January 22, 2022

Preprint Article: “Assessment of Transparency Indicators Across the Biomedical Literature: How Open is Open?”

The following preprint was posted today (October 30, 2020) on bioRxiv.


Assessment of Transparency Indicators Across the Biomedical Literature: How Open is Open?


Stylianos Serghiou

Despina G Contopoulos-Ioannidis
Stanford University

Kevin W Boyack
Sci-Tech Strategies

Nico Riede
Berlin Insitute of Health

Joshua David Wallach
Yale School of Public Health

John P. A. Ioannidis
Stanford University


DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.30.361618


Recent concerns about the reproducibility of science have led to several calls for more open and transparent research practices and for the monitoring of potential improvements over time. However, with tens of thousands of new biomedical articles published per week, manually mapping and monitoring changes in transparency is unrealistic. We present an open-source, automated approach to identify five indicators of transparency (data sharing, code sharing, conflicts of interest disclosures, funding disclosures and protocol registration) and apply it across the entire open access biomedical literature of 2.75 million articles on PubMed Central. Our results indicate remarkable improvements in some (e.g. conflict of interest disclosures, funding disclosures), but not other (e.g. protocol registration, code sharing) areas of transparency over time, and map transparency across fields of science, countries, journals and publishers. This work has enabled the creation of a large, integrated, and openly available database to expedite further efforts to monitor, understand and promote transparency and reproducibility in science.

Direct to Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.