Opinion | How Professors Help Rip Off Students – The New York Times

“…For professors the path of least resistance is just to keep assigning the same book, in its latest edition. When prices were reasonable, that was a fine practice, but it is increasingly indefensible. There is sometimes substantial variation among textbook prices, and also books with stronger rental and used markets. In addition, important progress has been made by groups trying to create high quality alternatives. The Rice University-based nonprofit OpenSTAX has spent years developing high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free or cheap for more than 20 of the most popular college subjects. M.I.T. has an impressive collection of free online textbooks, and there are others. The publisher Cengage has been experimenting with a Netflix-style subscription model. At a minimum, instructors should at least take a look at what’s out there….”

Animal Research, Accountability, Openness and Public Engagement: Report from an International Expert Forum

Abstract:  In November 2013, a group of international experts in animal research policy (n = 11) gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss openness and accountability in animal research. The primary objective was to bring together participants from various jurisdictions (United States, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom) to share practices regarding the governance of animals used in research, testing and education, with emphasis on the governance process followed, the methods of community engagement, and the balance of openness versus confidentiality. During the forum, participants came to a broad consensus on the need for: (a) evidence-based metrics to allow a “virtuous feedback” system for evaluation and quality assurance of animal research, (b) the need for increased public access to information, together with opportunities for stakeholder dialogue about animal research, (c) a greater diversity of views to be represented on decision-making committees to allow for greater balance and (d) a standardized and robust ethical decision-making process that incorporates some sort of societal input. These recommendations encourage aspirations beyond merely imparting information and towards a genuine dialogue that represents a shared agenda surrounding laboratory animal use.

Animal Research, Accountability, Openness and Public Engagement: Report from an International Expert Forum

Abstract:  In November 2013, a group of international experts in animal research policy (n = 11) gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss openness and accountability in animal research. The primary objective was to bring together participants from various jurisdictions (United States, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom) to share practices regarding the governance of animals used in research, testing and education, with emphasis on the governance process followed, the methods of community engagement, and the balance of openness versus confidentiality. During the forum, participants came to a broad consensus on the need for: (a) evidence-based metrics to allow a “virtuous feedback” system for evaluation and quality assurance of animal research, (b) the need for increased public access to information, together with opportunities for stakeholder dialogue about animal research, (c) a greater diversity of views to be represented on decision-making committees to allow for greater balance and (d) a standardized and robust ethical decision-making process that incorporates some sort of societal input. These recommendations encourage aspirations beyond merely imparting information and towards a genuine dialogue that represents a shared agenda surrounding laboratory animal use.

Reaping the benefits of Open Data in public health

Abstract:  Open Data is part of a broad global movement that is not only advancing science and scientific communication but also transforming modern society and how decisions are made. What began with a call for Open Science and the rise of online journals has extended to Open Data, based on the premise that if reports on data are open, then the generated or supporting data should be open as well. There have been a number of advances in Open Data over the last decade, spearheaded largely by governments. A real benefit of Open Data is not simply that single databases can be used more widely; it is that these data can also be leveraged, shared and combined with other data. Open Data facilitates scientific collaboration, enriches research and advances analytical capacity to inform decisions. In the human and environmental health realms, for example, the ability to access and combine diverse data can advance early signal detection, improve analysis and evaluation, inform program and policy development, increase capacity for public participation, enable transparency and improve accountability. However, challenges remain. Enormous resources are needed to make the technological shift to open and interoperable databases accessible with common protocols and terminology. Amongst data generators and users, this shift also involves a cultural change: from regarding databases as restricted intellectual property, to considering data as a common good. There is a need to address legal and ethical considerations in making this shift. Finally, along with efforts to modify infrastructure and address the cultural, legal and ethical issues, it is important to share the information equitably and effectively. While there is great potential of the open, timely, equitable and straightforward sharing of data, fully realizing the myriad of benefits of Open Data will depend on how effectively these challenges are addressed.

Open Science in Action: Inaugural Symposium | The Neuro – McGill University

“To speed up discovery and impact health, we must transform our approach to science. Innovations in biomedical science and big data technology have brought hope, and are powered by a new way of doing science: Open Science. This is the concept of freely sharing research data and materials, and removing barriers to collaboration.   

We welcome you to engage and exchange around Open Science in action at The Neuro and beyond.

Meet and learn from national and international experts on intellectual property protocols, ethics, patient consent and engagement, pharma, neuroinformatics, and more!     

