Mapping the Scholarly Communication Landscape – 2019 Census | Educopia Institute

This report documents the design, methods, results, and recommendations of the 2019 Census of Scholarly Communication Infrastructure Providers (SCIP), a Census produced by the “Mapping the Scholarly Communication Infrastructure” project team (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Middlebury College, 2018-19). The SCIP Census was created to document key components comprising the organizational, business, and technical apparatuses of a broad range of Scholarly Communication Resources (SCRs) – the tools, services, and systems that are instrumental to the publishing and distribution of the scholarly record….

We conducted the Census through direct invitations, contacting just over 200 identified scholarly communication resource providers by email to participate. The Census remained open for a condensed, month-long collection period (February 18-March 22, 2019). More than 60 SCRs responded to us during this period, and more than 40 tools, services, and platforms ultimately participated in the Census….

Our findings include the following, each of which is elaborated upon in the report:

  • We need a standardized taxonomy for the various functions performed by SCRs. It is currently difficult to differentiate between the broad range of functions offered by SCRs. It is also challenging to understand which steps are common in scholarly communications and publishing workflows, and what SCR choices might work for each of these steps.
  • SCRs operating within nonprofit and hosted environments report ongoing challenges in raising and sustaining appropriate levels of funding to enable them to build and maintain services over time. These SCRs need additional support if they are to be viable options for institutional use.
  • Connected to the above, sunsetting in our scholarly communication technical environment is often considered a sign of failure. Instead, we need to welcome it as a sign of a healthy overall environment. We also need to further explore the value of mergers, migrations, and other mechanisms that may provide the necessary administrative, fiscal, and social infrastructure to help support the technical development and maintenance SCRs require. Scaled, leveraged efficiencies (e.g., multiple programs hosted by a single entity with shared leadership and staffing) may help to bring needed expertise while also maintaining a lower overhead.
  • SCRs need guidance, mentorship, training, and opportunities to refine their visions, technical platforms and design, financial and HR models, community engagement and outreach practices, and governance frameworks, as well as the decision-making processes that undergird each of these elements. This need applies particularly to several key areas of development:
    • Vision and Strategy. The Census evidenced that many SCRs lack clarity in their expressions of their purposes and goals. This is quickly mendable through specific, targeted investments in business practices that are well understood and documented across a wide variety of fields.
    • Technical Development and Design. Findings that stood out included the high variability in the number and type of software developers that currently participate in SCRs and the challenges to code contribution that exist in some environments, including Open Source Software projects and programs.
    • Financial and Staffing. Of all of the areas of concern that have been highlighted in this report, none is more compelling than the financial self-descriptions provided by respondents. Many SCRs report that they have low-to-no financial reserves. Most also do not reconcile their books on a regular schedule, and most lack the basic checks and balances that keep businesses safe from both accidental and purposeful financial misreporting.
    • Community Engagement and Governance. Deeper evaluation into current community engagement and governance strategies is needed at an individual SCR-level, but the collated and aggregated results from the Census show that most SCRs are engaging in a range of community-building activities and all responding SCRs prioritize in-person events as one part of their approach. We must work harder to ensure that governance bodies regularly evaluate the financial health of the organizations they are empowered to serve, and that external structures help to train both these Boards and staff members to do functions (e.g., accounting for revenues, not just expenditures) that simply are not business-as-usual within most academic environments….”

Assessing the size of the affordability problem in scholarly publishing [PeerJ Preprints]

Abstract:  For many decades, the hyperinflation of subscription prices for scholarly journals have concerned scholarly institutions. After years of fruitless efforts to solve this “serials crisis”, open access has been proposed as the latest potential solution. However, also the prices for open access publishing are high and are rising well beyond inflation. What has been missing from the public discussion so far is a quantitative approach to determine the actual costs of efficiently publishing a scholarly article using state-of-the-art technologies, such that informed decisions can be made as to appropriate price levels. Here we provide a granular, step-by-step calculation of the costs associated with publishing primary research articles, from submission, through peer-review, to publication, indexing and archiving. We find that these costs range from less than US$200 per article in modern, large scale publishing platforms using post-publication peer-review, to about US$1,000 per article in prestigious journals with rejection rates exceeding 90%. The publication costs for a representative scholarly article today come to lie at around US$400. We discuss the additional non-publication items that make up the difference between publication costs and final price.

