Connecting Africa to the Knowledge Commons: From Project to Sustainable Infrastructure

“Open access in Africa faces several challenges related to maintain open access digital platforms and how to keep them updated. In most of the cases, public resources are not enough. Also, there is a prevailing challenge on human resources professionalization on publishing practices in the digital environment….

Open access in Africa initiative aims to promote the Open access research in Africa by Africans, and also contributors from all the world. This initiative will collecte information on open access challenges in Africa. The website designed for this initiative will allow to users to have information freely by language, location, and research field….

We need all information and databases on open access lunched in Africa and how Open access can be successfully impacted career of researchers in Africa. Our next priority is to design a website that will allow users from Africa to access freely to databases by location, language, academic discipline, and researcher type….”

ArSciHub — A Sci-Hub Mirror on Arweave – 12Bits – Medium

“Everytime a scholar retrieves a research paper from Sci-Hub, or from elsewhere, they can elect to archive the paper on ArSciHub. A paper archived on ArSciHub is stored permanently on Arweave’s decentralised blockweave, and added to the ArSciHub index for future access by the archiver and the general public.”

ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians, Draft Revision Feedback – ACRL Insider

“The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) is seeking community input on proposed revisions to the ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians, approved by the ACRL Board of Directors during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference….

Please review the draft revision (PDF) on the ACRL website and send your feedback by July 1, 2018 to Steven Harris (stevenharris@unr.edu)….”

APA Creates Open Science and Methodology Chair to Deepen Commitment to Data Sharing, Transparency in Science

“The American Psychological Association has created an open science and methodology chair to work with its authors, reviewers, editors and publications board to understand and develop best practices for the evolving landscape of open science in psychological research. “APA is committed to promoting transparency and sound practice in psychological research,” said Rose Sokol-Chang, PhD, APA’s journals publisher. “We are enthusiastic about offering the psychology community another resource to bolster this work.” APA’s Publications and Communications Board approved the post and will issue an open call to recruit for it in early summer. The chair will initially work with a committee to help refine and extend the P&C Board policy for APA journals related to open science practices. APA Journals is committed to publishing transparent research, publishing replications and offering resources such as its Journal Article Reporting Standards for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research design; open science badges; and an APA Journals data repository, in conjunction with the Center for Open Science. “APA recognizes the importance of sharing data to aid secondary discovery, increase efficiency in research discoveries and improve reproducibility in science,” said Sokol-Chang. Qualifications for the post are experience in open science practices, including data sharing, reproducibility and preregistration; editorial experience and familiarity with APA journals policy; experience with data management, research methodology and clinical trials; and having served on an institutional review board. Interested applicants can read more about the position online or by email. APA is the world’s largest nonprofit publisher of psychological science, setting standards for scholarship in the field. APA Publishing produces journals, books, videos, databases and educational products for researchers, practitioners, educators, students and the public. “

Libraries Face a Future of Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“When librarians prepare for a negotiation, they now routinely reach for the muscle. At least that’s how I read the news about the Swedish library consortium and its dealings with Elsevier. If you have been too preoccupied with the Royal Wedding to pay attention to news coming out of the world of STM publishing, you can get a good backgrounder here. Briefly, the Swedish consortium attempted to dictate terms to Elsevier, terms that Elsevier would not accept. The result is that Elsevier’s contract will be cancelled, meaning that there will be no authorized access to Elsevier content for the consortium users.

I have written previously about how the current landscape looks to publishers. In every negotiation, publishers are mindful that their ability to control access to their publications is compromised by unauthorized access from such sites as Sci-Hub and ResearchGate. How can Elsevier or any publisher shut off the Swedes or the Germans when Alexandra Elbakyan is waiting in the anteroom? Librarians have learned to reach for the muscle and now confidently demand terms that no publisher can or will accept. This raises the obvious question of whether librarians knowingly and actively seek the support of copyright pirates; or perhaps librarians simply are going about their business in their usual upbeat way, working diligently to make the world a better place, and the critical involvement of the shady characters is neither sought nor recognized. My own view has changed. I think the cynicism quotient in academic libraries, measured against other organizations and institutions, is very low. This is not, after all, Wall Street or, lord help us, the telecommunications business. But, like the populist governments that have now been installed in a number of Western democracies, the party of cynicism has taken control of some leading library organizations. Thus a nod to the likes of Luca Brasi no longer seems out of line. Having grown up in New Jersey, I have some qualms about what it means for anyone to form an alliance with unsavory characters. What do you do when they ask for a favor in return?

So it’s about time to consider what happens if the libraries win. By “win” I mean they refuse deals with publishers and turn their constituencies over to unauthorized sites. This will save them huge amounts of money, of course, money that they would surely like to put to other uses. Publishing is an ecosystem, however, and a significant change in one element can ripple across the entire field. If Sci-Hub becomes the default place to go for full-text content, what else will change?

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EUREKA by ScienceMatters

“EUREKA is a scientific review and rating platform fuelled by the EUREKA token. Blockchain has the capacity to open science and make research findings immutable, transparent and decentralised. EUREKA revolutionises the scientific publishing and reviewing process by making it more efficient and fair using the EUREKA token to compensate all parties involved. Scientific discoveries can now be openly rated and rewarded based on the quality of the research….

Scientific observations are timestamped, hashed and recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. This gives the author or inventor immediate ownership rights, and ensures scientists’ and researchers’ discoveries are tamper-proof….

Scientific observations undergo crowdsourced, peer-to-peer reviews which are transmitted and recorded on the EUREKA platform. The EUREKA platform will make use of crowdsourced wisdom and reviewers to get fast, accurate evaluations of the work, instead of being restricted to one or two reviewers, as is common practice….

The EUREKA platform’s crowdsourced scoring of scientific work will provide researchers as well as publishers with a new metric that can be used to evaluate submissions more swiftly. Preprints or observations with ratings and reviews will be archived through the EUREKA decentralised and distributed system. In cases where the author wants to publish in a traditional journal, the scores can be transferred to the journals. The test scores are also available to funders, universities and prize or awards committees….”

Open Access Policy Adopted by IU Bloomington Faculty | Indiana University Libraries

“In 2017, the Bloomington Faculty Council unanimously approved an Open Access policy that ensures that faculty scholarship will be accessible and available to the public for future generations. Adopting such a policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases. The policy can be found at IUB’s VPFAA site and an FAQ has been posted to our website. The Scholarly Communication staff will be available to help authors deposit their work in IUScholarWorks Open, our repository for the Open Access policy.. Faculty members may also contact us to opt-out of the policy or opt-out themselves using the same repository. Resources are available for faculty who are interested in learning more about the impact and implementation of the policy. Please direct questions to iusw@indiana.edu or the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.”

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.”