Issue 79

Open Science Newsletter


Evolving our support for text-and-data mining. Crossref’s text and data mining click through service is closing down owing to a lack of demand. The service allows researchers to accept publisher licenses prior to commencing text mining. Solutions based at publishers, not at Crossref, have proven to be more popular.

Earlier, the LIBER Awards for Library Innovation have been announced. Congratulations to the winners from Peer Community in, Wikimedia Sweden, and the Dutch UKB.


Revisiting: A Curious Blindness Among Peer Review Initiatives. A blog post by Tim Vines in the Scholarly Kitchen that points out that organizing peer review on scale is not necessarily easy.

Swiss €57m Elsevier deal. Christian Gutknecht looks at the first eight months of the Swiss deal with Elsevier. It looks as if the country may remain significantly below its annual quote for open access articles. Only about 30% of Elsevier-published research by participating institutions is open access. And of those that are open access, the majority are published under a comparatively restrictive CC-BY-NC-ND license.

C19 Rapid Review Initiative expands to include 20 publishers and organizations. MIT Press, SpringerNature, and Cambridge University Press are amongst the new organizations that have joined the initiative.

Elsevier acquires SciBite, a company that provides AI solutions to understand data and text in the life sciences. Another move by Elsevier to expand its portfolio into services beyond publishing. According to the Financial Times, Elsevier’s parent company RELX paid about £65m for SciBite. In total, RELX spent nearly £800m on acquisitions so far this year.


Big-book theses are failing PhD students. This article in the THE (registration required) has created a bit of discussion online as to the requirements for the format of PhD theses.

This might be your most important flu shot ever. The combination of COVID-19 and the flu may create multiple problems for both, patients and the healthcare system treating them. Feature in Vox by Katherine H. Courage.

New U.S. ethics board rejects most human fetal tissue research proposals. Researchers have voiced concerns over the composition of the ethics board appointed by US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, and that this may signal a shift in human fetal tissue research. Azar has the final decision over the research proposals in question.

China’s research-misconduct rules target ‘paper mills’ that churn out fake studies. As reported in Nature, China’s science ministry is launching another attempt to crack down on research misconduct in the country. Earlier this year, Elisabeth Bik and pseudonymous collaborators have uncovered the activities of paper mills in the country, including a set of more than 400 papers that appears to be written by the same source.


CODATA and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities are organizing a workshop on Education for Data Science. It is about teaching data science in academic institutions. Presently planned for February 7 – 9, 2021 at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Jerusalem, Israel.