Has COVID-19 been the making of Open Science?

Article by Lonni Besançon, Corentin Segalas and Clémence Leyrat: “Although many concepts fall under the umbrella of Open Science, some of its key concepts are: Open Access, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Peer Review. How far these four principles were embraced by researchers during the pandemic and where there is room for improvement, is what we, as early career researchers, set out to assess by looking at data on scientific articles published during the Covid-19 pandemic….Open Source and Open Data practices consist in making all the data and materials used to gather or analyse data available on relevant repositories. While we can find incredibly useful datasets shared publicly on COVID-19 (for instance those provided by the European Centre for Disease Control), they remain the exception rather than the norm. A spectacular example of this were the papers utilising data from the company Surgisphere, that led to retracted papers in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine. In our paper, we highlight 4 papers that could have been retracted much earlier (and perhaps would never have been accepted) had the data been made accessible from the time of publication. As we argue in our paper, this presents a clear case for making open data and open source the default, with exceptions for privacy and safety. While some journals already have such policies, we go further in asking that, when data cannot be shared publicly, editors/publishers and authors/institutions should agree on a third party to check the existence and reliability/validity of the data and the results presented. This not only would strengthen the review process, but also enhance the reproducibility of research and further accelerate the production of new knowledge through data and code sharing…(More)”.