Charting a path in Open Science towards diversity, equity, and inclusion

“Our definition of Open is one that invites all researchers to contribute, learn from, and build on scientific discoveries, no matter where you are in the world.

Listen to our Co-Editors-in-Chief’s discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in Open Science from the field of Global Public Health…”

A Frankfurt Masterclass: PLOS, CCC, and How Open Is Open Access?

“The program looks at the nonprofit open-access publisher  Public Library of Science, better known in the acronym-laden world of scholarly publishing as PLOS.

As the program’s promotional descriptive material puts it, the center of PLOS’ approach is its “community action publishing” model, called CAP, which “relies on a flexible, sophisticated workflow that enables authors to publish open access easily, with or without funding under a formal PLOS publishing agreement.” …

“We really need to think about the missing voices,” says [Niamh O’Connor]. “Research is a global, collaborative enterprise. And we really need, as we transition to an open science future, to keep asking ourselves, open for whom? Because openness in itself, while valuable, doesn’t tackle all of the inequality in scholarly communications. It doesn’t increase inclusion, and the need for universal and equitable access to scientific knowledge and education is super-important.” …”

OSF Preprints | A survey of funders’ and institutions’ needs for understanding researchers’ open research practices

Abstract:  A growing number of research-performing organisations (institutions) and funding agencies have policies that support open research practices — sharing of research data, code and software. However, funders and institutions lack sufficient tools, time or resources to monitor compliance with these policies.

  To better understand funder and institution needs related to understanding open research practices of researchers, we targeted funders and institutions with a survey in 2020 and received 122 completed responses. Our survey assessed and scored, (from 0-100), the importance of and satisfaction with 17 factors associated with understanding open research practices. This includes things such as knowing if a research paper includes links to research data in a repository; knowing if a research grant made code available in a public repository; knowing if research data were made available in a reusable form; and knowing reasons why research data are not publicly available. Half of respondents had tried to evaluate researchers’ open research practices in the past and 78% plan to do this in the future. The most common method used to find out if researchers are practicing open research was personal contact with researchers and the most common reason for doing it was to increase their knowledge of researchers’ sharing practices (e.g. determine current state of sharing; track changes in practices over time; compare different departments/disciplines). The results indicate that nearly all of the 17 factors we asked about in the survey were underserved. The mean importance of all factors to respondents was 71.7, approaching the 75 threshold of “very important”. The average satisfaction of all factors was 41.3, indicating a negative level of satisfaction with ability to complete these tasks. The results imply an opportunity for better solutions to meet these needs. The growth of policies and requirements for making research data and code available does not appear to be matched with solutions for determining if these policies have been complied with. We conclude that publishers can better support some of the needs of funders and institutions by introducing simple solutions such as: – Mandatory data availability statements (DAS) in research articles – Not permitting generic “data available on request” statements – Enabling and encouraging the use of data repositories and other methods that make data available in a more reusable way – Providing visible links to research data on publications – Making information available on data and code sharing practices in publications available to institutions and funding agencies – Extending policies that require transparency in sharing of research data, to sharing of code

How can publishers better meet the open research needs of funders and institutions?

“Publishers investing in simple solutions in their workflows can help to better meet the needs of funders and institutions who wish to support open research practices, research released this week by PLOS concludes.

Policies can be an effective solution for changing research culture and practice. A growing number of research-performing organisations (institutions) and funding agencies have policies that support open research practices — sharing of research data, code and software — as do publishers. Seeking to deepen our understanding of funder and institution needs related to open research, we surveyed more than 100 funders and institutions in 2020. We wanted to know if they are evaluating how researchers share data and code, how they are doing it, why they are doing it, and how satisfied they are with their ability to get these tasks done. Our results are available as a preprint along with an anonymised dataset….

Simple solutions more publishers could provide include:

Mandatory Data Availability Statements (DAS) in all relevant publications.
Across the STM industry around 15% of papers include a DAS. Since we introduced our data availability policy in 2014, 100% of PLOS research articles include a DAS.
Supporting researchers to provide information on why research data (and code) are not publicly available with their publications.
Time and again “data available on request” has been shown to be ineffective at supporting new research — and is not permitted in PLOS journals. 
Enabling and encouraging the use of data repositories.
Recommending the use of data repositories is a useful step, but making them easily and freely accessible — integrated into the publishing process — can be even more effective. Rates of repository use are higher in journals that partner closely with repositories and remove cost barriers to their use.
Providing visible links to research data on publications. Many researchers also struggle to find data they can reuse, hence PLOS will soon be experimenting with improving this functionality in our articles, and integrating the Dryad repository with submission….”


