Weekly digest: UKRI open access policy, global publication accessibility, and the EMPIRE Index

Luke Bratton

This week, we look at the launch of the UKRI open access policy and a dashboard for tracking open access publications across countries and institutions. We read about the development of a new measure of medical publication impact and a new open access toolkit for libraries and small publishers. Finally, we watch a roundtable discussion about amending study preregistrations, and we share details of an upcoming webinar series about the discoverability of African research.

To read:

The UKRI open access policy is now in effect via UKRI | 9-minute read

April 1st marked the launch of the first phase of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) open access policy, requiring all publicly funded peer-reviewed research publications to be made open access immediately. UKRI have provided detailed guidance for recipients of funding, open research resources, and information on publishing preprints and making data open. Monographs, book chapters and edited collections will also be required to follow the policy from January 2024.

Tracking open access by country and institution via Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative | 4-minute read

A new online dashboard provided by the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) aggregates worldwide publishing data to show how accessible research outputs are globally. Using publishing data dating back to the turn of the millennium, the tool allows users to compare the proportion of open access research outputs across countries and institutions, and to see how open access publications are being made available. The data used by COKI to construct the dashboard are available open access.

Assessing the social, societal and scholarly impact of research publications via PLOS ONE | 41-minute read

Historically, the impact of research has been measured using metrics with limited scope, such as journal impact factors and citation counts. More recently, aggregators such as Altmetric and PlumX have been developed to pull together a broad range of metrics, but these are sometimes dominated by social media activity. Specifically designed for medical publications, the EMPIRE Index attempts to mitigate the pitfalls of other measures by aggregating select article-level metrics, weighting them according to stakeholder input, and scaling scores against a benchmark of previous clinical trials.

A new toolkit to foster open access agreements via cOAlition S | 2-minute read

In collaboration with cOAlition S, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) have published a toolkit to help libraries and smaller publishers build open access agreements. Novel open access agreements take considerable time and resources to develop, but it is hoped that ALPSP’s toolkit report and detailed workflow will help to ease the transition to open access for small independent publishers.

To watch:

Transparently reporting preregistration changes via Center for Open Science | 41-minute watch

Preregistration of research is seen as an important way to increase transparency and mitigate dubious research practices. Inevitably, a proportion of preregistered studies might have to deviate from their plan for justified reasons, and it is a common myth that preregistered protocols are final and binding. The Center for Open Science recently hosted a roundtable discussion about preregistration amendments, followed by a demonstration of how to update a preregistration within the Open Science Foundation registries.

To engage with:

A three-part webinar on discoverability of African research via AfricArXiv | 6-minute read

As part of a collaboration with the Training Centre in Communication and Crossref, AfricArXiv will be hosting a free, three-part webinar series on the use of metadata with the aim to improve the discoverability of African research. The webinars will present (1) an introduction to Crossref, (2) how metadata is used in the publishing infrastructure and (3) how publishers use Crossref to link research to digital object identifiers and rich metadata for optimal discoverability. Registration is free, and the first webinar takes place on 21 April 2022.

Have you listened to our podcast with Inspiring STEM Consulting about driving positive change in the communication of pharma-sponsored research? Listen to it for free here, along with the rest of the series – featuring how open access saves lives, accelerates discovery and promotes global equity.