‘People can’t learn about treatments they need’: why open access to medical research matters | Education | The Guardian

“Around the same time as the Simms case, Steel made it his mission to gather and disseminate relevant research papers to other vCJD sufferers after his brother, Richard, died from the disease. “That was 18 years ago,” he says. “Yet there are still the same barriers stopping people from reading about research – from learning about the treatment they need.” 

In other words, hiding research papers behind a subscription paywall – as is the case for an estimated two-thirds of all research – could be killing people. There are countless examples of how failure to share science openly can have a devastating impact on public health.

It’s happening now: the outbreak of coronavirus in China prompted the director of the Wellcome Trust to call for medical findings to be shared freely and widely to prevent the spread of the disease and improve treatments for patients. …”

How society publishers can accelerate their transition to open access and align with Plan S – Wise – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers commissioned Information Power Ltd. to undertake a project to support society publishers to accelerate their transition to open access (OA) in alignment with Plan S and the wider move to accelerate immediate OA. This project is part of a range of activities that cOAlition S partners are taking forward to support the implementation of Plan S principles. The objective of this project was to explore with learned societies a range of potential strategies and business models through which they could adapt and thrive under Plan S. We consulted with society publishers through interviews, surveys, and workshops about the 27 business models and strategies identified during the project. We also surveyed library consortia about their willingness to support society publishers to make the transition to OA. Our key finding is that transformative agreements emerge as the most promising model because they offer a predictable, steady funding stream. We also facilitated pilot transformative agreement negotiations between several society publishers and library consortia. These pilots and a workshop of consortium representatives and society publishers informed the development of an OA transformative agreement toolkit. Our conclusion is that society publishers should consider all the business models this project has developed and should not automatically equate OA with article publication charges.


Recommendations for transparent communication of Open Access prices and services – Information Power

“An independent report published today by Information Power aims to improve the transparency of Open Access (OA) prices and services. The report is the outcome of a project funded by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on behalf of cOAlition S to inform the development of Plan S. During the project funders, libraries, publishers, and universities worked together to inform the development of a framework intended to provide information about OA services and prices in a transparent, practical, and insightful way.

Imperative need for customer-centric approach

The framework provides opportunities for publishers to build better awareness of and appreciation by customers of the value of their services, and to demonstrate publisher commitment to open business models and business cultures.

And a collaborative, pragmatic approach

cOAlition S aims to help make the nature and prices of OA publishing services more transparent, and to enable conversations and comparisons that will build confidence amongst customers that prices are fair and reasonable. Addressing cOAlition S, the report emphasises that the introduction of a new reporting requirement needs to be organised with clear implementation guidelines, and a proper plan for testing, development, release, review, and refinement. It also recommends an iterative approach to implementation, with a pilot as the next step.

cOAlition S has accepted the recommendation that such a framework needs to be piloted before implementation and agreed a project extension to pilot and refine the framework during the first quarter of 2020. Participants include Annual Reviews, Brill, The Company of Biologists, EMBO Press, European Respiratory Society, Hindawi, PLOS, and SpringerNature. Other publishers are welcome and are invited to express interest in joining the pilot via info@informationpower.co.uk.

Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at Wellcome and interim cOAlition S coordinator, said “On behalf of cOAlition S we are delighted to see all stakeholders engage in the development of this transparency pricing framework and support the idea of road-testing it through a pilot.  Based on the outcome of this pilot, cOAlition S will decide how to use this framework, or a refinement of it, together with other models for inclusion in the requirement for those journals where Plan S requirements apply.”

The project is guided by a steering group which provides expert advice and support….”

Guidance for research organisations on how to implement the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment | Wellcome

The draft guidance […] provides information for Wellcome-funded organisations on how to implement the core principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

We want to hear your comments and feedback on this guidance, before we publish an updated and final version in spring 2020. Fill in our short survey (opens in a new tab) by 17:00 GMT, 24 February 2020. 

Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Challenges and a Way Forward – A Workshop : Health and Medicine Division

“An ad hoc planning committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will plan and conduct a two-day public workshop to discuss advances, challenges, and opportunities in clinical trial data sharing efforts since the release of the 2015 Institute of Medicine report, Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Risk. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.


Consider the value and potential risks/costs of sharing clinical trial data for key stakeholders, including clinical trialists, sponsors, primary and secondary researchers, and patients;
Review the current landscape of clinical trial data sharing and reuse across public and private sectors (e.g. policies, platforms, collaborations, data sharing culture, published research output);
Examine use cases and trends from across public and private sectors when it comes to success, failure, lessons learned, and value;
Consider the perspectives and expectations of primary and secondary researchers, clinical trial participants, patient organizations, research sponsors (pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations), journals, institutions, and federal agencies; and
Discuss next step opportunities for stakeholders to better harmonize incentives, policy, data standards, and governance to encourage the sharing and reuse of clinical trial data.

The planning committee will organize the workshop, develop the agenda, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate or identify moderators for the discussions. A proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines….”

Why we do need a new gold open access journal called “Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health” – ScienceDirect

“Finally, there is an ambition that BBI-Health will be an open-access, high-quality journal that will fulfil the criteria of the new ‘open access’ policy detailed in ‘Plan S’ and endorsed by a number of funders in the cOAlition S, including the Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation, the European Research Council and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who may eventually stop funding open-access publications in hybrid journals. If or when this happens, the community of scientists interested in psychoneuroimmunology and immunopsychiatry will be ready with a dedicated journal….”

Research culture: let’s reimagine how we work together | Wellcome

“As a community we need to open up the conversation about the changes needed in research culture, and how excellence should be redefined. Excellence should not just be what we do, but how we do it.

Together we can move towards a culture that: 

supports creativity, with ambitious and collaborative working across disciplines and institutions 
prioritises diversity and inclusion, so that everyone benefits from supportive relationships no matter what their background
produces open research, which is conducted with honesty and integrity. …”

Research on Research Institute (RoRI)

“RoRI is an international consortium of research funders, academics and technologists working to champion transformative and translational research on research.

By analysing research systems and experimenting with new tools, indicators and evaluation frameworks, we aim to advance more strategic, open, diverse and inclusive research….”

OA price and service transparency Survey

“The views of researchers, librarians, publishers, and funders about ways to increase the transparency of communications about the price of Open Access publishing services are sought in a new industry survey. The results of this survey will help to inform a collaborative project with publishers, funders, and universities to develop a framework for communications. The project is sponsored by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with UKRI on behalf of cOAlition S. You can visit the survey here ….”