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Open Access Publishing Forges Ahead in Europe

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A group of national funders, joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council, have announced plans to make Open Access publishing mandatory for recipients of their agencies’ research funding. Marc Schitlz, the President of Science Europe, has authored an article that outlines the path forward for their agencies. PLOS shares in the coalition’s dedication to disseminate scholarly work as rapidly and widely as possible. Because of its potential for impact on our communities, we’ve posted below an advance version of an article that will soon publish simultaneously in PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, and Frontiers in Neuroscience.

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Science Without Publication Paywalls: cOAlition S for the Realisation of Full and Immediate Open Access

Marc Schiltz1*

1 President, Science Europe, Brussels, Belgium

* Marc.Schiltz@fnr.lu

In this Perspective, a group of national funders, joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council, announce plans to make Open Access publishing mandatory for recipients of their agencies’ research funding.

Open Access is Foundational to the Scientific Enterprise

Universality is a fundamental principle of science (the term ‘science’ as used here includes the humanities): only results that can be discussed, challenged, and, where appropriate, tested and reproduced by others qualify as scientific. Science, as an institution of organised criticism, can therefore only function properly if research results are made openly available to the community so that they can be submitted to the test and scrutiny of other researchers. Furthermore, new research builds on established results from previous research. The chain, whereby new scientific discoveries are built on previously established results, can only work optimally if all research results are made openly available to the scientific community.

Publication paywalls are withholding a substantial amount of research results from a large fraction of the scientific community and from society as a whole. This constitutes an absolute anomaly, which hinders the scientific enterprise in its very foundations and hampers its uptake by society. Monetising the access to new and existing research results is profoundly at odds with the ethos of science [1]. There is no longer any justification for this state of affairs to prevail and the subscription-based model of scientific publishing, including its so-called ‘hybrid’ variants, should therefore be terminated. In the 21st century, science publishers should provide a service to help researchers disseminate their results. They may be paid fair value for the services they are providing, but no science should be locked behind paywalls!

A Decisive Step Towards the Realisation of Full Open Access Needs to be Taken Now

Researchers and research funders have a collective duty of care for the science system as a whole. The 2003 Berlin Declaration [2] was a strong manifestation of the science community (researchers and research funders united) to regain ownership of the rules governing the dissemination of scientific information. Science Europe established principles for the transition to Open Access in 2013 [3] but wider overall progress has been slow. In 2016, the EU Ministers of science and innovation, assembled in the Competitiveness Council, resolved that all European scientific publications should be immediately accessible by 2020.

As major public funders of research in Europe, we have a duty of care for the good functioning of the science system (of which we are part), as well as a fiduciary responsibility for the proper usage of the public funds that we are entrusted with. As university and library negotiation teams in several countries (e.g. Germany, France, Sweden) [4,5] are struggling to reach agreements with large publishing houses, we feel that a decisive move towards the realisation of Open Access and the complete elimination of publication paywalls in science should be taken now. The appointment of the Open Access Envoy by the European Commission has accelerated this process.

Hence, driven by our duty of care for the proper functioning of the science system, we have developed Plan S whereby research funders will mandate that access to research publications that are generated through research grants that they allocate, must be fully and immediately open and cannot be monetised in any way (Box 1).

 

Box 1. Plan S. Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.

 

The key principle is as follows:

 

“After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

 

In addition:

–                Authors retain copyright of their publication with no restrictions. All publications must be published under an open license, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution Licence CC BY. In all cases, the license applied should fulfil the requirements defined by the Berlin declaration;

–                The Funders will ensure jointly the establishment of robust criteria and requirements for the services that compliant high quality Open Access journals and Open Access platforms must provide;

–                In case such high quality Open Access journals or platforms do not yet exist, the Funders will in a coordinated way provide incentives to establish these and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary;

–                Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by Funders or universities, not by individual researchers; it is acknowledged that all scientists should be able to publish their work Open Access even if their institutions have limited means;

–                When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe);

–                Funders will ask universities, research organisations, and libraries to align their policies and strategies, notably to ensure transparency;

–                The above principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and books may be longer than 1 January 2020;

–                The importance of open archives and repositories for hosting research outputs is acknowledged because of their long-term archiving function and their potential for editorial innovation;

–                The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles;

–                The Funders will monitor compliance and will sanction non-compliance.

Further Considerations

We recognise that researchers need to be given a maximum of freedom to choose the proper venue for publishing their results and that in some jurisdictions this freedom may be covered by a legal or constitutional protection. However, our collective duty of care is for the science system as a whole, and researchers must realise that they are doing a gross disservice to the institution of science if they continue to report their outcomes in publications that will be locked behind paywalls.

We also understand that researchers may be driven to do so by a misdirected reward system which puts emphasis on the wrong indicators (e.g. journal impact factor). We therefore commit to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science, using the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) [6] as a starting point.

The subscription-based model of scientific publishing emerged at a certain point in the history of science, when research papers needed extensive typesetting, layout design, printing, and when hardcopies of journals needed to be distributed throughout the world. While moving from print to digital, the publishing process still needs services, but the distribution channels have been completely transformed. There is no valid reason to maintain any kind of subscription-based business model for scientific publishing in the digital world, where Open Access dissemination is maximising the impact, visibility, and efficiency of the whole research process. Publishers should provide services that help scientists to review, edit, disseminate, and interlink their work and they may charge fair value for these services in a transparent way. The minimal standards for services expected from publishers are laid down on page 6 of the 2015 ‘Science Europe Principles on Open Access Publisher Services’ [3].

Obviously, our call for immediate Open Access is not compatible with any type of embargo period.

We acknowledge that ‘transformative’ type of agreements, where subscription fees are offset against publication fees, may contribute to accelerate the transition to full Open Access. Therefore, it is acceptable that, during a transition period that should be as short as possible, individual funders may continue to tolerate publications in ‘hybrid’ journals that are covered by such a ‘transformative’ type of agreement. There should be complete transparency in such agreements and their terms and conditions should be fully and publicly disclosed.

