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….”

How does mandated code-sharing change peer review? – The Official PLOS Blog

“On March 31 2021, PLOS Computational Biology introduced a new journal requirement: mandated code sharing. If the research process included the creation of custom code, the authors were required to make it available during the peer review assessment, and to make it public upon the publication of their research article—similar to the longstanding data sharing requirement for all PLOS journals. The aim, of course, is to improve reproducibility and increase understanding of research.

At the end of the year-long trial period, code sharing had risen from 53% in 2019 to 87% for 2021 articles submitted after the policy went into effect. Evidence in hand, the journal Editors-in-Chief decided to make code sharing a permanent feature of the journal. Today, the sharing rate is 96%….”

Global movement to reform researcher assessment gains traction | Physics Today | AIP Publishing

“A growing global movement toward holistic approaches to evaluating researchers and research aims to value a broader range of contributions than an institute’s reputation and such metrics as numbers of publications in high-impact journals, citations, and grant monies. Contributions that go largely unrewarded include committee service, outreach to the public and to policymakers, social impact, and entrepreneurship.

An early push was the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment in 2013. DORA has grown into a worldwide initiative for which reducing the emphasis on journal impact factor has been a “hobbyhorse,” says program director Zen Faulkes. “But we are broadening our efforts in assessment reform.” As of September, more than 20?000 individuals and about 3000 organizations in 164 countries had signed DORA.

A related effort spearheaded by the European Commission, the European University Association, and Science Europe—an association of funding agencies that spends more than €22 billion (roughly $24 billion) annually—is widely seen as having the most punch. In July 2022 they laid out guiding principles for reform, and in December 2022 they established the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA). More than 600 universities, funders, learned societies, and other organizations, overwhelmingly in Europe, had signed on as of late August. Signatories commit to examining their research assessment procedures within a year and to trying out and reporting on alternative approaches within five years….”

A decade of surveys on attitudes to data sharing highlights three factors for achieving open science | Impact of Social Sciences

“Over a 10 year period Carol Tenopir of DataONE and her team conducted a global survey of scientists, managers and government workers involved in broad environmental science activities about their willingness to share data and their opinion of the resources available to do so (Tenopir et al., 2011, 2015, 2018, 2020). Comparing the responses over that time shows a general increase in the willingness to share data (and thus engage in Open Science)….

The most surprising result was that a higher willingness to share data corresponded with a decrease in satisfaction with data sharing resources across nations (e.g., skills, tools, training) (Fig.1). That is, researchers who did not want to share data were satisfied with the available resources, and those that did want to share data were dissatisfied. Researchers appear to only discover that the tools are insufficient when they begin the hard work of engaging in open science practices. This indicates that a cultural shift in the attitudes of researchers needs to precede the development of support and tools for data management….

Mandated requirements to share data really do work. However, this effect was shown in the surveys as government researchers were consistently far more willing to share data than those in academia or corporations, and this willingness to share increased substantially from 2011 to 2019….

Researchers working in academia were less willing to share than those in government, but did show significant increases in willingness to share from 2011 to 2015. Researchers in the commercial sector were, unsurprisingly, the least willing to share their data….

government involvement and funding play an important role in improving the attitudes researchers have towards open science practices. The organisational influence of government funding and mandates shifts individual incentives. Researchers then realize that they lack the knowledge, tools, and training they need to properly share data, which can push the social change needed to drastically change the way that science is done for the better.”

Implementing open science in East Africa is picking up speed

“Stakeholders, including academics, researchers and policy-makers in Tanzania, intend to adopt open science and present the plan to the government and implementation partners for funding. However, the decision to make research more accessible means they also have to deal with several challenges.

The East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Public Library of Science (PLOS), and Training Centre in Communication Africa hosted a High-Level Multi-Sectoral National Open Science Dialogue for Academic and Research Institutions in Tanzania in mid-February 2023 to discuss the matter – three years after the initial decision to enter into a partnership that would promote open-science principles in the region….”

PLOS Biology at 20: Ain’t no mountain high enough | PLOS Biology

“Although our work is not finished, the progress of the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable. When PLOS launched in 2000, Harold Varmus, Michael Eisen and Patrick Brown called for articles to be made freely available 6 months after publication —an idea so radical that it failed to gain traction, prompting PLOS to become a publisher to demonstrate what was possible. Now, major funders across the world, such as the signatories of Plan S and the US Office of Science and Technology, request immediate open access (OA) publication for the research that they fund. In 2003, when PLOS Biology appeared on the scene, only a handful of life science journals were OA. The picture is dramatically different now: the Directory of Open Access Journals lists 18,881 journals and >8.5 million articles (up from 1.5 million 10 years ago [2]), and in 2020 more articles were published OA than behind paywalls for the first time, according to data from the Dimensions database. We are proud of our role in starting the ripple effect that has led to this unstoppable wave….”

