Research Update: COIs, Defining Infrastructure, and Exploring Utility Financing as a Useful Model

The following is a brief summary of our current plans for Catalog of Infrastructures, our work understanding the nature of infrastructure, and our initial working models for understanding the funding and operation of infrastructure services.


When I use a word . . . . Bioscience journals—an open and shut case?

The term “open access” as applied to journals, widely and now inescapably used, is misleading. It implies that access to other journals is restricted. The important factor, however, is not openness or restrictedness, but who pays for access, readers and their sponsors (reader-directed access) or authors and their sponsors (author-directed access). Emerging evidence suggests that authors in low income countries can be disadvantaged by current author-directed fees in the open access framework, a problem that needs to be tackled. The recent “diamond” model may be beneficial, but it is much too soon to know.

A community-sourced glossary of open scholarship terms | Nature Human Behaviour

“Open scholarship has transformed research, and introduced a host of new terms in the lexicon of researchers. The ‘Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Teaching’ (FORRT) community presents a crowdsourced glossary of open scholarship terms to facilitate education and effective communication between experts and newcomers….”

Glossary | FORRT – Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training

“In order to reduce barriers to entry and understanding, we present a Glossary of terms relating to open scholarship. We aim that the glossary will help clarify terminologies, including where terms are used differently/interchangeably or where terms are less known in some fields or among students. We also hope that this glossary will be a welcome resource for those new to these concepts, and that it helps grow their confidence in navigating discussions of open scholarship. We also hope that this glossary aids in mentoring and teaching, and allows newcomers and experts to communicate efficiently….

Following the success of Phase 1, we invite you to help us continue to improve this resource. We are interested in a wide range of contributions to improve existing definitions, extend the scope of the terms, as well as translating terms to improve accessibility. We have opened four live working documents (see the landing page for instructions and links to working documents). Please read the instructions for contributors. We have prepared these to help guide constructive feedback and facilitate a smooth editorial process.

We aim to regularly implement suggested changes and improvements. If you believe an existing definition is incorrect please contact the project leads, we aim to correct any mistakes as quickly as possible. We see the glossary as a potential starting point for other projects and resources the community feels may be needed. Please contact us if you have suggestions for publications or have ideas for related projects that could use or adapt the glossary….”

Breaking down language barriers and integrating social justice into open science

“Almost every scientific subject area uses its own specific vocabulary. It is obvious that this can lead to misinterpretations or misunderstandings among outsiders. One area that is particularly affected by this is open science. Reflecting the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be, among other things, openly accessible, transparent, reproducible, replicable, inclusive, and free, science developed numerous research-related terms and uses terminologies that have changed in meaning over time. This linguistic change can be a barrier to access and understanding open science. The international FORRT community (Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training) directed by Flávio Azevedo, a scientist from Jena, has therefore developed a glossary that defines and contextualises the most important terms. The glossary has now been published in the renowned scientific journal “Nature Human Behaviour”. …”

UNESCO publishes Recommendation on Open Science

“The Open Science document was adopted by 193 countries. For the first time, there is an international definition of Open Science.


About 70 % of scientific publications are behind paywalls. In the last two years, this has dropped to about 30 % for publications specifically on COVID-19. This is a strong signal that science can and should be more open.

For a long time, there was no universally accepted definition of Open Science. With the adoption of the Recommendation in November 2021, 193 countries agreed to adhere to common Open Science standards, values and guiding principles. 

Among other things, the Recommendation calls on member states to create regional and international funding mechanisms and establish the necessary infrastructure. 

In addition, seven areas are to be prioritised:

promoting a common understanding of open science and its associated benefits and challenges, as well as the diverse paths to open science;
developing an enabling policy environment for open science;
investing in infrastructure and services which contribute to open science;
investing in training, education, digital literacy and capacity-building, to enable researchers and other stakeholders to participate in open science;
fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science;
promoting innovative approaches to open science at different stages of the scientific process; and
promoting international and multistakeholder co-operation in the context of open science with a view to reducing digital, technological and knowledge gaps. …”

The use of (not) defining Citizen Science – Citizen Science | CS Track Project

“Even among researchers who are highly specialised on the topic there is no consensus about what exactly citizen science means. Funding agencies and policy makers also use it in various different ways:: “[…] no central authority or governing body oversees the field, and even agreeing about who counts as a citizen scientist is challenging.” (Rasmussen and Cooper, 2019, p. 1) But while there is a broad consensus that the term is fuzzy, the question whether it should be defined at all remains controversial….”

The use of (not) defining Citizen Science – Citizen Science | CS Track Project

“Even among researchers who are highly specialised on the topic there is no consensus about what exactly citizen science means. Funding agencies and policy makers also use it in various different ways:: “[…] no central authority or governing body oversees the field, and even agreeing about who counts as a citizen scientist is challenging.” (Rasmussen and Cooper, 2019, p. 1) But while there is a broad consensus that the term is fuzzy, the question whether it should be defined at all remains controversial….”

OLCreate: Glossary: Open Science in the Life Sciences

This glossary is a collection of terms, definitions and resources regarding all things open science in biomedicine and the life sciences. Throughout the course there will be small assignments on different aspects of open research methods. You will be asked to post your results here. Thereby, you and your peers will fill this shared glossary together making it a collection of helpful information and practical knowledge that you can use after the course is finished.

