Taking the Temperature on Open Access Among UC Berkeley Faculty | Ithaka S+R

“To promote a publishing ecosystem where the impact of research can be maximized by removing readership barriers, the UC Berkeley Library is making many efforts to push for open access publishing, including signing the OA2020 Expression of Interest and terminating our Elsevier journal subscriptions. But what are our faculty’s opinions on these issues? The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey gave us an opportunity to take the temperature of Berkeley faculty’s attitudes on open access.

Do Berkeley faculty support open access? The short answer is yes….”

Elsevier Progresses in Open-Access Deal Making | The Scientist Magazine®

“Last summer, dozens of academic institutions in Sweden let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse, forgoing permission to read new content in the scholarly publisher’s journals. Like other groups in Europe and the US, they were pushing for increased open access and contained costs—and had reached a deadlock in negotiations with the publisher. On Friday (November 22), the two sides announced that they had finally come to an agreement, establishing a so-called transformative deal that includes access to paywalled articles and open-accessing publishing into one fee….”

[Quoting] Wilhelm Widmark, the library director at Stockholm University and a member of the steering committee for the Bibsam consortium, which negotiates on behalf of more than 80 Swedish institutions. “I think Elsevier has become more flexible during the last couple of months.”

Just a day before the Swedish deal was made public, Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania announced a similar deal. These are the latest of several agreements Elsevier has forged to pilot open-access elements since the beginning of 2019. Earlier this year, for example, Hungary and Norway—both countries that had cancelled their subscriptions with the publisher after stagnant negotiations—also announced new contracts with the publisher….

As Elsevier is successfully forging deals on both sides of the Atlantic, there are still two major academic groups missing from these announcements: the University of California (UC) system, which includes 10 campuses, and Project DEAL, which represents around 700 academic institutions in Germany….”

Supreme Court to decide if Georgia code is free to the public

“On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up that question as the justices consider whether the annotated version of Georgia code is protected under copyright law or should be made available to the public free of charge.

The hotly disputed case, pitting the state against an open records proponent, has caught the attention of the Trump administration, whose lawyers say Georgia’s code should be protected. At the same time, news media and civil rights organizations are also weighing in, contending the public should have unhindered access to the state code….”

A deeply flawed paper in an Elsevier journal accuses PLOS of mismanagement

“1. This paper is not comparing the right journals (part 1). PNAS/MS/PLOS ONE is not the right comparison. Need to evaluate Elsevier’s PLOS ONE-like journals, Scientific Reports (Nature), G3 (GSA), PeerJ – other mega journals. Is it a PLOS ONE signal or something common to these journals? 


2. This paper is not comparing the right journals (part 2).  PNAS and MS are not general biology journals. PNAS publishes physics. PNAS has a massive rejection rate. Different world. I have no idea what the journal of Management Science is, but I would be highly surprised if they were getting the same DNA analysis papers as PLOS ONE. It may very well be that if you compare to other journals, subscription and open access, which take similar papers, the activity of the editors might be the same as at PLOS ONE.


3. Out of 7,000 PLOS ONE editors, this paper flagged issues with very few, focusing on 10 unusual ones. What if you look at 7,000 academic editors of subscription journals? Would you find problems with 10, 20, 100?

4. This paper is looking at editor activity. It is not looking at quality and soundness of typical papers in PLOS ONE. PLOS requires sharing of data, unlike others. PLOS requires sharing of raw Western blots, unlike others. PLOS requires and ensures many things while handling submissions in a way that all journals should but often do not. It is possible that an average paper in PLOS ONE is more reliable than an average paper at many other subscription non-mega-journals .


6. This paper’s abstract starts with “PLOS ONE has relied on a single-tier editorial board comprised of ?7000 active academics, who thereby face conflicts of interest relating to their dual roles as both producers and gatekeepers of peer-reviewed literature.” Excuse me. That has nothing to do with PLOS ONE or open access: every society journal with academic editors is precisely this.


7. Speaking of conflict of interest – this paper accuses the Public Library of Science of mismanagement with its title “Megajournal mismanagement: Manuscript decision bias and anomalous editor activity at PLOS ONE”; it is a flawed attack on PLOS ONE, published in an Elsevier journal. How is that okay?

8. The person that sent it to you wrote, “For those of you who have submitted articles to PLOS, or are thinking of it. Interesting but unfortunate editorial practices…” That is a statement against PLOS Biology, PLOS Genetics, etc – none of which are subject to this study. This study focuses on PLOS ONE, but even there, I am not sure if there is a signal of anything specific to the journal, as I highlight above….”

A new kind of ‘big deal’ for Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon University

“Carnegie Mellon University and Elsevier Thursday announced a new agreement to radically change how the institution pays to read and publish research.

