Introduction to International Open Access Week from the University Librarian | InfoLinks

“It feels rather ironic to be writing on the subject of open access as we head towards the end of a year in which so many things have remained at least partly closed. However, the pandemic has served both to shine a light on the critical importance of open research and expose the amount of work still to do to achieve it. It is my hope that Open Access Week 2020 both reaches a wider audience and galvanises us into collective action like never before.

I have been thinking about, writing about and attempting to stimulate open access as the right solution for ethical and effective scholarly communications for almost two decades. Fifteen years ago, I was part of an ambitious plan to deliver an open access solution for Scotland through a national repository infrastructure, and while the lofty vision was never realised, this work placed Scotland at the forefront of open access thinking and demonstrated, as is often the case, that this is a nation well capable of ‘punching above its weight’. A paper describing a national information strategy for Scotland provides a 2005 overview of this project, within a wider context. It is satisfying to see that although the networked infrastructure we hoped to build is not in place, this paper still remains freely accessible through the institutional repository of a Scottish university.

This was a time when open access seemed most likely to be achievable by providing versions of published papers in repositories, while the final papers themselves would continue to be published in subscription journals – the so-called Green route. It was not until the publication of the Finch Report in 2012, and the enthusiasm of the then Minister for Higher Education (David Willets) for a Gold route, that open access of the published paper itself began to dominate policy and gain momentum. Very regrettably, this has become synonymous for many with one method of funding it: the article processing charge, or APC. This solution has served to perpetuate a scholarly communications infrastructure which relies upon commercial third parties, placing the research community at the mercy of a small number of profit-making organisations for whom profits and shareholder value are paramount….”

UK universities sign deal to waive Plos publication fees | Times Higher Education (THE)

“UK universities have signed a major deal with a US non-profit publisher that will allow researchers to publish without incurring article-processing charges (APCs).

Under the new three-year agreement announced by Jisc and the Public Library of Science (Plos) on 14 October, researchers at institutions affiliated with the UK digital services provider will be able to publish in seven journals owned by the San Francisco-based publisher without paying additional APCs.

The deal – which, in theory, would allow researchers to publish as many times as they wanted, pending the peer-review process, in a handful of Plos titles – is the first time that a large university consortium has provided collective agreements as an alternative to APCs at this scale, said Sara Rouhi, director of strategic partnerships for Plos.

At present, researchers who are unable to find APCs from their employer can ask for a fee waiver from Plos, but this deal would eliminate the need for these requests, Ms Rouhi told Times Higher Education.

“No one wants to ask for a handout, even if it is about asking for support for your research,” she said, adding that the deal would help to address the “inequalities in research which mean that some people do not have access to APCs”.

Under the flat fee agreement, which begins in January, annual fixed prices will cover unlimited publishing for corresponding authors in five journals, including Plos Genetics, Plos Computational Biology, Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases and the megajournal Plos One, which published 142,000 articles between 2006 and 2015….”

New APC-free Open Access agreements test alternative funding models – The Official PLOS Blog

“Under the flat fee agreement, which begins on January 1, 2021, annual fixed prices will cover uncapped publishing in five PLOS journals[1] for corresponding authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions as well as custom reporting and collaboration on future reporting standards initiatives. The PLOS Community Action Publishing agreement, facilitates uncapped publishing in PLOS’ two highly selective journals[2] through a collective action model. Both corresponding and contributing authors affiliated with participating Jisc institutions are eligible. The model itself is predicated on cost recovery, capped margins, and redistributing revenues above target back to community members….”

Preprints & COVID-19 • covidpreprints

“The database is being actively maintiained & managed by Zhang-He Goh (@zhanghe_goh), Gautam Dey (@Dey_Gautam) & Jonny Coates (@JACoates91). For any queries or questions please contact Jonny at or preLights at

In addition, our thanks go out to the wider scientific community who are diligently assessing and communicating important preprints during this difficult time.

preLights is a community service supported by The Company of Biologists, the not-for-profit publisher of Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open. The Company of Biologists is also a UK charity, providing grants and other support for the scientific community. …”

Data Management UKRN workshop

“We are offering a one-day short course on data management skills for Open Research online in November 2020. It is open to researchers at all career stages, and across all quantitative disciplines in the biomedical sciences (broadly defined). The workshop is free, supported by Cancer Research UK. We especially encourage researchers funded by CRUK to apply. The course aims to teach researchers how to make their work more reproducible, open and robust through the use of data management tools such as R and Git. Attendees will come away with an overview of how open/reproducible data pipelines work, and why they are important, as well as hands-on experience delving into specific tools. The workshop will include four main components:…”

Jisc – JSTOR Open Community Collections | About JSTOR

“Jisc and JSTOR are collaborating to support discovery, use, and impact of open digital collections for the benefit of the research and teaching community and collection owners. Jisc functions as the UK node for engagement with and take-up of the programme by UK universities with JSTOR providing the service delivery platform….”


Share your digitised special collections as part of a growing online community | Jisc

“Open Community Collections unlocks the potential of an institution’s special collections by making them freely available on a platform already known and used by researchers, teaching staff and students.

After a successful pilot scheme with a select number of members, we are collaborating with JSTOR to open up the programme to the wider UK higher education community.

As part of our project with JSTOR to improve the discovery and impact of your digitised collections, we’re inviting members to propose their digitised collections for inclusion in the scheme….

Taking part is easy – simply let us know if you have any collections of digitised content that you would like to make accessible on the JSTOR platform, as part of Open Community Collections.

All work on ingesting content, delivery processes and ongoing platform support is carried out by JSTOR at no cost to the institution….”