A trust approach for sharing research reagents | Science Translational Medicine

Abstract:  The core feature of trusts—holding property for the benefit of others—is well suited to constructing a research community that treats reagents as public goods.

[From the body of the article:] “Under an open science trust, reagents are treated as a public-good resource governed by principles that promote the public interest, in this case, open science. Our open science trust agreement codifies these public-good principles. Under its terms, a recipient of research reagents becomes a “trustee” of the reagents. Trustees are bound by principles that specifically prohibit filing any patent claims that would restrict use of the reagents by others. The result is to create and expand an open science community connected by a common commitment to the foundational aims of the reagent generators.

 

A trust is a legal relationship whereby one party—called the trustee—is given control over property but must use it for the benefit of others—called the beneficiaries. In this regard, a trust contrasts with direct legal ownership over property, which allows owners to use the property for their own ends and to prevent others from using or benefiting from it. That is how we normally think about tangible goods such as real estate and intangible ones such as patented biomedical inventions.

 

A trust places a duty on those who possess entrusted assets to manage those assets for the benefit of particular third parties or, in the case of charitable trusts, in furtherance of particular objects that benefit the public. Trusts are created by appointing trustees under a legal document that enumerates specific obligations in dealing with trust property. Private trusts—those with individual beneficiaries—are often used for tax and estate planning purposes. Charitable trusts, by contrast, are dedicated to serving the public, as opposed to particular individuals, and must have definite charitable objects that guide the trustee’s use of trust property. In effect, the “public” constitutes the beneficiary of a charitable trust. Charitable trusts are often administered by a group of trustees whose joint efforts to further the aims of the trust can foster a communal sense of purpose….”

The case for open?access chemical biology | EMBO Reports

Although the creation of new chemical entities has always been considered the realm of patents, I think that it is time for change. Novel chemical tools, most of which will not have drug?like properties, are too valuable to be restricted; they will be of far greater benefit to research if freely available without restrictions on their use. Chemical biologists would benefit from the many advantages that the open consortium model brings: rapid access to research tools; less bureaucratic workload to enter legal agreements; the ability to work with the best people through collaborations focused on the publication of results; and freedom to operate for companies, harnessing the synergies between academic freedom and industrial approaches to systematically tackle a scientific challenge. My call for open?access chemistry public–private partnerships might sound impractical, but pilot projects are already underway….The SGC is a one example of an open public–private partnership. It was created as a legal charity in 2004 to determine the three?dimensional high?resolution structures of medically important proteins. As an open consortium, the resulting structures are placed in the public domain without restriction on their use. The SGC was conceived nearly ten years ago, based on the conviction that high?quality structural information is of tremendous value in promoting drug discovery and a belief that patenting protein structures could limit the freedom to operate for academic and industrial organizations….Although it is clear that open?access chemistry is in the best interests of society, the challenge is the cost. My arguments can be defended on the macroeconomic level, but costs for assay development and for chemical screening and synthesis are incurred locally, by the institutions and from the public purse. Free release of chemical probes by academia would ultimately benefit the pharmaceutical industry and society, but the possibilities for royalty and license payments for universities would decrease. One solution is to explore models in which both the public and private sectors contribute up?front in return for unrestricted access to the results and compounds, as in the SGC. It should also be noted that an open?access model is not in conflict with the aim to commercialize, at least not in the long term. It could be argued that experience built around specific biological systems would allow commercial development at a later stage if findings by the community indicate that a particular protein or pathway is a valid target. A chemical biology centre with such experience would be in an ideal position to develop new chemistry and launch a proprietary programme….

Open access chemical and clinical probes to support drug discovery : Article : Nature Chemical Biology

“Drug discovery resources in academia and industry are not used efficiently, to the detriment of industry and society. Duplication could be reduced, and productivity could be increased, by performing basic biology and clinical proofs of concept within open access industry-academia partnerships. Chemical biologists could play a central role in this effort….In summary, the development of new medicines is being hindered by the way in which academia and industry advance innovative targets. By generating freely available chemical and clinical probes and performing open-access science, the overall system will produce a wider range of clinically validated targets for the same total resource. This is arguably the most effective way to spur the development of treatments for unmet needs.”

Has the Time Come for Preprints in Chemistry? A Perspective onto a Meaningful Change

Abstract:  Chemistry is the last natural science discipline to embrace prepublishing, namely the publication of non-peer reviewed scientific articles on the internet. After a brief insight into the origins and the purpose of prepublishing in science, we conduct a concrete analysis of the concrete situation, aiming at providing an answer to several questions. Why the chemistry community has been late in embracing prepublishing? Is this in relation with the slow acceptance of open access publishing by the same community? Will prepublishing become a common habit also for chemistry scholars?

