Re: Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research

“Authors Alliance welcomes the opportunity to respond to this request for information on Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research.1 Authors Alliance is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advance the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly.2 We create resources to help authors understand and enjoy their rights and promote policies that make knowledge and culture available and discoverable. We strongly support removing price and permission barriers to access the results of federally funded research because doing so: • Is consistent with most scientific authors’ wishes; • Supports learning, teaching, research, and practice; and • Creates a more hospitable environment for scientific advancement….”

Open Access lessons during Covid-19: No lockdown for research results! | Plan S

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it, and research is no exception. Globally, scientists are working together at unprecedented speed, in a race against time to understand the virus and its treatment, sharing data and results as fast as they can. Journal editors are cooperating and becoming more flexible. Embargoes are lifted, paywalls abolished and preprint servers like MedrXiv and bioRxiv have accelerated research evaluation and discussion. Suddenly the demand for instant access to the relevant research literature has become self-evident. How could the argument for full and immediate Open Access still be ignored?…”

Our response to the UKRI OA Review – F1000 Blogs

“To add precision to the requirements of the UKRI’s OA policy, it would be helpful for the UKRI to make clear that all types of research-based articles that are submitted for peer review at publication outlets that meet the UKRI’s qualifying standards/criteria (and for which some sort of payment is required to secure OA – predominantly though an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC)) are covered by the policy….

The UKRI also needs to be clear about when it will ‘pay’ to enable OA.  For example:

would the policy apply if ‘at least one author’ has UKRI HE funding? 
if there are multi-funded authors listed on an article, and one or more of the authors have access to funds to support OA, what is the role of each funder? (i.e. do they split the costs? Is there a lead? Etc) …

UKRI should require an author or their institution to retain copyright AND specific reuse rights, including rights to deposit the author’s accepted manuscript in a repository in line with the deposit and licensing requirements of UKRI’s OA policy….

 

UKRI OA funds should not be permitted to support OA publication in hybrid journals…

 

While there are some benefits around transformative agreements – not least in terms of the simplicity of achieving OA for authors! – we do worry that such ‘big deals’ can effectively reduce author choice around publishing venue, effectively lock out OA-born and smaller publishers and have the potential to create and exacerbate inequalities in access to research across the globe; this does not therefore represent good value to the public (nor does it guarantee any kind of a sustainable model of publishing).

We would advise UKRI to consider how and where transformative deals can have unintended consequences in terms of lock-ins (and potential cost tie-ins) with specific publishers (often those operating at scale) while effectively making OA-born publishers work harder to engage and access researchers. …”

Our response to the UKRI OA Review – F1000 Blogs

“To add precision to the requirements of the UKRI’s OA policy, it would be helpful for the UKRI to make clear that all types of research-based articles that are submitted for peer review at publication outlets that meet the UKRI’s qualifying standards/criteria (and for which some sort of payment is required to secure OA – predominantly though an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC)) are covered by the policy….

The UKRI also needs to be clear about when it will ‘pay’ to enable OA.  For example:

would the policy apply if ‘at least one author’ has UKRI HE funding? 
if there are multi-funded authors listed on an article, and one or more of the authors have access to funds to support OA, what is the role of each funder? (i.e. do they split the costs? Is there a lead? Etc) …

UKRI should require an author or their institution to retain copyright AND specific reuse rights, including rights to deposit the author’s accepted manuscript in a repository in line with the deposit and licensing requirements of UKRI’s OA policy….

 

UKRI OA funds should not be permitted to support OA publication in hybrid journals…

 

While there are some benefits around transformative agreements – not least in terms of the simplicity of achieving OA for authors! – we do worry that such ‘big deals’ can effectively reduce author choice around publishing venue, effectively lock out OA-born and smaller publishers and have the potential to create and exacerbate inequalities in access to research across the globe; this does not therefore represent good value to the public (nor does it guarantee any kind of a sustainable model of publishing).

We would advise UKRI to consider how and where transformative deals can have unintended consequences in terms of lock-ins (and potential cost tie-ins) with specific publishers (often those operating at scale) while effectively making OA-born publishers work harder to engage and access researchers. …”

Taylor & Francis input to UKRI Open Access Review – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

“We urge UKRI to focus on requiring immediate access only to the final published research output or version of record, with the certainty this OA route provides of research being trusted, validated, discoverable, curated and preserved in perpetuity. We believe that a permissive policy approach is the best way to achieve UKRI’s aims. Encouraging a diverse ecology will help support the development of innovative models and diversification of existing models, will accelerate the growth in OA and will allow new entrants to join the research communication ecosystem, encouraging competition. As we have outlined in our response, the zero embargo Green OA route is an unsustainable mechanism that implies creation of content that is not paid for. This actually runs counter to UKRI’s long term aspirations around opening up research outputs….

