After Open Access

“The dominant model of open access is dominated by commercial values. Commercial licenses, such as CC-BY1 are mandated or preferred by governments, funders and policy makers who are effectively seeking more public subsidy for the private sector’s use of university research, with no reciprocal financial arrangement.2 Open access platforms such as academia.edu are extractive and exploitative. They defer the costs of publishing to publishers, universities and independent scholars, while selling the data derived from the uses of publicly funded research. As such they represent the next stage in the capitalization of knowledge. Commercial platforms are emphatically not open source and tend towards monopoly ownership. Presenting themselves as mere intermediaries between users, they obtain privileged access to surveille and record user activity and benefit from network effects.

A major irony of open access policy is that it aims to break up the giants of commercial journal publishing but facilitates existing or emerging platform monopolies….

Open access benefits commercial interests. The current model also serves to sideline research and scholarship produced outside of universities altogether, creating financial barriers to publishing for scholars outside of the Global North/West and for independent scholars, as well as for early career researchers and others whose institutional affiliation is, like their employment status, highly precarious and contingent, and for authors who do not have the support of well-funded institutions and / or whose research is not funded by research councils….”

Open access publishers: The new players – InfoDoc MicroVeille

“The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees….

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles….”

Open access publishers: The new players – InfoDoc MicroVeille

“The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal.

The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees….

The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles….”

Community-Owned Infrastructure

“Data and data analytics are playing an increasingly central role at higher education institutions, and the academic community is at a critical juncture. The growing trend of publisher acquisition of critical infrastructure has underscored a pressing need to understand the changing landscape and develop actions that institutions can—individually and collectively—take to maintain and regain control of data infrastructure. These actions will determine who ultimately controls the research and education process and whether we meaningfully address inequities created by legacy players or simply recreate them in new ways….”

SPARC Releases Update to Landscape Analysis and Accompanying Interactive Website – SPARC

“In the year that’s elapsed since SPARC released its comprehensive Landscape Analysis and accompanying Roadmap for Action, an in-depth look at how the academic publishing market is changing and the implications of those changes for higher education institutions,  our community has experienced significant changes. Today, SPARC is releasing The 2020 Update  to those documents on a new interactive website designed to make taking action easier for librarians and campus administrators. 

 The update examines the events of the past year particularly the global COVID health and resulting economic crisis, and provides updates on the academic publishing market landscape, and the status of the key companies involved.  It highlights emerging trends in academic publishing market that merit close attention, including:

A significant deepening in the shift of major companies away from research publishing and towards research assessment;

A shift away from individual research distribution to more communal, consolidated models; and

The emergence of a “Bigger Deal,” where institutional content licensing is directly linked to the purchase of data analytics services….”

Modeling the Future for Open Scholarship – Call for interviews – Google Docs

“Universities and colleges leaders have an opportunity — and an obligation — to build a plan today that addresses strains on existing infrastructure and also looks to the future needs to support its students, researchers, and faculty. That calls for thinking through what a “preparedness” model looks like for higher education and research writ large, one that takes into account the economic implications on the university itself as well as on the services and enterprises it relies on, like publishing and data management infrastructures. …

We propose the creation of a coordinated, cross-institutional “preparedness plan”, in partnership with Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), to begin work on identifying the opportunities, leverage points, costs and approaches that could be employed to enable the following: 

Creation of shared set of principles to help assess solutions based on a values-based framework;

Support that addresses heightened demands on universities as they shift operations online and transform the way they serve their communities;

Coordinated scenario planning that plans for a radical shift towards open scholarship and a convergence on existing, open tools and services;

Ways to pool resources and risk to maximize cost-effectiveness and minimize system failure; 

Creation of a shared action plan to facilitate coordinated decision-making ensuring research continuity;

Bolster researcher productivity, continuity, and growth in both the near and long-term. …

 

Call for University Participation. We are currently seeking university representatives to join us as key participants in this work. Representatives should be able to provide information about the realities abilities at their university, and could consist of roles including, but not limited to university librarians, program directors, technology leads, Vice Provosts, and Deans. Participants will need to be able to speak to budget and programmatic decisions within their department and be able to provide insight to other changes at their Institution.”

