New Report – How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture – Digital Science

“The report key findings include: 

As of 1 June 2020, there have been upwards of 42,700 scholarly articles on COVID-19 published, 3,100 clinical trials, 420 datasets, 270 patents, 750 policy documents, and 150 grants.

Preprints have rapidly established as a mainstream research output and a key part of COVID-19 research efforts. They started at relatively low levels in early January 2020 and accounted for around one quarter of research output by the beginning of May 2020.

To date, more than 8,300 organisations have been involved in supporting COVID-19 research, with over 71,800 individual researchers identified as working on COVID-19 research.

The highest intensity of research into COVID-19 began in China and gradually migrated west mirroring the movement of the virus itself.

While the US and EU have both now published more than China in journals such as The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, China continues to benefit from an early mover advantage and continues to enjoy the lionshare of the citations. While research in the field is clearly moving quickly, it currently remains anchored to China’s early publications.

A density map of global COVID-19 paper production shows there are three to four major centres of research: an extended area in China composed of several cities—Wuhan, where the virus is alleged to have started, Beijing and Shanghai; Europe, specifically Italy and the UK, two of the harder hit countries; the US’s east coast research corridor including Boston and New York; and finally, a lighter focus from the Californian institutions on the West coast.

The top producing institution of COVID-19 research (since the beginning of 2020) is in China, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, followed by Harvard University and the University of Oxford.

The top healthcare producers of COVID-19 research (since the beginning of 2020) are Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, then Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

While the proportion of internationally co-authored work is steady, the vast majority of research on COVID to date has been unusually authored within countries.

At the time of writing, 156 grants totalling at least 20.8m USD have been awarded to COVID-themed researchers in public institutions.

Much of the clinical trial initiation activity in January and February is sponsored by China and this then begins to fall off in March, April and May. We see a similar wave for Europe and the US, but shifted back by two months, beginning in March….”

Academic libraries and coronavirus: a view from Italy

“A few publishers opened access to textbooks for students (but not so many indeed). Some Italian publishers and vendors followed the invitation that has come from many libraries and institutions to open up their collections, like that promoted by the Wellcome Trust. Many publishers responded positively and created free open access hubs to help researchers all over the world to find a cure for this terrible disease, and libraries highlighted them on their web pages. However, most publishers, either in Italy or internationally, just opened a selection of resources – and in some cases upon request – that they believe are useful to Covid-19 research, but they did not open all their publications to allow researchers to see and choose what can be really useful from the different scientific perspectives necessarily implied in this urgent aim. Definitely, what has emerged quite clearly from this pandemic emergency are the many obstacles and walls that prevent access to knowledge and science, as well as all the restrains current acquisitions methods for digital resources in libraries impose through clauses included in subscription licenses….

In the petition, libraries ask publishers to allow digital lending and direct document delivery with no restrains, and to allow opening of library collections temporarily to all users, including doctors and researchers not affiliated to academia who, according to license clauses, normally cannot access academic library resources. Moreover, The Library Commission of the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) signed the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Covid-19 petition for access to electronic resources from publishers….

This pandemic outbreak has clearly shown how crucial open access and open science have become. Researchers all over the world need to access data and knowledge quickly, as soon as it is produced, freely and without any limitation, in order to be able to defeat coronavirus. For this reason, AISA, an Italian Association for the promotion of Open Science, wrote a public letter to the President of the Italian Republic to ask for a serious and urgent national policy for open science, starting from rethinking research assessment and copyright laws….”

Survey on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on museums in Europe

“The majority of museums in Europe and around the globe are closed. Closing doors to the public results in a drastic loss of income for many museums. While some museums have found their budget minimally impacted as of yet, some museums, especially the larger museums and the museums in touristic areas, have reported a loss of income of 75-80%, with weekly losses adding up to hundreds of thousands of Euros. 1…

In these times, digital cultural heritage is contributing to people’s enjoyment and creativity more than ever. NEMO wants museums and stakeholders to acknowledge that the digital museum is not a distant promise or a source of untapped potential, rather that digital cultural heritage and digital engagement has demonstrated its value in the past weeks by bringing people together, encouraging creativity, sharing experiences, and offering a virtual space to build ideas together. …

40% of the museums that responded to the survey have noticed increased online visits since they have been closed….”

How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture

“The research world has moved faster than many would have suspected possible in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In five months, a volume of work has been generated that even the most intensive of emergent fields have taken years to create.

In our new report, How COVID-19 is Changing Research Culture, we investigate the research landscape trends and cultural changes in response to COVID-19. The report includes analysis of publication trends, geographic focal points of research, and collaboration patterns….”

Public Knowledge Responds to Lawsuit Against Internet Archive: Policymakers, Publishers, and Libraries Should Make Print Books More Accessible During the Pandemic | Public Knowledge : Public Knowledge

“Today, a number of major publishers filed suit against the Internet Archive, arguing that making electronic copies of print books available to library patrons is unlawful.

