January 6 Clearinghouse

“Welcome to this all-source repository of information for analysts, researchers, investigators, journalists, educators, and the public at large. 

Check out our new addition below: A curated repository of deposition transcripts from the House Select Committee.

Readers may also be interested in Major Highlights of the January 6th Report….”

Portugal National Funder FCT Agrees Transformative Agreement with Elsevier

“Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics has entered into a transformative agreement with b-on to enable continued reading access for researchers affiliated with b-on institutions and open access publishing. This is the first time Elsevier has signed a transformative agreement to support Portugal. It will benefit the member institutions with access to Elsevier’s extensive collection of journals on ScienceDirect. The cost of publishing open access is covered under the terms of this agreement up to a pre-set annual cap. When publishing open access in hybrid journals, eligible corresponding authors do not have to pay an article publishing charge (APC). The new three-year contract will run until 31st October 2024.

Joana Novais, Manager of the b-on Consortium said: “This agreement lays an important stepping stone in the direction of Open Access in Portugal. It is a great honour for b-on to be able to contribute to this transition to OA by providing the authors of its member institutions the possibility to publish an annual average of 2000 OA articles in hybrid journals without incremental costs.”

The b-on Consortium was founded in 2004 and represents 64 institutions, mainly higher education and research institutions across Portugal. It is managed by FCCN, a unit of FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology….”

ELI Joins Collaborative Amici Brief About Access to Public Laws by the Public – EveryLibrary Institute

“The EveryLibrary Institute is proud to join a collaborative amici brief filed by Library Futures alongside the Authors Alliance and Public Knowledge in “American Society for Testing and Materials, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org”, a case currently pending in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Libraries exist in part to provide access to information for the public. This function is even more critical for patrons who need to understand the laws, regulations, and rules by which we are governed. This case highlights the critical role of the library in helping people access the law.

The issue at hand with this case is whether or not the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and its co-plaintiffs can limit access to public laws by the public through the restrictions allowed to a publisher or IP holder through the exercise of copyright law. Fundamentally, is it within the right of ATSM to claim ownership of public laws through the publishing process? As we state in the brief, “With the backing of the incredibly strong bundle of exclusive rights that copyright law provides, ASTM is able to impose such restrictions on users with the knowledge that those users have no choice but to agree [to a privacy policy and terms of service], given that they have no alternative pathways through Public Resource, or through libraries. ASTM’s exercise of these rights and its version of free access stands in stark contrast to the protected and careful means through which libraries provide access to researchers and other users of legal information.”…”

Optimising (RDA) Open Science Frameworks and Guidelines in the context of EOSC – Round 2 | EOSC Future Funding Platform

“This call invites applications from research groups, including the RDA groups, to demonstrate how RDA-developed data sharing concepts and solutions can be reused, optimised and implemented in the EOSC context, particularly in the context of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Portal Catalogue and Marketplace. EOSC is building a federated infrastructure to support Europe’s data output and works to enable the discovery and re-use of FAIR research data. In this context RDA plays a key role to underpin new and existing pathways to sharing research data. Many specifications already exist in RDA for data sharing and these can be refined and further developed via this call.

A wide range of activities – including promotional, analysis and technical documentation activities – can be funded through this call (described in more detail in section “What types of activities can be funded?”)

RDA provides an open forum where solutions are discussed and experiences are shared via its global community. EOSC is a new concept for many research communities and work still needs to be done to understand and enable data  sharing and re-use across the research lifecycle, by making content FAIR and discoverable via a federated system such as EOSC. RDA is running a series of calls, as part of the EOSC Future project, to further enable integration and take up of EOSC services. The purpose of these RDA Open Calls is to engage the data sharing community from a bottom up approach to contribute their know-how to EOSC. This call specifically targets small projects to show implementation and take-up of existing outputs and specifications, specifically those that the RDA community has enabled. The call aims to support and encourage  adoption of existing RDA outputs and recommendations which can benefit the community around EOSC and to promote new examples and lessons learnt. See a list of currently funded RDA/EOSC Future Open Call projects here….”

