Accessing early scientific findings | Early Evidence Base

“Early Evidence Base (EEB) is an experimental platform that combines artificial intelligence with human curation and expert peer-review to highlight results posted in preprints. EEB is a technology experiment developed by EMBO Press and SourceData.

Preprints provide the scientific community with early access to scientific evidence. For experts, this communication channel is an efficient way to accesss research without delay and thus to accelerate scientific progress. But for non-experts, navigating preprints can be challenging: in absence of peer-review and journal certification, interpreting the data and evaluating the strength of the conclusions is often impossible; finding specific and relevant information in the rapidly accumulating corpus of preprints is becoming increasingly difficult.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has made this tradeoff even more visible. The urgency in understanding and combatting SARS-CoV-2 viral infection has stimulated an unprecedented rate of preprint posting. It has however also revealed the risk resulting from misinterpretation of preliminary results shared in preprint and with amplification or perpetuating prelimature claims by non-experts or the media.

To experiment with ways in which technology and human expertise can be combined to address these issues, EMBO has built the EEB. The platform prioritizes preprints in complementary ways:

Refereed Preprints are preprints that are associated with reviews. EEB prioritizes such preprints and integrates the content of the reviews as well as the authors’ response, when available, to provide rich context and in-depth analyses of the reported research.
To highlight the importance of experimental evidence, EEB automatically highlights and organizes preprints around scientific topics and emergent areas of research.
Finally, EEB provides an automated selection of preprints that are enriched in studies that were peer reviewed, may bridge several areas of research and use a diversity of experimental approaches….”


Crossref’s Board votes to adopt the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure | Crossref Blog


On November 11th 2020, the Crossref Board voted to adopt the “Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure” (POSI). POSI is a list of sixteen commitments that will now guide the board, staff, and Crossref’s development as an organisation into the future. It is an important public statement to make in Crossref’s twentieth anniversary year. Crossref has followed principles since its founding, and meets most of the POSI, but publicly committing to a codified and measurable set of principles is a big step. If 2019 was a reflective turning point, and mid-2020 was about Crossref committing to open scholarly infrastructure and collaboration, this is now announcing a very deliberate path. And we’re just a little bit giddy about it.

There’s A PID For That! Next Steps in Establishing a National PID Strategy – Jisc scholarly communications

“A stakeholder group was therefore formed earlier this year, with representatives from all disciplines and sectors — funders, HEIs, infrastructure providers, libraries, publishers, researchers, research managers, and more. At an initial meeting of this group in April, participants discussed the five persistent identifiers (PIDs) that have been deemed high priority for improving access to UK research. These are ORCID iDs for people, Crossref and DataCite DOIs for outputs, Crossref grant DOIs, ROR identifiers for organisations, and RAiDs for projects.  This was followed by five focus group meetings during May and June, each focused on one of the priority PIDs….”

Initiative pushes to make journal abstracts free to read in one place

“In a bid to boost the reach and reuse of scientific results, a group of scholarly publishers has pledged to make abstracts of research papers free to read in a cross-disciplinary repository.

Most abstracts are already available on journal websites or on scholarly databases such as PubMed, even if the papers themselves are behind paywalls. But this patchwork limits the reach and visibility of global research, says Ludo Waltman, deputy director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and coordinator of the initiative for open abstracts, called I4OA.

Publishers involved in I4OA have agreed to submit their article summaries to Crossref, an agency that registers scholarly papers’ unique digital object identifiers (DOIs). Crossref will make the abstracts available in a common format. So far, 52 publishers have signed up to the initiative, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the US National Academy of Sciences….”

Evolving our support for text-and-data mining – Crossref

“Many researchers want to carry out analysis and extraction of information from large sets of data, such as journal articles and other scholarly content. Methods such as screen-scraping are error-prone, place too much strain on content sites and may be unrepeatable or break if site layouts change. Providing researchers with automated access to the full-text content via DOIs and Crossref metadata reduces these problems, allowing for easy deduplication and reproducibility. Supporting text and data mining echoes our mission to make research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse.

In 2013 Crossref embarked on a project to better support Crossref members and researchers with Text and Data Mining requests and access. There were two main parts to the project:

To collect and make available full-text links and publisher TDM license links in the metadata.

To provide a service (TDM click-through service) for Crossref members to post their additional TDM terms and conditions and for researchers to access, review and accept these terms….

To date, 37.5 million works registered with Crossref have both full-text links and TDM license information. We continue to encourage all members to include full-text links and license information in the metadata they register to assist researchers with TDM. You can see how each member is doing via its participation report (e.g. Wiley’s)….

Members are also making subscription content available for text mining (temporarily or otherwise) for specific purposes, such as to help the research community with its response to COVID-19. Back in April we highlighted how this can be achieved by including:

A “free to read” element in the access indicators section of publisher metadata indicating that the content is being made available free-of-charge (gratis)

An assertion element indicating that the content being made available is available free-of-charge….”