New service from publishers to streamline access to research

“Get Full Text Research (GetFTR) is a new, free to use solution that enables faster access for researchers to the published journal articles they need.

When researchers are using online tools to search for research, GetFTR will provide seamless pathways to the published journal articles they want. Researchers will be able to link directly to the most up to date and best version of an article. To create a seamless experience, researchers will be taken directly to the article, and just the article, from a wide variety of discovery tools that they are already using. Even if a researcher does not have the relevant institutional access to an article, publishers can provide an alternative version of the content. Importantly, GetFTR enables users to access content in this way both off-campus and on-campus.

Publishers and providers of online research services are encouraged and invited to take part in GetFTR’s development to help maximize its benefits for the research community….

When using today’s discovery tools and platforms, researchers will be able to easily tell which content their institution has made available to them via the GetFTR indicator. They will then be able to follow the enhanced links provided by GetFTR to seamlessly access research on publisher websites.

For users who do not have access based upon their institutional affiliation, participating publishers can provide access to an alternative version of the research, which will be more extensive than the abstract, enabling the user to better understand the nature of the article e.g. a preprint….”

Publishers Announce a Major New Service to Plug Leakage – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Today, a group of the largest scholarly publishers is announcing a new effort to improve discovery and access, fight piracy, compete with ResearchGate, and position their platforms for an open access ecosystem. Their new “Get Full Text Research” (GetFTR) service will meaningfully improve access for the vast majority of users who discover articles from starting points other than the publisher website. This important development in user experience more importantly provides further evidence that publishers are finally beginning to address digital strategy in an environment of growing leakage that has steadily eroded their ability to monetize the value they create. At the same time, it probably does not yet go far enough to reset the competitive environment….

Publishers have been working on improved discovery and access for several years now. The effort to create RA21 (now SeamlessAccess.org) is helping to overcome one major access stumbling block by making the authorization process smoother. GetFTR, a service that signals to the user whether they will have access to the full-text and then routes them directly to it, is a natural next step. 

Backed by the American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley, GetFTR has two components. First, it enables the discovery service to indicate whether the article full text is available to the user before clicking on a link to the publisher page and if so to link directly to it. It requires that a user has disclosed their institutional affiliation through the SeamlessAccess.Org “Where Are You From” service, which in turn stores the affiliation information locally on their browser. The user’s institutional affiliation is sent along with the article DOI to a service which then queries the appropriate publisher to determine whether the individual should be entitled to access the article. This should take place seamlessly in the background as a list of search results is loading. The user will see, in a list of search results, clear information such as a green or red button, on whether they will be able to access the full text of each article prior to clicking on the link to it. A user who then clicks on the link will be taken to their institutional login or directly to the article without any intermediate pages if they are already logged in during the current session. This is a natural next step to improve access by leveraging federated authentication that is being rolled out more broadly in the wake of RA21. If enough subscribing institutions adopt federated authentication and the GetFTR technical implementation is successful it will measurably improve user experience in many cases. 

In a way, however, the second aspect of GetFTR is more significant, because it recognizes that, in the workflow described above, many users are not entitled to access the licensed version. Naturally, a user with entitlements through a subscription will be routed to the version of record. But the service will also provide an alternative for others who do not have licensed access, an alternative that each publisher will be able to determine for itself. Some publishers might choose to provide access to a preprint or a read-only version, perhaps in some cases on some kind of metered basis. I expect publishers will typically enable some alternative version for their content, in which case the vast majority of scholarly content will be freely available through publishers even if it is not open access in terms of licensing. This alternative pathway is a modest technical development but will have far-reaching strategic implications. 

GetFTR is intended to be entirely invisible to the user other than an array of colored buttons indicating that the link will take them to the version of record, an alternative pathway, or (presumably in rare cases) no access at all. Thus, like RA21, the brand name is not intended to face towards users. Digital Science and Elsevier expect to pilot GetFTR in the first quarter of 2020 through their platforms Dimensions, Mendeley, and ReadCube Papers. GetFTR characterizes these kinds of discovery and scholarly collaboration platforms as “integration partners.” Technical details about the service and associated APIs for publishers and integration partners are available online. …

For publishers, this situation is increasingly untenable. Pirate sites include nearly 100% of licensed publisher content. In addition, various kinds of repositories make green versions available and scholarly collaboration networks provide access to tremendous amounts of content as well. But it is not just availability elsewhere that is a concern. The use of SciHub, ResearchGate, and other alternative sources of access has exploded. With usage growing rapidly through these alternatives, the share of usage taking place on the publisher site is declining….”

Can Geowalling Save Open Access? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Remember when Elsevier floated the idea of regional open access in 2017 and was soundly pilloried for it? 

I do. So imagine my surprise to hear that Jean-Claude Burgelman, the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission who serves on the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, has suggested geo-specific access as an approach to achieving open access!…

When pushed to reconcile his proposal with the principles of open access, Burgelman replied that regional access “is better than no OA and that it could be imagined at a regional level.”  …

The proposed solution is geowalling, which takes inspiration from the fact that “Amazon knows if someone is in the US or the UK and shows them different prices.” But, instead of different prices, geowalling would allow a user access or not based on geo-location. Burgelman seems to suggest that this geowalled access could also be used as a policy lever, to get other nations to follow the European lead. 

Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, stated to me via e-mail that “Jean-Claude Burgelman has made is clear that he made his remarks about Geowalling strictly in a personal capacity. This proposal does not reflect the position of cOAlition S, whose purpose is full and immediate Open Access as reflected in the June 2019 principles and implementation guidance.” …

I tend to agree with Burgelman that full regional access is better than no open access. More reading access for more readers at the same or lower price is a good thing. But, it is not open access. 

