Innovation

How the knowledge and ideas produced during research can translate into applications that would ultimately have an impact on people and society

Evidence-based safety science is nigh

To date, most toxicology tests have not been validated but they are still mandated by regulatory agencies. The question is to find suitable ways of modernising toxicology testing in the 21st century in a structured, consistent, transparent way. In this article, Thomas Hartung, Founder Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC), at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues, examine what remains to be done to address the mounting pressure exerted on industries and food and drug regulators worldwide to bring their decision-making process up-to-date with modern science. This calls for the use of a rigorous appraisal of the value of past studies under the umbrella of what has been dubbed evidence-based medicine (EBM), to be adapted in toxicology, to guarantee the safety of drug and consumer products. Read more [...]

Thoughtful debate is losing ground over appearance

Science may be opening up, but there are still areas that researchers would like to see remain private. Indeed, under the auspices of open science, scientists are increasingly expected to present a virtual projection of who they are. Appearance has gained an unprecedented level of importance. Scientists who do not play along open themselves to being mistreated or misunderstood. Living in a world of social media network means that scientists’ every utterance is recorded, dissected and analysed. Unfortunately, researchers have come to this game unprepared and without the type of training that politicians typically benefit from. Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt has had a bitter experience in this new era. Read more [...]

A new kind of science: research in the age of big data

What is unique about research in the era of Science 2.0? For one, it opens up important new methods of discovery. But the potential gains offered by technology can only be fully realised if research becomes open. This requires scientists to share more than ever before. And this calls for a system where all contributions, down to the most minute, are given proper credit. Welcome to the era of the fourth paradigm of research! Read more [...]

The day when science is truly open

One day, we can imagine that science will truly be open. Before we reach that stage, however, a number of issues have to be tackled. Particularly, when it comes to transparency, more suitable evaluation giving adequate credit for researchers involved in contributing to all aspects of the scientific process, most of which were unaccounted for until now, and optimum use of the availability of very large sets of data. Ultimately, life as a scientist in the era of web 2.0 is bound to change beyond recognition. Read more [...]

Open Science helps researchers get the impact they deserve

Scholarly publishing is moving towards increased openness and transparency. Yet, scientists face many choices when publishing their work in academic journals—particularly with the rise of mega-journals—and this is changing the dynamic of the ‘publish or perish’ game. In fact, the recent developments make it easier for researchers to publish all their work with wider reach and improved lifespan, so that the science community make optimal use of all findings. This ultimately will only increase an article’s overall impact. Read more [...]

Raising the bar for national language open access journals

Latin America is a land of many opportunities. Particularly, in the field of publishing as open access encompass 25% of the research published there. This is due to the remarkable work of SciELO, which has provided a methodology and technological platform to make it possible for national open access journals to be federated across the region. Besides, it has contributed to make that research more easily discoverable via the likes of Google Scholar. Abel Packer tells the story of SciELO and his refreshing Latin American perspective of the world of publishing and his initiative contributes to further developing Open Science. Read more [...]

Reward time for reproducibility

The debate about reproducibility studies is becoming more and more high-profile. The open data movement is helping science become more reproducible but there is still scant reward - academic or financial - for scientists who try to reproduce published science. Reproducibility studies, and increasingly post-publication peer-review, are at the heart of scientific research and such work should be counted as a positive factor in academic evaluations. Here we find out how that could work. Read more [...]

Data sharing shifts scientific culture

Reproducibility of research is at the heart of science. However, old habits die hard. And the custom of making all data fully available so that others can reproduce them is not yet fully ingrained in scientists' modus operandi. Some likely changes that may encourage data sharing include the introduction of training modules on good sharing practice and the practice of crediting the author of the original data set used in new work. These could go a long way towards unlocking the reproducibility challenge. Read more [...]

The virtual road to recovering trust in academic publishing

The ongoing opposition between the scientific community and science publishers is evolving. The latter have tarnished their reputation on the count of greed and inability to give back to the community. Now, however, grassroots innovators and legacy publishers have started to develop tech-centric solutions to better serve the community. These could soon make a noticeable difference to the scientific process itself and bring tangible benefits to scientists. Time will tell whether the tide will turn and trust between the protagonists will return. Read more [...]