The OA Switchboard – OASPA

On December 6th 2018, a group of stakeholders representing research funding organizations, academic libraries, scholarly publishers, and open infrastructure providers met in London to discuss a proposal for addressing the growing set of challenges in the implementation of institutional and funder policies supporting open access publication. The result of this initial stakeholder meeting was broad support for this initiative, tentatively titled the OA Switchboard, and in the weeks since this initial meeting the support for this initiative has continued to grow. What follows is an overview from Paul Peters of the key challenges that the OA Switchboard aims to address, a description of the proposed solution, and a roadmap for the development and initial roll-out of this new system….

The problems that have begun to arise in the central funding of open access publications are likely to grow in scale and complexity in the coming years. If successful, initiatives like OA2020 and Plan S will likely result in a rise in the number of open access publications being centrally funded, either by universities or research funders. Not only will this result in higher administrative costs for institutions, funders, and publishers, but it may also lead to a more pronounced imbalance in the ability of small and large publishers to compete on equal footing. Already there are signs that a handful of large commercial publishers will be best positioned to negotiate open access agreements with individual institutions and consortia, often as part of existing “Big Deal” subscription agreements.

 

Many smaller publishers, including scholarly societies and fully open access publishers, have been unable to negotiate these kinds of central open access funding agreements. Not only do these smaller publishers lack the internal resources to make and implement agreements with a large number of institutions, but they often struggle to get a seat at the table in these sorts of discussions. The total open access output from any single institution may only amount to a few articles each year for many smaller publishers, making it difficult for these institutions to devote their scarce time and resources to setting up open access agreements with small and mid-sized open access publishers. Unless a solution to these problems can be found, negotiated deals with a handful of large publishers may be the only viable option for funders and universities to support the transition towards open access, which is likely to result in a publishing landscape that is even less competitive, transparent, and inclusive than the traditional subscription-based publishing market….

The OA Switchboard aims to leverage the benefits that a central payment intermediary can provide while avoiding the aforementioned challenges and risks that could be associated. The inspiration for this proposed solution has come from other examples of community-governed scholarly infrastructure, namely the Crossref DOI registry and ORCID, which have successfully brought together a large and diverse community of stakeholders to address complex challenges. An important distinction between the OA Switchboard and the sort of central payment intermediary described above is that the OA Switchboard is designed to enable publishers, academic institutions, and research funders to seamlessly communicate information about open access publications, without trying to serve as an intermediary for any payments that may be associated with these publications. In that sense, the OA Switchboard is simply another tool for passing metadata about scholarly publications between publishers and other stakeholders….”

Open letter: UC retains access to articles for now as UC-Elsevier talks continue | UC Berkeley Library News

“As described in our open letter sent December 19, 2018, the University of California has been in negotiations to renew its systemwide license with scholarly journal publisher Elsevier.

Throughout these negotiations, UC has remained committed to two key goals: facilitating open access publishing of UC research, and holding down costs by integrating open access article processing charges (APCs) and subscription fees into a single contract.

UC and Elsevier have agreed to continue good-faith discussions for the time being. For now, access to Elsevier articles is expected to continue. Should we learn of any changes to access at UC, we will notify our community.

If Elsevier were to reduce access to subscribed content at any point, access to articles published from 2019 forward, as well as a limited amount of historical content, would no longer be available directly on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect platform. UC will still have direct access to most Elsevier articles published in 2018 or earlier.  

In that event, the Library will work with researchers to get them the articles they need through other means, such as interlibrary loan. Visit Alternative access to Elsevier articles on the Library’s website for more details….”

Elsevier journal negotiations | UC Berkeley Library

As described in our open letter sent December 19, 2018, the University of California has been in negotiations to renew its systemwide license with scholarly journal publisher Elsevier.

Throughout these negotiations, UC has remained committed to two key goals: facilitating open access publishing of UC research, and holding down costs by integrating open access article processing charges (APCs) and subscription fees into a single contract. 

