2018: best year yet for net growth of open access

Highlights: this edition of the Dramatic Growth of Open Access features charts that illustrate that 2018 showed the strongest growth to date for open access by number of documents searchable through BASE, PubMedCentral, arXiv, DOAJ, texts added to Internet Archive, and journals added to DOAJ….”

Poor Financials Pushes PLOS To Ponder Future Prospects – The Scholarly Kitchen

“2017 was not a good financial year for the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

PLOS’ most recent 2017 financial overview, released on 12 December 2018, depicts an organization trying to reinvent itself, focusing less on disruption and innovation and more on efficiency and collaboration….

Revenue at PLOS was down by nearly US $2 Million in 2017, largely the result of declines in submissions to PLOS ONE, its largest journal, according to the report.

More importantly, PLOS wrote off US $11.1M in expenses in building Aperta — a manuscript submission system that the publisher ultimately decided to abandon after years of development.

Total salaries and employee compensation were also up by 2% in 2017 despite publishing 7% fewer papers….”

Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers? | Science | AAAS

“If Plan S fails to grow, it could remain a divisive mandate that applies to only a small percentage of the world’s scientific papers. (Delta Think, a consulting company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, estimates that the first 15 funders to back Plan S accounted for 3.5% of the global research articles in 2017.) To transform publishing, the plan needs global buy-in. The more funders join, the more articles will be published in OA journals that comply with its requirements, pushing publishers to flip their journals from paywall-protected subscriptions to OA, says librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, the chief digital scholarship officer at the University of California, Berkeley….

Some European funders think Plan S goes too far. “We and many German [organizations] think that we should not be as prescriptive as Plan S is,” says Wilhelm Krull, secretary general of the Volkswagen Foundation, a private research funder in Hannover , Germany. The country is Europe’s top producer of scientific papers, ahead of the United Kingdom and France, whose main funding agencies have signed on to Plan S. Germany’s biggest federal funding agency, DFG, said it supports Plan S’s goals but prefers to let researchers drive the change. Other funders, including the Estonian Research Council, say the timeline is too tight, and they will reconsider joining when Plan S’s impact is clearer.

Other European funders are weighing pros and cons. Spain’s science ministry says it is analyzing the potential repercussions of Plan S on the country’s science and finances, and on researchers’ careers. FNRS, the fund for scientific research in Belgium’s Wallonia-Brussels region, is waiting for Plan S to announce its cap on article-processing charges (APCs), the fees for publishing in OA journals, which the coalition’s funders have pledged to pay. “We’re not ready to commit if the costs are too high,” says Véronique Halloin, secretary-general of FNRS, whose existing OA mandate caps APC reimbursement at €500—which Halloin admits is on the low side.

Many await the European Commission’s policy: Although its grants represent a small percentage of research funding in Europe, its OA rules can influence national mandates. The commission’s research chief, Carlos Moedas, supports Plan S, and its 7-year funding program Horizon Europe, which will begin in 2021, contains general statements of support for OA. Plan S’s rules will go into the program’s model contract for grants, Smits says….”

Educopia Institute | Empowering Collaborative Communities

We believe in the power of connection and collaboration. In all of our work, we encourage knowledge sharing and network building across institutions, communities, and sectors. Our strengths include training, neutral community facilitation, and administrative backbone support services for collaborative communities. Educopia also develops and manages applied research projects that benefit our affiliated communities and the broader information fields of libraries, archives, and museums.

We help information stakeholders including researchers, archivists, curators, publishers, and students to establish common ground, work toward shared goals, and ultimately achieve system-wide transformations….

Every activity we undertake is explicitly designed to encourage system-wide transformation as organizations work collectively to ensure knowledge is sustainably produced, widely shared, and preserved….”

What’s the IR doing in our Taylor & Francis Content License? | OAnarchy

“Fundamentally, content licenses between KU Libraries and a publisher are about providing access to licensed content to KU students, faculty, and staff. Fine. This IR section of the T&F content license isn’t about that; it’s about them determining how we can support our institutional authors who publish in T&F journals. Since our IR is an institutional service for our authors, I don’t see why a publisher should have any voice in determining how we provide that service so long as we’re operating within the law. If KU didn’t have an open access policy then the impact would be negligible in the short term (notwithstanding the above critiques of 13.2.3, 13.2.4, and 13.3). I say in the short term because it might limit the ability of an institutional library to support a future OA policy should their faculty ever adopt and seek to implement one. Given the sustained growth of OA policies, that seems likely if this section becomes standard. This section seems directly intended to undermine Harvard-style (rights retention) institutional open access policies and tie institutions to author agreements (that the institution doesn’t sign) by codifying rights granted in those agreements in an institutional agreement. Content licenses arguably have nothing to do with how we support our faculty authors, so this has no place in a content license, IMO. Of course, that’s being challenged in the UC read and publish proposal to Elsevier, and there are isolated incidents of elite institutional libraries getting better deals for their faculty authors through these agreements. I wouldn’t presume to limit that kind of experimentation. However, anecdotally, I’ve heard of several attempts to add language to content agreements that would advance author rights, by requiring the publisher to provide accepted manuscripts for all institutionally-authored articles published in their journals, for example, which were categorically rejected by the publisher representatives. Why then should we not categorically reject their attempts to play the other side of that card, even if they weren’t problematic as I’ve described? If the only institutions who are able to successfully achieve better deals for their authors via content agreements are elite, where does that leave the rest of us? For our part, we have struck this whole IR section from our draft agreement and are waiting on a T&F reaction….”

