Issue 7

Open Science Newsletter


How well are the top US non-commercial funders of clinical trials enforcing that those follow transparency measures? It is mixed when it comes to trial registration, access to summary results, and individual patient data availability. Of 9 funders, 66% have a policy addressing all three of those areas. Published in JAMA Network Open.

The COMPare team led by Ben Goldacre has checked clinical trials published by some of the top medical journals for undeclared outcome switching, which can affect the correctness and strength of a trial. Only 58.2% of clinical trials checked reported their specified outcomes. 

The DARIAH Open blog has launched. “A single space where information around the emerging landscape of Open Humanities can be disseminated, discussed and evaluated.”


The European University Association has released a preview of their second survey of its members on big deals with science publishers. “The preliminary results show that more than one billion euros are spent every year across Europe in electronic resources, of which more than 700 million go to periodicals alone.”

Plan S: India is joining cOAltion S, per tweets from the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. And, “India will negotiate for fees normalised to India”, as mentioned in the same tweet chain.  


The death toll from the latest ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached 500, with 100 of them children.


A proposal for the future of scientific publishing in the life sciences” by HHMI’s Bodo M. Stern and Erin K. O’Shea in PLOS Biology. From the abstract: “We believe that a ‘publish first, curate second’ approach with the following features would be a strong alternative: authors decide when and what to publish; peer review reports are published, either anonymously or with attribution; and curation occurs after publication, incorporating community feedback and expert judgment to select articles for target audiences and to evaluate whether scientific work has stood the test of time.”

Related to this theme, bioRxiv will soon introduce a data availability tab, which is great news in support of data sharing. As outlined in last week’s newsletter, the trend appears to be towards a blurring of the boundary between posting and publishing of preprints/papers. As Stern and O’Shea advocate, publishing of research results should be separate from a study’s assessment. They also support transparent and collaborative peer review, done in a manner that is journal-agnostic and independent of a study’s perceived importance, and their concept is in favor of publishing platforms versus journal brands. Although, journal-agnostic peer review and journal brands may not necessarily be mutually exclusive.

Maintaining high research integrity standards at PLOS ONE” — a blog post on the work of the PLOS ONE Publication Ethics team, along with data on case distributions. By Renee Hoch, Senior Editor, Team Manager for Publication Ethics at PLOS ONE.


Open Science Conference, Berlin, 19-20 March 2019.


NASA’s Opportunity rover has been declared dead. This large, detailed map in The New York Times shows the highlights of the rover’s 14-year mission traveling 28 miles across Mars.

Take the ORCID Community Survey 2019.