A database of zooplankton biomass in Australian marine waters – PubMed

Abstract:  Zooplankton biomass data have been collected in Australian waters since the 1930s, yet most datasets have been unavailable to the research community. We have searched archives, scanned the primary and grey literature, and contacted researchers, to collate 49187 records of marine zooplankton biomass from waters around Australia (0-60°S, 110-160°E). Many of these datasets are relatively small, but when combined, they provide >85 years of zooplankton biomass data for Australian waters from 1932 to the present. Data have been standardised and all available metadata included. We have lodged this dataset with the Australian Ocean Data Network, allowing full public access. The Australian Zooplankton Biomass Database will be valuable for global change studies, research assessing trophic linkages, and for initialising and assessing biogeochemical and ecosystem models of lower trophic levels.


Biological Collections Their Past, Present, and Future Contributions and Options for Sustaining Them | National Academies

“Biological collections are a critical part of the nation’s science infrastructure and a fundamental resource for understanding the natural world. Without enhanced strategic leadership and investments in their infrastructure and growth many biological collections could be lost. This report recommends approaches for biological collections to develop long-term financial sustainability, advance digitization, recruit and support a diverse workforce, and upgrade and maintain a robust physical infrastructure in order to continue serving science and society. The aim is to stimulate a national discussion about strategies to ensure collections thrive and continue to grow throughout the 21st century and beyond….”

Building capacity through open approaches: Lessons from developing undergraduate electrophysiology practicals

Abstract:  Electrophysiology has a wide range of biomedical research and clinical applications. As such, education in the theoretical basis and hands-on practice of electrophysiological techniques is essential for biomedical students, including at the undergraduate level. However, offering hands-on learning experiences is particularly difficult in environments with limited resources and infrastructure. In 2017, we began a project to design and incorporate electrophysiology laboratory practicals into our Biomedical Physics undergraduate curriculum at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. We describe some of the challenges we faced, how we maximized resources to overcome some of these challenges, and in particular, how we used open scholarship approaches to build both educational and research capacity. The use of open tools, open platforms, and open licenses was key to the success and broader impact of our project. We share examples of our practicals and explain how we use these activities to strengthen interdisciplinary learning, namely the application of concepts in physics to understanding functions of the human body. Our goal is to provide ideas, materials, and strategies for educators working in similar resource-limited environments.


Access to scientific literature by the conservation community [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Access to the scientific literature is perceived to be a challenge to the biodiversity conservation community, but actual level of literature access relative to needs has never been assessed globally. We examined this question by surveying the constituency of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a proxy for the conservation community, generating 2,285 responses. Of these respondents, ?97% need to use the scientific literature in order to support their IUCN-related conservation work, with ?50% needing to do so at least once per week. The crux of the survey revolved around the question, “How easy is it for you currently to obtain the scientific literature you need to carry out your IUCN-related work?” and revealed that roughly half (49%) of the respondents find it not easy or not at all easy to access scientific literature. We fitted a binary logistic regression model to explore factors predicting ease of literature access. Whether the respondent had institutional literature access (55% do) is the strongest predictor, with region (Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and sex (male) also significant predictors. Approximately 60% of respondents from Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have institutional access compared to ?50% in Asia and Latin America, and ?40% in Eastern Europe and in Africa. Nevertheless, accessing free online material is a popular means of accessing literature for both those with and without institutional access. The four journals most frequently mentioned when asked which journal access would deliver the greatest improvements to the respondent’s IUCN-related work were Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Nature, and Science. The majority prefer to read journal articles on screen but books in hard copy. Overall, it is apparent that access to the literature is a challenge facing roughly half of the conservation community worldwide.


AoBP ECOS Awards – Buckley Lab at UC Davis

“Beginning in 2020, AoBP will award USD $3,000 annually to each of up to three early-career researchers who have dedicated considerable effort to advancing the goals and ideals of open science.

The AoBP ECOS Awards (Early Career Open Science) aim to promote and celebrate people who are changing science for the better. People who are willing to go against the grain of hype-driven science. Willing to resist cynical citation-chasing. Willing to share their data, code and ideas. Willing to stand up for those who have been historically excluded or mistreated in science. Willing to publish negative results. Willing to promote others who respect these things.

To be eligible for an AoBP ECOS Award, you must have been active in research involving plants and the environment within the last two years, and you must be no more than eight years post-PhD. Scientists of any rank or position are eligible (students, postdocs, technicians, faculty). Individuals can self-nominate or be nominated by others (with the nominee’s agreement)….”

Responsible, practical genomic data sharing that accelerates research | Nature Reviews Genetics

Abstract:  Data sharing anchors reproducible science, but expectations and best practices are often nebulous. Communities of funders, researchers and publishers continue to grapple with what should be required or encouraged. To illuminate the rationales for sharing data, the technical challenges and the social and cultural challenges, we consider the stakeholders in the scientific enterprise. In biomedical research, participants are key among those stakeholders. Ethical sharing requires considering both the value of research efforts and the privacy costs for participants. We discuss current best practices for various types of genomic data, as well as opportunities to promote ethical data sharing that accelerates science by aligning incentives.


OSF Preprints | Building trust in preprints: recommendations for servers and other stakeholders

Abstract:  On January 20 and 21, 2020, ASAPbio, in collaboration with EMBL-EBI and Ithaka S+R, convened over 30 representatives from academia, preprint servers, publishers, funders, and standards, indexing and metadata infrastructure organisations at EMBL-EBI (Hinxton, UK) to develop a series of recommendations for best practices for posting and linking of preprints in the life sciences and ideally the broader research community. We hope that these recommendations offer guidance for new preprint platforms and projects looking to enact best practices and ultimately serve to improve the experience of using preprints for all.

Open Access for the future – Zeng – 2020 – Engineering in Life Sciences – Wiley Online Library

“We are very happy to announce that Engineering in Life Sciences will be a full Gold Open Access journal starting January 1st, 2020.

All papers are now freely accessible for everybody to read, directly upon publication.
Authors may share their articles with anyone, on any platform or via any communication channel.
Copyright will remain with the authors under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC?BY) License which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium (provided the original work is properly cited).
With Open Access, visibility is significantly increased and research reaches a larger audience; this usually also leads to increased downloads and citations….”

Open Access | Molecular Biology and Evolution | Oxford Academic

“MBE and the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) are thrilled to announce that from Volume 38 (2021) Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE) will become fully Open Access. From 1 January 2021 all papers published in the journal will be free to read online without subscription. All articles accepted for publication from 1 August 2020 will be published as Open Access and will be subject to an Article Processing Charge (APC).”