“Global-south scientists say that an open-access movement led by wealthy nations deprives them of credit and undermines their efforts….
But a growing faction of scientists, mostly from wealthy nations, argues that sequences should be shared on databases with no gatekeeping at all. They say this would allow huge analyses combining hundreds of thousands of genomes from different databases to flow seamlessly, and therefore deliver results more rapidly.
The debate has caught the attention of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) — which runs its own genome repository, called GenBank — and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has considered encouraging grantees to share on sites without such strong protections, Nature has learnt.
But many researchers — particularly those in resource-limited countries — are pushing back. They tell Nature that they see potential for exploitation in this no-strings-attached approach — and that GISAID’s gatekeeping is one of its biggest attractions because it ensures that users who analyse sequences from GISAID acknowledge those who deposited them. The database also requests that users seek to collaborate with the depositors….
Fears of inequitable data use are amplified by the fact that only 0.3% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to low-income countries. “Imagine Africans working so hard to contribute to a database that’s used to make or update vaccines, and then we don’t get access to the vaccines,” says Christian Happi, a microbiologist at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Ede, Nigeria. “It’s very demoralizing.” …”
“Ten months into the NIH Preprint Pilot, more than 2,100 preprints reporting NIH-supported research on COVID-19 are now discoverable in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. Through early April 2021, these records have been viewed more than 1 million times in each of these databases (1.4 million in PMC; 1 million in PubMed). Of the preprints included in the pilot, ~60% are currently discoverable only as a preprint version, having not yet been linked to a published article. All articles are clearly identified as preprints. Preprints may be selected or excluded in searches by using the preprint filter.
The pilot launched in June 2020 with preprint records from medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, ChemRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN. Phase 1 has focused on improving the discoverability of preprints relating to the ongoing public health emergency and accelerating dissemination of NIH-supported research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. This narrowly scoped first phase has allowed the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to streamline curation and ingest workflows for NIH-supported preprints and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there has been high demand for accelerated access and discovery. Since launching the pilot, NLM has made display of preprint records in PubMed search results more transparent. We have also automated checks for new preprint versions and preprint withdrawals, and reduced the steps required to report preprints as products of awards in My Bibliography….”
The United States has mobilized the full force of its clinical research enterprise to address the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating billions of dollars to support timely research. As of January 2021, for example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had issued nearly a thousand awards cumulatively worth roughly $2 billion to support Covid-19 projects ranging from the development of medical products (including diagnostics and vaccines) to evaluations of population-specific risk factors and outcomes.1 Such initiatives, which have yielded new technologies and important evidence, illustrate the value of robust scientific infrastructure.
Abstract: In April 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented the Public Access Policy (PAP), which mandated that the full text of NIH-supported articles be made freely available on PubMed Central – the NIH’s repository of biomedical research. This paper uses 600,000 NIH articles and a matched comparison sample to examine how the PAP impacted researcher access to the biomedical literature and publishing patterns in biomedicine. Though some estimates allow for large citation increases after the PAP, the most credible estimates suggest that the PAP had a relatively modest effect on citations, which is consistent with most researchers having widespread access to the biomedical literature prior to the PAP, leaving little room to increase access. I also find that NIH articles are more likely to be published in traditional subscription-based journals (as opposed to ‘open access’ journals) after the PAP. This indicates that any discrimination the PAP induced, by subscription-based journals against NIH articles, was offset by other factors – possibly the decisions of editors and submission behaviour of authors.
“NLM has created a new resource for librarians: the NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit. This toolkit provides information and resources about the NIH Preprint Pilot, NLM’s latest project to increase the early discoverability of NIH-supported research results.
What’s a preprint? A preprint is a complete and public draft of a scientific document that has not yet gone through peer review. During this pilot, NLM is making preprints that result from research funded by NIH available via PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. The first phase of the pilot focuses on preprints about COVID-19.
The NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit has a variety of resources for librarians and other health professionals to learn about the role, access, and use of preprints. The toolkit includes an overview of the preprint pilot project, information for NIH investigators, preprint educational materials, journal preprint policies, and preprint peer review tools….”
Abstract: Data-Sharing Rule Finalized: Beginning in January 2023, all biomedical researchers newly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to share data from their studies or explain why they are unable to do so. The new policy updates a 2003 requirement. Challenges in Achieving Replicability: The replicability of evidence for scientific claims is an important element in achieving scientific progress. Knowledge accumulation depends on reliable past findings to generate new ideas and extensions that can advance understanding. Disappearing Journals: Scholarly journals are supposed to provide a lasting record of science. Over the past two decades, however, 176 open-access journals and many papers appearing in them have disappeared from the Internet. The Conundrum of Academic Publishing: Academic publishing is in flux. Historically, dissemination of research through academic journals has been based on paid library or institutional subscriptions, with most content held behind a paywall. That is now changing with a global call for open access, a model of scholarly communication intended to increase accessibility of research results to the reader.
“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is issuing this final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy) to promote the management and sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research. This Policy establishes the requirements of submission of Data Management and Sharing Plans (hereinafter Plans) and compliance with NIH Institute, Center, or Office (ICO)-approved Plans. It also emphasizes the importance of good data management practices and establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions. This Policy applies to research funded or conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data….”
“The extraordinary effort to speed the development of treatments and vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put into sharp relief the need for the global science community to share scientific data openly. As the world’s largest funder of biomedical research, NIH is addressing this need with a new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing. This policy requires researchers to plan prospectively for managing and sharing scientific data generated with NIH funds. This policy also establishes the baseline expectation that data sharing is a fundamental component of the research process, which is in line with NIH’s longstanding commitment to making the research it funds available to the public….”
“Speaking virtually from London to a group of more than 120 NIH employees at a recent NIH Data Science Town Hall sponsored by the Office of Data Science Strategy, Dr. Mark Hahnel said, “To get the most out of science, research data needs to be as open as possible, as closed as necessary.”
For Hahnel, “open as possible” means data that is published openly and well-described. It also means educating researchers on the importance of data-sharing and the tools available to them….”