Elsevier launches India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub to curb spread of misinformation

“A recent study showed that 67.2 percent of misinformation in India involves health-related topics, such as falsehoods on the COVID-19 vaccine, other forms of medical treatments, medical institutions, and healthcare facilities.

The same study also found that online media was responsible for higher volumes of inaccurate news (94.4 percent) in comparison with mainstream media (5.6 percent), with false claims being distributed mainly on social media platforms.

 

To address this problem, Elsevier, a global information and analytics business, launched its India COVID-19 Healthcare Hub for frontline healthcare workers and members of the public in India. It offers the latest evidence-based information along with information on the management and prevention of the virus, thereby limiting the spread of misinformation….”

The sharing of research data facing the COVID-19 pandemic | SpringerLink

Abstract:  During the previous Ebola and Zika outbreaks, researchers shared their data, allowing many published epidemiological studies to be produced only from open research data, to speed up investigations and control of these infections. This study aims to evaluate the dissemination of the COVID-19 research data underlying scientific publications. Analysis of COVID-19 publications from December 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020, was conducted through the PubMed Central repository to evaluate the research data available through its publication as supplementary material or deposited in repositories. The PubMed Central search generated 5,905 records, of which 804 papers included complementary research data, especially as supplementary material (77.4%). The most productive journals were The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the most frequent keyword was pneumonia, and the most used repositories were GitHub and GenBank. An expected growth in the number of published articles following the course of the pandemics is confirmed in this work, while the underlying research data are only 13.6%. It can be deduced that data sharing is not a common practice, even in health emergencies, such as the present one. High-impact generalist journals have accounted for a large share of global publishing. The topics most often covered are related to epidemiological and public health concepts, genetics, virology and respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia. However, it is essential to interpret these data with caution following the evolution of publications and their funding in the coming months.

From the body of the paper: “In global public health emergencies, it should be mandatory to disseminate any information that may be of value in fighting the crisis. For this to be done efficiently, there is a need to develop agreed global standards for sharing data and results for scientists, institutions and governments.”

Affordable Accessibility – UTC Magazine

“Fleming, scholarly communications librarian and coordinator of the UTC Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative, says those thoughts and actions evolved beyond ensuring internet access. A growing number of faculty were committed to making class resources and necessities more accessible to all students. 

She says faculty are now more committed to finding ways to get students the best, most affordable resources. “We had a huge increase in interest that’s persisted about creating affordable materials for students,” Fleming adds. …”

P112?SMILE: Sustaining Medical Education In a Lockdown Environment.Using social media to develop a free online access medical education platform during lockdown | BJS Open | Oxford Academic

Abstract Introduction

SMILE is a free online access medical education (FOAMEd) platform created by two UK surgical trainees and a medical student that delivered over 200 medical lectures during lockdown.

Method

The role of Social Media in the development of SMILE was interrogated using a survey sent to all SMILE participants and by analysing activity on SMILE social media platforms.

Results

1306 students responded to the online survey with 57.2% saying they heard of SMILE through Facebook. Engagement using facebook remained highest with 13,819 members, over 800 user comments and >16,000 user reactions.

4% of the students heard of SMILE through Twitter or Instagram.

Facebook analytics revealed the highest level of traffic when lectures were most commonly held suggesting students used Facebook to access lectures.

Other educators were able to find SMILE on social media, leading to collaborations with other platforms.

Throughout the survey many mentioned how social media created and maintained a community of medical students enhancing group-based learning

Conclusions

We demonstrate that social media platforms provide popular and cost-effective methods to promote, sustain & deliver medical education for students and educators.

It’s Time for Open Educational Resources

“Yet, in far too many cases, we are still requiring very expensive textbooks in our classes. Over the degree program, students are expending thousands of dollars for texts that many sell back to the bookstore for less than half of their original value. Much of the material embedded in the texts is either already available freely online or could be assembled by the instructor from open-access sources. At the same time, many instructors still complain that the text does not precisely fit their needs; they skip chapters and assign additional readings to update the material in the text that is already one or two years out of date before the book hits the students’ desks. Why not just create your own texts and update them as often as is needed?

During the first three semesters in COVID times, awareness of open educational resources (OER) has surged among faculty members. Faculty members who put their classes online through remote learning discovered more fully the range and timeliness of relevant materials that are available online. In a study by Bay View Analytics, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewitt Foundation, it was found that faculty who adopted OER rated their materials superior to the commercial alternatives, and while the percentage of required OER materials did not increase, the percentage of supplemental OER materials did….”

