Issue 31

Open Science Newsletter


The Push to Replace Journal Supplements with Repositories. A comment by Diana Kwon in The Scientist that highlights the many drawbacks and disadvantages of data buried in supplementary information sections. Publishers have begun to address this. The Commitment Statement in the Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences states that “supplements will no longer be used as the primary archive for data.” At PLOS all supporting information is uploaded to Figshare, with data deposition in relevant repositories encouraged where applicable.

Patients are generally willing to share their medical data for research. In a survey, 67.1% of patients in two Californian medical centers agreed to a full sharing of data with researchers from their home institution: Patient Perspectives About Decisions to Share Medical Data and Biospecimens for Research, published in JAMA Network Open.

Readers of eLife papers can now request deposition of experimental protocols from their authors through Bio-protocol.


Holden Thorp is the new Editor-in-Chief of the Science family of journals. Congratulations on the new role!

The German DEAL consortium and Springer Nature have signed a memorandum of understanding that includes subscription access for the participating institutions and allows for the publication of an estimated 13,000 open access articles.


Two notable NIH programs require published studies to be made immediately available for free. The Cancer Moonshot program requires studies to be published fully open access.

The trans-agency HEAL Initiative (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) also has a strong component of sharing primary research data. Given the urgency of the opioid crisis in the US, a “rapid availability of Publications and the primary data behind them promotes dissemination of new knowledge, enhances reproducibility, and accelerates the ability of researchers to build upon HEAL research to make new discoveries.” Hopefully a sign of more such initiatives in medical research.


Authors submitting preprints to the health sciences preprint server medRxiv can now also submit those manuscripts directly from medRxiv to relevant PLOS journals.

A blog post by Renee Hoch explains in more detail PLOS ONE and PLOS Biology’s policy that requires raw blot and gel image data.


OpenCon 2019 Philly will take place on 1 November 2019 in Philadelphia, PA.