Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Featuring the ‘Where’s Waldo’ approach to open access, the article with 3 million citations, and the project aiming to make data set identifiers universal.

The ‘Where’s Waldo’ approach to open access via ResearchRemix

In her first blog in five years, open access advocate Heather Piwowar showcases what seems to be artful concealment by certain publishers of free-to-view links to the accepted, peer-reviewed versions of research papers. Owing to the recent wave of open access mandates placed upon publishers by research funders, Piwowar suggests that certain publisher websites are being less than open in their placement of the open-access links, instead displaying the ‘purchase article’ and ‘check institutional access’ buttons to typeset versions in pride of place, with the open links plain and small at the bottom of the page. Is this an innocent oversight or a purposeful decision? See for yourself.

The most cited paper ever via The Guardian

Wikipedia recently listed its top 10 cited sources, revealing that an open access paper by three unsuspecting Australian climate scientists is the most cited article of all time, with over 2.8 million individual citations. The authors previously had no idea that their paper had received so much attention but were very happy to hear the news. The article had been published in an open access journal, a rarity at the time of publication in 2007, which the authors say enabled it to reach its enormous audience, commenting that “research is no good to anyone locked in a cupboard”.

JAMA launches new fully open access journal via JAMA

JAMA has this week started accepting submissions to a new online open access journal, JAMA Network Open. The journal will complement the other journals published by JAMA and will publish submissions of research papers in clinical care, health policy and global health.

Where do publishers fit in the future of open access? via Science Guide

The disputes between university groups and major publishers have grabbed headlines in the open science world over the past year. Now, these groups campaigning for low-cost, universal open access have met to identify how best they can share information across institutions to improve their leverage. The meeting involved representatives from the Horizon 2020 programme whose goal of full open access for EU funded research by 2020 at present seems out of reach. Traditional publishers were notably absent from this meeting – special envoy to the European Commission Robert-Jan Smits said that he thought a ‘major clash’ between academics and publishers was likely but expressed his desire to ‘reach an agreement with all parties.’

The project to make universal identifiers for biomedical data sets via Scientific Data

This paper outlines a project that aims to make the persistent identifiers associated with repository data sets universal. At present, each repository has its own internally consistent identifier, but these identifiers cannot be used across platforms. The authors have developed the so-called ‘compact identifiers’ in an attempt to address this problem – these add a repository-specific prefix to each local identifier, thereby allowing machines to find and analyse data from multiple repositories.