Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Sarah Hewitt

This week brings several new major collaborations and agreements to promote and facilitate open access publishing and increase research visibility. Meanwhile, we look at what Plan S means for scientists and journals and ask if it is ever acceptable for journal editors to alter peer review comments. Finally, we find out if clinical trial sponsors are complying with US trial reporting laws.

ResearchGate and Wiley join forces to increase research visibility via EurekAlert! | 2-minute read

This week, ResearchGate and Wiley announced the first stage of a pilot to make Wiley articles available on ResearchGate, a platform used by over 20 million researchers. As of April 2021, articles from 17 of Wiley’s gold open access journals are now available on ResearchGate, and later in the year, Wiley will allow additional access to 85 of their subscription and hybrid open access journals. The pilot aims to increase discoverability, impact and visibility of research, facilitated by ResearchGate’s ease of access outside of institutions and open culture of comment and discussion.

Taylor & Francis sign transitional agreement with Jisc via Taylor & Francis Group | 2-minute read

Taylor & Francis Group and Jisc have signed a 3-year transitional agreement to allow participating Jisc members to publish open access in Taylor & Francis Open Select journals without paying article publication charges. The deal also provides UK authors with access to Taylor & Francis subscription content and its open access infrastructure, including tools that allow authors to monitor their institutions’ open access outputs.

Jisc’s Publications Router will now send articles from Wiley journals via Jisc | 2-minute read

From this week, Jisc will distribute Wiley’s open access articles to UK repositories using its Publications Router, which automatically sends articles to institutional repositories and current research information systems. The Publications Router will also send metadata and Creative Commons licence information to these repositories.

Africa and Latin America collaborate to boost open science via COAR | 1-minute read

A new collaboration between Africa and Latin America aims to boost open science activities in the Global South. This week, LA Referencia, a Latin American network of open access repositories, RedCLARA, a Latin American academic computer network, and the research and education networks ASREN (Arab States), WACREN (West and Central Africa) and UbuntuNet Alliance (Eastern and Southern Africa) signed a memorandum of understanding to help develop open science policies, service and infrastructure relevant to the Global South.

Plan S underway as publishers go open access via Nature | 8-minute read

In 2020, cOAlition S funders, including Wellcome and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, funded around 5% of all journal publications globally, meaning that a similar proportion of publications are likely to now fall under Plan S policy, which was put into place in January 2021. Publishers have largely facilitated Plan S, but many oppose the ‘Rights Retention Strategy’, which requires that cOAlition S-funded authors retain the right to post their accepted manuscripts online. As the first papers funded under Plan S mandates are now being published, this article discusses what Plan S means for scientists, publishers and the open access movement.

How much editorial input should journal editors have on peer reviewers’ comments? via The Publication Plan | 2-minute read

A recent survey has revealed that 91% of 322 journal editors considered it acceptable to edit a peer review report, and 8% would change a reviewer’s overall recommendation to accept or reject a manuscript without their permission. Some reviewers may also be unaware that their comments have been altered, with around a fifth of editors admitting that their journals do not share final review reports and editorial decision letters with reviewers. The Committee on Publication Ethics is currently developing guidance on the editing of reviewers’ comments by journal editors.

Failure to report trial results remains unpenalized via The New York Times | 5-minute read

Since 2017, clinical trial sponsors are required to report results to ClinicalTrials.gov within a year of collecting the most critical data, to comply with US law. However, many results remain unreported according to the FDAAA TrialsTracker, set up by the University of Oxford to track clinical trials that are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health. This opinion piece argues that more should be done by the government to enforce timely trial reporting to prevent damage to trust in science and pharma, particularly when federal funds are used.

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