Gates Foundation Joins Wellcome Trust in Calling for Open Sharing of Research and Data Related to DRC Ebola Outbreak

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strongly supports the Wellcome Trust’s call for the open sharing of all research findings and data relevant to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We agree that it is imperative that research and data should be shared rapidly and openly during this and all future public health emergencies….”

The Consortium for a Transparent Transition to Open Access (TTOA): A cost-transparent combination of old and new

“The TTOA Consortium is an initiative of the Fair Open Access Alliance ( and includes ‘native’ open access publishers, traditional subscription-based publishers, and open access publishers that do not charge authors: PLOS, MDPI, De Gruyter, Open Edition, Copernicus Publications, Ubiquity Press, Brill, and OLH. In addition to these publishers, the following organizations are collaborating partners: CWTS (Leiden University), QOAM, MPDL….

The TTOA [Transparent Transition to Open Access] Consortium has instead developed a different approach to manage the transition to open access, while embracing all the final features specified in the ORE Call for Tender….

The submission portal, archive, and publication platform would be financed by research funding organisations, while the peer-review and quality control are carried out by the journals of participating publishers. This infrastructure should be built from open-source software, operate under open standards, and be owned or hosted by non-profit organizations…..”

Reducing Bias in Scientific Publication through an Open Access Repository

Abstract:  Heuristics (or intuitions), while quite often helpful, can lead to mistakes when they are not fit for a particular environment. As a result, heuristics can be detrimental to a scientific endeavor, where the researcher is expected to remain as accurate, impartial, and logical as possible. This tendency of individuals to use faulty intuitions is one of the main reasons for the existence of a peer-review process in academe. Due to the current system of journal publication and peerreview, however, there is a high potential for bias in scientific publishing. Researchers may be risk averse, attempting to research that which they think will receive funding and get published. “Salami-slicing” works to increase one’s publication count, only publishing novel and positive results, and overselling the impacts of results have all become common practices to get ahead. Referees in the journal peer-review process may also be biased in their assessments of what research meets their standards. Journals that do not accept replication studies, articles that go against the prevailing paradigm, or experiments that do not meet the .05 statistical significance cut-off inadvertently skew the scientific knowledgebase. Possible solutions to the biases in the current system of journal publishing and peer-review will be considered, particularly the acceptance of a centralized open access repository. If researchers utilize one repository that collects all research and publishes before the review process, biases concerning publication may be avoided entirely and the quality of research may be assessed after the fact. Instead of one bias that is enforced, postpublication review may allow for a proliferation of paradigms to emerge. One commonly used and agreed upon centralized open access repository would also allow for new journals to arise that are more domain-specific. Such a solution would increase the speed of discovery, innovation, and greatly facilitate scientific advancement.

EUREKA by ScienceMatters

“EUREKA is a scientific review and rating platform fuelled by the EUREKA token. Blockchain has the capacity to open science and make research findings immutable, transparent and decentralised. EUREKA revolutionises the scientific publishing and reviewing process by making it more efficient and fair using the EUREKA token to compensate all parties involved. Scientific discoveries can now be openly rated and rewarded based on the quality of the research….

Scientific observations are timestamped, hashed and recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. This gives the author or inventor immediate ownership rights, and ensures scientists’ and researchers’ discoveries are tamper-proof….

Scientific observations undergo crowdsourced, peer-to-peer reviews which are transmitted and recorded on the EUREKA platform. The EUREKA platform will make use of crowdsourced wisdom and reviewers to get fast, accurate evaluations of the work, instead of being restricted to one or two reviewers, as is common practice….

The EUREKA platform’s crowdsourced scoring of scientific work will provide researchers as well as publishers with a new metric that can be used to evaluate submissions more swiftly. Preprints or observations with ratings and reviews will be archived through the EUREKA decentralised and distributed system. In cases where the author wants to publish in a traditional journal, the scores can be transferred to the journals. The test scores are also available to funders, universities and prize or awards committees….”

NISO Launches New Project to Facilitate Manuscript Exchange Across Systems | NISO website

“Voting Members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved a new project to develop a common means to easily transfer manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers. Those who work in manuscript-processing areas such as production systems, preprint servers, and authoring services are invited to actively engage in community development of a NISO Recommended Practice intended to alleviate pain points encountered by researchers as well as service providers operating in the scholarly ecosystem.”

Bullied Into Bad Science: Leading individuals and institutions in adopting open practices to improve research rigour

“We are postdocs and a reader in the humanities and sciences at the University of Cambridge. We are concerned about the desperate need for publishing reform to increase transparency, reproducibility, timeliness, and academic rigour of the production and dissemination of scholarly outputs (see Young et al. 2016Smaldino & McElreath 2016).

