Eurodoc | European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers

Eurodoc is the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers. It is an international federation of 29 national organisations of PhD candidates, and more generally of young researchers from 28 countries of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Eurodoc’s objectives are:

  • To represent doctoral candidates and junior researchers at the European level in matters of education, research, and professional development of their careers.
  • To advance the quality of doctoral programmes and the standards of research activity in Europe.
  • To promote the circulation of information on issues regarding young researchers; organize events, take part in debates and assist in the elaboration of policies about Higher Education and Research in Europe.
  • To establish and promote co-operation between national associations representing doctoral candidates and junior researchers within Europe….”

EU’s New ‘Open By Default’ Rules For Data Generated By Public Funding Subverted At The Last Minute | Techdirt

In December last year, the European Parliament proposed a version of the text that would require researchers in receipt of public funding to publish their data for anyone to re-use. However, some companies and academics were unhappy with this “open by default” approach. They issued a statementcalling for research data to be “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”, which would include some carve-outs.

According to Science|Business, that view has prevailed in the final text, which is not yet publicly available. It is now apparently permissible for companies and academics to invoke “confidentiality” and “legitimate commercial interests” as reasons for not releasing publicly-funded data. Clearly, that’s a huge loophole that could easily be abused by organizations to hoard results. If companies and academic institutions aren’t willing to share the fruits of their research as open data, there’s a very simple solution: don’t take public money. Sadly, that fair and simple approach seems not to be a part of the otherwise welcome revised PSI Directive….”

Turning principles into practice: EUA’s response to the Plan S Implementation Guidance

“Following the publication of the Plan S Implementation Guidance, EUA reiterates its supports for Plan S, and its vision to accelerate the transition to full Open Access, even if more details on Plan S will still need to be fleshed out in the future. EUA is looking forward to a renewed version of the Implementation Guidance and is encouraging more research funders to sign or follow Plan S. On behalf of its members in national rectors’ conferences and universities, EUA offers to continue the dialogue with research funding organisations on the implementation of Plan S….”

EUA issues detailed response to Plan S amid milestones in Open Access

EUA has presented a comprehensive response to the “Plan S” consultation launched by Science Europe. Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing launched in 2018 by an international group of research funders (Coalition S). EUA has a special interest in Plan S as it complements the Association’s efforts on Open Access to scholarly publications….”

Elsevier and the Open Science Monitor: Where are we at? – Green Tea and Velociraptors

For some time now, many of us having been deeply unimpressed with the fact that Elsevier, one of the chief opponents to the progress of Open Science, will be helping to monitor the future of Open Science in Europe. Metaphors about foxes and hen-houses have been flying everywhere.

We have launched several initiatives to try and combat this.

One of these was a formal complaint to the EU Ombudsman and the European Commission. Herein, we outlined 2 major groups of issues. The first was more around the awarding process to Elsevier and their group itself, and some elements which we believed required more transparency. The second was around the role of Elsevier, issues with the proposed methods, and the enormous conflicts of interest apparent in having Elsevier monitoring services and processes that they and their competitors sold.

 

Following this, there were a flurry of exchanges, the most important one being that the EU Commission produced a detailed report to respond to our questions. While this clarified many of the issues, mostly regarding the award process itself, it did not adequately address a number of others; primarily regarding the bias and conflicts of interest around Elsevier and the proposed methodologies.

 

 

Our latest step here was to obtain a copy of the awarding contract, which we have now made public (with permission). The original tender is still online here. It seems that pretty much everything checks out here from the EC, as we should have expected. We really appreciate the efforts of the Commission here in providing detailed responses and more transparency to our queries; especially after the callous dismissals by Elsevier and the Lisbon Council that we received when we originally raised these issues. It seems that our concerns were extremely well founded, as justified by the fact that the EC had to perform a full investigation into the process. No apology from either Elsevier or the Lisbon Council for their ad hominem retorts has been given since….

More than 1100 people signed our original complaint to the EU Ombudsman. However, as this was just drafted as a Google Doc, they weren’t ‘formal’ signatories. As such, one additional step taken was to launch a petition through the EU to request that Elsevier be removed as the sole contractor for the Open Science Monitor. It took a while to get processed, but this finally went live here recently….

What is next then?

