“The Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is pleased to host Reimagining Science Communication in the COVID Era and Beyond: The 5th Science Communication Colloquium on June 1, 2, and 6, 2022. This multi-day hybrid event will bring together diverse researchers, communicators, and community members and leaders to learn from one another. Plenary sessions will focus on building inclusive and equitable structures, evidence-based practices, and the science of science communication and engagement. Interactive networking opportunities will foster collaboration and engagement.”
Advocates for open access argue that people need scientific information, although they lack evidence for this. Using Google’s recently developed deep learning natural language processing model, which offers unrivalled comprehension of subtle differences in meaning, 1.6 million people downloading National Academies reports were classified, not just into broad categories such as researchers and teachers but also precisely delineated small groups such as hospital chaplains, veterans, and science fiction authors. The results reveal adults motivated to seek out the most credible sources, engage with challenging material, use it to improve the services they provide, and learn more about the world they live in. The picture contrasts starkly with the dominant narrative of a misinformed and manipulated public targeted by social media.
In seeking to understand how to protect the public information sphere from corruption, researchers understandably focus on dysfunction. However, parts of the public information ecosystem function very well, and understanding this as well will help in protecting and developing existing strengths. Here, we address this gap, focusing on public engagement with high-quality science-based information, consensus reports of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Attending to public use is important to justify public investment in producing and making freely available high-quality, scientifically based reports. We deploy Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT), a high-performing, supervised machine learning model, to classify 1.6 million comments left by US downloaders of National Academies reports responding to a prompt asking how they intended to use the report. The results provide detailed, nationwide evidence of how the public uses open access scientifically based information. We find half of reported use to be academic—research, teaching, or studying. The other half reveals adults across the country seeking the highest-quality information to improve how they do their job, to help family members, to satisfy their curiosity, and to learn. Our results establish the existence of demand for high-quality information by the public and that such knowledge is widely deployed to improve provision of services. Knowing the importance of such information, policy makers can be encouraged to protect it.
“A fundamental principle of open access is that publication technology enables the widest possible audience for research findings. However, the extent to which open research is used outside of academia is often underexplored. Drawing on a dataset covering over a million user comments about their use of US National Academies consensus study reports, Ameet Doshi, Diana Hicks, Matteo Zullo and Omar I. Asensio find widespread use of open research in the public sphere….
Our classification project reveals that the impact of these reports extend far beyond the research community (see Results, Fig 1). We find that half of all report downloads are used for non-academic purposes, including to improve the provision of services by medical professionals, local and regional planners, public health workers, and veterans’ advocates, to name just a few of the 64 total categories of report use. Heavy use is made of Academies reports on STEM education and how people learn by teachers, school administrators and teachers’ coaches. Other notable reports with their prominent users included Dying in America (chaplains), Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cattle (farmers), and Best Care at Lower Costs (clinicians and hospital administrators)….
Open access repositories require significant resources, both technological and human, to sustain and innovate. The National Academies Press, for example, has developed an engaging user interface to incentivize browsing and ease of access to NASEM publications. The PubMed Central server, developed and managed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), requires millions of dollars per year to operate. Our research indicates there is an identifiable payoff to society for these taxpayer investments into people, technology and design to support OA publishing….
Librarians and open access advocates have long presupposed that open access to high-quality scientific knowledge could and should be viewed as a public good. Our empirical research suggests that the initial utopian aspirations regarding the public use and societal impact of OA may indeed rest on sound footing.”
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is pleased to announce the publication of the inaugural issue of PNAS Nexus, a selective, open access journal with a focus on multi-, trans-, and inter-disciplinary work across the biological, physical, and social sciences, and mathematics, particularly encompassing engineering and health sciences. The journal is published under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Karen Nelson and in partnership with Oxford University Press (OUP).
It contains modular elements that can be adapted and adopted for a range of use cases, including language for hiring, tenure & promotion, and grantmaking; primers on good practices for openly sharing articles, data, and a number of other resource types, and an Open Science Success Stories Database, which compiles research articles, perspectives, case studies, news stories, and other materials that demonstrate the myriad ways in which Open Science benefits researchers and society alike. Notably, the National Academies is publishing the toolkit under a CC-BY license.
“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science will host a public release of Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop on Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT. Please register in advance to receive information on how to participate in the event.”
“The National Academies Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, established in 2019, has taken on an important role in addressing issues with open science. The roundtable convenes critical stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of current incentives for adopting open science practices, current barriers of all types, and ways to move forward in order to align reward structures and institutional values. The Roundtable convened a virtual public workshop on fostering open science practices on November 5, 2020. The broad goal of the workshop was to identify paths to growing the nascent coalition of stakeholders committed to reenvisioning credit/reward systems (e.g., academic hiring, tenure and promotion, and grants)to fully incentivize open science practices. The workshop explored the information and resource needs of researchers, research institutions, government agencies, philanthropies, professional societies, and other stakeholders interested in further supporting and implementing open science practices. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.”
“As of August 1, 2021, the University of California (UC) has a two-year open access agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The agreement allows corresponding authors at all UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to publish open access in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) for a reduced cost and with no separate article page charges.
Researchers and students at all UC campuses will also be able to access all PNAS content, dating back to 1915, free of charge. This is the first transformative agreement between PNAS and a U.S. research institution. …”
“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science will host a public release of Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop on Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT. Please register in advance to receive information on how to participate in the event.
The forthcoming publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the virtual workshop held on November 5, 2020 that explored the information and resource needs of researchers, research institutions, research funders, professional societies, and other stakeholders interested in fostering open science practices. The proceedings will includes examples of toolkit elements that have been developed by members of working groups of the Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science. The toolkit is primarily intended to assist university leadership, academic department chairs, research funders, learned societies, and government agencies for aligning incentives for open science.
The public release event is expected to highlight the value of an open science toolkit, National Academies engagement with open science, and an overview of the toolkit elements, followed by brief case studies presented by members of the community that show how the toolkit can be adapted and adopted. ”
“The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the University of California (UC) today announced a two-year transformative agreement that makes it easier and more affordable for corresponding authors at UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to publish open access articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This is the first transformative agreement between PNAS and a U.S. research institution, and UC’s tenth open access publishing agreement….”
“Jisc and the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (NAS) are pleased to announce a two-year transformational open access (OA) pilot agreement.
The ‘Publish and Read’ deal will allow UK corresponding authors at participating institutions to publish OA articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) without incurring any publication charges. Researchers at participating Jisc institutions will be able to access all PNAS content, dating back to 1915, for free….”
Abstract: The movement toward open science, data sharing, and increased transparency is being propelled by the need to rapidly address critical scientific challenges, such as the global COVID-19 public health crisis. This movement has supported growth in fields, such as artificial intelligence (AI), which has demonstrated potential to accelerate science, engineering, and medicine in new and exciting ways. To further advance innovation around these new approaches, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Research Data and Information convened a public virtual workshop on October 14-15, 2020, to address how researchers in different domains are utilizing data that undergo repeated processing, often in real-time, to accelerate scientific discovery. Although these topics were not originally part of the workshop, the impact of COVID-19 prompted the planning committee to add sessions on early career researchers’ perspectives, as well as rapid review and publishing activities as a result of the pandemic. Participants also explored the advances needed to enable future progress in areas such as AI, cyberinfrastructure, standards, and policies. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.