Bibsam announcement – The Company of Biologists

“The Company of Biologists is delighted to announce a three-year Read & Publish Open Access agreement with the Bibsam Consortium which runs from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2024.

Corresponding authors at participating institutions in Sweden can publish an uncapped number of research articles immediately Open Access (OA) in our hybrid subscription journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology) plus our fully Open Access journals (Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open) without paying an article processing charge (APC).

Researchers at participating institutions also benefit from unlimited access to our hybrid subscription journals, including their full archives dating back to 1853….”

Frontiers | The Academic, Societal and Animal Welfare Benefits of Open Science for Animal Science | Veterinary Science

Abstract:  Animal science researchers have the obligation to reduce, refine, and replace the usage of animals in research (3R principles). Adherence to these principles can be improved by transparently publishing research findings, data and protocols. Open Science (OS) can help to increase the transparency of many parts of the research process, and its implementation should thus be considered by animal science researchers as a valuable opportunity that can contribute to the adherence to these 3R-principles. With this article, we want to encourage animal science researchers to implement a diverse set of OS practices, such as Open Access publishing, preprinting, and the pre-registration of test protocols, in their workflows.

 

The Vast Library of Life: 15 Years of the BHL Portal – Biodiversity Heritage Library

“It seems like we are on an anniversary splurge. In April, I marked my 10th year as BHL Program Director. Today is a more important date in BHL history. May 9, 2007 marked the official launch of BHL content on the web. We celebrated that day with one of our first BHL blog posts (Biodiversity Heritage Library and Encyclopedia of Life Launch!). On that launch date, BHL had 306 titles, 3,236 volumes, and 1,271,664 pages of taxonomic literature. Today, BHL has grown to become a global consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries and hosts over 60 million pages and more than 281,000 volumes….”

Job: Preprint Community Manager | preLights

preLights is a preprint highlighting service that is centred around a community of early-career researchers. Launched in 2018, this initiative has gained significant attention from researchers as well as the publishing industry, being nominated for an ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing in 2019. We are now looking for the right person to join us for the next phase of community building and the site’s growth and development.

Joining an experienced and successful publishing team, this is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated team player to take a step into publishing or for someone already working in publishing to extend their interest in online communities.

Applicants will have relevant research experience, ideally a PhD in a field that features in preLights’ coverage. They should have a good understanding of the needs of scientists and the growing impact of preprints in biomedical research.

Decreasing Costs of Dissemination of Research Results by Publishing in Diamond Open Access Journals – PMC

“As always, you can read these articles for free, with neither you nor your institution having to pay for their access. The authors did not have to pay for publishing their manuscripts either. Food Technology and Biotechnology is a so-called diamond open access journal. It means that its budget is provided by financial supports of public institutions like the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, Croatian Society for Biotechnology, as well as the publisher – Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology of the University of Zagreb. Diamond open access journals constitute a rather small share of scientific journals in science communication spectrum in which the financiers are neither readers (through institutional library subscriptions), nor authors through article processing charges. Although the number of papers published in diamond OA journals is not high, they are often referred to as the publishing model of the future. The financial pattern in which journals are financed by public institutions, ministries or other state bodies like universities or professional associations avoids high charges imposed by private publishers, liberating more funds for direct research costs, or scientific infrastructure. The model is in line with the ultimate intentions announced by the cOAlition S and formulated in Plan S (1), although other business models for scientific publishing are discussed within this plan, as well. At first sight, diamond OA journals seem like the best solution both for the researchers aiming to publish their results without devoting much of their project funds for this purpose, and to those aiming to access them freely and easily. However, public financing may have pitfalls of their own. Stable long-term financing may be a problem for smaller professional associations whose income may vary significantly from year to year and may depend on the current leadership. Such societies may lose motivation to maintain a journal, particularly if it does not gain any income but whose publishing creates a significant expense. Universities and larger societies with higher annual income may prove as more stable financiers as scientific communication is a part of their ’core business’. Indeed, considering technical possibilities and informatics infrastructure in place at most universities, scientific publishing should not present a significant financial burden. Actually, most diamond access journals are indeed funded by universities (2). On the other hand, journals financed by state public institutions like ministries, public foundations or other bodies distributing public funds may depend on the current political option and their changes may lead to different political decisions reflecting on science budgets and, consequently, scientific journal financing. Besides, it should be noted that some of the high budget professional associations create most of their incomes through publishing activities, sometimes engaging large publishers for their journals. For these societies a turn towards diamond open access would require a significant change in the structure of their annual income. Thus, in a system in which a larger segment of scientific results would be published in diamond open access journals, finding stable sources of income would be a difficult but indispensable task for scientific journal publishers. This conclusion has been strongly corroborated by a large study funded by Science Europe in order to gain a better insight in the OA diamond landscape (2). The study estimated the number of diamond open access journals at around 29 000. Most of these journals are not included in DOAJ, they are smaller in size and publish less than 25 papers per year, many of them are issued annually, and most of them belong to social sciences and humanities. The majority of them are published in Europe and South America by small publishers who publish between 1 and 5 journals. More than 70% of diamond OA journals are published by universities, around 15% by publishing companies, while 10% belong to professional associations. Concerning their operation and financing, most diamond open access journals face operational challenges and rely heavily on the efforts of volunteers. As such, they declare a need to develop infrastructure and to increase funding to support their operations. Securing sufficient and stable funding from sources who would not gain profit from publishing may at least partly be facilitated by decreasing the costs and the overall budget of the journal. More than 70% of diamond OA journals have an annual budget lower than 10 000 euro. This, however, contradicts the increasing demands of the scientific community for fast, simple, and high-quality publishing process. A variety of informatics tools designed for handling manuscripts, correspondence among authors, editors and reviewers, as well as on-line publishing with concomitant abandoning printed versions may lead to less expensive dissemination of scientific results. Development of such tools and their distribution among journals, as w

