New Report – How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture – Digital Science

“The report key findings include: 

As of 1 June 2020, there have been upwards of 42,700 scholarly articles on COVID-19 published, 3,100 clinical trials, 420 datasets, 270 patents, 750 policy documents, and 150 grants.

Preprints have rapidly established as a mainstream research output and a key part of COVID-19 research efforts. They started at relatively low levels in early January 2020 and accounted for around one quarter of research output by the beginning of May 2020.

To date, more than 8,300 organisations have been involved in supporting COVID-19 research, with over 71,800 individual researchers identified as working on COVID-19 research.

The highest intensity of research into COVID-19 began in China and gradually migrated west mirroring the movement of the virus itself.

While the US and EU have both now published more than China in journals such as The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, China continues to benefit from an early mover advantage and continues to enjoy the lionshare of the citations. While research in the field is clearly moving quickly, it currently remains anchored to China’s early publications.

A density map of global COVID-19 paper production shows there are three to four major centres of research: an extended area in China composed of several cities—Wuhan, where the virus is alleged to have started, Beijing and Shanghai; Europe, specifically Italy and the UK, two of the harder hit countries; the US’s east coast research corridor including Boston and New York; and finally, a lighter focus from the Californian institutions on the West coast.

The top producing institution of COVID-19 research (since the beginning of 2020) is in China, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, followed by Harvard University and the University of Oxford.

The top healthcare producers of COVID-19 research (since the beginning of 2020) are Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, then Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

While the proportion of internationally co-authored work is steady, the vast majority of research on COVID to date has been unusually authored within countries.

At the time of writing, 156 grants totalling at least 20.8m USD have been awarded to COVID-themed researchers in public institutions.

Much of the clinical trial initiation activity in January and February is sponsored by China and this then begins to fall off in March, April and May. We see a similar wave for Europe and the US, but shifted back by two months, beginning in March….”

How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture

“The research world has moved faster than many would have suspected possible in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In five months, a volume of work has been generated that even the most intensive of emergent fields have taken years to create.

In our new report, How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture, we investigate the research landscape trends and cultural changes in response to COVID-19. The report includes analysis of publication trends, geographic focal points of research, and collaboration patterns….”

Will the pandemic permanently alter scientific publishing?

“Anna Obenauf had never posted her results to a preprint server, but she decided to make the jump in April. She was racing against another team to get findings on a rare skin cancer out quickly, so she uploaded her manuscript to bioRxiv — just like thousands of COVID-19 researchers have been doing during this pandemic. It was a turning point for Obenauf, a cancer biologist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, who particularly liked the quick feedback she received (L. Leiendecker et al. Preprint at bioRxiv http://doi.org/dw3f; 2020). She says she will probably continue to post some of her team’s work on preprint servers in the future.

The COVID-19 crisis has underlined just how fast and open science publishing can be — when scientists want it that way. Researchers working on the pandemic are sharing preliminary results on preprint servers and institutional websites at unprecedented rates, embracing the kind of early, public sharing that physicists and mathematicians have practised for decades. Journals have whisked manuscripts through to formal publication in record time, aided by researchers who have rapidly peer-reviewed the studies. And dozens of publishers and journals, including Elsevier, Springer Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine, have made coronavirus research — new and old — free to read. They have pledged to continue doing so for the duration of the outbreak, and have encouraged or, in some instances, required researchers to post their manuscripts on preprint servers….”

NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central

“NLM is preparing to launch a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). The primary goal of the NIH Preprint Pilot will be to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The pilot will begin the week of June 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of 12 months. Lessons learned during that time will inform future NLM efforts with preprints.

In its role as the repository for peer-reviewed manuscripts supported by NIH, PMC already makes available more than one million published papers resulting from NIH-supported research. Building on NIH guidance (NOT-OD-17-050) to investigators that encouraged the use of interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work, NLM hopes this pilot will inform possible future steps to further accelerate discovery and access of papers that are developed with NIH funds and encourage the open and fast dissemination of NIH research results, when appropriate.

The pilot will initially focus on increasing the discoverability of preprints with NIH support relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. NLM is leveraging the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio tool developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to identify preprints reporting on COVID-19 research supported by the NIH intramural or extramural programs. This narrowly scoped first phase should allow NLM an opportunity to streamline workflows and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there is a growing demand for accelerated access.

