Sign up

Open science round-up: April 2023

As we move on to yet another month, Moumita Koley summarizes the top stories, opportunities and readings in the world of Open Science. Through our guest editorial, Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, reflects on the importance of Open Science in knowledge creation.

Open Science with an in society: Around eighteen months ago, all member states of UNESCO unanimously approved recommendations on Open Science. These recommendations could transform the meaning of Open Science beyond just providing access to research articles and data to fellow scientists.  

The most far-sighted aspect of Open Science is embedded in ‘open dialogue with other knowledge systems’. Open Science acknowledges that knowledge also resides outside the realm of ‘scientific institutions, professionals & journals’ and calls for collaboration between diverse knowledge systems. However, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between different knowledge systems to address urgent global issues. 

A recent international study on ‘Bridging Knowledge Cultures’ found that professional training of scientists and academic researchers often prevents them from appreciating the existence of other cultures of knowledge outside their field. For example, a representative of a tribal community from Dumka, a small town in India, asserts that knowledge is crucial for their daily life, while for academics, it is their profession. 

The UNESCO Recommendations also highlight the importance of ‘open engagement of societal actors’ and value ‘citizen science’ and ‘participatory research’. The movement of participatory research as a methodology for co-creation of knowledge has been in practice around the world over past five decades. This methodology encourages valuing oral and artistic expressions and experiential knowledge of community; indigenous and community knowledge resides in culture, rituals, ceremonies and expressed through local languages. 

Post-pandemic world, experiencing serious and continuous climate disruptions, is just beginning to acknowledge that ‘co-creation’ of knowledge solutions may indeed be urgently required. Building capacities, mostly attitudes and normative appreciations of young scientists, towards these principles and methodologies requires urgent investment, if such a transformative potential of ‘open science within society’ is to be realized. 

Dr Rajesh Tandon

A globally recognized leader and practitioner of participatory research and development, Dr Rajesh Tandon is the Founder-President of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a renowned centre for participatory research and training. Additionally, he is the Co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education since 2012.

Big stories in Open Science

Results of the French Open Science Monitor 2022 are Out Now 

  • The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research has just released its latest report indicating a positive trend towards increased sharing of French research publications. The report reveals that, for the fourth consecutive year, the sharing ratio of scientific publications has gone up, with 67% now available for free access as of December 2022. While the sharing ratio for clinical trials remains at 57%, the registration of trials in public databases has allowed for the rapid dissemination of results. However, the sharing of Ph.D. theses varies greatly between fields, with Mathematics and Astronomy boasting a high sharing ratio of over 95%, while Law or Literature have a sharing ratio of only 45%. Stay informed on the latest developments in French research by keeping an eye on these sharing ratios. 

Editors Resign from Leading Imaging Neuroscience Journal of Elsevier Over High Publication Fees, Announce Launch of Non-Profit Open Access Alternative 

  • The editors of NeuroImage, a leading journal on imaging neuroscience published by Elsevier, have resigned due to the high publication fee of $3,450, which they believe is unsustainable and unethical. They are starting a new non-profit Open Access journal called Imaging Neuroscience in collaboration with MIT Press, which aims to replace NeuroImage as the leading journal in the field. The new journal will have the same scope, quality level, and editorial team as NeuroImage, but with a lower APC fee, and the fee will be waived for low- or middle-income countries. 

Harvard and MIT Launched an Education Nonprofit: Axim Collaborative 

  • Harvard and MIT jointly launched a non-profit venture, Axim Collaborative, using their earnings from the sale of the jointly owned education platform edX. Axim is committed to educational equity and aims to enable learners realizing their educational and career aspirations. The non-profit will initially focus on aiding underserved populations in their pursuit of post-secondary education. 

The New Self-Archiving Policy of the University of Cambridge Enables Immediate Open Access 

  • The University of Cambridge announced the new self-archiving policy for articles (SAP) to promote open access to research funded by the university. SAP is effective from 1 April 2023 and aims to provide researchers a route to make the accepted version of articles open access immediately after publication and with a license of their choosing. This policy empowers the authors by providing the right retention strategy.  

