Creative Commons awarded $800,000 from Arcadia to support discovery and collaboration in the global commons

Creative Commons is pleased to announce an award of new funding in the amount of $800,000 over two years from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, in support of CC Search, a Creative Commons technology project designed to maximize discovery and use of openly licensed content in the Commons.

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Impact of Social Sciences – A variety of strategies and funding approaches are required to accelerate the transition to open access. But in all, authors are key

“More than two decades of work towards liberating scholarly publishing from paywalled constraints has left many within the scholarly community exploring ways to accelerate the transition to open access. Not all institutions or author communities will agree upon which strategies or funding approaches to undertake, and nor do they need to. But whichever strategy is pursued, having university faculty lead the charge represents the most effective way forward. Rachael G. Samberg, Richard A. Schneider, Ivy Anderson and Jeff MacKie-Mason share the University of California’s range of open access policy and advocacy materials, and highlight some potential next steps that may be of use to faculty and author communities.”

The UK Scholarly Communication Licence: Attempting to Cut through the Gordian Knot of the Complexities of Funder Mandates, Publisher Embargoes and Researcher Caution in Achieving Open Access

Whilst take-up of open access (OA) in the UK is growing rapidly due partly to a number of funder mandates, managing the complexities of balancing compliance with these mandates against restrictive publisher policies and ingrained academic priorities, has resulted in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) often struggling with confused researchers, complex workflows, and rising costs. In order to try to address this situation, the UK Scholarly Communication Licence (UK-SCL) was formulated to bypass the root causes of many of these challenges by implementing a licensing mechanism for multiple-mandate compliance in one single policy. This is the first empirical study to focus on the genesis of the UK-SCL and how its implementation has been conceived thus far. A qualitative research method was used, taking the form of 14 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders from the initiative across the UK. The results indicate that those working within UK HEIs are concerned with the co mplexity of the current OA policy landscape and are frustrated with the inertia within the current system, which has resulted in higher costs, further publisher restrictions, and has not addressed the underlying tensions in academic culture. The UK-SCL is seen by its initiators as a way to achieve further transition towards OA and take back some element of control of the content produced at their institutions. The study concludes by modelling the ways in which the UK-SCL is intended to impact relationships between key stakeholders, and discussing possible implementation futures.

University of Iowa: Sunsetting of the Open Access Fund

“For several years, UI Libraries has maintained an Open Access (OA) Fund to help researchers pay for the article processing charges (APCs) on open access publications. This fund supports authors choosing to make their publications open for anyone to read, broadening their audience and providing wide access to important research. We have decided to sunset the OA Fund for APCs within two years due to budget constraints. We found that the fund did nothing to offset our rapidly increasing journal subscription costs. In fact, the fund largely supports the same publishers to which we pay our pricey subscriptions. Given this reality, the final year that funding will be available is 2020, and the amount of funding for 2019 has been reduced from $3,000 per article to $2,000 per article. Additionally, each author will only be eligible to receive funding from the OA fund one time per fiscal year in 2019….”

Hypothesis Awarded $2M of New Funding From The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – Hypothesis

“Hypothesis is pleased to announce that it has recently been awarded $2 million in new funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This is our sixth grant from the Mellon Foundation, and we are grateful for their continued endorsement of our mission and work to scale the use of open, standards-based web annotation and the Hypothesis annotation tool suite in scholarship and research. Specifically, the focus of this multi-year grant, Scaling Annotation in Scholarship and the Humanities, will be to support feature enhancements and program development for Hypothesis’ annotation software and services, with an emphasis on the arts and humanities. With the support of the Mellon Foundation, Hypothesis has made substantial progress in adding important features such as group functions and moderation, realizing a W3C standard for web annotation, building the Annotating All Knowledge Coalition to bring together major publishers and scholarly platforms around open annotation, and growing our user base in the arts and humanities through outreach in publishing and education. This new round of funding will enable us to capitalize on our previous work and current trends in scholarship, publishing and education to accelerate growth in annotation and execute our business strategy for long term sustainability….”

