Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Caitlin Edgell

This week, we look at a statement on the importance of pre-publication review from three large medical writing organizations and a round-up of the Center for Biomedical Research Transparency’s Biomedical Transparency Summit series. We also learn about a new Google Scholar feature, France’s commitment to open access and Cambridge University Press’ new read-and-publish deals. Finally, we look at whether the Version of Record really is preferred by all.

Pre-publication review vital for trust in science via The MAP Newsletter | 4-minute read

The public could lose trust in medical science if researchers choose to bypass peer review, warns a joint statement released by the American Medical Writers Association, the European Medical Writers Association and the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals. Although preprints have been invaluable in the rapid global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement emphasizes that pre-publication review is essential for maintaining high standards in the long run. The statement also includes recommendations about the labelling of preprints to ensure that unreviewed research is not misrepresented in the media or the scientific literature.

Round-up of the Biomedical Transparency Summit series webinars via The Publication Plan | 2-minute read

Last month, the Center for Biomedical Research Transparency (CBMRT) hosted its Biomedical Transparency Summit series in the form of three virtual webinars. The first webinar covered research integrity and how institutions can discourage misconduct. The second webinar discussed open access, including Plan S and the different open access landscapes in high-, middle- and low- income countries. The final webinar looked at the acceleration of research publishing through the rise in the use of preprint servers, as well as data sharing.

Google Scholar to track open access compliance via Nature | 5-minute read

The scholarly search engine Google Scholar will now display open access compliance statistics. The Google Scholar profiles of individual researchers will show how many of their papers should be open access according to funder mandates, and how many actually are. Researchers will also be encouraged to self-archive their non-compliant manuscripts by uploading them to Google Drive. Anurag Acharya, co-founder of Google Scholar, discusses how the new feature works in this interview.

French research institutions commit to transparency via TranspariMED | 3-minute read

Five of France’s biggest medical research institutions have pledged their commitment to clinical trial transparency. This announcement follows a report that found that only two of 27 non-profit research institutions in France had strong disclosure records. The institutions, including France’s largest public trial sponsor, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, have announced their intention to make the results of all of their trials public via the EU Clinical Trials Register.

Cambridge University press agrees to over 100 new read-and-publish deals via STM Publishing News | 4-minute read

Cambridge University Press (CUP) has agreed 129 new read-and-publish deals with US institutions since the beginning of 2021. In Europe, where CUP already has many read-and-publish deals in place, 70% of researchers publishing in CUP journals choose open access. The participating institutes in the USA hope to see similar results. The agreements are also in line with CUP’s commitment to transitioning all its journals to full open access by 2025.

Is the Version of Record preferred by all? via The Scholarly Kitchen | 7-minute read

The Version of Record (VOR) of a manuscript is the preferred format for both publishers, who produce the VOR by facilitating peer review and copy-editing processes, and funders, who want the VOR to be made open access. A recent white paper produced by Springer Nature found that authors also prefer the VOR over preprints and author accepted manuscripts. However, questions remain about the subtleties of author preferences, such as whether there are differences in preferences between disciplines, and whether there are differences in preferences between researchers at different career stages.

We at Open Pharma would like to continue to encourage all our readers to look after themselves and their community and to continue to follow advice from their country’s government and health organizations.

Coronavirus mental health and well-being resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention