Recording and Slides: Open Access in the global South: Perspectives from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network

“The recording and the slides from today’s webinar entitled Open Access in the global South: Perspectives from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network are now available on Zenodo. Prof. Leslie Chan shared key lessons from OCSDNet which is a research network with scientists, development practitioners, community members and activists from 26 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Based on OCS experience, he questioned openness and public good, discussed open science definition beyond academy. Prof Chan also highlighted that principles as in the definition of Next Generation Repository should be guiding the technology and the infrastructures, not the other way around.”

COAR Next Generation Repositories: Vision and Objectives

“Vision

To position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Technical Vision

Our vision rests on making the resource, rather than the repository, the focus of services and infrastructure. Rather than relying on imprecise descriptive metadata to identify entities and the relationships between them, our vision relies on the idea inherent in the Web Architecture, where entities (known as “resources”) are accessible and identified unambiguously by URLs. In this architecture, it is the references which are copied between systems, rather than (as at present) the metadata records. Furthermore we encourage repository developers to automatize the metadata extraction from the actual resources as much as possible to simplify and lower the barrier to the deposit process.

Objectives

  • To achieve a level of cross-repository interoperability by exposing uniform behaviours across repositories that leverage web-friendly technologies and architectures, and by integrating with existing global scholarly infrastructures specifically those aimed at identification of e.g. contributions, research data, contributors, institutions, funders, projects.
  • To encourage the emergence of value added services that use these uniform behaviours to support discovery, access, annotation, real-time curation, sharing, quality assessment, content transfer, analytics, provenance tracing, etc.
  • To help transform the scholarly communication system by emphasizing the benefits of collective, open and distributed management, open content, uniform behaviours, real-time dissemination, and collective innovation. “

About OpenAIRE-Advance

“OpenAIRE-Advance continues the mission of OpenAIRE to support the Open Access/Open Data mandates in Europe. By sustaining the current successful infrastructure, comprised of a human network and robust technical services, it consolidates its achievements while working to shift the momentum among its communities to Open Science, aiming to be a trusted e-Infrastructure within the realms of the European Open Science Cloud.

In this next phase, OpenAIRE-Advance strives  to empower its National Open Access Desks (NOADs) so they become a pivotal part within their own national data infrastructures, positioning OA and open science onto national agendas. The capacity building activities bring together experts on topical task groups in thematic areas (open policies, RDM, legal issues, TDM), promoting a train the trainer approach, strengthening and expanding the pan-European Helpdesk with support and training toolkits, training resources and workshops. It examines key elements of scholarly communication, i.e., co-operative OA publishing and next generation repositories, to develop essential building blocks of the scholarly commons.

On the technical level OpenAIRE-Advance focuses on the operation and maintenance of the OpenAIRE technical TRL8/9 services, and radically improves the OpenAIRE services on offer by: a) optimizing their performance and scalability, b) refining their functionality based on end-user feedback, c) repackaging them into products, taking a professional marketing approach with well-defined KPIs, d) consolidating the range of services/products into a common e-Infra catalogue to enable a wider uptake.

OpenAIREAdvance steps up its outreach activities with concrete pilots with three major RIs, citizen science initiatives, and innovators via a rigorous Open Innovation programme. Finally, viaits partnership with COAR, OpenAIRE-Advance consolidates OpenAIRE’s global roleextending its collaborations with Latin America, US, Japan, Canada, and Africa….”

Joint COAR-UNESCO Statement on Open Access (May 9, 2016)

“Some organizations are promoting a large-scale shift from subscriptions to open access via article processing charges (APC’s). However, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed in this model:

[1] Consider institutions with smaller budgets and developing countries. Authors will be unable to publish once limited funds have been exhausted. Such a system will need to support researchers who cannot pay APCs – to avoid further skewing a scholarly publishing system that is already biased against the research undertaken in certain disciplines and countries.

[2] Avoid further concentration in the international publishing industry. A flip to APCs will further consolidate the large-scale monopoly of the international publishing industry. In the current system, the five largest publishers publish over 50% of the research papers produced. A mere shift towards the pay-to-publish model will institutionalize the influence of these companies, and discourage new entrants and models other than APC models.

[3] Explore ways to reduce costs. Recent studies indicate that, at current APC costs, there would be a buffer of minimum 40% when subscriptions would be transferred to an open access model. New models should build in mechanisms that ensure cost reductions. Globally, we are already paying billions of Euros/Dollars per year on subscription access to journals. Simply shifting payments to support APCs may lead to higher systemic costs, curb innovation, and inhibit the scholarly community’s ability to take advantage of new models and tools….”

Elsevier acquisition highlights the need for community-based scholarly communication infrastructure – SPARC

“Like many others in the scholarly community, we were very disappointed to learn about the recent acquisition by Elsevier of bepress, the provider of the popular Digital Commons repository platform.1The acquisition is especially troubling for the hundreds of institutions that use Digital Commons to support their open access repositories. These institutions now find their repository services owned and managed by Elsevier, a company well known for its obstruction of open access and repositories.2

While we were disappointed, we were not surprised. Elsevier’s interest in bepress and Digital Commons is reflective of the company’s long term strategy to stake an ownership claim in all the functions vital to the research cycle—from data gathering and annotation, to sharing and publication, to analytics and evaluation. Prior high-profile acquisitions (including SSRN and Mendeley) have made this strategy crystal clear. While this might be a smart business move on the part of a commercial company, it presents significant challenges and risks to the academic and research community.

The dangers inherent in the increasing control of crucial research communication functions in the hands of a small number of commercial players are well-known and well-documented.3 The dysfunction in the academic journal market serves as a case in point. This consolidated control has led to unaffordable costs, limited utility of research articles, the proliferation of western publishing biases, and a system in which publisher lock-in through big deal licenses is the norm. This situation is damaging for the research enterprise, individual researchers, and for society. Further consolidation of the market across functions and platforms—including key elements like research information systems and open access repositories—will exacerbate this already unhealthy situation.”

COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) Annual Report 2016-17 (Public Version)

“COAR has been working to strengthen our role in terms of capacity building. We launched the COAR Webinar and Discussion Series to help raise awareness of our activities as well as important trends for repositories. We have also been actively seeking opportunities to develop more concrete training activities for repository managers, through leveraging relationships with partners and looking for external funding opportunities. It is expected that we will be able to launch some training events in 2017, with a special focus on developing regions. While sustainability and staffing continues to be a challenge for COAR, since the reduction of membership fees several years ago, we did gain several new members in 2016 and expect membership to continue to rise in 2017. We continue to benefit greatly from the voluntary participation of members and external experts in many of our activities, and these contributions are fundamental to COAR’s progress. On behalf of the Executive Board, and the COAR staff, I want to thank you for your participation in COAR and I look forward to continued engagement and collaboration in 2017-2018 year….”

COAR Next Generation Repositories | Draft for Public Comment

“In April 2016, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) launched a working group to help identify new functionalities and technologies for repositories and develop a road map for their adoption. For the past several months, the group has been working to define a vision for repositories and sketch out the priority user stories and scenarios that will help guide the development of new functionalities.

The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Underlying this vision is the idea that a distributed network of repositories can and should be a powerful tool to promote the transformation of the scholarly communication ecosystem. In this context, repositories will provide access to published articles as well as a broad range of artifacts beyond traditional publications such as datasets, pre-prints, working papers, images, software, and so on….”