The symposium will be moderated by Susan Usher, Director of the Health Innovation Forum. Our keynote speakers include John Wilbanks (Sage Bionetworks), Dario Taraborelli (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), Russ Poldrack (Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience), and Brian Wallach (I am ALS).  We are also pleased to welcome Alain Schuhl (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and Suzana Petanceska (National Institute on Aging). The symposium will close with the Wilder Penfield Lecture, delivered by Susan M. Fitzpatrick, President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation.     …”

Improving Health Care with Publicly Reported Data

“But do people use that information to make choices?  Does it change where they get their care? There is little evidence that this is the case.  While the study mentioned earlier showed hospitals respond to this such data, that same study showed that consumers and purchasers of healthcare rarely search out the information and do not understand or trust it.  It had a small, although increasing, impact on their decision making.  According to another study, there is little evidence that patients use publicly reported data to make a choice.  There are several reasons that the authors of the study felt this was the case.   Among those reasons were that consumers didn’t believe they had choice because of their insurance provider, consumers couldn’t understand the quality data (the reports are poorly designed), and that consumers don’t trust the information provided….”

Informed consent in the context of open licensing: some questions for discussion | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

The purpose of this post is to encourage sharing of knowledge and ideas on the topic of modifying informed consent when working with human subjects to accommodate open licensing. Examples of questions for discussion: COPE has provided guidance for the protection of journals in the case of one particularly sensitive type of material, medical case reports. Is anyone providing guidance for authors and their institution? What about other types of sensitive material that are common in disciplines such as education, health and social sciences? Has any research ethics board or similar body updated their guidance on informed consent in light of open licensing?

Scientific Authors in a Changing World of Scholarly Communication: What Does the Future Hold? – The American Journal of Medicine

Abstract:  Scholarly communication in science, technology and medicine has been organized around journal-based scientific publishing for the past 350?years. Scientific publishing has unique business models and includes stakeholders with conflicting interests – publishers, funders, libraries, and scholars who create, curate, and consume the literature. Massive growth and change in scholarly communication, coinciding with digitalization, have amplified stresses inherent in traditional scientific publishing as evidenced by overwhelmed editors and reviewers, increased retraction rates, emergence of pseudo-journals, strained library budgets, and debates about the metrics of academic recognition for scholarly achievements. Simultaneously, several open access models are gaining traction and online technologies offer opportunities to augment traditional tasks of scientific publishing, develop integrated discovery services, and establish global and equitable scholarly communication through crowdsourcing, software development, big data management and machine learning. These rapidly evolving developments raise financial, legal and ethical dilemmas that require solutions while successful strategies are difficult to predict. Key challenges and trends are reviewed from the authors’ perspective about how to engage the scholarly community in this multifaceted process.

The future of scholarly books is open (access) | Group | Springer Nature

“The majority of book authors support the idea that all future scholarly books should be open access (OA). This is one of the key findings of a new white paper presented by Springer Nature at the OAI-11 conference at CERN this week. Based on the responses of 2,542 book authors who were surveyed by Springer Nature in February and March 2019, the white paper provides a global view of book authors’ attitudes towards OA. The survey looks at researchers’ motivations for publishing a book, and analyses the parameters and key drivers which influence academics to publish OA or not. The white paper also identifies major obstacles to OA publication which book authors still face: from a lack of awareness of OA publishing options and low funding, to concerns about how OA books are perceived. The white paper is freely available for download. 

Other key findings include: •    Pro-OA attitudes are stronger among junior researchers, researchers based in Europe and Asia, and previous OA book authors •    Ethical reasons (equality in access) and reaching a larger audience are identified as key motivations for choosing OA for books •    The majority of authors want more financial support from funders for OA book publication •    Gold OA is the most preferred policy for OA books •    Reputation of publishers matters less to OA authors but is still the deciding factor for publication….”

Compliance with ethical rules for scientific publishing in biomedical Open Access journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports | proLéka?e.cz

Abstract:  This study examined compliance with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME in Biomedical Open Access journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports (JCR). 259 Open Access journals were drawn from the JCR database and on the basis of their websites their compliance with 14 criteria for transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing was verified. Journals received penalty points for each unfulfilled criterion when they failed to comply with the criteria defined by COPE, DOAJ, OASPA and WAME. The average number of obtained penalty points was 6, where 149 (57.5%) journals received ? 6 points and 110 (42.5%) journals ? 7 points. Only 4 journals met all criteria and did not receive any penalty points. Most of the journals did not comply with the criteria declaration of Creative Commons license (164 journals), affiliation of editorial board members (116), unambiguity of article processing charges (115), anti-plagiarism policy (113) and the number of editorial board members from developing countries (99). The research shows that JCR cannot be used as a whitelist of journals that comply with the criteria of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing.