The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“Evaluating research and assessing researchers is fundamental to the research enterprise and core to the activities of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities. The European University Association (EUA) and Science Europe are committed to building a strong dialogue between their members, who share the responsibility of developing and implementing more accurate, open, transparent and responsible approaches, that better reflect the evolution of research activity in the digital era.

Today, the outcomes of scholarly research are often measured through methods based on quantitative, albeit approximate, indicators such as the journal impact factor. There is a need to move away from reductionist ways of assessing research, as well as to establish systems that better assess research potential. Universities, research funders and research performing organisations are well-placed to explore new and improved research assessment approaches, while also being indispensable in turning these innovations into systemic reforms….”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“EUA and Science Europe are committed to working together on building a strong dialogue between their members, with a view to:

• support necessary changes for a better balance between qualitative and quantitative research assessment approaches, aiming at evaluating the merits of scholarly research. Furthermore, novel criteria and methods need to be developed towards a fairer and more transparent assessment of research, researchers and research teams, conducive to selecting excellent proposals and researchers.governments and public authorities to guarantee scholars and students the rights that constitute academic freedom, including the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, thought, information and assembly as well as the rights to education and teaching;

• recognise the diversity of research outputs and other relevant academic activities and their value in a manner that is appropriate to each research field and that challenges the overreliance on journal-based metrics.universities, funding agencies, academies and other research organisations to ensure that all researchers, teachers and students are guaranteed academic freedom, by fostering a culture in which free expression and the open exchange of opinion are valued and by shielding the research and teaching community from sanctions for exercising academic freedom.

• consider a broad range of criteria to reward and incentivise research quality as the fundamental principle of scholarly research, and ascertain assessment processes and methods that accurately reflect the vast dimensions of research quality and credit all scientific contributions appropriately. EUA and Science Europe will launch activities to further engage their members in improving and strengthening their research assessment practices. Building on these actions, both associations commit to maintaining a continuous dialogue and explore opportunities for joint actions, with a view to promoting strong synergies between the rewards and incentives structures of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities….”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

EUA and Science Europe have issued a joint statement on the need for research funders and research performing organisations as well as universities to combine their efforts to develop and implement more accurate, transparent and responsible approaches to scholarly research assessment.

 

Representing a vast section of Europe’s research and higher education system, EUA and Science Europe are committed to working together on building a strong dialogue between their members with a view to improving research assessment methodologies….”

2019 Big Deals Survey Report: An Updated Mapping of Major Scholarly Publishing Contracts in Europe

“The Second EUA Big Deals Survey Report is an updated mapping of major scholarly publishing contracts in Europe.

Conducted in 2017-2018, the report gathers data from 31 consortia covering an unprecedented 167 contracts with five major publishers: Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Wiley and American Chemical Society. Readers will discover that the total costs reported by the participating consortia exceed one billion euros for periodicals, databases, e-books and other resources – mainly to the benefit of large, commercial scholarly publishers.

The report provides an overview of Big Deal negotiations across Europe, focusing on topics such as the organisation of negotiations, provisions on Open Access and transparency of contracts and costs. It also offers information on the consortia and focuses specifically on periodical Big Deal contracts with the five large publishers selected for this survey. Finally, the report addresses the costs of Big Deal contracts, offering conclusions and policy recommendations on the negotiation of contracts….”

Call for Tenders: Study on Scholarly Read & Publish Agreements

As part of the Association’s efforts to foster a more transparent and cost-effective scholarly publishing system, EUA would like to commission a study to explore possible scenarios for new ‘Open Access’ publishing agreement models. The study will be coordinated by EUA representing a consortium of 26 organisations across Europe. The consortium comprises national rectors’ conferences, providers of scholarly electronic resources, libraries, higher education and research consortia, and the EUA.

The study intends to analyse the impact of the ‘read-and-publish’ (R&P) agreements on the scholarly publication system, while proposing new, viable ways to comply with the increasing number of policies requiring ‘Open Access’ to research results from publicly-funded research. In addition, the study intends to support national negotiating consortia (or equivalent) in developing better value for money agreements with publishers in a sustainable way. The study also intends to inform further the dialogue between universities, research centres, publishers and stakeholders within the EU as well as worldwide….”

Turning principles into practice: EUA’s response to the Plan S Implementation Guidance

“Following the publication of the Plan S Implementation Guidance, EUA reiterates its supports for Plan S, and its vision to accelerate the transition to full Open Access, even if more details on Plan S will still need to be fleshed out in the future. EUA is looking forward to a renewed version of the Implementation Guidance and is encouraging more research funders to sign or follow Plan S. On behalf of its members in national rectors’ conferences and universities, EUA offers to continue the dialogue with research funding organisations on the implementation of Plan S….”

EUA issues detailed response to Plan S amid milestones in Open Access

EUA has presented a comprehensive response to the “Plan S” consultation launched by Science Europe. Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing launched in 2018 by an international group of research funders (Coalition S). EUA has a special interest in Plan S as it complements the Association’s efforts on Open Access to scholarly publications….”

Second Big Deals survey: Preview of the results

“EUA has published a preview of the results of the latest edition of its Big Deals survey. The large-scale initiative covers 31 consortia in Europe, representing universities and other organisations, responsible for the negotiation of Big Deal contracts with publishers. 

The preliminary results show that more than one billion euros are spent every year across Europe in electronic resources, of which more than 700 million go to periodicals alone. These numbers are subject to an average annual increase of 3.6%. Notably, universities support about 72% of these costs. 

The survey results illustrate EUA’s contribution to increasing transparency in the publishing area, particularly from the point of view of universities. This aim is also in line with the recent complaint that EUA presented to the European Commission, DG Competition, on the lack of transparency and competition in the academic publishing market in Europe and beyond. 

Conducted in 2018, this is EUA’s second Big Deals survey. The first edition was published early last year. Not only has the number of surveyed consortia increased from 27, but the quality of the data gathered has improved greatly. EUA will link the outcomes of this survey with other key areas in its work, namely institutional policies on Open Access, research assessment methodologies and its impact analysis of Plan S . 

The full survey report will be published in April 2019 on the occasion of the EUA Annual Conference….”

Copyright Reform: LIBER Signs Open Letter Calling For Deletion of Articles 11 and 13 – LIBER

Article 13 relating to online content sharing services, has had wide coverage in the main stream media. An online petition targeting Article 13 has 4.5 million signatures already and, according to MEP Julia Reda, will become the largest ever online petition if it surpasses 4.9 million signatures.

The legislation is aimed at changing existing legal regimes and introducing new obligations on organisations who allow end users to upload content to their platforms. The drafting was firmly aimed at the likes of You Tube and Facebook but, as is common with copyright draft legislation, it failed to take into consideration many others who would be affected. These include platorms such as Wikipedia and GitHub through to educational organisations which host open platforms that allow upload by end users.

Working with other library and university groups such as SPARC EuropeIFLA, the European University Association and EBLIDA, we have repeatedly voiced our concerns that the provisions and core definitions also apply to platforms coming from the education and research sector such as Open Access Repositories and some Open Education Resources (OER)….”

Europæiske universiteter sender officiel klage til Margrethe Vestager | Videnskab.dk

From Google’s English: “Danish Universities have together with universities from all over Europe just sent a letter of formal notice to the European Commission. The complaint is addressed to Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

It’s about universities paying enormous amounts of money to a few publishers every year to access scientific articles that their own researchers have contributed to writing …

… Which would answer if a farmer had to pay a high price for a carton of milk that he had milked from his own cows and delivered to the dairy company.

With the complaint, the universities now put their foot down to the monopoly-like conditions which, in their opinion, distort the market….”