Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Exploring whether scholarly publishing is stuck in the 90s, what librarians think of open access and PLOS’ decision to join forces with bioRxiv.

Is scientific publishing stuck in the 90s? via Medium

It seems difficult to comprehend the new technologies that we have seen over the course of the 21st century. In 2000, the age of the smartphone was still some years away, neither Wikipedia nor Facebook nor YouTube existed, and film cameras still outsold digital ones. Why then, this article asks, have technological advances not reached the world of academic publishing? Things that should be simple, such as correcting an error in a published paper, are still complicated and time-consuming. The author argues that revolution rather than evolution might be needed to bring publishing into the new millennium.

What do librarians think about the transition to open access? via Springer Nature

Springer Nature surveyed 199 librarians across the world, asking for their thoughts on the transition to open access publishing, and has just published an infographic capturing the key findings. The results reflect broad support for open access among librarians, with 91% of respondents seeing open access as the future of academic and scientific publishing. However, reported opinions on how full open access should best be achieved differed. Most respondents thought that all papers should be published under a gold open access licence and a third were in favour of publishing all articles via both gold and green routes. The majority of respondents were not satisfied with the current speed of movement towards open access.

PLOS partners with bioRxiv to provide option to preprint during submission via PLOS blogs

PLOS has announced a partnership with bioRxiv that will allow authors submitting their research manuscripts to PLOS journals the option to preprint as part of the submission process. Comments received from the wider community will be highlighted to the formal peer reviewers to support their evaluation. This integration will be launched on 1 May 2018.

The potential use of blockchain to support the peer review process gathers support via Digital Science

It is becoming increasingly clear that blockchain technology has the potential to provide benefits beyond its origins in regulating cryptocurrencies. Both Taylor & Francis and Cambridge University Press seem to think so; they have announced their intention to join Springer Nature in a pilot project exploring the capacity of blockchain to simplify and strengthen the peer review process.

Image courtesy of Brownpau