Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Featuring PLOS Biology’s vow to publish ‘scooped’ research, a new tool to calculate reproducibility and a study suggesting that academics are more likely than industry scientists to report research misconduct.

PLOS Biology vows to publish ‘scooped’ research via PLOS Biology

PLOS Biology announced in an editorial this week that it has implemented a new policy designed to help researchers who have been ‘scooped’ by others in their field to publish their research. As well as representing an attempt to address the issue of lack of reproducibility in scientific research, the announcement also challenges the perennial obsession with ‘novelty’ that dictates the editorial decisions of so many traditional journals.

A year of open peer review at Wellcome via ASAPbio

This post by Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome, reflects on the motivations behind the development of Wellcome Open Research and examines some of the metrics collected during the 14 months since the launch of the platform. The findings seem promising: the average length of the entire publication life cycle, from article submission to publication of the final version, was 72 days, and 460 expert peer review reports were published alongside 160 research papers.

New tool launched to calculate study reproducibility via Science

A new online tool, released by Verum Analytics, promises to find the ‘r-factor’ of research on PubMed – with ‘r’ standing for reproducibility, reputation, responsibility and robustness. The r-factor, which is a simple measure on a scale from 0 to 1, is generated by an algorithm that classifies all identified citations of a paper as ‘confirming’, ‘mentioning’ or ‘refuting’. Some academics have criticized the tool, arguing that the publication bias towards novel papers with positive results will skew its results, but the tool’s developers are clear that it is a work in progress and that constructive feedback can only drive its improvement.

New preprint servers launched for Arabic and French language research via Share News

This week saw the launch of the latest two of the 18 preprint servers now on the Open Science Framework (OSF). The new servers, Arabixiv and Frenxiv, will host preprinted research in Arabic and French, respectively.

Reporting misconduct in research: academia versus industry via RetractionWatch

A study recently published in Science and Engineering Ethics found that researchers in academic institutions were more likely to report research misconduct than those in industry (although, in some areas of misconduct, the reported levels were very similar for both academic and industry researchers). This interview with the lead author explores the implications of the study: is academic research less rigorous, or are its researchers just more honest?

Perspectives on open science via Open Pharma

Open access, preprints and post-publication peer review were the subjects of one of the lively discussions at this year’s ISMPP European meeting. This post gives perspectives from each speaker on a panel that included specialist representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, publishing and non-profit funding institutions.