Europe set to miss flagship open access target | THE News

“The European Union is set to miss its target of having all scientific research freely available by 2020, as progress towards open access hits a “plateau” because of deeper problems in how research is assessed. Sixty to 70 per cent of universities reported that less than a fifth of their researchers’ peer-reviewed publications are freely available, depending on the type of open access, according to a survey of more than 300 members of the European University Association. 

Only one in 10 universities said that more than 40 per cent of their research was published as “gold” open access, where there is no delay making it public. In 2016, EU member states’ science and industry ministers, supported by the European Commission, backed a move to full open access in just four years. This latest survey asks members about papers published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, so may not capture all progress made to date. But it still concludes that to hit the 2020 target “will require greater engagement by all of the relevant stakeholders”.

This chimes with an EU progress report released at the end of February which concludes that “100 per cent full open access in 2020 is realistically not achievable in the majority of European countries participating in this exercise in the foreseeable future”. Lidia Borrell-Damian, the EUA’s director for research and innovation, said that “unfortunately [full open access] is very difficult to achieve” and that “we have reached a plateau in which it’s very difficult to move forward”.

Open access had taken off in some subjects – like physics, where the open access arXiv pre-print platform is widely used – in which “traditional indicators” of journal prestige such as impact factors and other measures of citations were “less relevant”, she explained. But in most disciplines, these measures were still crucial for burnishing researchers’ career prospects, she added, making it difficult for authors to switch to less prestigious, lower impact factor open access journals. “As long as it [research assessment] is based on these proxy indicators, it’s impossible to change the game,” Dr Borrell-Damian said. Search our database of more than 3,000 global university jobs

This is backed up by the survey findings. The biggest barrier to publishing in an open access repository was the “high priority given to publishing in conventional journals”, a hindrance cited by more than eight in 10 universities. “Concerns about the quality of open access publications” were also mentioned by nearly 70 per cent of respondents. In some disciplines, to publish open access, “you have to be a believer or activist” and it comes “at the risk of damaging your own career”, Dr Borrell-Damian said.

Echoing a long-standing concern in science, she argued that “we need a whole new system” of research assessment that does not rely so heavily on citations and impact factors. The EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 funding scheme requires grant recipients to publish their findings openly, but this was a far from universal policy for national funding bodies, she added. A spokesman for the EU Council acknowledged that “more efforts will be needed overall to accelerate progress towards full open access for all scientific publications”.”

New publishing platform makes experienced authors’ works freely available > News > USC Dornsife

“…Readers who visit the Free Read Press website can download and distribute books by experienced authors, many of whom are connected with USC, at no cost and with no usage restrictions. In addition to work by Dane and Rowe, who is professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature, contributors include Distinguished Professor of English Percival Everett, Aerol Arnold Professor Emeritus of English Jim Kincaid, and Richard Fliegel, associate dean for undergraduate programs. Unlike traditional printing houses, there is little editing, and authors can make changes to their work at any time. For readers who prefer the texture of a crisp page over the digital swipe, Free Read Press has partnered with printers to sell physical copies of each book at cost….”

Responsible metrics: where it’s at? – The Bibliomagician

“At the Lis-Bibliometrics event, Katie Evans raised the important question as to how we can encourage openness in early-career colleagues when they face such pressures to publish in usually closed ‘high impact’ journals.  David Price said that he felt senior colleagues had to lead the way.  At UCL, Paul Ayris pointed out, promotion criteria now included openness metrics.  The challenges of measuring openness, and open measures were acknowledged.  Interestingly enough, Lis-Bibliometrics plans to take a look at this in more detail at a future event….”

Prof Randy Schekman: Giving Science To The People

“It is a peculiar situation when commercial science journals can not only ask investigators to pay for the privilege of sending in their work but also charge universities and others for the privilege of accessing work that was publicly funded.”

AIU’s Open Access Initiative: Open Courses / Free Courses

“Sharing knowledge is a vital component in the growth and advancement of our society in a sustainable and responsible way. In order to contribute, Atlantic International University is implementing an “Open Access” Initiative with academic work, select courses, scientific research, projects, and other scholarly work by students, faculty, and other contributors seeking increased access to Higher Education by making learning materials and research Publicly Accessible. The primary goal of this page is to present AIU’s open courses to the world. All courses on this page are free and open to the public without any requirements for registration or payment. These online courses are intended to be easily taken independently, without supervision or guidance at a pace defined by the user. Each open course includes all necessary video conferences, lectures, course materials, and even tests. Tests are offered as a tool for the user at the end of each lesson to verify that learning, retention and comprehension of the material presented have occurred. However, the tests are optional and the full online course content and lessons are available at once to users.

 

Through Open Access, AIU and other leading institutions through out the world are tearing down the barriers to access and use research literature and academic materials. Our organization is interested in the dissemination of advances in scientific research fundamental to the proper operation of a modern society, in terms of community awareness, empowerment, health and wellness, sustainable development, economic advancement, and optimal functioning of health, education and other vital services. AIU’s Mission and Vision is consistent with the vision expressed in the Budapest Open Access Initiative and Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Some selected Student Publications are also available for this purpose:  Student Publications….

