Frontiers Policy Labs Mission Statement — Frontiers Policy Labs

“The Frontiers Policy Labs initiative seeks to strengthen the connection between robust scientific research and informed policymaking. The challenges we face today are as stark as they are complex; the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate emergency are just two among many that we must now address. Now is the time to look to science as a tool to enable better, more holistic decision making; an interface through which policy is driven by evidence. To enable that, science must be open, science must be trusted, and science must be accessible. 

Insights will be added regularly, and we encourage you to listen, learn, and perhaps most importantly, join the debate.  …”

2020 in review: A year in Open Science policy  – Science & research news | Frontiers

“How to begin to summarize what 2020?has?meant for policy and science? It feels like a decade’s worth of catastrophic news and disruption, followed by unprecedented innovative responses.  It was also the year that proved?beyond?doubt?that access to scientific knowledge must be free and immediately open to effectively address the challenges faced by society….

However,?progress was made in Open Science in 2020: ? 

In the US,?meetings with stakeholders?and?a public round of evidence gathering?occured?to prepare for an?executive order mandating OA?for?federally funded research.?No tangible result has emerged, yet?it catalyzed grassroots support for: #OAintheUSA. Expectations are that the incoming Biden administration will pick up the initiative.? 

UNESCO conducted a?global consultation of the academic community?over the summer?to prepare a?Recommendation on?Open Science, for adoption in 2021.?Similarly,?in October,?the World Health?Organization?(WHO), UNESCO,?and the?UN High Commissioner for Human Rights?statement?issued a?joint call for Open Science,?to which we offered our support.?? 

In November, the UN launched a new partnership of publishers committed to the Sustainable Development Goals,?the SDG Publishers Compact. Frontiers and other signatories committed?to promoting research and education and to work inside and outside the company to support the SDGs.  

Frontiers joined?the Initiative for?Open Abstracts (I4OA),?which advocates for the?unrestricted availability of abstracts in scholarly communications.?By joining I4OA, our abstracts will be deposited on?Crossref, adding a layer of support to the OA community’s mission to make all science open.? …”

No agreement with Frontiers in Germany | scidecode

“As Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the central library of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, announced yesterday, there will be no agreement with Frontiers in Germany. The negotiations between the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Open Access Publisher Frontiers on a nationwide framework contract did not succeed….

The criticism on the planned agreement with the Open Access Publisher Frontiers in Germany stemmed from the fact that many German universities and universities of applied sciences have set up Open Access funds funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) in its program Open Access Publizieren, which reimburse APCs in Gold Open Access Journals up to a maximum of €2000 gross. Many libraries regard this limit as a suitable means of not overburdening their Open Access budget and see it as an opportunity to slow down the price increase of APCs. Two examples of the criticism of the planned Frontiers agreement mentioned by Mr. Mittermaier can be found online, one by Thomas Krichl and one by Michael Wohlgemuth….”

 

No agreement with Frontiers in Germany | scidecode

“As Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the central library of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, announced yesterday, there will be no agreement with Frontiers in Germany. The negotiations between the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Open Access Publisher Frontiers on a nationwide framework contract did not succeed….

The criticism on the planned agreement with the Open Access Publisher Frontiers in Germany stemmed from the fact that many German universities and universities of applied sciences have set up Open Access funds funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) in its program Open Access Publizieren, which reimburse APCs in Gold Open Access Journals up to a maximum of €2000 gross. Many libraries regard this limit as a suitable means of not overburdening their Open Access budget and see it as an opportunity to slow down the price increase of APCs. Two examples of the criticism of the planned Frontiers agreement mentioned by Mr. Mittermaier can be found online, one by Thomas Krichl and one by Michael Wohlgemuth….”

 

Peer Review of Scholarly Research Gets an AI Boost – IEEE Spectrum

“Open-access publisher Frontiers has debuted an AI tool called the Artificial Intelligence Review Assistant (AIRA), which purports to eliminate much of the grunt work associated with peer review. Since the beginning of June 2020, every one of the 11,000-plus submissions Frontiers received has been run through AIRA, which is integrated into its collaborative peer-review platform. This also makes it accessible to external users, accounting for some 100,000 editors, authors, and reviewers. Altogether, this helps “maximize the efficiency of the publishing process and make peer-review more objective,” says Kamila Markram, founder and CEO of Frontiers.

