Open-source Community Call: Covid-19 open projects updates

Watch the recording of our discussion about the recent efforts by the open-source community to review and map preprints throughout the pandemic.
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On February 17, the eLife Innovation Initiative, in partnership with FORCE11 and DataDryad, hosted the latest Open-source Community Call, with presentations focusing on updates about COVID-19 related projects.

Open Research at Wellcome Trust

The event opened with a presentation about a funding opportunity by Aki MacFarlane, Programme Officer for Open Research at Wellcome Trust, who introduced the 2021 grants that were available – up to £100,000 for up to two years.

The Wellcome Trust has previously funded projects across the world aiming to provide researchers in any discipline with the resources required to make their outputs findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).

The Open Research Fund, which is focusing on incentivising openness in health research, closed for applications on March 12th.

Executable Research Articles

Nokome Bentley, founder and CEO of Stencila, presented updates on the Executable Research Articles (ERA) on which Stencila and eLife have been collaborating since 2017.

Stencila is focusing on "democratising" and "productionising" the ability to create these interactive figures - making it easier for authors to use the formats they are currently working in and enabling them to publish them as executable articles. eLife recently announced the next steps in the development of Executable Research Articles through 2021 and beyond.

Leveraging open source for COVID-19 open science initiatives

The third project presented was a collaboration between Open Knowledge Maps and ReFigure. Peter Kraker, founder and chairman of Open Knowledge Maps, and Girija Goyal, immunologist and creator of ReFigure, talked about CoVis, a curated knowledge map of seminal works on COVID-19 from eight critical areas of biomedical research. The knowledge map is constantly evolving, thanks to the collective editing by subject-matter experts.

Zhang He Goh, pharmacy graduate from the National University of Singapore, and participant in the eLife Sprint 2020, gave final updates about Covidpreprints, which is focused on creating a timeline of landmark preprints in response to COVID-19. The result is integral studies along with key global events being mapped together on a single timeline. This provides clarity on how global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic tie in with the rapidly expanding preprint literature.

Nate Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of, presented about Outbreak and how to micro-publish about COVID-19. has been developed in response to the need of scientists and researchers to receive feedback while working on the same research topic. Stemming from this, the main focus of Outbreak is to create a place where the scientific community can share "breaking research on real-time forecasting, scenario modeling, IFR estimates, vaccine logistics, and more".

Presenter Daniela Saderi, Co-Founder and Director of PREreview, talked about a new platform trying to engage the academic community with the aim of crowdsourcing preprint reviews. Outbreak Science has been a joint effort by publishers to engage and encourage more than 1800 volunteers to participate in the review process.

Last but not least, Addgene Executive Director Joanne Kamens, introduced us to their COVID-19 collection. Addgene is a global non-profit repository which aims to help accelerate research and discovery by improving the accessibility of materials through collecting and storing plasmids from published researchers.

We hope you’ll join us for our next call, which will take place in late June and will be hosted by one of our community call partners, FORCE11.

Full notes from the February call, including questions and comments that were asked during and directly after the meeting, are available here:


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