Open Access Policy |

“We have fought to see Open Access policy enacted for well over a decade, and it’s important to let the White House know that there is deep support for this policy from our community. We hope you will sign this letter to the President along with other patient advocacy groups expressing our strong support for such a policy.

The U.S. government funds more than $60 billion in scientific research each year on behalf of the public. Making sure that the results of this research are readily accessible to all people will speed the pace of scientific discovery, spur innovation, provide fuel for the creation of new jobs across a broad spectrum of the economy – and, importantly, will give patients and their families hope of finding cures to rare and currently untreatable diseases.

We’ve made slow but steady progress towards our goal getting this information into the hands of the public as quickly as possible, starting with a policy requiring all NIH-funded research articles to be made available within one year of publication, and successfully expanding that policy (via legislation and White House memorandums) to cover all federally funded scientific research.

We now have the opportunity to once and for eliminate the current 12 month embargo period and allow the public to have immediate access to not only articles reporting on taxpayer funded research, but also the underlying data supporting those articles.

An immediate open access policy would also bring the U.S. in line with other nations around the world that are increasingly adopting immediate Open Access policies. Last year, more than a dozen national research funders across Europe introduced “Plan S” to make all scientific works freely available as soon as they are published. Support for Open Access has also grown among private research funders, with foundations requiring immediate open access to articles and data. …”

Research Publications Manager at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

“The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world-leading center for research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Our mission is to improve health and health equity in the UK and worldwide; working in partnership to achieve excellence in public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice. 

The Library & Archives Service of this major international postgraduate medical school is seeking an enthusiastic and innovative individual to develop, deliver and promote Scholarly Communications across the institution, and to manage LSHTM Research Online, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s institutional repository for research publications. The successful candidate will have proven experience of effectively delivering support for open access publishing and of managing an institutional repository, and demonstrable knowledge of best practice and innovation in scholarly communication and of the administration of article processing charges.”

Publishing at the British Institute of Radiology: A case study – Anderton – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points


The British Institute of Radiology (BIR) receives more than 50% of its income from its publishing programme, vital to support its educational, outreach, and advocacy work.
Radiology has been very slow to adopt open access publishing, mostly because of the paucity of funding in the field – representing only c.5% of articles in the BIR flagship journal.
Small independent society publishers can be more flexible than larger publishers but rely on networks of support from associations and other societies and reliable suppliers.
Society publishers have a ready?made community of readers and authors who value the work of the organization and its publications….”

How Open Source Software Contributors Are Accelerating Biomedicine

“Each day, hundreds of thousands of scientists use open source software to advance biology and medicine, from studying cells in a microscope image to understanding how genes behave in healthy cells. Open source software underpins much of modern scientific research — providing reproducibility, transparency, and opportunities for collaboration. The impact of these tools is on par with some of the most cited papers in science in terms of reuse and adoption, yet even the most widely-used research software often lacks dedicated funding.

Our Essential Open Source Software for Science (EOSS) program was created to support these efforts — from software maintenance to growth, development, and community engagement for open source tools that are critical to science. We asked nine grantees from the first cycle of the EOSS program what drives them to create tools and how their commitment to open source moves science forward….”

Barriers to Working With National Health Service England’s Open Data | Bacon | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  Open data is information made freely available to third parties in structured formats without restrictive licensing conditions, permitting commercial and noncommercial organizations to innovate. In the context of National Health Service (NHS) data, this is intended to improve patient outcomes and efficiency. EBM DataLab is a research group with a focus on online tools which turn our research findings into actionable monthly outputs. We regularly import and process more than 15 different NHS open datasets to deliver, one of the most high-impact use cases for NHS England’s open data, with over 15,000 unique users each month. In this paper, we have described the many breaches of best practices around NHS open data that we have encountered. Examples include datasets that repeatedly change location without warning or forwarding; datasets that are needlessly behind a “CAPTCHA” and so cannot be automatically downloaded; longitudinal datasets that change their structure without warning or documentation; near-duplicate datasets with unexplained differences; datasets that are impossible to locate, and thus may or may not exist; poor or absent documentation; and withholding of data for dubious reasons. We propose new open ways of working that will support better analytics for all users of the NHS. These include better curation, better documentation, and systems for better dialogue with technical teams.


Open Access for the Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology – Zareba – 2020 – Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology – Wiley Online Library

“In year 2020, the Annals enters 25th year of publishing scientific manuscripts: original papers, review articles, and case reports focused on noninvasive electrocardiology. During recent years, we have witnessed transformation of interests toward digital computerized assessment of ECG recordings and increasing use of innovative technologies monitoring ECG signal using different devices such as watches, patches, and other monitoring systems. Our journal became digital few years ago, and now in 2020, we enter the new era of Open Access journal in the spirit of easy access and widespread dissemination of scientific content of the journal. Starting from 2020, all papers published in the Annals will be fully accessible to readers all over the world following current increasing trends of widespread and unrestricted public access to scientific information….”

3D Printing and the Murky Ethics of Replicating Bones

“TEN YEARS AGO, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited numbers of replica bones — each curve and break and tiny imperfection intact — relatively inexpensively. The technology is increasingly allowing researchers to build repositories of bone data, which they can use to improve medical procedures, map how humans have evolved, and even help show a courtroom how someone died.

But the proliferation of faux bones also poses an ethical dilemma — and one that, prior to the advent of accessible 3D printing, was mostly limited to museum collections containing skeletons of dubious provenance. Laws governing how real human remains of any kind may be obtained and used for research, after all — as well as whether individuals can buy and sell such remains —  are already uneven worldwide. Add to that the new ability to traffic in digital data representing these remains, and the ethical minefield becomes infinitely more fraught. “When someone downloads these skulls and reconstructs them,” says Ericka L’Abbé, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, “it becomes their data, their property.”…”

OPEN ACCESS – Subscription journals braced for open access

“An ESHRE [European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology] expert meeting in November reviewed what we know so far about open access publishing for medical journals. The meeting in particular explored where we now are with Plan S and how its implementation might affect the Human Reproduction journals….”