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Regulations, guidelines and other institutional frameworks

Atypon prepares its Literatum and nearly 1000 client websites for GDPR-compliance ahead of deadline
- 22 Jun 2018

Atypon's online publishing platform, Literatum, and nearly 1000 websites it hosts became GDPR-compliant well ahead of the European Union's deadline, enabling Atypon customers to meet GDPR requirements. Atypon's implementation also gives publishers control of how most of those requirements are implemented on their sites.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted by the European Union to safeguard the personal data of all website users. They significantly enhance the security and privacy protections companies must provide for their customers. The regulations affect EU-based companies as well as companies outside of the European Union who do business, or have customers, within its borders.

As part of the GDPR-compliant platform, Literatum provides publishers with special widgets that enable them to give readers the ability to manage their personal data. Publishers can also control and automate the amount of time they retain reader data.

Atypon has upgraded other Literatum security features to further protect customers' content from misuse. Improved abuse monitoring and notifications, and flexible abuse mitigation strategies such as CAPTCHA, enhance protections against content theft. In addition, customers can refine Literatum's bot-detection capabilities via configurable whitelists and blacklists, ensuring readers who have licenses to the content are able to access it.

A future Atypon GDPR-related system improvement - giving readers the option to download all of the data a publisher has collected about them - is aimed at reducing the help desk requests that publishers receive. In addition, planned systems integration capabilities will enable publishers to automatically sync their GDPR-compliant data, such as opt-outs, with third-party marketing systems.

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American Psychological Association launches new website to guide users of APA Style JARS
- 17 May 2018

The American Psychological Association (APA) has launched a website to guide researchers in psychology in using the APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS), which are aimed at enhancing the quality of published research by promoting transparency and facilitating the assessment of rigour.

The APA Style JARS companion website includes frequently asked questions, user-friendly checklists to facilitate the reporting process, information on training and learning opportunities, the history of APA's Journal Article Reporting Standards, and an informational video.

In January 2018, APA released two new sets of reporting standards. The first set applies to quantitative research and is an expansion of standards first issued in 2008. This set focuses on enhancing reproducibility. The second set applies to qualitative and mixed methods research, created in response to the increasing application of these methodologies. This set aims to enhance the assessment of methodological integrity. Both sets of standards and a related editorial are available via open access.

The standards are specific to psychological research and offer guidelines on the information needed in a research article to ensure that the elements included are comprehensible and that the study could be replicated.

The new JARS: recommend the division of hypotheses, analyses and conclusions into primary, secondary and exploratory groupings to allow for a full understanding of quantitative analyses presented in a manuscript and to enhance reproducibility; offer modules for authors reporting on N-of-1 designs, replications, clinical trials, longitudinal studies and observational studies, as well as the analytic methods of structural equation modelling and Bayesian analysis; address the plurality of inquiry traditions, methods and goals, providing guidance on material to include across diverse qualitative research methods; and provide standards for reporting research using mixed methods designs, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative standards.

The American Psychological Association, the non-profit publisher of over 90 psychology journals, books and serial publications, is dedicated to advancing psychology as a science and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare by disseminating psychological knowledge. APA journals are among the most widely circulated, most frequently cited and most often used publications in the behavioural and social sciences.

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European Commission releases recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information
- 08 May 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.

Also welcomed are 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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SAE International and MaaS sign MoU for the creation of integrated mobility standards
- 04 May 2018

SAE International, a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Alliance to support and foster collaborative efforts in creation of guidelines and standards for development of more integrated and seamless mobility services.

Under the MoU, SAE International and MaaS Alliance agree to share knowledge in the shared mobility guidelines and standards development and pursue, where feasible, into coordinated technical efforts and harmonization.

The first SAE shared mobility standard will be 'SAE J3163 Taxonomy and Definitions Related to Shared Mobility and Enabling Technologies.' This recommended practice, slated to be published later this year, will provide a taxonomy for shared modes and related service, operational, and business models.

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New editorials provide updated guidance to authors submitting to the British Journal of Pharmacology
- 17 Apr 2018

New editorials published in the British Journal of Pharmacology provide guidance for authors of papers submitted to the journal, with guidance on how to design and conduct experiments as well as what key information should be provided in methodology and presentation of data. The aim is to improve replication and provide greater confidence for readers that the research is sound and of high quality. All of the editorials are freely accessible.

The Design&Analysis Update follows guidance published in 2015, with simplifications for ease of understanding to make it more straightforward for peer reviewers to check compliance and to facilitate the curation of the journal's efforts to improve standards. The objective is to aid with manuscript preparation and help peer review become more consistent and transparent, generating research articles whose data are more likely to be reproducible. The authors will revisit the guidance in 2020 but will also conduct six-monthly audits to monitor its effects, and introduce new guidance as appropriate.

To further improve reproducibility of research findings, the British Journal of Pharmacology has examined two aspects of data reporting that are the subject of intense debate: (1) the extent to which raw data should be made accessible to readers and (2) the format for presenting the data in a way that reveals qualities of the datasets that underpin the validity of authors' conclusions. The authors provide approaches to data presentation that support transparency recommending scatter plots for presentation where possible.

Finally, the reproducibility of preclinical investigations is inevitably hindered by inadequate transparency regarding methodologies employed. The British Journal of Pharmacology has long since recognised the need for full disclosure and this is reflected by no word count restrictions on methods enabling description in sufficient detail, specifically of tools, cells, animals, instruments, and conditions. The third editorial specifically provides a checklist for authors, reviewers, and editors regarding guidelines for immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. These are used to assess changes in protein expression and serve as primary methodologies for the detection and quantification of molecular signalling pathways and the identification of therapeutic targets.

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