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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
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Springer Nature calls for cOAlition S policy to be evidence-based and focus on stimulating 'demand' and 'supply'
- 12 Feb 2019

Springer Nature is strongly supportive of Plan S's goal to accelerate the adoption of Open Access (OA). The global OA publisher has called on cOAlition S participants to put evidencing and promoting the benefits of OA at the heart of their strategy as one of six recommendations it believes funding bodies worldwide need to adopt in order for full open access to become a reality.

Research undertaken by Springer Nature shows that while there are proven benefits in publishing OA, including increased citations, increased downloads and wider impact, authors are still not routinely choosing to publish OA for often valid reasons. Springer Nature has demonstrated that when innovative transformative deals are in place, a wide range of journals available from which authors can choose and the benefits of OA strongly promoted, then accelerated OA transition is not only possible but very successful. In the four most mature countries which have Read and Publish deals with Springer Nature, OA penetration rates have reached 73-90% in only three years.

As one of the world's largest OA publishers, and with knowledge gained from being a first mover in this field, Springer Nature is very aware of the challenges that need to be overcome on the demand and supply side - namely the lack of global cooperation on funder policies, academic disciplines lacking OA resources, funding flows in flux, and crucially an author community that does not yet view publishing OA as a priority. Therefore, Springer Nature is calling on cOAlition S funders to commit to undertake research to demonstrate the benefits of OA and the promotion of it to increase author and other funder take up; commit to make transformative deals, such as Publish and Read deals, a key part of Plan S given their proven ability to drive growth in OA and within these deals and to remove its requirement for publishers to commit to 'flip' hybrid journals to OA in the near future; rethink more broadly its opposition to hybrid journals at a time when many academic disciplines and many geographic regions are not yet fully supportive of Gold OA; remove the requirement to provide APC waivers for middle income countries such as China which is the largest publisher of academic research in the world and the second largest investor in R&D; recognise that highly selective journals and those with significant levels of non-primary research content need to be treated differently; and support platforms providing early access to primary research.

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SPARC applauds Congressional passage of the OPEN Government Data Act
- 27 Dec 2018

SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, has applauded Congressional passage of the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act. The bill, which is included as Title II of the broader Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, requires federal agencies to publish government data in machine-readable and open formats and use open licenses.

This bill will make information generated by the federal government more accessible and transparent to entrepreneurs, researchers, and others who can use those files - and in doing so, will generate new services and products, build businesses and create jobs.

In addition to assuring that government data is available to the public by default, the OPEN Government Data Act directs agencies to support innovative uses of government data, adopt consistent data practices across government, and develop best practices for Open Data. It also provides much-needed clarity on important foundational policy elements, such as providing clear definitions of covered data and open licenses. And just as critically, it codifies key aspects of President Obama's 2013 landmark Executive Order on Open Data into permanent statute.

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BMC launches formal portable peer review policy on BMC Biology
- 18 Dec 2018

BMC, the first publisher to openly post named peer reviewer reports alongside articles, has announced the launch of a formal portable peer review policy on BMC Biology. The policy aims to speed up the peer review process and decrease waste in publishing.

'Portable peer review' is the idea that if a manuscript is rejected from a journal for reasons other than being scientifically unsound (for example, perhaps the subject matter does not fit the journal's remit) the peer review reports can be transferred elsewhere and re-used by others.

BMC Biology has for years supported portable peer review practices, and recently also joined the NPRC alliance, a consortium of more than 60 journals committed to improving peer review in neuroscience.

The new Transfers and Portable Reviews Policy can be found on the BMC Biology website.

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IEEE announces retraction of 29 articles published in IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility from 2017 to 2018
- 21 Nov 2018

Technical professional organisation IEEE is retracting 29 articles that were published in IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility from 2017 to 2018 because of violations of IEEE policy discovered in the peer review process of those articles. IEEE requires strict adherence to its policies, and will issue retractions when warranted.

In addition, the IEEE Board of Directors has established a committee to examine all aspects of peer review practice across the organisation and make recommendations for improvement. The findings of the committee will be published upon the conclusion of the committee's review.

Earlier this year, IEEE received an allegation of misconduct in the peer review process for IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility. An extensive investigation found evidence of systematic violation of IEEE's policies governing peer review of articles. Three volunteer editors identified during the investigation as involved in the misconduct have been permanently excluded from IEEE membership. They have been prohibited from publishing with IEEE in the future and no longer hold any positions on an IEEE publication.

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OpenAIRE welcomes EC's new sets of recommendations to Member States
- 15 Oct 2018

The European Commission has released a new set of recommendations to the Member States that offer guidance and propose the best way to implement and support open science practices. The new recommendations include sections on incentives, rewards and require action plans from member states with concrete and measurable objectives. They are to replace the recommendations of 2012 which set out clear guidelines as to how publically funded work should be made openly and freely available. This was followed by a robust mandate regarding the EC H2020 open access policy requirements, in which, as well as its many other activities in Open Science, OpenAIRE has played a strong and informed part, especially in its outreach activity. The social infrastructure that comprises National Open Access Desks (NOADs) in each Member State (and beyond) ensures an effective support mechanism for the mandate and implementation of the recommendations.

OpenAIRE welcomes these new sets of recommendations, and the commitment to open science that the EC wishes to promote among Member States. OpenAIRE has embraced these changes already by being active in these areas in the new phase of its project funding, OpenAIRE Advance.

The new recommendations take into account the changing contexts, namely the concept of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the Digital Single Market, as well as other components of an open science landscape. OpenAIRE is already active in the early stages of EOSC via a number of concerted actions such as providing a federated suite of core services which enable greater convergence with EOSC, integrating research infrastructures into the OpenAIRE environment and outreach to the global scientific community.

OpenAIRE also welcomes the new set of measures by the EC to increase the free-flow of data, thereby recognising its value as a key enabler of innovation and growth in Europe and indeed beyond. The call to adopt these further principles for the greater sharing of research outputs prepares the groundwork for the next funding phase after H2020 and the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud.

These recommendations can reach their full potential in a joined-up infrastructure environment via: interoperability of infrastructures; multi-stakeholder dialogue; supporting FAIR data uptake; developing scholarly commons; skilling and training potential; support for incentives and rewards; and more transparency.

OpenAIRE is willing and well-placed via its network of NOADs to support this renewed set of recommendations. However, it is important that the community supports these recommendations via a synchronised set of open science policies within and between Member States, and their corresponding research communities and infrastructures. OpenAIRE can help to fulfil its potential in supporting coordinated actions across policymakers, institutions, funders, research recommendations provided a joined-up approach to maximise the rewards and impacts of science.

A concerted effort should be made to strengthen a linked open science technological and legislative environment that covers all research outputs from all phases of the research life-cycle (data, publications, software, methods, protocols etc) and to support a cultural change among researchers as well as institutional change in research practice within academic institutions and funders towards open science.

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