Safeguarding science in the wake of conflict – International Science Council

“Full adoption of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation on open science is highlighted as a pathway for enabling displaced scholars to continue their work, and supporting the (re)development of fragile science systems. Crucially, stakeholders must work together to develop sustainable frameworks in higher education and research systems for a more predictable and effective approach to the phases of preparedness, response and rebuilding in the aftermath of conflict or disaster….”

Democratic research: Setting up a research commons for a qualitative, comparative, longitudinal interview study during the COVID-19 pandemic – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  The sudden and dramatic advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to urgent demands for timely, relevant, yet rigorous research. This paper discusses the origin, design, and execution of the [PROJECT NAME] research commons, a large-scale, international, comparative, qualitative research project that sought to respond to the need for knowledge among researchers and policymakers in times of crisis. The form of organization as a research commons is characterized by an underlying solidaristic attitude of its members and its intrinsic organizational features in which research data and knowledge in the study is shared and jointly owned. As such, the project is peer-governed, rooted in (idealist) social values of academia, and aims at providing tools and benefits for its members. In this paper, we discuss challenges and solutions for qualitative studies that seek to operate as research commons.

 

Academicians’ awareness, attitude, and use of open access during the COVID-19 pandemic – Abstract – Europe PMC

Abstract:  The aim of this research is to reveal academics’ awareness, attitude, and use of open access. In line with the research purpose, the survey research design is adopted. This research consists 151 academics from 12 basic research areas; eight of them being Professor Dr, 17 being Associate Professor Dr, 49 being Doctor Lecturer, and 77 being Research Assistant or Lecturer. A questionnaire consisting of 19 open access and five demographic information questions was used for the data collection tool. The research results show that 75% of the academics have open access awareness and that their awareness is generally created by information that they obtain through the Internet and their friends. In addition, most of the academics indicate that their awareness of open access has increased during the pandemic period. When considering the level of academics’ use of open access, it is found that 75% of the academics use articles in open access journals for their own research and 51% of the academics do not publish any articles in open access journals.

 

Tackling the politicisation of COVID-19 data reporting through open access data sharing – The Lancet Infectious Diseases

“Regression analysis of country-specific death rates among 137 countries, showed that approximately 400?000 deaths were estimated to be unaccounted for during the first year of the pandemic, most likely among autocratic governments.

 During the early stages of the pandemic, the Chinese Government limited knowledge of the emerging disease and downplayed its severity. The Chinese Government did not allow the media to use terms like fatal and lockdown. Houthi rebels in Yemen relied on under-reporting cases to avoid accountability and maintain economic activity, leading to the reporting of only four COVID-19 cases and one death in the highly populated Sana’a City over the first year of the pandemic. Most countries report cases and deaths that are both probable and confirmed by testing. However, in Russia, only COVID-19 confirmed deaths are included in official counts, despite low supplies of PCR tests, leading to vast under-reporting of deaths. Similarly, some Brazilian hospitals have been implicated in the under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths in response to government pressure to avoid triggering the apparent need for lockdown measures. When official and aggregate sources were available, the JHU CSSE team overcame such challenges by implementing innovative anomaly detection processes and data fusion approaches in the data coalition process.

Political polarisation has threatened the reliability of data supplied by US Government agencies. The Trump White House Administration advised hospitals to send data on SARS-CoV-2 and intensive care unit capacities to a private company, bypassing the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Concerningly, a relationship was exposed between the private contractor and the Trump family’s corporation. The switch to sending data to a private contractor led to a hiatus in publicly available data from the US CDC. Moreover, the transition was accompanied by sporadic updates, with many irregularities in the data and inconsistencies in the definition of metrics from the contracted private company….”

Best-selling chemistry textbook is now free | News | Chemistry World

“The author of a popular organic chemistry textbook is making it freely available to students after learning about a loophole in his copyright agreement with the publisher.

John McMurry’s Organic Chemistry has been one of the best selling chemistry textbooks since it was first printed in 1984. Under his agreement with Cengage Learning, the book’s publisher, McMurry realised he could ask for the book’s copyright to be returned to him 30 years after it was first printed. Without copyright of the first edition, the publisher is unable to produce any more new editions, McMurry notes.

McMurry, an emeritus professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, US, says the move was a tribute to his son who passed away from cystic fibrosis three years ago….”

How Covid invited a rethink of the scientific publications business – Page 1 | Mediapart

Only this paragraph is unpaywalled: ”

Science journalists have for many years cited the difficulty of conciliating the (long) time required in scientific activity and the (rapid) time in which the media operate. The Covid-19 pandemic came perilously close to joining the two, when an avalanche of scientific papers about the virus were published with such haste that many had to be swiftly retracted. Science journalist and historian Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports on how the pandemic exposed the unvirtuous practices of the lucrative scientific publications business, now brought to a turning point and in need of reinvention….”

 

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

Accelerating pooled licensing of medicines to enhance global production and equitable access – The Lancet

“From October to November, 2021, the pharmaceutical firms Merck and Pfizer licensed their new COVID-19 oral antiviral medications to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). In both cases, the drugs were licensed quickly, before they were launched, and the MPP then reached agreements with pharmaceutical firms across the globe (27 firms for Merck’s molnupiravir and 36 firms for Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir) to provide generic versions of these to roughly 100 low-income and middle-income countries. This Viewpoint examines the importance of these licences for the global production of, and access to, new medicines, during the pandemic and beyond. It would be a welcome development for these arrangements, which can generate sufficient volumes of production to avoid the supply shortages that encumbered the global vaccination response, to be an indication of a future in which new drugs have multiple suppliers in most low-income and middle-income countries. To explore that possibility, the Viewpoint highlights the political conditions that could make originator firms more inclined to license their products quickly to the MPP, and discusses how public policy can build on the opportunity created by these conditions to promote such licensing further….”