AIRA’s interactive online platform, which is a first of its kind in the industry, has been in development for three years.. It performs three broad functions, explains Daniel Petrariu, director of project management: assessing the quality of the manuscript, assessing quality of peer review, and recommending editors and reviewers. At the initial validation stage, the AI can make up to 20 recommendations and flag potential issues, including language quality, plagiarism, integrity of images, conflicts of interest, and so on. “This happens almost instantly and with [high] accuracy, far beyond the rate at which a human could be expected to complete a similar task,” Markram says….

The AI’s job is to flag concerns; humans take the final decisions….”

Frontiers 2020: a third of journals increase prices by 45 times the inflation rate | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

A third of the journals published by Frontiers in 2019 and 2020 (20 / 61 journals) have increased in price by 18% or more (up to 55%). This is quite a contrast with the .4% Swiss inflation rate for 2019 according to Worlddata.info ; 18% is 45 times the inflation rate. This is an even more marked contrast with the current and anticipated economic impact of COVID; according to Le News, “A team of economic experts working for the Swiss government forecasts a 6.7% fall in GDP”. (Frontiers’ headquarters is in Switzerland).

The International Journal of Public Health transitions to Open Access – Science & research news | Frontiers

“The International Journal of Public Health is pleased to announce that from January 2021 it will transition from a subscription model to Gold Open Access. 

The journal, which celebrates its 100th anniversary soon, will also be transferring from its current publisher Springer Nature to Frontiers, a leading Gold Open Access publisher offering tailored services and a highly technologically advanced platform.

Owned by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), the School is proud to announce the transition….”

PLOS Joins Other Publishers and Societies in Support of the Proposed White House Policy Regarding Federally Funded Research

Note: PLOS and other prominent organizations delivered the following letter to the Trump Administration on January 17, 2020. We encourage all publishing organizations and scholarly societies who would like to join us in support of OA in the USA to reach out to us at community@plos.org — we can prepare an expanded letter with more signatories as necessary. Please also consider voicing your support on social media with the hashtag #OAintheUSA.

Frontiers and Robert-Jan Smits emails reveal how Plan S was conceived – For Better Science

Guess what. After pestering the EU Commission and the European Ombudsman for exactly NINE months (since November 2018) the baby is born and I got the emails between the former EU Special Envoy for Open Access (OA), Robert-Jan Smits, and the Swiss, Lausanne-based, OA publisher Frontiers, namely its CEO Kamila Markram, who founded Frontiers together with her husband, the EPFL professor and brain simulator Henry Markram.

I previously published an analysis of same emails where, aside of addressee, sender and date only the subject line was made available. That was enough to establish the influence of Frontiers over Plan S conception. The finally released emails are still heavily censored yet even more revealing. We learn that the Frontiers vision of the OA future mediated to Smits neatly translated into what became on 4 September 2018 his Plan S, with one initial exception: The caps for Article Processing Charges (APC) were put in place, though not specified. Much of the email exchange between Smits and Markram was about APC caps, which the latter protested against, so the free market and innovation are not impeded. Frontiers highest APC is currently at €2440 or $2950, and Markram conceded to Smits to accept a cap of €3000. Soon after Plan S was announced, Smits turned to speaking of caps as not being necessary; at the revised Plan S, all talk of capping APC ended.Plan S was designed to flip scholarly publishing first in Europe, then in the world, to full OA, by banning all scientists from publishing in subscription journals and even by punishing them for attempting to do so. That is, all scientists who receive funding from Plan S-subscribing cOAition S members of national and EU funders as well as charities. Learned societies were ordered to flip their journals to OA and to cease using the publishing revenue for any outreach, training and community activities not directly related to publishing….”

UC Davis and Frontiers form open access publishing agreement – Science & research news | Frontiers

The University of California, Davis supports its researchers in making their research more widely available. As part of this support, UC Davis Library has entered an institutional agreement with Frontiers. Under the terms of this agreement, UC Davis-affiliated corresponding authors will benefit from a 7.5% membership discount on article processing charges (APCs) when publishing in any of Frontiers’ open access journals, irrespective of what fund covers the APC….”