UC Response to Publisher Letter Opposing Immediate Open Access to Federally Funded Research – Office of Scholarly Communication

“The University of California believes the public should have access to publicly-funded research, freely and immediately upon publication. We are deeply disappointed in the decision by these societies and publishers to sign this letter, which opposes progress in that direction.

The letter also includes misleading statements such as:

The publishers write: “Under a legacy regulation that is still in force today, proprietary journal articles that report on federally funded research must be made available for free within 12 months of publication.” Characterizing journal articles as the “proprietary” intellectual property of publishers obscures the fact that they represent the work of individual researchers, which is often funded, at taxpayer expense, by government research grants. 

Moreover, current policy only requires free access to the pre-publication, author-owned manuscript within 12 months. There is no requirement to make publisher-owned versions freely available, ever.
The publishers also write: “In the coming years, this cost shift would place billions of dollars of new and additional burden on taxpayers.” The truth is that most current subscription payments to publishers already come from taxpayer funds that universities receive to cover their research infrastructure. Changing publishing, as proposed by UC, so that these institutions pay for publication services rather than for subscriptions does not increase taxpayer expenditure; it just repurposes those taxpayer dollars to pay for publishing in a way that allows the public to freely read the results, too….”

What to Expect in the Publishing World in 2020 | The Scientist Magazine®

“Earlier this month, a rumor began to circulate that the US government was planning on passing an executive order that would mandate all papers from federally funded research be open access immediately upon publication—abolishing the 12-month paywall allowed under current rules.

In response, more than 135 scientific societies and academic publishers penned an open letter to President Donald Trump’s Administration strongly opposing such a policy, warning that the proposed changes would “jeopardize the intellectual property of American organizations engaged in the creation of high-quality peer-reviewed journals and research articles and would potentially delay the publication of new research results.” The letter has been widely criticized by academics and open-access advocates on social media….”

2019 Was Big for Academic Publishing. Here’s Our Year in Review | The Scientist Magazine®

“The global push to make the scholarly literature open access continued in 2019. Some publishers and libraries forged new licensing deals, while in other cases contract negotiations came to halt, and a radical open access plan made some adjustments. Here are some of the most notable developments in the publishing world in 2019:…”

Guidelines for Evaluating Transformative Open Access Agreements – Office of Scholarly Communication

“In this document we set forth guidelines that the University of California (UC) applies when evaluating systemwide transformative agreements with publishers. Transformative agreements are those that substantially shift payments for subscriptions (reading) into payments for open access (publishing). By intention and design, most such agreements are transitional and thus these guidelines are intended to be used during the years of transition to full open access.  

Transformative agreements — and behavior by publishing partners — should exhibit these characteristics for an agreement to be recommended for adoption at UC.  

UC’s goal of overall expenditure reduction for its journals portfolio provides important context for these guidelines. Within that overall goal, our assessment of publication value along with the degree of conformity to the guidelines in this document may warrant some variation in the level of expenditure UC is willing to make for any particular agreement. Given the goal of overall expenditure reduction, total expenditure in a given agreement will be a more important consideration for larger (more expensive) deals.

These guidelines are derived from the principles set forth by key UC stakeholder groups engaged in shaping our open access efforts. Many of those principles were presented in documents listed in Sources, below….”

Taking the Temperature on Open Access Among UC Berkeley Faculty | Ithaka S+R

“To promote a publishing ecosystem where the impact of research can be maximized by removing readership barriers, the UC Berkeley Library is making many efforts to push for open access publishing, including signing the OA2020 Expression of Interest and terminating our Elsevier journal subscriptions. But what are our faculty’s opinions on these issues? The Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey gave us an opportunity to take the temperature of Berkeley faculty’s attitudes on open access.

Do Berkeley faculty support open access? The short answer is yes….”

Open Access Data Analyst

“The University of California Libraries and the California Digital Library (CDL) are at the center of a broad strategy to transition UC’s multi-million dollar journal license expenditures to open access publishing through negotiated transformative agreements with scholarly publishers. The development and adoption of new open access publishing models requires CDL to expand its current capacity to include additional focus on strategic planning, workflow development and implementation, and tracking and assessment. CDL is also committed to partnering with other North American academic institutions, offering expertise and direct support in an effort to accelerate the global transition to open access.

The Open Access Data analyst will join a highly team-based environment within CDL’s Collection Development and Management Program, supporting the transition to open access publishing by engaging in complex data analysis projects, gathering data from a variety of sources and synthesizing it into outputs offering insights and predictive models to help guide strategy and inform discussions with publishers. The Open Access Data Analyst will support work both within the UC system and with other partner institutions, creating reports and visualizations which can communicate results to technical and nontechnical stakeholders throughout the library and university administration. A successful candidate will be able to embed data analysis into the transformative agreement negotiation and implementation processes, producing meaningful results to guide strategy and constantly iterating based on feedback and changing priorities to be responsive and sensitive to a dynamic environment.

