Harvard Library Publishes Report on Converting Subscription Journals to Open Access | Harvard Library

“The Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) is pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive literature review on strategies for converting subscription journals to open access.

In the spring of 2015, the OSC commissioned the research from David Solomon, Mikael Laakso, and Bo-Christer Björk, who completed it in the spring of 2016. We posted a preliminary draft online for a four month public-comment period, and asked a distinguished panel of 20 colleagues to add their own comments. 

The authors identified 15 journal-flipping scenarios: 10 that depend on article processing charges (APCs) and 5 that dispense with APCs. For each one they give examples, evidence, and their assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. The examples come from all scholarly niches by academic field, regions of the world, and economic strata….

This comprehensive review of diverse approaches is the report’s strength. Not every flip was a success, and not all the flips that were successful using one scenario would have been successful with a different scenario. But there were successes under every scenario and in every scholarly niche. Journals that picked a scenario that fit their circumstances were able preserve or enhance their readership, submissions, quality, and financial sustainability….”

CFA Institute launches Asia-Pacific research hub | Money Management

“CFA Institute has launched a new open-access hub by and for finance professionals looking for research on investment practices in Asia-Pacific.

Called the Asia-Pacific Research Exchange (ARX), the site would be open to global and regional investment professionals looking for Asia-Pacific finance and investment management trends or to learn more about the region’s financial markets….”

I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons, but…

“I like the new Clarivate-Impactstory partnership for several reasons….However, the Clarivate PR team…inserted this passage into the press release: “Researchers conducting online searches for scholarly articles frequently get unreliable results that can compromise their work. This is typically because the results omit journal articles behind paid-subscription paywalls or because ‘web-scraping’ utilities return versions of articles that are not peer-reviewed or are in violation of copyright laws.” …

It’s true that search results can be unreliable because they omit paywalled articles. But there are a few problems with the rest of the passage….

* The sentence on web-scraping utilities is obscure. Because it mentions articles that are not peer-reviewed, it seems to be an oblique criticism of preprint repositories. But preprint repositories depend on voluntary author deposits, not web scraping. Moreover, finding preprints in a search is a feature for people who know how to use them, not a bug. It doesn’t make the search less reliable. The criticism misses the target. 

* Perhaps the reference to web scraping is an oblique criticism of Sci-Hub. But Sci-Hub focuses on refereed postprints, indeed versions of record, not unrefereed preprints. Moreover, it depends on downloads, even if illicit, not web scraping. The criticism misses the target.

* The final part implies that finding illegal copies of peer-reviewed articles in a search makes the search unreliable. This is false. The writer probably meant to criticize these copies for infringement, but instead criticizes them for unreliability. The criticism misses the target.”

Clarivate Analytics announces landmark partnership with Impactstory to make open access content

“Clarivate Analytics today announced a novel public/private strategic partnership with Impactstory that will remove a critical barrier for researchers: limited open access (OA) to high-quality, trusted peer-reviewed content. Under the terms of the partnership, Clarivate Analytics is providing a grant to Impactstory to build on its oaDOI service, making open access content more easily discoverable, and the research workflow more efficient from discovery through publishing….The oaDOI service is from Impactstory, a nonprofit creating online tools to make science more open and reusable. It currently indexes 90 million articles and delivers open-access full text versions over a free, fast, open API that is currently used by over 700 libraries worldwide and fulfills over 2 million requests daily. Impactstory has also built Unpaywall, a free browser extension that uses oaDOI to find full text whenever researchers come across paywalled articles….”

Assessing Current Practices in Review, Tenure, and Promotion – #ScholCommLab

“One of the key components of workplace advancement at the university level are the review, promotion and tenure (RPT) packets that are typically submitted every other year by early career faculty. These guidelines and forms are considered to be of highest importance for all faculty, especially for early career faculty who need to demonstrate the value and impact of their work to the university and the broader scientific community. Quite often impact is equated with “impact factor,” leading many researchers to target a narrow range of journals at the expense of a broader societal considerations (such as the public’s right to access). The importance of RPT guidelines and forms makes them a natural place to effect change towards an opening of access to research (something both Canada and the US have been pushing for through federal policies and laws).

While we believe changes in RPT guidelines and forms may provide the impetus for behavioral change, leading to broader interest and adoption of open access principles, the reality is that very little is known about current RPT practices as they relate to questions of openness. This project seeks to examine the RPT process in the US and Canada in ways that can directly inform actions likely to translate into behavioural change and to a greater opening of research….”

In a Bid to Change the Conversation, The CPA Journal Goes Open-Access – Folio:

“To gate or not to gate? That is the age-old question — especially for publishers within membership associations — when it comes to positioning digital content. 

Should the website be reserved for members only, and promoted as a benefit of joining the association? Should it be open-access, positioned to bring in new readers and convert them to membership? Should it serve as an advocate for the industry- or profession-at-large, informing the general public in a way that dovetails with the association’s mission?

After 85 years of exclusive availability to the New York State Society of CPA’s, The CPA Journal — the Society’s monthly publication — has decided to open things up to the public with the launch of a revamped CPAJournal.com….”

US court grants Elsevier millions in damages from Sci-Hub : Nature News & Comment

“One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

Judge Robert Sweet had ruled in October 2015 that the sites violate US copyright. The court issued a preliminary injunction against the sites’ operators, who nevertheless continued to provide unauthorized free access to paywalled content. Alexandra Elbakyan, a former neuroscientist who started Sci-Hub in 2011, operates the site out of Russia, using varying domain names and IP addresses.

In May, Elsevier gave the court a list of 100 articles illicitly made available by Sci-Hub and LibGen, and asked for a permanent injunction and damages totalling $15 million. The Dutch publishing giant holds the copyrights for the largest share of the roughly 28 million papers downloaded from Sci-Hub in 2016, followed by Springer Nature and Wiley-Blackwell. (Nature is published by Springer Nature, and Nature’s news and comment team is editorially independent of the publisher.) According to a recent analysis, almost 50% of articles requested from Sci-Hub are published by these three companies….”