We are aware that there may be attempts to misuse the Open Access model of publishing by publishers that provide poor or non-existent editorial services (e.g. the so-called ‘predatory’ publishers). We will therefore support initiatives that establish robust quality criteria for Open Access publishing, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (https://doaj.org) and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) (https://www.doabooks.org).

We note that for monographs and books the transition to Open Access may be longer than 1 January 2020, but as short as possible and respecting the targets already set by the individual research funders.

cOAlition S: Building an Alliance of Funders and Stakeholders

Plan S states the fundamental principles for future Open Access publishing. Science Europe, funders, the European Research Council and the European Commission will work together to clarify and publish implementation details. The plan does not advocate any particular Open Access business model, although it is clear that some of the current models are not compliant. We therefore invite publishers to switch to publication models that comply with these principles.

Plan S was initiated by the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission and further developed by the President of Science Europe and by a group of Heads of national funding organisations. It also drew on substantial input from the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

Today, a group of national funders initiate the alliance cOAlition S (http://scieur.org/coalition-s) to take action towards the implementation of Plan S, and are joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council.

We invite other funding agencies and research councils, as well as stakeholders (notably researchers, universities, libraries, and publishers) to join cOAlition S and thereby contribute to the swift realisation of our vision of science without publication paywalls.

 

References

  1. Merton RK. The Normative Structure of Science. In: Merton RK. The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1973.
  2. Max Planck Society. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. 22 Oct 2003. Available from: https://openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin-Declaration. Cited 29 Aug 2018.
  3. Science Europe. Science Europe Principles on Open Access to Research Publications. Apr 2013 (updated May 2015). Available from: http://scieur.org/opennew. Cited 29 Aug 2018.
  4. Kwon D. Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals. The Scientist. 19 Jul 2018. Available from: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/universities-in-germany-and-sweden-lose-access-to-elsevier-journals–64522. Cited 31 Aug 2018.
  5. Kwon D. French Universities Cancel Subscriptions to Springer Journals. The Scientist. 31 Mar 2018. Available from: https://www.the-scientist.com/daily-news/french-universities-cancel-subscriptions-to-springer-journals-29882. Cited 31 Aug 2018.
  6. San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA Roadmap: A two-year strategic plan for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level. 27 Jun 2018. Available from: https://sfdora.org/2018/06/27/dora-roadmap-a-two-year-strategic-plan-for-advancing-global-research-assessment-reform-at-the-institutional-national-and-funder-level/. Cited 29 Aug 2018.

 

 

Transparency, credit, and peer review

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Yesterday I signed an open letter on behalf of all PLOS journals, alongside 20 other editors representing over 100 publications, to commit to offering transparent peer review options.

Support for publication of reviewer reports has been mounting as part of a greater effort to inform the discussion on peer review practice. Our joint commitment to transparent peer review comes on the heels of a meeting we attended earlier this year organized by HHMI, The Wellcome Trust and ASAPbio. Funders, editors, and publishers came together and agreed that elevating the visibility of peer review is paramount for informed scholarly discussion and early career development. Context for the initiatives is provided today in a Nature commentary.

We are excited to be working alongside so many other journals eager to bring posted reviews to our communities and to help change the way in which we talk about and understand peer review.

How it works

Our approach is to let authors and reviewers decide what level of transparency is right for them on a case by case basis. Authors will choose whether to make the peer review history public at the end of the assessment process for their manuscript. Reviewers will decide whether to reveal their identities or remain anonymous. We encourage authors and reviewers to experiment with the new options.

What’s in it for researchers?

Transparent peer review is a critical first step towards elevating peer review reports as recognized scholarly outputs.

We plan to post peer reviews with a DOI so that it can be cited in the contributor’s CV or referenced as the foundation for further discussion of the work. This is especially critical for early career researchers to be able to demonstrate their varied contributions to their field.

We hope that deeper insight into peer review will strengthen understanding of the scientific record and help future generations of researchers learn about the assessment process.

Ready for change

Before making our decision, we asked our communities what they thought of transparent peer review and surveyed the feedback from other journals that have already implemented or experimented with different forms of transparent review.

In a 2017 survey of our reviewers, 87% of participants said they would be fine with posted reviews. Of the remaining 13%, many indicated that they felt this decision should be left up to the authors, a concern that we’ve taken into account by allowing authors to decide whether they want to publish their peer reviews or not (according to another survey, 45% of them do).

Other journals who offer to post anonymous reviews, including Nature Communications, eLife, and The EMBO Journal, saw little to no difference in reviewer participation rates after implementing similar policies.

We’ll share what we learn

While transparent peer review isn’t a new concept, it hasn’t yet been widely adopted. With over 23,000 research articles published each year in the PLOS family of journals, there is an opportunity for us to affect meaningful change in the way scholarly communities in all disciplines learn about and understand peer review.

We are excited to offer transparent peer review to our contributors. As we move forward, we’ll be analyzing our processes, gathering data, and listening to feedback from our contributors in order to report back to the community.

 

Save the date: CC Global Summit is happening May 9-11 in Lisbon!

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Drumroll, please…. after two successful years in Toronto, Canada, the 2019 Global Summit will be held in Lisbon, Portugal May 9-11 2019. Please save the date!

Since 2015, the CC Summit has nearly doubled in size. We’ve lined up two great venues to host this international event. Workshops, talks, planning sessions, and small group sessions will be held in Museu do Oriente, a vibrant new museum in a refurbished industrial building on the Alcântara Waterfront. Our keynotes and our Friday night party will be held at Cineteatro Capitólio, a major Art Deco cultural landmark that recently reopened its doors. The event will be co-hosted by CC and CC Portugal, and we owe tremendous gratitude to the CC Portugal team for their insight and assistance. We also want to congratulate and thank Teresa Nobre and Timothy Vollmer, our Program Committee Chairs, for stepping up to lead our community planning.

We’ve grown the CC Global Summit every year as hundreds of leading activists, advocates, librarians, educators, lawyers, technologists, and more have joined us for discussion and debate, workshops and planning, talks and community building. It’s a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in the global movement for the commons.

Last year’s stream and keynotes from leading global activists:

Information on programming and how you can get involved coming soon. For updates, subscribe to our Summit mailing list or join us on Slack.

