Conflict between Open Access and Open Science: APCs are a key part of the problem, preprints are a key part of the solution

“Subscription-based publishing business models inhibit open scholarly communication by making consumers of scientific outputs pay to access findings. Open access business models promote open communication, but the popular Article Processing Charge (APC) model is not perfect. APC’s can be a burden for under-resourced authors and, most critically, the model creates incentives for journals to publish as many outputs as possible. This open access business model conflicts with another theme of the broader open science movement—to improve rigor and credibility of research. Preprints solve this dilemma. Preprinting makes almost all papers freely available at very low cost. 


Wait a second.   

The problem with APCs is that it incentivizes journals to publish as much as possible, whatever the quality; so the solution is to publish everything, whatever the quality?    

Yes, exactly.    

With preprinting, publishing is a relatively trivial act. Authors need only meet modest moderation criteria for their preferred preprint service. When most anything can be published, publication recedes as the key incentive. What takes its place? Evaluation. Journals have historically confounded publication with evaluation. If the paper meets the evaluation criteria, then it is published. Therefore, publication is the act that signals credibility for authors’ work and evaluation—peer review—is an impediment to achieving that reward. …”

Epic’s call to block a proposed data rule is wrong for many reasons – STAT

“Epic, the nation’s largest electronic health record (EHR) company and a major beneficiary of a $48 billion Obama-era federal program to promote the adoption of EHRs, has launched a full-scale effort to block the flow of data out of its software and into apps that benefit doctors and patients. That’s wrong for many reasons.

Epic is attempting to scuttle finalization of a rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would implement the interoperability and information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. The thoughtfully crafted rule, proposed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and now under final review at the Office of Management and Budget, requires that EHRs operate seamlessly with third-party apps, and prevents EHR vendors and health care systems from blocking or inhibiting the flow of information between health information technology systems or to patients. The rule is intended to underpin a digital ecosystem on top of the government’s investment to transform the health care system….”

Charting the Open Access scholarly journals landscape in the UAE | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The purpose of this study is to chart the scholarly journal landscape in the UAE in order to provide a scientific perspective on research productivity, distribution, and access in the country and lay the foundations for further research in this area. The study aims also to contribute to research endeavoring to paint a global picture of scholarly publishing. We carried out a mapping of scholarly journals published in the UAE compiled from international and local sources. The resulting journal list was studied focusing on the share of OA titles, language of publication, discipline, and type of publisher. Our results show that: (1) 534 journals are published in the UAE and that the share of OA is quite noteworthy with about 64% of all online journals; (2) the APC-based OA model is prevalent with around 75% of OA journals levying a publication fee; (3) UAE journals are predominantly in English while the number of Arabic-language journals is marginal; (4) science, technology and medicine prevail as the most prevalent subject areas of the journals; and (5) commercial publishers control most of the publications especially in the medical field. The study lays a foundation for further studies on scholarly journals in the UAE. The combination of regional indexes and international directories to measure the country’s scholarly journal output can also be replicated and built upon for other countries where the major international bibliometric databases do not provide a comprehensive representation of scholarly publishing activities.


California to resume Elsevier talks after signing deals elsewhere | Times Higher Education (THE)

“After watching the University of California head toward a series of open access agreements with other big publishers, industry titan Elsevier has agreed to resume exploratory discussions with the unbending state system….

Given the open access deals the California system has signed elsewhere, the system’s library leaders said in a statement, “we are hopeful that this suggests that the publisher is ready to discuss deals that align with UC’s goals”….

California also pursued its agenda with other publishers. That has led to agreements featuring open-access terms with publishing entities that include Cambridge University Press, the Association for Computing Machinery and JMIR Publications.

And UC said that two other major publishers, Wiley and Springer Nature, have now agreed to extend California’s access to their journals – despite their contracts expiring at the end of last year….”


The Ohio State University Applicant Portal | Program Assistant

“The Ohio State University Libraries publishes and hosts Open Access journals, archives the research and scholarship of campus partners, and promotes the open sharing of scholarly works created by Ohio State faculty, staff, and students. The Production Assistant for Publishing Services reports to the Production Services Coordinator and helps support the dissemination of research, scholarship, and creative expression in alignment with the Libraries strategic directions. The Production Assistant for Publishing Services consistently demonstrates commitment to our values and promotes an organizational culture of Discovery, Connection, Equity, Integrity, and Stewardship ( as well as dedication to advance the work of Publishing and Repository Services. The Production Assistant for Publishing Services assists with established production services for Open Access publishing in the Libraries and performs production work for publishing services across multiple software platforms (e.g. DSpace, Open Journal Systems, WordPress), on multiple simultaneous projects. The Publishing and Repository Services unit includes a team of one librarian, three staff members, and student employees. The position requires attention to detail, sound judgment and decision making, and knowledge of related and applicable software programs. Specific responsibilities include: perform production tasks including layout editing, data input, and DOI registration; design, implement, and document workflows for multiple concurrent production projects; monitor and ensure the quality of data input; provide publishing software technical support for editors and creators of digital content; track projects in project database; schedule and supervise the production work of student assistants; all other duties as assigned….”

