OA.Works receives $1.9 million to bolster OA policies

“We’re thrilled to announce that OA Works (formerly Open Access Button) has received a grant of $1.9M USD over the next three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The investment expands OA.Work’s efforts to streamline self-archiving through ShareYourPaper, and forges a new partnership with the foundation to develop tools that help put OA policies into practice. We’re building three new open-source services for the foundation and other institutions, including:

OAreport: to discover, analyze, and unlock papers covered by OA policies.
ShareYourPaper for Funders: to bring drag-and-drop self-archiving to funders and their grantees.
OAsupport: to provide a help desk that serves authors making their work open access….”

Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus genome data

“Global-south scientists say that an open-access movement led by wealthy nations deprives them of credit and undermines their efforts….

But a growing faction of scientists, mostly from wealthy nations, argues that sequences should be shared on databases with no gatekeeping at all. They say this would allow huge analyses combining hundreds of thousands of genomes from different databases to flow seamlessly, and therefore deliver results more rapidly.

The debate has caught the attention of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) — which runs its own genome repository, called GenBank — and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has considered encouraging grantees to share on sites without such strong protections, Nature has learnt.

But many researchers — particularly those in resource-limited countries — are pushing back. They tell Nature that they see potential for exploitation in this no-strings-attached approach — and that GISAID’s gatekeeping is one of its biggest attractions because it ensures that users who analyse sequences from GISAID acknowledge those who deposited them. The database also requests that users seek to collaborate with the depositors….

Fears of inequitable data use are amplified by the fact that only 0.3% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to low-income countries. “Imagine Africans working so hard to contribute to a database that’s used to make or update vaccines, and then we don’t get access to the vaccines,” says Christian Happi, a microbiologist at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Ede, Nigeria. “It’s very demoralizing.” …”

Gates Open Research – A summary of year four -Gates Open Research Blog

“We are pleased that more authors are choosing to publish with us, hosting the work of 2000 published authors, a third of whom have published at least twice.  Since launch, we have published 291 articles and 846 peer review reports, which are all assigned a DOI.

Research Articles remain our most popular peer reviewed article type, representing 48% of the published work. We’ve seen a rise in other article types, publishing more Open Letters and Study Protocols, at 23% and 15% respectively. We see the value in non-traditional article types, and this increase shows how researchers can benefit from the flexibility of communicating research beyond the standard research article, which isn’t necessarily the best or most appropriate format to convey research. Representing a smaller proportion but no less important are Method Articles, Software Tools and Research Notes at 5%, 4% and 2% respectively….”

About The Lens » The Lens awarded $2M USD to strengthen institutional innovation capabilities

Cambia today announced a $2M USD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support scaling its prominent open knowledge platform, The Lens, as it launches its institutional toolkits to encourage shared evidence and open data to guide partnering and action for science-based problem solving by institutions….”

MLIS alum is on a mission for open access | Information School | University of Washington

“As the program manager of knowledge and research at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Farley is part coach, part traffic cop, ensuring that all Gates-funded research is freely available to the public. She is the lead advocate for the Gates’ open access policy, which requires unrestricted access to all research funded by the organization. She oversees a $6 million annual budget that she uses to advocate for open access, ensure that researchers understand and adhere to the policy, and build tools to help them disseminate their work.

In addition to setting policy for the Gates Foundation, Farley frequently gives presentations about open access and is an outspoken advocate for it on Twitter. She sees herself as an educator and motivator, extolling the benefits of publishing research openly….”

They Pledged to Donate Rights to Their COVID Vaccine, Then Sold Them to Pharma – Kaiser Health News

“Oxford University surprised and pleased advocates of overhauling the vaccine business in April by promising to donate the rights to its promising coronavirus vaccine to any drugmaker.

The idea was to provide medicines preventing or treating COVID-19 at a low cost or free of charge, the British university said. That made sense to people seeking change. The coronavirus was raging. Many agreed that traditional vaccine development, characterized by long lead times, manufacturing monopolies and weak investment, was broken….

A few weeks later, Oxford—urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices—with the less-publicized potential for Oxford to eventually make millions from the deal and win plenty of prestige….”

Data could hold the key to stopping Alzheimer’s | Bill Gates

“Unfortunately, this siloed approach to research data hasn’t yielded great results. We have only made incremental progress in therapeutics since the late 1990s. There’s a lot that we still don’t know about Alzheimer’s, including what part of the brain breaks down first and how or when you should intervene. But I’m hopeful that will change soon thanks in part to the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative, or ADDI….

I worked with a coalition of partners to create ADDI, because we believe that more data sharing will accelerate progress towards an Alzheimer’s breakthrough. To make this happen, ADDI created the Alzheimer’s Disease workbench.

 

This workbench hosts an open, global, and easy-to-use set of tools and resources. The goal is to simplify how researchers and data scientists around the world work together and share data, code, and knowledge in order to make advances in the field…..”

Price Transparency on Gates Open Research -Gates Open Research Blog

“Last month, F1000 Research rolled out a new pricing structure complete with price transparency for its platform. As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a cOAlition S signatory, we knew that Gates Open Research (GOR) would need to make its pricing structure transparent, so that it meets the criteria of a fully Plan S compliant publishing platform. So, we are announcing our new pricing and service framework for GOR, which ensures a fairer and more representative pricing across all academic subject areas funded by the foundation while providing full transparency on what those prices comprise of. 

