5 Must-Reads to Understand How Open Access Can Shape Research on Covid-19

COVID-19 could kill the for-profit science publishing model. That would be a good thing.

by Michael Hilrzik
LA Times, March 3, 2020

“Of all the ways the current coronavirus crisis has upended commonplace routines — such as disrupting global supply chains and forcing workers to stay at home — one of the most positive is how it demonstrates the value of open access to scientific research.”

Coronavirus and Ebola: could open access medical research find a cure?

by Rachael Pells
The Guardian, January 22, 2020

“In other words, hiding research papers behind a subscription paywall – as is the case for an estimated two-thirds of all research – could be killing people. There are countless examples of how failure to share science openly can have a devastating impact on public health.”

‘A completely new culture of doing research.’ Coronavirus outbreak changes how scientists communicate

by Kai Kupferschmidt
Science Magazine, February 26, 2020

Two of the largest biomedical preprint servers, bioRxiv and medRxiv, “are currently getting around 10 papers each day on some aspect of the novel coronavirus,” says John Inglis, head of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, which runs both servers. The deluge “has been a challenge for our small teams … [they] are working evenings and weekends.”


The hunt for a coronavirus cure is showing how science can change for the better

by Xin Xu
The Conversation, February 24, 2020

So while cities are locked down and borders are closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, science is becoming more open. This openness is already making a difference to scientists’ response to the virus and has the potential to change the world.

But it’s not as simple as making every research finding available to anyone for any purpose. Without care and responsibility, there is a danger that open science can be misused or contribute to the spread of misinformation.

Coronavirus outbreak puts ‘open science’ under a microscope

by Sabin Russel
Hutch News Stories, February 13, 2020

Aided by social media, data and scientific chatter are circulating faster and more freely, for better or for worse. In the worst cases, unproven claims can be hijacked by traffickers in fear, sensation and fraud.

Inglis said responsible journalists rely on a network of trusted, expert sources — just as scientists do among their own colleagues — to assess the veracity and importance of preprint research.

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