 

Monkeypox and open access: time to change the narrative | Plan S

“For the fourth time in less than seven years, the community of science and technology leaders have issued a statement calling on publishers to make disease-specific research open access.  In 2016 the focus was Zika; in 2018, Ebola; in 2020, COVID-19 and in 2022, it is for research relating to monkeypox. To misquote Oscar Wilde, to ask once may be regarded as a misfortune; to ask on four occasions looks like carelessness.

These calls for research to be made Open Access recognise that immediate access to research can accelerate the global response to public health emergencies. Hitherto, publishers have responded positively to these requests and made relevant research free to read.  For example, Elsevier and Springer Nature alone have deposited around 200k COVID-related articles into PubMed Central.  And, it seems likely that they, and many other publishers, will respond accordingly in making monkeypox research freely accessible.

However, even when publishers provide free access to this research, it is typically time-limited and may contain restrictions on how the research can be reused. Indeed, a recent study looking at the impact of the statement calling for COVID research to be made Open Access, concluded that some publishers “have already started re-introducing paywalls” for this content. Given that the pandemic is ongoing, this is both disappointing and worrying….”

NLM Leverages Its Information Resources to Improve Access to Monkeypox-related Literature and Research

“The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is working to accelerate the global monkeypox response through initiatives that expand access to scientific literature, sequence data, clinical trial information, and consumer health information related to monkeypox.

NLM’s efforts follow on declarations by the World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary of the ongoing spread of monkeypox virus as a public health emergency. NLM is responding to the call to action by the White House Office Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science and technology leaders from more than a dozen other nations to make monkeypox-related research and data immediately available to the public.

NLM will leverage its existing relationships with publishers that submit to PubMed Central (PMC), its digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature, to make the wide range of journal articles that can inform the monkeypox response freely available to the public. Depositing appropriate articles into the PMC Open Access collection will ensure that monkeypox-related research is readily available in both human- and machine-readable formats. Readers will be able to discover articles via PubMed and access the full text in PMC without delay. Artificial intelligence researchers can continue to develop and apply novel approaches to text mining to help answer questions about monkeypox.

In addition, NLM is prioritizing the review of monkeypox sequence submissions through its genetic sequence database, GenBank, as well as submissions to ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest publicly accessible database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies….”

As U.S. declares public health emergency, science leaders ask publishers for access to monkeypox research | Science | AAAS

“Just hours before the United States declared monkeypox a national public health emergency today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science leaders from around the world called on scientific publishers to immediately make any monkeypox-related research and data published by their journals freely available to help contain the spread of the virus….”

A Call for Public Access to Monkeypox-related Research and Data | The White House

“Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a coordinated call to action with science and technology leaders and advisors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, and the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors of the European Commission, asking scholarly publishers to make all monkeypox-related research and data immediately available to the public….”

Doctor of nursing practice scholarship dissemination through an open access repository – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Open access repositories have become more widely used for the dissemination of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) scholarly projects nationally and internationally. This article shares lessons learned from five years of experience with using an institutional repository, archiving and showcasing over 100 full-text DNP projects in the collection. The aims of this article are to examine the advantages of disseminating DNP scholarly projects through an Open Access (OA) repository and to explore how items archived in OA repositories complement traditional publishing models as supplementary parts of the research ecosystem. Items from the collection have been downloaded over 72,000 times at over 3700 institutions in 182 countries around the globe. Archiving DNP projects in an OA collection can improve health care practices by augmenting the dissemination of practice outcomes in traditional peer-reviewed literature. This article provides guidance for those looking to establish and evaluate similar collections, highlighting lessons learned.

 

Copyright and COVID: Libraries take stock | EIFL

“In February 2022, EIFL and IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) distributed an online survey to librarians seeking information on experiences relating to copyright and licensing of electronic resources during the pandemic. …

While temporary expanded access granted by publishers to certain electronic resources was a welcome gesture, it either didn’t last long enough or the usage conditions were too complicated to allow the content to be meaningfully integrated into teaching and research activities (48%)….

To help alleviate these situations, librarians looked to use alternative materials. For example, librarians in Malawi ramped up efforts to identify, encourage and promote use of open access materials and open educational resources. In Uganda, librarians made full use of materials in the public domain or content available under an open licence, for example, the National Curriculum Development Centre produced home-schooling materials licensed for non-commercial uses, such as teaching.

The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of open access for education, science and society and the need for a copyright ecosystem that supports online education and research. As the above examples show, current copyright rules fell short of what was needed during the pandemic….”

 

A Light in the Dark: Open Access to Medical Literature and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Introduction. This study was designed to evaluate the accessibility of peer-reviewed literature regarding COVID-19 and the ten diseases with the highest death toll worldwide.
Method. We conducted extensive searches of studies concerning COVID-19 and other diseases using the Web of Science, and the Google and Google Scholar search engines.
Analysis. Open access rates were obtained from the Web of Science database, taking into account different types of publications and research areas. Quantitative analyses based on random samplings were used to estimate the potential increase of open access rates achievable with open archiving of post-prints.
Results. The open access rate of COVID-19 papers (89.5%) largely outnumbered that of the ten most deadly human diseases (48.8%, on average). We estimated that most of the gap (70%) could be bridged by making available online, post-print manuscripts.
Conclusions. The pandemic represents a real breakthrough, in scientific publishing, towards the goal of health information for all, demonstrating that much greater access to medical literature is possible. The green road may be the best way to bring open access rates of peer review of other major diseases closer to that of COVID-19. However, it needs to be implemented more effectively, combining bottom-up and top-down actions and making the open science culture more widespread.