EDP Sciences – The National Open Access Agreement in France judged “a real success” as key targets are surpassed

“The partners involved in the “Accord national open access en France” (National Open Access Agreement in France) are pleased to announce that the agreement is exceeding their expectations when judged against key targets. The Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation – MESRI), the Couperin consortium, the Agence bibliographique de l’enseignement supérieur (Abes) and EDP Sciences are delighted with the results so far and agree that the excellent relationship between the partners has been a significant aspect of this success.

The Accord national was established in January 2017 and its success is being judged in the following areas:

Number of members and opt-in rate
Processes and support given to corresponding authors
Reporting and data
Volume of open access content…”

EDP Sciences – The National Open Access Agreement in France judged “a real success” as key targets are surpassed

“The partners involved in the “Accord national open access en France” (National Open Access Agreement in France) are pleased to announce that the agreement is exceeding their expectations when judged against key targets. The Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation – MESRI), the Couperin consortium, the Agence bibliographique de l’enseignement supérieur (Abes) and EDP Sciences are delighted with the results so far and agree that the excellent relationship between the partners has been a significant aspect of this success.

The Accord national was established in January 2017 and its success is being judged in the following areas:

Number of members and opt-in rate
Processes and support given to corresponding authors
Reporting and data
Volume of open access content…”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

How the world is adapting to preprints

“A certain trend emerged from the preprint discussions. Praise for preprints and their virtues was reliably bracketed by an acknowledgement that the medium was a bit green and a bit untamed: the Wild West of scientific publishing, where anything can happen.

Similar analogies from the publishing community have been abundant. At a talk organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing, Shirley Decker-Lucke, Content Director at SSRN, likened preprints to raw oysters: They’re generally safe, but sometimes you get a bad one. On the same panel, Lyle Ostrow, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins, compared the adoption of preprints to the shift from horse-drawn buggies to automobiles: They’re faster, they’re better, but they will require education to use safely. The following week, a Scholarly Kitchen article about preprints drew a parallel with unruly teenagers: “tremendous promise, but in need of more adult supervision to achieve their potential”….

As it is, most preprint servers have not been agnostic about the papers they post. Generally, they restrict passage of content that is clearly unscientific, unethical, potentially harmful or not representative of a novel, empirically derived finding. That is, they already impose some editorial standards.

Preprint platforms offer authors a legitimate place to host their work with unprecedented speed, for free. In time, they could be in a position to enforce, or at least strongly incentivize, standards that are widely acknowledged to support research integrity, like data and code availability, details of randomization and blinding, study limitations and lay summaries for findings that are consequential to human health….”

PLAN S and other progress for Open Access to knowledge

Abstract:  The principle of Open Access (OA) is about the breaking of any paywall to the knowledge coming from research funded by public monies. After twenty years of statements not much has changed and the market of scientific journals is still in the hands of oligopolistic companies. Plan S is a disruptive initiative created by research funders in Europe and US which aims to foster the transition to Open Access by acting against hybrid journals and citation index. The Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) has signed Plan S and, in close relationship with the Universities, the Conference of Rectors (CRUI), and the National Research Council (CNR), is outreaching the academic communities to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  In this work both a description of Plan S and a brief status report of other initiatives are given.

 

Rigor and Transparency Index, a new metric of quality for assessing biological and medical science methods | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The reproducibility crisis in science is a multifaceted problem involving practices and incentives, both in the laboratory and in publication. Fortunately, some of the root causes are known and can be addressed by scientists and authors alike. After careful consideration of the available literature, the National Institutes of Health identified several key problems with the way that scientists conduct and report their research and introduced guidelines to improve the rigor and reproducibility of pre-clinical studies. Many journals have implemented policies addressing these same criteria. We currently have, however, no comprehensive data on how these guidelines are impacting the reporting of research. Using SciScore, an automated tool developed to review the methods sections of manuscripts for the presence of criteria associated with the NIH and other reporting guidelines, e.g., ARRIVE, RRIDs, we have analyzed ~1.6 million PubMed Central papers to determine the degree to which articles were addressing these criteria. The tool scores each paper on a ten point scale identifying sentences that are associated with compliance with criteria associated with increased rigor (5 pts) and those associated with key resource identification and authentication (5 pts). From these data, we have built the Rigor and Transparency Index, which is the average score for analyzed papers in a particular journal. Our analyses show that the average score over all journals has increased since 1997, but remains below five, indicating that less than half of the rigor and reproducibility criteria are routinely addressed by authors. To analyze the data further, we examined the prevalence of individual criteria across the literature, e.g., the reporting of a subject’s sex (21-37% of studies between 1997 and 2019), the inclusion of sample size calculations (2-10%), whether the study addressed blinding (3-9%), or the identifiability of key biological resources such as antibodies (11-43%), transgenic organisms (14-22%), and cell lines (33-39%). The greatest increase in prevalence for rigor criteria was seen in the use of randomization of subjects (10-30%), while software tool identifiability improved the most among key resource types (42-87%). We further analyzed individual journals over time that had implemented specific author guidelines covering rigor criteria, and found that in some journals, they had a big impact, whereas in others they did not. We speculate that unless they are enforced, author guidelines alone do little to improve the number of criteria addressed by authors. Our Rigor and Transparency Index did not correlate with the impact factors of journals.

 

 

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“This working paper explores what RRA [Responsible Research Assessment] is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and initiate change than other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—mainly national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“This working paper explores what RRA [Responsible Research Assessment] is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and initiate change than other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—mainly national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead | DORA

“In partnership with the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), CWTS-Leiden, and National Research Foundation of South Africa, DORA published a position paper providing a state-of-play of responsible research assessment (RRA) practices from funders. The paper’s release coincided with the 2020 Global Research Council (GRC) virtual conference on RRA practices. It also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant GRC organizations, which are mainly national public funding agencies.”

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead | DORA

“In partnership with the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), CWTS-Leiden, and National Research Foundation of South Africa, DORA published a position paper providing a state-of-play of responsible research assessment (RRA) practices from funders. The paper’s release coincided with the 2020 Global Research Council (GRC) virtual conference on RRA practices. It also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant GRC organizations, which are mainly national public funding agencies.”