Exploring factors that influence the practice of Open Science by early career health researchers: a mixed methods study

Authors : Ksenija Zečević, Catherine Houghton, Chris Noone, Hopin Lee, Karen Matvienko-Sikar, Elaine Toomey


There is a growing global movement towards open science and ensuring that health research is more transparent. It is vital that the researchers are adequately prepared for this research environment from early in their careers.

However, limited research has been conducted on the barriers and enablers to practicing open science for early career researchers. This study aimed to explore the views, experiences and factors influencing open science practices amongst ECRs working in health research.


Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of ECRs working in health research. Participants also completed surveys regarding the factors influencing open science practices. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data and descriptive statistical analyses were used to analyse survey data.


14 ECRs participated. Two main themes were identified from interview data; Valuing Open Science and Creating a Culture for Open Science. Within ‘Valuing Open Science’, participants spoke about the conceptualisation of open science to be open across the entire research cycle, and important for producing better and more impactful research for patients and the public.

Within ‘Creating a Culture of Open Science’ participants spoke about a number of factors influencing their practice of open science. These included cultural and academic pressures, the positives and negatives of increased accountability and transparency, and the need for more training and supporting resources to facilitate open science practices.


ECRs see the importance of open science for beneficially impacting patient and public health but many feel that they are not fully supported to practice open science.

Resources and supports including education and training are needed, as are better incentives for open science activities. Crucially, tangible engagement from institutions, funders and researchers is needed to facilitate the development of an open science culture.

URL : Exploring factors that influence the practice of Open Science by early career health researchers: a mixed methods study

An analysis of use statistics of electronic papers in a Korean scholarly information repository

Authors : Jayhoon Kim, Su-yeong Bae, Hyekyong Hwang, Sung-Seok Ko


This study aimed to analyse the current use status of Korean scholarly papers accessible in the repository of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information in order to assess the economic validity of the maintenance and operation of the repository.


This study used the modified historical cost method and performed regression analysis on the use of Korean scholarly papers by year and subject area.


The development cost of the repository and the use volumes were analysed based on 1,154,549 Korean scholarly papers deposited in the Institute repository.


Approximately 86% of the deposited papers were downloaded at least once and on average, a paper was downloaded over twenty-six times. Regression analysis showed that the ratio of use of currently deposited papers is likely to decrease by 7.6% annually, as new ones are added.


The need to manage currently deposited papers for at least thirteen years into the future and provide empirical proof that the repository has contributed to Korean researchers conducting research and development in the fields of science and technology. The benefit-cost ratio was above nineteen, confirming the economic validity of the repository.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.47989/irpaper892

Investigating the division of scientific labor using the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)

Authors : Vincent Larivière, David Pontille, Cassidy R. Sugimoto

Contributorship statements were introduced by scholarly journals in the late 1990s to provide more details on the specific contributions made by authors to research papers.

After more than a decade of idiosyncratic taxonomies by journals, a partnership between medical journals and standards organizations has led to the establishment, in 2015, of the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT), which provides a standardized set of 14 research contributions.

Using the data from Public Library of Science (PLOS) journals over the 2017–2018 period (N = 30,054 papers), this paper analyzes how research contributions are divided across research teams, focusing on the association between division of labor and number of authors, and authors’ position and specific contributions.

It also assesses whether some contributions are more likely to be performed in conjunction with others and examines how the new taxonomy provides greater insight into the gendered nature of labor division. The paper concludes with a discussion of results with respect to current issues in research evaluation, science policy, and responsible research practices.

URL : Investigating the division of scientific labor using the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00097

The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

Authors : Nicholas Fraser, Liam Brierley, Gautam Dey, Jessica K. Polka, Máté Pálfy, Federico Nann, Jonathon Alexis Coates

The world continues to face a life-threatening viral pandemic. The virus underlying the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused over 98 million confirmed cases and 2.2 million deaths since January 2020.

Although the most recent respiratory viral pandemic swept the globe only a decade ago, the way science operates and responds to current events has experienced a cultural shift in the interim.

The scientific community has responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing over 125,000 COVID-19–related scientific articles within 10 months of the first confirmed case, of which more than 30,000 were hosted by preprint servers.

We focused our analysis on bioRxiv and medRxiv, 2 growing preprint servers for biomedical research, investigating the attributes of COVID-19 preprints, their access and usage rates, as well as characteristics of their propagation on online platforms.

Our data provide evidence for increased scientific and public engagement with preprints related to COVID-19 (COVID-19 preprints are accessed more, cited more, and shared more on various online platforms than non-COVID-19 preprints), as well as changes in the use of preprints by journalists and policymakers.

