The response of open access science to the coronavirus

Two open science platforms: Frontiers and Figshare are doing their part in the fight against the virus.

“The Frontiers community is mobilizing to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, Frontiers have launched our Coronavirus Knowledge Hub – here you will find the outputs of several new initiatives intended to coordinate and support the efforts of our community, as we confront the public-health, economic and societal effects of the rapidly spreading disease.

As part of this initiative, Frontiers is assembling many of the world’s leading coronavirus scientists and epidemiologists to participate in the Research Topic: ‘Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Clinical Management and Public Health Response’. This article collection will highlight how interdisciplinary research can provide insights into the COVID-19 epidemic, addressing knowledge gaps and generating evidence for its improved management and control.

Coronavirus Knowledge Hub
A trusted source for the latest science on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Frontiers has also waived Article Processing Charges (APCs) and established a priority peer-review process for manuscripts submitted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will further help ensure robust scientific research becomes openly available as soon as possible, for other researchers to build on and to enable evidence-based decision-making for public authorities worldwide.

As we pull together as a community – calmly, responsibly, and resolutely – during this COVID-19 outbreak, Frontiers is keen to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to send your ideas for new research directions, stakeholder engagement and initiatives around coronavirus and the current global health crisis. Making science open has never been more essential to global well-being and Frontiers thank you for your contribution and dedication”

Figshare is also committed to continuing to provide a platform to share the latest research on an international scale. As such, Figshare will continue to supply and maintain our normal service during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also in a unique position to help the research community during this time so the team has been working on some new initiatives to aid the rapid dissemination of research in any form, be it preprints, datasets, presentations, or software.
The significance of sharing research is vitally important, now more than ever, which is why we want to help in any way we can. To allow researchers to publish any COVID-19 related research, we’re launching a free portal at https://COVID19.figshare.com/.

All researchers will need to do is create an account on Figshare and upload content with COVID-19 as one of the keywords on their metadata form and we’ll pull it into the COVID-19 Open Research Portal.

Please note, if your institution uses Figshare as a data or institutional repository, please continue to use that platform to store and share your COVID-19 research. COVID-19 research stored in institutional Figshare platforms will also be aggregated into https://COVID19.figshare.com.

If you’d like to learn more about the https://COVID19.figshare.com portal or have any questions, please visit the Figshare blog, here or reach out at support@figshare.com.

The beauty of life […] find your smile when you are about to cry

The beauty of life, the beauty of helping each other, especially in difficult times, find your smile when you are about to cry.

A poem by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, 1979.

We plant a seed that will one day grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations
that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation
in realising that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning,
a step along the way,

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Mental illness and even suicides affect the general research community, not just academics, but also senior and early career researchers. Could we do better to prevent this? For instance, by trying to reduce the pressures that can cause emotional and mental issues (Fig. 1). As a better practice than penalties a posterior like this measure.

Some examples of suicides are this lecturer who was hugely overworked or this post-doctoral fellow who felt isolated, unsupported, and profoundly unhappy (Fig. 2); or this talented scientist who was bullied.

Figure 1.
Figure 2.

Scientific consensus on climate for years, but have things changed at all?

The image below belongs to the presentation of Lewandowsky during the EU4facts (Brussels, 2017):

Still the last warning by scientists was made on the 5th of November 2019 in an article from William J Ripple and colleagues, published by BioSciencehttps://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806

Why have not things changed despite the warnings in the last 20 years? What can we do to get politicians into action? What can be done? go on strike? even if it is only for one day?

In case you would like to start helping the conservation of nature and improving our quality of life, see some simple advice (David Suzuki Foundation):

1.Reduce home energy use by 10%·         

2.Choose energy-efficient homes & appliances·         

3.Don’t use pesticides·         

4.Eat meat-free meals one day a week·         

5.Buy locally grown and produced food·        

6.Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle·         

7.Walk, bike, carpool or take transit·        

8.Choose a home close to work or school·         

9.Support alternative transportation

Looking after your self-ie: A guide to finding your balance on and offline

It was launched a free online e-learning resource Looking after your self-ie. The e-learning resource aims to help all social media users build a meaningful, more balanced relationship with platforms where use is conscious and mindful, and the user is in control.

The programme explores a range of different issues including social media’s impact on loneliness, relationships, self-image, self-esteem, sleep, online trolling and bullying.
They are also encouraging all users to share photos of themselves participating in acts of self-care with the hashtag #LookingAfterYourSelfie
Access the e-learning

DANGER! Predatory publishers

When looking for a conference or for a journal to submit your research, be aware of these predatory conferences and journals. Publishing with them is both economic and scientific fraud.

Junior academic faculty are particularly focused on opportunities to publish, given the importance tied to their promotion. They may, therefore, be most susceptible to academic spam emails (ASEs) from predatory publishers, which contain unsolicited requests for publishing manuscripts, presentations at organisation meetings and memberships on editorial boards. There have been documented instances of accepting flawed manuscripts or fake editorial board members” (Wilkinson et al, 2019)

List of predatory publishers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_Academies

List of predatory journals: https://predatoryjournals.com/journals/

You can contribute the name of a predatory journal or publisher, either by
either email themsend them a tweet, or create an issue or pull request for the data files on GitHub. Be sure to include evidence of predatory behavior. They will investigate submissions to verify them, but more information helps them to verify more quickly.

Article for public recognition and Acknowledgements to the reviewers of the journal

Now journals seems to start also publishing a document with the list of reviewers for public recognition and Acknowledgements.

Related to the past post about “Get credit for reviewing manuscripts”

Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Materials in 2018

Materials Editorial Office, 2019 Editorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Materials in 2018. Materials. MDPI, St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland. Published: 8 January 2019, 12, 194; doi:10.3390/ma12010194.

And:

Dear Reader, As we reach the final issue of European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics for 2019, we wish to reflect on another successful year’s … We would like to thank the following individuals who acted as reviewers for European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics in the past 12 months… (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs13318-019-00586-4.pdf)

Pint of Science 2019

Monday 20 May to Wednesday 22 May 

Pint of Science is an annual festival that takes place over three evenings in multiple cities around the world.

The aim is to present fun, interesting and relevant talks and activities based on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public, in a pub setting. For that, researchers prepare fun and engaging talks and demonstrations aimed at a non-specialist, general public audience and based on their real research. 

In Sheffield, topics like Have we got time to waste?, Sound and vision and The future of healthcare, among others, will be represented.

Women & science: movie + discussion

‘El enigma Agustina’ is a 2018 documentary about Agustina Ruiz Dupont, a fictional Spanish scientist that fought to break her way into the male-dominated scientific community of her time (1900-1930). The film is followed by a round table discussion about the topic ‘Women in Science: past, present, and future’, with the leading actors in attendance.

When? Friday 12 Apr 2019, 18:30 until 22:00.
Where?: Muntpunt, De Wolken +5, Munt 6, 1000 Brussels.

Book your place: Here

Organizer: Científicos Españoles en Bélgica (CEBE) in collaboration with FECYT (Fundación Española para la Ciencia Y Tecnología), the Spanish Embassy in Belgium (Spain Arts and Culture) & Muntpunt