In pursuit of trusted information: the trials and tribulations of public access – Open Pharma – Innovations in medical publishing

“The concept of public, barrier-free access to research findings emerged at the turn of the century. At that time, the academic publishing landscape was dominated by subscription-based journals. Initially championed by researchers, the quest for public access (often referred to as ‘open access’) gained momentum over the past decade, buoyed by public access mandates from research funders and by the dawn of transformative agreements. Yet barriers to public access to research persist, among them maintaining the financial sustainability of current publishing models. A recent webinar from the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, which was titled Public access to health information: providing trusted information to all, brought together leading multidisciplinary experts in public access to discuss these challenges and the practicalities of ensuring public access for all….”

Open Pharma launches new open access benchmarking tool – Open Pharma – Innovations in medical publishing

“Open Pharma has developed a new, free-to-view, online tool that reports open access (OA) publishing rates, access types and OA licences for peer-reviewed medical publications with authors affiliated to pharma companies and universities.

The Open Pharma OA position statement emphasizes the importance of publishing research OA to ensure that high-quality, peer-reviewed evidence is available to anyone who needs it, anywhere in the world and without charge.

The recognized benefits of OA publishing include improved equity in access to medical knowledge and scientific advances, increased research transparency and the potential to foster greater public trust in scientific research (Figure 1). Emerging data from global publishers Taylor & Francis also suggest that research published OA typically has higher reach and impact than comparable paywalled articles of a similar age….”

Weekly digest: Open Pharma open access dashboard, benchmarking and data sharing – Open Pharma – Innovations in medical publishing

“This week, we are excited to announce that our open access dashboard has gone live! We also highlight our poster about the dashboard that we presented at the 19th Annual Meeting of ISMPP earlier this week. We read about potential social biases in authors’ willingness to share data, about community engagement in relation to data sharing, and about an editor exodus from two leading neuroscience journals. Finally, we highlight the upcoming ISPOR 2023 conference, as well as a virtual session on open science hosted by the UN….”

Guest Post – Towards Standardizing Plain Language Summaries: The Open Pharma Recommendations – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Plain language summaries (PLS) of peer-reviewed medical journal publications are summaries of a piece of published literature that simplify highly-specialized terminology and jargon into language everyone can understand. PLS are intended for everyone engaging with medical research, such as patients, patient advocates, caregivers, healthcare professionals and policymakers. Frequently, they are brief, text-based lay abstracts formatted like, and hosted alongside, the scientific abstract. However, consensus on industry standards for PLS is still in its infancy, so other formats in use across the industry include multi-page visual infographics and digital enhancements, usually hosted in the supplementary materials or on third-party websites….

Why write a PLS?

Open science is a human right. Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right freely to […] share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. The concept of open science as it relates to financial availability and open access publishing is already well established, and its principles can be seen in action in the likes of preprints, open source data sets, and open peer review reports, among others….

Accessible open science improves trust and transparency. At a time when public trust in the pharmaceutical industry is low, transparency is more important than ever, and what’s more transparent than sharing accurate and credible research directly with the public, in language they can understand?…

Our recommendations also call for PLS that are directly discoverable and findable instead of being buried in supplementary materials or multiple clicks away on third-party websites. PubMed is one of the most widely-used public databases of medical literature and already has an built-in function for hosting PLS. To be indexed on PubMed, a PLS needs to be text-based, 250 words or less, and tagged accordingly when uploaded by publishers. Therefore, the Open Pharma recommendations advise that PLS should meet these technical requirements. We do recognize, however, that PubMed is not an ideal platform for all stakeholders, and we would welcome future development of a central database for PLS that can match PubMed’s discoverability while providing more options for different content formats, such as infographics and videos to increase understanding and engagement….”