Strengthening the Open Science Ecosystem Through Preprints

“When rapid and open sharing occurs, it is usually in venues (like scientific conferences or within networks of collaborators) accessible only to researchers from well-resourced and established institutions, creating additional barriers to researchers from emerging countries or under-resourced areas, preventing them from participating in the scientific discourse.

Preprints are poised to change this. In addition to enabling rapid sharing, preprints also 1) offer novel opportunities for feedback and peer review; 2) improve the overall quality, integrity, and reproducibility of research outputs; and 3) help prevent scooping and incentivize early collaboration.

These benefits can be dramatically enhanced by third-party services (authoring tools, commenting platforms, and machine extraction projects) that act as both inputs and outputs to preprints. As arXiv founder Paul Ginsparg envisioned in the early 1990s, preprints can provide “a relatively complete raw archive, unfettered by any unnecessary delays in availability” on top of which “any type of information could be overlayed… and maintained by any third parties,” including tools for validation, filtering, and communication….”

Pushing on the Paywalls: Extending Licensed Resource Access to External Partners to Enhance Collaborative Research: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Definitions of authorized users in license agreements not only dictate who is allowed to access licensed resources, but also define who can be considered part of an institution’s user community. Researchers engage in collaborative research, sometimes holding multiple affiliations that, at times, may extend beyond a definition of authorized user. This paper examines how libraries play a role in supporting or inhibiting collaborative research by exploring a strategic partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to further collaboration related to atmospheric research and climate studies. While the goals of the partnership sought to enhance research and collaboration through access to licensed resources, the authors found that the paywalled model of access through license agreements, authentication, and access and discovery methods has complicated the effectiveness of creating a collaborative research environment.


Open Education Resource (OER) Initiatives at U.S. Post-Secondary Institutions Survey

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.” As a result of rising costs for traditional textbooks, the use of OER in higher education has been on the rise to help level the playing field and increase access to student learning materials. In many cases, the adoption and integration of OER in the curriculum have been a direct result of institutional initiatives and programs supported by the library.

This project is intended to survey project managers of these various OER-related initiatives at U.S. post-secondary institutions of higher education in order to ascertain common programmatic characteristics, including implementation, organization, selection process, and assessment, as well as explore the sustainability of such initiatives. Past surveys on this topic have focused on regional adoption or other aspects of OER usage, but this survey intends to focus on how these initiatives are started, currently operate, and how they might continue to thrive or fail in the future….”

Let Authors Choose How to Pay for Peer Review and Publication – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As has been noted before, charging a submission fee and a publication fee is a fairer system, largely because authors cover the costs of reviewing and publishing their own articles. Authors are not responsible for costs incurred by anyone else’s submission, and the fees for each article are correspondingly much lower. For example, as I laid out in a previous post, one can approximate the APC at a wide range of journals through the formula (1/acceptance rate)*350 + 850. Authors of accepted articles only pay a $350 submission fee and $850 publication fee, for a total of $1200, even at selective journals with very low acceptance rates. For a 25% acceptance rate, the equivalent APC without a submission fee would be around $2250, for a 10% acceptance rate the APC would be $4350.

However, there is widespread apprehension that introducing submission fees will deter authors from submitting to fee-charging journals in favor of those that don’t have such charges. Editorial rejections are a big driver of this concern: it is frustrating to spend several hundred dollars to submit your article only to have it back in your inbox within ninety minutes. This situation can be alleviated by further separating the fees into a small submission fee, a fee for peer review, and a fee to cover the costs of publishing the accepted article (see an upcoming Scholarly Kitchen post for a proposal about this). Nonetheless, there is a world of difference between free and every other amount, and even a very small mandatory submission fee may deter authors.

An alternative is to give authors a choice of how they pay for their article:

Pay a submission fee to cover peer review, with an additional publication fee if their article is accepted, or
Submit for free, but pay a (much higher) APC if their article is accepted

Offering this choice could be a simple way to bring journals into compliance with funder APC caps: affected researchers can choose the submission & publication fee (hereafter “sub/pub”) option, which should always be lower than the straight APC….”


“Tim Vines is proposing a middle way: “An alternative is to give authors a choice of how they pay for their article:

Pay a submission fee to cover peer review, with an additional publication fee if their article is accepted, or
Submit for free, but pay a (much higher) APC if their article is accepted.”

My problem here is with the absence of the 3rd choice — the old-fashioned one of free submission and free publication, with a nasty publisher selling the journal to subscribers (and of course making obscene profits by so doing)….”

The value of open access

“It’s a common question we get asked: “Why is open publishing important for the legal community?”

Part of the answer is that the status quo isn’t working. Information about the law should be available to everyone regardless of who they are. Legal information must not be restricted to those who have the most resources.

Another part of the answer is that members of the legal community often give their time for free to create content, or in some cases get paid very little to do that work. Then institutions have to pay to purchase or subscribe to content written by their employees. This is similar to universities who pay salaries to researchers who write articles as part of their work, which they then publish in journals after they’ve been edited by volunteers. The journals are then made available to the universities at a cost they can barely afford.

Open publishing is a model that helps the community get what it needs in a less extractive way….”

Open Access, Open Data Increase Demand for STM Online Services

“Scientific, technical and medical publishers face upheaval from open access and open data, but this transition represents opportunity in online services, particularly for competitors that can develop broader discovery tools and dynamic content capabilities to win users’ loyalty—this according to the most recent report from Simba Information, a leader in media and publishing intelligence.

The report STM Online Services 2019-2023 focuses on the databases that offer online content or abstracting and indexing and are sold to academic, government and commercial customers. It found that between 2016 and 2018, online services revenue grew at a compound annual rate of 5.1% after elimination of trade between competitors — faster than STM journals or books. Growth was boosted somewhat by currency exchange in the period. Simba estimates the currency impact at roughly 1% over the two years.

Many of the products and services are already considered “must have” information sold in multi-year, multi-million-dollar bundles. As the corpus of data made open by research funder mandates grows, the value publishers provide will shift back toward discovery and integration….

STM Online Services 2019-2023 provides detailed market information for STM online services, segmented by: sci-tech standards, patents and online content, drug databases, clinical reference, training and certification, reference management and analytical tools, sci-tech abstracting and indexing, medical abstracting and indexing. It analyzes trends impacting the industry and forecasts market growth to 2023….”

Keeping digitised works in the public domain: how the copyright directive makes it a reality | Europeana Pro

“The principle that works in the public domain should remain in the public domain once digitised, which Europeana has defended for almost ten years, was recently incorporated into European law. In this post, we interview Andrea Wallace, Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter, about the importance of this provision for the cultural heritage sector and her research on Article 14….”

Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy[v1] | Preprints

Abstract:  The terms ‘open’ and ‘openness’ are widely used across the current higher education environment particularly in the areas of repository services and scholarly communications. Open-access licensing and open-source licensing are two prevalent manifestations of open culture within higher education research environments. As theoretical ideals, open-licensing models aim at openness and academic freedom. But operating as they do within the context of global neoliberalism, to what extent are these models constructed by, sustained by, and co-opted by neoliberalism? In this paper, we interrogate the use of open-licensing within scholarly communications and within the larger societal context of neoliberalism. Through synthesis of various sources, we will examine how open access licensing models have been constrained by neoliberal or otherwise corporate agendas, how open access and open scholarship have been reframed within discourses of compliance, how open-source software models and software are co-opted by politico-economic forces, and how the language of ‘openness’ is widely misused in higher education and repository services circles to drive agendas that run counter to actually increasing openness. We will finish by suggesting ways to resist this trend and use open-licensing models to resist neoliberal agendas in open scholarship.