Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

The University of Manchester response to the implementation of Plan S

“We are pleased to note the cOAlition’s support for the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), to which the University was one of the first signatories, which aligns with UoM’s commitment to responsible metrics. A significant proportion of UoM research is subject to existing funder OA policies. The University Library has enabled Gold or Green OA for more than 3000 papers annually since 2016 and we achieve high levels of funder compliance (currently over 90% for the UK REF OA policy). Since 2012 we have supported publisher experimentation with OA models and contributed to the development of the UK-Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL). This experience, together with responses from a University-wide consultation on the implementation of Plan S, informs our comments and concerns detailed below. The ‘Supporting Document’ section includes further consultation responses from UoM researchers….”

My Response to Plan S – Toby Green – Medium

“1. Publishing has been hi-jacked by the reputation economy….

2. Publishing is a bundle of services: as the low-cost airlines showed, unbundling can open up markets….

3. The central problem isn’t open access, it’s that scholarly publishing costs more than available funds….

4. Finally, why not do it yourself?….”

My Response to Plan S – Toby Green – Medium

“1. Publishing has been hi-jacked by the reputation economy….

2. Publishing is a bundle of services: as the low-cost airlines showed, unbundling can open up markets….

3. The central problem isn’t open access, it’s that scholarly publishing costs more than available funds….

4. Finally, why not do it yourself?….”

Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall

“Researchers at German institutions that have let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse while negotiating a new deal are hitting the paywall for the publisher’s most recent articles around 10,000 times a day, according to Elsevier — which publishes more than 400,000 papers each year.

But at least some German libraries involved in negotiating access to Elsevier say they are making huge savings without a subscription, while still providing any articles their academics request.

A major stumbling block to getting deals signed is institutions’ desire to combine the price they pay for subscriptions to pay-walled journals with the cost that libraries and researchers pay to make articles open-access….”

Open Access: Current Overview and Future Prospects

Abstract:  This paper examines, with emphasis upon the United States, the current status of open access and its future prospects from a literature review of items published since 2015. The examination of sources goes beyond articles in scholarly journals to include columns in the blog The Scholarly Kitchen and other selected resources as needed to fill gaps. With the enormity of the literature on the subject, the analysis does not claim to be comprehensive and focuses on key issues. This author takes care to look beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine)1 fields to discuss the effect of open access in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Overall, open access today looks very different from the goals of its proponents in 2002. For authors, open access has increased availability of scholarly resources and fostered distribution of their research, often after the payment of fees. Large commercial publishers have found ways to benefit from open access through author processing charges and by acquiring smaller presses. Open access overall has not allowed libraries to save money on serials subscriptions and has often increased costs through their support of institutional repositories and payment of author fees. Continued library support for open access is often more of a philosophical stance without significant cost-saving benefits.

Ciencia: Todos contra Elsevier, el gigante editorial científico que cobra a España 25 kilos al año

From Google’s English: “The opacity of how much public institutions invest in subscriptions to scientific journals is maximum. Until now there was nothing published about it. However, records analyzed by Teknautas and the Data Unit of El Confidencial offer a first estimate: Spain spends around 25 million euros annually on subscriptions to Elsevier , an amount that doubles or triples the expenditure of other European countries.

Until recently, the activity of this editorial went unnoticed by the common non-scientific mortals despite billing 2,600 million euros in 2016. However, one day they saw their business threatened and decided to counterattack ….”

LIBSENSE Survey on Open Access Repositories & Librarians’ Roles – Ubuntunet Alliance Region

“Currently, according to Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), there are 255 existing Open Access repositories in Africa. To address a project of federating Open Access repositories across the multiple African regions in which they operate, the identification of key capabilities and training needs for African HEI librarians is needed.The survey aimed to produce a rounded picture of how higher education sector librarians view the enabling and constraining factors of their practice as information resource managers especially regarding the development, implementation and maintenance of Open Access Repositories….

Regarding the existence of a national policy on the management of research outputs, only 32% of the sample confirm that their respective countries have such a policy in place. As many as 45% say they do not have any such thing. As a reality check we compared these results against statistics from the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP1) and found that similarly, two types of policy seemed to exist in African countries (one related to institutions and one related to funders) and the incidence of the latter was non existent in eastern African countries and not too signficant in southern African countries. 

Meanwhile, a significant 23% are also ignorant about the existence of a national policy, exposing the gaps in advocacy, particularly for countries which have such policies….

Drawing from the above, unsurprisingly, the survey records a low incidence on the existence of national open access repositories – only 20% of respondents say they have national repositories in their countries. 64% do not have OARs and some 16% are ignorant about the existence of such in their countries….

The general consensus on the insufficiency of funding for the management of digital information resources is quite disturbing (see figure 12). Expectations on the efficiencyand availability of information resources is likely to be low if as many as 84% say that funding is inadequate…”

A journal cancellation survey and resulting impact on interlibrary loan | Nash | Journal of the Medical Library Association

Abstract:  Objective: The research describes an extensible method of evaluating and cancelling electronic journals during a budget shortfall and evaluates implications for interlibrary loan (ILL) and user satisfaction.

Methods: We calculated cost per use for cancellable electronic journal subscriptions (n=533) from the 2013 calendar year and the first half of 2014, cancelling titles with cost per use greater than $20 and less than 100 yearly uses. For remaining titles, we issued an online survey asking respondents to rank the importance of journals to their work. Finally, we gathered ILL requests and COUNTER JR2 turnaway reports for calendar year 2015.

Results: Three hundred fifty-four respondents completed the survey. Because of the level of heterogeneity of titles in the survey as well as respondents’ backgrounds, most titles were reported to be never used. We developed criteria based on average response across journals to determine which to cancel. Based on this methodology, we cancelled eight journals. Examination of ILL data revealed that none of the cancelled titles were requested with any frequency. Free-text responses indicated, however, that many value free ILL as a suitable substitute for immediate full-text access to biomedical journal literature.

Conclusions: Soliciting user feedback through an electronic survey can assist collections librarians to make electronic journal cancellation decisions during slim budgetary years. This methodology can be adapted and improved upon at other health sciences libraries.