Issue 66

Open Science Newsletter


The COVID-19 working group at the Research Data Alliance has released an update to its recommendations and guidelines. The document can be found here. Comments are invited.

Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility in Biomedical Research Through Transparent Reporting. Report from a workshop by the US National Academies.

eLife has announced the projects for its Innovation Sprint. Application deadline is May 24. 

Open science takes on the coronavirus pandemic. Feature by Mark Zastrow in Nature.


COVID-19 Publishers Open Letter of Intent – Rapid Review. A joint initiative by publishers and scholarly communications organizations to ensure an efficient peer review of COVID-19 submissions. The initiative includes a shared reviewer pool, portable peer review between publishers and a support of open science principles such as data sharing and preprint deposition. Signatories are eLife, F1000 Research, GigaScience, Hindawi, PeerJ, PLOS, Royal Society, FAIRsharing, Outbreak Science Rapid PREreview.

The rush to submit and publish papers on COVID-19 is surfacing flaws in the system reports Jackie Flynn Morgensen in Mother Jones. Whilst peer review of COVID-19 submissions has often been remarkably fast and efficient, some problematic studies have been rushed through to publication. Usually science self-corrects itself, but for COVID the fast development and huge public interest means that this correcting process can be too slow, and this can reflect back on the journals.

Members of Neuron’s editorial board have sent a petition to Elsevier asking the publisher to transition the journal to open access. They cite the expected transition of competitor journals such as Nature Neuroscience to open access as part of Plan S.

Cancer Research UK will adopt an immediate open access policy from January 2022. The policy applies to research funded by the charity, and does include publication in hybrid and transformative journals.


In a widely anticipated ruling on copyright, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Georgia’s annotated version of state law cannot be protected under copyright law and sold. It must be provided for free. The official court ruling is available here.

The internet authority ICANN has stopped the sale of the .org domain business to a private equity firm. The proposed sale of the .org domain registry to a private equity firm has caused widespread concerns as these domains are typically used by non-profit organizations and charities.