Open science round-up: November 2023

The November 2023 Open Science Roundup is dedicated to the 'Year of Open Science' as we review significant developments in the Open Science movement. This month, we also feature insights from André Brasil, a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), on trailblazing initiatives for Open Access.

Open science round-up: November 2023

NASA has declared 2023 as the Year of Open Science to celebrate the benefits and successes of open science. As we near the end of the year, Moumita Koley, Consultant for the International Science Council, brings you some significant developments in the Open Science movement.


Pushing for a paradigm shift in Open Access:  cOAlition S, MetaROR and the publish-review-curate approach

Marking the fifth anniversary of Plan S, cOAlition S—a global consortium of research funders from Europe and other parts of the world—has recently held a webinar to reflect on the plan’s objective of providing full and immediate Open Access to publications resulting from funding provided by cOAlition S funders. Despite its ambition, Plan S’s founder, Robert-Jan Smits, acknowledged that a substantial number of scientific studies still remain inaccessible due to paywalls, including those in critical research areas. Marc Schiltz of Science Europe criticized publishers for not fully committing to Open Access, suggesting that publishers may be more inclined to exploit rights retention loopholes and re-impose embargo periods rather than advance Open Access and its associated progressive publication models.  

As a potential solution, Bodo Stern, chief of strategic initiatives at HHMI, one of the members of cOAlition S, presented the cOAlition S initiative ‘Towards Responsible Publishing’, referred to as Plan S 2.0 by Robert-Jan Smits. This initiative advocates for diminishing the influence of large commercial publishers, instead empowering researchers as the primary distributors of their work. One way to implement this model is the so-called publish-review-curate approach, which encourages the sharing of preprints for open peer review, with resulting reviews enabling the curation and assessment of research, thus enhancing the overall scholarly communication process. 

The publish-review-curate model is increasingly gaining traction, as shown by platforms such as eLife, Peer Community In, Biophysics Colab, Open Research Europe, and several others. In the field of metaresearch, a new initiative- called MetaROR (MetaResearch Open Review) is currently being developed. Set to launch soon, MetaROR will provide a platform to harness preprint submissions from various metaresearch disciplines, providing an open peer review mechanism followed by editorial assessments to enrich the research with a layer of evaluated insight. These reviews and curations, which will be openly available, are poised to enhance the recognition and attractiveness of the peer review process, while also making the knowledge-creation process more transparent and efficient. 

While this approach recognises peer-reviewed, curated preprints as a legitimate conclusion to the publication cycle, MetaROR’s framework also facilitates the further dissemination of the peer-reviewed work through established journals. By employing public reviews from the preprint phase, journals partnering with MetaROR can provide a complementary avenue for distributing research findings. 

In sum, while the road to comprehensive Open Access is challenging, efforts led by groups such as cOAlition S are progressively charting a course towards a more accessible and equitable open publishing landscape. Furthermore, by promoting the researchers’ right to share their work and enhancing the value and recognition of the peer review process, initiatives like the ‘Towards Responsible Publishing’ proposal and the MetaROR project are pivotal in driving a paradigm shift in scholarly publishing. These growing movements bolster the objective of unrestricted access to knowledge, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic global research community.

André Brasil
Researcher, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University

André Brasil is a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University, focusing on national evaluation systems, scientometrics, scholarly publishing, open science, responsible research and innovation (RRI) and diversity in science, especially concerning multilingualism and geographic inclusion. As part of his activities, he is a member of the UNESCO Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in Global Science and a research fellow at the Research on Research Institute (RoRI). André is also affiliated with the Brazilian Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES). 

You might also be interested in

The Key Principles for Scientific Publishing

The International Science Council through its Members have identified a total of eight key principles for scientific publishing.

The Case for Reform of Scientific Publishing

This timely discussion paper sets out priorities for reform in scientific publishing proposed by the International Science Council.

Big stories in Open Science

Over $1 Billion Paid by Scientists to Major Publishers for Open Access Publications in Four Years 

Radical Publishing Reform: cOAlition S Proposes Scholar-Led, Fee-Free Open Access 

The Ivy Plus Libraries Stand Against ACS’s Counterproductive ADC Policy 

Germany Unveils openDesk: A Leap Toward Open Source Softwares 

Edinburgh University Press Embarks on Progressive Open Access Pilot with Islamic Studies Journals 

Biochemical Society Embraces Inclusive Open Access with Subscribe to Open Initiative for Journals 

The State of Open Data 2023 Report Reveals Researchers Need More Support for Open Data Practices 

SPARC Exposes Data Privacy Conflicts in Elsevier’s Practices, Urges Action on User Privacy 

arXiv Sees Over 20,000 Submissions in October 2023 

CERN and NASA’s Open Science SummitClosing Statement and Call for Action is Out 

University of Cape Town Ignites a Knowledge Revolution with Free Scholarly Content Platform 

The University of Kansas and Frontiers Sign Flat-Fee Open Access Publishing Deal 

Einstein Foundation Berlin Celebrates Leaders in Ethical Research and Open Science with 2023 Awards 

UKRN Launches Pioneering OR4 Project for Open Research Advancement 

Open Science events and opportunities 

Job opportunity

Our top ten Open Science reads


The information, opinions and recommendations presented by our guests are those of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the values and beliefs of the International Science Council.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash.


Skip to content