PLOS and DataSeer expand partnership to better understand researchers’ Open Science practices

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) and DataSeer today announced an extended partnership that will provide new insights on how PLOS journals support Open Science practices. Earlier this year, PLOS and DataSeer collaborated on a project to quantify code sharing at PLOS Computational Biology. This expanded partnership will allow PLOS to assess three key “Open Science Indicators” – code sharing, preprint posting, and sharing of data in repositories – across all its journals and content. And more indicators will be developed next year.

“To increase adoption of Open Science and realize its benefits, we need to understand if researchers have adopted these practices, what the barriers to adoption are, and understand how these differ between communities,” said Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Director, Open Research Solutions, PLOS. “We are excited to work with DataSeer to better understand the researchers we serve, and help improve adoption of a range of Open Science practices.”

DataSeer will initially analyze more than 66,000 PLOS articles published from 2019 to present, and then repeatedly analyze newly-published content each month. They’ll provide PLOS with information on the use of data repositories, public sharing of code, and sharing of preprints. This is a first of its kind initiative by a publisher and PLOS will share the first set of results when the analysis is completed later this year.

Having already collaborated with DataSeer to adapt their natural language processing and artificial intelligence-driven technology to measure code sharing, DataSeer is now creating capability to analyze preprint sharing, to combine with DataSeer’s proven methodology for assessing research data sharing.

“We are excited to work with PLOS to explore how authors share different research objects with a published article,” said Tim Vines, Founder & Director, DataSeer. “This information is vital to both understanding researchers’ practices and to drive systemic change in research and scholarly publishing.”

PLOS and DataSeer will also look at relevant content outside of PLOS to better assess the same Open Science Indicators at other journals and make comparisons. As well as helping PLOS better serve research communities in their adoption of Open Science practices, PLOS aims to share the Open Science Indicator data with researchers, policy makers, institutions and other publishers to empower them to make informed decisions about their own policies and practices.

The introduction of new solutions for sharing protocols, code, research data, and preprints in the last two years is intended to support PLOS’ goal of making Open Sciences practices the norm.