Short statement from the SG of AAU on Open Access to all HEIs on the continent | Association of African Universities

“Policies:

* In hiring, promotion, and tenure, the university will give due weight to all peer-reviewed publications, regardless of price or medium.

* faculty who publish articles must either (1) retain copyright and transfer only the right of first print and electronic publication, or (2) transfer copyright but retain the right of postprint archiving.

* Adopt policies encouraging or requiring faculty to fill the institutional archive with their research articles and preprints

* all theses and dissertations, upon acceptance, must be made openly accessible, for example, through the institutional repository or one of the multi-institutional OA archives for theses and dissertations.

* all conferences hosted at your university will provide open access to their presentations or proceedings, even if the conference also chooses to publish them in a priced journal or book. This is compatible with charging a registration fee for the conference.

* all journals hosted or published by your university will either be OA or take steps to be friendlier to OA. For example, see the list of what journals can do….”

Data sharing and how it can benefit your scientific career

“Ecologist Thomas Crowther knew that scientists had already collected a vast amount of field data on forests worldwide. But almost all of those data were sequestered in researchers’ notebooks or personal computers, making them unavailable to the wider scientific community. In 2012, Crowther, then a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, began to e-mail and cold-call researchers to request their data. He started to assemble an inventory, now hosted by the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative, an international research collaboration, that contains data on more than 1 million locations. Data are stored in CSV files (plain-text files that contain a list of data) on servers at Crowther’s present laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and on those of a collaborator at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; he hopes to outsource database storage to a third-party organization with expertise in archiving and access.

After years of courting and cajoling, Crowther has persuaded about half of the data owners to make their data public. The other half, he laments, say that they support open data in principle, but have specific reasons for keeping their data sets private. Mainly, he explains, they want to use their data to conduct and publish their own studies.

Crowther’s database challenges reflect the current state of science: partly open, partly closed, and with unclear and inconsistent policies and expectations on data sharing that are still in flux….”

Los costos del APC: el caso de la Universidad de Antioquia – AmeliCA

From Google’s English: “The costs of publishing openly according to the European tendency to regulate its market of scientific publications have generated a debate that warns Latin America about the need to take a position on the cost that policies such as the Plan S for the development of science and its circulation. Latin America has been a pioneer in proposing a path for open science, provided that the publications of the region were born in open access, where scientific production is created and circulated by the academy itself. However, an important part of European and North American publications have not only charged for publishing, and do so increasingly, but also charge for access to articles. That cost has not been calculated for Latin America. Here is a first exercise, 

In the Institutional Development Plan 2017-2027 , the University of Antioquia adopted open science as one of the guidelines that will guide the development of the Institution in the decade. Under this framework, the University approved in April 2018 the Open Access Policy to the publications for the entity, in which it is defined that the institutional commitment is oriented towards the “Deposited Deposit”, in which the Library System assumes a leading role to be responsible for administering the Institutional Repository that houses the scientific production of the University, provided that copyright (moral and patrimonial) permit.

However, in the areas of socialization and disclosure of the policy it has been observed that a common concern of the researchers has revolved around who would be responsible for financing publications in open access. This in the sense of who finances the Article Processing Charges (APC), automatically assuming that the publication in open access implies the payment of APC to publishers, and ignoring that there are other routes under which open access works and that they require the APC [2] .

It is for this reason, among others, that the University of Antioquia has initiated the development of strategies to size and demystify open access in the Institution. In the first case, an investigative exercise was carried out to measure the institutional practices in Open Access, from the bibliographic sources and with the computation capacities that the CoLaV of the UdeA has been building, this being a collaborative that we have been developing in University. In the second case, an awareness campaign has been designed, open UdeA, which seeks to bring the actors of the University to the world of open access, showing its advantages, practices and the need for its implementation in the institution.

The present text seeks to show progress in the first case, giving a global panorama of the case of the University of Antioquia….”

OA2020 and cOAlition S Launch Joint Statement | Plan S

“One of several pathways pursued by OA2020 participants is to negotiate transformative agreements under which the funds previously spent for subscriptions are repurposed to cover the costs associated with open access publishing. This approach enables a swift and efficient transition to open access, in which ‘hybrid’ publishing models can be included to increase the proportion of articles published open access— without paying twice for services relating to one piece of content.

Institutions who engage in such agreements will contribute to delivering the greatest possible range in Plan S-compliant publishing options to their authors while significantly growing the proportion of research made openly available. At the same time, cOAlition S recognizes the importance, as one of three routes towards full and immediate open access, of those agreements in providing a strong incentive for scholarly publishers who have yet to pilot open access models. Publishers will find institutions and consortia willing to partner on such agreements in exchange for a commitment to a definitive transition to full and immediate open access with fair and transparent pricing. Neither the cOAlition S funders nor the OA2020 partners intend to pay for open access publishing in hybrid subscription journals outside such transformative agreements….”

OA2020 and cOAlition S Launch Joint Statement | Plan S

“One of several pathways pursued by OA2020 participants is to negotiate transformative agreements under which the funds previously spent for subscriptions are repurposed to cover the costs associated with open access publishing. This approach enables a swift and efficient transition to open access, in which ‘hybrid’ publishing models can be included to increase the proportion of articles published open access— without paying twice for services relating to one piece of content.

