Featuring eLife’s new peer review service, quality control measures for preprint servers, STM’s Innovation Day keynote on ethics and data science, a task force to tackle image duplication, a call for improved open access infrastructure, ASBMB’s commitment to open access and a response from the British Library.

A peer review service for preprints via eLife

eLife’s new Preprint Review service allows authors to subject their papers to the scrutiny of peer review before, and independently of, journal submission. This service will be available for all preprints that have already been posted on bioRxiv. The review reports themselves will also be published on an open access server.

How are preprint servers managing quality control during the current pandemic? via Nature

Following the recent surge in submissions, the two most popular servers for medical science, bioRxiv and medRxiv – who together have posted a total of more than 3000 coronavirus-related papers – have decided to exclude speculative papers based on computational models alone. Meanwhile, the natural science servers arXiv and ChemRxiv, with around 1000 coronavirus-related postings between them, have both enhanced their screening procedures and are applying more scrutiny to claims submitted to their servers.

Innovation and ethics via Wiley

This overview of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers’ (STM’s) Innovation Day summarizes the keynote and panel discussion delivered by Julia Stoyanovich (New York University), Mercè Crosas (Harvard University) and Jabe Wilson (Elsevier), moderated by Chris Graf (Wiley). This session of the virtual conference focused on the ethics and importance of fairness, transparency and responsible sharing in the field of artificial intelligence and data science.

A task force to tackle image duplication via Nature

Image duplication is a serious issue in academic publishing, with a 2016 analysis suggesting that as many as 4% of biomedical publications may contain duplicated figures. Publishers and scientific associations have joined up to tackle this problem by standardizing the requirements for image-checking software. The group was set up by STM and includes representatives from Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis and Wiley.

Aspesi and Brand 2020: infrastructure for open access via Science

The future of open access is looking bright as more publishers, funding bodies and associations are keen to commit to the endeavour. However, the authors of this article argue that commitment to accessibility is not enough and that the industry needs to establish an infrastructure to support the transition towards open access, including assessing different sources of revenue and reviewing the ownership of data portals and platforms.

ASBMB joins the evergrowing list of open access publishers via ASBMB

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) – responsible for publishing the Journal Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and the Journal of Lipid Research – has announced its commitment to open access science. The transition will occur in January 2021 and will be supported through a partnership with Elsevier, allowing ASBMB journals to be discoverable on ScienceDirect.

The British Library’s response to UKRI’s consultation review via The British Library

In response to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s new consultation review on open access publishing, this press release outlines the British Library’s support for the consultation and for Plan S, along with their concerns over areas that they believe require further clarification. The full response was published in the British Library’s research repository.

We at Open Pharma would like to continue to encourage all our readers to look after themselves and their community and continue to follow advice from their country’s government and health organizations.

Coronavirus mental health and wellbeing resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

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