Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Featuring a phantom publication with 400 citations, the censorship of Nature in China and why patients need to be involved in the discussion on data sharing.

The ‘phantom’ paper with 400 citations via Retraction Watch

This bizarre story looks at how a non-existent paper managed to rack up almost 400 citations when authors who wrote and submitted articles to Procedia conference volumes didn’t remove the example reference from the provided templates.

The price of paywalls – Sci-Hub and the cost of research via BoingBoing

This article reports on the default judgement against Sci-Hub, the site for pirated scientific articles, demanding it to be shut down in the USA and blocked by major search engines. The ruling has once more prompted discussion of the impracticality of current paywalled publishing models and looks at the cost of accessing paywalled journals in everyday terms.

The importance of patients in the data sharing debate via The New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM)

Data sharing is a hot topic of conversation in publishing at the moment – but often excluded from the discussion are the wishes of the patients the data are about. This perspective piece explores the ethical implications of current data-sharing practices and finds them wanting. In receiving medical care, patients automatically subject themselves to a loss of data privacy which, the piece argues, gives them the right to have a say in how their data are used, and who is able to access it.

Open Pharma: a publisher’s perspective via Open Pharma

Open Pharma’s very own Tim Koder interviews Liz Knowles from Taylor and Francis, exploring how our workstream topics are viewed in the publishing industry.

What do funders think about data sharing from clinical trials? via The New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM)

This article, published in the latest edition of the NEJM, outlines the pressing need to share data from clinical trials, and the particular significance of promoting this for funders. The piece argues that all clinical trial data are made available in order to ensure that the potiential for research to improve health is maximized.

The censorship of Nature journals in China via Reuters

At the request of their distributors in China, Springer Nature have decided to block access to over 1000 articles containing banned keywords such as ‘Taiwan’, ‘Tibet’ and ‘Cultural Revolution’ for Chinese users in order to avoid the blockage of all of their publications.

Publishers say ResearchGate restrictions do not go far enough via Times Higher Education

Having already limited access to over 1.7 million articles, ResearchGate has come under further criticism from the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, who do not think that the new, more stringent access requirements go far enough.

Three steps to improve transparency in clinical research via The Publication Plan

This overview looks at a white paper released by the Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency. The publication describes three steps to improve the transparency of clinical trials: public registration of clinical trials, reporting of their results and data sharing.

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