What Is the Price of Science? | mBio

Abstract:  The peer-reviewed scientific literature is the bedrock of science. However, scientific publishing is undergoing dramatic changes, which include the expansion of open access, an increased number of for-profit publication houses, and ready availability of preprint manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed. In this opinion article, we discuss the inequities and concerns that these changes have wrought.

 

LIBRARY COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE COMMENTS ON “DIGITAL COPYRIGHT ACT OF 2021” DISCUSSION DRAFT

“The Library Copyright Alliance (“LCA”) welcomes this opportunity to provide its comments on the December 18, 2020 discussion draft of the “Digital Copyright Act of 2021.” LCA consists of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries. These associations collectively represent over 100,000 libraries in the United States employing more than 300,000 librarians and other personnel. An estimated 200 million Americans use these libraries more than two billion times each year. U.S. libraries spend over $4 billion annually purchasing or licensing copyrighted works. At the outset, LCA states that it disagrees with the basic premise of the draft articulated in the press release announcing the release of the draft. Contrary to the press release, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) does not “show the strain of a statute that has not adapted well to the technological advancements and changing business practices that have occurred since” 1998. Likewise, copyright law today is not “ill-suited for the needs of most copyright owners and individual users.” Further, the copyright framework does not need to “better encourage the creation of copyrightable works.” Based on this disagreement with the draft’s premise, LCA strongly opposes section 2 of the draft, which would amend the DMCA’s safe harbors for online service providers….”

Commentary on the FAIRsharing Data Repository Selection Proposal – Science Europe

“Too strict and too detailed criteria risk excluding repositories that can offer valuable services to a dedicated scientific user group. Some repositories have been certified as ‘trustworthy’ by one or several acknowledged certification bodies; however, small, institutional, or discipline-specific repositories might not (yet) have the means to seek such certification. Science Europe recommends that researchers should refer to certified repositories or discipline-specific repositories that are broadly recognised as trustworthy by their respective community where and when possible. But there are cases in which no such repository can be identified. Researchers should then be supported in their choice by a minimum selection of core criteria. Any supporting tool should not be prescriptive, overly complicated or exclude important repositories of research communities that may be in active usage for already quite some time, but do not meet formal certification criteria. Science Europe acknowledges that the criteria developed by FAIRsharing are intended to support researchers who wish to publish the data underlying their research findings and publishers in providing adequate guidance. It is understandable that publishers require access to data, for example for the purpose of providing a high quality peer review. However, based on its experience and broad consultations when developing its own criteria, Science Europe would like to point out a number of areas where it has considerable concerns with the suggested FAIRsharing criteria as they currently stand….”

Economic Impact Assessment – Publishers Association

“The economic impact of a new Open Access (OA) policy from UK Research and Innovation Report (UKRI) is assessed in this report, produced by FTI Consulting.

The main focus of this exercise was to:

assess the impact of specific policy conditions that have been proposed for journal articles and long-form research publications (monographs), using the existing policy framework as a benchmark; 
consider the impact of the UKRI policy on different groups of stakeholders within the scholarly communications ecosystem;
understand the immediate economic impact of the proposed policy and how this might change in the future in light of industry trends; and
compare the impact of the policy proposals against UKRI’s stated policy objectives….”

Open Access, Plan S and ‘Radically Liberatory’ Forms of Academic Freedom – Moore – – Development and Change – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This opinion piece interrogates the position that open access policies infringe academic freedom. Through an analysis of the objections to open access policies (specifically Plan S) that draw on academic freedom as their primary concern, the article illustrates the shortcomings of foregrounding a negative conception of academic freedom that primarily seeks to protect the fortunate few in stable academic employment within wealthy countries. Although Plan S contains many regressive and undesirable elements, the article makes a case for supporting its proposal for zero?embargo repository?based open access as the basis for a more positive form of academic freedom for scholars around the globe. Ultimately, open access publishing only makes sense within a project that seeks to nurture this positive conception of academic freedom by transforming higher education towards something more socially just and inclusive of knowledge producers and consumers worldwide.

 

Plan S Rights Retention Strategy, Copyright and the Academic Community – Part One – The Scholarly Kitchen

“This is all fine, but it is the next bit that has me confused. Plan S is requiring that a CC BY license be used. Clearly, a license does not affect copyright – the author may retain copyright. An author who then uses a CC BY license is then essentially providing blanket permission for reuse of their content provided there is attribution to the author. Is this a good thing? I am not sure. Does allowing reuse by others to derive profits, or combine with other products serve our academic communities and enhance research? There is perhaps an argument to be made for liberal reuse policies stimulating a serendipitous scientific finding in future years – but I see no evidence that this is more than a hope. I do understand that in some fields there may be a perceived gain in allowing, for example, Pharma to use a published work to enhance drug development – even if a significant motivating force is profit. But that gain remains unclear. CC BY allows the reuse of the words written in the article in that particular order as well as the images used in the article. It does not offer any ability to reuse the ideas or discoveries presented in the article beyond what is already permitted (and potentially not permitted through patents filed by the authors, which are still allowable under Plan S and other OA funder requirements)….”

Are price barriers in the national interest?

“[Adler] rejected the idea that taxpayer financed research should be open to the public, saying that it was in the national interest for it to be restricted to those who could pay subscription fees. “Remember — you’re talking about free online access to the world,” he said. “You are talking about making our competitive research available to foreign governments and corporations.” …

Note that we’re talking about published research, not classified research that isn’t published.

Thank goodness our enemies can’t afford to pay subscriptions or visit libraries.

Thank goodness harming Americans has the side-effect of harming foreigners.  At least our sacrifice is not in vain.

Thank goodness Americans have never benefited from scientific advances made by non-Americans. 

Thank goodness publishers are willing to collect subscription fees for this patriotic purpose.

Thank goodness publishers are willing to shoulder the responsibility of controlling access to our research.   We know that they don’t have to.  They didn’t conduct this research, write it up, or fund it….”

Sci-Hub Citation Study Confuses Causes With Effects – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Journal articles downloaded from Sci-Hub, an illegal site of pirated materials, were cited nearly twice as many times as non-downloaded articles, reports a new paper published online in the journal, Scientometrics….

Correa and colleagues could have added either one of these sources of usage data to their model to verify whether the Sci-Hub indicator continued to independently predict future citations. That would have confirmed whether Sci-Hub was a cause of — instead of merely associated with — future citations. Without such a control, the authors may have fumbled both their analysis and conclusion.

Sci-Hub may indeed lead to more article citations, although it is impossible to reach that conclusion from this study….”

Open Access in Indonesia – Irawan – – Development and Change – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Despite the absence of funding pressures that explicitly mandate a shift to open access (OA), Indonesia is a leader in OA publishing. Indonesia subscribes to a non?profit model of OA, which differs from that promoted by Plan S. The penetration of bibliometric systems of academic performance assessment is pushing Indonesian scholars away from a local non?profit model of OA to a model based on high publication charges. This article considers whether Plan S promotes or undermines the ability of Indonesian scholars to develop systems of OA adapted to local resource constraints and research needs.

 

Open Access in Indonesia – Irawan – – Development and Change – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Despite the absence of funding pressures that explicitly mandate a shift to open access (OA), Indonesia is a leader in OA publishing. Indonesia subscribes to a non?profit model of OA, which differs from that promoted by Plan S. The penetration of bibliometric systems of academic performance assessment is pushing Indonesian scholars away from a local non?profit model of OA to a model based on high publication charges. This article considers whether Plan S promotes or undermines the ability of Indonesian scholars to develop systems of OA adapted to local resource constraints and research needs.