Issue 49

Open Science Newsletter


A toast to the error detectors. Writing in Nature, Simine Vazire makes the case for a stronger support of those that identify errors in published work. “We should do more to make criticism an established part of science.” Disclaimer: Simine is a member of the PLOS Board of Directors.

According to annual data listed in a tweet by Brian Nosek, the Open Science Framework has seen a continuing growth in preprints and registrations.

Open Software Means Kinder Science. In her Scientific American blog post, Julia Stewart Lowndes describes her own positive experiences with open source software. She is the founder of Openscapes, which mentors researchers in the use of open science tools.


5 Things We Learned About Peer Review in 2019. Hilda Bastian takes a look at studies of peer review research. 

Transitioning to open access: an evaluation of the UK Springer Compact Agreement pilot 2016-2018. Jisc’s Mafalda Marques and Graham Stone analyzed the value of the UK’s Read and Publish deal with Springer Nature. The data shows a strong increase by the participating institution in open access publishing. Published open access articles with the publisher increased from 3,085 in 2016 to 4,001. All participating institutions recovered the APCs paid. For 14 participating institutions the nominal value of the open access APC was even higher than their combined spend on the entire deal for the duration of the contract. 

A ‘stress test’ for journals: What happened when authors tried to republish a Nature paper more than 600 times? A Retraction Watch interview with David Moher on their journal sting. Disclaimer: the sting’s paper was submitted to PLOS ONE, where it was swiftly desk rejected.


He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who edited babies’ genes, has been jailed for three years. He also appears to be barred for life from using assisted reproductive technology in humans.