Issue 69

Image of the disc around the star AB Aurigae


The preprint server EarthArXiv has announced that it is moving to the California Digital Library, supported by the Janeway platform. The preprint server has previously terminated its agreement with the Center for Open Science. 


Taking a Big Bite Out of the Big Deal. Lisa Hinchliffe has interviewed Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem for Scholarly Kitchen on Unsub, a tool that helps libraries assessing the value gained (or not) from their subscription deals with publishers.

Elsevier has reached an open science publishing agreement with Dutch universities. The contract improves for open access publishing of participating institutions and includes extra provisions for research data around impact metrics of the papers published. Obviously it is a deal that both parties have agreed on, yet concerns have been raised as to the ramifications of the pilots around research intelligence services that are part of the contract.

Springer Nature have signed DORA for its entire journal portfolio. Noteworthy for being the largest publisher to date to sign up to the agreement. Great to see this advance!


Harvard makes its online course for incoming law school students freely available to all law schools this summer. Harvard intended to charge subscribing law schools, but has waived fees in light of the COVID pandemic. This appears to further strengthen their online education brand. 

The US CDC has issued recommendations for institutions of higher education to slow the spread of COVID-19. Approaches by universities vary widely across constituencies, as Cambridge University has announced that all lectures for the next academic year will be online only.

Peer reviewed data from the remdesivir trial to treat COVID-19 patients has been published. It claims that treatment times are shorter when using the drug. Improvements in overall mortality are statistically insignificant, so remain unproven at least until studied further. Paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine

On the other hand: Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says. The retrospective study based on the analysis of 96,000 patients is published in The Lancet


The 15th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing will take place online on 18 – 19 November.


Crossref is inviting expressions of interest to join its Board of Directors.

Image of the disc around the star AB Aurigae
This image shows the disc around the young AB Aurigae star, where ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has spotted signs of planet birth. Close to the centre of the image, in the inner region of the disc, we see the ‘twist’ (in very bright yellow) that scientists believe marks the spot where a planet is forming. This twist lies at about the same distance from the AB Aurigae star as Neptune from the Sun. The image was obtained with the VLT’s SPHERE instrument in polarised light.

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope has observed signs of a star system forming around a new star. The bright yellow spot (‘twist’) in the center of the disk structure appears to be a planet forming. It is as distant from its star as Neptune is from the Sun.
Credit (CC-BY): Paper by ESO/Boccaletti et al.