Ranking the openness of criminology units: An attempt to incentivize the use of librarians, institutional repositories, and unit-dedicated subpages to increase scholarly impact and justice · CrimRxiv

Abstract:  In this article, I describe and explain a way for criminologists—as individuals, groups and, especially, as university units (e.g., colleges, departments, schools)—to increase the quantity and quality of open criminology: ask university librarians to make their outputs open access on their “unit repositories” (URs), which are unit-dedicated subpages on universities’ institutional repositories (IR). I try to advance this practice by devising and employing a metric, the “URscore,” to document, analyze, and rank criminology units’ contributions to open criminology, as prescribed. To illustrate the metric’s use, I did a study of 45 PhD-granting criminology units in the United States (US). I find almost all of them (98%) have access to an IR; less than two-thirds (62%) have a UR; less than one-third (29%) have used it this decade (up to August 11, 2022); their URs have a total of 190 open outputs from the 2020s, with 78% emanating from the top-three “most open”—per my ranking—PhD-granting criminology units in the US: those of the University of California, Irvine (with 72 open outputs), the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (with 47 such outputs), and the University of Nebraska, Omaha (with 30 such outputs). Each URscore reflects a criminology unit’s scholarly productivity and scholarly justice. I hope they see the ranking as a reward or opportunity for improvement. Toward that end, I conclude with a discussion of critical issues, instructions, and futures.

A Python library to check the level of anonymity of a dataset | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Openly sharing data with sensitive attributes and privacy restrictions is a challenging task. In this document we present the implementation of pyCANON, a Python library and command line interface (CLI) to check and assess the level of anonymity of a dataset through some of the most common anonymization techniques: k-anonymity, (?,k)-anonymity, ?-diversity, entropy ?-diversity, recursive (c,?)-diversity, t-closeness, basic ?-likeness, enhanced ?-likeness and ?-disclosure privacy. For the case of more than one sensitive attribute, two approaches are proposed for evaluating these techniques. The main strength of this library is to obtain a full report of the parameters that are fulfilled for each of the techniques mentioned above, with the unique requirement of the set of quasi-identifiers and sensitive attributes. The methods implemented are presented together with the attacks they prevent, the description of the library, examples of the different functions’ usage, as well as the impact and the possible applications that can be developed. Finally, some possible aspects to be incorporated in future updates are proposed.


Mehr Transparenz in der klinischen Forschung: Wie werden die neuen Transparenzvorschriften aus Sicht der pharmazeutischen Industrie bewertet? | SpringerLink

[English-language abstract, article in German.]

Abstract:  The year 2014 was a turning point for transparency in clinical research. Two regulatory innovations comprehensively changed the rules in the EU. For one thing, Regulation (EU) No. 536/2014 on clinical trials of medicinal products for human use (Clinical Trials Regulation – CTR) came into force, and for another thing, Policy 0070 of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on the publication of and access to clinical data was published. While the policy has been occupying the pharmaceutical industry in practice since 2015, the requirements of the CTR came into effect at the end of January 2022.

The main innovation of the CTR is public access to the majority of documents and records that are created during the application process as well as during the course and after completion of a clinical trial. The special feature of Policy 0070 is the possibility for EU citizens to inspect the essential parts of a marketing authorisation application, such as the Clinical Study Report.

This contribution to the discussion describes the completely new challenges in the area of transparency that the pharmaceutical industry is facing as a result of the new requirements. In principle, transparency is to be welcomed in order to achieve the goals of the EU in the development and availability of medicines and vaccines. However, the protection of trade and business secrets of the pharmaceutical industry would be jeopardised. In the worst case, this could lead to a decline in investment in research and development within the scope of this regulation and to an international shift of clinical trials, including developing or emerging countries. Germany could lose more and more its leading role in conducting clinical trials in the EU.

Close to open—Factors that hinder and promote open science in ecology research and education | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  The Open Science (OS) movement is rapidly gaining traction among policy-makers, research funders, scientific journals and individual scientists. Despite these tendencies, the pace of implementing OS throughout the scientific process and across the scientific community remains slow. Thus, a better understanding of the conditions that affect OS engagement, and in particular, of how practitioners learn, use, conduct and share research openly can guide those seeking to implement OS more broadly. We surveyed participants at an OS workshop hosted by the Living Norway Ecological Data Network in 2020 to learn how they perceived OS and its importance in their research, supervision and teaching. Further, we wanted to know what OS practices they had encountered in their education and what they saw as hindering or helping their engagement with OS. The survey contained scaled-response and open-ended questions, allowing for a mixed-methods approach. We obtained survey responses from 60 out of 128 workshop participants (47%). Responses indicated that usage and sharing of open data and code, as well as open access publication, were the most frequent OS practices. Only a minority of respondents reported having encountered OS in their formal education. A majority also viewed OS as less important in their teaching than in their research and supervisory roles. The respondents’ suggestions for what would facilitate greater OS engagement in the future included knowledge, guidelines, and resources, but also social and structural support. These are aspects that could be strengthened by promoting explicit implementation of OS practices in higher education and by nurturing a more inclusive and equitable OS culture. We argue that incorporating OS in teaching and learning of science can yield substantial benefits to the research community, student learning, and ultimately, to the wider societal objectives of science and higher education.


