The Public Domain Manifesto

“The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new cultural works are created.

After decades of measures that have drastically reduced the public domain, typically by extending the terms of protection, it is time to strongly reaffirm how much our societies and economies rely on a vibrant and ever expanding public domain. The role of the public domain, in fact, already crucial in the past, it is even more important today, as the Internet and digital technologies enable us to access, use and re-distribute culture with an ease and a power unforeseeable even just a generation ago. The Public Domain Manifesto aims at reminding citizens and policy-makers of a common wealth that, since it belongs to all, it is often defended by no-one. In a time where we for the first time in history have the tools to enable direct access to most of our shared culture and knowledge it is important that policy makers and citizens strengthen the legal concept that enables free and unrestricted access and reuse….”

Bullied Into Bad Science: Leading individuals and institutions in adopting open practices to improve research rigour

“We are postdocs and a reader in the humanities and sciences at the University of Cambridge. We are concerned about the desperate need for publishing reform to increase transparency, reproducibility, timeliness, and academic rigour of the production and dissemination of scholarly outputs (see Young et al. 2016Smaldino & McElreath 2016).

We have identified actions that institutions and managers can take to better support ECRs (below). These actions are crucial for our success because we are eager to publish openly and at places that keep profits inside academia in accordance with many modern online publication venues (Logan 2017). However, ECRs are often pressured into publishing against their ethicsthrough threats that we would not get a job/grant unless we publish in particular journals (Carter et al. 2014Who is going to make change happen?Kent 2016; usually these journals are older and more familiar, have a print version, a high impact factor, and are not 100% open access). These out of date practices and ideas hinder ECRs rather than help us: evidence shows that publishing open access results in increased citations, media attention, and job/funding opportunities (McKiernan et al. 2016). Open dissemination of all research outputs is also a fundamental principle on which ECRs rely to fight the ongoing reproducibility crisis in science and thus improve the quality of their research.

To support ECRs in this changing publishing landscape, we encourage funders, universities, departments, and politicians to take the following actions (below) and to announce these actions in public statements….”

Petition · Theresa May MP: Open access to research findings (All diseases) free Journal articles access for all · Change.org

“Unfortunately, most of the latest research articles (e.g., cancer, diabetes) are not free to access to general public. These two ailments cost the government nearly half the budget of NHS. Most of the research published is either restricted or very expensive to obtain by general public and students (who completed their course). For better understanding and development of new era scientists, information should be free to access. The most significant problem among scientist community is currently, all the latest research is too expensive to obtain. All newest research articles should be published on open access basis so transparency in result reporting and repeatability of experiments can be monitored.

Education is essential as low rates of literacy are associated with regions of poverty. Knowledge about cancer could result in earlier diagnosis, better engagement with screening, and acceptance of diagnostic and treatment services. Such approaches need to reflect the local cultural requirement. Improve the public’s understanding of and attitude towards cancer (World Cancer Declaration, 2009)….”

Academics Protest China’s Censorship Requests | The Scientist Magazine®

“Scholars have formed a peer-review boycott to encourage journals to take a firm stance against requests to cull sensitive articles….More than 1,000 people from around the world have signed a petition calling on major journal publishers not to censor their offerings within China in response to governmental pressure. The petition pledges a peer-review boycott, stating, “we will not agree to provide peer review service until editors confirm that their publications do not censor content in the [People’s Republic of China], and we call on all others to do so as well.” …”

RCUK statement on the responsible use of metrics in research assessment

[Undated but released c. February 8, 2018.]

“Research councils consider the journal impact factor and metrics such as the H-index are not appropriate measures for assessing the quality of publications or the contribution of individual researchers, and so will not use these measures in our peer review processes. …The research councils will highlight to reviewers, panel members, recruitment and promotion panels that they should not place undue emphasis on the journal in which papers are published, but assess the content of specific papers, when considering the impact of an individual researcher’s contribution….The Research Councils will sign DORA as a public indication of their support for these principles….”

Petition · Peer Review Boycott of Academic Publications that Censor Content in China · Change.org

“While we acknowledge that it can be difficult to discern which publications or their holding companies are censoring in China, we call for a peer review boycott of any non-PRC-based academic publication known to be censoring its content in the People’s Republic of China. From now on, we will not agree to provide peer review service until editors confirm that their publications do not censor content in the PRC, and we call on all others to do so as well….”

Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibliodiversity

“This Call was drafted on the campus Jussieu in Paris by a French group comprising researchers and scientific publishing professionals working together in Open Access and Public Scientific Publishing task forces of BSN (Bibliothèque scientifique numérique, or Digital Scientific Library).

This Call is aimed at scientific communities, professional associations and research institutions to promote a scientific publishing open-access model fostering bibliodiversity and innovation without involving the exclusive transfer of journal subscription monies to APC payments….

We find it necessary to foster an Open Access model that is not restricted to a single approach based on the transfer of subscriptions towards APCs (publication fees charged to authors to allow free access to their articles). Such an approach would hamper innovation and otherwise would slow if not check the advent of bibliodiversity….

Open Access must be complemented by support for the diversity of those acting in scientific publishing – what we call bibliodiversity – putting an end to the dominance of a small number among us imposing their terms to scientific communities….

The scientific communities must be able to access national and international infrastructures which guarantee the preservation and circulation of knowledge against any privatization of contents….

Priority should be given to business models that do not involve any payments, neither for authors to have their texts published nor for readers to access them. Many fair funding models exist and only require to be further developed and extended: institutional support, library contributions or subsidies, premium services, participatory funding or creation of open archives, etc. We endorse the clear message to the scientific community at large released by the League of European Research Universities (LERU): Research funding should go to research, not to publishers! This is why current journal subscription spendings should be changed into investments enabling the scientific community to regain control over the publishing system and not merely into new spendings only earmarked to pay the publication fees for researchers to commercial publishers….

We call on creating an international consortium of stakeholders whose primary aim should be to pool local and national initiatives or to build an operational framework to fund open access publishing, innovation and sharing of resulting developments. We call on research organizations and their libraries to secure and earmark as of now a share of their acquisition budgets to support the development of scientific publishing activities, which are genuinely open and innovative, and address the needs of the scientific community….”

OA2020

“Open Access 2020 is an international initiative that aims to induce the swift, smooth and scholarly-oriented transformation of today’s scholarly journals from subscription to open access publishing.

The principles of this initiative were discussed and agreed upon at the Berlin 12 Conference on 8-9 December 2015 and are embodied in an Expression of Interest, which has already been endorsed by numerous international scholarly organizations.

The practical steps that can be taken towards the envisaged transformation are outlined in a Roadmap.

All parties involved in scholarly publishing – particularly universities, research institutions, funders, libraries, and publishers – are invited to collaborate through OA2020 for a swift and efficient transition of scholarly publishing to open access.

This important initiative is open to further institutional signatories. …”