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PLOS Update

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In 2009, we launched PLOS Currents as an experimental platform for rapid communication of non-standard publications. A few communities embraced the experiment enthusiastically from the start, and the contributions of researchers who volunteered as editors and reviewers was fantastic. Over the years, we have seen important applications, for example, in small communities collaborating on rare diseases research in PLOS Currents Huntington Disease, and in rapid communication of preliminary results in the context of disease outbreaks in PLOS Currents Outbreaks. In particular, there was a surge of submissions during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and the 2015-2016 Zika virus outbreak.

However, in recent years the technology supporting this platform has aged rapidly, the user experience has been subpar, and submissions have substantially decreased. We have undertaken a thorough review to understand these concerns, and to evaluate whether PLOS Currents was still meeting our original aims – and the needs of its communities. Our conclusion: it does not. Much has changed in the years since Currents’ launch and we think there are now better ways of serving the original aims. We have therefore made the difficult announcement to cease its publication.

From today, PLOS Currents will no longer accept new submissions. Authors who currently have a submission under review have been contacted with details on their options going forward. All PLOS Currents content will remain available, citable, indexed in PubMed and permanently archived on the PLOS Currents site and publicly archived in PubMed Central.

In assessing how PLOS Currents measured against its original vision we learned three major lessons and a new path forward:

  1. Despite the flexibility of the format and invitations to submit wide-ranging research (e.g., negative results, single experiments, research in progress, protocols, datasets, etc.), the majority of submissions to PLOS Currents were traditional research articles
  2. The platform which underlies PLOS Currents has not evolved as rapidly with the needs of the community it was meant to serve.
  3. A common thread has been the desire to publish rapidly, which was particularly obvious in the case of PLOS Currents Disasters and PLOS Currents Outbreaks. However, since PLOS Currents was launched new publishing tools have emerged that can facilitate the rapid sharing of work.

We have partnered with like-minded organizations to provide more adapted and specialized solutions. Today we offer the option for rapid dissemination across all of our journals through our recent partnership with the preprint server bioRxiv.  We have also partner with other platforms that specialize in specific content types such as protocols.io, an open access repository for laboratory protocols, with customized features for protocols publication, execution, adaptation, and discussion. Through a series of preferred repositories that host specialist dataset and our close collaboration with Dryad and figshare, PLOS champions the sharing of data sets according to the FAIR principles.

We continue to seek partnerships to facilitate the dissemination of research outputs that do not conform to the traditional research article mold. Meanwhile, PLOS ONE has reinforced its commitment to continue to publish negative results and replication and confirmation studies.

To bring together all these features, we have built PLOS Channels, which integrate content from all PLOS titles, the wider literature, preprint servers, blogs, and the other content platforms types described above. Channel Editors curate this content to create a highly-valuable community resource, developed and maintained by communities for communities. By extending beyond a single title or platform for original content, we believe that Channels are well suited to build on the initial objectives of PLOS Currents.

For example, last year, we launched a Disease Forecasting & Surveillance Channel to which one of the Editors of PLOS Currents Outbreaks and a member of our Currents review board already contribute. In May, as the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo worsened, we rapidly launched an Ebola Channel to serve responders. When the WHO announced the end of the outbreak, we paused activity on the Channel but stand ready to activate it, or another channel, as researchers and clinicians mobilize to fight outbreaks as they occur. These are only two examples of the potential we see for Channels to support specific communities.

The initial objectives of PLOS Currents remain vibrantly alive at PLOS and we are enormously grateful to all the PLOS Currents Editors and Reviewers, past and present, who have made this experiment possible. We will continue to work with these communities to find new ways to facilitate communication of research that fit their specific needs.

A warm welcome to three new staff members: Alden Page, Steven Bellamy, and Jami Vass

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Please join CC in extending a warm welcome to three new members of the CC team! On our Product team, Alden Page and Steven Bellamy have joined us as Front End Engineer and Back End Engineer, respectively. On the fundraising and development team, we’re welcoming Jami Vass as Director of Development.

Alden Page is a backend software developer on CC’s Product team and strives to build the infrastructure that will power a rich ecosystem of applications on top of the digital commons, beginning with CC Search.

Prior to joining Creative Commons, Alden developed and operated a real-time market risk management system used by equity derivatives traders at Deutsche Bank. He also has experience contributing to free software, and worked in the ad-tech industry. Alden currently lives in New York City and enjoys cycling in his free time.

Steven Bellamy has over 15 years experience with developing interfaces for the web and architecting JavaScript solutions.

Previously, he worked on enterprise level applications for various startups, the Department of Defense, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). Steven currently lives in Alexandria VA, where he spends much of his time listening to jazz.

 

 

Jami Vass is excited to join the Creative Commons team as Director of Development, where she will lead global fundraising efforts to support CC’s mission. Jami brings over 17 years of diverse fundraising experience to CC.

Formerly, she led development efforts in the Southeast US at the ASPCA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and a Masters Certificate in Nonprofit Management. When Jami is not fundraising, she plays the piano or spends time with her horses.

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Creative Commons awarded $800,000 from Arcadia to support discovery and collaboration in the global commons

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Creative Commons is pleased to announce an award of new funding in the amount of $800,000 over two years from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, in support of CC Search, a Creative Commons technology project designed to maximize discovery and use of openly licensed content in the Commons. Arcadia supports charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment, and promote open access. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $500 million in grants to projects around the world.

The digital commons — made up of over 1.4 billion CC licensed, public domain, and other openly licensed works — is massive, distributed, and growing. The Commons extends well beyond photos and video to include a myriad of content types — from open educational resources (OER) and scientific research to 3D models; from video games to VR landscapes. There is no larger compendium of shared human knowledge and creativity, available to everyone to reuse under simple, permissive terms. Despite the tremendous growth of the Commons and the widespread use of CC licenses, there is no simple user-friendly way to maximize discovery, use, and engagement with all of that content.

