Weekly digest: Preprints, cOAlition S and an open access survey

Akhil Bansal

This week, we learn more about preprints and explore some of the opportunities and potential risks they present. We also share the news of a groundbreaking open science research initiative and the results of ScienceOpen’s open access survey.

To read:

The risks of preprints via The Scientist | 6-minute read

Preprints are valuable tools for the scientific community that allow free and early access to research. They also help accelerate scientific discovery and increase collaboration. However, this blog post argues that if preprints become the end product of scientific work instead of formal publications, there is a risk of an influx of low-quality publications that are not peer reviewed. The author warns of the potential implications of this for the rigour of scientific inquiry and the public’s trust in new research.

An exciting open science initiative via Baylor University and Harvard University | 8-minute read

Social and biomedical scientists at Baylor University and Harvard University have joined forces to launch The Global Flourishing Study to investigate the factors that influence human flourishing. The unprecedented study will involve a 5-year investigation of over 200 000 individuals from over 20 countries and is funded by the Center for Open Science. All the data from the study will be made into an open access resource so that researchers, journalists, policymakers and educators worldwide can benefit from the information. David Mellor, Director of Policy at the Center for Open Science, commented, “The rigor and transparency applied to its analysis will increase trust in the research that comes from this work, and will lower barriers to worldwide, equitable access to this information.”

The results of ScienceOpen’s open access survey via ScienceOpen | 4-minute read

As part of Open Access Week, ScienceOpen sent out a survey to hear about people’s experiences with open access. The survey asked questions about the respondents’ experiences of accessing and publishing open access articles and books, and their opinions on open peer review.

To listen to:

Navigating open access science via Spotify | 35-minute podcast

Listen to this podcast that talks about the scope of open access science and shares the experiences of several researchers from Delft University of Technology with open access science. They explore the growing role of massive open online courses and the importance of data management and fair data within the context of open science.

To engage with:

The cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy in practice via Leeds University Library and Eventbrite

On 24 November 2021, Leeds University Library are hosting a virtual talk with cOAlition S on the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy (RRS). They will discuss the RRS and how to use it, and how some commercial publishers are seeking to undermine the initiative. On 16 December 2021, Leeds University Library will also host the Open Library of Humanities to discuss sustainable open access, which you can register for here.

Learn all about preprints via Zenodo| 11-page guide

The Dutch consortium of university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands have published a practical guide on preprints. The guide introduces what preprints are, describes how to post, revise and withdraw preprints, and offers some guidance on how to interpret the information in a preprint.

Have you read our recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications? Find out more here and join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #PlainLanguageSummaries!