The preprint problem: Unvetted science is fueling COVID-19 misinformation | Ars Technica

“A significant difference between COVID-19 and past pandemics—even the 2009 outbreak of H1N1—has been the speed with which information on the disease has spread. Partly, that’s down to social media, as platforms like Twitter have been embraced by scientists and doctors. But another major factor has been the rise of what we call a preprint—an academic research paper that’s posted to a publicly accessible server in advance of it having gone through the traditional process of peer review. When unvetted science that makes bold claims goes straight to the public, that can cause problems, as illustrated by a recent preprint on coronavirus mutations covered by John Timmer earlier today….”

European universities dismal at reporting results of clinical trials

“Many of Europe’s major research universities are ignoring rules that require them to make public the results of clinical trials.

A report published on 30 April found that the results of only 162 of 940 clinical trials (17%) that were due to be published by 1 April had been posted on the European Union’s trials register. The 30 universities surveyed are those that sponsor the most clinical trials in the EU. Fourteen of these institutions had failed to publish a single results summary….”

“Clinical Trial Transparency at European Universities: Mapping unreported drug trials

“Obligation to report the results of all trials Failure to report clinical trial results is not a victimless crime. It has substantial negative consequences for patients and public health. Since July 2014, European Union rules have required each and every clinical trial registered on the EU clinical trials registry to post summary results onto the registry within 12 months of trial completion (6 months for paediatric trials). These rules also apply to trials completed before 2014, and apply irrespective of whether a trial’s outcomes have been published in the academic literature. Thus, all of the clinical trials identified in this report as missing summary results are in violation of European Union transparency rules that were designed to protect the interests of patients and taxpayers. Key findings Overall, 778 clinical trials run by 30 European universities (83% of due trials) are verifiably missing results on the European trial registry, in violation of EU transparency rules. Excluding UK universities, reporting rates are just 7%. The actual figure of due trials missing results is likely to be far higher. ? Only three universities perform well: University of Oxford, University College London, and King’s College London. These universities have already posted over 80% of their trial results. ? Fourteen universities have failed to post a single clinical trial result. This includes all assessed universities in France, Italy, Norway and Sweden. ? The remaining 13 universities also perform weakly, with reporting rates ranging from 2-33%. The fact that UK universities outperform their European peers by a wide margin is due to a combination of pressure from parliament, research funders, and the public. The strong performance by front-runner universities in the UK demonstrates that universities elsewhere in Europe can – and can be expected to – do far better….”

States Are Suspending Public Records Access Due to COVID-19 – The Markup

“On March 4, Hawaii had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but officials had started to take action in anticipation of an outbreak. Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency, giving him the authority  to “suspend any law that impedes … emergency functions.” By the 16th, the outbreak had arrived: The state had 10 confirmed cases, and Ige began to act on that declaration. 

Among the statutes he suspended was Chapter 92F of something called “the uniform information practices act.” It was easy for a layperson to miss, but the change effectively blocked requests for public records in the state for the duration of the emergency. 

Hawaii is among several jurisdictions around the country that have amended or suspended access to public records as the coronavirus spreads. Governors are taking emergency action in some states, ordering changes to public records compliance during the crisis. Other states and municipalities have made legislative changes to their laws. But government-transparency advocates argue that in a time of crisis, access to public records is even more important. …”

Finding Our Way: A Snapshot of Scholarly Communication Practitioners’ Duties & Training

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Scholarly communication has arisen as a core academic librarianship competency, but formal training on scholarly communication topics in LIS is rare, leaving many early career practitioners underprepared for their work. METHODS Researchers surveyed practitioners of scholarly communication, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), regarding their attitudes toward and experiences with education in scholarly communication, job responsibilities, location within their academic libraries, and thoughts about emerging trends in scholarly communication librarianship. results Few scholarly communication practitioners felt well-prepared by their graduate training for the core set of primary and secondary scholarly communication responsibilities that have emerged. They deploy a range of strategies to fill the gap and would benefit from support in this area, from more robust education in graduate programs and through continued professional development. discussion The results of this survey support the assertion that as academic libraries and academic library work have increasingly recognized the importance of scholarly communication topics, library school curricula have not developed correspondingly. Respondents indicated a low level of formal pedagogy on scholarly communication topics and generally felt they were not well-prepared for scholarly communication work, coming at a significant opportunity cost. CONCLUSION Scholarly communication practitioners should create and curate open teaching and learning content on scholarly communication topics for both continuing education as well as adoption within LIS curricula, and LIS programs should develop accordingly, either through “topics” courses or by integrating scholarly communication into and across curricula as it intersects with existing courses.