CC Search — together with the Commons Metadata Library and the Commons API — will form the Commons Collaborative Archive and Library, a suite of tools for discovery and collaboration. CC aims through the development of this suite of tools to make the global commons of openly licensed content more searchable, usable, and resilient, and to provide essential infrastructure for collaborative online communities. The project elements will feature an index of every openly licensed and public domain work on the web (the Library); an API allowing developers to query the metadata library and to develop services and integrations for content in the Commons; and CC Search, a search engine that harnesses the power of open repositories and allows users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface.

Creative Commons is deeply appreciative of Arcadia’s generous support of this work. Arcadia has previously supported Creative Commons with an award for development of an academic suite of legal tools that work in combination with CC licenses to enable and accelerate Open Access publication and expansion of the commons. We are pleased to build on that work to expand and enhance the discoverability of open resources.

For more information, contact Eric Steuer, Director of Content and Community, at eric@creativecommons.org.

Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, supports charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment, and promote open access. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $500 million in grants to projects around the world.

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Flipping the Switch on a Revitalized CC Network

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I’m excited to share an update on the implementation of the CC Global Network Strategy, and to move forward on an important next step that will, for the first time, put the Network in the hands of the Network: the first meeting of Chapter representatives to the Global Network Council.

We started this process together in 2015, at the Global Summit hosted by CC Korea, in Seoul, South Korea. Many leaders in our community wanted to revitalize our network and help it grow, and it was soon after I had joined CC with a mandate from the Board of Directors to put community back at the center of our work.

The previous affiliate structure was top-down, where each affiliate was selected by CC HQ, and only those with a memorandum of understanding with HQ were permitted to join. The affiliates had only the rights granted by MOU, and their workplans were approved by HQ. While much good work was done, there was a desire from the community to do more, and work more collaboratively. Together, we initiated a community-driven process to evaluate, evolve, and invigorate the network.

A small group of community leaders — both new and longstanding contributors from around the world — formed a strategy committee, chaired by myself and Alek Tarkowski from CC Poland. We designed a global consultation and collaborative design process to create a new network. We commissioned independent research, and a committee of affiliates and community members explored new models and ways of engagement and governance. They reviewed hundreds of comments, and drafted a new strategy, a new charter, and a new code of conduct.

The model, built around a structure of Chapters and a Global Council, was designed by the network, and the members are being approved by the network, for the first time in our history. We decoupled the local teams from institutions to allow leading individuals to join and remain connected no matter where they went. We built clear processes, so that anyone who shared our values and had done work to contribute to the Commons could join. We also added a layer of governance that allows the network to lead the network, with partnership and support from the global organization.

To support these new Chapters, we built a network website to drive engagement and support a connected, active community. CC hired new staff to support local communities and develop a strong global ecosystem. We made our Global Summit an annual event to give us more opportunities to organize and connect. We provided financial support to local projects.

The network decided that each of its members must be endorsed or vouched by two other community members who know them personally and who know their work. It has been quite meaningful to me to be asked to vouch for community members, to share my endorsements of their accomplishments, and to read the statements others write about their colleagues to extoll their virtues and achievements over the years. We have a lot to celebrate, and much more to do.

This is a major shift, and I respect that it comes with some adjustment, especially for longtime affiliates. Change can be difficult and frustrating, and I’m grateful to each of you for working together to make it work.

Today, the new Global Network is growing rapidly, with a dozen formally-established chapters, over 252 individual members and 19 institutional members in 62 countries, and more coming online every day. We are more decentralized, collaborative, and community-led than ever before. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and inspired by the energy and passion for the CC community.

What’s Next?

With many Chapters now established, and many more to come, it’s time to hold the first meeting of the Global Network Council. The meeting will take place in late September or early October. We’ll canvass Chapters on the ideal times and provide lots of advance notice.

If you are in a community that hasn’t set up its Chapter yet, now is the time. Our staff are here to help — it’s a simple process of connecting with the members in your country, hosting an online meeting, and selecting a public lead and a representative to the Global Network Council. For some Chapters, there will be more structure needed, and for others it will be less formal. We’ve produced a guide to help you through the process, and there’s a #network-support channel in the CC Slack to get help from your peers.

Thank you again for all your energy and passion for Creative Commons’ community. In particular, I want to thank the network strategy group, the transition team, and the Interim Membership Council, who have all given their time to help establish the new Network. I also want to single out Claudio Ruiz, Simeon Oriko, Rob Myers, Diane Peters, Sarah Pearson, and George Hari Popescu for their work as staff to support this new strategy.

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CC Certificates courses, OER, and multiple ways to get involved!

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Photo by Lillian Rigling, CC BY 4.0

On July 16, the first four Creative Commons Certificate courses began. Two cohorts of 25 librarians and two cohorts of 25 educators joined us from Bangladesh, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, and the US. Immediately apparent in this group is the diverse experience, impressive expertise, and personal interest participants bring to the courses. Participants have already begun working on assignments and volunteering openly licensed resources they’ve created. We are compiling a list of the participant-shared Open Educational Resources (OER) which we will share at the end of the courses.

As an instructor, I’m humbled and delighted by the chance to learn from so many new colleagues. I look forward to seeing the number of CC-certified, commons experts increase, and the network of “open” advocates grow. We also recognize that the CC Certificate course is not yet available to many people who would like access to it. We aim to increase course accessibility through a scholarship program, language translations, building instructor capacity, and other improvements. We will be working on all of these efforts over the next year.

In the short term, here are some immediate ways you can get involved.

  1. We offer the CC Certificate content to everyone as OER, under the CC BY license, in downloadable, editable file formats on our website. We invite you to reuse and remix the content! Please let us know what content is useful to you and/or how you use it by emailing jennryn@creativecommons.org. Understanding how our shared content is useful to you helps us further advance a culture of sharing and engagement.
  2. We are piloting work with Hypothes.is, a non-profit organization that enables anyone to annotate resources online, to make it simple for everyone to publicly add comments to the CC Certificate content. Join CC Certificate participants in this public forum for annotation of Certificate content. CC will monitor these public annotations to learn how we can make improvements to future iterations of the CC Certificate. Your feedback in this global conversation will help strengthen the course. Get involved on the CC Certificate Resources page, or annotate content directly.
  3. While the CC Certificate is currently sold out for 2018, we will open 2019 course registration in the fall and look forward to sharing additional updates with you as our 2018 courses progress. For example, we will share compiled lists of CC licensed resources and projects participants generate, and invite you to use them for your own learning and advocacy efforts. Follow #cccert on Twitter, join our newsletter and check out our CC Certificate website for updates.