We also find evidence for changes in preprinting and publishing behaviour: COVID-19 preprints are shorter and reviewed faster.

Our results highlight the unprecedented role of preprints and preprint servers in the dissemination of COVID-19 science and the impact of the pandemic on the scientific communication landscape.

URL : The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000959

For how long and with what relevance do genetics articles retracted due to research misconduct remain active in the scientific literature

Authors : Rafael Dal-Ré, Carmen Ayuso

We aimed to quantify the number of pre- and post-retraction citations obtained by genetics articles retracted due to research misconduct. All retraction notices available in the Retraction Watch database for genetics articles published in 1970–2016 were assessed.

The reasons for retraction were fabrication/falsification and plagiarism. The endpoints were the number of citations of retracted articles and when and how journals reported on retractions and whether this was published on PubMed.

Four hundred and sixty retracted genetics articles were cited 34,487 times; 7,945 (23%) were post-retraction citations. Median time to retraction and time to last citation were 3.2 and 3 years, respectively. Most (96%) had a PubMed retraction notice, One percent of these were totally removed from journal websites altogether, and 4% had no information available on either the online or PDF versions.

Ninety percent of citations were from articles retracted due to falsification/fabrication. The percentage of post-retraction citations was significantly higher in the case of plagiarism (42%) than in the case of fabrication/falsification (21.5%) (p<0.001). Median time to retraction was shorter (1.3 years) in the case of plagiarism than for fabrication/falsification (4.8 years, p<0.001).

The retraction was more frequently reported in the PDFs (70%) for the fabrication/falsification cases than for the plagiarism cases (43%, p<0.001). The highest rate of retracted papers due to falsification/fabrication was among authors in the USA, and the highest rate for plagiarism was in China.

Although most retractions were appropriately handled by journals, the gravest issue was that median time to retraction for articles retracted for falsification/fabrication was nearly 5 years, earning close to 6800 post-retraction citations. Journals should implement processes to speed-up the retraction process that will help to minimize post-retraction citations.

URL : For how long and with what relevance do genetics articles retracted due to research misconduct remain active in the scientific literature

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2020.1835479

Requiem for impact factors and high publication charges

Authors : Chris R Triggle, Ross MacDonald, David J. Triggle, Donald Grierson

Journal impact factors, publication charges and assessment of quality and accuracy of scientific research are critical for researchers, managers, funders, policy makers, and society. Editors and publishers compete for impact factor rankings, to demonstrate how important their journals are, and researchers strive to publish in perceived top journals, despite high publication and access charges.

This raises questions of how top journals are identified, whether assessments of impacts are accurate and whether high publication charges borne by the research community are justified, bearing in mind that they also collectively provide free peer-review to the publishers.

Although traditional journals accelerated peer review and publication during the COVID-19 pandemic, preprint servers made a greater impact with over 30,000 open access articles becoming available and accelerating a trend already seen in other fields of research.

We review and comment on the advantages and disadvantages of a range of assessment methods and the way in which they are used by researchers, managers, employers and publishers.

We argue that new approaches to assessment are required to provide a realistic and comprehensive measure of the value of research and journals and we support open access publishing at a modest, affordable price to benefit research producers and consumers.

URL : Requiem for impact factors and high publication charges

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2021.1909481

Open Research Data and Open Peer Review: Perceptions of a Medical and Health Sciences Community in Greece

Authors : Eirini Delikoura, Dimitrios Kouis

Recently significant initiatives have been launched for the dissemination of Open Access as part of the Open Science movement. Nevertheless, two other major pillars of Open Science such as Open Research Data (ORD) and Open Peer Review (OPR) are still in an early stage of development among the communities of researchers and stakeholders.

The present study sought to unveil the perceptions of a medical and health sciences community about these issues. Through the investigation of researchers‘ attitudes, valuable conclusions can be drawn, especially in the field of medicine and health sciences, where an explosive growth of scientific publishing exists.

A quantitative survey was conducted based on a structured questionnaire, with 179 valid responses. The participants in the survey agreed with the Open Peer Review principles. However, they ignored basic terms like FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and appeared incentivized to permit the exploitation of their data.

Regarding Open Peer Review (OPR), participants expressed their agreement, implying their support for a trustworthy evaluation system.

Conclusively, researchers need to receive proper training for both Open Research Data principles and Open Peer Review processes which combined with a reformed evaluation system will enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities that arise from the new scholarly publishing and communication landscape.

URL : Open Research Data and Open Peer Review: Perceptions of a Medical and Health Sciences Community in Greece

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications9020014