Clickbait or conspiracy? How Twitter users address the epistemic uncertainty of a controversial preprint – Mareike Bauer, Maximilian Heimstädt, Carlos Franzreb, Sonja Schimmler, 2023

Abstract:  Many scientists share preprints on social media platforms to gain attention from academic peers, policy-makers, and journalists. In this study we shed light on an unintended but highly consequential effect of sharing preprints: Their contribution to conspiracy theories. Although the scientific community might quickly dismiss a preprint as insubstantial and ‘clickbaity’, its uncertain epistemic status nevertheless allows conspiracy theorists to mobilize the text as scientific support for their own narratives. To better understand the epistemic politics of preprints on social media platforms, we studied the case of a biomedical preprint, which was shared widely and discussed controversially on Twitter in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Using a combination of social network analysis and qualitative content analysis, we compared the structures of engagement with the preprint and the discursive practices of scientists and conspiracy theorists. We found that despite substantial engagement, scientists were unable to dampen the conspiracy theorists’ enthusiasm for the preprint. We further found that members from both groups not only tried to reduce the preprint’s epistemic uncertainty but sometimes deliberately maintained it. The maintenance of epistemic uncertainty helped conspiracy theorists to reinforce their group’s identity as skeptics and allowed scientists to express concerns with the state of their profession. Our study contributes to research on the intricate relations between scientific knowledge and conspiracy theories online, as well as the role of social media platforms for new genres of scholarly communication.


Biomedical Publisher Future Science Group Joins Taylor & Francis

“Knowledge services provider Taylor & Francis has today announced the addition of Future Science Group (FSG), publisher of medical, biotechnological and scientific research. As well as bringing a portfolio of cutting-edge journals and digital hubs, FSG’s leading publishing solutions program will enable Taylor & Francis to offer researchers and medical communication planners a host of additional services. Taylor & Francis now becomes the fourth largest publisher of pharma-funded research, with the addition of 32 peer-reviewed FSG journals and five digital hubs. These complement the existing range of over 340 Taylor & Francis medical and healthcare journals, including the Expert Collection, which is the world’s largest series of review journals in research, development and clinical medicine. FSG publications represent many of the most important and fast-growing fields of scientific, medical and pharmaceutical research, including oncology, medicinal chemistry, immunotherapy, microbiology, nanomedicine and biotechnology. Researchers can choose to publish open access (OA) in all FSG journals, with 15 titles fully OA.”

Open Science at PLOS Pathogens | PLOS Pathogens

“The pathogens research community has driven, and benefited from, Open Science. As a leader in the field, PLOS Pathogens strives to advance community-rooted adoption of practices that enable transparency, rapid communication, reproducibility, and trust in research, and help to transform research globally. A key vision of PLOS Pathogens is to facilitate widespread adoption of Open Science to accelerate and improve research that is rigorous and trustworthy and to ensure its meaningful impact on lives.”

Discrepancies in Open Access Fees within Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmaceutics Journals

Abstract:  Modern science has been transformed by open access (OA) publishing levied a significant economic burden on the authors. This article analyzes the discrepancies among OA publication fees in pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmaceutics. The observations comprise 160 OA journals and their corresponding Q ranking, SJR, H index, impact factor, country, and cost of publication. The OA fees were found to depend on the quality matrices, which was unexpected. Differences in OA fees raise ethical questions as OA fees are meant to cover the publication charges by the publishers or generate more revenues by taking advantage of the authors’ temptation to publish in high-impact journals. Despite our findings being based on limited sample size and belonging to a particular field (pharmacy), it will shed considerable light on the issue of discrepancies among APCs charged by OA journals.

Does openness of articles get higher attention in altmetric? An investigation of medical discipline | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aimed to explore the presence of altmetric data across the sub-categories of the medical science discipline and also explore whether the openness of articles results in (dis)advantage for altmetrics mentions.


The research implies data carpentry methods for gathering bibliographic data related to narrow fields of medical science discipline from the Scopus database with at least one Indian author affiliation during 2012–2021. The corresponding data were also collected from three different sources:, and, using OpenRefine and REST/API calls. Further, the authors observed open access altmetric advantages (OAAA) and categorical OAAA (COAAA) across seven altmetric platforms for all articles as well as discipline-wise.


The result shows that the overall coverage of altmetric events is still low, but it shows an increasing trend from the past. Mendeley has the largest coverage; almost 97.12% of publications are covered. The health policy discipline has extensive coverage across altmetric platforms (nearly 57.40% of publications in altmetrics and 99.23% in Mendeley), whereas the drug guides has the lowest (almost 0.92% in Altmetrics and 77.05% in Mendeley). Moreover, the OA articles have been highly covered in altmetrics than those of non-OA articles, and bronze OA articles covered mostly compared to others. News registered with the significant OA altmetric advantages across disciplines. Categorically, bronze and hybrid OA have the largest altmetric advantages.


This research is a unique attempt to apply OAAA and COAAA to explore OA altmetric advantages of narrow subject categories of medical science disciplines.