We encourage future OA policy in the UK to support a variety of publication venues, including those most preferred by their communities, irrespective of their open access model, as they are the vehicles that drive research, being used and trusted by their communities. We are exploring options for hybrid journals other than the APC-OA model that will allow them to make their publications more widely available. We are keen to explore with UKRI, other funders, and researchers how we can best support these journals as they move to OA, and how we can offer sustainable publication venues across disciplines….”

Taylor & Francis input to UKRI Open Access Review – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

“We urge UKRI to focus on requiring immediate access only to the final published research output or version of record, with the certainty this OA route provides of research being trusted, validated, discoverable, curated and preserved in perpetuity. We believe that a permissive policy approach is the best way to achieve UKRI’s aims. Encouraging a diverse ecology will help support the development of innovative models and diversification of existing models, will accelerate the growth in OA and will allow new entrants to join the research communication ecosystem, encouraging competition. As we have outlined in our response, the zero embargo Green OA route is an unsustainable mechanism that implies creation of content that is not paid for. This actually runs counter to UKRI’s long term aspirations around opening up research outputs….

We encourage future OA policy in the UK to support a variety of publication venues, including those most preferred by their communities, irrespective of their open access model, as they are the vehicles that drive research, being used and trusted by their communities. We are exploring options for hybrid journals other than the APC-OA model that will allow them to make their publications more widely available. We are keen to explore with UKRI, other funders, and researchers how we can best support these journals as they move to OA, and how we can offer sustainable publication venues across disciplines….”

Arcadia Fund | Our response to the OSTP’s Request for Information on Open Access – Arcadia Fund

“A significant part of Arcadia’s mission is to protect endangered nature. In order to best protect threatened landscapes and biodiversity, it is vital that the latest research is easily and freely available to everyone engaged in conservation and restoration sciences. Yet recent analysis of a large survey conducted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that half of the 2,285 respondents find it ‘not easy’ or ‘not at all easy’ to access relevant scientific research [1]. This is no surprise, as 85% of all conservation biology papers are not open for public readership [2]. These include many studies funded by US federal agencies. The situation is similar across most disciplines. For instance, in ophthalmology: across medical institutions there is widespread inequality of access to field-relevant research [3]. As these examples show, the traditional subscription journals business model does not provide equitable access to research paid for by public or philanthropic funds. It fails to provide sufficient easy access to discipline-relevant literature even to practitioners of the discipline, be it conservation sciences, ophthalmology or other scientific endeavours.

With easier and cheaper access, both researchers and practitioners would be more effective and productive.

Federal agencies have the power to mandate that federally-funded research should be immediately publicly available online, without a paywall, on publication. The United States has digital research infrastructures that could and would support such a policy. Government scientific research funders in Austria, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Zambia have all committed to mandating the immediate public availability of government-funded research online, without a paywall. The world is now facing a pandemic that scientific research can help to solve. The United States would show leadership by making immediate public access to government-funded research the new normal. This would maximize the return on investment of US funded research – paywalled research outputs are a misuse and misappropriation of tax dollars.

We also note that academic paywalls harm national security: military consultancies and defense contractors have inadequate access to the latest research, which can deter them from turning concepts into reality [4]. The Department of Defense publishes unclassified research whilst protecting classified material. Open Access as practiced by Federal agencies is not a threat to national, military, or commercial interests….”

Will Trump White House tear down journal paywalls? Many anxiously await a decision | Science | AAAS

“Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with U.S. funding be made immediately free to all.

Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But critics of paywalls argue they are expensive and outmoded, and that tearing them down is the best way to advance scientific research.

On 6 May, the deadline passed on a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for public comments on ways to expand public access to the fruits of federally funded research, including published papers, data, and computer codes. In February, OSTP also asked for input on the benefits and challenges of making the roughly 220,000 papers produced annually by U.S.-funded researchers immediately free on publication, and on “effective approaches” to making that happen….”

IP Scholars File Comments with OSTP on Public Access to Scholarly Publications – Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property

“A group of intellectual property scholars filed comments yesterday with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), asking it to forgo its plans to make all federally-funded scholarly publications free and open to the public upon initial publication. The comments were submitted in response to a notice of Request for Information (RFI) that was published in the Federal Register seeking recommendations “on approaches for ensuring broad public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications, data, and code that result from federally funded scientific research.”

While the RFI did not specifically mention intellectual property rights, it is clear that any proposal to provide free access to federally-funded scholarly publications would have significant ramifications for the copyright owners of those works. The comments argue that any such plan to further lessen the exclusive rights of these owners should be rejected as it “ignores and destroys the resource-intensive review, translation, and commercialization processes required to produce and disseminate these manuscripts” and “confuses the so-called public domain with the public sphere or market.” …”

Trump Administration Would ‘Eviscerate’ Copyright, Say Industry Players

““The Trump Administration should not permit the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to eviscerate the key constitutional and economic function of copyright law by forcing US intellectual property owners to give away their copyrighted works for free to China and the rest of the world.”