The Knowledge Exchange and Transitional Open Access for Smaller Publishers | Jisc scholarly communications

“The KE partner countries share the vision of Open Scholarship and immediate access to all publicly-funded research and have launched initiatives to help small publishers with their efforts to make a transition to Open Access and/or comply with the recommendations in Plan S. Below are some of the activities undertaken in five of the six partnering countries….”

Open Science Days

“The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) cordially invites you to participate in the Open Science Days 2020.

The event will take place at the Harnack House in Berlin and is going to extend over one and a half days (March 02/03).
For this event, we have decided to broaden our view on the world of research and to examine the relationship between Open Science and Good Scientific Practice….”

Results dissemination of registered clinical trials across Polish academic institutions: a cross-sectional analysis | BMJ Open


Objectives To establish the rates of publication and reporting of results for interventional clinical trials across Polish academic medical centres (AMCs) completed between 2009 and 2013. We aim also to compare the publication and reporting success between adult and paediatric trials.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting AMCs in Poland.

Participants AMCs with interventional trials registered on

Main outcome measure Results reporting on and publishing via journal publication.

Results We identified 305 interventional clinical trials registered on, completed between 2009 and 2013 and affiliated with at least one AMC. Overall, 243 of the 305 trials (79.7%) had been published as articles or posted their summary results on Results were posted within a year of study completion and/or published within 2 years of study completion for 131 trials (43.0%). Dissemination by both posting and publishing results in a timely manner was achieved by four trials (1.3%).

Conclusions Our cross-sectional analysis revealed that Polish AMCs fail to meet the expectation for timely disseminating the findings of all interventional clinical trials. Delayed dissemination and non-dissemination of trial results negatively affects decisions in healthcare….”

Improving Psychological Science through Transparency and Openness: An Overview | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The ability to independently verify and replicate observations made by other researchers is a hallmark of science. In this article, we provide an overview of recent discussions concerning replicability and best practices in mainstream psychology with an emphasis on the practical benefists to both researchers and the field as a whole. We first review challenges individual researchers face in producing research that is both publishable and reliable. We then suggest methods for producing more accurate research claims, such as transparently disclosing how results were obtained and analyzed, preregistering analysis plans, and publicly posting original data and materials. We also discuss ongoing changes at the institutional level to incentivize stronger research. These include officially recognizing open science practices at the journal level, disconnecting the publication decision from the results of a study, training students to conduct replications, and publishing replications. We conclude that these open science practices afford exciting low-cost opportunities to improve the quality of psychological science.


Limited engagement with transparent and open science standards in the policies of pain journals: a cross-sectional evaluation | BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine

Abstract:  Scientific progress requires transparency and openness. The ability to critique, replicate and implement scientific findings depends on the transparency of the study design and methods, and the open availability of study materials, data and code. Journals are key stakeholders in supporting transparency and openness. This study aimed to evaluate 10 highest ranked pain journals’ authorship policies with respect to their support for transparent and open research practices. Two independent authors evaluated the journal policies (as at 27 May 2019) using three tools: the self-developed Transparency and Openness Evaluation Tool, the Centre for Open Science (COS) Transparency Factor and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirements for disclosure of conflicts of interest. We found that the journal policies had an overall low level of engagement with research transparency and openness standards. The median COS Transparency Factor score was 3.5 (IQR 2.8) of 29 possible points, and only 7 of 10 journals’ stated requirements for disclosure of conflicts of interest aligned fully with the ICMJE recommendations. Improved transparency and openness of pain research has the potential to benefit all that are involved in generating and using research findings. Journal policies that endorse and facilitate transparent and open research practices will ultimately improve the evidence base that informs the care provided for people with pain.


The role of geographic bias in knowledge diffusion: a systematic review and narrative synthesis | Research Integrity and Peer Review | Full Text

Abstract:  Descriptive studies examining publication rates and citation counts demonstrate a geographic skew toward high-income countries (HIC), and research from low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) is generally underrepresented. This has been suggested to be due in part to reviewers’ and editors’ preference toward HIC sources; however, in the absence of controlled studies, it is impossible to assert whether there is bias or whether variations in the quality or relevance of the articles being reviewed explains the geographic divide. This study synthesizes the evidence from randomized and controlled studies that explore geographic bias in the peer review process.

Scientists are unraveling the Chinese coronavirus with unprecedented speed and openness – The Washington Post

“Just 10 days after a pneumonia-like illness was first reported among people who visited a seafood market in Wuhan, China, scientists released the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that sickened them. That precious bit of data, freely available to any researcher who wanted to study it, unleashed a massive collaborative effort to understand the mysterious new pathogen that has been rapidly spreading in China and beyond.

The genome was posted on a Friday night on an open-access repository for genetic information. By Saturday morning, Andrew Mesecar, a professor of cancer structural biology at Purdue University, had redirected his laboratory to start analyzing the DNA sequence….

At unprecedented speed, scientists are starting experiments, sharing data and revealing the secrets of the pathogen — a race that is made possible by new scientific tools and cultural norms in the face of a public health emergency….”


Beyond textbooks: Why Wikipedia and other Open Educational Resources are the future for global knowledge

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently adopted a new Recommendation — the highest level of international policy — about Open Education Resources (OERs) such as Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation’s Nichole Saad shares below why this is a milestone moment for the free knowledge movement around the world.