Issue 64

Open Science Newsletter


Coronavirus Tests Science’s Need for Speed Limits. The intense public interest in research related COVID-19 is creating challenges the communication of scientific findings. Nuances or critical limitations of academic studies are disregarded or misunderstood by the public. This New York Times article reports on the problematic consequences of such misunderstandings. We clearly need to step up efforts to convey study limitations to the public.

Similarly, in light of poor reporting standards of some COVID manuscripts, the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) has called on editors to maintain quality standards.

Open COVID Pledge: Removing Obstacles to Sharing IP in the Fight Against COVID-19. Kudos to the companies that have signed up to grant the public free, temporary access to relevant IP rights in support of ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perspectives on Open Science and Inequity: Who is left behind? Notes on equity and inclusion in open science, initially planned for a session at the Open Science Conference 2020.

Did awarding badges increase data sharing in BMJ Open? A randomized controlled trial at BMJ Open concludes that badges have not improved data sharing for these authors. Published in Royal Society Open Science.


To Bundle or Not to Bundle? That Is the Question. Roger C. Schonfeld in The Scholarly Kitchen on what appears to be an increasing number of universities unbundling their big deals with publishers, in favor of selective individual subscriptions (at a lower overall cost). Might be interesting to see what happens to some of the smaller subscription journals, and whether that may lead to market shifts.

Taylor & Francis have released a somewhat mixed statement in response to the cOAlition S updated criteria released last week, supporting growth of open access but expressing doubts that they can commit to the annual growth rates foreseen by the cOAlition S criteria.


U.S. Funding for World Health Organization Should Not Be Interrupted During COVID-19 Pandemic, Say Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAM. Nature has argued against funding cuts in an editorial, and in a statement PLOS stands with the National Academies: “PLOS stands with the assessment of our nation’s top scientists: this is not a time to turn inward, but to collaborate for immediate, robust and concentrated international action.”

The woman who discovered the first coronavirus. An article on June Almeida’s remarkable career. She first imaged a type of coronavirus in 1963 (rejected in peer review first time round), and was part of the team that named the virus.

China is tightening its grip on coronavirus research. Apparently, Chinese researchers increasingly have to seek ministerial approval before able to submit COVID-19-related research to academic journals. Whether this is to establish scientific barriers or to control political messaging, suppressing scientific data towards international researchers seems counterproductive. Report by Andrew Silver and David Cyranoski in Nature.


The importance of being second – PLOS-wide edition. Our blog post around a wider scooping protection for authors, now at all PLOS journals.


Webinar: Building a Sustainable Research Infrastructure – What Comes Next? Tomorrow, April 21 at 11am EDT. Fees apply.

Cooperative Non-APC Publishing Models. Webinar by AmeliCA, Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Coalition Publica, OpenAIRE. May 11 at 16:00 CEST.


Alexandra Vance has been confirmed as AIP Publishing’s new CEO. Congratulations!