Issue 72


The open scholarship ecosystem faces collapse; it’s also our best hope for a more resilient future. Kaitlin Thaney lays out some of the challenges that scholarly systems are facing from the COVID pandemic and economic crisis, and how an open infrastructure is key to resilience.

ASAPbio are running a 5-minute survey on the challenges and benefits of preprints and are seeking feedback from anyone that creates, hosts or consumes preprints. Deadline is July 15.


Jisc and Universities UK call for publishers to reduce their fees to maintain access to essential teaching and learning materials. The universities are seeking a 25% reduction in fees in light of the financial losses caused by the pandemic.

The Royal Society of Chemistry has published a framework for action in scientific publishing towards better inclusion and diversity.

Springer Nature and UC Strike Largest Open-Access Deal in US. The deal allows researchers of the University of California system to read articles and to publish open access in around 2,700 journals (excluding Nature titles). The agreement is noteworthy also for its multi-payer model, where parts of the APCs is expected to be covered by research grants. A draft of the deal has been published here, with more context from the UC on their blog.

On the back of the UC deal, Wired has run a report on the dismantling of paywalls more broadly: Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research.

Research Square to expand its In Review integration to Nature Research journals. Authors of Nature-branded journals will have the opportunity to have their preprints posted to Research Square’s commercial preprint service.


A clinical trial has found dexamethasone to be effective in reducing deaths of patients with severe COVID. “In patients who needed to be on a ventilator, dexamethasone reduced the death rate by 35%, meaning that doctors would prevent one death by treating eight ventilated patients. In those who needed oxygen but were not ventilated, the death rate was reduced 20%, meaning doctors would need to treat 25 patients to save one life. Both results were statistically significant.” The results have not yet been made available as preprint or been published, and still need to be scrutinized. This fast public notification has been foreseen in the clinical trial protocol published on the Recovery Trial website in instances where the results from the trial are sufficiently profound to suggest a change in national and global treatment strategy. 


Science and racism – Q&A with Angela Saini. Organized by Imperial College, and open to all with registration. On Wednesday, 1 July 2020, at 4.15 pm BST.