We have identified actions that institutions and managers can take to better support ECRs (below). These actions are crucial for our success because we are eager to publish openly and at places that keep profits inside academia in accordance with many modern online publication venues (Logan 2017). However, ECRs are often pressured into publishing against their ethicsthrough threats that we would not get a job/grant unless we publish in particular journals (Carter et al. 2014Who is going to make change happen?Kent 2016; usually these journals are older and more familiar, have a print version, a high impact factor, and are not 100% open access). These out of date practices and ideas hinder ECRs rather than help us: evidence shows that publishing open access results in increased citations, media attention, and job/funding opportunities (McKiernan et al. 2016). Open dissemination of all research outputs is also a fundamental principle on which ECRs rely to fight the ongoing reproducibility crisis in science and thus improve the quality of their research.

To support ECRs in this changing publishing landscape, we encourage funders, universities, departments, and politicians to take the following actions (below) and to announce these actions in public statements….”

Speeding up Research with Preprints – ScienceOpen Blog

“The “Preprint” allows researchers to openly share their results with peers at an early stage and still publish the final version in the peer-reviewed journal of their choice. From the start, ScienceOpen has supported preprints and their essential role in speeding up science by integrating arXiv preprints in the physical sciences on the platform. We now include over 1.4 million arXiv records on ScienceOpen. In our new release we have added even more preprints to the mix, with a focus on the biomedical sciences. Preprints in the biological and medical sciences were kickstarted by the founding of bioRxiv in 2013, and by the advocacy organization ASAPBio in 2015 and have taken off rapidly since then. Now on ScienceOpen we have added records for over 20,000 bioRxiv preprints to our discovery environment, together with the capacity to include records from other preprint servers such as PeerJ Preprints, and ChemRxiv. Up next are all the great preprint servers on OSF Preprints. We are working hard! Preprints have the advantage of being rapidly and freely accessible. However, they have not undergone a peer review process and must be read with a more critical eye. Preprints are, therefore, clearly flagged on ScienceOpen. During his physics PhD, ScienceOpen co-founder Alexander Grossmann and his colleagues went first to the arXiv for the newest results to build upon and shape their thinking. They knew it was unfiltered and not peer reviewed, but they were often already at the next step in their research by the time the final version was published. Many features on ScienceOpen were created with this kind of speed in mind. Preprints in context on ScienceOpen Search preprints on ScienceOpen To help the researcher find preprints within the context of the published literature, searches on ScienceOpen can be filtered to view only preprints or may exclude preprints to concentrate only on peer-reviewed literature. Current sources for preprint records are directly from arXiv or from Crossref. Further, ScienceOpen offers a full suite of tools to peer-review and curate preprints. Our peer review system was developed together with our extensive editorial board to ask broad but pertinent questions across all disciplines. Article reviews, after the model of book reviews, are published with the author’s ORCID and get a Crossref DOI to ensure discoverability. Found a preprint that you are interested in, but want an expert opinion? Invite a reviewer! On every article page researchers can either review an article themselves or invite an expert colleague to do so with the click of a button. ScienceOpen Collections also allow editors to add preprints to their collections to stay right at the cutting edge and open up a discussion. Preprints can be exchanged for the full publication at a later date. Preprint in a ScienceOpen Collection ScienceOpen Collections were conceived as topical selections of articles created by experts – by and for the researcher community with no costs involved. Adding preprints to the mix can increase the speed and lower the cost of the flow of information. Apply today! If a preprint is missing from our platform, you can easily add it by uploading the DOI via the “Request article” function on your user dashboard. As author you are also welcome to add a lay summary, thumbnail image, keywords and disciplines to increase the discoverability of your work within the ScienceOpen environment and beyond. At ScienceOpen we are committed to supporting the research community. For the past year we have had an increasing number of requests to add particular preprints from a range of services. We are happy that we could add this feature to our discovery environment. Your feedback is always welcome!”

New Release: arXiv Search v0.1 : blog

“Today we launched a reimplementation of our search system. As part of our broader strategy for arXiv-NG, we are incrementally decoupling components from the classic arXiv codebase, and replacing them with more modular services developed in Python. Our goal was to replace the aging Lucene search backend, achieve feature-parity with the classic search system, and give the search interface an opportunistic face-lift. While the frontend may not look terribly different from the old search interface, we hope that you’ll notice some improvements in functionality. The most important win for us in this milestone is that the new backend lays the groundwork for more dramatic improvements to search, our APIs, and other components targeted for reimplementation in arXiv-NG. Here’s a rundown of some of the things that changed, and where we plan to go from here….”