Academic criteria for promotion and tenure in biomedical sciences faculties: cross sectional analysis of international sample of universities | The BMJ

Abstract:  Objective To determine the presence of a set of pre-specified traditional and non-traditional criteria used to assess scientists for promotion and tenure in faculties of biomedical sciences among universities worldwide.

Design Cross sectional study.

Setting International sample of universities.

Participants 170 randomly selected universities from the Leiden ranking of world universities list.

Main outcome measure Presence of five traditional (for example, number of publications) and seven non-traditional (for example, data sharing) criteria in guidelines for assessing assistant professors, associate professors, and professors and the granting of tenure in institutions with biomedical faculties.

Results A total of 146 institutions had faculties of biomedical sciences, and 92 had eligible guidelines available for review. Traditional criteria of peer reviewed publications, authorship order, journal impact factor, grant funding, and national or international reputation were mentioned in 95% (n=87), 37% (34), 28% (26), 67% (62), and 48% (44) of the guidelines, respectively. Conversely, among non-traditional criteria, only citations (any mention in 26%; n=24) and accommodations for employment leave (37%; 34) were relatively commonly mentioned. Mention of alternative metrics for sharing research (3%; n=3) and data sharing (1%; 1) was rare, and three criteria (publishing in open access mediums, registering research, and adhering to reporting guidelines) were not found in any guidelines reviewed. Among guidelines for assessing promotion to full professor, traditional criteria were more commonly reported than non-traditional criteria (traditional criteria 54.2%, non-traditional items 9.5%; mean difference 44.8%, 95% confidence interval 39.6% to 50.0%; P=0.001). Notable differences were observed across continents in whether guidelines were accessible (Australia 100% (6/6), North America 97% (28/29), Europe 50% (27/54), Asia 58% (29/50), South America 17% (1/6)), with more subtle differences in the use of specific criteria.

Conclusions This study shows that the evaluation of scientists emphasises traditional criteria as opposed to non-traditional criteria. This may reinforce research practices that are known to be problematic while insufficiently supporting the conduct of better quality research and open science. Institutions should consider incentivising non-traditional criteria.

Covid-19 Shows Scientific Journals Like Elsevier Need to Open Up – Bloomberg

“One big change brought on by Covid-19 is that virtually all the scientific research being produced about it is free to read. Anyone can access the many preliminary findings that scholars are posting on “preprint servers.” Data are shared openly via a multitude of different channels. Scientific journals that normally keep their articles behind formidable paywalls have been making an exception for new research about the virus, as well as much (if not all) older work relevant to it.

This response to a global pandemic is heartening and may well speed that pandemic to its end. But after that, what happens with scientific communication? Will everything go back behind the journal paywalls?

 

 

Well, no. Open-access advocates in academia have been pushing for decades to make more of their work publicly available and paywall-free, and in recent years they’ve been joined by the government agencies and large foundations that fund much scientific research. Covid-19 has accelerated this shift. I’m pretty sure there’s no going back. …”

OASPA Webinar: Scholarly Communication & COVID-19: Closing the Loop for Effective Peer Review – key takeaways and answers to attendee questions – OASPA

“Following on from the recent webinar entitled Scholarly Communication & COVID-19: Closing the Loop for Effective Peer Review, we asked our speakers to summarise their talks by offering a few key takeaways, which you can find below.

We also asked speakers to respond to the many questions that were posed by attendees via the webinar chat.  You can find those questions and answers directly under the takeaways. This may be useful for those who missed it or wish to share with colleagues.

You can also access the speakers’ slides….”

New MIT Press Journal to Debunk Bad COVID-19 Research

“Preprint servers play an increasingly important role in the scholarly publishing landscape. They are a popular platform for researchers to get early feedback on their research. They are also a space where researchers can publish research products and data sets not typically published in traditional journals. The process is fast — publication of open-access research that anyone can read is immediate.

The downside of this open publication system is that sometimes controversial or poor-quality research can garner a lot of attention on social media or in news articles, said Stefano Bertozzi, professor of health policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. In the clamor for information about COVID-19, it is easy for misinformation to spread online, he said.

To combat this, MIT Press and the Berkeley School of Public Health are launching a new COVID-19 journal, one that will peer review preprint articles getting a lot of attention — elevating the good research and debunking the bad.

The Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 journal will be led by Bertozzi, who will serve as the first editor in chief. Unlike a traditional journal, authors will not submit their work for review. Instead, the Rapid Reviews team will select and review already-published preprint articles — a publishing model known as an overlay journal.   …”

The MIT Press and UC Berkeley launch Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 · Rapid Reviews COVID-19

“The MIT Press announced today the launch of Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an open access, rapid-review overlay journal that will accelerate peer review of COVID-19-related research and deliver real-time, verified scientific information that policymakers and health leaders can use….

Using artificial intelligence tools, a global team will identify promising scholarship in preprint repositories, commission expert peer reviews, and publish the results on an open access platform in a completely transparent process. The journal will strive for disciplinary and geographic breadth, sourcing manuscripts from all regions and across a wide variety of fields, including medicine; public health; the physical, biological, and chemical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities. RR:C19 will also provide a new publishing option for revised papers that are positively reviewed….”

Can open, collaborative tactics help us crack COVID-19? | Opensource.com

“At least 109 organizations are currently working on treatment for COVID-19. But many researchers believe an approved, effective vaccine against the coronavirus will not be available in 2020.

But what would happen if these organizations collaborated on a global scale? What if they adopted open organization principles to accelerate the work of finding a treatment and cure?

In this article, I’ll examine how that might be possible. And I’ll explain one initiative that seems to be doing it….”

EIFL endorses Open COVID Pledge | EIFL

“EIFL has pledged its support for the Open COVID Pledge that seeks to remove barriers to the use of intellectual property (IP) to help end and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Pledge was developed by the Open COVID Coalition, an international coalition of legal experts, engineers and scientists who are calling on companies, universities and other organizations to make their patents and copyrights temporarily available free of charge to accelerate the rapid development and deployment of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment and software solutions in this urgent public health crisis….”

The NIH claims joint ownership of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine – Axios

“The National Institutes of Health may own intellectual property that undergirds a leading coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna, according to documents obtained by Axios and an analysis from Public Citizen.

Why it matters: Because the federal government has an actual stake in this vaccine, it could try to make the vaccine a free or low-cost public good with wide distribution, if the product turns out to be safe and effective.

The big picture: The NIH mostly funds outside research, but it also often invents basic scientific technologies that are later licensed out and incorporated into drugs that are sold at massive profits. The agency rarely claims ownership stakes or pursues patent rights, but that appears to be different with this coronavirus vaccine….”

UCL COVID-19 Collection—An interactive showcase of COVID-19 related research from the University College London – ScienceOpen Blog

“Our most recent COVID-19 Collection has been created with the University College London library where we have made a collection indexing all UCL research related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection is automatically updated by pulling in records from the institutional repository UCL Discovery and affiliation metadata from records aggregated by the ScienceOpen platform. The automated setup easily manages the stream of new COVID-19 material being published and opens it up for exploration and interaction. In just the last week, there were 35 new publications added to the collection. Additional benefits of having all of the UCL published research relating to COVID-19 in one place is that it gives users easy and flexible tools for search and discovery such as changing the sort order from number of citations, AltmetricTM score or date. Users searching the contents of the collection, can narrow the number of articles in the collection by specific journals, publishers, or overlapping collections on the ScienceOpen platform. Thus, a user would be able to see publications that also appear in the Wiley: Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 and or in the UCL Press special issue Special series on COVID-19 interactions with our Environment collections.  This encourages users to browse the content and supports easy discovery of related research. Follow the UCL COVID-19 Collection for updates on new content or interactions! …”

“Pharma are doing ok in terms of open access, but they could be doing more” – insights from the Open Pharma June roundtable meeting – Open Pharma

“Open Pharma Members, Supporters and key Advisers came together to discuss the ways in which the scientific publishing community can make research accessible, discoverable and transparent for patients and the public.

Many organizations are working towards the same goals in terms of transparency, discoverability, accessibility and accountability in scientific publishing, but wouldn’t it be better if these goals were aligned? On 15 June 2020, Open Pharma brought together the different stakeholders in academic publishing for a virtual roundtable meeting with the aim of coordinating their approach to open access models and enhanced content for scientific publications. Following a recap of the January roundtable meeting, attendees discussed the benefits of open access mandates for pharma. A clear definition of what open access is, with regards to Creative Commons licences and publishing embargoes, and a strong communications plan were both shown to be key to the successful implementation of a mandatory open access policy….”