[Urging Germany and Sweden to hold firm in negotiations with Elsevier]

“The background to this story is that Germany and Sweden have been setting a great example to the rest of the world by refusing to let Elsevier walk all over them in negotiations. (My own country, the UK, talked tough and then meekly accepted a deal that basically changed nothing.) Interestingly, Elsevier decided at first not to cut off access to its journals. Why might they have done this? My interpretation, which could be wrong, is that they were afraid of the world seeing that an entire country can walk away from its expensive subscriptions to ScienceDirect, the Elsevier platform, and continue to function without any major inconvenience. 

But of course, that left them in an awkward position: if they are letting you read their articles for no charge, then you have no incentive to reach a deal where you will start to pay for them — quite the reverse. So now they have done what I suppose they had to do and finally cut off access to their papers. This is a very important moment: please, Germans and Swedes, hold firm. If it becomes clear that your academics are suffering badly, then maybe you’ll have to do something, but it is in the interests of the whole world that you should do this experiment properly so that we get an idea of how serious the consequences are of not having access. Of course, I’m expecting that they will not be all that serious, which would, in principle at least, hugely improve the bargaining position of everyone who negotiates with Elsevier.”

Championing Change in Journal Negotiations

“Because the lion’s share of both the University’s research output and of our library budgets is bound up with the services of journal publishers, advancing these goals [journal affordability and the moral imperative of achieving a truly open scholarly communication system] is inextricably entwined with the University’s ongoing relationships with publishers and must be addressed in the context of the agreements we sign with them.  Our goal, simply put, is to responsibly transition funding for journal subscriptions toward funding for open dissemination.  As we approach major journal negotiations for 2019, the UC system will be guided by the principles and goals outlined below in negotiating agreements with publishers….

We believe the time has come to address these issues head-on through a combined strategy that places the need to reduce the University’s expenditures for academic journal subscriptions in the service of the larger goal of transforming journal publishing to open access.  Through our renewal negotiations with publishers, we will pursue this goal along two complementary paths: by reducing our subscription expenditures, and investing in open access support….

It has become increasingly clear that the problem of rising journal costs in the context of a widespread movement toward open access can only be addressed by tackling the subscription system itself….

As a leading research institution that produces 8% of all US research output, UC is uniquely positioned to both contribute to and accelerate such transformation, locally, nationally, and globally.  Indeed, we believe that as a public university sustained by taxpayer and extramural funding, we have a signal obligation to do so; and we invite our colleagues in the North American research community to embark with us on this journey….

Strategic Priorities for Journal Negotiations

  1. We will prioritize making immediate open access publishing available to UC authors as part of our negotiated agreements.
  2. We will prioritize agreements that lower the cost of research access and dissemination, with sustainable, cost-based fees for OA publication.  Payments for OA publication should reduce the cost of subscriptions at UC and elsewhere.
  3. We will prioritize agreements with publishers who are transparent about the amount of APC-funded content within their portfolios, and who share that information with customers as well as the public.
  4. We will prioritize agreements that enable UC to achieve expenditure reductions in our licenses when necessary, without financial penalty.
  5. We will prioritize agreements that make any remaining subscription content available under terms that fully reflect academic values and norms, including the broadest possible use rights.
  6. We will prioritize agreements that allow UC to share information about the open access provisions with all interested stakeholders, and we will not agree to non-disclosure requirements in our licenses.
  7. We will prioritize working proactively with publishers who help us achieve a full transition to open access in accordance with the principles and pathways articulated by our faculty and our libraries.

Strategies guiding our near-term actions

 

  • We will evaluate all publishers on both cost-benefit and values-based grounds in our cancellation and retention decisions, including conformance to the UCOLASC Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication, and sustainable, transparent, cost-based OA fees.
  • We will adjust our investments to follow and support transformative initiatives mounted by academic authors, editorial boards, and societies when they seek to establish a journal on fair open access principles, including transitioning support from prior legacy journals when necessary.
  • We will actively seek to partner with other national and global research institutions in transforming research output to OA….”

MIT and Royal Society of Chemistry Sign First North American “Read and Publish” Agreement for Scholarly Articles | MIT Libraries News

“The MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry have signed a groundbreaking license agreement that incorporates elements of a traditional subscription purchase and open access to scholarly articles. The experimental two-year agreement is seen as an important step on the path toward making more research freely and openly available to the world.

The new agreement combines traditional subscription-based access to Royal Society of Chemistry articles for the MIT community with immediate open access to MIT-authored articles, making them freely available to all audiences at the time of publication. It is the first of its kind among North American institutions….

In order to encourage this overall transition to open access, MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry collaborated on significant new language in the agreement, signaling the Royal Society of Chemistry ’s commitment to a fully open access publishing model in the future. The agreement affirms that the current read and publish model is a “transitional business model whose aim is to provide a mechanism to shift over time to full open access.” Making this successful transition to full open access will require collaborations across universities.”

Frontiers and the National Library of Sweden sign Open Access Framework Agreement

In addition to a centralised invoicing process that covers the publishing fees (article processing charges), researchers at participating organisations benefit from a discount.  This is the first Nordic agreement of its kind and follows the Austrian Open Access framework publishing agreement between Frontiers, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the University of Vienna in late 2017.  The Agreement is open to all participating organisations of the Bibsam Consortium, which includes universities, university colleges and government-funded research institutions. Twenty organisations have already joined, including leading universities. All new participating organisations will benefit from the same terms and conditions, regardless of size or research output.

