Issue 32

Open Science Newsletter


Clinical trial data sharing: here’s the challenge. A study into the structural challenges faced by the Clinical Study Data Request service towards sharing of anonymized patient-level data for research. Of 471 research proposals to the service only ~9% have resulted in a published output so far. Published in BMJ Open.

Linked Research on the Decentralised Web. A thesis by Sarven Capadisli that studies the semantic structure between research outputs. He suggests a decentralized communication protocol for linking between publications, in the way that the World Wide Web enables decentralized communication. This would allow individuals to facilitate linking between items instead of the centralized DOI system.

The autonomous car company Waymo has released a huge set of self-driving data for research.

DataSeer has launched the ResearchDataWiki, which aims to document the best practice for sharing various types of research data.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has joined cOAlition S.

The cOAlition S has appointed Johan Rooryck as their Open Access Champion. Rooryck is the Editor-in-Chief of Glossa, which was founded by him and others when editors from the Elsevier subscription journal Lingua resigned over concerns of Lingua’s publication and business model.


Big data scientists must be ethicists too. A comment by Joseph Vitti that criticizes a study by his own colleagues from the Broad Institute in Science that studied potential genetic associations of same-sex behavior in humans, with the outcome that there is not much evidence for anything. Vitti raises concerns that the risks of this study, by reinforcing prejudices instead of removing them, far outweigh its benefits. A further issue is that such ethically questionable genetic studies based on de-identified datasets are not subject to a formal ethics approval. Concerns have also been raised that the original data release form for some of the genetic samples does not cover this type of research. I encourage everyone to read his critique, amongst others similar concerns raised by others, too.


The program for FORCE 2019 from 15 – 17 October 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland, is now live.

The AIMOS 2019 conference on Interdisciplinary Meta-research & Open Science will take place on 7 – 8 November 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.


Mark Patterson, eLife’s Executive Director is planning to retire. The Executive Director role is being advertised, based in Cambridge, UK.