Sustaining Values and Scholarship A Statement by the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance

“We, the provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, are committed to sustaining and advancing equitable modes of sharing knowledge. Our 14 institutions embrace individual mission statements that support the common good, equity of access, and the global impact and reach of our research and scholarship. Collectively, our institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $10 billion (2017) in research funding, and our institutions have similarly invested significantly in our capacity to further our missions to advance knowledge. Together, we produce roughly 15% of the research publications in the United States….

In 2006, we shared an open letter in support of taxpayer access to federally-funded research. In 2012, we repeated our advocacy for open access in the face of potentially restrictive legislation to curtail that openness. Since then, our institutions have further invested in systems, repositories, and local policies to support open access to the works of our faculty. And we have encouraged our libraries and faculty to work together to assess the value of purchased or licensed content and the appropriate terms governing its use. With Big Ten libraries’ expenditures on journals exceeding $190 million, we recognize that our institutions are privileged in the level of access we provide our campuses, yet the status quo is not sustainable….”

 

 

Defining the Future of Scholarly Communication in Latin America

“There is no “one size fits all” solution for open access. In Latin America, which has a very strong tradition of open access, the favoured approach has been the use of publicly-funded, non-commercial services. To raise awareness of this perspective both inside and beyond the region, LA Referencia has recently published a report, “Scholarly Communication and Open Access: Actions for a Public Policy in Latin America“.

LA Referencia is a network of ten Latin American countries that provides a discovery service for open access content in the region. The council of LA Referencia is governed by representatives from the science and technology departments of the participating governments.

The report was prompted by concerns that discussions in the international community, which are having an impact on all regions, do not appropriately reflect the priorities and traditions of Latin America. In particular, not enough attention is being paid to the importance of repositories and repository networks, especially in terms of their role in changing the economics of the current system.

The report was written for the regional authorities of LA Referencia that attended the annual Global Research Council meeting, which took place in Brazil at the beginning of May. It describes the situation of open access in Latin America, reflects on “Plan S”, and gives a series of recommendations. In particular, the report urges decision-makers to develop and promote a joint vision for the future of open access that reflects the Latin American perspective, and recommends actions for other stakeholders in the system, emphasizing the central role of S&T organisations in achieving this vision.

The report contains several recommendations related to repositories including:

  • Favour a distributed, interoperable model with national, regional, and global aggregators, where each layer offers value-added services, as reflected in the vision for Next Generation Repositories published by Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
  • Strengthen the role of repositories in the scientific communication and research information management ecosystem. Repositories are not only a place to deposit and preserve articles, but also to share a wide range of other valuable research outputs.
  • Support relationships across networks in order to strengthen local, regional and national repository services.  LA Referencia already collaborates closely with OpenAIRE and participates in COAR aligning repository networks discussions. These relationships are being enhanced to include other value-added interoperable services such as standard and distributed statistics, notification systems (“brokers”), and alternatives for the use of scientific data repositories such as Zenodo (operated by CERN)….”

Scholarly Communication Librarian for Research Infrastructure, UNLV University Libraries [R0116191] – HigherEdJobs

Reporting to the Head of Scholarly Communication Initiatives (SCI), specific duties are as follows:

  • Utilizes Digital Scholarship@UNLV to manage, store and make public UNLV research outputs.
  • Provides expertise and guidance on fulfilling federal mandates for sharing/dissemination of research outputs such as data and articles.
  • Collaborates with the Data Librarian to provide holistic support for research data services with a focus on dissemination and preservation.
  • Utilizes appropriate research metrics, including citation analysis, bibliometrics, altmetrics, and emerging tools to assist faculty with articulating research impact and managing scholarly reputation.
  • Provides analyses of bibliometric data for campus stakeholders.
  • Supports research workflows through the identification of appropriate tools (e.g., Open Science Framework and Figshare), and provides support/expertise for those tools. Develops an understanding of existing research infrastructures, tools, and workflows used by researchers at UNLV to inform direction in this area.
  • Advises and guides UNLV researchers on best methods to maximize their reach and online reputation through social media platforms such as academia.edu, google scholar etc. and the use of persistent identifiers such as ORCID.
  • Acts as lead contact for the Libraries’ subscription to ORCID, overseeing technical issues or projects such as implementing single sign-on.
  • Utilizes a variety of outreach and communication methods such as workshops, consultations, and library guides to engage researchers.
  • Contributes to overall SCI department efforts to inform and educate UNLV faculty and students on the evolving scholarly landscape. Stays current and up to date with scholarly communication and related areas to be effective in this task.
  • As a tenure-track library faculty member, the incumbent will also be expected to engage in scholarly activities, including publication, and to provide service to the university, the community, and the profession in accordance with Libraries and University standards for promotion and tenure. …”

