Flash Call for Discussants – Hirmeos Project

The HIRMEOS project is looking for members of the research community and scholarly communication experts who are interested in contributing to its workshop Shaping new Ways to Open the Book by participating as a discussant. The HIRMEOS consortium will cover travel and accommodation costs of the selected participants….”

Update on UKRI Open Access Review – UK Research and Innovation

As part of the ongoing Open Access Review, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will welcome input from across the sector later this year through a public consultation.

Open Access aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for researchers, the wider higher education sector, businesses and others.

The UKRI Open Access Review concerns open access to formal scholarly research articles, peer reviewed conference proceedings and monographs. It is an opportunity to align policies across UKRI’s councils, with the UK Funding Bodies on future Research Excellence Framework (REF) policy, and to consider how Innovate UK should be included. The current Research Councils UK (RCUK) policy continues to apply over the period of the review. There will be no change to the REF 2021 open access policy.

The Open Access Review is being undertaken in four phases of work, which started in Autumn 2018 and will run to Spring 2020.

Throughout the Review UKRI will be engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders, and a public consultation on the draft UKRI policy will now take place later this year to allow further time for input from across the sector on the draft policy. The review is expected to report in March and 2020 and UKRI expects the revised policy to apply during 2020.

Further information is available on the UKRI Open Access Review site….”

Draft Recommendations of the MIT Ad Hoc Faculty Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research

“The open sharing of research outputs promises to quicken the accumulation of knowledge and insight and enhance opportunities for collaboration. It also aligns with MIT’s mission. At MIT, we are “committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.” We currently manifest that mission via the open sharing of educational materials through OCW and MITx, and by openly sharing faculty research via the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. In addition, as MIT makes bold moves to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the prevalence of computing and the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, our efforts in these areas will depend on the open availability of large, diverse, and inclusive sets of data in all formats.

The Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has been charged with developing recommendations to further support and enhance the open sharing of MIT research and educational materials and to contribute to the global transition to open science. Recommended as part of the 2016 report from the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of Libraries, the task force is intended to address the large proportions of MIT’s research and teaching outputs that are not yet available for open dissemination. This includes the vast majority of faculty journal articles published before the adoption of the Faculty Open Access Policy in 2009, and over 50% of faculty articles published since then.

These bold, vital aims must, however, be considered in the context of complex changes in distribution and publication processes, as they evolve to harness the potential of the digital age to enhance and facilitate the sharing of science and scholarship so that research output can have maximum impact. We offer these recommendations amid signs of growing pains in this transition: at a time when proprietary and open systems and services for sharing data, code, and all forms of publication are proliferating; when the economic models for these new approaches are still being developed, debated, and tested; and when practices and policies around openness vary in different parts of the globe. In this time of transition, many publishers are struggling to implement successful open access business models and to meet new requirements from public and private research funders for more open access to scholarly articles and data. Researchers stretch to simultaneously act upon their wish to share their work broadly while meeting expectations for the kind of publication and credentialing that will advance their careers; some—such as a system-wide group at the University of California — are leading bold initiatives to assert their principles regarding the scholarly communication system and insist that publishers manifest them. …

[W]e should double down on responsible ways to manifest MIT’s foundational belief in the value of open sharing. This is the aim of our recommendations….”

Plan S: Achieving Universal Open Access to Research Papers is Becoming Unavoidable

“Reflecting on the recent consultation period for Plan S, a funder-led proposal for achieving universal open access to research papers, Jon Tennant argues that whereas, the consultation has in many ways followed the contours of previous OA debates, OA has now become an unavoidable part of academic life and has moved into the mainstream. For this reason, he argues that it is vital now, more than ever, to ensure that OA discussions are conducted as broadly and transparently as possible. …

Plan S has added a sense of urgency to the debate and drawn more academics into the bizarre, and complex, world of scholarly publishing, which, by and large, is not something that most researchers have any sort of formal training in. This has drawbacks, as in a field that has a rich history of research and debate, many actors can feel like they are having the same conversations again and again. More generally, I am also concerned about how the different information being shared about Plan S, and OA, is having an impact on the wider understanding of the issues, as well as the development of Plan S itself.

The whole point of Plan S was to disrupt the status quo and transform the world of scholarly publishing. If it yields to those who it is trying to disrupt, at the cost of the greater good, than that’s not exactly progress. Open Access is not a business model, so let us stop treating it as such. I believe that science can help us shape the world to be better, and can help solve the enormous problems that our planet currently faces. I do not believe that having it under the control of mega-corporations and elite individuals or institutes helps to realise this, or is in the principles of fundamental human rights.