Old tricks in new wineskins | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“It’s been a while since we checked in on our old friends Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley — collectively, the big legacy publishers who still dominate scholarly publishing. Like every publisher, they have realised which way the wind is blowing, and flipped their rhetoric to pro-open access — a far cry from the days when they were hiring PR “pit bulls” to smear open access.

These days, it’s clear that open access is winning. In fact, I’ll go further: open access has won and now we’re just mopping up the remaining pockets of resistance. We’ve had our D-Day. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still lots of work to get through before we arrive at our VE-Day, but it’s coming. And the legacy publishers, having recognised that the old journal-subscriptions gravy train is coasting to a halt, are keen to get big slices of the OA pie.

Does this change in strategy reflect a change of heart in these organization?

Reader, it does not.

Just in the last few days, these three stories have come up:

Elsevier has raised the price of access to its chemical database Reaxys from £13,500 per institution to £38,000: an increase of 181% in four years, or 29.5% per year cumulative. UK universities are quite rightly considering not renewing their subscription.
Springer has started demanding colour charges for online-only papers, as though “colour pixels cost more money” — this despite the Springer website saying that no such charges should be levied. Swansea University Library Research Support is quite rightly telling researchers to push back on these unacceptable charges — but they shouldn’t have to.
Most egregiously, Wiley suddenly removed 1,380 textbooks from one of its bundles, leaving at least one professor “to reorganize her entire syllabus to prevent her students from having to pay out of pocket for their required class textbook”. Others of course will quite understandably not bother, leaving students hundreds of dollars out of pocket….”

‘A Historic Moment’: New Guidance Requires Federally Funded Research to Be Open Access

“In a move hailed by open-access advocates, the White House on Thursday released guidance dictating that federally funded research be made freely and immediately available to the public. The Office of Science and Technology Policy’s guidance calls for federal agencies to make taxpayer-supported research publicly available immediately, doing away with an optional 12-month embargo. It also requires the data underlying that research to be published. Federal agencies have until December 31, 2025, to institute the guidance….”

OA Switchboard 2022 mid-year review: Collaboration drives growth and progress

“We’re happy to report on the huge amount of progress made so far as we reflect on how things are looking halfway through the second year of our 2021-2022 launch phase.


Our blog post OA Switchboard one year live: Community, collaboration, and delivering on the promise of PIDs detailed our achievements in 2021, the lessons learned from the first year of our launch phase and considered what is next on our agenda.

As we celebrated being fully operational for one year, we also proudly shared our end of year statistics: 84,377 messages were sent by participating publishers to research funders and institutions/consortia via the OA Switchboard (‘messages’ = standardised sets of publication-level metadata)….”

Accelerating Open Science Together; Center for Open Science Impact Reports

“Amid continuing global challenges due to the pandemic, 2021 was another noteworthy year not only for COS, but for the broader research community. The theme, “Accelerating Open Science” is based on our observations of an accelerating shift toward openness-as-default. This shift is being driven by the collective, collaborative actions of researchers and stakeholders committed to providing research progress. The full Impact Report highlights our achievements, our relationships, and our community support, and we hope you’ll take the time to review it. Thank you for your individual and collective actions to change the default to open so that the scientific ideals are manifest and rewarded in everyday practice.”

Plan S founder: ‘long way to go’ to achieve initiative’s aims – Research Professional News

“There is “still a long way to go” before the open-access initiative Plan S achieves its aims, even though it has already “rocked the world of scientific publishing off its feet”, according to its founder….

Under Plan S, a group of mainly European research funders is requiring papers reporting work they have funded to be made openly available immediately and under certain conditions, such as that authors must retain the rights over their work.

The plan was developed in 2018 by Smits, a former European Commission director-general of research and now president of the executive board of Eindhoven University of Technology, in his final year at the EU institution as its open-access envoy.

In the book, co-written with journalist Rachael Pells, Smits describes a “frustrating” meeting with representatives of major academic publishers early in his envoy role, where he was tasked with developing a plan to speed up the transition to open access. “I’d thought, perhaps naively, that there would be a willingness to really work together,” he says, adding that as he listened to the reaction from publishers, he realised his job was “not going to be as easy as I’d hoped”.

Elsewhere in the book, Robert Kiley, head of strategy for Plan S and a former head of open research at the Wellcome Trust—which is among the funders implementing Plan S—says that academics “don’t need journals” any more now that they have the internet.


Kiley says that academia should move entirely to the model being pioneered by funders and institutions including Wellcome and the EU: publication on online platforms of preprints ahead of peer review, followed by open peer review and rounds of improvements….”

France: Top institutions start uploading missing clinical trial results

“Several leading French clinical trial sponsors are now uploading missing results onto the European trial registry. France is finally starting to catch up with other European countries in terms of clinical trial transparency.



Eight major French non-profit research institutions uploaded 27 additional results for drug trials between February and November 2021. …”