Libraries Face a Future of Open Access – The Scholarly Kitchen

“When librarians prepare for a negotiation, they now routinely reach for the muscle. At least that’s how I read the news about the Swedish library consortium and its dealings with Elsevier. If you have been too preoccupied with the Royal Wedding to pay attention to news coming out of the world of STM publishing, you can get a good backgrounder here. Briefly, the Swedish consortium attempted to dictate terms to Elsevier, terms that Elsevier would not accept. The result is that Elsevier’s contract will be cancelled, meaning that there will be no authorized access to Elsevier content for the consortium users.

I have written previously about how the current landscape looks to publishers. In every negotiation, publishers are mindful that their ability to control access to their publications is compromised by unauthorized access from such sites as Sci-Hub and ResearchGate. How can Elsevier or any publisher shut off the Swedes or the Germans when Alexandra Elbakyan is waiting in the anteroom? Librarians have learned to reach for the muscle and now confidently demand terms that no publisher can or will accept. This raises the obvious question of whether librarians knowingly and actively seek the support of copyright pirates; or perhaps librarians simply are going about their business in their usual upbeat way, working diligently to make the world a better place, and the critical involvement of the shady characters is neither sought nor recognized. My own view has changed. I think the cynicism quotient in academic libraries, measured against other organizations and institutions, is very low. This is not, after all, Wall Street or, lord help us, the telecommunications business. But, like the populist governments that have now been installed in a number of Western democracies, the party of cynicism has taken control of some leading library organizations. Thus a nod to the likes of Luca Brasi no longer seems out of line. Having grown up in New Jersey, I have some qualms about what it means for anyone to form an alliance with unsavory characters. What do you do when they ask for a favor in return?

So it’s about time to consider what happens if the libraries win. By “win” I mean they refuse deals with publishers and turn their constituencies over to unauthorized sites. This will save them huge amounts of money, of course, money that they would surely like to put to other uses. Publishing is an ecosystem, however, and a significant change in one element can ripple across the entire field. If Sci-Hub becomes the default place to go for full-text content, what else will change?

…”

Europe’s open-access drive escalates as university stand-offs spread

“Sweden is latest country to hold out on journal subscriptions, while negotiators share tactics to broker new deals with publishers.

Bold efforts to push academic publishing towards an open-access model are gaining steam. Negotiators from libraries and university consortia across Europe are sharing tactics on how to broker new kinds of contracts that could see more articles appear outside paywalls. And inspired by the results of a stand-off in Germany, they increasingly declare that if they don’t like what publishers offer, they will refuse to pay for journal access at all. On 16 May, a Swedish consortium became the latest to say that it wouldn’t renew its contract, with publishing giant Elsevier. Under the new contracts, termed ‘read and publish’ deals, libraries still pay subscriptions for access to paywalled articles, but their researchers can also publish under open-access terms so that anyone can read their work for free. Advocates say such agreements could accelerate the progress of the open-access movement. Despite decades of campaigning for research papers to be published openly — on the grounds that the fruits of publicly funded research should be available for all to read — scholarly publishing’s dominant business model remains to publish articles behind paywalls and collect subscriptions from libraries (see ‘Growth of open access’). But if many large library consortia strike read-and-publish deals, the proportion of open-access articles could surge….”

A DEAL for open access | EMBO Reports

“The negotiations between the German DEAL project and publishers have global implications for academic publishing beyond just Germany

Open access (OA) publication dates back at least 40 years in some fields such as computation research, but, for the past decade, has attracted increasing attention among scientists from all disciplines as an alternative to subscription?based journals as the main route for disseminating the results of research. The life sciences were rather slow to join the movement for OA, which took root early in the Millennium. One important step then was the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” in October 2003. It was inspired by Germany’s Max Planck Society and the European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO) to support “[n]ew possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet” (openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin?Declaration). The declaration sets out two key principles, firstly that authors grant “to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship”. The second principle is that authors deposit copies of their work in a suitable OA repository. Back then, proponents of OA had hoped that the mandate would help to transform scientific publishing towards payment for publication rather than subscriptions, especially as it gained support from other major funding bodies, such as the UK’s Wellcome Trust and the US Howard Hughes Medical Institutes (HHMI). Yet, progress towards OA has been patchier and slower than expected. “I think that most people involved in the open access debates in the early years, including myself, did not expect that changing the scholarly publishing system would take that long”, commented Georg Botz, Coordinator for Open Access Policy at the Max Planck Society. …”

The Race to the Bottom – Short-term Bargains versus Long-term Vitality – The Scholarly Kitchen

“It’s tempting to blame faceless corporate overlords for this, but I believe consumers are the actual culprits (and, in a sort of justice, victims). By being cheapskates, they have driven the bargains, supported the leaders, and tolerated the deals that are now coming back to haunt them….

In the midst of this short-term thinking is a set of irreconcilable ideas, namely the idea that publishers have to charge less and do more — manage more business models, deal with endless mandates and the related compliance complexity, review and reject more papers, invent and validate new impact measures, create and promulgate more and better technology, and support every little notion about research outputs academia can dream up, from text- and data-mining to open data….”

If ResearchGate is Where Authors Connect and Collaborate … – The Scholarly Kitchen

“This is not the final chapter in the story of the relationships between ResearchGate and various publishers but this negotiated agreement with SNCUPT does demonstrate that there is not a uniformity of perspective in the publishing community about article sharing on ResearchGate, or presumably on the many other scholarly collaboration networks that exist. It also signals that ResearchGate, a decade-old start-up disruptor with with venture capital investment and a rapidly grown user base, has taken its place at the negotiating table and found not just enemies but allies.”