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All the news that’s fit to share: Melody Kramer on CC and the power of media

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By ZMcCune (WMF) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia CommonsMelody Kramer is a media expert with a special gift for uplifting open knowledge and demonstrating the power of the Commons. Previously, she held roles in public media and government and currently works as the Senior Audience Development Manager at Wikimedia. A prolific content producer and media mover and shaker, Kramer is also the Reese News Lab Fellow at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, where she’s completing research to better understand the needs of journalists across North Carolina. She writes a weekly column on the future of news for the Poynter Institute and devoted that column to CC and its necessary role in journalism in 2016.

Melody also runs an email newsletter about creative and magical projects and tweets brilliantly @mkramer.

You wrote in Poynter in March 2016 that “it’s time for news organizations to embrace Creative Commons.” With the events of the past few years and the increasing awareness of so-called “fake” news, do you still feel that way? What’s changed since you wrote that article? What can newsrooms do to leverage the power of Open?
I point to ProPublica as an organization that leverages Creative Commons licensing in an incredibly strategic and smart way. ProPublica is an organization that deeply cares about the impact of their journalism, and they want their journalism to reach the widest audience possible — even if that means that other organizations publish their material under the CC license. But ProPublica also requires organizations to add a snippet of Javascript so that they can track metrics, and also has a list of requirements (none particularly taxing) that ensure reprints are on the up-and-up. In short, this helps fulfill ProPublica’s mission, gives them audiences they might otherwise not have, and does all of this leveraging the power of free and open licensing.

I do not think Creative Commons licensing is right for every news organization or every story published – there are different revenue strategies for every news organization. But for enterprise stories that will deliver a large impact, I think it makes sense to examine whether following ProPublica’s lead makes sense — particularly if showing greater impact can lead to greater funding. (And the uptick in misinformation and disinformation makes getting good, enterprise journalism out to audiences all the more important.)

Publishers should be allowed to determine their own revenue strategy and the way in which others can use their work. Josh Stearns once outlined 52 different revenue strategies for news organizations and many of them (but not all) benefit from having their content freely available to the public.

In your role as Senior Audience Development Manager at Wikimedia, you work to better communicate free and open access to knowledge around the world. How can open movements better communicate our message? How can we leverage our collective power?
It’s a tricky message to convey, and I’m grateful that we’re part of a larger ecosystem of organizations that think deeply about how to talk about this stuff. I really like tools like Choose a License which basically give people the information that they need in a really easy-to-understand way. I’m a big believer in thinking through:

What does someone need to know?
When do they need to know it?
Why?
What’s too much information?

I also look outside of the open ecosystem for really good examples of explaining tough concepts. For example, Khan Academy takes tough academic concepts and creates very easy-to-understand, short videos. I think about their videos a lot.

The hidden labor (particularly by women) in Open is a major issue for the movement. You have a prolific output as a writer and culture maker on the web. How do you balance your personal projects and interests with the work you do for Wikimedia? How do you value your labor in the Commons and make the choice to share? Not to put too fine a point on it, but where do you find the time?
It’s really, really hard. I really love writing and it’s both a passion and a discipline for me — so it is relaxing and enjoyable for me. But I’m also a relatively new mom, and have cut back a bit recently because I don’t always want to be in front of a screen; I want to focus my full attention on my son when I’m not working. In my writing, I try to abide by the philosophy of “good enough.” It would take me a very, very long time to write something perfect that I would be perfectly content and happy about, so I don’t do that. I write “good enough” which gets the point across, but maybe isn’t the most eloquent way of putting something (for the writing I do in my personal time.) And I’ve also started saying no more. I may Skype into something that I previously would attend in person. I might do a phone call or a Hangout instead of something more taxing. Balance is something I’m constantly striving towards (which doesn’t sound very balanced.) It helps that I live in a small town in the South, where a lot of people get off screens to make music and enjoy each other’s company.

What are some CC things you love? What gets you psyched about working on the web these days?
I really find myself missing the old days of the web, when you would stumble down a random rabbit hole and learn about topics like bicycle repair or cheesemaking or advanced math. There were so many syllabi online in those days, and they really helped me with my own coursework (and with just learning material on my own.) I’m always happy to see when professors still put their syllabi online with a CC license. (Example.) It really helps spread knowledge and make it accessible.

What’s psyching me about working on the web these days is how many people seem to be returning to the wild quirky 90s days of the web. I love blogs. I love single purpose sites. They’re increasingly hard to find due to search engines – but I return again and again to sites like Metafilter which surface all sorts of links I wouldn’t otherwise see.

The post All the news that’s fit to share: Melody Kramer on CC and the power of media appeared first on Creative Commons.

We’ve Redesigned the CC License “Legal Code” Pages

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Last week, we launched a redesign of Creative Commons’ various license (aka “legal code”) pages. See one for yourself. In this post, I’ll spell out what the changes are and why we made them.

The most obvious change we made is updating the overall look of the pages so that they resemble the rest of the Creative Commons website, which was redesigned back in September 2016, as well as the CC license “deed” pages (e.g. the CC BY 4.0 deed), which were redesigned in 2017. We’d always intended to pull the design of the license/legal code pages up in line with the deeds, but the deeds took precedence, since they are the most frequently viewed pages on our website. I’m happy to say that we’ve finished the project with this latest design update.

The new design The retired design

Along with this look-and-feel overhaul, we wanted to ensure that the license/legal code pages were more mobile-friendly. The previous design was released well over a decade ago, before the typical web user was likely to be viewing CC licenses in a mobile display. We noticed that reading the text of a CC license was difficult on many types of mobile devices, and it was important to us to fix this. Text and images in the new design automatically adjust to better fit the type of experience you are using to view the license.

