Open science round-up: November 2022

As we move into the last month of 2022, Jenice Goveas looks at some significant developments in the Open Science movement.

Open science round-up: November 2022

One such innovation in scholarly publishing models was recently announced by eLife. We have Damian Pattinson, Executive Director at eLife, to tell us more.

“In October, eLife announced its new publishing model – eliminating accept/reject decisions following peer review and focusing instead on the public review and assessment of preprints. In relinquishing the traditional journal role of gatekeeping, we hope to restore author autonomy, provide a simpler process with clear and certain outcomes, and ensure that work is evaluated based on its merits, rather than on where it is published.

eLife was founded to innovate in open-access publishing as part of our mission to promote responsible behaviours in science. The last couple of decades have seen dramatic changes in the academic publishing landscape, with the rise of the internet and preprint posting. Despite this, the process of peer review remains the same as when it was constrained by the limitations of printed media, slowing scientific progress and allowing inequities to remain. The wealth of benefits that peer review can provide to the community have been reduced to a binary accept/reject decision. 

eLife’s independent funding puts us in a unique position to take steps in remedying this. In our new model, the rich evaluations provided by reviewers will be made openly available to readers through public reviews and an eLife assessment. This will make the evaluations more beneficial to all – clearly communicating what the reviewers think are the strengths and weaknesses of a paper, its potential to advance science, what questions remain, and how the work fits into the broader research field.

The output of our model is a ‘Reviewed Preprint’ that combines the scrutiny of peer review with the immediacy of preprints, speeding up the publishing process in an open, fair and equitable manner. Authors can choose to publish their Reviewed Preprint as a Version of Record at any time. A number of funders have already committed their support for recognising Reviewed Preprints in research assessment, demonstrating that this new model serves as a faster, more useful alternative to traditional journal articles. We all know that the current publishing model is deeply flawed, but until now there have been few genuine alternatives available to researchers. I hope that this new model will be taken up by researchers, societies and journals as a means of providing faster, more transparent peer review and publication.”

Damian Pattinson started his publishing career at the BMJ, where he worked as an editor on BMJ Clinical Evidence and Best Practice. He joined PLOS ONE as editorial director, and oversaw the dramatic expansion of the journal to become the largest scientific journal in the world. He moved to Research Square as vice-president of publishing innovation, where he launched the Research Square preprint server. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London.

Big stories in Open Science:

India to Implement One Nation One Subscription Initiative

New Zealand’s Ministry Introduces Open Access to Research Policy

KOALA Consortium Model Successfully Identifies Funders

Royal Society of Chemistry Commits to Make its Journals Open Access

Ukraine’s National Open Access Plan

Participatory Approach for Open Science in Ghana

Neuro-Irv and Helga Cooper Open Science prizes 2022

Georgia Discusses National Policy and Strategy for Open Science

Oxford University Press unveils its Read and Publish deal in Japan

Z-Library’s shutdown; end of an era for free, but illegal, college textbook access

Fully Open Access Blog Launched

UKRI’s Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment

Open Science Events and Opportunities:

Our top ten open science reads:

  1. The Predator Effect – Fraud in the Scholarly Publishing Industry
  2. Identifying the Needs of African Open Access Publishing Communities
  3. How to Move Open Science from the Periphery to the Centre
  4. How Can AI Help the Campaign for Open Science?
  5. Stop Congratulating Colleagues for Publishing in High Impact-Factor Journals
  6. Influence of Social Networking Sites on Scholarly Communication
  7. Double-Anonymised Peer Review is Not the Answer to Status Bias
  8. Three Myths About Open Science that Just Won’t Die
  9. Towards Richer Metadata – Perspectives from Three Datacite Projects
  10. Does the Peer Review Process Need Blockchain?

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Image by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash


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