CIPSI: an open chemical intellectual property service for medicinal chemists.

Abstract:  The availability of patent chemical data offers public access to a chemical space that is not well covered by other sources collecting small molecules from scholarly literature. However, open applications to facilitate the search and analysis of biologically-relevant molecular structures present in patents are still largely missing. We have developed CIPSI, an open Chemical Intellectual Property Service @ IMIM to assist medicinal chemists in searching and analysing molecules in SureChEMBL patents. The current version contains 6,240,500 molecules from 236,689 pharmacological patents, of which 5,949,214 are confidently assigned to core chemical structures reminiscent of the Markush structure in the patent claim. The platform includes some graphical tools to facilitate comparative patent analyses between drugs, chemical substructures, and company assignees. CIPSI is available at [](

CIPSI: an open chemical intellectual property service for medicinal chemists – PubMed

Abstract:  The availability of patent chemical data offers public access to a chemical space that is not well covered by other sources collecting small molecules from scholarly literature. However, open applications to facilitate the search and analysis of biologically-relevant molecular structures present in patents are still largely missing. We have developed CIPSI, an open Chemical Intellectual Property Service @ IMIM to assist medicinal chemists in searching and analysing molecules in SureChEMBL patents. The current version contains 6,240,500 molecules from 236,689 pharmacological patents, of which 5,949,214 are confidently assigned to core chemical structures reminiscent of the Markush structure in the patent claim. The platform includes some graphical tools to facilitate comparative patent analyses between drugs, chemical substructures, and company assignees. CIPSI is available at [](


A new era of Open Access for the Journal of Infection – Journal of Infection

“January 2024 is a watershed moment for the British Infection Association (BIA) and the Journal of Infection, a title which is owned by the BIA and published by Elsevier. Since its inception in 1979, the Journal has been a subscription journal, with income mostly derived from institutional and personal subscriptions. Any profits in the form of royalties have been used by the Association for academic activities, including educational grants, research grants, and meetings. The advantage of the subscription model has been a reliable income supporting the production of the Journal. The downside, shared by all subscription journals, is the paywall, which requires readers to pay for access if they or their institution do not subscribe. Not only is this inequitable, but it also diminishes the dissemination of authors’ work. Furthermore, it is a paradox that most of the work that is published is ultimately funded by the general public via taxation and the general economy but is restricted from universal consumption and impact—why shouldn’t everyone have direct and immediate access to work done on their behalf, and funded by them? In this context, we are delighted that the Journal of Infection this month will flip from subscription to open access.”

Open access and the future of the IJTLD [International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease]

“Our considered response to this changing publishing landscape is to continue to maintain a subscription journal (the IJTLD), but to also launch a new OA journal (IJTLD Open). This approach is fully supported by the Union Board as it will allow us to preserve a platform for authors in LMICs, while also having a fully compliant OA journal for enhanced coverage of TB and lung disease….

We are also aware that many recently launched OA journals are perceived to be of lower quality. To protect the reputation of our journals, IJTLD Open will share the same values, scope and Editorial Board as its sister title, with an identical peer review process and acceptance criteria….

The only change will occur after a paper has been accepted: authors with funding for OA will be published in IJTLD Open; those without will be published in the IJTLD….”

Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Open Science Practices at Imaging Journals: A Meta-Research Study – Mohammed Kashif Al-Ghita, Kelly Cobey, David Moher, Mariska M.G. Leeflang, Sanam Ebrahimzadeh, Eric Lam, Paul Rooprai, Ahmed Al Khalil, Nabil Islam, Hamza Algodi, Haben Dawit, Robert Adamo, Mahdi Zeghal, Matthew D.F. McInnes, 2023

Abstract:  Objective: To evaluate open science policies of imaging journals, and compliance to these policies in published articles. Methods: From imaging journals listed we extracted open science policy details: protocol registration, reporting guidelines, funding, ethics and conflicts of interest (COI), data sharing, and open access publishing. The 10 most recently published studies from each journal were assessed to determine adherence to these policies. We calculated the proportion of open science policies into an Open Science Score (OSS) for all journals and articles. We evaluated relationships between OSS and journal/article level variables. Results: 82 journals/820 articles were included. The OSS of journals and articles was 58.3% and 31.8%, respectively. Of the journals, 65.9% had registration and 78.1% had reporting guideline policies. 79.3% of journals were members of COPE, 81.7% had plagiarism policies, 100% required disclosure of funding, and 97.6% required disclosure of COI and ethics approval. 81.7% had data sharing policies and 15.9% were fully open access. 7.8% of articles had a registered protocol, 8.4% followed a reporting guideline, 77.4% disclosed funding, 88.7% disclosed COI, and 85.6% reported ethics approval. 12.3% of articles shared their data. 51% of articles were available through open access or as a preprint. OSS was higher for journal with DOAJ membership (80% vs 54.2%; P < .0001). Impact factor was not correlated with journal OSS. Knowledge synthesis articles has a higher OSS scores (44.5%) than prospective/retrospective studies (32.6%, 30.0%, P < .0001). Conclusion: Imaging journals endorsed just over half of open science practices considered; however, the application of these practices at the article level was lower.


