New EU open peer review system stirs debate | Science|Business

“The European Commission’s scientific publishing service has launched a new venue for EU research grantees to publish free-to-read results.

The Open Research Europe platform promises beneficiaries an “easy, high quality peer-reviewed” system at “no cost to them”.

The twist: authors, not editors, choose what they wish to publish – without the delay involved in traditional science publishing, the commission says.

The platform, set up to speed the flow of scientific information generated from its seven-year, €85 billion Horizon Europe programme, will post original publications in all fields of science in advance of peer review. Only after the articles are on the platform will the “transparent, invited and open peer review” begin. The names of the reviewers will be open, as well as their reviews.

The London-based open science publisher F1000 Research will run the system, with the commission picking up the tab for article processing charges.

With this model, the commission is playing catch up with some early-adopters. In 2016, Wellcome Trust, the largest charitable funder of biomedical research in Europe, contracted F1000Research to manage its open access publishing platform, Wellcome Open Research. Since then, many other major funders and institutions, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have contracted F1000 to set up similar platforms.

In a letter last week to Horizon grantees, the commission’s research and innovation director-general Jean-Eric Paquet says, “Your involvement is key to making this initiative a success.” The formal launch of the platform will be early 2021, but submissions will start in a few weeks, the commission said.

Reaction to the new site is mixed, with some researchers highlighting the flaws of the open review method….”

Evaluating the Orphan Works Directive | Europeana Pro

“Throughout the survey, we noted that with two relatively overlapping systems in place, cultural heritage professionals are likely to use the one that provides the best solution, with the other one remaining mostly unused. We therefore recommended considering retracting the Orphan Works Directive. We also noted its clear flaws so that the same mistakes would not be repeated again. 

We noted the following: 

The diligent search for rights holders is problematic, with the sources it is mandatory to consult often irrelevant and difficult to access. Pertinent sources are sometimes not included.

The time and resources that an institution needs to dedicate to conducting a diligent search present challenges, particularly as after completing this process there is still no full guarantee that the institution will always be able to use the work lawfully. 

The very limited scope of the Directive in different types of works is a clear downside; including embedded works (for example, the multiple works contained in a scrapbook) in those whose rights holders have to be searched for makes the determination extremely time-consuming and almost impossible.  

The Directive does not provide a sufficient level of clarity regarding the compensation that rights holders can claim; this lack of clarity has strongly disincentivised cultural heritage professionals from relying on this scheme. 

The EUIPO Orphan Works database can be cumbersome when working with large datasets and is not sufficiently interoperable with the repositories of cultural heritage institutions. 

Having two overlapping schemes is likely to raise a lot of uncertainties for cultural heritage professionals, for instance when trying to assess which of the two options to rely on. The out of commerce works provisions in the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, while tackling the same challenges, offer much better solutions and less cumbersome conditions, perhaps to a large extent given the lessons learned from the Orphan Works Directive, and we are hopeful that they will deliver their promise. …”

Agency Open Access Policy | European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

“The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (the Agency) acts as a platform for collaboration and information-sharing across a diverse range of countries, languages and contexts. The Agency is co-funded by the ministries of education in its member countries and by the European Commission via an operating grant within the European Union (EU) Erasmus+ education programme.

In 2020, the Agency adopted an Open Access (OA) Policy to maximise the reach and impact of Agency outputs. This policy affirms the Agency’s commitment to providing resources and tools for all relevant stakeholders, including educational policy-makers, researchers, school leaders, teachers, learners and families. The policy also clarifies usage and modification rights of Agency resources.

Agency resources are copyrighted but are available on the Agency website for the public to access, download and share. Certain resources, such as practical tools, are open source. The main distinction between open-source and open-access resources is that the latter cannot be modified without Agency approval.

As part of its commitment to open sharing, the Agency is also working to configure its own digital open access repository. Currently, users can search through Agency outputs by visiting the Agency’s publications listing page. This OA Policy will be updated as the Agency continues to enhance its open access offerings….”

Prepare your paper for submission to Open Research Europe (ORE)

“Over the last 6 months we have been busy building the platform which will welcome submissions from Horizon 2020 grantees in all disciplines, during and after the end of Horizon 2020 grants. The European Commission will be covering the APCs and so it will be completely cost-free for you to publish your research on the platform. 

ORE is on track for its official launch in March 2021 with peer-reviewed publications in all scientific fields. From now until then, there will be more frequent announcements from us about the platform, starting with:…

We are actively seeking submissions ahead of the formal launch in early 2021. These submissions will be published as preprints and will have been peer-reviewed by the time the platform launches. They will thus be part of the group of the first Horizon 2020 peer-reviewed publications to appear in Open Research Europe. If you are an Horizon 2020 grant recipient, please extend this message to all researchers who are contributing to your Horizon 2020 project. The submission system for the platform will open at the end of November 2020. …”

European Research Council pulls out of open-access plan

“The European Research Council (ERC) has withdrawn its support for a radical open-access initiative in Europe, known as Plan S, saying that it will follow its own path towards open access….

