Italy will require pharma to disclose public funding for R&D

“Amid growing clamor for more transparency from the pharmaceutical industry, Italy has become the first country to require drug makers to disclose data about public funding for any of their medicines during negotiations over pricing and reimbursement.

As a result, the Italian Medicines Agency, known as AIFA, will have insight into various costs, such as R&D and marketing, that drug companies incur, as well as data on revenue, patents, and prices offered to other countries, according to a decree published last week. The decree is notable, in part, because Italy is a Group of Seven country with a significant market for the global pharmaceutical industry….”

 

Wikipedia, The Free Online Medical Encyclopedia Anyone Can Plagiarize: Time to Address Wiki-Plagiarism

Abstract:  Plagiarism and self-plagiarism are widespread in biomedical publications, although journals are increasingly implementing plagiarism detection software as part of their editorial processes. Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia written by its users, has global public health importance as a source of online health information. However, plagiarism of Wikipedia in peer-reviewed publications has received little attention. Here, I present five cases of PubMed-indexed articles containing Wiki-plagiarism, i.e. copying of Wikipedia content into medical publications without proper citation of the source. The true incidence of this phenomenon remains unknown and requires systematic study. The potential scope and implications of Wiki-plagiarism are discussed.

The rise of preprint studies about COVID-19 is changing science

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered our lives. But even in the face of unprecedented disruption and tragedy, the scientific community is experiencing a foundational, and hopeful, shift. As researchers race to better understand the virus, they’re disseminating their findings more rapidly, at higher quantities, and more publicly than ever before. By prompting a mad dash for knowledge, COVID-19 has placed scientific inquiry firmly in the public domain, and expedited the movement toward open science.

 

In large part, this shift has been due to the rise of preprints—scientific manuscripts that are made available in advance of their formal peer review and publication. As the coronavirus death toll surpasses 625,000 worldwide, preprints are accelerating scientific discovery at a time when it’s needed most. Unlike the traditional publishing process, which can easily take months or years to complete, researchers can submit a preprint and have it posted within days. And while scientific journals often sit behind paywalls, preprints are being made freely accessible to the public and researchers alike….”

Viral Open Access in Times of a Global Pandemic · punctum books

“In recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous calls for scientific research concerning the virus and the disease to be made open access and freely available to the public. These calls stand in a tense relationship not only with the profit-driven approach to medical research by pharmaceutical companies,1 but also with the business models of the for-profit academic publishing oligopoly, dominated by a few companies making excessive profit margins that are essentially subsidized by public funds.2 The current pandemic makes abundantly clear that the public availability of public knowledge indeed saves lives – but it doesn’t do so only now, it always does.

Let’s recap….”

Will COVID-19 mark the end of scientific publishing as we know it?

“Under the pressure of a global health crisis, the argument for open access has sunk in. Following calls from the World Health Organization and government leaders, over 150 publishers, companies, and research institutions have agreed to temporarily make all content related to COVID-19 free to read, ensuring efforts to understand the virus can go forth undeterred….

Is this the catalyst that breaks up the bonds of an old publishing model once and for all? …”

Citation Impact was Highly Variable For Reporting Guidelines of Health Research: A Citation Analysis – ScienceDirect

“Our findings suggest that open article access to the reporting guideline had a significant impact on 2- and 5-year citation counts of reporting guidelines. This finding is in direct contrast to recent studies that have found no association between open access status and citation impact25,49. Open access publications provide researchers with free access, without subscription, payment or registration to permit further research development without restriction. However, although open access publication may increase downloads, these may be generated from readers who do not publish themselves or influence citations.50 As reporting guidelines are predominantly read by authors that are considering publication of research, our research findings would confirm that open access to reporting guidelines successfully increased their citations….”

Repurposing the open access malaria box reveals compounds with activity against Tritrichomonas foetus trophozoites – PubMed

Abstract:  The protozoan parasite Tritrichomonas foetus causes early embryonic death in cattle which results in severe economic loss. In the United States, there are no drugs are approved for treatment of this pathogen. In this study, we evaluated in vitro anti-protozoal effects of compounds from an open access chemical library against T. foetus trophozoites. An initial high-throughput screen identified 16 compounds of interest. Further investigation revealed 12 compounds that inhibited parasite growth and 4 compounds with lethal effects. For lethal compounds, dose-response curves were constructed and the LD50 was calculated for laboratory and field strains of T. foetus. Our experiments revealed chemical scaffolds that were parasiticidal in the micromolar range, and these scaffolds provide a starting point for drug discovery efforts. Further investigation is still needed to investigate suitability of these scaffolds and related compounds in food animals. Importantly, open access chemical libraries can be useful for identifying compounds with activity against protozoan pathogens of veterinary importance.

 

Early in the Epidemic: Impact of Preprints on Global Discourse of 2019-nCoV Transmissibility by Maimuna S. Majumder, Kenneth D. Mandl :: SSRN

Abstract:  As of February 11, 2020, more than 43,000 cases of a novel coronavirus (2019–nCoV) have been reported worldwide. Using publicly available data regarding the transmissibility potential (i.e. basic reproduction number) of 2019–nCoV, we demonstrate that relevant preprint studies generated considerable search and news media interest prior to the publication of peer-reviewed studies in the same topic area. We then show that preprint estimate ranges for the basic reproduction number associated with 2019–nCoV overlap with those presented by peer-reviewed studies that were published at a later date. Taken together, we argue that preprints are capable of driving global discourse during public health crises; however, we recommend that a consensus-based approach – as we have employed here – be considered as a means of assessing the robustness of preprint findings prior to peer review.

 

Julich-Brain: A 3D probabilistic atlas of the human brain’s cytoarchitecture | Science

Abstract:  Cytoarchitecture is a basic principle of microstructural brain parcellation. Here we introduce Julich-Brain, a 3D atlas containing cytoarchitectonic maps of cortical areas and subcortical nuclei. The atlas is probabilistic to consider variations between individual brains. Building such an atlas was highly data- and labor-intensive and required to develop nested, interdependent workflows for detecting borders between brain areas, data processing, provenance tracking, and flexible execution of processing chains to handle large amounts of data at different spatial scales. Gap maps complement cortical maps to achieve full cortical coverage. The atlas concept is dynamic, i.e., continuously adapted with progress in mapping, openly available to support neuroimaging studies of healthy subjects and patients, as well as modeling and simulation, and interoperable, to link with other atlases and recourses.

 

Julich-Brain: A 3D probabilistic atlas of the human brain’s cytoarchitecture | Science

Abstract:  Cytoarchitecture is a basic principle of microstructural brain parcellation. Here we introduce Julich-Brain, a 3D atlas containing cytoarchitectonic maps of cortical areas and subcortical nuclei. The atlas is probabilistic to consider variations between individual brains. Building such an atlas was highly data- and labor-intensive and required to develop nested, interdependent workflows for detecting borders between brain areas, data processing, provenance tracking, and flexible execution of processing chains to handle large amounts of data at different spatial scales. Gap maps complement cortical maps to achieve full cortical coverage. The atlas concept is dynamic, i.e., continuously adapted with progress in mapping, openly available to support neuroimaging studies of healthy subjects and patients, as well as modeling and simulation, and interoperable, to link with other atlases and recourses.