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Open Letter - Our Science is in Danger and we need Your Help!

Dear ALL,

We need your help to restore public trust in science and provide researchers with adequate conditions to do their work in solving the world's problems.

Please help with your comments to make our message as simple, accessible and crystal clear as possible.

Without your support, our voices will be ignored, and nothing will change.

#HelpOurScience #HelpSaveLives…
In May 2020, the prestigious medical journal @TheLancet published a flawed study regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat #COVID19.…

Governments and @WHO relied on this flawed research until it was promptly retracted - that is, removed from the scientific literature entirely - at the request of three of its four authors.

#StopFlawedResearch #HelpUsMakeChange…
The study was not retracted by @TheLancet, nor was it retracted by #Elsevier, the world's largest publisher that acquired @TheLancet in 1991 and has owned the journal since then.

Neither the flawed research nor the resulting negative consequences affecting millions of lives worldwide seem to concern them.

#FlawedResearch #AffectsLives of #OfMillions #HelpUsMakeDifference…
Writing in @guardian , @Northeastern researcher @jamesheathers describes this case as

"one of the biggest retractions in modern history”

and points out that

“studies like this determine how people live or die tomorrow"……
According to @guardian, one reason this flawed study was originally published is the current practice of

"extreme opacity”

of peer review by many publishers. This opacity

“allows flawed papers to hide in plain sight”.

This same opacity will continue to allow other flawed papers to be published in the future.

And patients can die from a flawed treatment as the result of research they thought was credible because it was published in a reputable journal.

The solutions have been proposed repeatedly over many years. As articulated by @jamesheathers in @guardian , they include:

- require more transparency;
- mandate more scrutiny;

#MoreTransparency #MandateScrutiny
- prioritise publishing papers which present data and analytical code alongside a manuscript

- re-analyse papers for their accuracy before publication, instead of just assessing their potential importance

#IncludeData #AccuracyBeforePublish…
- engage expert statistical reviewers where necessary, and pay them if you must

- be immediately responsive to criticism, and enforce this same standard on authors

#BeResponsive #ToCriticism #EnforceQuality…
Who has the power to demand the change?

- Researchers are hugely dependent on established journals for their careers and therefore have too little power and are not in a position to make demands.

#HelpResearchers #MakeChange…
- Universities, with their chronic underfunding and fierce competition in rankings, depend too heavily on publishers.

#ChronicUnderfunding and #Rankings #KillCollaboration

Help to support

CC @Stephen_Curry @DORAssessment…
- Funders, on the other hand, occupy a unique position:

They have both the power and the independence to initiate a process of improving the quality and trustworthiness of published research, without the risk of being hurt.

And we already have the example of #Plan_S by @cOAlitionS_OA as evidence that these funders-led initiatives are feasible and lead to far-going transformations.…

Let us #WorkWithFunders and #HelpMakeChange…
Funders also have the responsibility to spend their funds in the best interest of the public they represent.
Including both funds they pay to publishers directly, and the resulting market cost for other researchers and institutions to stay competitive.…
Dear Research Funders,

We are calling on you to initiate required bolder steps addressing this problem.

#BoldStepsNeeded to #StopFlawedResearch #AffectingLives #OfMillions…
We are calling on you to develop and to implement new principles of quality assurance and transparency, to prevent similar cases from happening again in the future.

#PrinciplesNeeded to #EnsureQuality and #EnforceTransparency…
Because, as @guardian elegantly puts it:

"the alternative is more retractions, more missteps, more wasted time, more loss of public trust … and more death".

#ActionNeeded to prevent #Retractions #Missteps #WastedTime #LossOfTrust
Dear All:

Please feel welcome and encouraged to make any suggestions or corrections or add comments, both here and on the @pubreform thread:

#HelpMakeChange #CampaignForChange #LetUsWorkTogether

Help us share this page on social media, and don’t forget to sign in to @pubreform to comment and receive updates and when

Open Letter - Our Science is in Danger and we need Your Help!

is ready to be signed!

#LetUsMakeChange #BePartOfChange…
Big thanks to everyone who helped us so far!

Günter Ziegler, Simon Batterbury, Mark Costello, Dan Dunleavy, Jennifer Miller, Katharine Miller, Tyler Parker-Smith, Aman Choudhri, Pranjalya Tiwari, Ilana Lichtenstein
Big thanks to more helpers!
@egonwillighagen @TParkerSmith
More thanks to @luyibov !
COVID-19 is the most disruptive phenomenon of our time. The pandemic has profound medical, societal, and economical consequences.

But one reason we have failed to react on time and prevent what has happened - is the state of science and conditions of how science is conducted.
The lack of transparency is blocking science to function efficiently and preventing many talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds from realizing their potential and making a valuable contribution to society.

Our global society misses out big time, caused by financial greed and prejudice, undermining high-quality research and advances in science to solve the world's major problems.
The Campaign for Open & Trustworthy Science

--> is planning a path of concrete gradual changes

--> in order to bring more transparency and quality to science

--> but without your help, we FAIL! <--

Please join us to make this change - or else we FAIL!

→ Sign in to all updates on the Campaign page on Publishing Reform Forum - one page to stay informed about the entire progress of the Campaign

We are looking for volunteers who can help us move forward faster and more efficiently - please get in touch!
1. Share with your communities

2. Help connect with organizations that can help us and/or benefit from our work

3. Help raise awareness through your personal and professional networks or social media…
Let us open up the world of science and make it safer, better, and more beneficial for all!

Join us to make it happen!

Big thanks to our helpers and contributors so far - please join too!…
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Keep Current with Dmitri Zaitsev 🇪🇺🇺🇦🇩🇪🇮🇪#FBPE

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