‘Transformative’ open access publishing deals are only entrenching commercial power | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Plan S has already been credited with sparking something of a revolution in journal publishing. Major publishers are beginning – slowly and reluctantly in some cases – to replace their traditional “big deals” with what are being called “transformative deals”. Often negotiated with national consortia of libraries and research institutes, these combine access to subscription journals with an ability to publish open access without any additional charge.

However, I believe that we should think a lot harder before celebrating a tipping point.

The open access movement has always been intimately bound up with a critique of the whole concept of handing over billions of pounds of public money to wildly profitableprivate companies in exchange for publishing papers that are written, reviewed and edited by academics. Yet the current “transformative” deals do precious little to drive down margins that are often in excess of 35 per cent….

Instead of recklessly funnelling billions of taxpayers’ money into for-profit entities, funding bodies and research institutes could easily support these more sustainable ventures instead. This is already happening in some parts of the world, with initiatives such as Redalyc and SciELO in Latin America demonstrating leadership….

Every time we sign one of these so-called transformative contracts, which often contain multi-year lock-ins, we lose the opportunity to create something more just, sustainable, efficient and effective. We actively work against efforts to return control of publishing to the academic community. It is time to take a step back and to think again about what we really want.”

AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication | Impact of Social Sciences

“Open access is often discussed as a process of flipping the existing closed subscription based model of scholarly communication to an open one. However, in Latin America an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing has been in place for over a decade. In this post, Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-Garcia discuss open access developments in Latin America and the AmeliCA initiative to develop a cooperative infrastructure for scientific communication. They also reflect on how the recent proposals put forward by cOAlition S to foster open access publication in the Global North, could potentially negatively impact open access efforts in Latin America. …”

OpenCon 2019 Latam

From Google’s English: “OpenCon is the international conference on open access to scientific and academic knowledge, open education and open data, especially aimed at students and those who are in their first years of academic professional career. It is a contribution to forming the leaders of the future on these issues.

 

OpenCon is organized by Right to Research Coalition , SPARC ( The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition ) and a Committee composed of students and young academic professionals from various parts of the world. In the 2014 and 2016 editions the conference was held in Washington DC, in 2015 in Brussels, in 2017 in Berlin and in 2018 in Toronto.

In addition, OpenCon supports the realization of satellite events organized by the participants themselves. The satellite events have taken place in 25 countries and they discuss education content, access and open data globally, as well as local presentations. In the recent Toronto OpenCon 2018, participants from the Latin American region who participated in the conference chose Colombia to hold OpenCon LatAm 2019 , because an active community has been identified in the country, with relevant actors, which promote and promote Open ecosystems and elements of open science….”

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ: XI Joint Steering Committee Meeting of the Bilateral Agreement on Science and Technology between the European Union and Argentina

“Underlining the commitment to pursue common approaches to research and innovation and in particular to Open Access, Argentina will join Coalition S, the global coalition promoting open access to scientific results. Argentina expressed its interest in promoting a regional initiative on this topic among the countries from Latin America and the Caribbean [LAC]….

The two sides noted the work of the EU-LAC working group on research infrastructures and underlined the high interest and contribution of Argentina in the group. They agreed to pursue the objective of opening up crossborder access to research infrastructures in the two regions and to share best practices in the areas of governance and investment planning as a key element of the EU-LAC Common Research Area….”

AmeliCA – SPARC

Latin America has a vision for open scholarly communication—and it works. Scientists have long shared their research results through academic institutions, sidestepping the commercial publishing structure and enabling equitable access to all.

Now, as market forces threaten to alter the landscape, a new effort is underway to preserve the unique, publicly-funded approach and celebrate the successful model native to the region.

Open Knowledge for Latin American and the Global South, known as AmeliCA, launched in October 2018 with the goal of strengthening well-established scientific publishing and building partnerships. The coalition strives to develop a platform across institutions that will enable journals to keep operating without charging authors or readers. To date, 18 universities have joined and more than 100 journals are sharing a common infrastructure of software, tools, hosting, and training services.

