A few thoughts on OA Monitoring and CRISs (I) | euroCRIS | Pablo de Castro

“In the wake of the AT2OA workshop on Open Access monitoring to be imminently held in Vienna, the post looks into recent attempts to coordinate the various national-level initiatives that are taking place in the area and suggests some possible prerequisites for this international endeavour to be able to succeed. It also argues that a successful OA monitoring in the pioneering countries should pave the way for other ones to eventually follow for their own progress assessment needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A European Council statement was issued in May 2016 aiming to achieve full Open Access to research outputs by 2020. This was hailed at the time as a major step forwards in the push to widen access to the results of publicly-funded research. Nearly two years later there’s a generalised awareness of the difficulty to reach this political goal across the EU by the proposed deadline. This should however not stop the efforts to achieve further progress and to improve the way Open Access is being implemented – this 100% Open Access objective is clearly achievable in specific countries that will then to some extent provide a best practice approach.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the areas where more work needs to be done is the actual monitoring of the progress in Open Access implementation. This has been on the cards for some time now, since national roadmaps with specific milestones and deadlines for reaching this 100% Open Access started to be produced quite a long time before the European Council meeting itself was held. This national-level discussions have resulted in a number of initiatives to monitor Open Access that are being implemented in different countries. The Knowledge Exchange, that brings together stakeholders like the Jisc in the UK, the DFG in Germany, SURF in the Netherlands, DEFF in Denmark or CSC in Finland, have taken a particularly relevant role in the past couple of years in ensuring that the various national-level approaches to Open Access monitoring would have the opportunity to discuss the progress with each other at a number of workshops….”

Research: Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature | eLife | Daniel Scott Himmelstein et al.

“Abstract: The website Sci-Hub enables users to download PDF versions of scholarly articles, including many articles that are paywalled at their journal’s site. Sci-Hub has grown rapidly since its creation in 2011, but the extent of its coverage was unclear. Here we report that, as of March 2017, Sci-Hub’s database contains 68.9% of the 81.6 million scholarly articles registered with Crossref and 85.1% of articles published in toll access journals. We find that coverage varies by discipline and publisher, and that Sci-Hub preferentially covers popular, paywalled content. For toll access articles, we find that Sci-Hub provides greater coverage than the University of Pennsylvania, a major research university in the United States. Green open access to toll access articles via licit services, on the other hand, remains quite limited. Our interactive browser at https://greenelab.github.io/scihub allows users to explore these findings in more detail. For the first time, nearly all scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection, suggesting the toll access business model may become unsustainable.”

Lokaverkefni: “Opinn aðgangur að rannsóknum : tækifæri og áskoranir fyrir háskólasamfélagið á íslandi” | Skemman

A thesis by Sigurbjörg Jóhannesdóttir, submitted in October 2015. 

Abstract:  Open Access (OA) are introduced and discussed associated with open scholarship and the international scientific community. The status of Open Access in Iceland is explored through the laws and policies relating to OA, gratis and libre publications within scholarly journals, publication within open repositories, and the opportunities that scientists have to publish scholarly papers in OA.

Data was collected through interviews with experts in the Open Access field. Two questions were used from a study of OA that was conducted among scientists at Reykjavik University (RU) 2014, as well as an analysis of a list of their published articles in scholarly journals in 2013. 

The results show that OA is growing slowly in Iceland. Four institutions have OA policies. Icelandic scientists are not taking full advantage of the rules of journals about publishing articles within OA. Scientists’ beliefs concerning the barriers standing in their way for publishing sholarly papers in OA are based on a lack of knowledge and a lack of access to institutional repositories in which they might wish to publish their articles. 

The opportunities and challenges that Icelandic universities face regarding open sholarship are outlined and discussed. The universities need to have policies for OA and Open Educational Resources (OER) which are consistent with what is happening internationally. Academics need to receive helpful information on OA, they also need to receive encouragement, advice and support concerning publishing in OA. The universities and the scientific community in Iceland need to take a joint decision on what are the best ways for the continued preservation and publication of research and educational resources in OA.

Is Openness Enough? | Morsi

Abstract:   Openness, applied in scholarly and research practices, has garnered increasing interest in recent years. With the broadening reach of Open Access as an alternative scholarly publishing model, there is anticipation that open scholarship practices will produce desirable outcomes for research and access to knowledge. The purpose of this article is twofold: firstly to highlight that Open Access is more than just the removal of paywalls, and that it is part of a wider set of open practices that can potentially yield a more collaborative and equitable global landscape of knowledge production. Secondly, to present the IDS [Institute of Development Studies] Bulletin as a case study for an Open Access publication that has evolved to adapt to a changing scholarly publishing landscape. By critiquing prevalent discourse on openness alongside this case study, we hope that this article contributes to conversations on issues at the intersection of open scholarship, collaborative research and equitable access to knowledge.