Registered reports with favourable reviews from PCI RR can be submitted to any of the 15 ‘PCI RR-friendly’ journals that are accepting these articles, or they can be published as preprints alongside the PCI RR’s recommendation.

Future Science Groups goes live with GetFTR via Future Science Group | 3-minute read

Scientific publisher Future Science Group (FSG) has become the eighth publisher to join Get Full Text Research (GetFTR). GetFTR provides a quick and easy way for researchers to access articles by clearly indicating which subscription-based articles they have access to based on their institutional affiliation. If the researcher does not have access, the publisher can provide an alternative version of the article, such as a preprint. FSG joins Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis Group, Wiley and others in using the GetFTR pathway to provide seamless access to over 86 000 000 research articles.

Subscribe to Open is feasible – but is it sustainable? via The Scholarly Kitchen | 13-minute read

According to the Subscribe to Open (S2O) business model for open access journals, content is open to all, unless subscription revenue dips below a certain threshold, at which point the content becomes available only to subscribers. Because it preserves existing subscription-based revenue streams and organizational structures and doesn’t require existing customers to make any new budget commitments, the model appears to be feasible – in the short term at least. The model’s long-term sustainability, however, is not yet clear. Questions remain about whether S2O journals will be able to attract new subscribers and whether existing subscribers will decide to withdraw their support and count on the remaining subscribers for a ‘free ride’.

Harnessing social media and altmetrics for pharma via Medical Writing | 14-minute read

Social media is becoming an increasingly important avenue for the dissemination of medical and healthcare information. This is reflected in the rise of alternative metrics (altmetrics), which measure engagement with published material on social media and the rest of the web and can be used to monitor trends. This article discusses several pharma-related activities that could harness the use of social media and altmetrics, including the recruitment of patients into clinical trials and pharmacovigilance.

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Mind UK

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