Open Data Specialist

“The Open Data Specialist supports research projects by identifying, developing, and helping execute best practices for data formatting, metadata, organization, interoperability, rapid dissemination, storage as well as data usage tracking. In practice, the Open Data Specialist works with labs and teams involved in a project to develop these best practices for all data processing stages from acquisition to analysis and public deposition, supports the labs to streamline data flow, consolidates data, and documents datasets and processing pipelines. Additional responsibilities may include the provision and application of tools to convert between different data formats and the development of reproducible workflows.”

Funders Support Use of Reviewed Preprints in Research Assessment

eLife’s new publishing model has sparked vigorous discussion about the role of editors in selecting research articles for publication. In October, the organisation announced that it is eliminating accept/reject decisions after peer review and instead focusing on preprint review and assessment.

In support, a group of nine funders have committed to including reviewed preprints in the evaluation process, even if they lack the traditional stamp of approval from journal editors. Among these supporters are the Gates Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and Wellcome.


Supporting organisations:

Cambridge University Libraries
Champalimaud Foundation
cOAlition S
Gates Foundation
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Research Libraries UK
Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute

HHMI Statement in Support of eLife and Open Science Innovation | HHMI

“The journal eLife recently announced a new scientific publishing model. Starting in January 2023, eLife will no longer make accept/reject decisions after peer review. Instead, every preprint that eLife sends for peer review will be published on eLife’s website as a “Reviewed Preprint” together with an eLife assessment, public reviews, and a response from the authors. This means that eLife authors – not editors – will decide whether and with what revisions an eLife article will be published.

HHMI enthusiastically supports eLife’s new model. As one of the founding members of eLife that continues to provide financial support, we stand with scientific leaders who recognize that publishing must change, and that now is the time.  If we’re to fulfill the public promise of science – new knowledge to benefit all – we need to share research, including scholarly peer reviews, openly. We need to innovate in ways that prioritize research progress and quality of peer review over journal selectivity and prestige. We need to create systems that reward scientists for making choices for the greater good….”

Recognizing Preprint Peer Review | Janelia Research Campus

“Public review of preprints offers many benefits. It enables reviewers to focus on the science itself, allows authors to engage in constructive dialog with reviewers, and provides context on preprints for readers. cOAlition S and EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowships have recently announced that they recognize peer-reviewed preprints as peer-reviewed publications, and some journals are accepting reviews from services such as Peer Community In and Review Commons.

Sponsored by HHMI, ASAPbio, and EMBO, the goals of this meeting are to promote community consensus and support for preprint peer review and to create funder, institutional, and journal policies that recognize both preprints with reviews, and reviews of preprints.

We invite the entire scientific community to engage with us virtually by watching the talks, asking questions and contributing to group discussions. SIGN UP to to receive updates about this meeting, including a detailed agenda when available and the Zoom link to join.”

Microbiology Society launches an innovative open research platform | Microbiology Society

“The Microbiology Society is delighted to announce that our sound science journal, Access Microbiology, has been re-launched as an innovative open research platform and is now open for submissions. It is free for authors to submit and publish on the platform during the first year of launch, so we encourage early submission to take advantage of this.


Access Microbiology was originally launched in 2018 as a new service to members of our community, allowing the publication of replication studies, negative or null results, research proposals, data management plans, additions to established methods, and interdisciplinary work. By 2020 the number of submissions had exceeded expectations, showing that there is demand for a Society-owned, sound science microbiology journal.

In recent times, there has been a complete overhaul in the way research is being both undertaken and shared. Researchers need to rapidly share their work and are increasingly required to share the data underlying their research. The Council of the Society is keen to be at the forefront of these changes, and we recognised there was a need for a trusted place for our community to disseminate their work rapidly, rigorously and transparently. In response to this need, we applied for and won a grant from the Wellcome Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute to convert Access Microbiology into an open research platform….”

Howard Hughes Medical Institute funds the preprint review platform Review Commons – Press releases – EMBO

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded EMBO a grant to support the operation and development of Review Commons, the journal-independent peer review platform launched in 2019 by EMBO and ASAPbio. The grant secures the ongoing ability of Review Commons to operate at no cost to authors while allowing the project team to further promote the use of refereed preprints and expand the reach of the platform.

Research funders invest in ‘publish, then review’ model for science publishing | For the press | eLife

eLife has announced that its four funders, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome, are extending their support for the non-profit organisation. The new investment will boost eLife’s efforts to openly review and curate research published as preprints.

HHMI Nonexclusive License Agreement for Open Access to Publications

HHMI researchers must “Grant, effective as of and after January 1, 2022, a non-exclusive Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Public License, or such other type of public license(s) that HHMI may elect in accordance with paragraph 1.d. below, to the public to each Research Article, including without limitation the author accepted manuscript (“AAM”), in any medium, worldwide, for the term of the copyright of each such Research Article (the “Public License”) in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement including paragraph 1.f. below. c. Grant, effective as of and after January 1, 2022, an irrevocable, non-exclusive, paidup, royalty-free license to HHMI to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each Research Article, including without limitation the AAM, in any medium, worldwide, for the term of the copyright of each such Research Article, and to authorize others to do the same (the “HHMI License”)….”

Open Access to Publications

“An HHMI lab head can meet the requirements of this policy for a specific article in the following ways:

• Publishing the “version of record” (the version that is published by the journal) under a CC BY license so that it is immediately and freely available to the public. For example, open access journals typically offer a CC BY license option and make the articles they publish immediately and freely available.

