Importance of Lay Summaries for Improving Science Communication | Annals of Behavioral Medicine | Oxford Academic

“Journal article authors write lay summaries to emphasize the focus and significance of the article’s research findings in accessible language in contrast to jargon-filled, longer scientific abstracts. Annals of Behavioral Medicine now requires lay summaries. However, lay summaries were only included in 1% of journals as of 2017, making them a somewhat unusual feature [1]. While more journals are beginning to offer or require lay summaries to accompany research articles as part of increasing science communication to the public, practitioners, and scientific experts from other disciplines, most scientists do not receive training or substantial guidance for crafting them, further discouraging scientists to create them when opportunities exist. This creates barriers in a time when science communication could substantially positively impact public health.

Science communication encourages more informed decision making by individuals and policy makers. Given recent world events including the COVID-19 pandemic and the proliferation of misinformation campaigns, the need for behavioral medicine to influence public opinion, public policy, and public health is at its peak. Additionally, solving complex modern issues requires interdisciplinary collaborations, which itself requires science communication. However, traditional academic publishing models suboptimally facilitate dissemination of relevant science to the public and media due to jargon and cautious language regarding findings, thereby limiting the complete translational science spectrum. With Annals of Behavioral Medicine’s fundamental roles in the broader behavioral medicine literature, adding lay summaries may facilitate increased uptake of the journal’s publications into the media, lay audiences, and community partners in the field thus turning research into action. Adding lay summaries to research articles supports translational science and may improve public health communication as non-scientists view this work.”

Generative AI as a Tool for Environmental Health Research Translation | medRxiv

Abstract:  Generative artificial intelligence, popularized by services like ChatGPT, has been the source of much recent popular attention for publishing health research. Another valuable application is in translating published research studies to readers in non-academic settings. These might include environmental justice communities, mainstream media outlets, and community science groups. Five recently published (2021-2022) open-access, peer-reviewed papers, authored by University of Louisville environmental health investigators and collaborators, were submitted to ChatGPT. The average rating of all summaries of all types across the five different studies ranged between 3 and 5, indicating good overall content quality. ChatGPT’s general summary request was consistently rated lower than all other summary types. Whereas higher ratings of 4 and 5 were assigned to the more synthetic, insight-oriented activities, such as the production of a plain language summaries suitable for an 8th grade reading level and identifying the most important finding and real-world research applications. This is a case where artificial intelligence might help level the playing field, for example by creating accessible insights and enabling the large-scale production of high-quality plain language summaries which would truly bring open access to this scientific information. This possibility, combined with the increasing public policy trends encouraging and demanding free access for research supported with public funds, may alter the role journal publications play in communicating science in society. For the field of environmental health science, no-cost AI technology such as ChatGPT holds the promise to improve research translation, but it must continue to be improved (or improve itself) from its current capability.


Taylor & Francis Becomes the Newest Supporter of Open Pharma | STM Publishing News

“Open Pharma and Taylor & Francis are delighted to announce that Taylor & Francis has become the latest official Supporter of the Open Pharma initiative…

Today‘s announcement that Taylor & Francis has become an official Supporter of Open Pharma reflects the fact that the two organizations share the same commitment to connecting pharma with innovations in publishing to increase transparency and access to research outputs.

These shared values were illustrated in 2021, when Open Pharma published their recommendations for plain language summaries of peer-reviewed medical journal publications in the Taylor & Francis journal Current Medical Research and Opinion (CMRO).* One of more than 2700 peer-reviewed journals published by Taylor & Francis, Open Pharma selected CMRO because of its complete range of open access options and its commitment to publishing innovations and research in medical and scientific publishing….:

Plain language summaries: Enabling increased diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in scholarly publishing – Rosenberg – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points


Plain language summaries (PLS) are accessible, short, peer-reviewed summaries of scholarly journal articles written in non-technical language.
The aim of PLS is to enable a broader audience of experts and non-experts to understand the original article.
Here, we outline the evidence base for the value and impact of PLS and how they can enable diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in scholarly publishing.
PLS can diversify readership and authorship, address information inequity, include typically under-represented stakeholders and provide an accessible route into scholarly literature….”

watershed moment for the BJD: Authors retain their article copyright | British Journal of Dermatology | Oxford Academic

“I am delighted to confirm that under the terms of our new publishing agreement with OUP, authors of all BJD papers, whether published as open access or not, will retain copyright of their article. Rather than handing over copyright, authors are asked to provide to the BJD an ‘Exclusive licence to publish’ instead. If you don’t believe me, look at the copyright statement at the bottom of the page! …”