Wellcome Trust awards PLOS a grant to test ways to increase sharing and discovery of research data – The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS has been awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust’s 2021 Open Research Fund to accelerate development and testing of new solutions that promote and reward open science. PLOS Pathogens will be piloting the latest version of the Dryad data repository, provided free of charge to authors and integrated into the publishing experience, along with prominent visual links on publications designed to incentivise open research practices….”

Inclusion: Monday’s full program – PLOS

“Open Access licensing allows all researchers, practitioners and students to read the latest scientific advances without a subscription, immediately upon publication. Sharing research artifacts like detailed methods, raw data, and code helps to contextualize the work, deepen understanding, and facilitate reproduction and adaptation. Together, expanded access and improved documentation enable more researchers to apply knowledge. Draw inspiration. And contribute their own insight and advances to the scientific record….

A conversation to help us understand the importance of DEI consideration in Open Science, via learnings and insights from the field of Global Health….”

Our Commitment to Price Transparency – The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS is committed to transparency in all its forms—from our Open Science practices that we urge our authors to adopt, to providing our community clear insight into our journals and activities. Last year, Plan S provided a pilot opportunity for the latter through their Price & Service Transparency Framework which becomes a requirement for Plan S compliance in July 2022. We have committed to participate in and share our reporting from that framework each year and we are once again sharing our price transparency data in the spreadsheet and chart below. Read on for more details of how the framework has changed and what that means for PLOS. …”

Scientists for Open Science 2021 – PLOS

“Open Science is core to PLOS’ mission, but it’s you, the research community, who defines what Openness really means.

We’ve assembled experts, gathered resources, and launched conversations we hope will continue over the coming months.

With you, we’ll explore the drivers behind Open Science, emerging trends, obstacles and experiences—all with the aim of increasing awareness and support, and developing better solutions….”

Making Strides in Research Reporting – The Official PLOS Blog

“PLOS keeps a watchful and enthusiastic eye on emerging research, and we update our policies as needed to address new challenges and opportunities that surface. In doing so, we work to advance our core mission and values aimed at transforming research communication and promoting Open Science. 

Here, I summarize a few key updates we made between 2016-2021….”

An easier way to submit research at PLOS – The Official PLOS Blog

“What is Format-Free Submission?

Format-free submission is part of our 3-step submission process which includes:

Initial submission. Participating journals waive all formatting requirements and will request formatting changes only after initial editorial evaluation or initial peer review depending on the journal. Simply upload your manuscript in a single PDF file (which can include text and figures) and submit to the journal’s online submission system. 

Editorial assessment. Our editors and reviewers review and provide initial feedback on your submission as quickly as possible.

Full submission. Make any additional formatting changes only after initial feedback is received. 

Together, these 3 steps are designed to help ease initial submission so you spend as little time in the article submission process as possible. …”

Global Equity Model – PLOS

“Institutions who partner with PLOS through our Global Equity model pay an annual flat fee per journal to ensure researchers at their institution who wish to publish in PLOS Climate, PLOS Global Public Health, and/or PLOS Water never face publication fees at those journals. Institutional participation fees are based on each institution’s historical research output in the field and are reflective of their regional economy according to their country’s World Bank lending tier….”

Extending support for preprint sharing – The Official PLOS Blog

“All PLOS journals welcome submission of papers that have been shared as preprints. PLOS was amongst the first publishers to adopt this policy, as we recognise the value in early sharing of community-curated research, a value borne out in the COVID pandemic.

As well as our permissive policy on preprints, we support preprint posting by authors by partnering with preprint services that are relevant to and adopted by a journal’s community. To this end, PLOS’ new journals, which opened for submissions in May 2021, now welcome submissions directly from bioRxiv and/or medRxiv, two of the most widely adopted preprint servers for biology and medicine, respectively.

Bidirectional links between PLOS journal articles and preprints at bioRxiv and medRxiv also help assure readers of the credibility (trustworthiness) of preprints that have been published in peer-reviewed journals….”

Vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation – Latitude

“Our vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is to present the broadest diversity of evidence-based solutions from around the world, to empower the transformation of countries and companies towards more sustainable development models, and to capitalize on emerging opportunities….

A key feature of PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is open science, which allows the research findings and thought leadership of our authors to reach a much wider readership and to inform policies and decisions in the government and corporate sectors….”

Boldly growing: PLOS’ new titles and business model update for institutions

“With PLOS’ recent announcement of five new titles in April, PLOS is keen to introduce our newest titles and business model to the library community.

Join PLOS’ outreach, publishing, and partnerships teams for an introduction to these new titles and PLOS’ newest non-APC based, equity-focused business model.

You can learn more about the rationale for launching new titles on the PLOS blog:
and recent coverage from Nature:

This webinar is open to libraries, consortia, and PLOS institutional partners and registration is required….”