• Depositing the “author-accepted manuscript” (the version after peer review accepted by the journal) in PubMedCentral or another HHMI-designated repository under a CC BY license so that it is immediately and freely available to the public upon publication in the journal. This option applies to journals like subscription journals which do not publish the journal article (i.e., the version of record) under a CC BY license. If the journal does not deposit the author-accepted manuscript in a repository on behalf of the authors, it is the responsibility of the HHMI author(s) to ensure that the author-accepted manuscript is available under a CC BY license by the publication date….”

Powerful US research funder unveils strict open-access policy

“One of the world’s richest biomedical research organizations, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), announced on 1 October that it will require scientists it funds to make papers open access (OA) as soon as they are published — a change to its current policy, which allows a delay of up to one year before results must be free to read.

The non-profit organization, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is only the second US funder to insist on immediate open access, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. As part of the policy change, HHMI has joined the coalition of funders and organizations behind Plan S, a European-led initiative that is pushing for research to be immediately accessible on publication, and is supported by national research agencies and charitable organizations such as the Wellcome Trust and the Gates foundation. The HHMI’s shift is a boost to Plan S, and having more US-based funders on board will help build momentum towards open access, says Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Open Access Project and the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The HHMI spent US$763 million on biomedical research in 2019 and supports around 4,750 researchers, producing around 2,500 papers a year. Its new policy states that from 2022, HHMI scientists must either publish papers OA or deposit their accepted manuscripts in a repository openly under a liberal publishing licence….”

HHMI, one of the largest research philanthropies, will require immediate open access | Science | AAAS

“The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), one of the largest research philanthropies, said today it will begin to require its scientists to make research papers in which they played a leading role immediately free to read. HHMI now requires open access within 12 months of publica­tion.

After the policy takes effect in January 2022, the move could block the institute’s scientists, who include some of the biggest names in biomedical research, from publishing in top-tier, subscription-only journals such as Cell, Nature, and Science. Work by more than 4700 staff members, including 256 investigators and nearly 1700 postdoctoral researchers at laboratories across the United States, could be affected, HHMI says. But if elite journals continue to join the movement toward open-access publishing, HHMI authors may gain new options for compliance….”

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute joins cOAlition S | Plan S

“cOAlition S is excited to welcome the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as the newest organisation to join cOAlition S, a consortium of research funding and performing organisations committed to delivering full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.

Advocating for broader immediate access to published scientific research, the HHMI announced today, October 1, 2020, significant changes to its publishing policy. The new policy, which aligns with the principles of Plan S,  will take effect on January 1, 2022, and will require all HHMI laboratory heads to publish in a manner that makes their research articles freely available on the day of publication under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY).

HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the United States, spending more than $750 million annually on basic biomedical research and employing more than 2,300 employees. By launching its new policy, HHMI joins forces with cOAlition S organisations in the drive towards full and immediate open access publishing….”

HHMI Announces Open Access Publishing Policy |

“Advocating for broader immediate access to published scientific research, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced significant changes to its publishing policy. The new policy, which will take effect on January 1, 2022, will require all HHMI laboratory heads to publish in a manner that makes their research articles freely available on the publication date under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

HHMI’s policy outlines the new requirements and a number of options that HHMI scientists have to meet this open access mandate. The goal of the policy is to ensure that when HHMI research is published, it is shared with immediate open access and without restrictions on subsequent use, enabling others to build on the work to accelerate discovery….

The new policy is HHMI’s latest step in its efforts over two decades to influence and catalyze important changes in scientific publishing that foster greater access to scientific outputs. In 2003, HHMI hosted a key meeting in which the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing was drafted, leading to an early working definition of open access publication in the life sciences and biomedicine. In 2007, HHMI became one of the first research organizations in the United States to adopt a public access publishing policy. Four years later, in 2011, the Institute joined with Wellcome and the Max Planck Institute in creating the open access journal eLife. More recently, the Institute has advocated for more transparent and community-driven publishing practices, including the use of preprints as a means of making scientific research freely available and faster. It has also changed its guidelines to allow HHMI scientists to include preprints among the published research articles they submit when they undergo scientific review….”

What HHMI Scientists Think About Scientific Publishing |

“HHMI works to discover and share scientific knowledge. We believe that science is a public good. Should new research be shared freely, widely, and quickly? We asked our scientists what they think….

Finding 1 – Most surveyed scientists see significant challenges with scientific publishing today and generally favor open access over subscription….

Finding 2 – The scientists are divided on whether they oppose or favor a policy requiring them to publish open access, which would restrict their publication choices….

Finding 3 – When considering a policy requiring them to publish open access, the scientists’ top concern was that trainees will find it more difficult to obtain tenure-track academic positions if they cannot publish in prestigious journals that are currently subscription-based….

Finding 4 – The majority of Group Leaders at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus who took the survey report posting or reading preprints, with a lower proportion of HHMI Investigators and trainees doing so. Scientists are split on whether they oppose or favor a requirement to publish preprints….”

News & Views: Curate or Perish? – Delta Think

“Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) recently announced the launch of the “Learned Society Curation Awards,” a new funding initiative designed to reward societies who are looking beyond publishing when thinking of their future contributions.

What might this statement tell us about the vision these funders’ have for learned societies in an open future? …

The awards—up to £200,000 over three years—are for those who “want to explore new ways of signaling the significance of published research outputs in an open and transparent manner.”…

How often do substantial grants and awards become available to fund society experimentation? The Learned Society Curation Awards offer eligible societies the chance to fund pilot projects that may provide for new sources of revenue in the future. This should be welcome news for societies seeking to explore non-publication-based revenue and to diversify for improved financial sustainability.”