 

Copyright Is Broken: COVID-19 Pandemic Revealing Just How Messed Up Our Permission-Based Culture Is | Techdirt

“Like large parts of the world right now, I’m stuck at home these days, and figuring out how to work and be a distance learning proctor to children. A week and a half into this forced educational experiment, my kid’s kindergarten teacher decided to post a (private) video of her reading a children’s book to the students. Why did it take so long before reading time arrived to distance learning? Copyright, of course. She needed to wait for permission from Random House, apparently, and that also meant that in posting the video to the distance learning platform the school is using, she noted in both text, and prior to reading, “with permission from Random House.”

Now let’s think about how silly this is. No one would ever expect that if you walked into a kindergarten classroom that a teacher would first need to (a) get permission to read aloud a book and (b) state before reading that he or she had “permission” from the copyright holder. This is permission culture gone mad. But it’s the way things are, especially since copyright holders have spent the past two decades blaming platforms for hosting any “infringing” material. I doubt that the teacher in this case was directly concerned about her own liability (though, she might be), but it very likely had to do with the distance learning platform the school is using requiring her “properly license” anything uploaded. Indeed, when I tweeted about this, a copyright lawyer insisted that this was “better for everyone” to make sure that no one had liability. I question how it’s better for teachers, students, or culture in general, however….”

2U, Blackboard OpenLMS, and the Continuing Wave of EdTech Buyout Activity – PhilOnEdTech

“Instructure continues its soap opera of a Private Equity buyout attempt (with updates expected at the end of next week). SmartSparrow sold its assets to Pearson in January for $25 million. McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage continue their soap opera of a merger. Campus Management and EdCentric were acquired by Veritas Capital in January. And with today’s news comes two additional stories….

Blackboard announced today that it has sold its OpenLMS (the LMS formerly known as Moodlerooms) assets to London-based Learning Technologies Group (LTG), a publicly-traded conglomerate whose holdings include Rustici Software, best known for their work on xAPI standards and SCORM Cloud….”

 

2U, Blackboard OpenLMS, and the Continuing Wave of EdTech Buyout Activity – PhilOnEdTech

“Instructure continues its soap opera of a Private Equity buyout attempt (with updates expected at the end of next week). SmartSparrow sold its assets to Pearson in January for $25 million. McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage continue their soap opera of a merger. Campus Management and EdCentric were acquired by Veritas Capital in January. And with today’s news comes two additional stories….

Blackboard announced today that it has sold its OpenLMS (the LMS formerly known as Moodlerooms) assets to London-based Learning Technologies Group (LTG), a publicly-traded conglomerate whose holdings include Rustici Software, best known for their work on xAPI standards and SCORM Cloud….”

 

Availability of Research Data in High-Impact Addiction Journals with Data Sharing Policies | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Although data sharing is one of the primary measures proposed to improve the integrity and quality of published research, studies show it remains the exception not the rule. The current study examines the availability of data in papers reporting the results of analyses of empirical data from original research in high-impact addiction journals. Thirteen high-impact journals with data sharing policies were selected from those included in the substance abuse category of the 2018 Clarivate Analytics’ Journal Citation Report. The first 10 full or short original research reports that included empirical data in the most recent complete issue of each journal were electronically searched and reviewed for reference to where their data can be obtained and for a formal data sharing statement. Only eight of the 130 papers contained a data sharing statement in their text or supplementary online materials, and just one contained a direct link to the data analyzed. Data sharing was rare in the 13 high-impact addiction journals reviewed. The nature of the data reported in addiction journals might partly explain this. Currently, data sharing is not a procedure likely to improve the quality and integrity of published addiction research.

Popular preprint servers face closure because of money troubles

“The rise of preprint repositories has helped scientists worldwide to share results and get feedback quickly. But several platforms that serve researchers in emerging economies are struggling to raise money to stay afloat. One, which hosts research from Indonesia, has decided to close because of this funding shortfall.

INA-Rxiv, which was set up in 2017, was one of the first repositories to host studies from a particular region. Previous platforms served specific disciplines: for example, arXiv, the original preprint repository, hosts physical-sciences research, and bioRxiv is a popular repository for biology studies. Other region or language-specific repositories followed, including ArabiXiv, which hosts Arabic-language research; AfricArxiv and IndiaRxiv. Managers of these repositories say they increase exposure for research from the regions, and facilitate collaborations.

INA-Rxiv, ArabiXiv, AfricArxiv and IndiaRxiv are run by volunteers around the world, but the servers are hosted online by the non-profit Center for Open Science (COS), based in Charlottesville, Virginia. The centre’s platform hosts 26 repositories, including more than a dozen that are discipline-specific.

In December 2018, the COS informed repository managers that from 2020, it would be introducing fees, charged to repository managers, to cover maintenance costs. The charges, which were finalized last December, start at about US$1,000 a year, and increase as repositories’ annual submissions grow….”