The “Pre” in [my] “Preprint” is for Pre-figurative · Commonplace

“When you are a PhD student that just published your research, and you decided to publish it as a preprint, one of the most common questions you then get asked is “Where is it now?” At least this has been my experience. Well-meaning PIs or postdocs, colleagues, strangers, that all really enjoyed reading your research and findings but also really want to know “which journal have you submitted it to now?” It’s important for them to know, or maybe it’s just a conversation starter while queuing for the cafeteria. Who knows. Your answer of “Journal X” will be followed by an understanding nod, an approving “yep, that one is a nice one,” the sharing of a funny story about their own experience with that journal. Certainly, and generally unspoken, some sort of gauging of the value of the research. Did you send it to a journal that matches the value they thought your research had? It’s a fun game to play.

Except I have nothing to answer.

They do not warn us about this when submitting to preprint servers, this ethology of post-preprint-submission in the life sciences. Maybe it should be under the disclaimer about preprints not being certified by peer-review. “Please make sure you are sending this to a journal too, or be prepared for very awkward small talk from here on.” “Make sure you also publish it for real.” They do not warn us but there are many, many signs. It’s in the way submission guidelines are written. It’s in the way preprints are talked about.undefined It’s in the way preprints are talked about in the preprint server itself.undefined It’s in the many spinoffs, add-ons, “overlay services” and “integrated pipelines” that make it more and more seamless and easy to transfer your preprint to a journal. It is in the expectations of those around you. It’s in the awkwardness of you admitting that no, you did not submit it anywhere (else?)….

I published my research on a preprint server. Making it accessible to everyone and without having to pay my way out of paywalls. More importantly, I published my research on a preprint server without plans to send it to a journal. And this is what I encourage fellow PhD students to do too. I published it with no format constraints, no figure limits, no restriction on the length of my materials and method, no cut-offs to the length of my bibliography, no “STAR-methods,” no word counts. I published it — because why not? — with an anomalously long introduction that reads more like a review and that could well be a publication of its own. I published it in my voice and in my style. I published it with an open license and without transferring copyright. I published it in its most liberated form.

Well-meaning voices will remind you that without peer-review your preprint still needs to go through the “print” process. Services now exist for that too (I should here thank ReviewCommonsundefined), and allow you to submit your preprint for review by experts in the field without having to submit it to a journal. So I did exactly that and got my preprint peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed for its content and not for its fit for a journal. Peer-reviewed journal-independently. I posted the peer review comments publicly, alongside my research and with them, my answers.undefined Answers that I wrote not only to the reviewers themselves, but to the future readers of those reviews. I wrote them conversationally, like a three-way-dialogue, in a way that was open to possibilities and to discussion and not in a way constrained by imposed timeframes for revision and resubmission. I recommend this to my fellow PhD students too. Peer-review in a liberated and liberating form, where critical evaluation of your research are just that, critical evaluation by a peer. A contextualising opinion. Not the yes or no on whether your research should even deserve to be seen by the world….”

Journal citation reports and the definition of a predatory journal: The case of the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) | Research Evaluation | Oxford Academic

The extent to which predatory journals can harm scientific practice increases as the numbers of such journals expand, in so far as they undermine scientific integrity, quality, and credibility, especially if those journals leak into prestigious databases. Journal Citation Reports (JCRs), a reference for the assessment of researchers and for grant-making decisions, is used as a standard whitelist, in so far as the selectivity of a JCR-indexed journal adds a legitimacy of sorts to the articles that the journal publishes. The Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) once included on Beall’s list of potential, possible or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers, had 53 journals ranked in the 2018 JCRs annual report. These journals are analysed, not only to contrast the formal criteria for the identification of predatory journals, but taking a step further, their background is also analysed with regard to self-citations and the source of those self-citations in 2018 and 2019. The results showed that the self-citation rates increased and was very much higher than those of the leading journals in the JCR category. Besides, an increasingly high rate of citations from other MDPI-journals was observed. The formal criteria together with the analysis of the citation patterns of the 53 journals under analysis all singled them out as predatory journals. Hence, specific recommendations are given to researchers, educational institutions and prestigious databases advising them to review their working relations with those sorts of journals

Preprints in times of COVID19: the time is ripe for agreeing on terminology and good practices | BMC Medical Ethics | Full Text

Abstract:  Over recent years, the research community has been increasingly using preprint servers to share manuscripts that are not yet peer-reviewed. Even if it enables quick dissemination of research findings, this practice raises several challenges in publication ethics and integrity. In particular, preprints have become an important source of information for stakeholders interested in COVID19 research developments, including traditional media, social media, and policy makers. Despite caveats about their nature, many users can still confuse pre-prints with peer-reviewed manuscripts. If unconfirmed but already widely shared first-draft results later prove wrong or misinterpreted, it can be very difficult to “unlearn” what we thought was true. Complexity further increases if unconfirmed findings have been used to inform guidelines. To help achieve a balance between early access to research findings and its negative consequences, we formulated five recommendations: (a) consensus should be sought on a term clearer than ‘pre-print’, such as ‘Unrefereed manuscript’, “Manuscript awaiting peer review” or ‘’Non-reviewed manuscript”; (b) Caveats about unrefereed manuscripts should be prominent on their first page, and each page should include a red watermark stating ‘Caution—Not Peer Reviewed’; (c) pre-print authors should certify that their manuscript will be submitted to a peer-review journal, and should regularly update the manuscript status; (d) high level consultations should be convened, to formulate clear principles and policies for the publication and dissemination of non-peer reviewed research results; (e) in the longer term, an international initiative to certify servers that comply with good practices could be envisaged.