German institutions to benefit from first Transformative Agreement for Nature

“Springer Nature and the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) have agreed an approach that will deliver the first ever transformative agreement (TA) for Nature and Nature-branded journals. Building on the nationwide Projekt DEAL agreement concluded last January for Springer Nature journals, the commercial framework agreed with MPDL will now be offered to German institutions, in time for a January 2021 start.

The transformative agreement, which will run for four years, enables authors affiliated with participating institutions to publish their research articles accepted for publication in Nature and Nature-branded research journals immediately open access at no cost to them. Participating institutions will also gain read access to the complete Nature portfolio, including Nature Review titles and all forthcoming Nature-branded journals.

The parties, who have collaborated since the first iterations of transformative agreements (Springer Compact) on ever more impactful agreements to transition, have agreed this framework in the joint knowledge that TAs are the fastest pathway to transition to open access. With the vast majority of authors taking advantage of the open publication services secured for them with TA, Springer Nature’s existing transformative agreements, with author take up reaching over 90%, play a crucial role in supporting countries in making the research they have funded immediately and openly accessible to all.

The Springer Nature – DEAL agreement signed last January was the world’s largest by volume to date and is expected to enable open publication of around 13,000 German research articles a year. The volume of OA articles achieved with transformative agreements, combined with the fact that OA articles are downloaded on average four times more than non-OA articles and cited 1.6 times more, means even greater reach and impact for German researchers and German-funded research.

The Nature framework is based on a tiered price structure; in line with current subscription expenditure levels and taking into account the vastly different holdings and equally different publishing outputs of each participating institution. The terms provide for:

Open access publishing of all research articles accepted for publication in Nature and Nature research journals by affiliated authors
Comprehensive reading access to all Nature subscription titles, including Nature Review titles
Reading access to all new future Nature titles and OA publishing in new launches
Reallocation of the vast proportion of reading fees into support for open access publishing based on a cost of €9,500 per article….”

The transition of ARVO journals to open access – Mallett – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library



In January 2016, the three journals of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) transitioned to gold open access.
Increased author charges were introduced to partially offset the loss of subscription revenue.
Submissions to the two established journals initially dropped by almost 15% but have now stabilized.
The transition has not impacted acceptance rates and impact factors, and article pageviews and downloads may have increased as a result of open access.

UK universities sign deal to waive Plos publication fees | Times Higher Education (THE)

“UK universities have signed a major deal with a US non-profit publisher that will allow researchers to publish without incurring article-processing charges (APCs).

Under the new three-year agreement announced by Jisc and the Public Library of Science (Plos) on 14 October, researchers at institutions affiliated with the UK digital services provider will be able to publish in seven journals owned by the San Francisco-based publisher without paying additional APCs.

The deal – which, in theory, would allow researchers to publish as many times as they wanted, pending the peer-review process, in a handful of Plos titles – is the first time that a large university consortium has provided collective agreements as an alternative to APCs at this scale, said Sara Rouhi, director of strategic partnerships for Plos.

At present, researchers who are unable to find APCs from their employer can ask for a fee waiver from Plos, but this deal would eliminate the need for these requests, Ms Rouhi told Times Higher Education.

“No one wants to ask for a handout, even if it is about asking for support for your research,” she said, adding that the deal would help to address the “inequalities in research which mean that some people do not have access to APCs”.

Under the flat fee agreement, which begins in January, annual fixed prices will cover unlimited publishing for corresponding authors in five journals, including Plos Genetics, Plos Computational Biology, Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases and the megajournal Plos One, which published 142,000 articles between 2006 and 2015….”

Democratizing Our Data | The MIT Press

“Public data are foundational to our democratic system. People need consistently high-quality information from trustworthy sources. In the new economy, wealth is generated by access to data; government’s job is to democratize the data playing field. Yet data produced by the American government are getting worse and costing more. In Democratizing Our Data, Julia Lane argues that good data are essential for democracy. Her book is a wake-up call to America to fix its broken public data system….”

Global online library Open Texts goes live with 8m books and rare works | Scotland | The Times

“When historians of the future are searching the archives for “good things to come out of the great pandemic” one of the answers will surely be “Open Texts was founded”.