Well, this is where things get a little vague. The Commission don’t seem to care about Elsevier, and their continuous exploitation of the public purse and research enterprise. They seem to not be fully conscious of the conflicts of interest inherent in having Elsevier in a position in which they will so clearly benefit from. They also do not seem to appreciate the fairly offensive irony in having Elsevier monitoring a system that was essentially catalysed by their regressive business practices….”

Future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication – Publications Office of the EU

“The report proposes a vision for the future of scholarly communication; it examines the current system -with its strengths and weaknesses- and its main actors. It considers the roles of researchers, research institutions, funders and policymakers, publishers and other service providers, as well as citizens and puts forward recommendations addressed to each of them. The report places researchers and their needs at the centre of the scholarly communication of the future, and considers knowledge and understanding created by researchers as public goods. Current developments, enabled primarily by technology, have resulted into a broadening of types of actors involved in scholarly communication and in some cases the disaggregation of the traditional roles in the system. The report views research evaluation as a keystone for scholarly communication, affecting all actors. Researchers, communities and all organisations, in particular funders, have the possibility of improving the current scholarly communication and publishing system: they should start by bringing changes to the research evaluation system. Collaboration between actors is essential for positive change and to enable innovation in the scholarly communication and publishing system in the future….”

Copyright Reform: LIBER Signs Open Letter Calling For Deletion of Articles 11 and 13 – LIBER

Article 13 relating to online content sharing services, has had wide coverage in the main stream media. An online petition targeting Article 13 has 4.5 million signatures already and, according to MEP Julia Reda, will become the largest ever online petition if it surpasses 4.9 million signatures.

The legislation is aimed at changing existing legal regimes and introducing new obligations on organisations who allow end users to upload content to their platforms. The drafting was firmly aimed at the likes of You Tube and Facebook but, as is common with copyright draft legislation, it failed to take into consideration many others who would be affected. These include platorms such as Wikipedia and GitHub through to educational organisations which host open platforms that allow upload by end users.

Working with other library and university groups such as SPARC EuropeIFLA, the European University Association and EBLIDA, we have repeatedly voiced our concerns that the provisions and core definitions also apply to platforms coming from the education and research sector such as Open Access Repositories and some Open Education Resources (OER)….”

Workshop Report: “Ethical Aspects of Open Access: A Windy Road”

“This report on ethical aspects of open access summarises the outcomes of a workshop which was attempting to do exactly that. Throughout the various presentations, given by a variety of stakeholders, solutions from different angles are provided. We are deeply grateful to our hosts, the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, for welcoming us in Brussels, to all of our speakers, who have made invaluable contributions to the topic, to the audience for their lively and interesting participation, and to the members of the ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Science & Ethics on whose initiative this workshop came to be….”

AmeliCA vs Plan S: Same target, two different strategies to achieve Open Access. – AmeliCA

On 4 September 2018, a group of national research funding organizations, with the support of the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), announced the launch of COAlition S, an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access (OA) to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target and 10 principles (Science Europe, 2019). The target is:

“By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms. “

At the same time but in another region of the world AmeliCA was brewing, the extension of REDALYC’s philosophy, knowledge and technology to the Global South (Becerril-Garcia & Aguado-Lopez, 2018). AmeliCA is a multi-institutional community-driven initiative supported by UNESCO that arises in response to the international, regional, national and institutional contexts of Open Access, which seeks a collaborative, sustainable, protected and non-commercial solution for Open Knowledge in Latin America and the Global South (AmeliCA, 2018). This institution of Commons was launched at the Conference of CLACSO on November 21, 2018, in the “UNESCO Special Forum: Democratization of academic knowledge. The challenges for open access to knowledge. “

 

European Commission envoy warns about mirror journals as way around open-access requirements

Research funders are being “taken for a ride” by publishers who launch new so-called mirror journals that mimic existing titles in an open-access format, according to the man spearheading an international effort to make more scholarship freely available.

Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s open-access envoy, said there was something “fishy” about mirror journals, which duplicate the title and editorial board of existing, subscription-based journals.

Some of these mirror journals have emerged since the launch last September of the international initiative Plan S, led by Smits, which would make immediate open access mandatory for academics who win grants from participating funders….

Some publishers see mirror journals as a way of allowing researchers to continue to submit to a near identical journal while remaining Plan S compliant.

But the fear for those leading Plan S is that publishers will end up being paid twice: once for subscription to the original, closed journal, then again when collecting payments from researchers to publish open access in the mirror.

This “double-dipping” criticism has also been leveled at hybrid journals, which contain a mixture of closed and open-access articles….”