# Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier CEO, shares her vision for building a better future in research

“First and foremost, I want to be very clear: Elsevier fully supports open access….

In fact, my professional background is in applying technology to content to help professionals make better decisions. For example, working in the part of RELX that serves legal professionals, I’ve seen the powerful benefits of analytical services that are built on top of freely available content, such as case law. This is why I’m excited by the potential to create value for researchers by applying text-mining and artificial intelligence technologies to the entire corpus of peer-reviewed content. I understand and appreciate the role that open access can play in delivering that vision.

The question is not whether open access is desirable or beneficial — the question is how we get there. My takeaway from my discussions on the topic is that there are many points of view. Publishers are often blamed for not making enough progress, which I think is fair. But it would also be unfair not to recognize the lack of alignment within our communities about the best way forward, which is understandable as this is a multi-dimensional issue that requires substantial problem-solving and action to make progress.

I am a pragmatist, and I commit to working pragmatically with libraries and other stakeholders to achieve shared open access goals. Part of this means acknowledging obstacles where they exist and discussing them openly and objectively so that we can find solutions to overcome them. If we don’t, progress will continue to be slow. I feel optimistic given the extent of commitment to make progress. In that spirit, please allow me to share t some of the obstacles that I have learned about in the last nine months….”

# bjoern.brembs.blog » Scholarship has bigger fish to fry than access

” For the last 6-7 years, paying for subscriptions has ceased to be necessary for access. One sign of the changing times is the support that initiatives such as DEAL, Bibsam etc. have: two years without subscriptions to Elsevier and what do you hear out of, e.g., Germany? Crickets! Nothing! Of course, it would be silly to conclude that in these two years nobody in Germany has read any Elsevier articles. The reason for the silence and the continued support for DEAL is that we now can access anything we want without subscriptions….

With the realization that EOSC; Plan S, DEAL, etc. are actually working on different aspects of the same issue, the problem to be solved is no longer that scholars publish in toll-access journals, but that institutions haven’t come up with a more attractive alternative. If individuals are not to blame, than there is no reason to mandate them to do anything differently. Instead, institutions should be mandated to stop funding journals via subscriptions or APCs and instead invest the money into a modern, more cost-effective infrastructure for text, data and code. Obviously, in this specificity, this is nearly impossible to mandate in most countries. However, there is a mandate that comes very close. It has been dubbed “Plan I” (for infrastructure). In brief, it entails a three step procedure:

Build on already available standards and guidelines to establish a certification process for a sustainable scholarly infrastructure
Funders require institutional certification before reviewing grant applications
Institutions use subscription funds to implement infrastructure for certification….”

# University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks is on a mission to open Carolina’s research to all – The Well : The Well

“I hope our scholars realize that this is something that has to be done. This is the tipping point for us. The money is not there to support the status quo. I’ve heard from many faculty who agree that that we need to change this system that we have.

The current model is unsustainable for universities and is inconsistent with the values of a public university. We’re “of the public, for the public,” designed to serve the state and the citizens of the state. So, I feel as though we have no choice but to transform this system to critique what we’ve done. That critique is going to have some consequences, which I think are good….

We’re negotiating with Elsevier to find out what kind of license we can sign that will be affordable, sustainable, promotes open access and is transparent. Those are the four values that we have set. We’re at a tipping point where it’s just not possible to keep doing business as usual….”

# Moedas: Europe should lead negotiations with academic publishers | Times Higher Education (THE)

“The European Union’s outgoing research chief has called on nations to strike deals with academic publishers together, rather than negotiating country by country and weakening their power.

Carlos Moedas, who is at the end of a five-year term as European commissioner for research, science and innovation, told Times Higher Education that negotiating with publishers was a “great example” of something the EU should take on.

In recent years several European countries including Germany, Norway and Sweden have been locked in talks with big academic publishers such as Elsevier and Springer Nature in an attempt to shift towards open access and drive down costs….

“I think that should be done at the level of the union. This is a great example of added value,” he said, referring to an area where it made sense for the EU, rather than nation states, to take the lead….”

# SCELC Supports the University of California’s Push for Open Access to Research | SCELC

“SCELC, a California based consortium of 113 private academic and nonprofit research libraries, fully supports the University of California in their decision to not renew their Elsevier subscriptions until a transformative open access agreement can be reached. As North America’s largest publicly funded research university system, UC’s position puts it in the forefront of the global movement to shift the publication of research to open access, placing control of researchers’ output in the hands of its creators. Unsustainable journal subscription price increases have far exceeded the capacity of library budgets, and open access models such as that being negotiated by the UCs offer a long-term viable alternative that benefits both libraries and public access to the research that is often supported by public and grant funds….”

# Case for Open Access and the Current Situation with the University of California and Elsevier

“The last few weeks have provided great assurance that the University of California going forward will have agreements based on open access principles, including with Elsevier. Norway has reached an open access deal with Elsevier and the University has reached an open access deal with another important publisher, Cambridge University Press. In these models, which work on the principles of “pay to publish,” costs are contained and risks mitigated for both institutions and publishers, which will create a sustainable and open scholarly ecosystem.”

# From symbiont to parasite: the evolution of for-profit science publishing | Molecular Biology of the Cell

Abstract:  Two 17th century institutions—learned societies and scientific journals—transformed science in ways that still dominate our professional lives today. Learned societies like the American Society for Cell Biology remain relevant because they provide forums for sharing results, discussing the practice of science, and projecting our voices to the public and the policy makers. Scientific journals still disseminate our work, but in the Internet-connected world of the 21st century, this is no longer their critical function. Journals remain relevant almost entirely because they provide a playing field for scientific and professional competition: to claim credit for a discovery, we publish it in a peer-reviewed journal; to get a job in academia or money to run a lab, we present these published papers to universities and funding agencies. Publishing is so embedded in the practice of science that whoever controls the journals controls access to the entire profession. We must reform our methods for evaluating the contributions of younger scientists and deflate the power of a small number of “elite” journals. More generally, given the recent failure of research institutions around the world to strike satisfactory deals with publishing giant Elsevier, the time has come to examine the motives and methods of those to whom we have entrusted the keys to the kingdom of science.