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….”

Will the revolution be open? May 17, 2018 Webinar Registration – Zoom

“Will the revolution be open? This is an important question and the jury is out. In this webinar series we examine what it will take for the academic library community to develop the human, technical and financial resources that will be required to support an open future for global scholarship. The Elsevier purchase of Bepress was for many a wake-up call. It indicated that much of the infrastructure academic libraries rely on to manage and make content openly accessible was at risk of being monopolized by proprietary interests, just as scholarly journals have been. While the problem is clear — academic libraries need to control the infrastructure they depend on to make scholarly content open and discoverable and accessible. It seems clear that the level of support now provided is barely adequate at best, and that the academic library community faces a collective action problem that makes the necessary investments difficult. How to escape the current situation is not clear. In this webinar series the problem will be considered from both North American perspectives and those from outside of North America — in the hope of devising a way forward to create the infrastructure necessary to support a global open scholarly commons.

Join us on Thursday, May 17 at 12:00 ET for “The 2.5% Commitment: Investing in Open.” This webinar will focus on the David Lewis’ proposal for a 2.5% investment in open infrastructure and how it aims to make visible the investments academic libraries make in open infrastructure and content. It will also review actions that have taken place in the past nine months to advance these ideas. For background on the “Invest in Open Initiative” see the initiative website at: https://scholarlycommons.net and a recent College & Research Library News article describing the initiative at: https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/16902.

Time May 17, 2018 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)”

Foundations for Open Scholarship Strategy Development – Google Docs

“Please bear in mind the purpose of this document: to identify how we can all work together as a global community to advance Open Scholarship.

This document can be freely edited by anyone, and we encourage as broad a participation as possible. Please share with any colleagues who might be interested.”

Scholarly Communication: University of California Libraries | Pathways to OA

“Scholarly communication has become expensive, restrictive, and increasingly falls short of realizing its full potential to make scholarly information broadly accessible. The University of California Libraries are committed to working collaboratively with a variety of partners and stakeholders to provide leadership in transforming scholarly communication into a system that is economically sustainable and ensures the widest possible access to the scholarly record. Part of this commitment to transforming scholarly publishing at a large scale necessitates transitioning away from subscription-based publishing models, and repurposing our investments into sustainable open access (OA) funding models.

In order to make informed and data-driven decisions about which endeavors to pursue at scale, the UC Libraries prepared an analysis of the various approaches to or models for achieving open access, and the actionable strategies that exist to implement each approach. This analysis, compiled in the Pathways to OA documents linked below, was endorsed by the UC Council of University Librarians (CoUL) on 27 February 2018. The Pathways to OA is intended to assist campus libraries and the California Digital Library with individual, and where appropriate, collective decision-making about which OA strategies, possible next steps, or experiments to pursue in order to achieve large-scale transition to OA.

  • Pathways to OA: Executive Summary [PDF]
  • Pathways to OA: Full Report [PDF]
  • Pathways to OA: Chart Summarizing Approaches, Strategies, & Next Steps [PDF]”

Freie Universität Approves Open Access Strategy

Freie Universität Berlin was the first university in Berlin to adopt an open access strategy for free access to scientific findings. It is intended to give all members of the university an opportunity to anchor open access publication in their day-to-day research. The new policy takes into account the publication cultures of the individual subjects. It aims to ensure that scholarly and scientific standards are met and high-quality publications are published.

Taylor & Francis scraps extra charges after university protests | The Bookseller

“Taylor & Francis has backtracked over plans to charge extra for access to older research papers online, after more than 110 universities signed a letter of protest.

The latest renewal of UK universities’ deal with the publisher, which is yet to be signed, only covers papers published in the last 20 years, reported Times Higher Education. Research released before this would have to be bought in a separate package by university.

The 20-year span of papers included in the main deal would have moved forward in time with each year. This would mean the archive would increase and costs would escalate further as researchers attempted to access papers from 1997 onwards, described by academics as the beginning of the born digital record. 

In an open letter dated 13th February, head librarians from more than 110 UK and Irish institutions, as well as representatives from Research Libraries UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries (Sconul), and the Irish Universities Association, urged Taylor & Francis to drop the extra charges.

“A “moving wall” approach for non-subscribed titles within the journal package will increase administration activities and costs substantially for libraries and for Taylor & Francis, impose direct additional licensing costs, and create confusion and annoyance for your customers and our reader communities,” the letter reads….”

Open Science (Open Access) – European Commission

“The global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers, so-called ‘Open access’, has been a core strategy in the European Commission to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation. It is illustrated in particular by the general principle for open access to scientific publications in Horizon 2020 and the pilot for research data.”

Pirate Radical Philosophy – Radical Philosophy

“Peter Suber, a leading voice in the open access movement, has recently provided an instance of just such a withdrawal. In January, Suber announced (using Google+ to do so) that he would ‘not referee for a publisher belonging to the Association of American Publishers unless it has publicly disavowed the AAP’s position on the Research Works Act’. The latter, which was introduced in the US Congress on 16 December 2011, was designed to prohibit open access mandates for federally funded research in the USA. The Research Works Act would thus in effect countermand the National Institutes of Health’s Public Access Policy along with other similar open access policies in the USA. To show my support for open access and Suber’s initiative, I publicly stated in January that I would act similarly. [17] Having met with staunch opposition from within both the academic and the publishing communities, all public backing of the Research Works Act has now been dropped as of 27 February. But I can’t help wondering, rather than taking this as a cue to abandon the strategy of refusal, should we not adopt it all the more? Should we not withdraw our academic labour from all those presses and journals that do not allow authors, as a bare minimum, to self-archive the refereed and accepted final drafts of their publications in institutional open access repositories? [18]

As a supporter of long standing, I feel it is important to acknowledge that the open access movement – which is concerned with making peer-reviewed research literature freely available online to all those able to access the Internet – is neither unified nor self-identical. Some regard it as a movement, [19] yet for others it represents a variety of economic models or even just another means of distribution, marketing and promotion. It should also be borne in mind that there is nothing inherently radical, emancipatory, oppositional, or even politically or culturally progressive about open access. The politics of open access depend on the decisions that are made in relation to it, the specific tactics and strategies that are adopted, the particular conjunctions of time, situation and context in which such practices, actions and activities take place, and the networks, relationships and flows of culture, community, society and economics they encourage, mobilize and make possible. Open access publishing is thus not necessarily a mode of left resistance.

Nevertheless, what is interesting about the transition to the open access publication and archiving of research is the way it is creating at least some ‘openings’ that allow academics to destabilize and rethink scholarly publishing, and with it the university, beyond the model espoused by free-market capitalism….”

The Dutch Approach to Achieving Open Access

“In this paper, the authors – both of whom are library directors and involved in the contract negotiations with the bigger scientific publishers – present the conditions that formed the Dutch approach in these negotiations. A combination of clear political support, a powerful delegation, a unique bargaining model and fidelity to their principles geared the Dutch to their success in achieving open access. The authors put these joint license and open access negotiations in the perspective of open science and show that they are part of the transition towards open access.”