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Open Up!

According to a new plan from the UK's government, 2014 is set to be the year of open access, reports The Guardian's Ian Sample. The government has unveiled a plan to make publicly funded research immediately available to the public for free within the next two years, Sample says. The papers will be put online, and universities, companies, and individuals all over the world will be able to access the studies. The UK is also hoping that this plan will prompt other European countries to adopt similar measures, Sample says.

However, while most researchers were happy with the plan, some scientists Sample spoke to said they didn't like the idea of the £50 million annual transition costs being taken out of the UK's existing budget for research funding. "British universities now pay around £200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay 'article processing charges' (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online," Sample says. "The typical APC is around £2,000 per article."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.