ASAPbio Crowd preprint review 2022 sign-up form

“Following our trial last year, ASAPbio is running further preprint crowd review activities in 2022. Our goal is to provide an engaging environment for researchers to participate in providing feedback on preprints and support public reviews for preprints.

In 2022, we will be coordinating public reviews for different disciplines. We are pleased to say that we are collaborating with SciELO Preprints to also coordinate the review of preprints in Portuguese. This year we will cover the following disciplines:

– Cell biology preprints from bioRxiv (English)
– Biochemistry preprints from bioRxiv (English)
– Infectious diseases preprints from SciELO Preprints (Portuguese)

**This form is for reviewers who will participate in the review of preprints from bioRXiv, to sign up for the review of SciELO Preprints in Portuguese, please complete this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd0wrAa7FLrw8I1j5p9mysWrstehPqDqsn9UPjUbqrwRnQU-A/viewform

We invite researchers in the disciplines above to join our crowd preprint review activities, and particularly encourage early career researchers to participate. The activities will run for three months, from mid May to August 2022….”

The Company of Biologists connects to the OA Switchboard

“The Company of Biologists is delighted to announce a partnership with the OA Switchboard which makes it much easier for our library customers to manage their Read & Publish agreements and to monitor the success of their Open Access (OA) strategy.

Thanks to the great success of our cost-neutral Read & Publish OA initiative, there has been a significant increase in the number of research articles published immediately OA in our hybrid subscription journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science and Journal of Experimental Biology. This is excellent news, but the lack of standardisation between systems, portals and processes has created challenges, particularly in terms of reporting and data analysis.

The OA Switchboard offers a solution. A not-for-profit, independent and industry-wide initiative, the OA Switchboard provides a central multi-publisher hub for the exchange of OA-related publication-level information. It offers standardised and authoritative data for internal and external reporting and purchasing decisions. It also feeds data automatically into existing funder, institution and library systems for further integration, processing and analysis….”

How research is being transformed by open data and AI | Popular Science

“How iNaturalist can correctly recognize (most of the time, at least) different living organisms is thanks to a machine-learning model that works off of data collected by its original app, which first debuted in 2008 and is simply called iNaturalist. Its goal is to help people connect to the richly animated natural world around them. 

The iNaturalist platform, which boasts around 2 million users, is a mashup of social networking and citizen science where people can observe, document, share, discuss, learn more about nature, and create data for science and conservation. Outside of taking photos, the iNaturalist app has extended capabilities compared to the gamified Seek. It has a news tab, local wildlife guides, and organizations can also use the platform to host data collection “projects” that focus on certain areas or certain species of interest. 