As curation and ingest workflows become scalable, NLM will expand the pilot to include preprints resulting from the broader spectrum of NIH research….”

NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central

“NLM is preparing to launch a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). The primary goal of the NIH Preprint Pilot will be to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The pilot will begin the week of June 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of 12 months. Lessons learned during that time will inform future NLM efforts with preprints.

In its role as the repository for peer-reviewed manuscripts supported by NIH, PMC already makes available more than one million published papers resulting from NIH-supported research. Building on NIH guidance (NOT-OD-17-050) to investigators that encouraged the use of interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work, NLM hopes this pilot will inform possible future steps to further accelerate discovery and access of papers that are developed with NIH funds and encourage the open and fast dissemination of NIH research results, when appropriate.

The pilot will initially focus on increasing the discoverability of preprints with NIH support relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. NLM is leveraging the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio tool developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to identify preprints reporting on COVID-19 research supported by the NIH intramural or extramural programs. This narrowly scoped first phase should allow NLM an opportunity to streamline workflows and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there is a growing demand for accelerated access.

As curation and ingest workflows become scalable, NLM will expand the pilot to include preprints resulting from the broader spectrum of NIH research….”

NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central

“NLM is preparing to launch a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). The primary goal of the NIH Preprint Pilot will be to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The pilot will begin the week of June 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of 12 months. Lessons learned during that time will inform future NLM efforts with preprints.

In its role as the repository for peer-reviewed manuscripts supported by NIH, PMC already makes available more than one million published papers resulting from NIH-supported research. Building on NIH guidance (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-050.html) to investigators that encouraged the use of interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work, NLM hopes this pilot will inform possible future steps to further accelerate discovery and access of papers that are developed with NIH funds and encourage the open and fast dissemination of NIH research results, when appropriate.

The pilot will initially focus on increasing the discoverability of preprints with NIH support relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. NLM is leveraging the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio tool (https://icite.od.nih.gov/covid19/search/) developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to identify preprints reporting on COVID-19 research supported by the NIH intramural or extramural programs. This narrowly scoped first phase should allow NLM an opportunity to streamline workflows and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there is a growing demand for accelerated access.

As curation and ingest workflows become scalable, NLM will expand the pilot to include preprints resulting from the broader spectrum of NIH research. Further, to enable NIH investigators to more easily report preprints as products of award, NLM will simplify the process for adding preprint citations to My Bibliography this summer.

NLM expects to engage with preprint servers throughout the pilot that include a significant volume of preprints with NIH support and meet the general expectations laid out in the 2017 NIH Guidance for selecting interim research product repositories.”

NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central

“NLM is preparing to launch a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). The primary goal of the NIH Preprint Pilot will be to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The pilot will begin the week of June 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of 12 months. Lessons learned during that time will inform future NLM efforts with preprints.

In its role as the repository for peer-reviewed manuscripts supported by NIH, PMC already makes available more than one million published papers resulting from NIH-supported research. Building on NIH guidance (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-050.html) to investigators that encouraged the use of interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work, NLM hopes this pilot will inform possible future steps to further accelerate discovery and access of papers that are developed with NIH funds and encourage the open and fast dissemination of NIH research results, when appropriate.

The pilot will initially focus on increasing the discoverability of preprints with NIH support relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. NLM is leveraging the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio tool (https://icite.od.nih.gov/covid19/search/) developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to identify preprints reporting on COVID-19 research supported by the NIH intramural or extramural programs. This narrowly scoped first phase should allow NLM an opportunity to streamline workflows and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there is a growing demand for accelerated access.

As curation and ingest workflows become scalable, NLM will expand the pilot to include preprints resulting from the broader spectrum of NIH research. Further, to enable NIH investigators to more easily report preprints as products of award, NLM will simplify the process for adding preprint citations to My Bibliography this summer.

NLM expects to engage with preprint servers throughout the pilot that include a significant volume of preprints with NIH support and meet the general expectations laid out in the 2017 NIH Guidance for selecting interim research product repositories.”