The impact of COVID?19 on the UK publishing industry: Findings and opportunity – Brinton – 2021 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

Challenges of the current environment are balanced by opportunities – more digital delivery, more efficient systems, greater collaboration.
Consumption has not reduced, but delivery mechanisms need adaptation to ensure the right products in the right media are offered and delivered.
Changes to the cost base by redeploying staff and rethinking premises are underway and support improved resource allocation.
Leadership is required to accommodate adaptive and flexible remote working.
Ensuring access and implementing licences that permit non?commercial use is both a moral and a practical response….”

Promoting versatile vaccine development for emerging pandemics | npj Vaccines

“In this case, the generated knowledge is a clear example of a positive spillover that creates a need for public intervention into the market for research and development. However, this relies on the results of translatable work on prototype pathogens—such as insights into antigen optimisation—being accessible to public use. Therefore, public funding of prototype pathogen work should seek to promote research that generates openly accessible and translatable insights as far as practicable, while also judiciously taking advantage of generating proprietary intellectual property. Even in the cases where a proprietary insight might primarily benefit the originating organisation, such as early preclinical evidence and safety data from clinical trials, the research remains worthy of subsidy because society benefits from having developers that are better prepared to respond to emerging infectious diseases….”

Bill Gates, Vaccine Monster | The New Republic

“Battle-scarred veterans of the medicines-access and open-science movements hoped the immensity of the pandemic would override a global drug system based on proprietary science and market monopolies. By March, strange but welcome melodies could be heard from unexpected quarters. Anxious governments spoke of shared interests and global public goods; drug companies pledged “precompetitive” and “no-profit” approaches to development and pricing. The early days featured tantalizing glimpses of an open-science, cooperative pandemic response. In January and February 2020, a consortium led by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases collaborated to produce atomic-level maps of the key viral proteins in record time. “Work that would normally have taken months—or possibly even years—has been completed in weeks,” noted the editors of Nature. …

By then, however, the optimism and sense of possibility that defined the early days were long gone. Advocates for pooling and open science, who seemed ascendant and even unstoppable that winter, confronted the possibility they’d been outmatched and outmaneuvered by the most powerful man in global public health.

In April, Bill Gates launched a bold bid to manage the world’s scientific response to the pandemic. Gates’s Covid-19 ACT-Accelerator expressed a status quo vision for organizing the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of treatments and vaccines. Like other Gates-funded institutions in the public health arena, the Accelerator was a public-private partnership based on charity and industry enticements. Crucially, and in contrast to the C-TAP, the Accelerator enshrined Gates’s long-standing commitment to respecting exclusive intellectual property claims. Its implicit arguments—that intellectual property rights won’t present problems for meeting global demand or ensuring equitable access, and that they must be protected, even during a pandemic—carried the enormous weight of Gates’s reputation as a wise, beneficent, and prophetic leader. …

“Early on, there was space for Gates to have a major impact in favor of open models,” says Manuel Martin, a policy adviser to the Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign. “But senior people in the Gates organization very clearly sent out the message: Pooling was unnecessary and counterproductive. They dampened early enthusiasm by saying that I.P. is not an access barrier in vaccines. That’s just demonstratively false.”…

“Things could have gone either way,” says Love, “but Gates wanted exclusive rights maintained. He acted fast to stop the push for sharing the knowledge needed to make the products—the know-how, the data, the cell lines, the tech transfer, the transparency that is critically important in a dozen ways. The pooling approach represented by C-TAP included all of that. Instead of backing those early discussions, he raced ahead and signaled support for business-as-usual on intellectual property by announcing the ACT-Accelerator in March.” …”

 

Bill Gates, Vaccine Monster | The New Republic

“Battle-scarred veterans of the medicines-access and open-science movements hoped the immensity of the pandemic would override a global drug system based on proprietary science and market monopolies. By March, strange but welcome melodies could be heard from unexpected quarters. Anxious governments spoke of shared interests and global public goods; drug companies pledged “precompetitive” and “no-profit” approaches to development and pricing. The early days featured tantalizing glimpses of an open-science, cooperative pandemic response. In January and February 2020, a consortium led by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases collaborated to produce atomic-level maps of the key viral proteins in record time. “Work that would normally have taken months—or possibly even years—has been completed in weeks,” noted the editors of Nature. …

By then, however, the optimism and sense of possibility that defined the early days were long gone. Advocates for pooling and open science, who seemed ascendant and even unstoppable that winter, confronted the possibility they’d been outmatched and outmaneuvered by the most powerful man in global public health.

