Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling introduces new editorial guidelines around Open Science

    Alt Hybrid OA logo.    

This week, the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling introduced new editorial guidelines around data and source code sharing. They basically do not change much around their open science policies: they continue want to support closed science. Well, there has to be a journal for that too, perhaps. So, what changed? 

The editorial is aimed at the needs of the reviewer. With that, it puts additional stress on that the review process as sole gatekeeper of the publication process. The two or three reviewers will now have new responsibility to assess the potentially temporarily access to the data and source code. As a reader, you have to trust that those reviewers actually reviewed the data and code sufficiently.

One very visible change is that articles will have a Data and Software Availability section from January 1 onward (when the new editorial policy kicks in). This is a section that BMC journals have had for a very long time. In fact, I am actually pondering of proposing an update for the Journal of Cheminformatics to change this. We need to move to proper data and software citations. Think DataCite.

Any step towards more Open Science is often a good step. This editorial is a good step. It is recognition for the people supporting Open Science in chemistry for the past twenty+ years. My once favorite journal now saying Open Science is to be encouraged is just awesome!

But we should be aware it is not an Open Science policy. It is quite different from the editorial standards of the Journal of Cheminformatics. While JCIM encourages open science, JCheminform expect it. The new editorial fits the hybrid open access nature of the journal.

Nevertheless, congratulations to the editorial team for this step towards Open Science!

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