Weekly digest: inaccessible study protocols, preprint pitfalls, link rot and content drift

Luke Bratton

This week we highlight two upcoming events from The Lundberg Institute and OASPA. We read recent research examining the long-term accessibility of content linked to published studies and the willingness of authors to share their study protocols. Finally, we hear the reasons why several journals refuse to publish research that has previously appeared as a preprint.

To read:

Link rot, content drift and the long-term availability of research data via PLOS ONE | 30-minute read

Uniform resource locators (URLs) and digital object identifiers (DOIs) help link digital content – such as open data sets and code – to published research papers via their data availability statements. Over time, however, this digital content can move (content drift), and the links can break (link rot). Research published this week in PLOS ONE used an automated approach to examine the links in nearly 50 000 research papers. It was found that 80% of the linked content was retrievable, and there was no statistically significant difference in the availability of older versus newly published content.

Many study investigators do not share study protocols upon request via Trials | 12-minute read

Research published last week in Trials aimed to test how frequently study investigators would comply with requests for access to their unpublished study protocol and statistical analysis plan. Up to four emails were sent to the corresponding authors of 96 trials that provided no public access to the documents. Only 8% of authors shared some form of trial documentation in response to these requests, with 7% declining to share documents and 76% not responding to the emails.

To watch or listen:

Pitfalls of open access publishing and preprints via OrthoJOE | 32-minute listen

This episode of the OrthoJOE podcast features Kent Anderson, former CEO of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc. (JBJS), and founder of The Geyser and The Scholarly Kitchen. In a wide-ranging discussion, this podcast considers the pitfalls in open access and preprints caused by predatory publishing and social media clickbait, issues that ultimately resulted in five orthopaedic journals outlawing research previously posted on preprint servers altogether. This podcast is available via OrthoJOE and the JBJS YouTube channel.

To engage with:

Trustworthy medical literature in a world of alternative facts via The Lundberg Institute

Against the background noise of fake news, the replication crisis and misinterpreted preprints, it can be difficult to figure out which medical information to trust. The 12th Annual Lundberg Institute Lecture welcomes Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo (JAMA Editor-in-Chief) and Kamran Abbasi (BMJ Editor-in-Chief) to discuss how to find trustworthy medical information. The event will be hosted at The Commonwealth Club of California at 15:00 PDT (23:00 BST) on 12 September 2022 and tickets are available for in-person or online participation.

OASPA online conference 2022 via OASPA

This year’s online gathering of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) takes place on 20–22 September 2022 and will focus on equitable open scholarship and science practices beyond open access. The full conference programme for this 3-day event can be found here. Registration is open now and tickets are available via eventbrite.

Have you heard about the Open Pharma Satellite Symposium at the 2022 Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Annual Conference and Awards? Check the programme and register here to secure a place.