When new users join iNaturalist, they’re prompted to check a box that allows them to share their data with scientists (although you can still join if you don’t check the box). Images and information about their location that users agree to share are tagged with a creative commons license, otherwise, it’s held under an all-rights reserved license. About 70 percent of the app’s data on the platform is classified as creative commons. “You can think of iNaturalist as this big open data pipe that just goes out there into the scientific community and is used by scientists in many ways that we’re totally surprised by,” says Scott Loarie, co-director of iNaturalist. …

But with an ever-growing amount of data, our ability to wrangle these numbers and stats manually becomes virtually impossible. “You would only be able to handle these quantities of data using very advanced computing techniques. This is part of the scientific world we live in today,” Durant adds….

Another problem that researchers have to consider is maintaining the quality of big datasets, which can impinge on the effectiveness of analytics tools. This is where the peer-review process plays an important role….”

 

New policy: Review Commons makes preprint review fully transparent – ASAPbio

“In a major step toward promoting preprint peer review as a means of increasing transparency and efficiency in scientific publishing, Review Commons is updating its policy: as of 1 June 2022, peer reviews and the authors’ response will be posted by Review Commons to bioRxiv or medRxiv when authors transfer their refereed preprint to the first affiliate journal….”

Biosecurity in an age of open science

Abstract:  The risk of accidental or deliberate misuse of biological research is increasing as biotechnology advances. As open science becomes widespread, we must consider its impact on those risks and develop solutions that ensure security while facilitating scientific progress. Here, we examine the interaction between open science practices and biosecurity and biosafety to identify risks and opportunities for risk mitigation. Increasing the availability of computational tools, datasets, and protocols could increase risks from research with misuse potential. For instance, in the context of viral engineering, open code, data, and materials may increase the risk of release of enhanced pathogens. For this dangerous subset of research, both open science and biosecurity goals may be achieved by using access-controlled repositories or application programming interfaces. While preprints accelerate dissemination of findings, their increased use could challenge strategies for risk mitigation at the publication stage. This highlights the importance of oversight earlier in the research lifecycle. Preregistration of research, a practice promoted by the open science community, provides an opportunity for achieving biosecurity risk assessment at the conception of research. Open science and biosecurity experts have an important role to play in enabling responsible research with maximal societal benefit.

 

Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library (BiCIKL)

“BiCIKL will catalyse a culture change in the way biodiversity data is identified, linked, integrated and re-used across the research cycle. We will cultivate a more transparent, trustworthy and efficient research ecosystem.

BiCIKL will launch a new European starting community of key research infrastructures, researchers, citizen scientists and other stakeholders in the biodiversity and life sciences based on open science practices through access to data, tools and services.

BiCIKL is building the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub (BKH) – a single knowledge portal to interlinked and machine-readable FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) using unique stable identifiers on specimens, genomics, observations, taxonomy and publications….”

 

Library as Laboratory: Analyzing Biodiversity Literature at Scale

“Imagine the great library of life, the library that Charles Darwin said was necessary for the “cultivation of natural science” (1847). And imagine that this library is not just hundreds of thousands of books printed from 1500 to the present, but also the data contained in those books that represents all that we know about life on our planet. That library is the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) The Internet Archive has provided an invaluable platform for the BHL to liberate taxonomic names, species descriptions, habitat description and much more. Connecting and harnessing the disparate data from over five-centuries is now BHL’s grand challenge. The unstructured textual data generated at the point of digitization holds immense untapped potential. Tim Berners-Lee provided the world with a semantic roadmap to address this global deluge of dark data and Wikidata is now executing on his vision. As we speak, BHL’s data is undergoing rapid transformation from legacy formats into linked open data, fulfilling the promise to evaporate data silos and foster bioliteracy for all humankind….”

Editorial Does the Scientific Community Need Another Open-Access Journal? | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore

“If you are looking at the first papers published in the IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology (OJEMB) and you are wondering if the scientific community truly needed another open-access journal, you are not alone. I asked myself the same question when I was approached to serve as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE OJEMB. In fact, over the past two decades, we have witnessed the launch of a multitude of open-access journals, often lacking a well-defined scope and focus on publishing high-quality manuscripts….”

Join the ASAPbio Board of Directors – call for applications – ASAPbio

“ASAPbio is seeking several new members for our Board of Directors to support our mission to drive positive change in science communication and to broaden our geographic representation.

We are looking for new Board members who can help us deliver on our strategic goals and complement the perspectives of existing Board members. We particularly seek individuals with expertise in the areas below:

Driving and managing culture change
Meta-research, ideally with a strong understanding of the current landscape and trends around preprints and open peer review
Data and information analysis in the context of science communication

We want to increase the geographical representation within the Board, and we would particularly welcome applications from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.”