The California Digital Library is a collaborative effort of the ten campuses of the University of California. As a UC systemwide library, CDL provides services to and on behalf of the UC system in partnership with the UC campus libraries. The CDL is a unit within the UC Office of the President, has a staff of 70+ and is located in downtown Oakland.

This position is a three-year contract appointment and includes the same generous employee benefits afforded UC career employees. Applicants from outside the Bay Area who wish to work remotely will be considered….”

Open Access Publisher Agreements Manager

“The University of California Libraries and the California Digital Library (CDL) are at the center of a broad strategy to transition UC’s multi-million dollar journal license expenditures to open access publishing through negotiated transformative agreements with scholarly publishers. The development and adoption of new open access publishing models requires CDL to expand its current capacity to include additional focus on strategic planning and workflow development, implementation and assessment. CDL is also committed to partnering with other North American academic institutions, offering expertise and direct support in an effort to accelerate the global transition to open access.

Reporting to the CDL Associate Executive Director / Director, Collection & Development Management, the Open Access Publisher Agreements Manager will work in the midst of this exciting and evolving space, supporting the open access publishing activities of the UC academic community, particularly as they relate to evolving transformative agreements with scholarly publishers. Leveraging deep familiarity with academic publishing, the successful candidate will develop new business workflows and mechanisms that implement and operationalize transformative publishing agreements between the University of California Libraries and multiple academic publishers. In this capacity, a priority of the position will be to provide support to UC authors and campus librarians in guiding author interactions and outreach activities across the campuses to ensure a positive author experience, and to coordinate CDL’s responsiveness to their needs and concerns. The incumbent will also work directly with publishers in implementing cost-allocation and payment mechanisms and monitoring compliance with open access terms. This position is a three-year contract appointment and includes the same generous employee benefits afforded UC career employees. Applicants from outside the Bay Area who wish to work remotely will be considered….”

Elsevier Progresses in Open-Access Deal Making | The Scientist Magazine®

“Last summer, dozens of academic institutions in Sweden let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse, forgoing permission to read new content in the scholarly publisher’s journals. Like other groups in Europe and the US, they were pushing for increased open access and contained costs—and had reached a deadlock in negotiations with the publisher. On Friday (November 22), the two sides announced that they had finally come to an agreement, establishing a so-called transformative deal that includes access to paywalled articles and open-accessing publishing into one fee….”

[Quoting] Wilhelm Widmark, the library director at Stockholm University and a member of the steering committee for the Bibsam consortium, which negotiates on behalf of more than 80 Swedish institutions. “I think Elsevier has become more flexible during the last couple of months.”

Just a day before the Swedish deal was made public, Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania announced a similar deal. These are the latest of several agreements Elsevier has forged to pilot open-access elements since the beginning of 2019. Earlier this year, for example, Hungary and Norway—both countries that had cancelled their subscriptions with the publisher after stagnant negotiations—also announced new contracts with the publisher….

As Elsevier is successfully forging deals on both sides of the Atlantic, there are still two major academic groups missing from these announcements: the University of California (UC) system, which includes 10 campuses, and Project DEAL, which represents around 700 academic institutions in Germany….”

Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon Reach Transformative Open-Access Agreement as Research Universities Seek Major Change – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The impact of the University of California system’s decision in February to walk away from negotiations with Elsevier over journal subscriptions has rippled out to Pittsburgh, where Carnegie Mellon University’s libraries have struck a deal with the company that marks a significant stride in open-access publishing.

Under the agreement, Carnegie Mellon researchers will be able to read all Elsevier academic journals and, next year, can publish their articles in front of a paywall without having to pay an extra fee. The company and the university on Thursday said it was the first contract of its kind between Elsevier and an American university….

Webster surmised that the company wanted to make something work with Carnegie Mellon after UC canceled its subscription. “Elsevier probably couldn’t afford many more hits of licenses being canceled.”…

A spokeswoman for Elsevier did not respond to specific questions from The Chronicle or make representatives available for comment….”

University of California statement on Carnegie Mellon University’s transformative open access agreement with Elsevier – Office of Scholarly Communication

“We congratulate our colleagues at Carnegie Mellon on their bold commitment to open access and their success in reaching this landmark agreement with Elsevier. We are hopeful that the Carnegie Mellon news is a positive sign that Elsevier is ready to start signing transformative open access agreements with other U.S. research universities.

While the details of Carnegie Mellon’s agreement with Elsevier have not been released, the broad brushstrokes are consonant with UC’s goals: an integrated agreement that includes open access publishing for 100 percent of the university’s research in all Elsevier journals. We look forward to the opportunity to re-engage in conversations with Elsevier to achieve a cost-effective agreement on similar terms.

Each transformative open access agreement that is signed, in Europe and now here in the U.S., whether with Elsevier or another major publisher, increases our confidence that slowly but surely the scholarly publishing industry is changing. Change takes time, but we are moving, step by step, toward a world where publishers and research institutions are partners in making knowledge freely and openly available to everyone….”