UC and Elsevier have agreed to continue good-faith discussions for the time being. For now, access to Elsevier articles is expected to continue. Should we learn of any changes to access at UC, we will notify our community. Read more….”

Transition metrics – working draft

“The National Library of Luxembourg has a consortial section1 which is planning to transition its agreements to the new realities of Open Access. The past years have been spent setting up an integrated administrative structure that allows for flexible shifting of costs and devising entirely new models. We envision the transition to play on two levels: 1. Our subscriptions contain more and more Open Access content, hence the subscription costs should fall proportionally, the “Transition credit”; 2. Our consortial partners pay increasing amounts for Open Access publications, these costs should be covered by the savings of the subscription part. Goals for transition agreements: 1. Transparent and sustainable for both publishers and libraries 2. Long term commitment (3-5 years) 3. Data-driven…”

Where are we now?

“The results of publicly funded research must be freely available to all. By 2020, universities want to make all peer-reviewed articles by Dutch researchers open-access publications as standard. Following a request by the government, in 2013 the VSNU formulated a plan to achieve this goal.

‘The Dutch universities’ strategy is unique on the international stage,’ says Koen Becking, executive open-access negotiator for the VSNU and Executive Board President at Tilburg University. Together with Tim van der Hagen, Executive Board President at Delft University of Technology, and Anton Pijpers, Executive Board President at Utrecht University, he leads executive negotiations with the major publishing houses….

The Dutch approach is such a success because the universities have formed a single negotiating body and are supported by the government. In this regard, Becking refers to the government’s open-access policy, which was continued by the new government in 2017….”

 

The Conflict over Open Access between Elsevier and German Academic Institutions Shows the Importance of Journal Subscriptions | Open Science

As an agreement on terms of access to paywall-protected journals between Germany’s educational and scientific organizations and the international publishing house Elsevier continues to elude the negotiating parties, a growing criticism from the side of scholarly publishers and university representatives indicates that journal subscriptions are critical for scientific research and publication processes, in spite of the expected transition to Open Access….”

Ciencia: Todos contra Elsevier, el gigante editorial científico que cobra a España 25 kilos al año

From Google’s English: “The opacity of how much public institutions invest in subscriptions to scientific journals is maximum. Until now there was nothing published about it. However, records analyzed by Teknautas and the Data Unit of El Confidencial offer a first estimate: Spain spends around 25 million euros annually on subscriptions to Elsevier , an amount that doubles or triples the expenditure of other European countries.

Until recently, the activity of this editorial went unnoticed by the common non-scientific mortals despite billing 2,600 million euros in 2016. However, one day they saw their business threatened and decided to counterattack ….”

How to make journal bundles (“big deals”) fair and promote quality? (#100) · Issues · Publishing Reform / discussion · GitLab

“Suggestions for publishers: Allow fairness and flexibility

Allow customers to fairly add/remove individual products based on their needs.

Allow customers to only choose necessary services and price categories for each product….

Suggestions for libraries: Inform your faculty

Maintain lists of publishers in each cost/value/policy group.

Inform faculty about changes to allow them adjust their support.

Specifically address back-issue policy to allow faculty reward publishers with fairer policy.

Allow faculty to up- or down-vote products, because the mere number of downloads may not be an accurate metric for quality/value.

Better inform your faculty of concerns with paywalls and benefits of open access without author fees…..”

University of California leads fight over access to research

“Behind closed doors, the University of California is staging a revolt against the world’s largest journal publisher, threatening to drop all subscriptions when its contract with Reed Elsevier soon expires.

This is no pointy-headed dispute: Publication is how new discoveries are shared, building the foundation for future intellectual breakthroughs.

The university was poised to lose access to Elsevier’s journals when its five-year contract ends on Dec. 31.  But on Friday [12/21] afternoon, the adversaries agreed to extend the deadline for one more month.

If an agreement is not reached, everyone in the UC system — 21,200 faculty and 251,700 students — could face tighter access to new research findings. (Access to older articles would continue uninterrupted.) The university’s library says it would work to get them through other means, such as a loan from a non-UC library….”