We also added a brand new feature–one we liked so much that in tandem with the license page overhaul, we ended up extending it to the deed pages as well. This is the translation menu pulldown tool, also known as the “language switcher.” Previously, to see the content of a license or deed page in another of its translated languages, you would hit a link at the top of the page (“Official translations of this license are available in other languages”) or scroll to get to the very bottom of the page where you would then see a list of the other available languages, each one linked to the corresponding translated page. This worked fine, but we wanted to improve the experience of getting to a new translation. The new translation menu tool sits right at the top right of the license and deed pages and enables you to easily identify which languages the page has been translated into, and more quickly select the one you’d like to view. We also kept the list of translated languages at the bottom of these pages intact, in order to accommodate those who are used to identifying and viewing translations that way.

The new translation menu tool (aka the “language switcher”)

Additionally, we made a handful of smaller changes that are intended to help people better use the licenses. First, the new design includes the website header that is used across the rest of creativecommons.org. The old license design did not include this, making it somewhat difficult for a person who landed on the license page via a search result or a link from an external site to understand where exactly on the web they were. By adding the website header to the license pages, we hope to do a better job contextualizing for people that the license is part of a much larger system, and to give them a much more direct path to learning about Creative Commons generally and getting involved with the CC community.

Lastly, we made two more tweaks focused on improving the experience of using the licenses. There have long been two pieces of text that precede the actual terms of a Creative Commons license on the license pages–a disclaimer at the top followed by a brief list of considerations (the part entitled “Using Creative Commons Public Licenses”). This content is extremely important, but we realized that in the previous design of the pages, it could be tough to differentiate between it and the license terms that follow. In the new design, the disclaimer appears in italics, while the considerations are presented in a truncated style–the first few lines of each of the two considerations appear above a small button that enables you to expand these sections to read more.

We’re excited about these changes and hope that the public finds them useful. A big thank-you to Diane Peters and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, CC’s general counsel and senior counsel, respectively, for all their help in getting our list of changes into shape. Also a huge thanks to the folks at Affinity Bridge, the web development and design firm who helped us take our ideas for these revised pages and make them live.

The post We’ve Redesigned the CC License “Legal Code” Pages appeared first on Creative Commons.

Se årets State of the Commons rapport: Nu 1,4 mia. CC-værker

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Traditionen tro har det globale Creative Commons netværk for nyligt udgivet den årlige rapport State of Commons, som giver en status på væksten i verdens voksende fælled af åbne materialer samt de millioner af mennesker som skaber og bruger dem.

Således kan man nu se State of the Commons 2017 online, som foruden en række flotte datavisualiseringer, der bl.a. forklarer at der nu findes over 1,4 milliarder åbne værker på nettet – fotos, videoer, tekster, musikstykker mv. – men derudover også fremhæver hovedpunkter fra Creative Commons bevægelsens aktiviteter i det forgangne år.

Eksempelvis kan det nævnes at året bød på den hidtil største konference for organisationen og netværket (Creative Commons Global Summit i Toronto), og at et helt nyt program for Creative Commons certificeringer blev lanceret. Det kan også fremhæves at en helt ny CC-søgemaskine, CC Search, blev skudt igang og at netværksstrukturen for det globale community af lokalafdelinger (som vi i Creative Commons Danmark er en del af) blev komplet reformeret og optimeret.

Sidst, men ikke mindst, sætter rapporten også fokus på Creative Commons-netværket øgede aktivitet på aktivistfronten idet der blev gjort en stor indsats for at opponere dels mod TPP-handelsaftalen samt dele af EU’s nye ophavsrettighedsreform.

Dyk ned i State of the Commons 2017 og læs meget mere.

Aperta Source Code is Now Available

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We’re happy to announce that the source code for the Aperta submission system can now be found on GitHub. Aperta has been developed using reliable and modern technologies and the shared code provides an opportunity for both the research communication and open source communities to build on and enhance it.

Moving forward, you will continue to see our commitment to the principles of openness and transparency in our publishing strategies, innovations, policies and partnerships.  In short, we want to help foster an environment conducive to responsible Open Science and be part of the collective effort to propel it into new and exciting territory.

Aperta is a Linux and Mac supported platform for managing the submission and review of research outputs. More information about the system and its capabilities can be found on the APERTA-wiki. Questions about Aperta can be logged in the issue tracker.

Portuguese Translation of 4.0 now available

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In a unique joint translation process, community members from Creative Commons Portugal and Brazil came together to release a single Portuguese translation of the CC 4.0 license suite. Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, and the translation will reach over 220 million Portuguese speakers around the world.

Thank you to our translation team: Teresa Nobre, CC Portugal; Mariana Valente, CC Brazil; Pedro Mizukami, CC Brazil; Luiz Moncau, CC Brazil; and Eduardo Magrani, CC Brazil.

The first draft of the license translation was submitted in July 2014, with a public comment period from November 2014 to January 2015. This month’s translation represents years of work by the Creative Commons Portuguese and Brazilian communities, and marks the 18th translation of 4.0 (with many more to come!)

Parabéns pela tradução, CC Brasil e CC Portugal!

View the translation

Veja a tradução

The post Portuguese Translation of 4.0 now available appeared first on Creative Commons.

European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Gives Green Light to Harmful Link Tax and Pervasive Platform Censorship

Creativecommons.org -

If you’re in the EU, go to saveyourinternet.eu and tell your MEPs to stop the proposal and reopen the debate.

Today, the European Parliament the Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

The outcome reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit powerful rights holders at the expense of the open internet, freedom of expression, and the rights of users and the public interest in the digital environment.

The committee voted 13-12 in favor of Article 11, the provision known as the “link tax,” which grants an additional right to press publishers requiring anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online. Article 11 is ill-suited to address the challenges in supporting quality journalism, and it will further decrease competition and innovation in news delivery. Similar efforts have already failed miserably in Germany and Spain.

The committee voted 15-10 in favor of Article 13, the provision that would require online platforms to monitor their users’ uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering. Article 13 will limit freedom of expression, as the required upload filters won’t be able to tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works under limitations and exceptions. It puts into jeopardy the sharing of video remixes, memes, parody, and code, even works that include openly licensed content.