Those behind Plan S need to come out and vocally state what they stand for, and what they stand against. Cut through the noise, expose the vested interests, and show who they are working for.”

Plan S – Time to decide what we stand for | Impact of Social Sciences

“Reflecting on the recent consultation period for Plan S, a funder led proposal for achieving universal open access to research papers, Jon Tennant argues that whereas, the consultation has in many ways followed the contours of previous OA debates, OA has now become an unavoidable part of academic life and has moved into the mainstream. For this reason, he argues that it is vital now, more than ever, to ensure that OA discussions are conducted as broadly and transparently as possible. …

The whole point of Plan S was to disrupt the status quo and transform the world of scholarly publishing. If it yields to those who it is trying to disrupt, at the cost of the greater good, than that’s not exactly progress. Open Access is not a business model, so let us stop treating it as such. I believe that science can help us shape the world to be better, and can help solve the enormous problems that our planet currently faces. I do not believe that having it under the control of mega-corporations and elite individuals or institutes helps to realise this, or is in the principles of fundamental human rights.

Those behind Plan S need to come out and vocally state what they stand for, and what they stand against. Cut through the noise, expose the vested interests, and show who they are working for….”

Feedback on the Implementation Guidance of Plan S Generates Large Public Response | Plan S

“Over 600 individuals and organisations provided feedback to cOAlition S on the implementation guidance of Plan S. Originating from over 40 countries, respondents providing feedback include researchers, librarians and libraries, publishers and editors, universities, learned societies, research funders and performers, and other interested citizens and organisations.

“We would like to thank the individuals and organisations who took the time to react and provide feedback. Never before have our diverse scholarly communities seen a debate on Open Access and the future of scholarly communications play out on such a global scale” said David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England (UKRI) and co-chair of the cOAlition S task force.

Responses are now being analysed and will feed into an updated version of the Plan S implementation guidance. An initial analysis of the feedback will be released in the spring and all feedback responses will be made openly available….”

Plan S: What’s the point of policy consultations? – Samuel Moore

“At first glance, consultations are an opportunity for organisations and individuals to shape a particular policy intervention through their responses. The architects of Plan S have granted the public an opportunity to voice their concerns with the expectation that these concerns are both heard and taken onboard in the resulting policy. This reading appeals to liberal-democratic notions of governance that assume the correct way to proceed will prevail, or that a compromise can be reached, if people can air their grievances through open and frank exchange of ideas.

The problem with such a conception of policy consultations is that it isn’t in clear how they should work: Whose comments should be taken into account (and are they weighted somehow)? Who gets to speak for whom? How do the Plan S architects incorporate such divergent and often oppositional feedback? Put simply, it is unclear how such feedback could ever result in a representative and fair process if all responses have to be accounted for somehow. Policy consultations are thus not an exercise in radical democracy….

In my PhD thesis, I looked at the creation of the HEFCE policy for open access for the next Research Excellence Framework. From reading a number of the consultation responses, and interviewing one of the policymakers at HEFCE, it became clear to me that the consultation was used to position actors in blocs so as to justify certain elements of the policy. For example, HEFCE were able to point to the consultation responses from learned societies and commercial publishers in order to make the case for a longer embargo length, even though many responses from different actors argued that embargos should be shorter. Learned societies and publishers were positioned by HEFCE as two different kinds of actors (the voices of academics and publishers) even though they both have a financial interest in the profits of the academic publishing industry. The consultation was thus used to justify (rather than reform) certain elements of the policy in accordance with the wishes of certain actors. The divergent responses to the consultation are helpful because they allow policymakers to cherrypick evidence that can make the policy more acceptable and seem more thought through….”

A response from Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, to UCL’s “Response to Plan S” | UCL Open Access

“UCL is pleased to post Robert Kiley’s response to the UCL Town Hall meeting and UCL’s Plan S consultation response as a contribution to the ongoing consultation over Plan S.

“As the cOAlition S representative at the UCL Town Hall meeting I’d like to thank UCL for their response to the Plan S guidance document and for giving me the opportunity to respond to some of the points raised.” …

I was disappointed by the UCL response to Plan S which calls for a “wholescale rethink of the strategy and timelines for moving to 100% Open Access”. …”