Featuring the latest signatory of Plan S, a think piece outlining the future of scholarly communications as the industry moves towards an open publishing model, the results from a survey on the economic impact of COVID-19 on professional societies, a new policy on price transparency from Gates Open Research and an analysis of figshare metadata on the usage of open research data.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute becomes second US funder to sign on to Plan S via Nature

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has followed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to become the next major US funder to mandate that its researchers publish open access. This policy change comes as the funder joins cOAlition S and aligns with their stance on hybrid journals by agreeing to only pay publication fees for hybrid journals that have committed to transformative agreements. HHMI’s policy change will take effect in January 2022, followed by a year’s grace period.

Kiley 2020: scholarly communications in the COVID-19 era via the British Journal of General Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the moral and ethical need for open access publishing, but the drive for equity in publishing certainly doesn’t begin and end with COVID-19. From disease pandemics such as Ebola to climate change catastrophes and food insecurity, the need for open access and the ramifications of keeping life-saving research behind paywalls are huge. Here, Robert Kiley (Head of Open Research at the Wellcome Trust and Interim cOAlition S Coordinator) outlines the future of scholarly communications as the industry moves towards an open publishing model.

What 2020 could mean for scholarly societies via The Scholarly Kitchen

This year has proven to be a year of uncertainty and unpredictability, and not least so for academic and scholarly societies for whom future revenue streams and business models may be unclear. The McKinley Advisors’ Impact Tracker aimed to provide some clarity on these unknowns by building a picture of the economic impact of COVID-19 on professional societies and trade associations through ‘waves’ of surveys, repeated from April to August 2020. The results of this tracker are presented in this article and, despite the ambiguity in business practices during the pandemic, offer some confidence by predicting a stable year ahead.

Committing to price transparency via Gates Open Research

Following on from the announcement of F1000Research’s new price transparency policy, Michael Markie (Publishing Director at F1000Research) and Ashley Farley (Associate Officer, Knowledge & Research Services at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) discuss journal pricing structures and how the future of article type pricing and price transparency at Gates Open Research aligns with their commitment to the principles of Plan S.

Quarati and Raffaghelli 2020: exploring figshare usage via the Journal of Information Science

This analysis explores the concept of data friction – the slow uptake or underutilization of data – in the context of the figshare repository and associated metrics and metadata. Overall, the authors conclude that most openly available research data are widely underused across scientific domains and that employing open research data practices is not associated with publishing metadata.

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

Coronavirus mental health and well-being resources:

Mind UK

Mental Health Foundation UK

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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