Formally launching today, Open Texts is a global online library, with eight million digital titles from nine of the world’s great collections. All are free to use by scholars, students and the general public who can search with a simple searchable database….”

Here’s Open Texts itself =

Establishing and promoting an institutional repository and research information management system | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences and to highlight lessons learned from the establishment of the institutional repository (IR) while collaborating in a state-wide initiative to showcase the scholarly output of New Jersey researchers.



The authors discuss how they used the case study method to collaborate with multiple stakeholders from across their university to establish an IR to support the University’s vision plan.



The authors found through strong relationship building and consistent outreach that they could launch a successful IR while enhancing the scholarly profile of their university faculty.

Open and affordable textbooks: approaches to OER pedagogy | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

Following is an overview of the open and affordable textbooks (OAT) program, strategies for outreach, as well as discuss approaches that faculty awardees have taken to designing their courses. This paper aims to address a couple issues such as the effectiveness of open educational resources (OER) resources, the process of creating OER resources and how faculty and instructors have updated their courses and adjusted their pedagogy.



This paper describes five cases where the faculty adopted open pedagogy. They include a general chemistry course, psychiatry clerkship, microbiology lab, a medical Spanish course and a radiology elective in a medical school.



The use of open pedagogy promotes two things: up-to-date resources and practical experience. Since the creation of the Rutgers OAT program, faculty and instructors have been rethinking how they teach their courses. Students enjoy the content more and faculty loves the increase in engagement. As the program continues to grow, the creativity fostered by open pedagogy improves education for everyone involved.



The paper offers a general overview of an effective open and affordable program at a public research university. It demonstrated the effectiveness of the program while also offering examples of novel course materials for interested librarians and faculty. It opens the possibility from just finding resources to creating them and how they improve education.

Determining the factors influencing the level of awareness and usage of open source digital repository software by academic librarians in India | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the level of awareness and usage of open source digital repository software (DRS). The paper also studies the factors, which influence the level of awareness and usage of different open source DRS by academic librarians in India.


The study administered an online questionnaire to academic librarians in India to know their level of awareness and usage of open source DRS. The questionnaire aimed to gather the awareness and usage of open source DSR. In total, 374 complete responses were collected from academic librarians in India and the collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Moreover, Fishers’ exact test was used to identify whether factors i.e. qualification and participation in workshop/seminar influence the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS.


The results of the study reveal that the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS, namely, DSpace (Mean = 2.92, SD = 0.906) and Greenstone digital library software (GSDL) (Mean = 2.18, SD = 0.699) are high amongst the academic librarians in India. In total, 33.4%, 11.5% of the participants are using DSpace and GSDL, respectively, on regular basis. Fishers’ exact test shows that factor(s) i.e. qualifications and participation in workshop/seminar affect the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS. The results show that there exits strong relation between participation in workshop/seminar and awareness and usage of DSpace (Fishers’ exact test = 13.473, p < 0.05).


This paper is the new type of study exploring level of awareness and usage of open source DRS by academic librarians in India. It identifies the factors that affect the awareness and usage of open source DRS. It is the first study to analyze the statistical significance between Indian librarians’ participation in workshop/seminar and their level of awareness and usage of different open source DRS.

Conceptions of digital libraries: an African perspective | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to explore African conceptions of digital libraries from the perspective of the historical literature. This paper argues that the concept of digital libraries is a western creation and that there was a need for developing societies to develop their own conceptions to guide their own digital library development agenda.


The paper is based on a literature review. The paper makes use of publicly-available literature on the theme of digital libraries from both the Western and African perspectives. The search terms used were “digital libraries”, “Africa digital libraries”, “electronic libraries”, “information communication technologies/libraries” and “institutional repositories”. A total of 89 publications were examined for this purpose.


The analysis revealed that most of the initial digital library initiatives in Africa emanated from the west with African countries benefiting from international initiatives to expand access to information resources to bridge the global digital divide. However, due to a number of contextual challenges such as lack of sustainable funding and inadequate capacity and strategy, the development of digital libraries was hampered. Thus, even though digital libraries enjoy considerable goodwill, there remain negative conceptions of digital libraries in Africa.

Practical implications

Information institutions in African countries must evolve a unified conception of digital libraries as this would largely drive the direction of digital library development towards achieving the developmental goals of the continent.