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Open science round-up: October 2022

Jenice Goveas rounds up the latest open science news from the month of October, which is notable for the annual Open Access week.

The past month has been one of the most celebrated times in the Open Access world with scholarly communication events organized globally as part of the international Open Access week celebrated during the last week of October.

Dr Monica Granados, Open Climate Campaign manager at Creative Commons throws light on this year’s theme and how Open Access can help tackle global challenges like climate change:

Open Access Week, held from October 24-30 this year, is a worldwide series of events to inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. This year’s theme is “Open for Climate Justice” which highlights the need for connection and collaboration among the climate movement and the international open community. Climate change has – and will continue to have – widespread impacts on every aspect of life, and will disproportionately affect already marginalized groups and communities. Knowledge about climate change is imperative to generating mitigations and solutions to climate change. However, work by Bianca Kramer and Cameron Neylon found that of the papers cited in the 2021 and 2022 International Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report, only about 67% of this key and foundational research was freely available to read.

Monica Granados

“If we are going to solve a problem like climate change, the knowledge about it must be openly licensed and freely available. Events during Open Access Week addressed this issue with topics ranging from rights retention to the role citizen science plays in increasing the accessibility to climate knowledge. Opening up climate change knowledge will require a continuous effort. The Open Climate Campaign advances the work of this year’s Open Access theme with a four-year project to make open sharing of research outputs the norm in climate science. The eleven goals of the campaign centre around highlighting the importance of making climate change knowledge open, creating open access policies to support changes in practices, working to open published, foundational research in climate science and ensuring the campaign is international and inclusive. The Open Climate Campaign website offers action kits and more information on how to get involved. Click here to sign up for the campaign newsletter.

Dr Monica Granados has a PhD in ecology from McGill University. While working on her PhD, Monica discovered incentives in academia which promote practices that make knowledge less accessible. Since then, Monica has devoted her career to working in the open science space in pursuit of making knowledge more equitable and accessible. Monica is presently working at Creative Commons on the Open Climate Campaign promoting open access of climate and biodiversity research.

Big stories in Open Science:

Royal Society of Chemistry’s commitment to 100% Open Access:

  • The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has announced its aim to make all fully RSC-owned journals Open Access within the next five years. This makes it the first Chemistry publisher – and one of the first society publishers – to commit to a fully Open Access future. It aims to partner with institutions around the world to develop new Open Access models that do not rely exclusively on authors paying processing or publication charges.

Open Access Week celebrated globally:

Project MUSE has a new offer:

  • Project MUSE, an aggregator of digital versions of academic journals and electronic books founded by Johns Hopkins University Press, is preparing a Subscribe to Open (S2O) offer across multiple journal titles and participating publishers, beginning in 2025. S2O claims to be an alternative to the “author-pays” OA model, to expand both author and reader access. The model works by converting traditional gated subscriptions into annual payments, and project MUSE has begun conversations with participating journal publishers and engaging with library customers.

Openness in the arena of Cybersecurity:

  • At the recently organized Cybersecurity Summit in Madrid, Spain, Google welcomed efforts by the US government to advance open source software security, highlighting the need to look at security through a collective lens, leveraging open frameworks, and relying heavily on secure open-source software. Kent Walker, President of Google’s global affairs said “Though it sounds like a paradox, the best modern digital security actually comes through embracing openness”.

Cambridge Core announces Flip it Open program:

  • The Cambridge University Press has announced a new programme – ‘Flip it Open’ – which aims to fund open access publications of 100 monograph titles through typical purchasing habits. Once titles meet a set amount of revenue, they will be made freely available as open access books on Cambridge Core and in affordable paperback versions.

EcoEvoRxiv re-launch their preprint service:

  • The preprint server EcoEvoRxiv has partnered with the eScholarship Publishing programme at the California Digital Library (CDL) to host the server on Janeway, an open source publishing platform. Authors will need to re-register with Janeway to regain access to their submitted preprints.

Forum for Open Research in MENA :

  • In order to facilitate the exchange of actionable insights and enable development of practical policies supporting Open Science in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the  Forum for Open Research in MENA (F.O.R.M.) was organized ​on 26 and 27 October in Cairo. Librarians, researchers, government policy-makers and higher education institutions from the region participated in the forum and exchanged ideas to initiate new cross-regional collaborations for developing Open Science policies and infrastructure. 

eLife introduces New Model of Peer Review:

  • Starting next year, eLife is eliminating accept/reject decisions after peer review, and instead focusing on public reviews and assessments of preprints. All papers will be published on the eLife website as Reviewed Preprints, accompanied by an eLife assessment and public reviews, and authors can decide whether to revise/resubmit, or even declare their paper as the final Version of Record.

National Open Science Action Plan for Ghana:

  • Key stakeholders of Ghana’s science, research, education and innovation ecosystem gathered at the ‘LIBSENSE’ Open Science Symposium to deliberate on developing and executing a national action plan for Open Science in the country. Library Support for Embedded NREN Services and E-infrastructure (LIBSENSE) is a programme that aims to build a community of practice for adoption of open science services and infrastructures in Africa.

Libraries call for European laws to enable open access:

New policy for open science at Stockholm University:

  • Stockholm University has become the first university in Sweden to have an overall policy for open science. In alignment with The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions’ recommendations and National Roadmap for open science, it describes the university’s overall goal in the transition to an open scientific system.

Open Science Events and Opportunities:

Our top ten open science reads from October:

  1. Five lessons from four centuries of journal publishing – What the history of the Philosophical Transactions tells us about academic publishing
  2. The six best preprint servers for AI research publication
  3. Lessons Learned from Reevaluating Big Deals with Unsub
  4. Destroying eLife’s reputation for selectivity does not serve science
  5. Avert Bangladesh’s looming water crisis through open science and better data
  6. Reviewing the Rights Retention Strategy – A pathway to wider Open Access
  7. The feds’ new open-access policy: Who’s gonna pay for it?
  8. FAIR Case Studies: Good Practice on FAIR Data and Software
  9. The Changing Landscape of Open Access Compliance
  10. Why I think ending article-processing charges will save open access

Image by Emily Studer on Unsplash

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