As Communia reports, the committee voted against nearly all measures that would attempt to grant more rights to users, such as commonsense proposals for limitations and exceptions for freedom of panorama and user generated content. The committee adopted some positive improvements to the provisions having to do with education, access to works in the cultural heritage sector, and in research, but many of the changes are superficial, leaving the underlying effect of the article quite restrained.

Over the last months we contributed to massive online campaigns to #SaveTheLink, stop the #CensorshipMachines, protect education, and promote innovation in research and text and data mining. These efforts were organised by dozens of civil society and digital rights organizations, and hundreds of thousands of people made their voices heard in calling for a more progressive and balanced copyright in the EU.

The fight is not over. EDRi notes that there are several additional steps before the Directive can be fully adopted. In the vote today, the Parliament gave itself a mandate to negotiate a final deal with the EU Council (the EU Member States). But this decision can be challenged in the next plenary meeting (all 751 MEPs), where the Parliament could decide to reopen the copyright reform for debate within the larger forum, thus potentially offering an opportunity to make other changes to the text. This vote would likely happen on July 4.

The work to #FixCopyright in the EU is far from complete. We’ll be there advocating for copyright rules that protects and promotes the commons and the open web. We need your help to make sure that our voice is heard even louder this time.

The post European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Gives Green Light to Harmful Link Tax and Pervasive Platform Censorship appeared first on Creative Commons.

Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Delia Browne and Amy Brand

Creativecommons.org -

Today, CC is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the Board of Directors, both prominent leaders and advocates in their fields. Congratulations to Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press, and Delia Browne, National Copyright Director for the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Education Council and Copyright Advisory Group.

Amy Brand, CC BY

Amy Brand is Director of the MIT Press, one of the largest university presses in the world, and an important figure in open access publishing. The MIT Press is well-known for its publications in emerging fields of scholarship and its pioneering use of technology. Brand’s career spans a wide array of experiences in academia and scholarly communications. She received her doctorate in cognitive science from MIT and has held a number of positions in scholarly communications, publishing, and open information access at MIT, Digital Science, and Harvard before returning to the press in 2015 to serve as director. She is an Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and serves on the boards of Crossref, Duraspace, Altmetric, and Board on Research Data and Information of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She’s currently working on her first documentary film, on women in science.

republica/Gregor Fischer, 08.05.2014 CC-BY-SA 2.0

Delia Browne is a highly respected copyright lawyer and policy advocate who leads the National Copyright Unit (NCU) providing specialist copyright advice to Australian Schools and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes with a focus on the rapidly changing digital teaching environment. A long time member of the Creative Commons Global Network, Delia is the Education Sector Lead of Creative Commons Australia and has attended every Creative Commons Global Summit since 2007 and she was an essential member of the community strategy team that authored CC’s Global Network Strategy. Delia is a strong advocate of the open education movement and has drafted a number of declarations and pieces of legislation including the Cape Town Declaration on Open Education and the Copyright Amendment on Disability Access and Other Measures Act 2017. She is a sought-after speaker and participates in many international conferences and think tanks on Copyright Law Reform and OER. She has represented Creative Commons at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights and is dedicated to furthering the WIPO Limitations and Exception agenda particularly with regard to education. Delia is a co-founder and the President of Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) and a board director of the Australian Digital Alliance. She is also a member of the editorial board of Media and Arts Law Review and has taught Intellectual Property at the University of New Wales, Griffith University and the University of Auckland (her alma mater.)

These two women are excellent additions to our Board of Directors, joining with CC to fulfill our vision for open access to knowledge and a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. We look forward to seeing all that they accomplish in their new appointments.

The post Creative Commons Announces New Board Members: Delia Browne and Amy Brand appeared first on Creative Commons.

Lithuanian translation of 4.0 available for use

Creativecommons.org -

[Public domain or Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsThe Lithuanian translation of the 4.0 CC licenses and CC0 is now completed. Both the licenses and CC0 translation can be viewed on the Creative Commons website.

The 4.0 translations are much anticipated by local heritage institutions as an online tool for evaluation of validity of rights and labelling content in the process of creation. The possibility to link the users directly to CC licenses and tools in Lithuanian is particularly welcome.

The Lithuanian translations were written by volunteer lawyers from the CC Lithuania team: Jurga Gradauskaitė; Rėda Pilipaitė, Paulius Jurčys, and Olegas Juška. The process was supervised by Prof. Vytautas Mizaras from the Faculty of Law at the University of Vilnius, Lithuania.

The CC Lithuania team will proceed with seminars and notifications to let potential users know of the possibility to use 4.0 in their local language and to reinforce the message of the benefits of labeling and sharing content.

The post Lithuanian translation of 4.0 available for use appeared first on Creative Commons.

Act now to stop the EU’s plan to censor the web

Creativecommons.org -

As the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is nearing a vote on the proposed reform of the EU copyright rules, time is running out to make your voice heard. The vote will take place on June 20.

The final copyright directive will have deep and lasting effects on the ability to create and share, to access and use education and research, and to support and grow diverse content platforms and information services. As it stands now, the copyright reform—especially Article 13—is a direct threat to the open web.  

Article 13 is the proposal that would require online platforms to monitor their users’ uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering.

If you’re in the EU go to https://saveyourinternet.eu/ and tell Members of the European Parliament to delete Article 13 from the copyright directive. From the website:

Article 13 will impose widespread censorship of all the content you share online, be it a parody video, a remix, a meme, a blog post, comments on Reddit, a piece of code, livestreaming your gaming experience, or even a link in a tweet.

The filtering requirement violates fundamental rights enshrined in existing EU law, such as the provision in the E-Commerce Directive that prohibits general monitoring obligations for internet platforms.

One example of the negative consequences of Article 13 is that it will limit freedom of expression, as the required upload filters won’t be able to tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works under limitations and exceptions. Article 13 fails to uphold rules that protect the ability of EU citizens to use copyright-protected works in transformative ways. And it puts into jeopardy the sharing of video remixes, memes, parody, and code, even works that include openly licensed content.

Now the European Parliament is the last line of defense that can put the copyright reform back on track—or at least remove the most harmful parts of the draft legislation, particularly Article 13.

