Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Tim Ellison

Featuring the plans of UK research funders to review their open access policies, indications that the EU is set to miss its open access target, blockchain technologies for peer review, and a new preprints highlighting service.

Leading UK research funders review their open access policies via Times Higher Education

With open access costs increasing and the publication landscape changing, the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation have announced that they will be reviewing their open access policies this year, with a move against hybrid journals possible.

Hybrid journals extend author choice via The Publishers Association

A February 2018 report commissioned by the Publishing Research Consortium shows that hybrid journals are important for extending author choice. The report presents findings from interviews with 33 authors of gold open access articles to understand their motivations for publishing in hybrid journals. More than half of researchers said they would select another journal if no open access option was available, indicating that, without hybrid journals, author choice would be restricted.

EU set to miss 2020 open access target via Times Higher Education

Results from a recent survey of more than 300 members of the European University Association indicate that the EU’s target to move to full open access publishing by 2020 is likely to be missed. Over 60% of universities reported that less than a fifth of their researchers’ peer-reviewed publications are freely available. The survey identified that the biggest barrier to publishing open access is the “high priority given to publishing in conventional journals”.

Digital Science and Katalysis launch initiative to test blockchain technologies for peer review via Digital Science

Digital Science and Katalysis announced this week the launch of a pilot project to explore how blockchain, a technology for decentralized, self-regulating data, could increase the transparency of the peer review process.

The trouble with peer review innovations via The Scholarly Kitchen

Tim Vines, a consultant on peer review, highlights potential problems with initiatives that call for academics to take back control of peer review from journal staff. The article argues that having volunteer academics carry out large numbers of editorial checks on issues that might derail the peer review process is not a sustainable model.

Dutch universities aim for 100% open access publication by 2020 via the Association of Universities in the Netherlands

This week, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) announced in its ‘E-zine on open access’ document its plans to aim for all publicly funded research to be published open access by 2020. Five pillars are presented in the document to help achieve this goal: negotiations with publishers, international collaboration, archiving, monitoring and alternative publication platforms.

Knowledge Unlatched announces partnership with Luminos via Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched, the central platform for the sustainable funding of open access models, announced its partnership with Luminos, the University of California Press open access initiative this week. Luminos publishes around 40 open access books per year. Knowledge Unlatched will be promoting the Luminos membership model to libraries all over the world.

Introducing the new preprint highlights service for biologists via preLights

February saw the launch of preLights, a new service supported by the Company of Biologists for highlighting preprints for the biological community. The service was created to help biologists find relevant and interesting preprints from the growing number posted on online repositories.