Plan S: what’s the point of policy consultations? (part 2) – Samuel Moore

“Earlier this year I wrote a post about the Plan S open access policy consultation process. I explored what I feel is the purpose of policy consultations, arguing that they are not radical or deliberative democratic exercises but are instead intended to confer a sense of legitimacy to top-down policy mandates…

Today the revised guidance for Plan S has been released in accordance with consultation feedback, including a helpful explainer on the rationale for each change. I thought it would be worth offering a quick assessment of the revised policy in accordance with my previous post….”

Explainer: What will the new EU copyright rules change for Europe’s Cultural Heritage Institutions | Europeana Pro

“On 17 May 2019 the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States have until the 7 June 2021 to implement the new rules into national law.  In this explainer, Paul Keller, Policy Advisor to Europeana Foundation breaks down the changes these new rules bring to Europe’s Cultural Heritiage insitutions. …

Article 14 of the directive clarifies a fundamental principle of EU copyright law. The article makes it clear that “when the term of protection of a work of visual art has expired, any material resulting from an act of reproduction of that work is not subject to copyright or related rights, unless the material resulting from that act of reproduction is original”. In other words, the directive establishes that museums and other cultural heritage institutions can no longer claim copyright over (digital) reproductions of public domain works in their collections. In doing so the article settles an issue that has sparked quite some controversy in the the cultural heritage sector in the past few year and aligns the EU copyright rules with the principles expressed in Europeana’s Public Domain Charter….

Finally the DSM directive introduces not one but two new Text and Data Mining exceptions (Articles 3 & 4) that will need to be implemented by all Member States. The first exception (Article 3) allows “research organisations and cultural heritage institutions” to make extractions and reproductions of copyright protected works to which they have lawful access “in order to carry out, for the purposes of scientific research, Text and Data Mining”. Under this exception cultural heritage institutions can text and data mine all works that the have in their collections (or to which they have lawful access via other means) as long as this happens for the purpose of scientific research. 

The second exception (Article 4) is not limited to Text and Data Mining for the purpose of scientific research. Instead it allows anyone (including cultural heritage institutions) to make reproductions or extractions of works to which they have lawful access for Text and Data Mining regardless of the underlying purpose. …”

Model Licensing Terms and Specifications for Data Resources, Version 2019-05

“This report documents a set of licensing terms and specifications recommended for use when negotiating purchase agreements for large, datasets and databases provided by commercial vendors in the areas of business, financial, and geospatial data. These terms and specifications may be applicable for licenses used in acquiring one-off datasets (raw or structured data absent tools or enabling software) and statistical databases (centrally-hosted data, usually offered through software, systems, and/or tools)….”

Internal Contradictions with Open Access Books – The Scholarly Kitchen

Knowledge Unlatched (KU) is back in the news. Founded as a not-for-profit open access (OA) book publisher by Dr. Frances Pinter, the organization has gone through a couple iterations until re-emerging as a for-profit company headed by Dr. Sven Fund. (Despite its for-profit status, KU continues to use its old URL, with a .org domain.) KU is now hard at work on developing its program, including its business model. A major piece of this, recently announced in an interview by Fund, is the Open Research Library (ORL), which aims to be a comprehensive collection of all OA books, of which there are now (according to KU) about 15,000-20,000, with approximately 4,000 more being added every year. KU can aggregate all these books, which have many publishers, because of the terms of their Creative Commons (CC) licenses, which encourage reuse and sharing. And that is what has set off a seismic disturbance.

 

Open enough? Eight factors to consider when transitioning from closed to open resources and courses: A conceptual framework | McNally | First Monday

Abstract:  Transitioning from closed courses and educational resources to open educational resources (OER) and open courseware (OCW) requires considerations of many factors beyond simply the use of an open licence. This paper examines the pedagogical choices and trade-offs involved in creating OER and OCW. Eight factors are identified that influence openness (open licensing, accessibility and usability standards, language, cultural considerations, support costs, digital distribution, and file formats). These factors are examined under closed, mixed and most open scenarios to relatively compare the amount of effort, willingness, skill and knowledge required. The paper concludes by suggesting that maximizing openness is not practical and argues that open educators should strive for ‘open enough’ rather than maximal openness.

 

Plan S delayed a year amid raft of changes

The controversial open-access initiative Plan S has been postponed for a year, to give publishers and research organisations longer to align with the intended systemic shift in academic publishing.

