Weekly digest: NHS COVID-19 backlog, community-led digital archives and a decade of data

Laura Hudson

This week, we highlight the value of peer-reviewed lab protocols and consider the future of free access, the challenges of the UK National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 backlog and how patients can be fairly compensated within research partnerships. We also hear about the benefits of community-led digital archives for African research collaborations, and share resources from the Open Data Institute (ODI) on the global impact of a decade of data.

To read:

The value of lab protocols in open science via PLOS | 6-minute read

In early 2021, PLOS ONE launched Lab Protocols in collaboration with protocols.io. The platform publishes peer-reviewed lab protocols and allows the research community to share challenges and solutions to improve research transparency and reproducibility. PLOS recently interviewed academic editor Ruslan Kalendar (Adjunct Professor of Genetics at the University of Helsinki, Finland) and reviewer Alison Forrester (post-doctoral researcher at Institut Curie, Paris, France) on their experiences with the platform and the benefits of accessible lab protocols within their fields.

The future of open access via The Scholarly Kitchen | 10-minute read

Open access is here to stay, although wider issues related to equity and transparency still hinder accessibility for many. This guest post by AJ Boston (Scholarly Communication Librarian at the Murray State University, KY, USA) looks at the importance of equity in open access publishing, and the potential impact of article processing charges and read-and-publish deals on the true accessibility of open science. AJ shares his perspectives and provides recommendations to funding agencies and research institutions on how they can implement changes to support equity in open science.

Challenges in the delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog via the BMJ | 7-minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic has left the NHS with an estimated backlog of more than 6 million patients awaiting elective care. With increased waiting times contributing to poorer health, there is decreased trust in the healthcare system in addition to considerable financial implications. This article evaluates the NHS’s plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care and provides a perspective on what it may achieve, but also identifies its shortcomings and the potential challenges of transforming the care system.

Resolving barriers to patient partner compensation in research via BMC | 25-minute read

The collaboration between researchers and patients carries many benefits; however, issues with payment can be problematic for patient partners. Through real-life scenarios, this article describes key barriers to successful patient compensation, from a lack of awareness and understanding to the effects of research team culture. The article suggests solutions, including the generation of an online resource repository, to help researchers and patient partners overcome logistical barriers and focus on their work together.

To listen to:

AfricArxiv: communicating African research with community-led digital archives via The INSPIRING STEM Podcast | 60-minute listen

This INSPIRING STEM podcast features guest Johanna Havemann, Trainer & Consultant in Open Science Communication. Johanna co-founded AfricArxiv in 2018 to encourage collaboration between African scientists and the global research collective. This non-profit, community-led digital archive allows authors to share manuscripts, presentations and data sets, thereby improving the visibility of African research and promoting global collaboration.

To engage with:

A decade of data via ODI

The past 10 years have seen an exponential increase in global data generation. Founded in 2012, the ODI celebrates its 10th anniversary with The Data Decade, which explores the evolution of data, its impact on our lives over the past 10 years and its potential to shape communities and businesses in the future. Join the virtual ODI Summit 2022: Data Decade on 8 November to explore the importance of data in areas such as ethics, trust and business models, as well as emerging technology.

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