The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:

“It is disappointing to see publishing companies take this approach. Controlled Digital Lending is plainly fair use under copyright law. The National Emergency Library, which expands on CDL, is justified under the circumstances of the pandemic, when so many print books paid for by the public are inaccessible.

“At a time when so many people are relying on the internet and electronic resources for work, education, and research, a more collaborative approach between libraries, archives, and publishing companies would be welcome.

“We call on policymakers to support legislation clarifying the right of libraries to make print books available to patrons electronically, and to serve their constituencies during times of emergency.” …”

Lawsuit over online book lending could bankrupt Internet Archive | Ars Technica

“Four of the nation’s leading book publishers have sued the Internet Archive, the online library best known for maintaining the Internet Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive makes scanned copies of books—both public domain and under copyright—available to the public on a site called the Open Library.

“Despite the Open Library moniker, IA’s actions grossly exceed legitimate library services, do violence to the Copyright Act, and constitute willful digital piracy on an industrial scale,” write publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Wiley, and Penguin Random House in their complaint. The lawsuit was filed in New York federal court on Monday.

For almost a decade, the Open Library has offered users the ability to “borrow” scans of in-copyright books via the Internet. Until recently, the service was based on a concept called “controlled digital lending” that mimicked the constraints of a conventional library. The library would only “lend” as many digital copies of a book as it had physical copies in its warehouse. If all copies of a book were “checked out” by other patrons, you’d have to join a waiting list.

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic was gaining steam, the Internet Archive announced it was dispensing with this waiting-list system. Under a program it called the National Emergency Library, IA began allowing an unlimited number of people to check out the same book at the same time—even if IA only owned one physical copy.

Before this change, publishers largely looked the other way as IA and a few other libraries experimented with the digital lending concept. Some publishers’ groups condemned the practice, but no one filed a lawsuit over it. Perhaps the publishers feared setting an adverse precedent if the courts ruled that CDL was legal….”

PA backs AAP as publishers file lawsuit against Internet Archive | The Bookseller

“The Publishers Association has expressed its support as member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet Archive (IA), a self-described American digital library offering “universal access to all knowledge”.

The PA said that, although the Internet Archive purports to be a library, “it is not and behind that guise it is facilitating the distribution of millions of pirated books without paying a penny to the authors and publishers who produce them”.

The lawsuit against Internet Archive, for systematic mass scanning and distribution of literary works, was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Among the plaintiffs are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House. …”

Authors Alliance Statement on Publisher Lawsuit Against Internet Archive | Authors Alliance

“Yesterday, a group of commercial publishers filed suit against the Internet Archive, arguing that making electronic copies of books available through Open Library and the National Emergency Library constitutes copyright infringement. The lawsuit takes aim at the Controlled Digital Lending (“CDL”) model and the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.

This suit conflates two distinct approaches to lending works, each with different copyright implications. Regardless of how one feels about—and the legality of—the National Emergency Library (a temporary response to the urgent pandemic crisis), Authors Alliance fully supports Controlled Digital Lending and believes the attempt to challenge it in the courts is without merit.

Under the CDL digitize-and-lend model, libraries make digital copies of scanned books from their collections available to patrons (the hard copy is not available for lending while the digital copy is checked out, and vice versa). A library can only circulate the same number of copies that it owned before digitization. Like physical books, the scanned copies are loaned to one person at a time and are subject to limited check-out periods. The Internet Archive relies on CDL to make many of its scanned books available through the Open Library.

The National Emergency Library expands on the CDL model by eliminating waitlists for books through at least June 30, 2020. The Internet Archive launched the National Emergency Library in March after libraries across the country closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving their physical collections inaccessible to patrons. Unlike books made available through CDL, books available through the National Emergency Library are not subject to the “owned-to-loaned” ratio….”

A Second Call to Solidarity with the National Emergency Library: Time for a Boycott – Cal schol.com

“The suit brought by the American Association of Publishers in SDNY against the Internet Archive shows a level of dishonesty and callousness that is wholly out of step with copyright law, the special place and protections of libraries under that law, and the plight of library users during our current pandemic. Why?

The Internet Archive is a public library, registered under the State of California. It is also a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit. Their whole organization literally has no commercial interest.

We may quibble with aspects of the rollout of the NEL, but no neutral, objective, or reasonable person would fairly conclude that the Internet Archive hasn’t acted wholly for the common good, the greater good of society, and the US constitutional good of the advancement of scientific progress….”

Exact Editions Freezes Institutional Subscription Prices for 2020/2021

“Exact Editions Freezes Institutional Subscription Prices for 2020/2021

The prices of digital institutional subscriptions to hundreds of magazine archives through digital publishers Exact Editions will be frozen for the 2020/2021 academic year. This decision comes in recognition of the unprecedented financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the budget uncertainties that may lie ahead.”