arXiv Annual Update, January 2020 | arXiv e-print repository

“Our next-generation arXiv (arXiv-NG) initiative to improve the service’s core infrastructure by incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system continues to progress. This includes significant effort towards laying the foundations for the NG submission system, which the team hopes to alpha test in Q12020. Existing search, browse, accounts, documentation NG components received incremental improvements. The team also took the initial and essential steps to improve the overall accessibility of arXiv’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes (e.g. support for a mobile-friendly abstract page)….

Key Accomplishments in 2019 and Plans for 2020 Since we started the arXiv sustainability initiative in 2010, an integral part of our work has been assessing the services, technologies, standards, and policies that constitute arXiv. Here are some of our key accomplishments from 2019 to illustrate the range of issues we have been trying to tackle. Please see the 2019 Roadmap for a full account of our work.

We continue to improve facilities for administrators and moderators in order to streamline their workflows, and to improve clarity and transparency of arXiv communications. During 2019, the arXiv team expanded quality control flags.
Our development team continued to improve and extend various search, browse, documentation, and other features as we reimplement, test, refine and continue to improve the arXiv platform. The team made significant progress reimplementing the submission user interface towards an alpha release, new and legacy APIs, as well as backend services. Wherever possible, new software components are developed in public repositories and released under permissive open source licenses. With a reduction of effort in Q42019 due to staff departures, the team shifted most of its remaining resources towards improving and maintaining the operational stability of the arXiv services.
Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), under the leadership of Licia Verde, has clarified roles and responsibilities for the arXiv Subject Advisory Committees and the Committee Chairs. The effort for outreach and recruitment of new moderators has increased in 2019 with an aim to increase diversity among moderators. We have also modified the SAB membership to include greater representation and engagement with the newer fields that have joined arXiv.
Two major policies were adopted in 2019 including the arXiv Code of Conduct and a Privacy Policy. We thank the staff, moderators, advisory boards, and arXiv users who have contributed to the development of the Code of Conduct.
The arXiv team wished farewells to Janelle Morano (Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator), Jaimie Murdock (arXiv NG Developer), Erick Peirson (Lead System Architect), Liz Woods (User Experience Specialist) and Matt Bierbaum (arXiv Labs). We were pleased to welcome Shamsi Brinn as our new User Experience Specialist in October 2019 and Alison Fromme as new Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator in January 2020. We also initiated a search for a new Backend Python Developer in the last quarter of 2019.
We moved information about our governance, business model, and reports to arXiv.org, to improve overall accessibility to pertinent information about arXiv’s operations. This information was previously available on the arXiv Public Wiki. We continue to regularly update our community at the arXiv.org blog.
As part of the organizational change to Cornell CIS we moved offices in 2019. The arXiv team now has its own dedicated space in historic Uris Library.

The 2020 Roadmap includes our goals as we strive to improve the technical infrastructure, moderation system, user support, and the sustainability framework….”

What is a Sustainable Path to Open Access? | SIGPLAN Blog

“The ACM OPEN plan, on the other hand, falls squarely in the second approach: mutualising costs. I think it is potentially viable, and virtuous. I say potentially because, as many pointed out (and as stated in the text of the ongoing petition), the calculations of the “cost” that is proposed to mutualise seem to include much more than the publication process alone. But also because we should think at a more global scale: this means in particular identifying the parts of the ACM publishing infrastructure that are specific, and mutualise with other entities those that are generic, bringing the overall cost down. More clarification is needed, but the recent second letter from ACM leadership lets us hope that ACM is able to listen to its members.

In any case, it’s important in this debate to have a clear sustainability plan, and analyze all the costs involved. On the one hand, one should not add to the bill costs unrelated to the publishing infrastructure. On the other hand, one must refrain from thinking that there is no cost apart from our own work as researchers/reviewers/editors/pc-chairs: even simply maintaining an online archive for the long term has a real, uncompressible cost, that we usually do not see until we have to actually run one [disclosure: I’m running one now].”

Towards sustainable open access: A society publisher’s principles and pilots for transition – Legge – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

New partnerships are needed to move away from paywalls and avoid article publishing charge?based publishing.
It remains difficult for small societies to negotiate with consortia, and partnerships with other societies may be a route forward.
Being open to different open access routes and using different pilots are key to learning which routes will be sustainable in the future.
While the starting position for most ‘read and publish’ offerings is based on historical spend, this will need to be re?evaluated in the longer term.
The lack of independent, universal reporting mechanisms and universally adopted persistent identifiers for institutions is a barrier to establishing agreements and one that needs a cost?effective solution….”

Towards sustainable open access: A society publisher’s principles and pilots for transition – Legge – 2020 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

New partnerships are needed to move away from paywalls and avoid article publishing charge?based publishing.
It remains difficult for small societies to negotiate with consortia, and partnerships with other societies may be a route forward.
Being open to different open access routes and using different pilots are key to learning which routes will be sustainable in the future.
While the starting position for most ‘read and publish’ offerings is based on historical spend, this will need to be re?evaluated in the longer term.
The lack of independent, universal reporting mechanisms and universally adopted persistent identifiers for institutions is a barrier to establishing agreements and one that needs a cost?effective solution….”

