“Open” research

Champion sponsor of the Annual Meeting

Reported by Sarah Sabir


  • Niamh O’Connor, Chief Publishing Officer, PLOS

Niamh O’Connor kicked off her keynote presentation by recalling the beginning of PLOS in 2000. The founders had received more than 34 000 signatures from scientists across 180 countries in an open letter calling for medical science to be published such that it was publicly available without restriction.

Fast forward to today, and the greater accessibility that open access provides allows for the wider dissemination of research and accelerated discoveries. However, open access is only the first step towards open science, a much broader topic with multiple components that aim to increase accessibility, trust, and transparency in research that is disseminated.

“Open access is only the first step towards open science.”

Niamh O’Connor

Niamh shared that pharma-funded research is generally less trusted than other research, so what else can be done to increase trust in this research? She highlighted that, although adding clear attributions and conflict of interest statements to publications is important, it is also necessary to explain what they mean and how to interpret them.

Sharing data is another way to increase trust and also citations (by around 25%), showing that others are eager to use the available data to advance science.

Sharing research protocols, open peer reviews, and tackling bias through the publication of registered reports were other suggested ways to increase trust.

Niamh finished by stating that we should now be working towards equity in open science to ensure that scientific information is available to all to increase the benefit to society as a whole.

About the author

Name: Sarah Sabir
Job role: Medical Writer, Oxford
Time at Oxford PharmaGenesis: 2 years
What am I most looking forward to at ISMPP? Hearing about why and how to individualize and tailor communications to reach our audiences, and joining discussions at the ORCID roundtable co-moderated by Paul Farrow