Weekly digest: Goldacre review, enhancing systematic reviews, and open data made easy

Luke Bratton

This week, we read the Goldacre review on the use of NHS data, and we see how systematic reviews can be enhanced using creative communication techniques. We read about a pilot programme between Springer Nature and figshare that allows authors to opt in to making their article data open access during article submission, and we hear the argument for increasing recognition for authors of open data sets. Finally, we share an introduction to open access agreements for journal editors and a webinar about increasing the visibility of open access publications.

To read:

The Goldacre review on the effective use of UK NHS data via GOV.UK | 8-minute read

A review tasked with investigating the effective and safe use of National Health Service (NHS) data for research, commissioned by the UK government Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, was published last week. Led by Professor Ben Goldacre, Bennett Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, the 112-page report makes key recommendations, including the creation of accessible, private and secure ‘Trusted Research Environments’ to house patient records data; the implementation of open analysis methods to avoid duplicated effort or unverifiable analyses; and the creation of an NHS Analyst Service.

Using creative communication techniques to augment systematic reviews via Springer Link | 40-minute read

Systematic reviews are important research tools, especially for the dissemination of research findings to those who might benefit from them. However, many stakeholders may not have the time or expertise to digest such large and complex documents. In a methodology paper published in Systematic Reviews, Dr Jo Thompson Coon (University of Exeter Medical School) and colleagues provide examples of how systematic reviews can be enhanced at all stages using illustration, podcasts, blog posts, briefing papers and even board games.

Springer Nature linking with figshare: an open data sharing pilot via Digital Science | 3-minute read

Despite the push for open data, in 2021, fewer than 40% of authors made their data publicly available. As part of a pilot of an integrated submission process, Springer Nature are teaming up with figshare to allow authors to make their data openly available simply by opting in during article submission. This integrated route for open data publishing will initially be available to authors of research within the fields of neuroscience, ecology and evolution, chemistry, energy, cancer and transplantation.

Recognizing providers of open access data via Nature | 4-minute read

Although the use of digital object identifiers for open access data sets enables researchers to receive some degree of credit for their work, this recognition typically does not impact academic tenure in the same way as authorship. In an example shared in an editorial published in Nature, the creators of a proprietary data set were listed as manuscript authors, while the creators of open access data used in the same manuscript were listed in the acknowledgements. The article makes the case for elevating the recognition of open access data set creators to higher levels to incentivize making data sets open.

Transformational agreements: a guide for journal editors via Wiley | 2-minute read

Transformational agreements (TAs), also known as open access agreements, are an important link between publishers and institutions in the transition to large-scale open access publishing. In an article aimed at journal editors, The Editor Engagement Team at Wiley have provided a concise outline explaining what TAs are and the benefits they provide to journals. Included is a list of all active TAs between Wiley and consortiums/institutions globally, including the extent of each open access agreement and the location of those eligible to publish open access under each agreement.

To engage with:

A webinar on how to increase visibility of open access publications via Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association | 3-minute read

OA Switchboard is an independent initiative aimed at facilitating the implementation of open access arrangements. In a webinar hosted by the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association next week, three publisher case studies will be shared to show how OA Switchboard enables easy reporting and increases the visibility of open access publications. The webinar takes place on 20 April 2022 at 14:00 UTC and registration is free.

Have you seen our recent commentary about user perspectives on plain language summaries? Read it here in Current Medical Research and Opinion.