Structural inequalities in scholarly communications

“However, there are significant drawbacks to electronic resources:

Electronic versions of scholarly materials are subject to licenses, which often put strict limitations on who can use them. Libraries can share print materials by sending them through interlibrary loan — mailing materials to those who need them — but not all e-journal content can be shared this way. E-books usually can’t be shared between libraries, meaning that they are available only to those who have a current affiliation with the University or those who can physically visit one of our spaces.
E-materials are expensive and often do not have the “friendliest” terms. Multi-user licenses are not always available or may be prohibitively expensive. In a time when University budgets are facing large cuts, it is hard to accept that a print volume may cost $100, yet the multi-user e-version might cost $900.
Electronic materials also often lack perpetual access. This may mean that the same materials have to be purchased multiple times.
Access to electronic materials also requires access to the internet — stable broadband access. This is often lacking for scholars all over the world; even in the United States, it is estimated that only three-quarters of adults have broadband internet service at home….”

Improving access and delivery of academic content – a survey of current & emerging trends | Musings about librarianship

“While allowing users to gain access to paywalled academic content aka delivery services is often seen to be less sexy than discovery it is still an important part of the researcher workflow that is worth looking at. In particular, I will argue that in the past few years we have seen a renewed interest in this part of the workflow and may potentially start to see some big changes in the way we provide access to academic content in the near future.

Note: The OA discovery and delivery front has changed a lot since 2017, with Unpaywall been a big part of the story, but for this blog post I will focus on delivery aspects of paywalled content. 1.0 Access and delivery – an age old problem

 

1.1 RA21, Seamless Access and getFTR

 

1.2 Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA)

1.3 Browser extensions/”Access Brokers” 1.4 Content syndication partnership between Springer Nature and ResearchGate (new) 1.5 Is the sun slowing setting on library link resolvers? 1.6 The Sci-hub effect?

1.7 Privacy implications …”

About the ICOLC Expanded Access Spreadsheet | Google Docs

This Complimentary Expanded Access Specifics (EAS) spreadsheet is designed and maintained on behalf of the ICOLC community by SCELC Library Consortium Licensing Services team staff members: Jason Price, Erik Limpitlaw, and Carly Ryan. 

 

Its purpose is to make information service provider announcements and offers of COVID19-related expanded access to resources more accessible to libraries and their users all over the world.

 

 

On March 13, ICOLC issued a Statement on the Global COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Library Services and Resources that urged publishers to consider a range of responses. The open letter links to an Information Service Provider Response (ISPR) Registry that is populated by members of the ICOLC community as they learn of these responses.

 

 

Providers, Consortia, or Libraries can recommend complimentary resources for addition to the lists using the ICOLC Complimentary Expanded Access Submission Form. Entries that are added to the EAS sheet are also added to the ISPR registry.

 

CORE helps Lean Library to provide its users with freely accessible copies of research papers – Jisc scholarly communications

“Lean Library – a browser extension that brings library services directly into a patron’s browser – enriches its services with CORE’s help and brings to its users even more open access articles….

The Lean Library browser extension delivers library services into library users’ workflows, wherever they are….[It directs] users to open access materials whenever they hit a paywall. By utilising the CORE Discovery API, Lean Library is able to extend its pool of open access materials, helping libraries meet the needs of their users….”

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free ? Current Affairs

“But let us also notice something: the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the New Republic, New York, Harper’s, the New York Review of Books, the Financial Times, and the London Times all have paywalls. Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Wire, the Federalist, the Washington Examiner, InfoWars: free! …”

Power and the paywall: A Black feminist reflection on the socio-spatial formations of publishing

“Who owns knowledge? How do we disseminate it to benefit societal goals and values that speak norms of justice? Who should have access to knowledge? For whom should knowledge serve? In our time, the highly active landscape of knowledge production via publication, with widespread immediate interconnectivity of scholars around the world, allows for the making of a stronger intellectual community. It can be argued that this one of many impacts of globalization, in that academics are more interconnected than ever before, just as world economies, geopolitics, and global media. Moreover, the scholars who present new knowledges or make visible alternative knowledges come from a wider range of backgrounds than ever before, including non-white/Euro-descendant racial and ethnic groups, working class people, all genders, all sexualities, and non-Western nations. Beyond that, scholars are engaging with a broader body of research subjects and ideas that can transform society in exciting ways.

