How Could COVID-19 Change Scholarly Communication to a New Normal in the Open Science Paradigm? – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Author reviews digital transformation of scholarly communication since 1990s and explains how COVID-19 is accelerating open science, with some analogy of chemical reactions. Discussing the current situation of preprint, the potential of peer review, and the essence of open science, developing additional services and balancing incremental and innovation in the transition state is crucial to foster new trust among stakeholders.

 

Automated screening of COVID-19 preprints: can we help authors to improve transparency and reproducibility? | Nature Medicine

“Although automated screening is not a replacement for peer review, automated tools can identify common problems. Examples include failure to state whether experiments were blinded or randomized2, failure to report the sex of participants2 and misuse of bar graphs to display continuous data3. We have been using six tools4,5,6,7,8 to screen all new medRxiv and bioRxiv COVID-19 preprints (Table 1). New preprints are screened daily9. By this means, reports on more than 8,000 COVID preprints have been shared using the web annotation tool hypothes.is (RRID:SCR_000430) and have been tweeted out via @SciScoreReports (https://hypothes.is/users/sciscore). Readers can access these reports in two ways. The first option is to find the link to the report in the @SciScoreReports tweet in the preprint’s Twitter feed, located in the metrics tab. The second option is to download the hypothes.is bookmarklet. In addition, readers and authors can reply to the reports, which also contain information on solutions….”

Automated screening of COVID-19 preprints: can we help authors to improve transparency and reproducibility? | Nature Medicine

“Although automated screening is not a replacement for peer review, automated tools can identify common problems. Examples include failure to state whether experiments were blinded or randomized2, failure to report the sex of participants2 and misuse of bar graphs to display continuous data3. We have been using six tools4,5,6,7,8 to screen all new medRxiv and bioRxiv COVID-19 preprints (Table 1). New preprints are screened daily9. By this means, reports on more than 8,000 COVID preprints have been shared using the web annotation tool hypothes.is (RRID:SCR_000430) and have been tweeted out via @SciScoreReports (https://hypothes.is/users/sciscore). Readers can access these reports in two ways. The first option is to find the link to the report in the @SciScoreReports tweet in the preprint’s Twitter feed, located in the metrics tab. The second option is to download the hypothes.is bookmarklet. In addition, readers and authors can reply to the reports, which also contain information on solutions….”

cOAlition S welcomes AAAS decision to support the sharing of author accepted manuscripts | Plan S

“cOAlition S – an international consortium of research funding and performing organisations committed to making full and immediate Open Access a reality – welcomes the decision by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to update their publishing agreements.

As stated in today’s press release by AAAS, researchers working under a Plan S Open Access policy can make their Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) freely available through an OA repository, at the time of publication and under a CC BY (or CC BY-ND) licence….”

Science family of journals announces change to open-access policy

In a step towards open access, the publisher of Science will start allowing some authors publishing in its high-profile subscription journals to share their accepted manuscripts openly online under liberal terms that mean anyone could reproduce or redistribute the work.

We need to talk about preprints: how (not) to deal with the media « KU Leuven blogt

“Online preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv allow researchers to share their findings with the scientific community before peer review. They are also a goldmine for journalists looking for their next big story. Here are some tips to navigate a potential media minefield….”

As new venues for peer review flower, will journals catch up? – Psychonomic Society Featured Content

“Given that preprints are here to stay, the field should be devoting resources to getting them certified more quickly as having received some amount of expert scrutiny. This is particularly important, of course, for preprints making claims relevant to the response to the pandemic.

In many cases, one component of this certification is already happening very quickly. More publicly-available peer review is happening today than ever before – just not at our journals. While academic journals typically call on half a handful of hand-picked, often reluctant referees, social media is not as limiting, and lively expert discussions are flourishing at forums like Twitter, Pubpeer, and the commenting facility of preprint servers.

