Gates Open Research: accelerating access to research products

Gates Open Research is a scholarly publishing platform that is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2017. The platform will make research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation available quickly and in a format supporting research integrity, reproducibility and transparency. You can stay up-to-date with the latest developments of the platform by signing up for alerts.

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“To solve the challenges of the 21st century, we must accelerate open access to high-quality research on health, education, and economic development. Gates Open Research is designed to ensure that the research we fund can be of immediate benefit to society”, - Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Open research is research conducted in the spirit of free and open source software", - Wikipedia

“Science needs to stop relying so much on journal publication as the only recognised credential for researchers and the only path to career progression”, - The shackles of scientific journals (The Economist, 2017).  

Gates Foundation has taken another step toward expanding timely access to scientific research with the launch of the Gates Open Research publishing portal.

This latter is powered by F1000Research open source technology, directly supports the Gates Foundation’s open access policy  (which came into full operation on January 1, 2017) and data sharing initiatives

The Gates foundation has one of the most stringent open-access policies of any research funder: researchers must make their papers and data open access immediately upon publication, and allow their unrestricted reuse.

With Gates Open Research

  • biomedical research - funded by the Gates Foundation - and  the underlying data, on which research findings are built,  will be disseminated without delay, which is especially crucial during public health emergencies and crop losses caused by drought or pests; 
  • the Gates Foundation joins Wellcome, another large funder of biomedical research in the U.K., which already uses a similar publishing platform - Wellcome Open Research.

“Gates Foundation joins shift towards open access platforms. Initiative will emulate Wellcome Trust’s publishing model, with European Commission set to follow”, The World University Rankings.

Biomedical equivalents of arXiv exist, but they are not much used. One of the largest, bio Rxiv, received around 600 submissions in February. That is but a fifteenth as many as arXiv, even though many more biomedical papers are published per year than physics papers”, - The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly (The Economist, 2017)

There are several benefits to researchers who choose to publish on this new platform:

  • Authors, not editors, choose what they wish to publish.
  • Immediate publication allows the sharing of new findings without any delay.
  • Supports publication of a wide range of outputs - from standard research articles to data sets, from new insights to confirmatory or negative results.
  • Authors can choose referees most appropriate to their subject and whose opinions they value, and can cite the open referee comments that assert the quality of their work.
  • The inclusion of supporting data facilitates reanalysis, replication and reuse and thus improves reproducibility.

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