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Open or Closed?

Public access to scientific research is still being debated by the US House of Representatives, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. At a House Science Committee panel hearing, witnesses discussed whether the government should require federally funded research be made available to the public. "The most-discussed such mandate is that of the National Institutes of Health," Kaiser says. "Since 2008, NIH has required its grantees to post their peer-reviewed manuscripts in a free online archive after an embargo of up to 12 months following a paper's publication in a journal." At the hearing, the American Society of Plant Biologists' Crispin Taylor and the American Institute of Physics' Frederick Dylla said an NIH-style mandate would lead to widespread journal subscription cancellations, even with a 12-month embargo. On the other side, proponents argued that the NIH policy was a good model, and that other agencies should start with it and remodel the details to fit their needs, Kaiser adds.

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.