So far, most journals have simply ignored this. As a result, science is now happening on two independent tracks, one slow, and one fast. The fast track is chaotic and unruly, while the slow track is bureaucratic and secretive – at most journals the experts’ comments never become available to readers, and the resulting evaluation by the editor of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript are never communicated to readers….

Will we need to reinvent the scientific journal wheel, or will legacy journals catch up with the modern world, by both taking advantage of and adding value to the peer review that is happening on the fast track?”

 

Watching preprints evolve | Nature Reviews Immunology

“In February 2021, Nature Reviews Immunology launches the first of its monthly ‘Preprint Watch’ columns. Here, we explain the rationale for our coverage of preprints and the precautions we have taken to guard against their improper use….

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated the rapid dissemination of results, has fuelled some of this increase, with approximately one-quarter (463) of the 2020 ‘immunology’ preprints on bioRxiv containing the search term ‘COVID-19’ or ‘SARS-CoV-2’. It also seems clear from these numbers that even in non-pandemic times, preprints are here to stay. At Nature Reviews Immunology, we anticipate that the accelerated acceptance of the value of preprints that has occurred in 2020 will translate to long-term changes in their use, and we are well placed to respond to these changes….

[I]n April 2020 Nature Reviews Immunology began a collaboration with the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine, New York, USA (the Sinai Immunology Review Project; SIRP)2, to publish short ‘In Brief’ summaries (for example, ref.3) on a weekly basis of the most relevant, new COVID-19-related preprints (for example, ref.4), many of which have since been published in high-profile journals (for example, ref.5). We were mindful of the potential dangers of highlighting and publicizing non-peer-reviewed results, but we were reassured by the system that SIRP had established to scan, filter and review preprints, involving both early career researchers (ECRs) and faculty members. This curation of the preprint literature at a time when journals and editors were overwhelmed with submissions was an essential service to the community, and the training in peer review for ECRs who were shut out of the lab should pay future dividends. In June 2020, a second group from the University of Oxford, UK (the OxImmuno Literature Initiative), operating under a similar system, also began to contribute regular preprint summaries (for example, refs6,7)….

We share your concerns about media reporting of incomplete or misleading data that might damage public trust in science. For this reason, we are maintaining a cautious approach to preprints, covering only a few select papers picked by experts after careful review. …”

 

Can Publishers Maintain Control of the Scholarly Record? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“More recently, as Oya and Roger analyzed in the spring, an alternative vision for preprints has emerged, one pursued by all of the major commercial publishers, among others. In this new model, publishers are promoting preprints but at the same time working to domesticate them, bringing them within their article submission workflows and linking preprints and versions of record in a way that will over time serve to deprecate the ability of the former to disrupt the latter. By restructuring the place of preprints less as part of a global research community (for example, for high energy physics) and instead linked directly with journal brands, publishers hope they will reinforce the existing value proposition. It remains to be seen how this vision will dovetail with, or perhaps over time impede, the mandate of community-based preprint services such as arXiv and bioRxiv to provide publisher-neutral platforms, decoupling the early sharing of research from the formal publishing stage in a way that enables authors to avoid having their findings associated exclusively with specific journals. …

 

If anything, the landscape for research data is more complicated than that for preprints. It has come to include domain-specific structures, cross-institutional generalist structures, and increasingly substantial institutional investments. There are also some interesting new models developing for dataset discovery and capturing datasets within records associated with researcher identity. …

 

The scholarly record is fracturing, as shown by these twin examples of preprints and research datasets. Publishers are pursuing an effort to integrate preprints into their workflows and value propositions, but whether they will succeed in doing so remains to be seen. They seem to be far less certain of how to similarly integrate research data, which does make sense given that datasets correspond less directly to the published article than does a preprint….

For the publishing sector, this fracture seems to pose challenges. Those parties that are concerned about consolidation and profit margins in publishing might see in these challenges an opportunity. While perhaps unrealistic, as a thought exercise, we wonder what it would look like to make a large-scale capital investment in promoting the fracture? Might scholarly societies or others interested in stewarding research communities find a way to promote a refactored scholarly record? ”