An open-access history: the world according to Smits

Read the full story in Nature.

The Plan S architect, scourge of paywalls, reveals how the policy sausage got made.

Making the collective knowledge of chemistry open and machine actionable

Jablonka, K.M., Patiny, L. & Smit, B. (2022). “Making the collective knowledge of chemistry open and machine actionable.” Nature Chemistry 14, 365–376.

Abstract: Large amounts of data are generated in chemistry labs—nearly all instruments record data in a digital form, yet a considerable proportion is also captured non-digitally and reported in ways non-accessible to both humans and their computational agents. Chemical research is still largely centred around paper-based lab notebooks, and the publication of data is often more an afterthought than an integral part of the process. Here we argue that a modular open-science platform for chemistry would be beneficial not only for data-mining studies but also, well beyond that, for the entire chemistry community. Much progress has been made over the past few years in developing technologies such as electronic lab notebooks that aim to address data-management concerns. This will help make chemical data reusable, however it is only one step. We highlight the importance of centring open-science initiatives around open, machine-actionable data and emphasize that most of the required technologies already exist—we only need to connect, polish and embrace them.

Open science, done wrong, will compound inequities

Read the full story in Nature.

Open science is a vague mix of ideals. Overall, advocates aim to increase transparency, accountability, equity and collaboration in knowledge production by increasing access to research results, articles, methods and tools. This means that data and protocols should be freely shared in high-quality repositories and research articles should be available without subscriptions or reading fees…

Failing to address structural inequalities directly means that the advantages of those who are already privileged will grow, especially given that they have the most influence over how open science is implemented.

Study reveals strong demand for open-access science

Read the full story from Georgia Tech.

While a dominant narrative of American life paints a bleak picture of poorly informed internet partisans duking it out over a landscape denuded of anything resembling truth or reality, a new study from the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy offers a different take while also advancing the use of machine learning in the social sciences and an understanding of the importance of open-access, science-based information to everyday Americans.

The study, published Feb. 23, 2022, in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analyzed the reasons for 1.6 million downloads of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) consensus reports, considered among the highest credibility science-based literature.

MIT Press reveals open monograph model

Read the full story at Research Information.

The MIT Press Open Monograph Model: Direct to Open, a white paper published by Chain Bridge Group and the MIT Press, describes a collective model for supporting the open dissemination of scholarly monographs. The report examines the context for designing the framework and explains the logic behind the model’s design.

The IEA wants to make their data available to the public – now it is on governments of the world’s rich countries to make this happen

Read the full story at Our World in Data.

We are just one step away from unlocking the world’s energy data for everyone. This would be a massive achievement for progress on energy and climate.

Why scientific journals should become more accessible to the general public

Read the full story at EuroScientist.

As both real information and fake news become increasingly available online, the scientific community is looking for ways to keep misinformation at bay. Scientific journals of all types regularly publish peer-reviewed scientific research and articles that have been vetted for accuracy. Peer review is a form of self-regulation, fostering accountability and an open dialogue, no matter the subject at hand. 

Unfortunately, however, the bulk of online scientific journals are monetized, restricting their readers in the name of profits. This is a disservice to the general public, who may be unable to access peer-reviewed articles yet are bombarded with misinformation that’s free to access. For the sake of public health and to help curb the spread of misinformation, scientific journals should be more widely accessible to the general public. Here’s what you need to know about the value of open access, and how scientific journals can go about making their writing more accessible.

Promoting Open Science: A Holistic Approach to Changing Behaviour

Samuel G. Robson, Myriam A. Baum, Jennifer L. Beaudry, Julia Beitner, Hilmar Brohmer, Jason M. Chin, Katarzyna Jasko, Chrystyna D. Kouros, Ruben E. Laukkonen, David Moreau, Rachel A. Searston, Heleen A. Slagter, Niklas K. Steffens, Jason M. Tangen, Amberyn Thomas; “Promoting Open Science: A Holistic Approach to Changing Behaviour.” Collabra: Psychology 4 January 2021; 7 (1): 30137. doi:

Abstract: In this article, we provide a toolbox of recommendations and resources for those aspiring to promote the uptake of open scientific practices. Open Science encompasses a range of behaviours that aim to improve the transparency of scientific research. This paper is divided into seven sections, each devoted to different groups or institutions in the research ecosystem: colleagues, students, departments and faculties, universities, academic libraries, journals, and funders. We describe the behavioural influences and incentives for each of these stakeholders as well as changes they can make to foster Open Science. Our primary goal, however, is to suggest actions that researchers can take to promote these behaviours, inspired by simple principles of behaviour change: make it easy, social, and attractive. In isolation, a small shift in one person’s behaviour may appear to make little difference, but when combined, many shifts can radically alter shared norms and culture. We offer this toolbox to assist individuals and institutions in cultivating a more open research culture.

Creating a campaign to increase open access to research on climate science and biodiversity: A joint initiative of Creative Commons, EIFL and SPARC

Read the full post at Creative Commons.

The Open Society Foundations approved funding for Creative Commons, SPARC and EIFL to lead a global campaign promoting open access to climate and biodiversity research. This is a promising new strategy to encourage governments, foundations, institutes, universities and environmental organizations to use “open” to accelerate progress towards solving the climate crisis and to preserve global biodiversity.

Catherine Stihler, CC’s CEO and a native of Scotland, publicly announced the campaign during her keynote at the University of St Andrews’ Power to the people event and will have the opportunity to announce the campaign at a COP26 fringe event – Open UK: Open Technology for Sustainability – on 11 November. CC is particularly happy to have the opportunity to work closely with our longtime allies in the open access movement to ensure that this effort is truly a global campaign, and hope that this initiative will help to provide a blueprint for future funding of similar collaborative campaigns.

COVID’s lessons for climate, sustainability and more from Our World in Data

Read the full story in Nature.

International agencies need the mandate, funds and expertise to connect information — otherwise pandemics, hunger and unsustainability will go unsolved.