H index, journal citation indicator, and other impact factors in neurosurgical publications – Is there a ‘cost factor’ that determines the quality? – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Objective

There has been an increase in number of Neurosurgical publications including open access approach over the recent years. We aim to compare the Journal’s performance and its relationship to the submission fee incurred in publication. We have performed an in-depth analysis of various Neurosurgical journals’ performance in terms of the bibliometrics and have attempted to determine if there is any impact of the cost incurred to the quality of Journal’s output.


We identified 53 journals issuing neurosurgical-related work. Quantitative analysis from various search engines involved obtaining H indices, journal citations indicators, and other journal’s metrics such as immediacy index and 5-year impact factor utilising Journal Citation Reports from Clarivate software. Open access fees, coloured print costs, and individual subscription fees were collected. Correlations were produced using Spearmen Rho (?), p<0.05.


Median H indices for 53 journals is 54 (range: 0-292), with journal citation indicators median reported at 0.785 (range: 0-2.45). Median immediacy indices are 0.797 (range: 0-4.076) and the median for 5-year impact factor is 2.76 (range: 0-12.704). There is a very strong positive correlation between JCI and immediacy indices, JCI and 5-year impact factor and 5-year impact factor and immediacy indices (? >0.7, p < .05). There is a moderate positive correlation between the H index and JCI (?= 0.399, p = 0.004). It is unclear whether there is any correlation between the indices and the OA costs and subscription costs for personal usage respectively (p > 0.05).


Our analysis indicates that larger costs incurred for open access fees and subscription costs for personal use are not clearly reflected upon the journals’ performance and this is quantified by utilising various indices. There appears to be a strong association within performance across the journals’ metrics. It would be beneficial to include learning about the bibliometric indices’ impact for research publications in the medical education training to maximise the quality of the scientific work produced and increase the visibility of the information produced. The potential full movement to OA exclusive journals would form a significant barrier for junior researchers, small institutions, or full time-trainee doctors with limited funding available. This study suggests the need for a robust measurement of the journals’ output and the quality of the work produced.

When research data is shared freely

“In Norway, the proportion of research being published openly has increased considerably in the past ten years. While less than 40% of Norwegian research articles were published openly in 2013, in 2021 that proportion had increased to around 75%, according to the OA barometer from the service provider, Sikt.

Sharing data is not quite as common….

Wenaas and Gulbrandsen also believe that data sharing is a question of culture. It is new to many, for others it may have been the practice for a long time….”


Do open-access dermatology articles have higher citation counts than those with subscription-based access? | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  Background

Open-access (OA) publishing is increasingly prevalent in dermatology, and many journals now offer hybrid options, including conventional (subscription-based access [SA]) publishing or OA (with an author publishing charge) in a subscription journal. OA publishing has been noted in many disciplines, but this has been rarely studied in dermatology.


Using the Clarivate Journal Citation Report, we compiled a list of English-language dermatology hybrid OA journals containing more than 5% OA articles. We sampled any OA review or original research article in 4 issues from 2018 to 2019 and matched an equal number of SA articles. Citation count, citation count excluding self-citations and view counts found using Scopus and Altmetrics score were recorded for each article. Statistical analyses were performed using logistic and negative binomial models using R software.


Twenty-seven hybrid dermatology journals were found, and 538 articles were sampled (269 OA, 269 SA). For both original research and review articles, OA articles had significantly higher mean citation counts (mean 13.2, standard deviation [SD] 17.0) compared to SA articles (mean 7.9, SD 8.8) (odds ratio [OR] 1.04; 95% CI 1.02–1.05; P < .001) including when adjusted for time from publication. Original research OA articles had significantly higher citation counts than original research SA articles (excluding self-citations; OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.01–1.05; P = .003), and review articles also had OA citation advantage than review SA articles (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02–1.11; P = .008). There was, however, no significant difference in citation counts between review articles and original research articles (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.19–5.31; P = 1.000).

There was no significant difference seen in view counts (OA: mean±SD 17.7±10.8; SA: mean±SD 17.1±12.4) and Altmetric score (OA: mean±SD 13.2±47.8; SA: mean±SD 6.3±25.0) between OA and SA articles. Potential confounders included the fact that more OA articles were published in Europe than in Asia, and pharmaceutical-funded articles were more likely to be published OA.


We noted a higher citation count for OA articles than SA articles in dermatology hybrid journals. However, dermatology researchers should take into account confounding factors when deciding whether to increase the impact of their work by selecting OA over SA publishing.

India’s fumbled chance for sharing knowledge – EastMojo

In terms of open access to knowledge, India could have been the Vishwa Guru — the world’s teacher. As early as 2000 India was making moves to allow taxpayer-funded research to be freely available for anyone in the world to read, share and distribute. But India has squandered that advantage.

