“Each year, the universities of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation spend around fifteen million euros to subscribe to scientific publications. Their contract with Elsevier, one of the world’s heavyweights in the sector, which gives them access to more than 2,000 scientific journals, ends on December 31. This is an opportunity to put things back on track. A group of university experts was therefore mandated by Cref (the Council of Rectors of French-speaking universities) and BICfB (the Interuniversity Library of the French Community of Belgium) to negotiate the follow-up. According to our information, the discussions promise to be long….”
“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….”
“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….”
“As part of its ongoing work to support open access (OA) both on campus and in the wider world of academia, in October the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released two documents that will amplify open sharing of MIT resources and clarify communications with scholarly publishers.
On October 17, the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research, chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg, released its OA Task Force Final Report, a set of recommendations that will support and increase open sharing of MIT publications, data, software, and educational materials.
In addition, MIT Libraries staff partnered with the task force and the Committee on the Library System to develop a framework, based on those core principles, to help guide negotiations with scholarly publishers, support the needs of scholars, and advance science. The MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts was released on October 23….”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) supports the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts as an important pathway to making scholarly content more openly available. The framework sets forth six core principles for library contracts with publishers, such as author retention of copyrights, automatic deposit of manuscripts into institutional repositories, and blanket text- and data-mining (machine-reading) rights with no additional license required.
The MIT Framework also calls for sustainable and fair, cost-based pricing for publisher services. This will depend, at a minimum, on institutions refusing to sign non-disclosure agreements and, even better, providing their licensing expenditures and terms in an easily comparable format. ARL is committed to advancing such transparency as a key principle to achieving open, equitable, and enduring access to information….”
“In exchange for full open access Elsevier requests full cooperation in a number of (meta)data projects, a leaked negotiating document reveals. Initial responses to the proposed deal show a fear of ‘vendor lock-in’ and condemn tying open access to open science goals….
Friday’s revelations about the ongoing negotiations between Dutch Universities and Elsevier have led to a stream of dismayed reactions. As a negotiating offer the publisher has indicated to be willing grant open access to all of its journals – possibly even including flagship publications such as Cell and The Lancet – with no increase in contract costs. The company is willing to do this in exchange for an extensive pilot program on metadata….”
“Who should own and control the dissemination of research? Not academic publishers, according to a new framework developed by library leaders at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The framework, published this week, asserts that control of scholarship and the way in which it is distributed should reside with scholars and their institutions. The document contains six core principles that will be used by MIT as a starting point for future contract negotiations with academic publishers.
The principles aim to ensure that research is available openly and appropriately archived. They also call for fair and transparent pricing of publisher services and say that no author should be forced to give up a copyright in order to publish their work. Instead, authors should be provided with “generous reuse rights,” the framework says….”
“As of 2017, the European University Association (EUA) assembled a unique collection of ‘Big Deals’ data on agreements between scholarly publishers and (national) consortia of libraries, universities and research organisations. This was carried out in the light of mounting higher education institution concerns about the increasingly unsustainable cost of subscriptions to scholarly publications. In 2016, EUA committed to “establishing an evidence base about current agreements and on-going negotiations with publishers in collaboration with NRCs”.1 Subsequently, data collected by EUA has served as the basis for two reports released in 2018 and 2019, respectively.2 Big Deals now receive increased attention due to their potential to ‘flip’ entire segments of the scholarly publication market from closed to open access publications. Big deals have also been widely criticised for locking-in library budgets, due to constantly increasing subscription costs. The 2019 EUA Big Deals Survey Report surveyed covered 30 European countries and found that over €1 billion is spent on electronic resources each year, including at least €726 million spent on periodicals alone. Big Deals are said to limit competition and innovation in the scholarly publishing system3 and curb universities’ and consortia’s financial freedom to pursue other priorities. However, recently, several European negotiating consortia and scholarly publishers have concluded Big Deals that allow eligible authors to publish articles in open access formats in specific journals. Known as ‘transformative agreements’, these contracts are also supported as one way to comply with future funder requirements that will apply as of 2021 under Plan S.4 In a system that is largely defined by Big Deals, this report aims to inform the transition to open access debate, by providing additional insights and indicators on these agreements’ costs, publication volumes and timelines. This has been achieved by placing EUA Big Deals data into context….
Part 1 explains the methods used to obtain the underlying data as well as limitations and responsible use of the data. Part 2 links the publication outputs of journal articles and reviews to the large five publishers’ market share. It seeks to provide a bigger picture of the relation between subscription costs and publishing output. Part 3 sets out an analysis of the price-per-article for each country and publisher, calculated on the basis of subscription prices and publication volume. It provides European negotiators with comparative Big Deals price per article data in 26 countries. Part 4 takes a closer look at the timeline of Big Deal agreements collected by the EUA Big Deals Survey. It shows that the 2018-2020 period is crucial for negotiations with scholarly publishers (in terms of market volume). Negotiations that occur during this time may also be crucial for the further development of ‘transformative’ agreements and therefore compliance with Plan S requirements. Part 5 provides a brief summary of our main findings, contextualises them with current developments and provides policy recommendations….”
“In my own view, to achieve this equity and diversity, we need to go beyond article processing charges (APCs) and the aims of transformative agreements. A reliance on APCs excludes authors who cannot find the money to pay them, and that burden falls disproportionately on authors from the global south and from less affluent institutions in the global north. We need to develop truly transformative models that leverage the opportunities of the digital age and fully remove cost barriers: no fees for authors or readers. We need to envision distributed, trusted networks, rather than letting control rest within just a few entities. We need academic control of academic work. We need to invest in reasonable and transparent costs, ideally within an open-source framework, for infrastructure and services that enable the use of that scholarly work.
Plan S gives a nod in the direction of new platforms: “Plan S is NOT just about a publication fee model of Open Access publishing. cOAlition S supports a diversity of sustainability models for Open Access journals and platforms…” Last fall, I appreciated seeing the Plan S feedback provided jointly by Harvard and MIT, including this statement: “We’d like to see Plan S reinforce and expand — rather than neglect or unintentionally hinder — the power of open-access repositories to democratize access to science and scholarship.” Earlier this October, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and cOAlition S issued a joint statement noting that “Repositories offer a low-cost, high-value option for providing Open Access and are also a mechanism for introducing innovation in scholarly communication, acting as vehicles for developing new dissemination models and providing access to a wide range of scholarly content.” …”
“The core principles of an MIT Framework for publisher contracts are:
No author will be required to waive any institutional or funder open access policy to publish in any of the publisher’s journals.
No author will be required to relinquish copyright, but instead will be provided with options that enable publication while also providing authors with generous reuse rights.
Publishers will directly deposit scholarly articles in institutional repositories immediately upon publication or will provide tools/mechanisms that facilitate immediate deposit.
Publishers will provide computational access to subscribed content as a standard part of all contracts, with no restrictions on non-consumptive, computational analysis of the corpus of subscribed content.
Publishers will ensure the long-term digital preservation and accessibility of their content through participation in trusted digital archives.
Institutions will pay a fair and sustainable price to publishers for value-added services, based on transparent and cost-based pricing models….”