2020 marks three years of publication for GOR, and over this time the platform has grown in popularity and size, along with publishing research across the full range of academic subject areas the foundation supports. F1000 Research have analysed the publications on GOR to determine if the word count pricing structure is representative for all the published content to date. We particularly wanted to see if there was a bias towards the cost of articles in different subject areas that the foundation fund. Subject areas like education and social science research typically produce articles that are longer, so we also wanted to see if the editorial service we were providing aligned with the cost of publishing article in these areas. The results of this analysis showed that there was room for improvement, and we think the new pricing structure described below better accommodates for a fairer approach to pricing that works across all academic subjects and better represents the editorial service that is required.  

We have subsequently combined this work with the article processing charge (APC) transparency requirements necessary for Plan S compliance….”

OpenStax to vastly expand open education library with support from national foundations

“OpenStax, Rice’s educational technology initiative, is vastly expanding its library of free textbooks, working toward a goal of ensuring that no student ever has to worry about textbook costs again. This work is possible as a result of new grants totaling $12.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Stand Together community….”

Taking action to help researchers -Gates Open Research Blog

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched it’s Open Access policy in 2015 marking a point where we joined a global effort to prioritize open access to research knowledge with aims to accelerate finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The Wellcome Trust first partnered with F1000 to launch Wellcome Open Research and they shared their experience with the foundation (see the story here). Intrigued by the F1000 model, the foundation followed in Wellcome’s footsteps to launch it’s own open platform for it’s grantees. It has been one of my favourite initiatives associated with the foundation’s open access work. As a librarian, it is part of my ethos to help people access the information they need and to ensure quality information is widely available to all. …”

Guest Post – Transparency: What Can One Learn from a Trove of Invoices? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The dataset Ashley [Farley] provided us [from the Gates Foundation] (covering the period from August 1, 2016, to March 31, 2019) includes:

3,268 invoices for articles in peer-reviewed journals
720 journals
90 publishers

In total the Foundation paid $9,002,225 to these publishers to ensure results of all Foundation research was disseminated with a CC BY license with no embargos — an average cost for “open” of $2,755 per article.

We think we’ve uncovered some interesting trends in this data, but our main objective is to share the research dataset we have developed, along with the Foundation’s original invoicing data. That way anyone can use these for further research….

In 2016, only 22% of authors were choosing to publish in fully-OA journals; in 2019, 50% have done so….

Traditional publishers charge significantly more for APCs than OA-only publishers….

Researchers choosing to publish in a fully OA Journal show a strong preference for OA-only publishers’ titles….

There are no significant differences in for-profit vs. non-profit publishers’ APCs for fully OA journals….”

Why we do need a new gold open access journal called “Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health” – ScienceDirect

“Finally, there is an ambition that BBI-Health will be an open-access, high-quality journal that will fulfil the criteria of the new ‘open access’ policy detailed in ‘Plan S’ and endorsed by a number of funders in the cOAlition S, including the Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation, the European Research Council and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who may eventually stop funding open-access publications in hybrid journals. If or when this happens, the community of scientists interested in psychoneuroimmunology and immunopsychiatry will be ready with a dedicated journal….”

Big funders back plan for instant free access to journals, but researchers say it is risky for science | Science|Business

“Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation announce backing for EU’s Plan-S, requiring journal papers to be free to read on day of publication. But 600 chemists say this is going too far….

Grant holders subject to Plan-S would be banned from publishing in hundreds of journals, including influential titles such as Nature, Science and The Lancet, unless those journals flip their business model. Publishing in these high impact journals remains the main measure of the quality of individual researchers or their work. It is also a route preferred by the big publishers running big media relations departments.

Signatories to the letter, including two Nobel laureates, Ben Feringa and Arieh Warshel, say the ban on so-called hybrid journals envisaged by Plan-S is “a big problem, especially for chemistry”, as it would prevent scientists from publishing in journals that are important for their career progression.

“I expected resistance because Plan-S is a radical plan,” said Smits. “People have been publishing in subscription journals for ages and they are obsessed with journal metrics.”

In response to the 600 signatories of the letter, Smits says the ball is in their court. They should get involved in adapting and pushing for change to an outdated model that drains the budgets of university libraries and shuts out people who cannot afford hefty subscriptions, he argues. 

“One thing I was quite disappointed by – although these scientists are extending the frontiers of knowledge, when it comes to publishing, they still embrace the traditional subscription based model and, with this, the journal impact factor instead of going for full open access and developing new metrics,” Smits said.

“It’s not just what Plan-S can do for you, but what you can do for Plan-S.” …”

Wellcome mandates publication before peer review in health crises | Times Higher Education (THE)

One of the world’s biggest research funders is to require research that could help to tackle disease outbreaks or other health emergencies to be published before peer review as part of a further step towards open science.

Releasing details of its new open-access policy, which comes into force in January 2020, the Wellcome Trust said that, “where there was a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly”, the research must be placed “on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript” prior to peer review.

Robert Kiley, head of open research at Wellcome, told Times Higher Education that it was “clearly necessary” to bypass traditional journal publication processes if that allowed potentially life-saving research to be shared more quickly….”