In April, Bill Gates launched a bold bid to manage the world’s scientific response to the pandemic. Gates’s Covid-19 ACT-Accelerator expressed a status quo vision for organizing the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of treatments and vaccines. Like other Gates-funded institutions in the public health arena, the Accelerator was a public-private partnership based on charity and industry enticements. Crucially, and in contrast to the C-TAP, the Accelerator enshrined Gates’s long-standing commitment to respecting exclusive intellectual property claims. Its implicit arguments—that intellectual property rights won’t present problems for meeting global demand or ensuring equitable access, and that they must be protected, even during a pandemic—carried the enormous weight of Gates’s reputation as a wise, beneficent, and prophetic leader. …

“Early on, there was space for Gates to have a major impact in favor of open models,” says Manuel Martin, a policy adviser to the Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign. “But senior people in the Gates organization very clearly sent out the message: Pooling was unnecessary and counterproductive. They dampened early enthusiasm by saying that I.P. is not an access barrier in vaccines. That’s just demonstratively false.”…

“Things could have gone either way,” says Love, “but Gates wanted exclusive rights maintained. He acted fast to stop the push for sharing the knowledge needed to make the products—the know-how, the data, the cell lines, the tech transfer, the transparency that is critically important in a dozen ways. The pooling approach represented by C-TAP included all of that. Instead of backing those early discussions, he raced ahead and signaled support for business-as-usual on intellectual property by announcing the ACT-Accelerator in March.” …”

 

Why Should Researchers Publish Open Access Papers Related to COVID-19? – Enago Academy

“Since the start of the pandemic, a substantial amount of literature related to COVID-19 is already available as open access and more publishers are adopting open access policies to disseminate authentic and trustworthy scientific information. This worldwide barrier-free visibility has helped academics with more citations for their work. This demonstrably also leads to increase in newer advances in COVID-19 related research.

In this article, we will provide an overview on why researchers should make their COVID-19 research papers open access and also discuss the implications of this paradigm shift on academic research….”

Preprints in perioperative medicine: immediacy for the greater good – British Journal of Anaesthesia

Abstract:  Medical and scientific journals spread developing knowledge by facilitating communication between physicians and scientists. Authors, readers, and the public rightfully expect rapid publication of rigorously reviewed high-quality papers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of rapid dissemination and has put unprecedented demands on journals. There is genuine urgency to complete medical research and place the findings expeditiously into the public domain after expert peer review so that new findings can be used to improve patient care as soon as possible. The process of peer review is often a slow process, but is essential to ensure that changes in patient care are informed by careful and definitive research. Thus, journal editors must balance the potentially competing goals of immediacy and quality control.

 

Now Is Not The Time For Publishers to Go After Online Libraries: Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive – The Temple 10-Q

“Nothing better promotes the progress of science and the arts than access to knowledge, especially during a global pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted how our society has changed in the past few decades and how much it needs to change in the decades to come. As schools and workplaces, law firms included, went partially or completely remote, connectivity and access to online resources became more important than ever. It is in this environment that several publishers chose to bring litigation against Internet Archive (IA) in Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive. 

Open Library is a non-profit digital library founded by IA that offers online access to more than 1.3 million books that it has digitized into a PDF format. Operating under the Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) model, Open Library lends out only as many books as it has physical hardcopies of. Essentially, the basis of CDL is that a book must be owned to be loaned.  …”

The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

Abstract:  The world continues to face a life-threatening viral pandemic. The virus underlying the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused over 98 million confirmed cases and 2.2 million deaths since January 2020. Although the most recent respiratory viral pandemic swept the globe only a decade ago, the way science operates and responds to current events has experienced a cultural shift in the interim. The scientific community has responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing over 125,000 COVID-19–related scientific articles within 10 months of the first confirmed case, of which more than 30,000 were hosted by preprint servers. We focused our analysis on bioRxiv and medRxiv, 2 growing preprint servers for biomedical research, investigating the attributes of COVID-19 preprints, their access and usage rates, as well as characteristics of their propagation on online platforms. Our data provide evidence for increased scientific and public engagement with preprints related to COVID-19 (COVID-19 preprints are accessed more, cited more, and shared more on various online platforms than non-COVID-19 preprints), as well as changes in the use of preprints by journalists and policymakers. We also find evidence for changes in preprinting and publishing behaviour: COVID-19 preprints are shorter and reviewed faster. Our results highlight the unprecedented role of preprints and preprint servers in the dissemination of COVID-19 science and the impact of the pandemic on the scientific communication landscape.

 

 

 

Has Covid-19 changed researcher behaviour? | News | Wellcome

“On 31 January 2020, Wellcome published a statement calling on researchers, journals and funders to ‘share interim and final research data relating to the outbreak… as rapidly and widely as possible’.   

This statement has now been signed by more than 150 organisations including publishers, scientific institutions and preprint repositories.  

Signing a statement is one thing, acting on it something else. Has the research community done enough to share their data openly and transparently? And will these commitments lead to a collaborative and transparent research culture? …”