Issue 77


Open Science practices in Africa. An update from the LIBSENSE initiative, formed by African libraries and other research institutions in support of open science and research. Initiatives include the development of open access policies and of repositories and open access journals. There is an impressive amount of activity across the continent, as shown for example in the summary slide deck from a recent workshop.

Microsoft’s take on open data. Their Associate General Counsel for Open Innovation provides a commercial angle on the topic from the tech industry. How can consumer’s private data be analyzed without impacting privacy? One solution described to studying confidential data is a secure platform that executes code on data in the cloud without granting access to individual raw data. Another is the usual scheme of adding noise and access limits to raw datah. To what end such analyses are performed is of course another question.

Persistent identifiers and Open Access in the UK: The way forward. A survey by JISC to evaluate the UK research community’s awareness and use of persistent identifiers. Closes August 21. See also the presentations from a related webinar in June and a blog post by Alice Meadows in the Scholarly Kitchen.

How the COVID-19 crisis has prompted a revolution in scientific publishing. Dario Taraborelli of CZI on the importance of preprints. “[…] this shift requires us all to think beyond formal papers and manuscripts as the only units of scientific knowledge, and to be more critical consumers of research.”

Reagent Repositories Are Speeding up Science During the Pandemic. Posted on the Addgene blog, this post explores the role of various reagent repositories in facilitating access to shareable materials across labs.


Web of Science’s Nandita Quaderi on the suppression of journals in their citation reports for unusual levels of self-citations. The guest post in Retraction Watch addresses the reversal of suppressing two taxonomy journals, a publishing area where there is a natural high rate of self-referencing.

Modelling Overlay Peer Review Processes with Linked Data Notifications. COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, is seeking feedback on a model that allows content to be pulled from repositories and preprint servers to journal sites. The aim here is an overlay-type of peer review that provides a feedback mechanism from the journal back to the originator, so that journal submissions can be coordinated. 

Plan S compliant transformative journals are now listed on the cOAlition S web site. The Company of Biologists is the first publisher to have journals confirmed on that list.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences Library has released a database with APC and other journal information. Called Go OA, it does not appear to be an exhaustive list of journals at this point, but does provide a number of publishing metrics. (in Mandarin)


Research Practices in the wake of COVID-19: Busting open the myths around open data. Springer Nature have released findings from a survey of researchers and the impact of COVID-19 on their research. Not surprisingly, lab-intensive disciplines such as chemistry, biology, medicine or materials science are considerably impacted by shutdowns, whereas social sciences and humanities appear less so. The pandemic will also lead to a higher re-use of data by researchers, their own as well as that of others. Raw data is here.

The University of California, Berkeley is looking at an up to $340M budget shortfall in 2021. have interviewed Richard Harris for a podcast. Harris is the author of Rigor Mortis, a book about reproducibility in the life sciences.


The AIMOS2020 conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science will be held online from December 3 – 4, 2020. 

The call for submissions to the 15th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing is now open until August 31.


Rigetti Computing has received $79M funding as part of a Series C financing. This further boosts the work on cloud-based quantum computing platforms.