Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Does good research require a little rule-breaking? What is in the Delhi Declaration on Open Access? And Sweden’s bold stance on licensing for data sets.

Does high-quality research require breaking the rules? via Copyright Literacy.org

Systematic reviews are frequently commissioned to inform healthcare decision-making. The author, Jane Falconer, argues that copyright restrictions act to undermine good methodology decisions of researchers and make it very expensive to follow the good practice laid out by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and Cochrane Library in conducting reviews. In her example, just 25 of the 326 papers the team selected for inclusion were open access, meaning that there are various copyright questions as to the acceptability of scanning and sharing papers with researchers in different institutions and different countries. It raises the question: are researchers pushed into illegally accessing papers?

The Delhi Declaration on Open Access via Open India

On the 16th birthday of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), The Delhi Declaration on Open Access was released, reaffirming the same principles. The declaration defines open access and contextualizes the importance of access to research for the South Asian region, specifically focusing on the importance of academic research for alleviating the challenges of hunger, poverty and inequality.

Sweden’s radical position on open data via European Data Portal

By many standards the data-sharing policy used by Swedish authorities is radical. It advocates using the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence, which is entirely ‘no strings attached’ with regards to sharing and reuse of data and doesn’t require attribution to the original authors. Bobo Tideström, business developer at the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, and advocate of CC0, argues that its most important benefit lies in its simplicity and cross-compatibility, which maximizes re-use and collaboration.

Crossref members ‘no longer lost in translation’ via Crossref

The research-linking company Crossref has seen a strong increase in membership over the course of 2017, and 80% of these new members were from non-English speaking countries. This blog outlines the process by which developers at Crossref have worked to expand their offerings to cater to speakers of seven different world languages: English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

The state of open access via PeerJ

The preprint article about prevalence and impact of open access by Piwowar et al. gained a lot of attention in 2017, racking up over 20 000 downloads and almost 900 tweets. It has now been peer reviewed and is fully published online via PeerJ. This paper is a must-read for anyone interested in finding out more about the benefits of open access.

Image courtesy of Infrogmation of New Orleans: https://www.flickr.com/photos/infrogmation/2969709116