“Since November 2016, more than 2700 members of the academic community in Finland have signed tiedonhinta.fi online petition which called for fair pricing for academic journal subscriptions and increased open access in the ongoing negotiation with international publishers. More than two thirds of those who signed the petition were prepared to abstain from editorial and reviewer duties in journals whose publishers are unwilling to meet the demands of the Finnish negotiators. It’s time to stand by that commitment: no deal, no editing and reviews.”
Abstract: Openness is one of the central values of science. Open scientific practices such as sharing data, materials and analysis scripts alongside published articles have many benefits, including easier replication and extension studies, increased availability of data for theory-building and meta-analysis, and increased possibility of review and collaboration even after a paper has been published. Although modern information technology makes sharing easier than ever before, uptake of open practices had been slow. We suggest this might be in part due to a social dilemma arising from misaligned incentives and propose a specific, concrete mechanism—reviewers withholding comprehensive review—to achieve the goal of creating the expectation of open practices as a matter of scientific principle.
“Thousands of scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are preparing for a new year without online access to journals from the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier. Contract negotiations in both Germany and Taiwan broke down in December, while Peru’s government has cut off funding for a licence….Elsevier and the [German] DEAL consortium, says Hippler, are still far apart with regards to pricing and the OA business model. “Taxpayers have a right to read what they are paying for,” he says. “Publishers must understand that the route to open-access publishing at an affordable price is irreversible.”
In Taiwan, meanwhile, more than 75% of universities, including the country’s top 11 institutions, have joined a collective boycott against Elsevier, says Yan-Jyi Huang, library director at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST, also known as Taiwan Tech).
On 7 December, the Taiwanese consortium, CONCERT, which represents more than 140 institutions, announced it would not renew its contract with Elsevier because fees were too high. Elsevier switched to dealing with universities individually. But the NTUST and many others — including Taiwan’s leading research institute, Academia Sinica — have each decided to uphold the boycott, from 1 January 2017….”
“For Academia.edu, numbers matter. Numbers are how the website promotes itself — more than 29 million registered users have posted more than eight million academic papers to the site, the “about” page boasts — and numbers are how the site makes money. Despite its domain name, Academia.edu is not an educational institution. It is a for-profit company, but it doesn’t charge academics to post or read research. So far, it has been funded by venture capital and job ads, and its success depends on its large user base. But its business model makes some academics uncomfortable. “Academia.edu and platforms like that are kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University and co-founder of Open Humanities Press. Mr. Hall is part of a small but influential group of doubters. He’s concerned that Academia.edu is profiting from academics’ free labor, and he worries that one company controls access to so much scholarly research….”
“The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association has approved a resolution to boycott Israel, which must now be voted on by the group’s membership….The resolution seeks to enlist a major academic publisher in excluding Israeli institutions from access to scholarly publications….”
“After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules. There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment Replaces the six month embargo period with ‘no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner’ as anticipated; and Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to ‘adjust’ the embargo period if the12 months does not serve ‘the public, industries, and the scientific community.’ We understand that these modifications were made in order accomplish a number of things: Satisfy the requirement of a number of Members of HSGAC that the language more closely track that of the OSTP Directive; Meet the preference of the major U.S. higher education associations for a maximum 12 month embargo; Ensure that, for the first time, a number of scientific societies will drop their opposition for the bill; and Ensure that any petition process an agency may enable is focused on serving the interests of the public and the scientific community …”
“Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue to be an incredible source of learning for how impact works in each of our disciplines, locations or sectors.”
“Open access for monographs and book chapters is a relatively new area of publishing, and there are many ways of approaching it. With this in mind, a recent publication from the Wellcome Trust aims to provide some guidance for publishers to consider when developing policies and processes for open access books. The Wellcome Trust recognises that implementation around publishing monographs and book chapters open access is in flux, and invites publishers to email Cecy Marden at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for further guidance that would be useful to include in this document. ‘Open Access Monographs and Book Chapters: A practical guide for publishers’ is available to download as a pdf from the Wellcome Trust website.”
“The purpose of this post is to shed some light on a specific issue in the transition to open access that particularly affects small and low-cost publishers and to suggest one strategy to address this issue. In the words of one Resource Requirements interviewee: ‘So the other set of members that we used to have about forty library members , but when we went to open access online, we lost the whole bunch of libraries. Yeah, so basically we sent everybody ,you know, a letter saying we are going to open access online, the annual membership is only $30, we hope you will continue to support us even though there are no longer print journals, and then a whole flu of cancellations came in from a whole bunch of libraries, which we had kind of thought might happen but given how cheap we are, I have to say I was really disappointed when it indeed did happen especially from whole bunch of [deleted] libraries [for which our journal is extremely relevant]. I was going, seriously $30?’ Comments: for a university library, a society membership fee, when not required for journal subscriptions, may be difficult to justify from an accounting perspective. $30 is a small cost; however, for a university the administrative work of tracking such memberships and cutting a check every year likely exceeds the $30 cost. With 40 library members at a cost of $30, the total revenue for this journal from this source was $1,200. A university or university library could sponsor this amount at less than the cost of many an article processing charge. The university and library where the faculty member is located have a support program for open access journals; clearly the will, and some funding, is there. One of the challenges is transitioning subscription dollars to support for open access, as I address in my 2013 First Monday article. Following is one suggestion for libraries, or for faculty to suggest to their libraries: why not engage your faculty who are independent or society publishers to gain support for cancellations or tough negotiations and lower prices for the big deals of large, highly profitable commercial publishers that I argue are critical to redirect funding to our own publishing activities? Here is one scenario that may help to explain the potential …”