News – Open Insights: What’s to Be Done? Thoughts on Moving the Open Access Conversation Forward

“Stephen Buranyi’s piece from last summer “Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?” (short answer: yes) and Jon Tennant’s “Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it” are timely reminders that the open access movement matters to us as a society, that it is a movement that involves fighting against forces with priorities very different from our own, and that–in addition to reminders about what’s at stake in this battle–we need practical, actionable advice to get us where we want to go.”

How Open Commenting on Preprints Can Increase Scientific Transparency: An Interview With the Directors of PsyArxiv, SocArxiv, and Marxiv

“We believe more discourse around research is a good thing. To that end, we have partnered with Hypothesis, a third-party platform, to allow for annotation and discussion on our preprints services.  Annotation on preprints will increase transparency in scientific practices by enabling researchers to collaborate, discuss research with peers, and share additional information directly on preprints both before and after they are posted.”

Health Equity, A New Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal, Launching Fall 2016

“New Rochelle, NY, June 23, 2016—Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the launch of Health Equity, a new peer-reviewed open access journal that will address the urgent need for authoritative information about health disparities and health equity among vulnerable populations. Content will range from translational research to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of disease and illness toward the goal of optimal outcomes and ultimately health equity for all. Health Equity will launch an inaugural issue in fall 2016 and will be published open access to ensure broad and timely distribution of information without barriers to access.”

Can an open drug discovery model find a solution for rare brain cancers in children? « OICR News

“OICR-funded drug discovery project’s unique ‘open science’ business model is accelerating the search for a solution to lethal pediatric brain cancers Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a lethal and inoperable brain cancer with a median survival of less than a year from diagnosis. Finding solutions to this disease is challenging due to its rarity, scientific complexity and its presentation in pediatric populations. An OICR-funded team of researchers, led by Dr. Aled Edwards from M4K Pharma, have developed new potential drug candidates for DIPG that they will test in animal models in the coming months. They’ve reached this milestone ahead of schedule, with fewer resources required than anticipated, by using an ‘open drug discovery’ approach – sharing their methods and data with the greater research community to streamline the drug discovery process….”

An Open Science future – Europe leads the way | About Hindawi

“Hindawi submitted a proposal this May in response to the European Commission’s tender to launch a new publishing platform. The Commission’s aim is to build on their progressive Open Science agenda to provide an optional Open Access publishing platform for the articles of all researchers with Horizon 2020 grants. The platform will also provide incentives for researchers to adopt Open Science practices, such as publishing preprints, sharing data, and open peer review. The potential for this initiative to lead a systemic transformation in research practice and scholarly communication in Europe and more widely should not be underestimated. Here we outline our bid to the Commission and our rationale for doing so.”

HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week | US Department of Health and Human Services

“Experts say the database of carefully curated medical guidelines is one of a kind, used constantly by medical professionals, and on July 16 will ‘go dark’ due to budget cuts.

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community. Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July 16. Medical guidelines like those compiled by AHRQ aren’t something laypeople spend much time thinking about, but experts like Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, said the NGC is perhaps the most important repository of evidence-based research available. “Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world,” King said, referring to the URL at which the database is hosted, which the agency says receives about 200,000 visitors per month. “It is a singular resource,” King added. Medical guidelines are best thought of as cheatsheets for the medical field, compiling the latest research in an easy-to use format. When doctors want to know when they should start insulin treatments, or how best to manage an HIV patient in unstable housing — even something as mundane as when to start an older patient on a vitamin D supplement — they look for the relevant guidelines. The documents are published by a myriad of professional and other organizations, and NGC has long been considered among the most comprehensive and reliable repositories in the world. AHRQ said it’s looking for a partner that can carry on the work of NGC, but that effort hasn’t panned out yet. “AHRQ agrees that guidelines play an important role in clinical decision making, but hard decisions had to be made about how to use the resources at our disposal,” said AHRQ spokesperson Alison Hunt in an email. The operating budget for the NGC last year was $1.2 million, Hunt said, and reductions in funding forced the agency’s hand.”

8 Ways Departing EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Suppressed Science – Truthdig

“In March, Pruitt proposed a new “science transparency policy.” Under the proposed rule, when the EPA designs pollution standards and rules, it would use only studies in which the underlying data is public. Pruitt said his policy would prevent the EPA from using “secret science” that cannot be tested by other researchers. But scientists say important findings could be excluded.