800 GiB torrents with 1500k public domain paywalled papers from before 1923 : DataHoarder

“Happy public domain day to all! A special thought for people in the USA, who until yesterday suffered a 20-years-long winter of ever-expanding copyright.

Today we return to the racket of academic publishers who abuse copyright to enslave thousands of researchers and leech billions in public funding from cultural institutions every year. Following my release of public domain papers and seeing the format of some other releases by other users, today I bring your attention to Scholarly works published until 1909(torrent) and in 1909–1922 (torrent).

Please download and seed the torrents above! Or if you prefer you can add the hashes/magnet links directly, but not all clients support the web seeds provided this way….

These datasets contain 1,518,078 PDF files from various sources, often with added OCR. They were all published before 1923 in international journals. I’m not providing legal advice, but if you consider them simultaneously published to USA they should all be in the public domain in the USA. Yet, publishers apply indiscriminate copyright statements to the contrary, which may constitute copyfraud, and lock nearly all of them behind paywalls or other hurdles, hoping to milk some more profit for who knows how many centuries.

You can also download PDFs by individual publisher, going by their DOI prefix and checking the full list of DOIs (19091923). Internet Archive can also support the direct download of individual files inside the ZIP files but that’s probably best handled by other repositories….”

Where to Download All the Books That Just Entered the Public Domain

“So, how do you actually download these books?

It largely depends on what site you go to, and if you can’t find a book on one site, you can probably find it on another. For instance, ReadPrint.com, as well as The Literature Network (mostly major authors), and Librivox (audio books), Authorama (all in the public domain), and over a dozen other sites all have vast selections of free ebooks.

There’s also a handful of archiving projects that are doing extensive work to digitize books, journals, music, and other forms of media. A blog post from Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain listed some of the most recognizable works published in 1923, as well as links to download these books on digital archiving projects Internet Archive, HathiTrust, and the Gutenberg Project. …

In total HathiTrust, a massive digital archiving project, has also uploaded more than 53,000 works published in 1923 that just entered the public domain. Over 17,650 of them are books written in English. Similarly, Internet Archive has already uploaded over 15,000 works written in English that year….

If you’re interested in academic papers, Reddit user nemobis also uploaded over 1.5 million PDF files of works published in academic journals before 1923. Your best bet for actually finding something you want to read in there is to know which academic paper you’re looking for beforehand and check the paper’s DOI number. Then, search for the DOI in one of nemobis’s lists of works—one list includes works published until 1909, the other includes works published until 1923….”

Public Domain Day opens floodgates and a few cans of worms – SlashGear

“January 1, 2019 wasn’t just the start of a new year. It was also the start of a new period in the creative history of mankind. After a 20-year delay, copyrighted works from 1923 are now in public domain, with everyone free to adapt and remix them without fear of prosecution. A key moment in copyright and trademark history, these now pubic domain works could usher in a new corpus of literary, musical, and artistic works that could now go public rather than stay underground or in the dark corners of the Web. But it could also challenge existing laws that may have remained untouched since the 20s, causing a bit of chaos in the very same industry….”

The Dark side of Sci-Hub | Medico musings…

“The problem is that , as cyber security experts say, they have never met a cyber criminal who gets into a database, takes only what is necessary and gets out. Chances are he looks around. Pilfers something else that might be of value. Or worse still leaves behind something nasty.( as of this writing, there is no evidence that Scihub or its partners have actually compromised the security of the universities with any malware).

Moreover when a password is hacked, the hacker has access to the bare minimum information in the database – for example a library database. The details such as username, age, gender, timing of visiting the library, date of joining, last visit taken, last book etc can be easily gotten. From then it is only a matter of social engineering to gain access to other portals – email, social media etc. It is also a matter of concern that some people have the same password for all their sites ! …

[P]ublishers [might] tighten access – perhaps a DRM (digital rights management) or two factor authentication might be introduced – so even if the passwords are stolen by phishing attacks/attacks on university, it will become harder to access the articles….

To make things worse, nothing in Russia can be done without the tacit approval of the government. It is  a well known fact that , as a price for such approval, the government/non governmental actors might want to be a ‘part’ of the project, presumably not to download science articles. She being a marked woman, with no other refuge, would have to yield to their pressure or face the music. People have disappeared for daring to disobey the non-governmental actors in Russia.

This is where the possibility of compromised passwords providing access to the university systems causes worry. However all of this remains conjecture – or the feverish imagination of jobless bloggers at the moment. (But who doesn’t love the bragging rights to ‘I told you so’ when a disaster strikes in the future).

There is also evidence that China has been downloading a lot more than the usual academic download – although for what purpose isn’t known. Also Iran is the third largest access site – that too, a small city in Iran, raising eyebrows about what is going on….”