While the council is “still committed to implementing full and immediate open access”, it states that it wants to focus more on researchers’ needs – especially early-career researchers – as well as preserving equity among European countries, particularly those with more limited national financial support for research.

The main sticking point for the ERC over Plan S was cOAlition S’s stance on so-called “hybrid” journals….”

New SPARC Europe report out: Scoping the Open Science Infrastructure Landscape in Europe – SPARC Europe

“Service providers could benefit from:

 

Sharing lessons learnt. This might involve developing communities of practice and guidance; pooling resources and working with initiatives such as Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) and JROST. 
Following good governance practices. This allows the community to trust that the infrastructure or service will be steered by the needs of the community and stay true to the values of research.
Going open source and adopting open standards.  “Despite a strong uptake of open source and open standards by many, challenges remain for some in sharing good governance, open content and applying open standards,” wrote the authors.
Diversifying fund-raising efforts, upskilling to embrace a range of business revenue models. This allows the organisation to spread financial risk….”

Focused business models and open-data policies key to accelerating uptake of climate services | News | CORDIS | European Commission

“Focusing mainly on finance, tourism and urban planning, EU-MACS project partners examined the structures and interactions of the different obstacles to the uptake of climate services, aiming to improve the design of policy scenarios and selection of appropriate policy instruments. They discovered that public and not-for-profit climate service providers need to better plan and evaluate their positions in the climate service value chain and adopt improved business models with a focus on collaborative needs-based climate services. In addition, an open-data policy at EU and Member State levels is a key element for a flourishing climate services market. Application of the project’s proposed policy packages in EU Member States, supported by EU-level initiatives on standardisation and market deployment monitoring, should accelerate the uptake and beneficial use of climate services across many sectors. “We loosely estimate that if the additional uptake of climate services takes place across the entire EU, this would represent easily a net societal benefit of several billion euro, as well as non-monetised benefits for societal resilience,” says project coordinator Adriaan Perrels of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.”

Data sharing policies of journals in life, health, and physical sciences indexed in Journal Citation Reports [PeerJ]

Abstract:  Many scholarly journals have established their own data-related policies, which specify their enforcement of data sharing, the types of data to be submitted, and their procedures for making data available. However, except for the journal impact factor and the subject area, the factors associated with the overall strength of the data sharing policies of scholarly journals remain unknown. This study examines how factors, including impact factor, subject area, type of journal publisher, and geographical location of the publisher are related to the strength of the data sharing policy.

Methods

From each of the 178 categories of the Web of Science’s 2017 edition of Journal Citation Reports, the top journals in each quartile (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) were selected in December 2018. Of the resulting 709 journals (5%), 700 in the fields of life, health, and physical sciences were selected for analysis. Four of the authors independently reviewed the results of the journal website searches, categorized the journals’ data sharing policies, and extracted the characteristics of individual journals. Univariable multinomial logistic regression analyses were initially conducted to determine whether there was a relationship between each factor and the strength of the data sharing policy. Based on the univariable analyses, a multivariable model was performed to further investigate the factors related to the presence and/or strength of the policy.

Results

Of the 700 journals, 308 (44.0%) had no data sharing policy, 125 (17.9%) had a weak policy, and 267 (38.1%) had a strong policy (expecting or mandating data sharing). The impact factor quartile was positively associated with the strength of the data sharing policies. Physical science journals were less likely to have a strong policy relative to a weak policy than Life science journals (relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.36; 95% CI [0.17–0.78]). Life science journals had a greater probability of having a weak policy relative to no policy than health science journals (RRR, 2.73; 95% CI [1.05–7.14]). Commercial publishers were more likely to have a weak policy relative to no policy than non-commercial publishers (RRR, 7.87; 95% CI, [3.98–15.57]). Journals by publishers in Europe, including the majority of those located in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, were more likely to have a strong data sharing policy than a weak policy (RRR, 2.99; 95% CI [1.85–4.81]).

Conclusions

These findings may account for the increase in commercial publishers’ engagement in data sharing and indicate that European national initiatives that encourage and mandate data sharing may influence the presence of a strong policy in the associated journals. Future research needs to explore the factors associated with varied degrees in the strength of a data sharing policy as well as more diverse characteristics of journals related to the policy strength.

 

Library Support for OA Books Workshop: the Southern European perspective. · COPIM

“As part of the projects conducted for the COPIM Work Package 2 (Revenue Infrastructures and Management Platform) and OPERAS-P Work Package 6 (Innovation), we are continuing a series of European-based workshops, aiming at gaining  a better understanding of the national-specific issues surrounding collective funding for OA books from a library perspective. The fourth online workshop took place on October 8th. This time we invited representatives of three Southern European countries. OA specialists and librarians from Croatia, Greece and Slovenia joined us to discuss how their libraries deal with OA books. From Ljubljana via Zagreb  to Athens: we had colleagues sitting down with us, sharing screens, links and their views from different national perspectives….”