To provide a little background, for the last several years the EU has been working on revising its rules on copyright. Ever since the European Commission released its lackluster draft Directive on copyright in 2016, Creative Commons and dozens of organisations have been engaging policymakers to make crucial changes in order to protect user rights and the commons, enable research and education, and promote creativity and business opportunities in the digital market.

A few weeks ago the ambassadors of the EU countries agreed to a version of Article 13 that fails to address the biggest shortcomings of the Commission’s original proposal, and in a number of ways actually makes it worse.

Contact Members of the European Parliament now!

Send your representatives an email, tweet, or phone call before June 20 and tell them you need copyright laws that protect an Internet where you can share news and culture with your friends and family, where you can expect to be treated fairly, and where your rights as EU citizens are protected. Tell them to delete Article 13.

The post Act now to stop the EU’s plan to censor the web appeared first on Creative Commons.

PLOS ONE and Children’s Tumor Foundation partnership announce second cycle of DDIRR Awards

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The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), the largest non-governmental funder of neurofibromatosis (NF) research, and PLOS ONE, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal, are pleased to announce the successful completion of the first funding cycle of the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Report (DDIRR) 2017 Awards, a funder-publisher partnership integrating the Registered Reports model into the grant application process.

Registered Reports pre-determine the research questions, methodology and design of a study to be carried out, and are designed to enhance the rigor, reproducibility and transparency of the science produced. CTF and PLOS ONE partnered together to review the 2017 DDIRR applications and granted three awards: Dr. Andrea McClatchey of Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lei Xu of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Aaron Schindeler from the University of Sydney. The researchers also obtained an in-principle acceptance (IPA) to publication in the journal PLOS ONE. Provided the study is conducted according to plan, acceptance in principle is honored regardless of study outcome – thereby eliminating publication bias and maximizing the transparency of the funded work.

The reports are being placed on the Open Science Framework registered report portal (https://osf.io/rr/), where authors will have the opportunity to make public or embargo their reports until publication of results. The awards have a duration of 12 months and will conclude in May 2019. As soon as results are added to the registered report, PLOS ONE will review compliance with the proposed protocol and publish their results, even if they are negative. By securing publication before they start their research, applicants can eliminate the bias of a result-based approach. The process was designed to maintain independence of funding and publishing decisions, while at the same time optimizing processes, thereby avoiding duplication and preventing research waste.

This new award constitutes an evolution of the Drug Discovery Initiative (DDI) Awards that CTF had introduced in 2006 as a funding program for promising ideas that could lead to larger studies or move drugs into the clinic. Feedback on the new DDIRR program from both applicants and reviewers has been unanimously positive, and the Foundation together with PLOS ONE editors have also announced a new cycle for DDIRR in 2018-2019. The Foundation will invite applicants to submit their proposals starting on September 24, 2018, with the anticipated assignment of new awards in the first quarter of 2019.

“The overall outcome of this first round of DDIRR has been very positive. Reviewers have focused their attention to protocols and study designs, allowing researchers to have their statistics ready for publication,” said Salvatore La Rosa, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “As this particular grant program focuses on hypothesis-testing research, the quality and rigor of the applications are critical to soundly move proof-of-concept experiments from the lab into the clinic. This new program increases our ability to do that.”

“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with CTF on the Registered Reports model for the DDI Awards. We hope this can serve as a model for other funders. The Registered Reports provide researchers with peer reviewed study designs and an in-principle acceptance of the completed study at PLOS ONE. The deposited reports at the Open Science Framework portal ensure full transparency of the research project – a win for everyone involved,” adds Joerg Heber, Editor-in-Chief of PLOS ONE.

Source: First Funding Cycle of the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Report (DDIRR) Awards Announced.

PLOS Responds to Ebola Outbreak with New Channel & Expedited Peer Review

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Early sharing and expedited peer review of relevant research

In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are creating a PLOS Channel for Ebola Research.  The Channel will make it easy for researchers to keep up with developments and important research related to the outbreak. We will work with authors and our editorial boards to provide rapid review and facilitate the responsible dissemination of preprints. We believe these responses are urgently needed during serious and rapidly developing threats to public health.

All relevant articles published across PLOS will be included in the Ebola Channel, alongside major contributions curated from the broader literature. You can also send any questions or content recommendations to ebola@plos.org or tweet us @PLOSChannels using the hashtag #PLOSEbola.

How do I make my Ebola research available quickly?

We’ve created a taskforce to identify editors and reviewers, and to manage an expedited review process across all our journals and platforms.  For authors, we recommend the following:

  • If you want to share a single observation (no more than 1 figure or table with commentary) submit to PLOS Currents: Outbreaks
  • Submit any other research to one of the 7 PLOS journals; all Ebola-related submissions will be prioritized. (Note that fee waiver assistance is available as needed)
  • Share your data and manuscript ahead of submission: large datasets should be deposited in a relevant repository, and manuscripts submitted to a preprint server. Include the DOIs or accession numbers for datasets and preprint in your submission.

In addition to expediting research publications, PLOS believes all data on the Ebola outbreak should be shared as rapidly and openly as possible. We endorse the Wellcome Trust’s statement demanding availability of data and research on Ebola. Editorial consideration of research submissions to PLOS journals will not be prejudiced by the early sharing of data or preprints.

Lessons learned: delivering rapid responses to emergency outbreaks

PLOS saw surges in submissions in previous outbreaks, notably the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and the Zika outbreak of 2015/2016. In each emergency, we provided resources to serve the community. In addition, concerns about data sharing during the 2014 Ebola outbreak led PLOS and other journal editors to issue a joint statement encouraging early data sharing. A recent report in PLOS Medicine showed that, while increased use of preprints in the 2016 Zika outbreak accelerated the dissemination of research results, the proportion of published articles on Zika that were preceded by preprints remained low.

Our shared responsibility in public health emergencies

We believe research, healthcare, and publishing communities have a responsibility to work together to respond rapidly to public health emergencies. PLOS is committed to disseminating new research findings as efficiently and effectively as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate access to your work.

 

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