ARL Supports University of California Libraries’ Commitment to Barrier-Free Access to Information – Association of Research Libraries

“The Libraries of the University of California (UC) are seeking transformative agreements with publishers such that access to the research of UC faculty is open to all, not limited to those who can afford it. In February 2019, the UC Libraries withdrew from negotiations with the publisher Elsevier due to lack of progress, and in July, Elsevier cut off access to current content for all UC campuses.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) expresses strong support for the UC Libraries in their efforts to initiate change and expand access to research. While ARL member library approaches to transformative change may vary, we applaud UC’s commitment to the values and vision they have articulated even at the expense of disruption. In particular, we commend the strong coalition of faculty, librarians, and administrators across the UC system, that together developed the principles and together managed the negotiations….”

OA in the Open White Paper Surfaces Challenges, Opportunities, Next Steps for Open Access Collecting – Association of Research Libraries

“A new white paper from the Supporting OA Collections in the Open project documents a series of conversations with librarians with expertise in collections, acquisitions, scholarly communication, and administration, from diverse institutions, regarding their experiences and attitudes towards financially supporting open access (OA) content. The project was led by librarians at James Madison University (JMU), in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

Funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), OA in the Open convened a series of national forums where community members discussed their needs, values, and priorities in relation to open access collection development. The forums clarified areas of opportunity and friction, and led to productive discourse and identification of common themes about collective funding of public-goods content.

Through moderation that leveraged the insights and interactions of focus group participants, the project team developed a white paper that articulates the challenges, opportunities, and potential mechanisms for building an OA collection development system and culture and that motivates the community toward collective action….”

ARL Endorses COAR/SPARC Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), through its mission to catalyze the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information, supports the COAR/SPARC Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services. The landscape of tools and infrastructure to support the research enterprise reflects a complex mix of economic models, both commercial and community-owned, both proprietary and open source. With the growing enthusiasm and support in Canadian and US research libraries for academy-owned, community-governed open scholarly communication, these seven principles serve as excellent guideposts for the community as it builds and coordinates components and services for open scholarship….”

White Paper Examines Providing Access to Texts in Context of Civil Rights and Copyrights – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the University of Virginia (UVA) Library are pleased to release a white paper, The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights, authored by Brandon Butler (UVA), Prue Adler (ARL), and Krista Cox (ARL). This white paper, part of a project supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, analyzes how institutions of higher education can meet their mission of providing all students with equitable access to information within the current legal framework. Ensuring access to research and learning materials is critical in protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities….”

Plan S and the UC-Elsevier negotiations—publication as part of research funding | ARL Policy Notes

What if universities collectively agreed to the same principles as the Plan S coalition and the UC—that fully funding research also means funding open, immediate dissemination? When we talk about academy-owned, or scholar-led publishing—inclusive of text, data, materials, software, etc.—we would do well to remember that nearly one quarter of R&D is funded by universities. And that’s just STEM. Universities fund a much higher percentage of research in the humanities and social sciences, where open access increases reach, readership, and impact in critical arenas such as policy and civic society.

Plan S and the UC-Elsevier negotiations—publication as part of research funding | ARL Policy Notes

What if universities collectively agreed to the same principles as the Plan S coalition and the UC—that fully funding research also means funding open, immediate dissemination? When we talk about academy-owned, or scholar-led publishing—inclusive of text, data, materials, software, etc.—we would do well to remember that nearly one quarter of R&D is funded by universities. And that’s just STEM. Universities fund a much higher percentage of research in the humanities and social sciences, where open access increases reach, readership, and impact in critical arenas such as policy and civic society.

ARL Comments on Plan S Open Access Implementation Guidelines | Association of Research Libraries® | ARL®

In particular ARL:

  • Supports the acknowledged role of open repositories as mechanisms for achieving immediate open access to scholarship, and endorses the February 6, 2019, response to Plan S implementation guidelines from the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). COAR both articulated the challenges of the open repository community in meeting the high technical requirements of Plan S as written, and offered minimum viable requirements necessary to achieve the vision of Plan S.
  • Shares the cOAlition S acknowledgement of a diversity of models for OA journals, in particular non-APC-based outlets. ARL has concerns about the technical requirements in the implementation guidelines for non-APC-based OA journals. ARL urges cOAlition S not to classify long-term good actors in scholarly communication as non-compliant with Plan S based on their inability to meet stringent technical requirements currently out of reach for the majority of these journals. Rather, cOAlition S could consider lengthening timelines to meet requirements, and/or, as ARL member libraries Harvard and MIT suggested in their public comments, provide funding for these journals to become compliant.
  • Welcomes cOAlition S establishment of a “fair and reasonable APC level,” and encourages maximum transparency in the accounting of that level so that publishers of all sizes can fairly compete, and so that the rubric may become an accepted standard among all stakeholders. This rubric should include waivers or provisions for scholars who are unable to pay APCs in the absence of external or institutional funding. To be successful, Plan S must ensure equitable, barrier-free access.
  • Supports author retention of copyrights and ability to issue open licenses. Scalable mechanisms for asserting copyright retention remain a challenge for research institutions, and we look forward to ongoing conversation with cOAlition S to find solutions that work for the scholarly community and in support of greater openness.
  • Looks forward—as a partner in the research ecosystem—to the findings of Wellcome, UK Research and Innovation, and Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) on Plan S–compliant business models for scholarly and learned societies. ARL commits to working with the learned society community to find a path forward for open, equitable, scholarly publishing.
  • Affirms that research libraries are critical stakeholders within scholarly publishing, particularly within their own institutions. ARL, along with our international research library partner associations in Australia (Council of Australian University Librarians), Canada (Canadian Association of Research Libraries), Europe (Association of European Research Libraries), and the United Kingdom (Research Libraries UK), would welcome ongoing communication and engagement with cOAlition S on these implementation guidelines to ensure the success of the Plan S vision….”

ACRL/SPARC Forum at ALA Midwinter 2019 – SPARC

As we transition more fully into an open system for communicating the results of scholarship, the decisions that libraries make individually and collectively about what and whom to support—and under what terms—will determine whether we meaningfully address inequities created by legacy academic publishing systems or simply recreate them in new ways. These decisions will shape libraries’ role in the scholarly enterprise, now and for the future.

This one-hour panel discussion will explore emerging models for supporting scholarly infrastructure that put alignment with community values and considerations of equity at their core. The conversation will include both the perspective of people who are actively working to build open, community-aligned infrastructure and research funders who are committed to supporting an open system for scholarship that prioritizes equity and the needs of researchers. Moderated by Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, this session will contextualize these models within the broader market for scholarly infrastructure and highlight the role of libraries in creating a future where values are prioritized over vendors….”