Revised implementation guidance for Plan S, published on 31 May, includes changes intended to address the main criticisms of draft guidance from 2018. Chief among these was that the original start date of 1 January 2020 was simply too soon for publishers and research organisations to prepare for the plan, which will require all researchers supported by signatory funders to make their work openly available immediately so that the maximum value can be squeezed from it.

“The launch of Plan S has triggered an unprecedented global debate about open access, and this in itself I think is a positive development,” Marc Schiltz, the co-initiator of Plan S and president of the association of research funders and performers Science Europe, told journalists ahead of the launch. “Based on the feedback…We have revised Plan S without compromising the fundamental principles.”

The new rules will apply to publications resulting from research funded under calls launched from 1 January 2021. But if the funders involved in the initiative want to, they can implement the rules earlier and apply them to existing grants.

Another significant change is that funders will have the option of letting researchers publish with a stricter licence than the plan’s highly permissive CC-BY default, in response to concerns particularly from social scientists about their work being misused. Permission to use a CC-BY-ND licence is foreseen on a case-by-case basis.

Funders will also not initially cap their payment of individual article-processing charges—the fees that publishers often charge for making articles available with open access instead of via subscription. Instead, they will focus more on transparency in publisher pricing, and could introduce a cap if they subsequently deem charges to be “unreasonable”.

Payment of APCs for hybrid journals that are moving away from offering paywalled publication alongside open access will be cut off on 31 December 2024, which is in line with the original timeframe of three years after the plan’s implementation. Support for hybrid journals that are not changing will end as soon as the funders begin implementing Plan S from 1 January 2021….”

Springer Nature comment on revised Plan S guidance

We are pleased to see public recognition of the role that transformative deals play in speeding up the transition to Open Access.  We already have nine such deals in place, the four most mature of which are delivering OA take up rates in those markets of over 70%….

However, the approach proposed for Green OA requiring a zero embargo and a CCBY licence on the authors accepted manuscript (AAM) is of particular concern as this could have serious unintended consequences….”

 

Wellcome updates open access policy to align with cOAlition S | Wellcome

“Following a large consultation, we have updated our open access (OA) policy so it now aligns with Plan S. The changes will apply from 1 January 2021. …

These are the key changes to our OA policy.  

 

  • All Wellcome-funded research articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC at the time of publication. We previously allowed a six-month embargo period. This change will make sure that the peer-reviewed version is freely available to everyone at the time of publication.
  • All articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless we have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC-BY-ND licence. We previously only required a CC-BY licence when an article processing charge (APC) was paid. This change will make sure that others – including commercial entities and AI/text-data mining services – can reuse our funded research to discover new knowledge.
  • Authors or their institutions must retain copyright for their research articles and hold the rights necessary to make a version of the article immediately available under a compliant open licence.
  • We will no longer cover the cost of OA publishing in subscription journals (‘hybrid OA’), outside of a transformative arrangement. We previously supported this model, but no longer believe that it supports a transition to full OA.  
  • Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, these preprints must be published:
    • before peer review
    • on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript
    • under a CC-BY licence.

    This is a new requirement which will make sure that important research findings are shared as soon possible and before peer review.

  • Wellcome-funded organisations must sign or publicly commit to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment(opens in a new tab) (DORA), or an equivalent. We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits. This is a new requirement to encourage organisations to consider the intrinsic merit of the work when making promotion and tenure decisions, not just the title of the journal or publisher….”

Navigating 21st-Century Digital Scholarship: Open Educational Resources (OERs), Creative Commons, Copyright, and Library Vendor Licenses: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Digital scholarship issues are increasingly prevalent in today’s environment. We are faced with questions of how to protect our own works as well as others’ with responsible attribution and usage, sometimes involving a formal agreement. These may come in the form of Creative Commons Licensing, provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act, or terms of use outlined by contractual agreements with library vendors. Librarians at Eastern Carolina University and Kansas State University (K-State) are among several university libraries now providing services to assist with navigating these sometimes legalistic frameworks. East Carolina University Libraries are taking initiatives to familiarize faculty, researchers, and students with Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons Licensing. At K-State, librarians in digital scholarship and electronic resources identified the overlap of their subject matters through their correspondence regarding users’ copyright and licensing questions; a partnership formed, and they implemented a proactive and public-facing approach to better meet user needs and liability concerns at a major research university.