One example is research by Harvard University that linked fine particle pollution in U.S. cities with an increase in deaths from lung and heart diseases. The data for the 1993 study was key to the EPA’s setting of health standards that regulate air pollution. But the study’s underlying data is not public because researchers promised confidentiality to their subjects, 8,000 adults and 14,000 children in six cities….”

APA Creates Open Science and Methodology Chair to Deepen Commitment to Data Sharing, Transparency in Science

“The American Psychological Association has created an open science and methodology chair to work with its authors, reviewers, editors and publications board to understand and develop best practices for the evolving landscape of open science in psychological research. “APA is committed to promoting transparency and sound practice in psychological research,” said Rose Sokol-Chang, PhD, APA’s journals publisher. “We are enthusiastic about offering the psychology community another resource to bolster this work.” APA’s Publications and Communications Board approved the post and will issue an open call to recruit for it in early summer. The chair will initially work with a committee to help refine and extend the P&C Board policy for APA journals related to open science practices. APA Journals is committed to publishing transparent research, publishing replications and offering resources such as its Journal Article Reporting Standards for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research design; open science badges; and an APA Journals data repository, in conjunction with the Center for Open Science. “APA recognizes the importance of sharing data to aid secondary discovery, increase efficiency in research discoveries and improve reproducibility in science,” said Sokol-Chang. Qualifications for the post are experience in open science practices, including data sharing, reproducibility and preregistration; editorial experience and familiarity with APA journals policy; experience with data management, research methodology and clinical trials; and having served on an institutional review board. Interested applicants can read more about the position online or by email. APA is the world’s largest nonprofit publisher of psychological science, setting standards for scholarship in the field. APA Publishing produces journals, books, videos, databases and educational products for researchers, practitioners, educators, students and the public. “

What Happens When Science Just Disappears? | WIRED

“KAY DICKERSIN KNEW she was leaping to the front lines of scholarly publication when she joined The Online Journal of Current Clinical Trials. Scientific print-publishing was—and still is—slow and cumbersome, and reading its results sometimes required researchers to go to the library. But as associate editor at this electronic peer-reviewed journal—one of the very first, launched in the summer of 1992—Dickersin was poised to help bring scientists into the new digital age. Dickersin, an epidemiologist, acted as an associate editor, helping researchers publish their work. But the OJCCT was a bit ahead of its time. The journal was sold in 1994 to a publisher that eventually became part of Taylor & Francis, and which stopped the e-presses just a couple years later. And after that happened, its papers—reports, reviews, and meta-analysis of clinical trials—all disappeared. Dickersin wasn’t just sad to lose her editing gig: She was dismayed that the scientific community was losing those archives. “One of my important studies was in there,” she says, “and no one could get it.” Couldn’t, that is, until Dickersin decided to go spelunking for science. For more than a decade, Dickersin’s paper was missing along with about 80 others. Sometimes, the ex-editors would try to find out who had the rights to the articles, whether they could just take copies and put them on their own website. “We don’t want to do that,” they’d always conclude. “We don’t want to get in trouble.” Finally, Dickersin went to the librarians at Johns Hopkins University, where she is a professor, for help—and that’s how she found Portico. Portico is like a Wayback Machine for scholarly publications. The digital preservation service ingests, meta-tags, preserves, manages, and updates content for publishers and libraries, and then provides access to those archives. The company soon signed on to the project and got permission from Taylor & Francis to make the future archives open-access….”

Green digitization: Botanical collections data answer real-world questions | EurekAlert! Science News

“Special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences explores new developments and applications of digital plant data

Even as botany has moved firmly into the era of “big data,” some of the most valuable botanical information remains inaccessible for computational analysis, locked in physical form in the orderly stacks of herbaria and museums. Herbarium specimens are plant samples collected from the field that are dried and stored with labels describing species, date and location of collection, along with various other information including habitat descriptions. The detailed historical record these specimens keep of species occurrence, morphology, and even DNA provides an unparalleled data source to address a variety of morphological, ecological, phenological, and taxonomic questions. Now efforts are underway to digitize these data, and make them easily accessible for analysis. Two symposia were convened to discuss the possibilities and promise of digitizing these data–at the Botanical Society of America’s 2017 annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, and again at the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen, China. The proceedings of those symposia have been published as a special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences; the articles discuss a range of methods and remaining challenges for extracting data from botanical collections, as well as applications for collections data once digitized. Many of the authors contributing to the issue are involved in iDigBio (Integrated Digitized Biocollections), a new “national coordinating center for the facilitation and mobilization of biodiversity specimen data,” as described by Dr. Gil Nelson, a botanist at Florida State University and coeditor of this issue….”