Plan S and the Transformation of Scholarly Communication: Are We Missing the Woods? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“My initial disclaimer, if it’s not obvious, is that I am completely supportive of the driving principles and objectives of Plan S. I lead an organization [PLoS] that is – and always has been – Plan S compliant from top to toe. But more than that, I share the goal of a future in which the research literature is fully and immediately open with liberal rights of reuse. And so, I am pleased to see that this bold goal not only remains unchanged but that the feedback process has encouraged (or, in some cases, perhaps forced) stakeholders to support these general principles …

With that battle won, the question is now all about the transition. The revised guidelines show evidence of having listened to stakeholder concerns without watering down the fundamental principles. That’s key, but there are also a number of positive changes that both help to clear up confusion and should make the transition easier….”

Principles and Implementation | Plan S

“With effect from 2021, all scholarly publications on the results from research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo….”

Wellcome updates open access policy to align with cOAlition S | Wellcome

“Following a large consultation, we have updated our open access (OA) policy so it now aligns with Plan S. The changes will apply from 1 January 2021. …

These are the key changes to our OA policy.  

 

  • All Wellcome-funded research articles must be made freely available through PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC at the time of publication. We previously allowed a six-month embargo period. This change will make sure that the peer-reviewed version is freely available to everyone at the time of publication.
  • All articles must be published under a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY), unless we have agreed, as an exception, to allow publication under a CC-BY-ND licence. We previously only required a CC-BY licence when an article processing charge (APC) was paid. This change will make sure that others – including commercial entities and AI/text-data mining services – can reuse our funded research to discover new knowledge.
  • Authors or their institutions must retain copyright for their research articles and hold the rights necessary to make a version of the article immediately available under a compliant open licence.
  • We will no longer cover the cost of OA publishing in subscription journals (‘hybrid OA’), outside of a transformative arrangement. We previously supported this model, but no longer believe that it supports a transition to full OA.  
  • Where there is a significant public health benefit to preprints being shared widely and rapidly, such as a disease outbreak, these preprints must be published:
    • before peer review
    • on an approved platform that supports immediate publication of the complete manuscript
    • under a CC-BY licence.

    This is a new requirement which will make sure that important research findings are shared as soon possible and before peer review.

  • Wellcome-funded organisations must sign or publicly commit to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment(opens in a new tab) (DORA), or an equivalent. We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits. This is a new requirement to encourage organisations to consider the intrinsic merit of the work when making promotion and tenure decisions, not just the title of the journal or publisher….”

Rationale for the Revisions Made to the Plan S Principles and Implementation Guidance | Plan S

“The revised Plan S maintains the fundamental principles

  • No scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall;
  • Open Access should be immediate i.e., without embargoes;
  • Full Open Access is implemented by the default use of a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY licence as per the Berlin Declaration;
  • Funders commit to support Open Access publication fees at a reasonable level;
  • Funders will not support publication in hybrid (or mirror/sister) journals unless they are part of a transformative arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint.

But a number of important changes are proposed in the implementation guidance

  • In order to provide more time for researchers and publishers to adapt to the changes under Plan S, the timeline has been extended by one year to 2021;
  • Transformative agreements will be supported until 2024;
  • More options for transitional arrangements (transformative agreements, transformative model agreements, ‘transformative journals’) are supported;
  • Greater clarity is provided about the various compliance routes: 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;
  • More emphasis is put on changing the research reward and incentive system: cOAlition S funders explicitly commit to adapt the criteria by which they value researchers and scholarly output;
  • The importance of transparency in Open Access publication fees is emphasised in order to inform the market and funders’ potential standardisation and capping of payments of such fees;
  • The technical requirements for Open Access repositories have been revised….”

Elsevier welcomes new open access guidance from cOAlition S

Elsevier welcomes cOAlition S’s updated implementation guidance: “Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.” Elsevier fully supports and promotes open access. Authors can achieve full and immediate open access — and so be Plan S compliant — either by publishing their articles in our gold open access journals or publishing their articles gold open access in our hybrid journals….”