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Six years of Open Science Indicators data

The Q1 2024 (March) PLOS Open Science Indicators (OSI) results shows that rates of data repository use and code sharing in PLOS articles reached new highs in 2023, while preprint adoption has plateaued since the pandemic. This latest data release includes six years of OSI data.

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Figure: Open Science Indicators for PLOS content (solid line) and comparator data (dotted line) by publication quarter 2018-2023.

The latest OSI dataset, produced in partnership with DataSeer, includes all 107,719 PLOS research articles published between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2023, and a smaller comparator corpus (21,991 of articles). For PLOS articles the latest results show:

  • The rate of data repository use reached a new high of 31% in Q4 2024 (up from 30% in Q3), and an annual high of 29% in 2023 overall (28% in 2022)
  • The rate of code sharing was 16% (compared to 17% in Q3), and reached a yearly high of 16% overall (15% in 2022)
  • The rate of preprint sharing fell to 24% (compared to 25% in Q3), and was 24% for 2023 overall (24% in 2022)

For comparator articles however, preprint adoption continued to rise in 2023, reaching 31% in Q4 2023. The difference between comparators and PLOS is mainly driven by the use of the Research Square platform by articles published in Springer Nature journals, and the use of Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) preprints by JMIR articles.

Recent and up-coming OSI developments

PLOS and DataSeer, and other “solution providers”, are collaborating with the UK Reproducibility Network on several Open Research Indicator pilots with UK institutions. See this recent UKRN webinar for an update on these pilots. We, also, recently shared the results of research involving research funders and institutions, where we sought to understand how they are, or are planning, to monitor Open Science (Research) practices in their contexts – and inform future OSI development.

The OSI dataset continues to be reused or cited by researchers and organizations outside of PLOS, including in a report by the Council of Canadian Academies in February 2024. Furthermore, an editorial in PLOS Biology that used OSI to understand the adoption of OS practices by its authors and set goals for 2024, has been included in the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) resource library – a collection of materials to facilitate the development of responsible research and researcher assessment policies and practices.

Looking ahead, the fifth OSI, for measuring the prevalence of study registration (preregistration), is being prepared for a preliminary release in the next – June 2024 – public data release.

Finally, watch this space for results of a new study that uses OSI to explore the effects, or impact, of Open Science practices on articles that exhibit one or more OSIs.

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