Therefore, to fulfill the intent of this initiative, Atlantic International University will make progress by:

 

encouraging our students, faculty, researchers, grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.

make course content, lectures, assignments and other course materials available to the public.

encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.

advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.

advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.

provide open courses / free courses in the Spanish language to further expand their usability around the world. …”

Open and Shut?: Realising the BOAI vision: Peter Suber’s Advice

Peter Suber’s high-priority recommendations for advancing OA.

The New Age of the Book | by Robert Darnton

“If everything comes together successfully, will electronic monographs be recognized as books? Will they acquire enough intellectual legitimacy to pass muster among suspicious tenure committees and to relieve the pressure on academic careers? This is the point at which veteran scholars can make a difference. Those who have proven their ability to produce first-rate conventional books could help create books of a new kind, far more original and ambitious than a converted dissertation.

In the case of history, a discipline where the crisis in scholarly publishing is particularly acute, the attraction of an e-book should be especially appealing. Any historian who has done long stints of research knows the frustration over his or her inability to communicate the fathomlessness of the archives and the bottomlessness of the past. If only my reader could have a look inside this box, you say to yourself, at all the letters in it, not just the lines from the letter I am quoting. If only Icould follow that trail in my text just as I pursued it through the dossiers, when I felt free to take detours leading away from my main subject. If only Icould show how themes crisscross outside my narrative and extend far beyond the boundaries of my book. Not that books should be exempt from the imperative of trimming a narrative down to a graceful shape. But instead of using an argument to close a case, they could open up new ways of making sense of the evidence, new possibilities of making available the raw material embedded in the story, a new consciousness of the complexities involved in construing the past.

I am not advocating the sheer accumulation of data, or arguing for links to databanks—so-called hyperlinks. These can amount to little more than an elaborate form of footnoting. Instead of bloating the electronic book, I think it possible to structure it in layers arranged like a pyramid. The top layer could be a concise account of the subject, available perhaps in paperback. The next layer could contain expanded versions of different aspects of the argument, not arranged sequentially as in a narrative, but rather as self-contained units that feed into the topmost story. The third layer could be composed of documentation, possibly of different kinds, each set off by interpretative essays. A fourth layer might be theoretical or historiographical, with selections from previous scholarship and discussions of them. A fifth layer could be pedagogic, consisting of suggestions for classroom discussion and a model syllabus. And a sixth layer could contain readers’ reports, exchanges between the author and the editor, and letters from readers, who could provide a growing corpus of commentary as the book made its way through different groups of readers.

A new book of this kind would elicit a new kind of reading. Some readers might be satisfied with a study of the upper narrative. Others might also want to read vertically, pursuing certain themes deeper and deeper into the supporting essays and documentation. Still others might navigate in unanticipated directions, seeking connections that suit their own interests or reworking the material into constructions of their own. In each case, the appropriate texts could be printed and bound according to the specifications of the reader. The computer screen would be used for sampling and searching, whereas concentrated, long-term reading would take place by means of the conventional printed book or downloaded text….”

BOAI: leading the charge on open access publishing

“Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, at the turn of the millennium the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) put forward a seminal statement defining ‘open access’ as the free online availability of peer reviewed research. Despite little support for the BOAI initially, open access publishing is now commonplace and an estimated 28% of scientific literature is now predicted to be published in this way. In our interview with Melissa Hagemann, Senior Program Manager of the Open Society Foundations, and co-organiser of the meeting in Budapest, we talk about the history of the movement and the challenges it still faces today….”

Peter Suber, Half a dozen reasons why I support the Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibl…

“1. I support its call to move beyond PDFs. This is necessary to bypass publisher locks and facilitate reuse, text mining, access by the visually impaired, and access in bandwidth-poor parts of the world. 

2. I applaud its recognition of no-fee or no-APC open-access journals, their existence, their value, and the fact that a significant number of authors will always depend on them. 

3. I join its call for redirecting funds now spent on subscription journals to support OA alternatives. 

4. I endorse its call to reform methods of research evaluation. If we want to assess quality, we must stop assuming that impact and prestige are good proxies for quality. If we want to assess impact, we must stop using metrics that measure it badly and create perverse incentives to put prestige ahead of both quality and access.

5. I support its call for infrastructures that are proof against privatization. No matter how good proprietary and closed-source platforms may initially be, they are subject to acquisition and harmful mutation beyond the control of the non-profit academic world. Even without acquisition, their commitment to OA is contingent on the market, and they carry a permanent risk of trapping rather than liberating knowledge. The research community cannot afford to entrust its research to platforms carrying that risk. 

6. Finally I support what it terms bibliodiversity. While we must steer clear of closed-source infrastructure, subject to privatization and enclosure, we must also steer clear of platform monocultures, subject to rigidity, stagnation, and breakage. Again, no matter how good a monoculture platform may initially be, in the long run it cannot be better than an ecosystem of free and open-source, interoperable components, compliant with open standards, offering robustness, modularity, flexibility, freedom to create better modules without rewriting the whole system, freedom to pick modules that best meet local needs, and freedom to scale up to meet global needs without first overcoming centralized constraints or unresponsive decision-makers. …”