Understanding this means that theorizing the possibilities of open access is a productive dialogue. The challenges of paywalls are multiple and overlapping. Engaging in such debates calls for deconstructing the value of knowledge repositories guarded behind a pay schedule. There are a number of questions to raise regarding the gatekeeping mechanisms of paywalls: How do paywalls represent a form of power? For what reason do we create a financial barrier to intellectual labor? Aside from hosting intellectual work (in digital and print form), what is the necessity of creating a corporate system that profits from labor that journal hosting bodies are not financially or otherwise accountable to? The perspective in this paper is largely situated in a North American – primarily United States-based – perspective….

Widespread open access publishing would bring about a more just distribution of knowledge within the United States and globally.”

Personal open access report with one click – SNF

Which of my scientific publications are openly accessible? As of now, researchers in Switzerland can find the answer to this question by using the “SNSF Open Access Check” web application. This prototype searches articles that have been published since 2015.

Will Trump White House tear down journal paywalls? Many anxiously await a decision | Science | AAAS

“Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with U.S. funding be made immediately free to all.

Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But critics of paywalls argue they are expensive and outmoded, and that tearing them down is the best way to advance scientific research.

On 6 May, the deadline passed on a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for public comments on ways to expand public access to the fruits of federally funded research, including published papers, data, and computer codes. In February, OSTP also asked for input on the benefits and challenges of making the roughly 220,000 papers produced annually by U.S.-funded researchers immediately free on publication, and on “effective approaches” to making that happen….”

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak highlights serious deficiencies in scholarly communication | Impact of Social Sciences

“As research and government responses to the COVID-19 outbreak escalate in the face of a global public health crisis, Vincent Larivière, Fei Shu and Cassidy R. Sugimoto reflect on efforts to make research on this subject more widely available. Arguing that a narrow focus on research published in high ranking journals predominantly in English has impeded research efforts, they suggest that the renewed emphasis on carrying out open research on the virus presents an opportunity to reassess how research and scholarly communication systems serve the public good….

This is a positive step, but it does not go far enough to address public needs. The papers and book chapters that have been liberated by this measure represent only a tiny proportion of the available literature on coronavirus. According to the Web of Science (WOS), 13,818 articles have been published on the topic of coronaviruses since the late 1960s. More than half (51.5%) of these articles remain closed to access. The coronavirus is admittedly a large family of viruses and one might question relevance of older works to the current outbreak. However, as an example, the three papers on COVID-19 published in the February 15th issue of the Lancet relied on 69 distinct WOS-indexed papers, of which 73.2% are in the set of 13,818 coronaviruses papers. The oldest reference in these papers is to 1988, underscoring the fact that although the corona virus may be novel, research on the corona virus in fact draws on a long tail of often closed research literature….

The embeddedness of this scientific literature within much wider streams of research also highlights the limitations of this approach. The 13,818 coronavirus articles cite more than 200,000 articles—from virology to cancer and from public health, to genetics and heredity (Figure 1). Less than one third of the cited articles from which the “coronavirus articles” drew information and inspiration were other “coronavirus articles”. …”

Open and Shut: Open Access in Hybrid Educational Technology Journals 2010 – 2017 | The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning

Abstract:  Little is known about open access publishing in educational technology journals that employ a hybrid model which charges authors only if they wish to publish via gold open access. In this study we sought to address this gap in the scholarly understanding of open access publishing in hybrid journals that publish research into the intersection of education and technology. We analysed three categories of article access types: gold, green, and limited access, and collected data on their prevalence in the seven-year period from 2010-2017 across 29 journals. Data was gathered from Scopus, Unpaywall, Sherpa RoMEO, and via manual searches of the journal websites, resulting in a dataset comprising the metadata of 8,479 articles. Our findings highlight that most research remains locked behind paywalls, that open access publishing through legal means is a minority activity for the scholars involved, and that the complexity and costs of legal open access publishing in these journals may be inhibiting the accessibility of research to readers.