The Guardian view on academic publishing: disastrous capitalism | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

In California the state university system has been paying $11m (£8.3m) a year for access to Elsevier journals, but it has just announced that it won’t be renewing these subscriptions. In Britain and Europe the move towards open access publishing has been driven by funding bodies. In some ways it has been very successful. More than half of all British scientific research is now published under open access terms: either freely available from the moment of publication, or paywalled for a year or more so that the publishers can make a profit before being placed on general release.

Yet, somehow, the new system has not yet worked out any cheaper for the universities. Publishers have responded to the demand that they make their product free to readers by charging their writers fees to cover the costs of preparing an article. These range from around £500 to $5,000, and apparently the work gets more expensive the more that publishers do it. A report last year from Professor Adam Tickell pointed out that the costs both of subscriptions and of these “article preparation costs” has been steadily rising at a rate above inflation ever since the UK’s open access policy was adopted in 2012. In some ways the scientific publishing model resembles the economy of the social internet: labour is provided free in exchange for the hope of status, while huge profits are made by a few big firms who run the market places. In both cases, we need a rebalancing of power….”

Opinion | Public Records Belong to the Public – The New York Times

“There’s no reason for the federal government to profit from access to court documents….

Pacer, a 30-year-old relic that remains unwieldy to use, is a collection of online portals run by the administrative arm of the federal court system. It was designed, at least in principle, to provide online access to the more than one billion court documents that have been docketed in federal courts across the country since the advent of electronic case filing.

But the public can gain access to these public documents online only by paying significant fees. Pacer charges 10 cents per page to view electronic court documents — or up to $3 for documents exceeding 30 pages, which are common. It’s easy to burn up $10 just by looking up rudimentary information about a single case….

The E-Government Act of 2002 says that courts may impose fees “only to the extent necessary” to make public records available. That phrase is now at the center of a class-action lawsuit brought by nonprofit advocacy groups. The groups are challenging the fee structure of the Pacer system, which in 2016 took in $146 million, despite costing only a small fraction of that to operate….

There’s also an admirable bill that was introduced last year in Congress, the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, that goes a step further than what is being sought in the class-action suit. It would make all documents filed with the federal courts available free to the public. (In 2017, the Supreme Court, often a late adopter of new technologies, made virtually all of its new court filings freely available online.) The legislation also would mandate needed updates to Pacer, including making documents text-searchable and linkable from external websites….”

Opinion | Public Records Belong to the Public – The New York Times

“There’s no reason for the federal government to profit from access to court documents….

Pacer, a 30-year-old relic that remains unwieldy to use, is a collection of online portals run by the administrative arm of the federal court system. It was designed, at least in principle, to provide online access to the more than one billion court documents that have been docketed in federal courts across the country since the advent of electronic case filing.

But the public can gain access to these public documents online only by paying significant fees. Pacer charges 10 cents per page to view electronic court documents — or up to $3 for documents exceeding 30 pages, which are common. It’s easy to burn up $10 just by looking up rudimentary information about a single case….

The E-Government Act of 2002 says that courts may impose fees “only to the extent necessary” to make public records available. That phrase is now at the center of a class-action lawsuit brought by nonprofit advocacy groups. The groups are challenging the fee structure of the Pacer system, which in 2016 took in $146 million, despite costing only a small fraction of that to operate….

There’s also an admirable bill that was introduced last year in Congress, the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, that goes a step further than what is being sought in the class-action suit. It would make all documents filed with the federal courts available free to the public. (In 2017, the Supreme Court, often a late adopter of new technologies, made virtually all of its new court filings freely available online.) The legislation also would mandate needed updates to Pacer, including making documents text-searchable and linkable from external websites….”

Open access and academic imperialism

“Recently, major scientific funding bodies in several European countries agreed to mandate that researchers they fund (approximately €7.6 billion annually) should publish their results in open-access journals, intending to penalize authors who publish in journals that use a paywall for some or all of their articles (Enserink 2018). We think this policy is a mistake….”

 

“Open Access, Open Data, and Open Scholarship” by Regina Fisher Raboin

Abstract:  The Journal of eScience Librarianship is in the “business of scholarship” and dedicated to openly disseminating the theory and practice of librarians who are active in data-driven research, open access, science, and data. This issue’s authors write about developing programs, tools, and frameworks in support of open data and data management.

GMS | GMS Ophthalmology Cases – An Open Access Journal | GMS Ophthalmology Cases – An Open Access Journal

“Dear Reader,

presenting the first edition of “GMS Ophthalmology Cases – An Open Access Journal” (GMS OC) we take the opportunity to reflect on whether it is worthwhile to found yet another case report journal. As for GMS OCOA, it is the open access quality of publishing that is original and pertinent to case reporting. Compared to subscription journals case reports published via “open access” achieve a wider reach, because they are more likely to be located and because they are downloaded more frequently. In subscription journals case reports are usually difficult to publish. Most editors give citation impact priority. Nevertheless, the educational nature of case reports means an important reference library to clinicians and researchers alike. For that reason GMS OC is dedicated to case reports but refined by the feature of barrier-free access. The full text version is readable and downloadable free of charge, including images and even videos. The latter may be especially helpful to illustrate surgical interventions. There is no copyright transfer from the author to the publisher! Costs are an important barrier amongst authors and readers of case reports alike. We are in a situation to avoid publishing fees altogether, at least within the first year of opening. Thereafter a moderate fee will be claimed. The publisher, German Medical Science, exponent and part of the “German National Library of Medicine”, is a non-profit organization, dedicated to distribute research results of the medical science worldwide (see: http://www.egms.de/en/terms.htm). Highly secure servers of “German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI)”, guarantee a sustained access and referencing of papers and data. GMS OC will be screened by MEDLINE and will collect impact factor credits….”