Instead of paying separately to access Elsevier’s catalog of paywalled content and publish open-access articles in Elsevier journals, Carnegie Mellon will pay one flat fee for both….

The “read-and-publish” deal is a first with a university in the U.S. for Elsevier and is the result of nearly yearlong negotiations. Elsevier struck a similar deal with a consortium of Norwegian research institutions earlier this year.

Like the Norwegian deal, the Carnegie Mellon deal is being treated as an experimental pilot by Elsevier….”

?New transformative agreement with Elsevier enables unlimited open access to Swedish research – Kungliga biblioteket – Sveriges nationalbibliotek – kb.se

“The Bibsam Consortium is signing a Read & Publish agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier. This means that Swedish researchers will have access to the publisher’s 2000 journals once more. In addition, all Swedish research articles will be published open access….

The previous agreement with Elsevier was terminated in 2018, as Bibsam and Elsevier were unable to reach a solution that met both parties’ requirements for sustainable prices and open access. But after negotiations, a new agreement is now in place that meets Bibsam’s requirements and reflects fair value for both sides….

The key elements of the new agreement are:

Unlimited open access publishing in Elsevier hybrid and fully gold titles, society journals, and fully gold Cell Press and The Lancet titles
A unique pilot centred around open access publishing of 100 articles per year in Cell Press hybrid journals, which covers the entire consortium’s publication output in these journals
Reading rights to the Science Direct Freedom Collection (approximately 2,000 journals) from 1995, and as an additional option Cell Press (14 journals)
Publishing with CC-BY license (or another open license, according to the author’s wishes)….”


Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon Reach Transformative Open-Access Agreement as Research Universities Seek Major Change – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The impact of the University of California system’s decision in February to walk away from negotiations with Elsevier over journal subscriptions has rippled out to Pittsburgh, where Carnegie Mellon University’s libraries have struck a deal with the company that marks a significant stride in open-access publishing.

Under the agreement, Carnegie Mellon researchers will be able to read all Elsevier academic journals and, next year, can publish their articles in front of a paywall without having to pay an extra fee. The company and the university on Thursday said it was the first contract of its kind between Elsevier and an American university….

Webster surmised that the company wanted to make something work with Carnegie Mellon after UC canceled its subscription. “Elsevier probably couldn’t afford many more hits of licenses being canceled.”…

A spokeswoman for Elsevier did not respond to specific questions from The Chronicle or make representatives available for comment….”

University of California statement on Carnegie Mellon University’s transformative open access agreement with Elsevier – Office of Scholarly Communication

“We congratulate our colleagues at Carnegie Mellon on their bold commitment to open access and their success in reaching this landmark agreement with Elsevier. We are hopeful that the Carnegie Mellon news is a positive sign that Elsevier is ready to start signing transformative open access agreements with other U.S. research universities.

While the details of Carnegie Mellon’s agreement with Elsevier have not been released, the broad brushstrokes are consonant with UC’s goals: an integrated agreement that includes open access publishing for 100 percent of the university’s research in all Elsevier journals. We look forward to the opportunity to re-engage in conversations with Elsevier to achieve a cost-effective agreement on similar terms.

Each transformative open access agreement that is signed, in Europe and now here in the U.S., whether with Elsevier or another major publisher, increases our confidence that slowly but surely the scholarly publishing industry is changing. Change takes time, but we are moving, step by step, toward a world where publishers and research institutions are partners in making knowledge freely and openly available to everyone….”

Carnegie Mellon Publishing Agreement Marks Open Access Milestone

“Carnegie Mellon University, a longtime proponent of open-access research, is championing an international movement to revolutionize academic publishing.

The university recently reached a transformative agreement with the scientific publishing giant Elsevier that prioritizes free and public access to the university’s research. This comes at a time when universities around the world are working to transition the current subscription system of scientific journal publishing to new open access business models.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is the first of its kind between Elsevier and a university in the United States, Carnegie Mellon scholars will have access to all Elsevier academic journals. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, articles with a corresponding CMU author published through Elsevier also will be open access….”

How flipping a journal became about more than just open access – Digital Scholarship @ Leiden

“On January 14, 2019 the entire editorial board of Elsevier’s Journal of Informetrics (JOI) resigned. The editorial board wanted a journal with the same scope and same scientific standards, but owned by the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) (and not by the publisher), open access (instead of toll access) and with open citations. That is why, after resigning from JOI, they launched the new journal Quantitative Science Studies (QSS) with MIT Press [see news of the resignations and launch of the journal at the CWTS website and ISSI website respectively]. MIT Press participates in the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC).

I interviewed Ludo Waltman (professor of Quantitative Science Studies and deputy director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University) and Paul Wouters (Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, former director of CWTS and Open Science Coordinator at Leiden University) about the reasons for their decision and their views on the future of scholarly communication in general. …”