Fast forward to 2022, and much of India’s research is still locked up behind the paywalls of corporate academic publishers while the global science community increasingly questions why taxpayer-funded research should not be available for everyone to read.

The Indian government initiated a new science, technology and innovation policy in January 2020. The draft policy, released in December 2020, enshrined open science in chapter one. Its three key features were to set up an Indian Science and Technology Archive of Research (INDSTA), a dedicated portal to provide access to the findings of all publicly funded research; to place the full text of scientific papers immediately upon acceptance into a journal in a publicly available repository or INDSTA; and to make all data from publicly funded research available to everyone.

But the policy is not yet in place. The government is instead focusing on a ‘One Nation One Subscription’ project. This would see the government pay academic publishers an eye watering sum to allow Indian scientists to publish in corporate journals and for all Indians to read them. Apart from benefiting the publishers more than science and scientists, this looks crazy in view of the rapidly rising share of openly accessible research papers and the emerging revolution in preprint servers that publish drafts of research papers for free….”

EOSC, the transverse European data space for science, research and innovation – Publications Office of the EU

Abstract:  The EOSC Steering Board expert group (EOSC-SB) has initiated in 2022 a reflection on the main disruptive concepts and practices connected to the construction and future operation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The EOSC ambition is to provide European researchers, innovators, companies, and citizens with a federated and open, cross-border and multi-disciplinary data space (or data commons) where they can publish, find, and reuse data, tools and services for research, innovation, and educational purposes. EOSC is not a single monolithic organisation or resource provider. Instead, it is developed as a federation (system of systems) with involvement of many independent organisations and resource providers implementing the FAIR principles and adopting clear rules and quality standards. As such, EOSC shall ensure independence and autonomy of the participating resource providers. The uptake of EOSC by European scientists, researchers, innovators, and companies requires transformative practices in several domains: from FAIR-by-design data collection technologies to FAIR data and service exploitation skills. Such transformative practices in EOSC also represent strong cross-cutting assets for the nine new, emerging sectoral data spaces of the European strategy for data. They contribute to the articulation of EOSC with these data spaces. Specific issues were chosen and elaborated in 2022 by the Steering Board based on the perceived urgency/priority in the EOSC context. These issues are addressed individually in “Opinion Papers” elaborated by the EOSC Steering Board and communicated to the EOSC Tripartite Governance to become a living reference for the definition of EOSC policies at European, national, and institutional levels.


On the culture of open access: the Sci-hub paradox | Research Square

Abstract:  Shadow libraries have gradually become key players of scientific knowledge dissemination, despite their illegality in most countries of the world. Many publishers and scientist-editors decry such libraries for their copyright infringement and loss of publication usage information, while some scholars and institutions support them, sometimes in a roundabout way, for their role in reducing inequalities of access to knowledge, particularly in low-income countries. Although there is a wealth of literature on shadow libraries, none of this have focused on its potential role in knowledge dissemination, through the open access movement. Here we analyze how shadow libraries can affect researchers’ citation practices, highlighting some counter-intuitive findings about their impact on the Open Access Citation Advantage (OACA). Based on a large randomized sample, this study first shows that OA publications, including those in fully OA journals, receive more citations than their subscription-based counterparts do. However, the OACA has slightly decreased over the seven last years. The introduction of a distinction between those accessible or not via the Sci-hub platform among subscription-based suggest that the generalization of its use cancels the positive effect of OA publishing. The results show that publications in fully OA journals (and to a lesser extent those in hybrid journals) are victims of the success of Sci-hub. Thus, paradoxically, although Sci-hub may seem to facilitate access to scientific knowledge, it negatively affects the OA movement as a whole, by reducing the comparative advantage of OA publications in terms of visibility for researchers. The democratization of the use of Sci-hub may therefore lead to a vicious cycle against the development of fully OA journals.


ERC Scientific Council decides changes to the evaluation forms and processes for the 2024 calls | ERC

“During its December plenary meeting the ERC Scientific Council decided on changes to the ERC’s application forms and evaluation procedures for the 2024 calls. The current CV and Track Record templates will be combined and simplified and applicants will be able to add short narrative descriptions to explain the information provided. Applicants will also be invited to explain career breaks or unconventional career paths and to describe exceptional contributions to the research community. One effect of these changes is that the Profiles of the ERC Principal Investigators which appeared in previous Work Programmes will no longer be necessary. The Scientific Council has furthermore decided to explicitly weigh the project proposal more than the past achievements of the applicant during the evaluation. Full details will be found in the ERC Work Programme 2024 and the associated guidance documents….

In a related development, the Scientific Council also decided to sign the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment published in July this year.”