Modeling the Future for Open Scholarship – Call for interviews – Google Docs

“Universities and colleges leaders have an opportunity — and an obligation — to build a plan today that addresses strains on existing infrastructure and also looks to the future needs to support its students, researchers, and faculty. That calls for thinking through what a “preparedness” model looks like for higher education and research writ large, one that takes into account the economic implications on the university itself as well as on the services and enterprises it relies on, like publishing and data management infrastructures. …

We propose the creation of a coordinated, cross-institutional “preparedness plan”, in partnership with Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), to begin work on identifying the opportunities, leverage points, costs and approaches that could be employed to enable the following: 

Creation of shared set of principles to help assess solutions based on a values-based framework;

Support that addresses heightened demands on universities as they shift operations online and transform the way they serve their communities;

Coordinated scenario planning that plans for a radical shift towards open scholarship and a convergence on existing, open tools and services;

Ways to pool resources and risk to maximize cost-effectiveness and minimize system failure; 

Creation of a shared action plan to facilitate coordinated decision-making ensuring research continuity;

Bolster researcher productivity, continuity, and growth in both the near and long-term. …

 

Call for University Participation. We are currently seeking university representatives to join us as key participants in this work. Representatives should be able to provide information about the realities abilities at their university, and could consist of roles including, but not limited to university librarians, program directors, technology leads, Vice Provosts, and Deans. Participants will need to be able to speak to budget and programmatic decisions within their department and be able to provide insight to other changes at their Institution.”

Big Pharma Attacks Coronavirus Price Controls

“On April 15, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., along with Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, laid out basic principles for the development and pricing of coronavirus therapies and vaccines. Their demands were simple: Pharmaceutical companies should have to set reasonable prices for their drugs and vaccines used to treat or prevent Covid-19. They should be required to make the costs of research and manufacturing of these products public. During the pandemic, the legislators said, companies should not be able to profit exclusively from these potentially lifesaving drugs.

“Exclusivity determines who has access, who can manufacture, and how we scale up production to meet the need,” the members of Congress noted in a press release at the time….

Few have spoken out against the protections that were designed to ensure equitable access to lifesaving medicines — at least publicly. But privately, a coalition of conservative groups attacked the proposed patient protections as “dangerous, disruptive, and unacceptable.” In a May 7 letter, representatives of 31 groups, including Hudson Institute, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, called on Congress to reject the drug pricing guidelines and defended patents and the exclusive right to profit from drugs as “America’s great assets.” …

Perhaps most galling to the Democratic lawmakers is the fact that the vast majority (if not all) of the drugs they seek to protect from exorbitant pricing have been developed at least in part with taxpayer dollars. Between 2010 and 2016, every drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration benefited from science funded with federal research through the National Institutes of Health, according to the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs. During that time, taxpayers spent more than $100 billion on that research.

Although American taxpayers are the “angel investors” of pharmaceuticals, as Doggett put it, many cannot afford the treatments they’ve bankrolled….

On Friday, the World Health Organization unveiled a global effort to pool intellectual property, data, and research related to Covid-19. While 36 countries have already announced their support for the project, the U.S. was not among them. Just as WHO was detailing its plan to broadly share the benefits of scientific advancement, President Donald Trump was announcing his plan to withdraw from the global organization.”

Open access publishers: The new players

The essential role of journals as registries of scientific activity in all areas of knowledge justifies concern about their ownership and type of access. The purpose of this research is to analyze the main characteristics of publishers with journals that have received the DOAJ Seal. The specific objectives are a) to identify publishers and journals registered with the DOAJ Seal; b) to characterize those publishers; and c) to analyze their article processing fees. The research method involved the use of the DOAJ database, the Seal option and the following indicators: publisher, title, country, number of articles, knowledge area, article processing charges in USD, time for publication in weeks, and year of indexing in DOAJ. The results reveal a fast-rising oligopoly, dominated by Springer with 35% of the titles and PLOS with more than 20% of the articles. We’ve identified three models of expansion: a) a few titles with hundreds of articles; b) a high number of titles with a mix of big and small journals; and c) a high number of titles with medium-size journals. We identify a high number of titles without APCs (27%) in all areas while medicine was found to be the most expensive area. Commercial publishers clearly exercise control over the scope of journals and the creation of new titles, according to the interests of their companies, which are not necessarily the same as those of the scientific community or of society in general.

Who Benefits from the Public Good? How OER Is Contributing to the Private Appropriation of the Educational Commons | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The idea of Open Educational Resources (OER) has a history and is embedded in social contexts that influence its practice. To get a handle on tensions between different conceptualizations of “open” we discuss some of the battles surrounding the usage of the term. We note the origin of the concept of OER and how the emergence of the OER movement fits into the discourse of educational improvements through technologies and techniques. We argue that there is a relation between an uncritical stance toward technology and the appropriation of education activities by private oligopolies, a phenomenon that could be mitigated by a larger awareness of recent history and current sociotechnical analysis. We point out how these dilemmas play out in the Brazilian context of the implementation of OER in public policies and conclude by mentioning some programs and projects that point to the way forward.