Citations, mandates, and money: Author motivations to publish in chemistry hybrid open access journals – Nelson – 2017 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

“Hybrid open access refers to articles freely accessible via the Internet but which originate from an academic journal that provides most of its content via subscription. The effect of hybrid open access on citation counts and author behavior in the field of chemistry is something that has not been widely studied. We compared 814 open access articles and 27,621 subscription access articles published from 2006 through 2011 in American Chemical Society journals. As expected, the 2 comparison groups are not equal in all respects. Cumulative citation data were analyzed from years 2–5 following an article’s publication date. A citation advantage for open access articles was correlated with the journal impact factor (IF) in low and medium IF journals, but not in high IF journals. Open access articles have a 24% higher mean citation rate than their subscription counterparts in low IF journals (confidence limits 8–42%, p = .0022) and similarly, a 26% higher mean citation rate in medium IF journals (confidence limits 14–40%, p < .001). Open access articles in high IF journals had no significant difference compared to subscription access articles (13% lower mean citation rate, confidence limits ?27–3%, p = .10). These results are correlative, not causative, and may not be completely due to an open access effect. Authors of the open access articles were also surveyed to determine why they chose a hybrid open access option, paid the required article processing charge, and whether they believed it was money well spent. Authors primarily chose open access because of funding mandates; however, most considered the money well spent because open access increases information access to the scientific community and the general public, and potentially increases citations to their scholarship.”

 

Guest Editorial: Open Access: Principles, Practice, and Potential – ACS Omega (ACS Publications)

“As working scientists, many of us become imbued (by processes of which few are conscious) with the principles articulated by Robert Merton that hold science to be a collective and cumulative activity in which the core responsibility is to communicate knowledge—even if it is distorted by career incentives that focus less on the substance of our accomplishments than where they are published. The duty of communication is primarily to other scholars, but from the formation of the very first learned societies the scientific community has a sense of its public obligations.

That sense of duty has been sharpened by the arrival of open access and extended by governments seeking better returns on public investment in research. The Finch report’s statement in 2012 that “The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable” captured the zeitgeist and was accepted without demur by the UK government.(4) Similar proclamations have been made by administrations in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

Of course, words are cheaper than actions, and open access has yet to deliver fully on the promise of providing faster, fairer, and cheaper access to research information. In part this is due to historical baggage. The entanglement of the principles of scholarly communication with increased commercializm in publishing and with rising managerialism in university governance has intensified our preoccupation with journal-based measures of prestige. That has retarded the dissemination of knowledge as authors chase impact factors and locked in the market advantages of the largest publishers.(2)”

Impact of Social Sciences – A closer look at the Sci-Hub corpus: what is being downloaded and from where?

“Sci-Hub remains among the most common sites via which readers circumvent article paywalls and access scholarly literature. But where exactly are its download requests coming from? And just what is being downloaded? Bastian Greshake has analysed the full Sci-Hub corpus and its request data, and found that articles are being downloaded from all over the world, more recently published papers are among the most requested, and there is a marked overrepresentation of requested articles from journals publishing on chemistry….”

Chemistry in Europe • 2017-2 – EuCheMS Newsletters

“About a year ago, Carlos Moedas, the EU Research Commissioner, established a high-level expert group on Open Science, the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP), a topic that is of increasing relevance to the Commission and which will have and already has had significant effects on the European science policy, in particular on Horizon 2020.

The OSPP’s main objective is to advise the Commission on the further development and implementation of the open science policy

The OSPP consists of 25 members, representing the various stakeholders: universities, research organisations, academies/learned societies, funding organisations, citizen science organisations, publishers, open science platforms, and libraries. Together with Christophe Rossel, President of the European Physical Society, I represent the European learned societies.  The OSPP’s main objective is to advise the Commission on the further development and implementation of the open science policy, which Commissioner Moedas defined as one of his priorities.”

Preprints made Outlaws

“The Commission of Biochemical Editors of the International Union of Biochemistry is proposing to take firm and, it hopes, lethal steps against the Information Exchange Groups which have been organized, over the past four years, from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. At a meeting in Vienna a week ago, the editors of six principal journals agreed to propose to their editorial boards that in the future they would not accept articles or other communications previously circulated through the Information Exchange Groups….”

Preprints made Outlaws

“The Commission of Biochemical Editors of the International Union of Biochemistry is proposing to take firm and, it hopes, lethal steps against the Information Exchange Groups which have been organized, over the past four years, from the National Institutes of Health in the United States. At a meeting in Vienna a week ago, the editors of six principal journals agreed to propose to their editorial boards that in the future they would not accept articles or other communications previously circulated through the Information Exchange Groups….”