And, to quote Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, it is also: “Not in line with Plan S. Period.” …”

‘Location-specific’ blocks on journal access could be OA ‘interim solution’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Restricting ability to view open-access journal articles in nations that have not reciprocated with policies to remove paywalls could provide an incentive to aid the global spread of open access, according to a European Commission expert.

Jean-Claude Burgelman, the European Commission’s open access envoy, said – speaking in a personal capacity – that one of the arguments against open access was that although publishers were willing to commit to it in Europe, large parts of the world had not yet done the same. This would leave these nations free to access articles through initiatives such as Plan S – a global open access plan unveiled last year by European funders under the auspices of the commission – when their own country had not reciprocated with similar plans….” 

UC Davis Experiments with a New Textbook Model: An Interview with Jason Lorgan – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Beginning in fall of 2020, students will receive an email with links to the digital content and information on what print content they may need and guidance on where to get it. Each email will be personalized based on that student’s schedule. When students add or drop, the University will turn off access to the online content in the courses they have dropped and send them links to access the content for the courses they added. The burden will be on the University to make it easier for the student in Fall of 2020….

The fundamental difference between IA [inclusive access] and EA [equitable access] is that IA is organized at the course level, while EA is at the campus level. IA has variable pricing for each course and EA offers a fixed price per term regardless of what course you are taking….”

UC Davis Experiments with a New Textbook Model: An Interview with Jason Lorgan – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Beginning in fall of 2020, students will receive an email with links to the digital content and information on what print content they may need and guidance on where to get it. Each email will be personalized based on that student’s schedule. When students add or drop, the University will turn off access to the online content in the courses they have dropped and send them links to access the content for the courses they added. The burden will be on the University to make it easier for the student in Fall of 2020….

The fundamental difference between IA [inclusive access] and EA [equitable access] is that IA is organized at the course level, while EA is at the campus level. IA has variable pricing for each course and EA offers a fixed price per term regardless of what course you are taking….”

Digital Science and the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics join forces to provide ISSI members with free access to Dimensions and Altmetric data  – Digital Science

“Digital Science, a leader in scholarly technology, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) that will give ISSI members enhanced access to Dimensions and Altmetric data for scientometric research.

ISSI is an international association of scholars and professionals active in the interdisciplinary study science of science, science communication, and science policy. The ISSI community advances the boundaries of quantitative science studies, from theoretical, empirical, and practical perspectives.

Starting on October 1 2019, ISSI members will formally be invited to apply for no-cost access to Altmetric and Dimensions web tools and APIs. A committee of ISSI members will provide expert assessment of researchers’ applications and guidance on using Altmetric and Dimensions in their research.

This partnership builds upon Altmetric and Dimensions’ existing no-cost data sharing programs, which are currently open to all researchers conducting non-commercial scientometric research, while providing ISSI members with additional expert advice on early-stage research….”

Diverting Leakage to the Library Subscription Channel – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Likewise, we’ve known for some time that, while some publishers take a highly contentious stance towards ResearchGate, others have taken a different approach. Whatever one might have thought about ResearchGate earlier in its development, it has clearly arrived as a major service for researchers. ResearchGate is one of the most trafficked science websites globally and has more than twice the traffic of Google Scholar and many more times that of Sci-Hub. ResearchGate is also without question a site of leakage and that is precisely what also makes it an attractive platform for syndication. …

ResearchGate users without entitlements via a Springer Nature institutional subscription will continue to have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. It is worth noting that this is the version of record, which diverges from Elsevier’s tactic of providing an author manuscript to the non-entitled, and so all users (entitled and non-entitled) have access to the version of record….

The code behind the rendered web pages did not seem to show that the entitlements information was being passed from Springer Nature, but rather that ResearchGate is determining authorization using a database it accesses directly or perhaps via API. …

We also noted that the PDFs one downloads from ResearchGate are different files than the PDFs that are downloaded from the Springer Nature platform. Both platforms provide the version of record PDF but the files from ResearchGate had different watermarks in the footer than those from the Springer Nature platform. This makes even clearer that this is truly a case of syndication to the ResearchGate platform and not linking out from ResearchGate to the publisher platform, such as is done from library discovery layers. …

Bringing library-subscribed resources into the scholar’s workflow on ResearchGate helps to ensure that scholars have easy and seamless access to licensed materials and bypasses the cumbersome process of moving from a citation on ResearchGate, back to the library website, only to then be required to navigate the link resolver, authentication mechanisms, and the publisher platform before getting the PDF. With syndication, discovery is delivery. …”

Springer Nature and ResearchGate extend content sharing pilot following positive feedback | Group | Springer Nature

Springer Nature and ResearchGate today extend their content sharing pilot. The second iteration of the pilot will now see four times more Springer Nature content being rolled out across the ResearchGate platform, including content from specialized Springer journals. This enhanced accessibility means more Springer Nature authors will benefit from this partnership along with more Springer Nature-published content on the ResearchGate platform for ResearchGate users to access, download and share.

In addition, solutions will be assessed and tested to improve access to research literature for researchers off campus and on different devices. ResearchGate users without a Springer Nature institutional subscription will have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. This will be assessed via internal research and community feedback to see whether it is a sustainable model for the future.

The continuation of the pilot is the result of positive feedback from users during the first phase, which launched on March 7th, 2019 and provided full-text articles from 23 Nature-branded journals to ResearchGate so they could be made automatically available on authors’ profiles for all ResearchGate users to access, read and share on or off campus….”