Biomedical Institutions Agree on a Set of Open Science Practices to Monitor

Eighty stakeholders from twenty major biomedical research institutions across the globe have agreed upon a list of 19 open science practices to be implemented and monitored. The study, led by Dr. Kelly Cobey, Scientist and Director of the Open Science and Meta Research Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada, forms the basis for the future development of institutional digital dashboards that will display that institution's compliance with open science practices. The study will publish in the open access journal PLOS Biology on January 24th.

Globally, mandates and guidelines relating to open science have grown in recent years. Open science practices including open access publishing, preprints, data sharing, and clinical trial registration help to ensure that research is as transparent, accessible, and useable. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how the traditionally "closed" nature of biomedical research does not serve the global community. To transition to an "open" research ecosystem researchers require training and support. Despite a multitude of a calls and policies that aim to "open up" research, no system to monitor the state of practice at academic institutions currently exists. Monitoring is necessary to track progress over time, but also to identify areas where interventions are needed to change practice. The 19 core open science practices established in this article will help to standardize monitoring globally.

The study describes an iterative process through which stakeholders at institutions communicated to obtain consensus. A three-round Delphi study in which a group of stakeholders voted on potential open science practices to monitor was used. The first two rounds of the Delphi voting took place via electronic surveying, while the final round was completed over two days as a virtual meeting. Participants had the opportunity to comment and anonymously vote on potential practices, and to suggest novel practices to the group. This approach helped to standardize communication and reduce bias. The 19 practices will now be tested in terms of how feasible they are to automate for inclusion in an open source digital dashboard that will be developed for use at biomedical institutions.

"Having an agreed set of open science practices to monitor is an important milestone for the community. Through taking this community-centred approach we hope to develop and make available a tool for biomedical institutions to monitor open science practices," said Dr. Cobey, "Ultimately we need to track open science practices in order to ensure that we are taking timely steps to open up research and to ensure we comply with existing open science mandates."

Cobey adds, "Policy in the absence of monitoring is not effective. We have reached agreement on how to design a digital dashboard to track open science practices to determine if we are doing a good job implementing them or not."

Cobey KD, Haustein S, Brehaut J, Dirnagl U, Franzen DL, Hemkens LG, et al.
Community consensus on core open science practices to monitor in biomedicine. PLoS Biol 21(1): e3001949. 2023. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001949

Most Popular Now

Transforming Drug Discovery with AI

A new AI-powered program will allow researchers to level up their drug discovery efforts. The program, called TopoFormer, was developed by an interdisciplinary team led by Guowei Wei, a Michigan...

We may Soon be Able to Detect Cancer wit…

A new paper in Biology Methods & Protocols, published by Oxford University Press, indicates that it may soon be possible for doctors to use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and...

Maternity Tech Launched to Help NHS Meas…

Health tech provider C2-Ai has formally launched a new 'observatory' system to help hospitals gain a better understanding of risks, outcomes and safety within maternity and neonatal services. Announced at the...

Large Language Models Illuminate a Progr…

This study is led by Prof. Bin Dong (Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research, Peking University) and Prof. Lin Shen (Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational...

Health Innovation East Partners with Cog…

Health Innovation East, the innovation arm of the NHS in the East of England and Cogniss, a no-code ecosystem for digital health solutions, have announced a strategic partnership to launch...

An AI-Powered Wearable System Tracks the…

Scientists at the University of Southern California have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered system to track tiny devices that monitor markers of disease in the gut. Devices using the novel...

"Self-Taught" AI Tool Helps to…

A computer program based on data from nearly a half-million tissue images and powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can accurately diagnose cases of adenocarcinoma, the most common form of lung...

New Computational Model of Real Neurons …

Nearly all the neural networks that power modern artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT are based on a 1960s-era computational model of a living neuron. A new model developed...

Meet CARMEN, a Robot that Helps People w…

Meet CARMEN, short for Cognitively Assistive Robot for Motivation and Neurorehabilitation - a small, tabletop robot designed to help people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) learn skills to improve memory...

AI Matches Protein Interaction Partners

Proteins are the building blocks of life, involved in virtually every biological process. Understanding how proteins interact with each other is crucial for deciphering the complexities of cellular functions, and...

AI Model to Improve Patient Response to …

A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can help to select the most suitable treatment for cancer patients has been developed by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU). DeepPT, developed...

Mobile Phone Data Helps Track Pathogen S…

A new way to map the spread and evolution of pathogens, and their responses to vaccines and antibiotics, will provide key insights to help predict and prevent future outbreaks. The...