Explore the Latest Open Science Indicators Dataset  

  • PLOS recently launched its latest tool to keep tabs on open science practices implemented by researchers-Open Science Indicators (OSIs). These indicators provide valuable insights into three key open science enablers – preprint posting, data sharing, and code sharing – for articles featured in PLOS journals and other selected publications outside of the PLOS network. Stay up to date with the latest in open science by checking out PLOS’ new OSIs. 

Peer Review Scandal Prompted a Massive Paper Retraction by Wiley & Hindawi 

Prevalence of “Paper Mills” in China 

  • China has surpassed the US in the number of most cited papers for the first time in 2022, reflecting its growing scientific output and improved quality of research. While China has emerged as one of the world’s most prolific producers of scientific papers over the past two decades, concerns persist about fraudulent scientific output from the country. Although the Chinese government has taken measures to address this issue, some observers remain skeptical about the reliability of research findings originating from China. 

RSC and ResearchGate Join Forces to Increase Open Access to Scientific Journals 

  • The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and ResearchGate, a professional network for researchers, have partnered to improve the accessibility of RSC’s open-access journals. All version-of-record content from RSC’s eight newly launched open-access journals will be syndicated directly to the new Journal Home offering of ResearchGate, creating dedicated journal profiles and increasing journal visibility and engagement among the highly relevant researcher audience that is active on ResearchGate.  

Insights from Global Researcher Survey by OSI: Are Open Access Policies Meeting the Needs? 

  • According to two surveys conducted in 2022 by the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI), reforms in research communication must prioritize the career needs of individual researchers, such as cost-effective publishing, the freedom to select journals, high-quality work, collaboration, easy access to other research work, and better institutional support. The surveys suggest that global open access policies need to effectively address these concerns, highlighting the necessity for further research and a shift in focus towards higher priorities in research communication. 

BioRxiv and MedRxiv Suggest Mandating Preprint in Their Response to the OSTP Memo 

  • The preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv have expressed their support for the recent memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which urges US government agencies to ensure public access to research findings and data funded by US taxpayers. The preprint servers suggest that mandating preprints, such as those available on servers like arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, and chemRxiv, would help achieve universal access for both authors and readers and help future-proof access policies. arXiv also supported this position.  

Cambridge University Press Announced Open Access Fees Waiver for Low- and Middle-income Countries 

  • The Cambridge Open Equity Initiative announced that researchers from 5,000 institutions in 115 Low- and Middle-Income Countries would be able to publish their research papers in Cambridge journals without paying any fees starting from July 1, 2023. Once a paper is accepted in any of the 400 Cambridge journals, Cambridge University Press will automatically recognize the eligibility of corresponding authors.   

NWO to Support Open Science Infrastructures and Networks 

  • The Dutch Research Council (NWO) recently announced its commitment to supporting four non-profit organizations that are dedicated to advancing open science. Among these organizations are OpenCitations, which publishes open bibliographic and citation data using Linked Data technologies, and PKP, which develops open-source publishing software that is used by over 30,000 open-access journals worldwide. The other two organizations are the Netherlands Reproducibility Network, which focuses on promoting transparency and reproducibility in research, and the Research Organization Registry, which provides a global, open registry for identifying research organizations. 

ACS Publications Hits a Major Achievement in the ‘Read and Publish’ Model 

  • In a recent announcement, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications Division revealed that it had achieved a significant milestone by entering into “read and publish” agreements with more than 1,000 academic institutions across the globe, comprising 29% of all academic institutions that subscribe to ACS journals. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy as it includes institutions of different sizes from 35 countries, including those from the Global South, such as South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico. Some of these agreements are the first of their kind in the region. 

Unlocking the Smithsonian’s Treasures: 4.5 Million High-Res Images Now Available in the Public Domain & Free to Use 

  • The Smithsonian Institution, originally founded in 1816 as the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, has made remarkable progress over the years. The Smithsonian Open Access digital archive continues the Smithsonian’s mission of gathering and distributing valuable information. This archive contains more than 4.5 million high-quality images showcasing American history, and it’s now available to the public for free.  