Our response to the UKRI OA Review – F1000 Blogs

“To add precision to the requirements of the UKRI’s OA policy, it would be helpful for the UKRI to make clear that all types of research-based articles that are submitted for peer review at publication outlets that meet the UKRI’s qualifying standards/criteria (and for which some sort of payment is required to secure OA – predominantly though an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC)) are covered by the policy….

The UKRI also needs to be clear about when it will ‘pay’ to enable OA.  For example:

would the policy apply if ‘at least one author’ has UKRI HE funding? 
if there are multi-funded authors listed on an article, and one or more of the authors have access to funds to support OA, what is the role of each funder? (i.e. do they split the costs? Is there a lead? Etc) …

UKRI should require an author or their institution to retain copyright AND specific reuse rights, including rights to deposit the author’s accepted manuscript in a repository in line with the deposit and licensing requirements of UKRI’s OA policy….

 

UKRI OA funds should not be permitted to support OA publication in hybrid journals…

 

While there are some benefits around transformative agreements – not least in terms of the simplicity of achieving OA for authors! – we do worry that such ‘big deals’ can effectively reduce author choice around publishing venue, effectively lock out OA-born and smaller publishers and have the potential to create and exacerbate inequalities in access to research across the globe; this does not therefore represent good value to the public (nor does it guarantee any kind of a sustainable model of publishing).

We would advise UKRI to consider how and where transformative deals can have unintended consequences in terms of lock-ins (and potential cost tie-ins) with specific publishers (often those operating at scale) while effectively making OA-born publishers work harder to engage and access researchers. …”

Our response to the UKRI OA Review – F1000 Blogs

“To add precision to the requirements of the UKRI’s OA policy, it would be helpful for the UKRI to make clear that all types of research-based articles that are submitted for peer review at publication outlets that meet the UKRI’s qualifying standards/criteria (and for which some sort of payment is required to secure OA – predominantly though an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC)) are covered by the policy….

The UKRI also needs to be clear about when it will ‘pay’ to enable OA.  For example:

would the policy apply if ‘at least one author’ has UKRI HE funding? 
if there are multi-funded authors listed on an article, and one or more of the authors have access to funds to support OA, what is the role of each funder? (i.e. do they split the costs? Is there a lead? Etc) …

UKRI should require an author or their institution to retain copyright AND specific reuse rights, including rights to deposit the author’s accepted manuscript in a repository in line with the deposit and licensing requirements of UKRI’s OA policy….

 

UKRI OA funds should not be permitted to support OA publication in hybrid journals…

 

While there are some benefits around transformative agreements – not least in terms of the simplicity of achieving OA for authors! – we do worry that such ‘big deals’ can effectively reduce author choice around publishing venue, effectively lock out OA-born and smaller publishers and have the potential to create and exacerbate inequalities in access to research across the globe; this does not therefore represent good value to the public (nor does it guarantee any kind of a sustainable model of publishing).

We would advise UKRI to consider how and where transformative deals can have unintended consequences in terms of lock-ins (and potential cost tie-ins) with specific publishers (often those operating at scale) while effectively making OA-born publishers work harder to engage and access researchers. …”

Taylor & Francis input to UKRI Open Access Review – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

“We urge UKRI to focus on requiring immediate access only to the final published research output or version of record, with the certainty this OA route provides of research being trusted, validated, discoverable, curated and preserved in perpetuity. We believe that a permissive policy approach is the best way to achieve UKRI’s aims. Encouraging a diverse ecology will help support the development of innovative models and diversification of existing models, will accelerate the growth in OA and will allow new entrants to join the research communication ecosystem, encouraging competition. As we have outlined in our response, the zero embargo Green OA route is an unsustainable mechanism that implies creation of content that is not paid for. This actually runs counter to UKRI’s long term aspirations around opening up research outputs….

We encourage future OA policy in the UK to support a variety of publication venues, including those most preferred by their communities, irrespective of their open access model, as they are the vehicles that drive research, being used and trusted by their communities. We are exploring options for hybrid journals other than the APC-OA model that will allow them to make their publications more widely available. We are keen to explore with UKRI, other funders, and researchers how we can best support these journals as they move to OA, and how we can offer sustainable publication venues across disciplines….”