Library celebrates C. Judson King’s new open access book on the University of California | UC Berkeley Library News

“The book is close to King’s heart for many reasons. During his time as UC provost, King helped launch both the California Digital Library, one of the world’s largest online libraries, and eScholarship, the University of California’s open access, electronic repository for publications by UC authors. King is passionate about the power of open access materials to strengthen scholarship and has made his book freely available online through eScholarship. The goal, King said, is to allow administrators in developing countries interested in building a university to access his book free of restraints….

King has experienced the role of open access publishing in spreading scientific knowledge firsthand. In 1980, King published a second edition of a seminal chemical engineering textbook he’d written on separation processes — operations that pull apart two or more chemicals in a mixture, like in the purification of seawater. After the book went out of print, King put it on eScholarship. Today, the book racks up 100 to 150 downloads per month on the digital platform, King said — which is equivalent to what it sold when it was brand-new. That highlighted for King the potential of open access publishing to help countless researchers around the world….”


Can patents ever be as popular as papers? | Sponsored | Chemistry World

“The value and usefulness of patents should, in fact, not only demand an increase in their popularity but make them a first-choice source for those seeking chemical information….

A final, unavoidable truth is that research papers aren’t always free. When you try to access a highly relevant paper from a website, you may be greeted by a paywall.

The emergence of open access journals does present the synthetic chemist with a free method of acquiring chemical information. However, in general, medicinal chemists will not deviate from the staple intellectual diet of JACS, JOC, BMCL, Tet. Letts., Tetrahedron, Synthesis and Synlett. These are widely considered to be the best sources of the medicinal and synthetic organic chemistry but these titles are not very supportive of open access. Any serious chemical research entity will have to foot a large annual subscription bill to gain access to them.

In stark contrast, patents are freely available from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)….The most important thing that a research chemist needs to know is that all patents are freely accessible to the public. All 55 million of them. Clearly, this is a data repository that rivals any journal title, especially when the cost to access this wealth of chemical information is zero….”

Which domains do open-access journals do best in? A 5-year longitudinal study – Yan – 2018 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Although researchers have begun to investigate the difference in scientific impact between closed-access and open-access journals, studies that focus specifically on dynamic and disciplinary differences remain scarce. This study serves to fill this gap by using a large longitudinal dataset to examine these differences. Using CiteScore as a proxy for journal scientific impact, we employ a series of statistical tests to identify the quartile categories and disciplinary areas in which impact trends differ notably between closed- and open-access journals. We find that closed-access journals have a noticeable advantage in social sciences (for example, business and economics), whereas open-access journals perform well in medical and healthcare domains (for example, health profession and nursing). Moreover, we find that after controlling for a journal’s rank and disciplinary differences, there are statistically more closed-access journals in the top 10%, Quartile 1, and Quartile 2 categories as measured by CiteScore; in contrast, more open-access journals in Quartile 4 gained scientific impact from 2011 to 2015. Considering dynamic and disciplinary trends in tandem, we find that more closed-access journals in Social Sciences gained in impact, whereas in biochemistry and medicine, more open-access journals experienced such gains.

Policy: What is open science? – EuCheMS Newsletters

“Open science has been increasingly under the spotlight and a topic of discussion among the research community, but what does it mean for science and society? This article intends to provide an overview of open science and associated discussions (open access, open data, citizen science, etc) as well as the current policy framework of open science….”

FFAR awards $1 million grant to create open source technology for gene discovery in plants | Crops |

“The starting point will be approximately 1,000 human kinase inhibitors carefully selected from a library of chemical compounds donated to the partnership from eight pharmaceutical companies. The set will be distributed without restriction to scientists studying other plants and traits, thus serving as a broadly useful platform. The team has agreed to operate under open access principles —specifically prohibiting filing for IP on any of the results and will communicate the results widely….”

Springer Nature deposits 600k chemical compounds on PubChem | Research Information

“Springer Nature has deposited 600,000 chemical compounds on PubChem, collectively offering more than 26 million links back into the primary literature, eBooks or major reference works located on SpringerLink, BMC or Of these, 1.6 million links point to open or free access documents. Documents from all chemistry and life sciences-related disciplines were automatically annotated using InfoChem’s chemical named entity recognition technology. In the PubChem Compound Summary users now will find a widget listing the Springer Nature Documents containing that compound. The relevance of the compounds in these articles was determined using a smart algorithm which allows sorting the documents hit list by compound relevance. Steffen Pauly, editorial director for chemistry at Springer Nature, said: ‘This will allow researchers worldwide to easily find chemical compounds in Springer Nature content, regardless of which synonym is used. It is the first time that a publisher has made automatically generated chemistry content publicly available to such an extent and in such a systematical manner.'”

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?