Full article: Open science gathers momentum: Implications for medical and scientific research

“The open science movement has fueled the development of public access options, including open access journals, preprint servers, open peer review, and open data and data repositories. Journals that have paywalls are often hybrid models that offer authors ways to make their articles available through “gold” open access and “green” open access options (


To address the growing requirements for public access, journal publishers are implementing new peer-reviewed article types that support the objectives of open science by extending access to relevant assets such as datasets, research protocols, and advances in research methods, toward the goal of fostering new collaborations across disciplines….”

AI writes summaries of preprints in bioRxiv trial

“The bioRxiv pilot is part of a broader trend of using LLMs to help researchers — and the public — keep afloat in the tsunami of scientific literature. The physics-focused preprint server arXiv uses AI to generate audio summaries of some papers, and publishers and funders are starting to roll out features that allow users to ‘talk to a paper’ through a chatbot….

Before rolling out the service, Sever and his colleagues evaluated several dozen summaries produced by the tool. Most were pretty good, he says, and some were even better than the abstracts scientists had written. Others included clear falsehoods. “We know there are going to be errors in these things,” Sever says….

If the pilot becomes a fully fledged service, bioRxiv might look at routinely involving authors in proofreading and approving the content, Sever says. For now, to minimize the consequences of errors, the pilot is not being rolled out to medRxiv, a sister medical-research preprint server run by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, the London-based publisher BMJ and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. MedRxiv studies typically have clinical relevance, and errors could guide patient behaviour. By limiting the pilot to bioRxiv, says Sever, “the consequences of being wrong are more that somebody might feel misled or misunderstand a fairly arcane study in cell biology”. …”

Exploring how members of the public access and use health research and information: a scoping review – PMC

Abstract:  Background

Making high-quality health and care information available to members of the general public is crucial to support populations with self-care and improve health outcomes. While attention has been paid to how the public accesses and uses health information generally (including personal records, commercial product information or reviews on healthcare practitioners and organisations) and how practitioners and policy-makers access health research evidence, no overview exists of the way that the public accesses and uses high quality health and care information.


This scoping review aimed to map research evidence on how the public accesses and uses a specific type of health information, namely health research and information that does not include personal, product and organisational information.


Electronic database searches [CINAHL Plus, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Social Sciences Full Text, Web of Science and SCOPUS] for English language studies of any research design published between 2010–2022 on the public’s access and use of health research or information (as defined above). Data extraction and analysis was informed by the Joanna Briggs Institute protocol for scoping reviews, and reported in accordance with the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews.


The search identified 4410 records. Following screening of 234 full text studies, 130 studies were included. One-hundred-and-twenty-nine studies reported on the public’s sources of health-research or information; 56 reported the reasons for accessing health research or information and 14 reported on the use of this research and information. The scoping exercise identified a substantial literature on the broader concept of ‘health information’ but a lack of reporting of the general public’s access to and use of health research. It found that ‘traditional’ sources of information are still relevant alongside newer sources; knowledge of barriers to accessing information focused on personal barriers and on independent searching, while less attention had been paid to barriers to access through other people and settings, people’s lived experiences, and the cultural knowledge required.


The review identified areas where future primary and secondary research would enhance current understanding of how the public accesses and utilises health research or information, and contribute to emerging areas of research.

Request for Information (RFI): Inviting Comments and Suggestions on Opportunities and Challenges for the Collection, Use, and Sharing of Real-World Data (RWD) including Electronic Health Records, for NIH Supported Biomedical and Behavioral Research | Data Science at NIH

“Researchers are increasingly using data collected in real-world settings to augment traditional research studies as well as develop more effective treatments and interventions for patients. These “real-world data (RWD)”, defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are data relating to patient health status and/or the delivery of health care routinely collected from a variety of sources. Examples of RWD include data derived from electronic health records, medical claims data, data from product or disease registries, and data gathered from other sources (such as digital health technologies) that can inform on health status. While these data hold tremendous promise for biomedical and behavioral research, they can be collected from a variety of sources through multiple mechanisms, creating challenges for researchers and questions for those whose data are being shared.

Importantly, NIH is committed to ensuring participant privacy and autonomy are protected in all NIH supported research. As NIH establishes health-related research data platforms that include access to RWD, NIH continues to prioritize maximizing data access while upholding participant preferences regarding the collection and use of their data. Most recently, through a NIH Director Advisory Committee, NIH met with stakeholders to understand their perspectives on benefits and risks of combining and using human datasets, particularly from disparate sources (e.g., research and non-research settings) and how their data should be used in biomedical research. NIH will continue working to incorporate these perspectives in its research studies to build trust and honor participant preferences. Input requested on this RFI will be used to inform NIH’s continuing development of guidance on the use of RWD for research and assist in the planning for appropriate mechanisms and programs for research with RWD.”