Issue 54


Open Science at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital: the buy-in process. The detailed paper describes the process undertaken by The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital to adopt open science practices.

The OLH Open Access Award 2020: call for applications. From the Open Library of the Humanities these are awards of up to £500 dedicated to “promoting the benefits and impact of open access to humanities scholars and disciplines and to knowledge worldwide.”

Ruling in hiQ v. Linkedin Protects Scraping of Public Data. Back in September, an appeals court in the US has ruled that the systematic scraping of publicly available information from a website likely does not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


Nature will publish peer review reports as a trial. Authors will have the option to opt into the publication of their reviewer reports. Congratulations on this step towards openness.

A knowledge bank for open access books. Cameron Neylon and Lucy Montgomery are developing a system for sharing data about the usage of open access monographs.

Study finds gender bias in invited editorials. Using Scopus data, Elsevier’s Bamini Jayabalasingham has documented a 21% gender imbalance in authors of invited commentaries published in 2,459 journals from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017. In 2020, this better be better.

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report January 2020. Yvonne Campfens has been appointed as Project Manager for the OA Switchboard and is taking forward this initiative around open access-related article-level information exchange between authors, publishers, funders and institutions. 

Review Commons is a platform that provides independent peer review before journal submission (see issue 37). Launched in December, the first paper with peer reviews from the platform just posted on bioRxiv. The reviews are accessible via the blue ‘Peer Reviews’ tab on the right.

IOP Publishing strengthens commitment to open science. Notable items include the UK Institute of Physics experimenting with transparent peer review and as well as efforts on improving inclusivity.

cOAlition S has published a tender for the development of a journal checker tool that will allow authors to identify Plan S compliant publication platforms.


Genomics: data sharing needs an international code of conduct. This comment in Nature calls for a strong protection of the massive amounts of genetic data gathered by research consortia.

What is happening with Betelgeuse? The star in the constellation Orion has lost about two thirds of its brightness in the past few months, although that momentum has slowed down now. The giant star is predicted to eventually explode as a supernova, it is just not clear when — soon or in a thousand years or more. If it does, the brightness of the explosion here on Earth would come close to that of the moon.

Spider biologist denies suspicions of widespread data fraud in his animal personality research. As mentioned in the last issue, collaborators that have used some of this data have begun to request retractions of affected work.


Sustainable Science Symposium. 15 April, 2020, in Tilburg, The Netherlands, as well as online. “A day of radical and uncompromising thought about the sustainability of science in all its shapes and forms.”


The book The Craft of Science Writing: Selections from The Open Notebook has now been published. Valuable reading for anyone interested in the topic.