Recognizing that equity and inclusion are at the center of this initiative’s mission, SPARC honors AmeliCA with its June 2019 Innovator Award as a shining example of what works with Open Access….”

Biodiversidata: an open-access biodiversity database for Uruguay – IRep – Nottingham Trent University

Abstract

Background

The continental and marine territories of Uruguay are characterised by a rich convergence of multiple biogeographic ecoregions of the Neotropics, making this country a peculiar biodiversity spot. However, despite the biological significance of Uruguay for the South American subcontinent, the distribution of biodiversity patterns in this country remain poorly understood, given the severe gaps in available records of geographic species distributions. Currently, national biodiversity datasets are not openly available and, thus, a dominant proportion of the primary biodiversity data produced by researchers and institutions across Uruguay remains highly dispersed and difficult to access for the wider scientific and environmental community. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by developing the first comprehensive, open-access database of biodiversity records for Uruguay (Biodiversidata), which is the result of a large-scale collaboration involving experts working across the entire range of taxonomic diversity found in the country. 

New information

As part of the first phase of Biodiversidata, we here present a comprehensive database of tetrapod occurrence records native from Uruguay, with the latest taxonomic updates. The database provides primary biodiversity data on extant Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia species recorded within the country. The total number of records collated is 69,380, spanning 673 species and it is available at the Zenodo repository: https:// doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2650169. This is the largest and most geographically and taxonomically comprehensive database of Uruguayan tetrapod species available to date and it represents the first open repository for the country.

Spotlight on Serials: Open Access: Current and future trends in OA in Latin America

Ivonne Lujano, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Ambassador in Latin America, will discuss the history of open access in Latin America, best practice publishing and standards, and how DOAJ helps to improve scholarly research journals globally. 

Solange Santos, Publishing Coordinator for Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), will address why Latin America is advanced in the use of the open access publishing model as a strategy to increase the visibility of the scientific output in the region. SciELO promoted and developed a network of 16 national collections of open access journals, focusing on each country’s conditions and priorities. She will also explain SciELO’s advocacy for a global and inclusive scholarly communication. …”

Defining the Future of Scholarly Communication in Latin America

“There is no “one size fits all” solution for open access. In Latin America, which has a very strong tradition of open access, the favoured approach has been the use of publicly-funded, non-commercial services. To raise awareness of this perspective both inside and beyond the region, LA Referencia has recently published a report, “Scholarly Communication and Open Access: Actions for a Public Policy in Latin America“.

LA Referencia is a network of ten Latin American countries that provides a discovery service for open access content in the region. The council of LA Referencia is governed by representatives from the science and technology departments of the participating governments.

The report was prompted by concerns that discussions in the international community, which are having an impact on all regions, do not appropriately reflect the priorities and traditions of Latin America. In particular, not enough attention is being paid to the importance of repositories and repository networks, especially in terms of their role in changing the economics of the current system.

The report was written for the regional authorities of LA Referencia that attended the annual Global Research Council meeting, which took place in Brazil at the beginning of May. It describes the situation of open access in Latin America, reflects on “Plan S”, and gives a series of recommendations. In particular, the report urges decision-makers to develop and promote a joint vision for the future of open access that reflects the Latin American perspective, and recommends actions for other stakeholders in the system, emphasizing the central role of S&T organisations in achieving this vision.

The report contains several recommendations related to repositories including:

  • Favour a distributed, interoperable model with national, regional, and global aggregators, where each layer offers value-added services, as reflected in the vision for Next Generation Repositories published by Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
  • Strengthen the role of repositories in the scientific communication and research information management ecosystem. Repositories are not only a place to deposit and preserve articles, but also to share a wide range of other valuable research outputs.
  • Support relationships across networks in order to strengthen local, regional and national repository services.  LA Referencia already collaborates closely with OpenAIRE and participates in COAR aligning repository networks discussions. These relationships are being enhanced to include other value-added interoperable services such as standard and distributed statistics, notification systems (“brokers”), and alternatives for the use of scientific data repositories such as Zenodo (operated by CERN)….”