International and national copyright policy action for OA – SPARC Europe

“A joint webinar between SPARC Europe and EIFL

Target audience
Open Science policymakers, Research Funding Organizations and Research Performing Organizations managers, librarians, repository managers and academic institutional copyright experts.
We will organise a separate event for publishers….”

EIFL renews Bookshare agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has renewed its three-year agreement with Benetech, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, USA, for access to Bookshare, the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities….

As part of the renewed agreement, libraries in 20 EIFL countries can sign up for free to allow their print-disabled readers to use Bookshare:


Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe….”

MERAL Portal: Next steps for OA in Myanmar | EIFL

“Myanmar’s research community has enthusiastically embraced the new Myanmar Education Research and Learning (MERAL) Portal. 

In just four months since the launch of the MERAL Portal in July 2020, content has doubled. The portal now includes almost 6,000 journal articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, research papers, books and books chapters from 19 universities. 

The MERAL Portal is a partnership between the Myanmar Rectors’ Committee, National Education Policy Commission, Department of Higher Education, the Ministry of Education, EIFL and the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. The partners signed an agreement to develop a national portal for research outputs from Myanmar universities in February, 2020. …”

EIFL, IWAP sign free Read & Publish agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has signed an agreement with IWA Publishing – the publishing arm of the International Water Association – to provide free access to their 10 paywalled journals for libraries as well as free open access publishing for corresponding authors in their 15 fully open access and hybrid journals covering water, wastewater and related environmental fields. The agreement is valid until 31st December 2023….”

Ask the Community (and Chefs): How Can We Achieve Equitable Participation in Open Research? – Part 2 – The Scholarly Kitchen

In yesterday’s “Ask the Community (and Chefs)” post, most contributors acknowledged that some progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go. Today we continue to add the voices of Chefs and community members. Please add your own responses to the question in the comments.

On a knife edge? South Africa’s new copyright law | EIFL

“The Copyright Amendment Bill [B13B – 2017] had been sitting on the desk of President Cyril Ramaphosa for over a year waiting to be signed into law. In June 2020, when Blind South Africa issued a legal challenge over the delay, the President acted. But instead of signing the Bill that had been approved by the legislature, the President used his prerogative to return it to parliament citing constitutional concerns with certain aspects, including new exceptions for libraries, education and persons with disabilities.

The President’s rejection of the Bill is widely seen as the result of pressure by copyright industries, and the threat of trade sanctions and reduced future investment from the United States and the European Union. …

In advance of the briefing, EIFL wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly and to the Portfolio Committee to pledge support for the Bill. EIFL’s letter sets out how libraries and educational institutions in South Africa, and the millions of South Africans citizens they serve, will benefit greatly from new exceptions designed for non-commercial uses. They will help to re-calibrate the existing copyright system in South Africa which forces resource-deprived institutions to pay high licence fees to largely European and US companies. (For example, the 2011 Copyright Review Commission Report, known as the Farlam Review, confirmed that 70% of copying fees paid by higher education institutions in the previous year were distributed to foreign rightsholders). While this is a windfall for these companies, it is in our view, bad public policy for South Africa.

EIFL’s letter also notes that the exceptions in the Bill are modelled on provisions in the copyright laws of developed countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the US, that the Bill seeks merely to ensure that libraries and educational institutions in South Africa have the same rights than their counterparts in these countries, and any concerns that they may be inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations under international copyright treaties are misplaced….”

EIFL welcomes Rights Retention Strategy for researchers | EIFL

“EIFL welcomes the Rights Retention Strategy that will make it easier for repositories to provide full and immediate open access, and encourages researchers and publishers to follow it. Creative Commons licences are internationally recognized, well-established, and both human-readable and machine-readable. CC BY 4.0 is the most liberal Creative Commons licence that ensures repositories interoperability and also allows users and machines to re-use content in data analytics, text and data mining, etc. 

EIFL has been working on a campaign called ‘Your Work. Your Rights. KNOW.THINK.RETAIN’, re-using the concept of ‘Think.Check.Submit’ that helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers. When researchers publish their articles in open access journals, they retain their full copyrights. However, if they choose to publish in a subscription access journal, they are required to sign a form transferring some – or all – of their copyrights to the publisher. With our campaign, we want to raise the awareness of researchers about their intellectual ownership rights and power to suppress unreasonable embargo periods.

The cOALition S Rights Retention Strategy now makes it much easier for researchers to retain their copyright and strengthens our campaign. Over the coming weeks, the cOAlition S Office will be hosting a series of webinars to provide further information and to answer any questions publishers and journals editors may have about the Rights Retention Strategy.”

How can I get access to the article I need? | EIFL

“In order to help researchers retrieve legal copies of full-text articles that they can’t find in their library, EIFL has created a poster with useful links to other places where they can look for an article they need, such as open access search engines or browser extensions.

We are encouraging librarians to share the poster widely with faculty and students through their university and institutional websites, newsletters and social media. EIFL can help libraries customize the poster, for example, by adding the library’s logo and links to the library’s subscribed e-resources.”