Sign up

Open science round-up: August 2022

The final days of August saw a leap towards Open Access for publicly funded research in the United States. Jenice Goveas reviews this and other open science news from around the world from the month of August.

It has been an eventful month for Open Science, with welcome news coming in from the U.S. on 25 August, as the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued an updated Memorandum, “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research“, which applies to all U.S. federal agencies and requires immediate public access to all federally funded research papers, to have been implemented by the end of 2025. The policy eliminates the current 12-month embargo requirement, and aims to make openly available not just the articles but also the underlying data that is required to validate results in machine-readable formats. It also mentions key provisions for promoting equity in publishing and accessing federally funded research, and aims to improve scientific research integrity.

While the outcome of the policy and its detailed implications for different stakeholders of the Scientific Publishing ecosystem are yet to be known, there have been varied responses welcoming this announcement.

We spoke to Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) – one of the oldest open access advocacy groups in the United States. Heather is also a member of the ISC’s Steering Group on Scientific Publishing. Heather is elated, and calls it an “enormous leap forward”. She says, “This step lays the foundation for a more open and equitable system of research in the U.S. and around the world. Unlocking both the articles’ reporting on the results of federally funded research and the data needed to validate their results will enable scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, and communities to speed solutions for global challenges—from cancer to climate change.”

For more Open Science news from around the world and opportunities to participate in upcoming Open Science activities, please continue reading and do share your feedback and ideas with us at the end of this bulletin.

Big stories in Open Science:

The charitable fund Arcadia has awarded $3.6 Million to the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) for its Open Access initiatives – Redalyc and AmeliCA. The 10-year project’s purpose is to strengthen and expand efforts towards non-commercial Open Access (OA) through the consolidation of an Open Infrastructure for capacity building, visibility, discoverability, quality assurance, technological development and sustainability of Latin America’s diamond OA publishing for equitable and inclusive participation in scholarly communication.

A report by Japan’s National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTP), found that China is the world leader in both scientific research output and “high impact” studies, and publishes the highest number of scientific research papers yearly, followed by the US and Germany. The figures were based on yearly averages between 2018 and 2020, and drawn from data compiled by the analytics firm Clarivate.

OpenStax has acquired the rights to the international bestseller textbook ‘Organic Chemistry’ by John McMurry. This popular chemistry book’s leap from a publishing titan to an Open Education Resources pioneer is a watershed moment for mainstreaming the open access movement.  

While American publishers like Wiley and Elsevier have been pursuing a case in the Delhi High Court against Library Genesis and Sci-Hub, Z-Library, a massively popular website, said to be a ‘mirror’ of Library Genesis that allows free downloads of pirated ebooks, has been blocked in India following a court order. While accessing copyrighted materials is illegal, Indian researchers who use Sci-Hub argued in Court that the cost of accessing scientific resources through the regular paywalled channels is prohibitively expensive.

A national Conference on “Open Science – The Way Forward” organized by the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) and the Tunisian Computing Center al Khawarizmi (CCK) on 18 August witnessed the participation of more than one hundred high-level representatives of government institutions, universities and research institutions from Tunisia. Moncef Boukthir, Tunisian Minster of Higher Education and Scientific Research, reaffirmed support for building an “Arab Open Science Platform” in cooperation with local and regional partners, especially the European Union and UNESCO.

Creative Commons, SPARC and Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) have announced a new 4-year Open Climate Campaign towards accelerating progress on solving the climate crisis and preserving global biodiversity by promoting open access to research.

Open Science Events and Opportunities:

  • Road to Open Meta – Challenges of Metadata Communication“- Transfer Conference on Challenges of Metadata Communication and approaches from within Open Access – 12 September 2022 at HTWK Leipzig, Germany.
  • Nominations are welcome for the MIT special Prize for Open Data. Submit nominations by Friday, September 16, 2022, 5pm. Winning projects will receive $2,500 and an invitation to present the project at an “Open Data at MIT” event during Open Access Week.
  • The International Political Science Association (IPSA) will hold a hybrid conference titled Open Access Publishing: A New Era in Scholarly Communication on 13-14 September 2022.
  • The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) is hosting EVIDENCE 2022– a biennial virtual colloquium during 19-21 September 2022. It aims to enhance mutual learning and innovation in evidence-informed decision-making.
  • The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is organizing a regional event with the theme “Embedding EOSC in Southeast Europe” at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics on 28 and 29 September 2022.
  • Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2022 is an opportunity to come together, take action, and raise awareness around ‘open’ as a means for climate justice. Find out how you can get involved and read more about the theme here.
  • NASA’s Transform to Open Science (TOPS) is collecting inspiring open science success stories. You can find examples and submit stories that inspired you here.
  • The international conference “Open Science and Innovation in Ukraine 2022“, will take place on October 27-28, 2022 in Kyiv in an online format. Registration is open until September 19, 2022.
  • Registrations are open for the eighth edition of the Science Summit around the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) to be held in hybrid mode from 13-30 September 2022. The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will be the central theme.

Our top ten open science reads from June:

  1. A Possible Fix for Scientific (and Academic) Publishing
  2. Open Access Research Repositories Provide Diversity and Innovation Publishers Can’t Match
  3. How Covid invited a rethink of the scientific publications business
  4. The Best Open Tools for Discovering OA Arts and Humanities Research
  5. US moves put pressure on Australian government to free up government-funded research
  6. Rethinking the A in FAIR Data
  7. Article Processing Charges (APCs) and the new enclosure of research
  8. What drives us: Collaborating globally to build trust in science
  9. Charting Variety, Scope, and Impact of Open Access Diamond Journals in Various Disciplines and Regions
  10. Lack of grants from funding agencies biggest barrier to OA publishing in the physical sciences, study finds

 Open for feedback

This is the fourth edition of a new regular feature on open science, looking back at big news stories, events and opportunities and stories generating debate in the open science world. Would you like to receive this as an email newsletter? Do you have any other comments or items we should share in the next round-up? We’re keen to hear your feedback below.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Would you like to receive this update as a monthly email newsletter to the email address above?
Please include URLs to more information wherever available.

Image by Sabrina’s Stash via Flickr.

Skip to content