Tripartite Event Held in the Netherlands on a National Scale 

  • SURF and Dutch ministries host the first national Tripartite event on EOSC in the Netherlands, bringing together over 50 stakeholders to discuss perspectives on EOSC, including its interoperability with other European Data Spaces, good practices between countries, and the importance of sustainable FAIR data. The significant learning includes the need for collaboration between support and scientific staff, organizational governance challenges, and the necessity to rethink funding schemes for sustainable software, infrastructure, and procedures. 

Open Science events and opportunities 

  • The UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library and UNESCO are hosting a virtual panel on creating equitable scholarly publishing ecosystems for SDGs and beyond. The event will take place on 2 May 2023 from 14:00 – 15:30 UTC. Register.  
  • Interested in exploring the methods and practices of scientific research? Join the Metascience 2023 Conference on 9-10 May 2023 in Washington, DC. Register.  
  • The Forum for Open Research in MENA (F.O.R.M.) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) will host a limited-seat French language webinar on 10 May 2023 at 9:00 UTC. Register.  
  • The COAR Annual Meeting 2023 will take place in San José, Costa Rica, on 16-18 May 2023. The meeting will take place both in person and online. May 18 will be an Open Plenary Day, free for all interested participants. Register for the Open Plenary by 30 April
  • Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) SDG-13 Case Study will organize a hybrid workshop on 16-18 May 2023 in Bangkok and online. Online Registration is free and is now open for all GOSC members and relevant stakeholders. Register here and learn more
  • F1000 and Taylor &Francis are organizing a webinar on 18 May 2023 at 13:00 UTC. To explore “What can open research values bring to research assessment reform?”, register.  
  • OAI13 – The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will be held virtually from 4-8 September 2023. Call for Posters is now open. If you wish to present your poster at OAI13, make sure to submit it before 30 April 2023
  • COPIM’s experimental publishing group announced a second round of experimental book publishing pilots as part of the Open Book Futures project (OBP) starting in May 2023. Learn more about the Pre-Call of this project. 
  • The 18th International Open Repositories Conference (OR2023) will be in Stellenbosch, South Africa, between 12-15 June 2023. Early bird registration will close on 2 May 2023. Register.  
  • OASPA 2023 annual conference will take place online from 19 -21 September 2023. Learn more

Job opportunities 

  • The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University, is looking for a Ph.D. candidate Monitoring Open Science Policies and Practices. The last date for submitting the application is 30 April 2023. Learn more.  
  • Crossref is looking for a Member Experience Manager; apply using this form by 1 May 2023. This remote position is expected to overlap with colleagues in Indonesia and East Coast USA). Learn more.  
  • OSAPA is hiring a Business Operations Manager, who will be responsible for working with the Executive Director to ensure OSAPA’s effective functioning, following the financial and legal requirements for operation in the UK and Netherlands. This is a part-time opportunity and will require a two days per-week working schedule. Remote working is also a possibility. The last date for application is 5 May 2023. Learn more
  • PKP is looking for a Associate Director for Publishing Services to provide operational direction for PKP’s Publishing Services (PKP|PS) activities. A master’s degree in business administration or a related field and five years of progressive experience in areas are required for this position. The last date for application is 16 May 2023. Learn more.  
  • The California Digital Library (CDL) at the University of California is seeking candidates for a new Publications Manager position. The position will be open until filled. Applications must be submitted via the UCOP Jobs site. CDL offices are in downtown Oakland, CA. This position is eligible for on-site, remote, or hybrid work arrangements. Applicants must be residents of California or be willing and able to relocate to California upon hiring. 

Our top ten Open Science reads

  1. Science Publishing Innovation: Why Do So Many Good Ideas Fail? 
  2. UNESCO’s toolkit can help accelerate the transition to global open science | UNESCO 
  3. The Politics of Rights Retention 
  4. Preprints and The Futures of Peer Review 
  5. The Internet Archive’s troubles are bad news for book lovers 
  6. Is the Library Responsible for Open Access Compliance? 
  7. We need a Plan D 
  8. Open Science Left in the Dust 
  9. Mapping Open Science resources from around the world by discipline and principles 
  10. Drawing Lines to Cross Them: How Publishers are Moving Beyond Established Norms 
Skip to content