Issue 70

Open Science Newsletter

Black Lives Matter. The past few weeks have once again shown that we continue to face racism and widespread discrimination of persons of color in our society. This extends into academia or publishing as well, where persons of color lack access. Just look around you. Even access to an open research infrastructure can be a challenge, let along participation in it. We all must take active steps to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in open research. As I pledge to do for this newsletter. 


The twitter hashtag #BlackintheIvory is highlighting some of the everyday struggles by persons of color in academia. As a more positive outlook, the hashtags #BlackAndSTEM, #BlackInNature and #BlackBirdersWeek have provided wonderful portraits of researchers of color.

Charting the digital transformation of science. The OECD has published the findings from its survey of scientific authors. Interesting data on the uptake of open access and open science initiatives in various disciplines. For example, about 40% of authors use repositories to share data or code and about 35% of research projects generate new code or software.

Publishers Sue Internet Archive For ‘Mass Copyright Infringement’. In issue 61 two months ago I reported about the Internet Archive lifting its waitlist for ebooks, making the books widely accessible. Now a number of book publishers have sued the Internet Archive. Court documents here.

Springer Nature and Figshare are running its State of Open Data Survey 2020. The survey closes on 23 July.

African scientists leverage open hardware. This Nature report by Abdullahi Tsanni explores how open hardware can assist research in Africa.


The White House Office of Science and Technology has released the Public Responses Received for Request for Information 85 FR 9488: Public Access to PeerReviewed Scholarly Publications, Data, and Code Resulting from Federally-Funded Research. Now that the responding organizations’ viewpoints are public, we await next steps.

Will the pandemic permanently alter scientific publishing? The news feature in Nature by Ewen Callaway highlights the increased speed of research communication via preprints and rapid peer review, but also the potential financial pressures on the industry. With respect to speed, of course it will be important not to cut corners in the review process either.

Oxford University Press have reached a read & publish agreement with a number of Chinese organizations


Digital Science have released a report on how COVID-19 is changing research culture. It provides a snapshot at COVID-related research outputs and research funding.

A study on the effects of hydroxychloroquine published by The Lancet (and mentioned in the last newsletter issue) has been retracted, along with another study by some of the same authors in The New England Journal of Medicine. In both instances questions had been raised around the original data, which was not published at the time of publication. In both cases, no further information is available on the peer review process, such as published reviewer reports or even the duration of the review process.

jobRxiv has been launched as a free academic job board.

A major melt of ice sheets in Greenland has begun again. It follows a similar melt last year. 


OASPA Webinar: Scholarly Communication & COVID-19. On 24th June, 2020, at 3 pm BST.

The International Conference on ICT enhanced Social Sciences and Humanities (ICTeSSH) is taking place online from 29 June to 1 July. It has a number of open science related presentations.