Looking for commitment: Finnish open access journals, infrastructure and funding

Most of the 100+ Finnish scholarly journals are published by small learned societies. Since 2015, the National Library of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies have been working on a joint project which aims to provide the journals with the support they need for making a transition to open access. The project has launched an OJS-based shared publication platform (, which is already used by 50 journals. It has also been developing a new funding model for the journals. Since the subscription and licensing costs paid by the research libraries for these journals have been very small, it is not possible to simply use these funds to pay for open access. Instead, the project has been working on a consortium-based model, under which the Finnish research organizations and funders would commit themselves to providing long-term funding to the journals. In return, the journals would pledge to follow strict standards in openness, licensing, peer review and infrastructure.

KU Leuven supports a fair approach to scholarly publishing – Open Access Belgium

“KU Leuven launches the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, enabling the publication of scholarly books and articles in a way that is cost-effective, puts academics back in charge and benefits the public at large. For many years now, opposition against a commercial approach towards scholarly publishing has been growing stronger and stronger. The for-profit model leads to publications which are prohibitively expensive, either for the reader or for the researcher, and typically puts commercial partners in control of the dissemination of scholarly work since researchers have to transfer critical aspects of their author’s rights in order to get published. Alternatives such as Green Open Access (whereby researchers make an archival copy of their publication freely available to all), in most fields, do not challenge the traditional commercial publication model enough. Therefore, another alternative is on the rise, namely Fair Open Access. Publications in Fair Open Access are immediately freely available to all, are produced according to cost-effective (rather than commercial) principles and guarantee full control of researchers over the entire publication process. KU Leuven has been supporting Green Open Access for many years already, and now intensifies its efforts to maximize scholarly exchange, collaboration and innovation by creating the KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access, administered by KU Leuven Libraries. This fund provides financial support for the production costs of books published by Leuven University Press as well as articles in selected journals, on the condition that these journals are published according to the Fair Open Access model and maintain the highest academic standards. More information and application forms can be found here.”

Guest Post: From Supermarkets to Marketplaces – The Evolution of the Open Access Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Sven Fund. Sven is the Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched and founder of fullstopp, a digital consulting agency serving publishers, libraries, and intermediaries. From 2008 to 2015, Sven was the CEO of Berlin-based publisher De Gruyter. Prior to that he served in different functions from Managing Director to Executive Board member at what is now Springer Nature. He is a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Open access (OA) is undergoing yet another metamorphosis. So far, the space has been dominated by author-pays (via Article Processing Charges – APCs) models, both hybrid and “pure”. And while funders like Wellcome and the German Research Foundation are reviewing their policies – many of them a decade old by now – it is becoming ever clearer that APCs will not be the future of OA, at least not uniquely. With their normative approach of flipping traditional acquisition budgets, Ralf Schimmer, Kai Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have been advocating in principle that which is now becoming reality: i.e. that in order to really shake up the academic publishing market, other transactional models are necessary….

To make OA really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves. Publishers are structured like supermarkets: They operate as global consortia around their own products, generating demand, shouldering financial risk and investments and in the process generating profit. As long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain….”

Funder Perspectives on Open Infrastructure

“In March, 2019, the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) issued an open call for participation in a survey to better understand funder perspectives with respect to supporting open infrastructure. Sixteen funders completed the questionnaire, evenly split between ORFG members and other funding organizations. The vast majority of respondents (four in five) have some form of open access position, nearly evenly split between policies and recommendations. Beyond open access, however, there is very little consensus on other open activities. Data sharing is the only other activity supported by more than half of the respondents (four data sharing policies and six data sharing recommendations). Publication of null results, protocol sharing, and code sharing are each in play at roughly a third of responding foundations.”

Mellon Foundation Grant to Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library Will Catalyze New Scholarship on American Women’s Suffrage and the Still-Unrealized Promise of Female Citizenship | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

“The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has received a grant of $870,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will support fellowships and public programming centered on the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment at the Schlesinger Library and the broader Radcliffe Institute….

The Project will also create an open-access digital portal to facilitate interdisciplinary, transnational scholarship and innovative teaching on newly digitized Schlesinger Library collections along with historical databases tracking voting patterns….”