Weekly digest: an Open Access Week special!

Mark Elms

This week, we celebrate Open Access Week by highlighting our open access dashboard and position statement. We also share a blog post by Nazneen Rahman on the importance of universal access to medical research, as well as our recent blog post on open access in LMICs. We read about ‘zombie journals’ and about a new open access agreement between T&F and a group of German library consortia. Finally, we share an Open Pharma webinar about all things open access and a video highlighting the Think. Check. Submit. initiative.

To interact with:

The Open Pharma open access dashboard via Open Pharma

To celebrate International Open Access Week 2023, check out the Open Pharma open access dashboard! This tool enables the benchmarking of the percentage of journal articles that are published open access so that changes in open access publication patterns over time can be monitored. This will help us understand the barriers to open access publishing in different medical research settings and allow us to set objective targets for increasing open access publishing. To look at the differences in open access publishing rates of articles from authors affiliated to pharma companies versus those affiliated to universities, we created an automated, live, free-to-view, online dashboard using The Lens platform.

To read:

The Open Pharma position statement via Open Pharma | 2-minute read

We as Open Pharma – a group of pharma companies, publishers and other stakeholders in the healthcare sector – recognize the importance of publishing research with open access to ensure that the highest-quality, peer-reviewed evidence is available to anyone who needs it, anywhere in the world, without charge. Our position statement on open access is endorsed by our 2023 Members: AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Galapagos, Gilead Sciences, GSK, Janssen, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Oxford PharmaGenesis, Pfizer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and UCB; and our 2023 Supporters: Bristol Myers Squibb, Ipsen, Roche and Taylor & Francis (T&F). You can read and endorse our position statement yourself here!

The importance of universal access to medical research via YewMaker | 3-minute read

This blog post by Nazneen Rahman (Founder and CEO of YewMaker) discusses why providing universal access to medical research is an urgent priority. The importance of such open access was made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic when the most up-to-date information was necessary for determining the appropriate healthcare responses. The necessity of universal access during this period has meant that about 85% of COVID-19 publications indexed on PubMed are available to download, in full, for free. This is compared to papers indexed on PubMed related to medicines research in general over the past 10 years, where only 55% of papers had full free text available. Nazneen argues that this discrepancy highlights that increased accessibility of research is not only possible, but it is possible quickly. Read her blog to find out more!

An Open Pharma blog on open access in LMICs via Open Pharma | 4-minute read

Almost 20 years ago, the Mexico Ministerial Summit on Health Research asserted that “all countries, including the least developed, need the capacity to conduct health research, to implement and evaluate policies and programmes, and to communicate and use what is learnt”. Then, and now, open access publishing can support this reality for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by removing the paywall barriers that prevent people from being able to access research. To find out more about the important role of open access in health research in LMICs, check out our new blog post by Alison Chisholm.

Dawn of the zombie journal via Open Library of Humanities | 15-minute read

To celebrate both International Open Access Week 2023 and Halloween, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has released a poster commemorating the first ‘zombie journal’ – a term coined following the mass resignation of editors from the journal Lingua over their disagreement with the publisher’s open access model and their perceived loss of control over the journal. The OLH has also conducted an interview with Johan Rooryck (Editor-in-Chief of Glossa) who was one of the editors that left Lingua to start the community-owned open access journal Glossa.

T&F agree transformative agreement with Forum 13+ via STM Publishing News | 4-minute read

A new read-and-publish deal has been agreed between Forum 13+ – a working group of publishing experts from German library consortia – and T&F. This 3-year deal will allow researchers associated with Forum 13+ institutions to freely access T&F journals, and also allow them to publish their research open access in more than 2000 open select journals. With this agreement, T&F now has transformative agreements in 17 European countries, including Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK.

To watch:

An Open Pharma video on open access via YouTube | 18-minute watch

Want to find out more about what open access means? Hear from the Open Pharma team as they explain what open access is, what open access models and options are available, and what the different open access licences mean for content reuse.

Think. Check. Submit! via Vimeo | 2-minute watch

The Think. Check. Submit. initiative aims to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research by providing a range of tools and resources. It also aims to educate researchers, promote integrity and build trust in credible research. Led by open access advocates such as the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the initiative has released a new video for International Open Access Week 2023 to highlight its mission.

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