From Meow to ROAR: Expanding Open Access Repository Services at the University of Houston Libraries

Abstract. INTRODUCTION The rapidly changing scholarly communication ecosystem is placing a growing premium on research data and scholarship that is openly available. It also places a growing pressure on universities and research organizations to expand their publishing infrastructures and related services. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM To embrace the change and meet local demands, University of Houston (UH) Libraries formed a cross-departmental open access implementation team in 2017 to expand our open access repository services to accommodate a broad range of research products beyond electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). The result of this effort was the Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (Cougar ROAR), a rebranded and expanded portal to the UH Institutional Repository, and the UH Dataverse, which disseminates the full range of scholarly outputs generated at the University of Houston. This article describes the team’s phased activities, including internal preparation, a campus pilot, rebranding, and a robust outreach program. It also details the team’s specific tasks, such as building the Cougar ROAR portal, developing ROAR policies and guidelines, enhancing institutional repository functionality, conducting campus promotional activities, and piloting and scaling a campus-wide open access program. NEXT STEPS Based on the pilot project findings and the resulting recommendations, the team outlined key next steps for sustainability of the UH Libraries’ open access services: continuation of the campus CV service, establishment of campus-wide OA policy, further promotion of Cougar ROAR and assessment of OA programs and services, and investment in long-term storage and preservation of scholarly output in Cougar ROAR.

Here’s What You Can Do with Your Overhead · punctum books

“As punctum books over the last few years has tried to develop a sustainable model of scholar-led open-access publishing, and has devoted a considerable amount of resources to advocating for the common goods of public scholarship and knowledge, we have increasingly encountered arguments, both open and veiled, that somehow our practice would not be “replicable,” “scalable,” or, indeed, “sustainable.” These arguments often depart from the assumption that we—in one way or the other—are not playing by the rules of the academic publishing game. And because we would be rigging the game, our publishing model could reasonably never gain any traction, let alone serve as a model for others.

Some of these arguments suggest that we have poured our own supposed personal (or family) resources into punctum, and that this would give us an unfair advantage over traditional legacy publishers. If we choose to disregard the reality of the sizable endowments for certain university presses and the obscene profit margins of commercial players, it is indeed the case that for many years we have worked for salaries below the industry standard. However, we never made the claim that the scholar-led open-access model that punctum advocates necessitates such below-market remuneration levels; on the contrary, we believe that with the current money that is already in the system, all scholarly publishers, editors, and authors can be paid a reasonable living wage. We don’t assume that any open-access scholar-led publishing house that were to follow the model we are developing would have to make the same financial sacrifices we did in our early years—that, indeed, would be unsustainable and unreplicable….”

Here’s What You Can Do with Your Overhead · punctum books

“As punctum books over the last few years has tried to develop a sustainable model of scholar-led open-access publishing, and has devoted a considerable amount of resources to advocating for the common goods of public scholarship and knowledge, we have increasingly encountered arguments, both open and veiled, that somehow our practice would not be “replicable,” “scalable,” or, indeed, “sustainable.” These arguments often depart from the assumption that we—in one way or the other—are not playing by the rules of the academic publishing game. And because we would be rigging the game, our publishing model could reasonably never gain any traction, let alone serve as a model for others.

Some of these arguments suggest that we have poured our own supposed personal (or family) resources into punctum, and that this would give us an unfair advantage over traditional legacy publishers. If we choose to disregard the reality of the sizable endowments for certain university presses and the obscene profit margins of commercial players, it is indeed the case that for many years we have worked for salaries below the industry standard. However, we never made the claim that the scholar-led open-access model that punctum advocates necessitates such below-market remuneration levels; on the contrary, we believe that with the current money that is already in the system, all scholarly publishers, editors, and authors can be paid a reasonable living wage. We don’t assume that any open-access scholar-led publishing house that were to follow the model we are developing would have to make the same financial sacrifices we did in our early years—that, indeed, would be unsustainable and unreplicable….”

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER)

“[T]he UNESCO OER Recommendation has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation….”

New Landscapes on the Road of Open Science: 6 key issues to address for research data management in the Netherlands | Open Working

“The road to Open Science is not a short one. As the chairman of the Executive Board of the European Open Science Cloud, Karel Luyben, is keen to point out, it will take at least 10 or 15 years of travel until we reach a point where Open Science is simply absorbed into ordinary, everyday science.

Within the Netherlands, and for research data in particular, we have made many strides towards that final point. We have knowledge networks such as LCRDM, a suite of archives covered by the Research Data Netherlands umbrella, and the groundbreaking work done by the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences.

But there is still much travel to be done; many new landscapes to be traversed. Data sharing is still far from being the norm (see here for a visualisation of these results).

The authors of this blog post have put together six areas that, in their opinion, deserve attention on our Open Science journey….”

Open is Eating the World: What Source Code and Science Have in Common – The Scholarly Kitchen

“There are increasingly noticeable connections between open source and open research. Both open research and open source are promoted as mechanisms to improve quality by creating faster and more robust feedback mechanisms, they’re both intended to reduce waste and unnecessarily duplicated effort (validation is not duplication of effort, they’re different things), and they both draw / are dependent on communities to be both valuable and sustainable….”