Scientific Research Shouldn’t Sit behind a Paywall – Scientific American Blog Network

Most of the scientific research conducted in the U.S. and abroad is supported by federal government funds — that is to say, by taxpayer dollars. Yet much of the information that results from such funding is not publicly available outside of research institutions that can afford expensive scientific journal subscriptions.

Instead, students, doctors, researchers and the public often have to pay a fee of some $40 per article to read the latest scientific research. As a result, physicians, for instance, may not be able to read a paper with direct relevance to their clinical practice….

This is just not right.

Luckily, there’s a solution: open access. Open access is the idea that scientific literature, which was paid for largely by public funds, including author fees, should be available for all….

Unfortunately, commercial publishers have been slow to adopt the open access model for fear that it might reduce their sizable profit margins. The world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, for example, enjoys a profit margin of about 40 percent for its publishing division — larger than that of nearly every other publicly traded corporation in the world….”

 

The open access wars: How to free science from academic paywalls – Vox

“This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control.

The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says University of California Davis librarian MacKenzie Smith, who, like so many other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.”

Will the Davids prevail?…”

cOALition S and Plan S: explained | European Heart Journal | Oxford Academic

cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: ‘By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms’.

cOAlition S currently comprises 13 national research funding organizations and two charitable foundations from 13 countries who have agreed to implement the 10 principles of Plan S in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission and the ERC….

An implementation task force, led by John-Arne Røttingen (RCN) and David Sweeney (UKRI), will now collaborate with other stakeholders and work towards the swift and practical implementation of these principles….”

Science ouverte, le défi de la transparence – Académie éditions

From Google’s English: “A new way of conceiving scientific research, open science, was born with the computer revolution. In the wake of Open Access  (free access to the results of research funded by public money), it supports the great ideal of transparency that today invades all spheres of life in society. This book describes its origins, perspectives and objectives, and reveals the obstacles and obstacles to private profit and academic conservatism.

Bernard Rentier is a Belgian virologist. After an international career as a researcher, he became vice-rector ( 1997-2005 ) and then rector of the University of Liège ( 2005-2014 ). It has established an institutional repository system for scientific publications that has become a model of open access and is currently dedicated to promoting open science in all its implications for research and researchers….”

OE [Open Education] Day at UTA [U of Texas at Arlington]

Abstract:  We’ll define open educational resources (OER), examine the impact of OER use in higher education, discuss copyright and open licensing, and explore avenues for identifying existing OER that can be remixed and reused. The presentation will cover updates on federal and state OER initiatives and highlight support for open educational practices at UTA, including access to and technical support for Pressbooks, a web-based publishing platform.

Scholarly Communication Primer for Sociologists – Google Docs

“Scholarly publishing takes place in an institutional arena that is opaque to its practitioners. As readers, writers, reviewers, and editors, we have no clear view of the system within which we’re working. Researchers starting their careers receive (if they’re lucky) folk wisdom and mythology handed down from advisor to advisee, geared more toward individual success (or survival) than toward attaining a systemic perspective. They may learn how to get their work into the right journals or books, but often don’t learn why that is the outcome that matters for their careers, how the field arrived at that decision, and what the alternatives are – or should be. Gaining a wider perspective is important both for shaping individual careers and for confronting the systematic problems we face as a community of knowledge creators and purveyors.

This primer starts from the premise that sociologists, especially those early in their careers, need to learn about the system of scholarly communication. And that sociology can help us toward that goal. Understanding the political economy of the system within which publication takes place is necessary for us to fulfill our roles as citizens of the research community, as people who play an active role in shaping the future of that system, consciously or not. Responsible citizenship requires learning about the institutional actors in the system and how they are governed, as well as who pays and who profits within the field, and who wins or loses….”

Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

“Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, the young Kazakhstani scientist Alexandra Elbakyan has done to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls. Sci-Hub, her pirate web scraper service, has done more than any government to tackle one of the biggest rip-offs of the modern era: the capture of publicly funded research that should belong to us all. Everyone should be free to learn; knowledge should be disseminated as widely as possible. No one would publicly disagree with these sentiments. Yet governments and universities have allowed the big academic publishers to deny these rights. Academic publishing might sound like an obscure and fusty affair, but it uses one of the most ruthless and profitable business models of any industry.

The model was pioneered by the notorious conman Robert Maxwell. He realised that, because scientists need to be informed about all significant developments in their field, every journal that publishes academic papers can establish a monopoly and charge outrageous fees for the transmission of knowledge. He called his discovery “a perpetual financing machine”. He also realised that he could capture other people’s labour and resources for nothing. Governments funded the research published by his company, Pergamon, while scientists wrote the articles, reviewed them and edited the journalsfor free. His business model relied on the enclosure of common and public resources. Or, to use the technical term, daylight robbery.

As his other ventures ran into trouble, he sold his company to the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier. Like its major rivals, it has sustained the model to this day, and continues to make spectacular profits. Half the world’s research is published by five companies: Reed Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley-Blackwell and the American Chemical Society. Libraries must pay a fortune for their bundled journals, while those outside the university system are asked to pay $20, $30, sometimes $50 to read a single article….”