Statement by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) on combatting COVID-19: the importance of sharing knowledge to create a comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base

The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyone worldwide, and policymakers, scientists and practitioners are exploring uncharted territory while trying to get to grips with this new virus. Especially in such times of great uncertainty, building on up-to-date and accurate information is crucial. Robust systems of epidemic intelligence that can provide solid national and regional-level epidemiological data to inform modelling of disease transmission at the population level, and ultimately offer effective guidance on public health action, are needed. Sharing data, research outcomes and experiences in order to build a common, growing body of intelligence is key when battling the outbreak and saving lives. Indeed, we see many examples of information being shared, across disciplinary, sectoral and geographical borders, contributing to new insights and accelerated generation of knowledge. EUPHA, as a science-based organisation, commends this open attitude, and calls upon all relevant authorities, organisations and experts to share evidence to the maximum extent possible.

Developing a strategy to improve data sharing in health research: A mixed-methods study to identify barriers and facilitators. – PubMed – NCBI

Abstract:  

BACKGROUND:

Data sharing presents new opportunities across the spectrum of research and is vital for science that is open, where data are easily discoverable, accessible, intelligible, reproducible, replicable and verifiable. Despite this, it is yet to become common practice. Global efforts to develop practical guidance for data sharing and open access initiatives are underway, however evidence-based studies to inform the development and implementation of effective strategies are lacking.

OBJECTIVE:

This study sought to determine the barriers and facilitators to data sharing among health researchers and to identify the target behaviours for designing a behaviour change intervention strategy.

METHOD:

Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey of data management practices among health researchers from one Australian research institute. Determinants of behaviour were theoretically derived using well-established behavioural models.

RESULTS:

Data sharing practices have been described for 77 researchers, and 6 barriers and 4 facilitators identified. The primary barriers to data sharing included perceived negative consequences and lack of competency to share data. The primary facilitators to data sharing included trust in others using the data and social influence related to public benefit. Intervention functions likely to be most effective at changing target behaviours were also identified.

CONCLUSION:

Results of this study provide a theoretical and evidence-based process to understand the behavioural barriers and facilitators of data sharing among health researchers.

IMPLICATIONS:

Designing interventions that specifically address target behaviours to promote data sharing are important for open researcher practices.

John Willinsky, Copyright’s Constitutional Violation: When the Law Fails to “Promote the Progress of Science” (While Promoting Practically Everything Else)

Draft of a book by John Willinsky, shared in a Google doc.

“A summary of this book’s case for an open access reform of the United States Copyright Act:

A consensus has recently formed among scholarly publishing’s principal stakeholders (including the big publishers) that open access to published research does more than closed subscriptions for the progress of science.
 

This consensus means that the current use of copyright to restrict access to research places the law in violation of the Constitution, which holds that such laws are “to promote the progress of science,” rather than impede it.
 

In lieu of copyright reform, the National Institutes of Health and other parties have created legal and extra-legal workarounds that compromise open access (with embargoes, final drafts, illegal copies), slow its spread, and allow costs to soar, with copyright contributing to open access’ market failure to date.
 

Yet, copyright offers a promising strategy in “compulsory licensing,” which could require, in the case of scholarly publishing, immediate open access to published research and fair compensation to its publishers from its principal institutional users and funders.
 

Such reform would be daunting, if Congress had not amended copyright nearly 60 times in the digital era (but not for science), with many of its reforms now operating internationally, which is the goal for open access copyright reform. …”

 

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

Workshop: Global insights into Open Access and advocacy strategies. – UoN room bookings & classes – University of Newcastle Library

“Professor Ginny Barbour, Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) will lead two discussions  to provide insight into Open Access and advocacy strategies. 

The AOASG is a national leader in open access scholarly communications with a focus on advocacy, collaboration and building capacity with Australian and New Zealand to advance open access. 

The Changing Publishing Landscape & the drivers for change 1pm-1:50pm (incl 15 min Q&A)

Overview of international trends in scholarly publishing with reference to the drivers for change towards open scholarship, including emerging models such as pre-prints and policy shifts such as Plan S 

An Australian perspective on open access, the current landscape and possible future directions including ARC & NHMRC policy

What’s in it for academics

Open discussion and Q&A…”

Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Here we present our view on the current Open Access debate, predatory journals and the on-going publication and promotion strategy of some countries and research institutions. We urge the world’s researchers, journals and grant holders in collaboration to carefully consider how best to ensure continuous high-quality scientific publications in the future in a way so that limited funding results in important data and information being unpublished.