The House of Cards: on meeting Randy Schekman

A reflection upon Culturico’s interview with Professor Randy Schekman about the growing open-access movement in the biological sciences, and what it means for the future of scientific publishing.

 

On Friday, 5thApril 2019, I had the unexpected honour of conducting a long-distance video interview with Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine Professor Randy Schekman. This interview is carried out in conjunction with Federico Germani’s in-depth Culturico article on open-access science publishing, and it provides valuable insight into the opinions of one of the open-access movement’s most ardent disciples….”

Sven Fund on Knowledge Unlatched’s New Open Research Library

” “What researchers really want right now, says Sven Fund, “is one platform where you can search within one environment and where you don’t hit a paywall.” 

That platform and that environment is being announced today (May 16) by Fund’s Knowledge Unlatched. Open Research Libraryis, a program of free access to open access content. The beta edition of the Open Research Library is available now, with a full launch expected in October.

Created with the assistance of a platoon of partners, the Open Research Library is meant to bring together all open access book content in the coming months, providing a one-stop hub with broad organizational categories to aid in searches….”

Open Statement: Why UC terminated journal negotiations with Elsevier

“The University of California has taken a firm stand on both open access to publicly funded research and fiscal responsibility by deciding not to renew its journal subscriptions with Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher. Here’s why:

Elsevier’s proposal….

The UC proposal….”

The University of California and Elsevier: An Interview with Jeff MacKie-Mason – The Scholarly Kitchen

At the end of February, the University of California (UC) system announced that it had ended a long period of negotiations with Elsevier. Those negotiations had been undertaken as the system’s collective agreement for access to Elsevier’s complete list of scholarly journals (a.k.a. the “Big Deal”) was coming to an end, an inflection point at which UC hoped to create a completely new kind of agreement with the publisher. The close of those negotiations leaves UC without a deal, though not yet — as we shall see below — without access. Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and Professor of Information and Economics at UC Berkeley, graciously agreed to answer a few questions for Scholarly Kitchen readers about the background of UC’s decision and its plans and expectations going forward….”

At MIT anthropologists plan a model for Open Access

“Publishers, librarians, research funders, and leaders from across the field of anthropology — including journal editors and representatives of the major Anglophone anthropological societies of both Europe and North America — gathered at MIT on April 24, 2019 for an invitational workshop focused on a sea change for everyone who attended: moving the discipline’s journals to an Open-Access (OA) model.

 
Currently, the expense of academic publishing creates significant barriers to the broad dissemination of scholarly findings. The goal of the workshop was to consider a new model for providing open access to journal publications in a way that could transform both anthropology and a full range of academic disciplines….”

At MIT anthropologists plan a model for Open Access

“Publishers, librarians, research funders, and leaders from across the field of anthropology — including journal editors and representatives of the major Anglophone anthropological societies of both Europe and North America — gathered at MIT on April 24, 2019 for an invitational workshop focused on a sea change for everyone who attended: moving the discipline’s journals to an Open-Access (OA) model.

 
Currently, the expense of academic publishing creates significant barriers to the broad dissemination of scholarly findings. The goal of the workshop was to consider a new model for providing open access to journal publications in a way that could transform both anthropology and a full range of academic disciplines….”

European open access plan should hold fast to its ambition

“European research funders are being urged to stay true to their original objective and make all journal papers published with their support free to read by 2020, when they present revised proposals later this month.

The new draft of Plan S, which is now being coordinated by Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust, will be based on a recent public consultation.

Open access advocates want Plan S, which is backed by a growing number of influential national funding agencies and research charities in Europe and further afield, to keep the ambition shown in the original pitch last September….”

The real issues ‘are being blurred’ | Research Information

“[Q] What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

[A] A mixture of cost, inaccessibility, and the academic reward mechanism which has grown up around particular modes of scholarly communication. Cost is being driven by two factors: the increasing amount of atomised research that researchers are publishing with subscription journals; and the continued above inflation price increases, particularly amongst some of the very largest publishers.

The challenge of inaccessibility is a very significant one. There is no one established model for open access, there’s still a lot of innovation going on and there are a number of models emerging. We haven’t yet found a mechanism for supporting the learned society journals in particular, who therefore become conflicted because on one hand they are benefiting from some of the monopolistic behaviours around copyright transfer, but on the other hand are using the funds that are generated as part of the publishing business to support their learned society activities. If you end up in a pay-to-publish open access world, that immediately disenfranchises the very people who can’t access the current content in the first place.

The academic reward mechanisms, whereby you have journal title as a proxy of quality, means publishing in high-impact journals is actively rewarded and encouraged and used as a short cut to determine career paths and promotion. There’s a perverse incentive to go after being published in certain places, rather than in making the outputs of publicly funded research available to a much broader community….”

We need to have really critical discussions | Research Information

“[Q] What do you see as the biggest challenges in scholarly publishing today?

[A] The obvious answer is the rise of open. Not just open access, but open research more broadly. Many see it as a big threat to the sector, but the way that we’re looking at this at Emerald is that it’s a massive opportunity to contribute in a different way. Open access offers academics choice in routes to publish and the ability to publish more quickly, which is always valuable when you are trying to get research out to your colleagues and community. Open also gives researchers the ability to disseminate their work more far and wide than ever….”

The First Read and Publish Deal with California: An Interview with Cambridge University Press – The Scholarly Kitchen

Earlier this month, Cambridge University Press and the University of California announced a new Read & Publish (R&P) agreement. This announcement was striking for several reasons. First, it is likely the largest R&P agreement to be signed in North America. Second, it follows close on the heels of the California decision to walk away from its negotiations with Elsevier following efforts that failed to reach a Publish & Read agreement….”