Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Adeline Rosenberg

Featuring an open letter from pharma, the theme of Open Access Week 2020, a new publishing partnership between Hindawi and SAGE Publishing, a metrics-based study on open access and social media engagement, a call for systematizing journal databases and directories, discussions regarding sustainable open source alternatives and Molecular Biology of the Cell’s transition to a Subscribe To Open subscription model.

Pharma pens open letter to the UK prime minister via Financial Times

Over 30 pharma and health tech companies have signed an open letter to the UK’s prime minister, calling for the government to help plug a major financing gap in charity-funded medical research. The medical charity research sector is currently facing a predicted shortfall of £310 million following the closure or suspension of fundraising activities in light of COVID-19. The letter is organized by the Association of Medical Research Charities and the Life Sciences-Charity Partnership Fund, and its signatories include some of the biggest players in COVID-19 vaccine development: AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche.

Open Access Week 2020 via Open Access Week

This year’s Open Access Week will once again focus on equity and inclusion within open knowledge for the third consecutive year. Entitled ‘Open with purpose: taking action to build structural equity and inclusion’, the week will build on discussions from previous years to challenge structural racism, discrimination and exclusion in research and scholarship, and to continue to prioritize and integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into the “fabric of the open community”. Open Access Week 2020 will be held online the week of October 19–25 and is being organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

A Hindawi and SAGE Publishing partnership via EurekAlert!

Publishers Hindawi and SAGE Publishing have entered into an open access publishing partnership agreement to co-produce three SAGE gold open access journals. Adsorption Science and Technology, Molecular Imaging and Trends in Hearing will transition to being managed and administered by Hindawi’s open source Phenom platform in 2021 – including peer review administration, production and online publication – while remaining under SAGE ownership.

Dehdarirad and Didegah 2020: social media visibility of open access articles via Journal of Altmetrics

Social media metrics are already known to be influenced by a number of factors, including journal impact, funding, MeSH topics, and even the gender of first and last authors. Here, Dehdarirad and Didegah analyze 83 444 articles published in the research area of life sciences and biomedicine for open access metrics and social media engagement. Overall, open access articles featured in a staggering 92.7% more tweets, 25.7% more Facebook posts, 83.9% more news articles and 48.4% more blog posts than non-open access articles, with gold open access performing better than other open access types.

Are there better ways to judge a journal? via Leiden Metrics

Journal metrics, databases and directories can provide useful information on journal policies and practices, but most of these infrastructures operate independently of each other and lack systematized methods of standardizing and coordinating information. A recent workshop in May 2020, convened by the creators of the journal databases Transpose and the Platform for Responsible Editorial Policies, highlighted the need for coordinating these infrastructures and established two immediate next steps for driving such an initiative: (1) comparing infrastructures and (2) sharing terminology and taxonomy.

Dryad and Zenodo respond to 4TU.ResearchData via Dryad

Following a recent blog post from 4TU.ResearchData calling for more sustainable approaches to open source publishing and announcing their migration to figshare, members of Dryad and Zenodo collaborated to post their response and continue the conversation. The authors explain that the types of sustainable open source and open research infrastructure that 4TU.ResearchData called for not only already exist but are also thriving.

New subscription model for Molecular Biology of the Cell via The American Society for Cell Biology

The American Society for Cell Biology is adopting a new Subscribe to Open, or S2O, library subscription model for its journal Molecular Biology of the Cell. The S2O approach was first piloted by Annual Reviews and relies on all institutional subscribers to participate (with a 5% discount) one year at a time, to enable the journal to go fully open access without incurring excess fees on authors. An in-depth breakdown of the S2O subscription model is available here.

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

Coronavirus mental health and wellbeing resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention