Issue 60


OASPA has issued a Request for Information for the OA Switchboard in order to select a third party software development provider. The deadlines are tight, starting with March 25 to express interest, as the plan is to develop a pilot in 2020. The OA Switchboard aims to be an information exchange between authors, publishers, funders and institutions. is collecting, reviewing and publishing protocols related to work on the novel coronavirus.
Time for NIH to lead on data sharing. This comment in Science asks that a draft data sharing policy at the NIH is made stronger, especially for clinical trials data.


European Commission awards contract for setting up an open access publishing platform to F1000 Research. The platform launch is expected for early 2021.

Publishers make coronavirus (COVID-19) content freely available and reusable. “Publishers have agreed to make their content accessible in machine-readable formats and license it in ways which allow researchers to use text and data-mining and machine-learning technologies on all of the content made available.” It is great to see this initiative by so many publishers, including PLOS.


First in Human: COVID-19 Vaccines & Tales of Phase 1 Clinical Trials Past. Hilda Bastian describes the phase 1 trial that has started this week in Seattle, WA. 

WHO to launch multinational trial to jumpstart search for coronavirus drugs. Four drugs or drug combinations that are already licensed and used for other illnesses will be tested, and at least ten countries have signed up for the trial. A cocktail of anti-HIV drugs already proved to be inefficient in another trial. Any conclusions around the potential of the drugs to be tested (including remdesivir, chloroquine) are speculative at this point.

Towards treating infections, a Sanofi and Regeneron press release describes an upcoming clinical trial in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. The treatment hopes to suppress the inflammatory response in the lungs of severely ill patients.


A message to our community regarding COVID-19. A summary of how we support our community of authors, reviewers, academic editors and readers.


The Berkeley Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases is hosting the virtual 2020 Coronavirus Hackathon. Topics are VOCID-19 diagnostics, low-cost, open source ventilators and Candida auris diagnostics. 25 – 26 March, 2020.

The Beilstein 2020 Open Science Symposium is scheduled for 15 – 17 September, 2020, in Rüdesheim, Germany.