“In recognition of the importance of open access to the biomedical sciences, the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC) of the European Science Foundation (ESF), at the instigation of its Core Group member Professor Josef Syka of the Czech Science Foundation and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (GA?R and AV?R), launched an activity to investigate what, if any, steps EMRC could usefully take to improve the open access landscape in the biomedical field across Europe…. The many valuable inputs from participants made it clear that the current model for accessing biomedical research is far from ideal and that all research stakeholders (funding agencies, publishers, research performing institutions, research libraries and learned societies) need to work together to shift to an open access model in the field. However, a number of potential hurdles, discussed in this briefing, remain to be overcome…. [T]his briefing makes a number of recommendations: 1. There is a moral imperative for open access: research papers should be made freely available to all to read, use and re-use, with appropriate acknowledgement, in order to maximise the value of biomedical research, build on the body of knowledge, accelerate the process of discovery and improve human health. 2. Individual agencies must work together to raise awareness of the moral imperative for open access: agencies and organisations that fund and perform research, libraries, publishers and researchers must work in concert to raise awareness of the moral imperative for open access publishing. National, European and international partnerships are the basis for the successful achievement of open access to research outputs. Specific actions that different agencies need to undertake in order to move towards this goal are outlined in this briefing. 3. All research stakeholders should work together to support the extension of Europe PubMed Central into a Europe-wide PubMed Central: in order to facilitate discoveries and innovation in biomedical research, research stakeholders should collaborate to establish a Europe-wide repository in biomedicine as a partner site to the US equivalent PubMed Central. The recently rebranded Europe PubMed Central represents a valuable means to achieving this goal, provided that the diversity of European partner mandates and policies can be integrated….”
Abstract: Although researchers have begun to investigate the difference in scientific impact between closed-access and open-access journals, studies that focus specifically on dynamic and disciplinary differences remain scarce. This study serves to fill this gap by using a large longitudinal dataset to examine these differences. Using CiteScore as a proxy for journal scientific impact, we employ a series of statistical tests to identify the quartile categories and disciplinary areas in which impact trends differ notably between closed- and open-access journals. We find that closed-access journals have a noticeable advantage in social sciences (for example, business and economics), whereas open-access journals perform well in medical and healthcare domains (for example, health profession and nursing). Moreover, we find that after controlling for a journal’s rank and disciplinary differences, there are statistically more closed-access journals in the top 10%, Quartile 1, and Quartile 2 categories as measured by CiteScore; in contrast, more open-access journals in Quartile 4 gained scientific impact from 2011 to 2015. Considering dynamic and disciplinary trends in tandem, we find that more closed-access journals in Social Sciences gained in impact, whereas in biochemistry and medicine, more open-access journals experienced such gains.
“In a drive towards greater transparency, Shire has said that in future its peer review articles will only be submitted to journals that provide open access to the full text of papers.”
“It believes it is the first biopharma company to implement this open access policy, and also reckons it is the “only company to report the results from all of its clinical studies posted on clinicaltrials.gov”, the US trials registry.”
“The National Institute of Health has announced that Harvard co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mercè Crosas and Dr. Timothy Clark are NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Awardees.
The awards are part of the National Institutes of Health’s new Data Commons program, which will be implemented in a 4-year pilot phase to explore the feasibility and best practices for making digital objects including very large-scale genomics resources, available and computable through collaborative platforms. This will be done on public clouds, virtual spaces where service providers make resources, such as applications and storage, available over the internet. The goal of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by making biomedical research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) for more researchers….”
“A leading genomic scientist has called on people who have their DNA analysed to make the full results openly available “for the greater public good”. …While conceding that “open access to genome sequences is not for everyone”, he hoped that many people would donate their genomes openly to science once they understood the risks and benefits….”
“In the longer-term future, one could envision a system where researchers post their scientific contributions; a paper, a single figure, a method, a hypothesis; where we have the potential to make smaller contributions to the global knowledge base and get credit for those contributions in a manner that is more rapid and incremental. This would allow multiple scientists to collaborate and contribute to what we now know of as a single paper. Part of the challenge of the next 10 years is the problem of increasing information overload. Journals in the life sciences are aware that preprints have been around in physics for 25 years, and that the existence of preprints do not diminish the need for journals in that field. It is already impossible for a person to read all the relevant literature in their area, and this will only get harder. We need better tools to read and comprehend the literature, and a lot of these tools will be given by innovations in software and machine learning. My hope is that more of the literature is accessible to text and data mining, which will enhance our ability to understand the literature beyond that of a single human reader….”
“The sequence of the human genome, completed in 2001, was supposed to quickly reveal the secrets of health and disease. Instead, it showed that human bodies are more complicated than anyone realized. Disease is usually caused not by one bad gene, but by subtle variations in dozens or hundreds of genes working with and against each other in vast networks.
This discovery delivered a reality check to genome scientist Eric Schadt. Pharmaceutical giant Merck had spent hundreds of millions of dollars…”
“The Health Research Alliance, a collaborative member organization of nonprofit research funders, is committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health….The HRA partnered with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to enable HRA member-funded awardees to deposit their publications into PubMed Central (PMC) with an embargo no longer than 12 months….”
“Drug discovery resources in academia and industry are not used efficiently, to the detriment of industry and society. Duplication could be reduced, and productivity could be increased, by performing basic biology and clinical proofs of concept within open access industry-academia partnerships. Chemical biologists could play a central role in this effort….In summary, the development of new medicines is being hindered by the way in which academia and industry advance innovative targets. By generating freely available chemical and clinical probes and performing open-access science, the overall system will produce a wider range of clinically validated targets for the same total resource. This is arguably the most effective way to spur the development of treatments for unmet needs.”
“The drug discovery process is losing productivity to the detriment of the global economy and human health. The greatest productivity gains in the sector can be achieved by solving the fundamental scientific problems limiting the progression of compounds through clinical trials. These problems must be addressed through a combination of ‘blue sky’ and targeted research on priority issues, perhaps defined within a ‘grand challenges’ framework. For many reasons, targeted research should be performed in PPPs [public–private partnerships] that release information into the public domain immediately, with no restriction on use.”