Institutions who engage in such agreements will contribute to delivering the greatest possible range in Plan S-compliant publishing options to their authors while significantly growing the proportion of research made openly available. At the same time, cOAlition S recognizes the importance, as one of three routes towards full and immediate open access, of those agreements in providing a strong incentive for scholarly publishers who have yet to pilot open access models. Publishers will find institutions and consortia willing to partner on such agreements in exchange for a commitment to a definitive transition to full and immediate open access with fair and transparent pricing. Neither the cOAlition S funders nor the OA2020 partners intend to pay for open access publishing in hybrid subscription journals outside such transformative agreements….”

UK signals move away from journal subscription model | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The UK could soon follow the example of Norway and Germany in ditching costly journal subscriptions in favour of more “read and publish” agreements, according to its lead negotiator.

Liam Earney, director of licensing at Jisc Collections, said it was clear that UK universities, like those in many other countries, were “no longer willing to pay for outdated systems” pushed by commercial publishers of the likes of Elsevier….

His comments followed news that the UK sector has signed a £9.6 million, three-year agreement to extend its read-and-publish deal with Springer Nature via the consortium. The deal allows UK researchers access to 2,150 Springer titles, but does not include access to Nature journals. Crucially, members will be able to make their articles freely available in Springer’s hybrid-model journals, a move that the publisher said was in keeping with open access guidelines under the Plan S initiative….

“From our point of view, we want to continue to work with Springer Nature. But it’s important that they put a workflow in place to support the transition to open access. That promise cannot just be rhetorical,” he said. “If we renew this next time around, I would hope that upfront [subscription] payments would be redundant.” …”

Research policy monitoring in the era of Open Science and Big Data – The what (indicators) and the how (infrastructures)

Research funders across Europe are increasingly mandating Open Science practices for funded research outputs to support open and free access to valuable elements of the scholarly communication life-cycle. From OA to publications and the recent PlanS developments, to the promotion and uptake of coordinated RDM practices, to the more advanced research assessment exercises to understand innovation and societal impact, there is a need for monitoring of research output.

National and EU e-Infrastructures respond to these needs by embedding and developing monitoring tools to provide evidence-based data on policy uptake, costs, and research impact, while at the same time promoting interoperability of information outputs, shareable across networks.

This two-day workshop, co-organised by OpenAIRE and Data4Impact, with support of Science Europe, will explore mechanisms for research policy monitoring and indicators, and how to link these to infrastructure and services. The first day will focus on open science indicators as these emerge from national and EU initiatives, while the second will be a forward thinking exploration for more advanced aspects of indicators for innovation and societal impact….”

The Initial Impact of the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory

Abstract:  In September 2016, members of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership—a broad, diverse group working to advance understanding of, and resolve critical issues in, the production, distribution and widespread engagement of digital scholarship in Canada and beyond—met to discuss future directions and focus areas. One of the resulting initiatives is the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory tracks national and international policies and policy changes in order to assist INKE partners with developing timely and responsive policies. This paper describes the development of the initiative, and reports on the initial impacts the project has had to date.

Common Struggles: Policy-based vs. scholar-led approaches to open access in the humanities (thesis deposit) – Samuel Moore

Abstract:  Open access publishing (OA) not only removes price and permission restrictions to academic research, but also represents an opportunity to reassess what publishing means to the humanities. OA is increasingly on the agenda for humanities researchers in the UK, having been mandated in various forms by universities and governmental funders strongly influenced by advocates in the STEM disciplines. Yet publishing practices in the humanities are unique to the field and any move to a new system of scholarly communication has the potential to conflict with the ways in which humanities research is published, many of which are shaped by the expectations of the neoliberal university that uniquely impact on the practices of humanities researchers. Furthermore, OA does not reflect a unified ideology, business model or political outlook, and different methods of publication based on open practices will inherently represent a variety of values, struggles or conceptual enclosures. This thesis assesses the contrasting values and practices of different approaches to OA in the humanities through a series of case-studies on governmental and scholar-led forms of OA, explored through a critical methodology comprising both constructivism and deconstruction.

The thesis argues that the UK governmental policy framework, comprised of policies introduced by the Research Councils (RCUK) and Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCE), promotes a form of OA that intends to minimise disruption to the publishing industry. The scholar-led ecosystem of presses, in contrast, reflects a diversity of values and struggles that represent a counter-hegemonic alternative to the dominant cultures of OA and publishing more generally. The values of each approach are analysed on a spectrum between the logic of choice versus the logic of care (following the work of Annemarie Mol) to illustrate how the governmental policies promote a culture of OA predominantly focused on tangible outcomes, whereas the scholar-led presses prioritise an ethic of care for the cultures of how humanities research is produced and published.

In prioritising a commitment to care, scholar-led presses display a praxis that resembles the kinds of activities and relationships centred on common resource management (‘commoning’). The thesis concludes with a series of recommendations for how such care-full values could be best realised in an emancipatory commons-based ecosystem of OA publishing for the humanities, which would be cultivated through a range of institutions and political interventions.