Fostering bibliodiversity: A call for action! | EIFL

“EIFL has co-authored a paper calling on researchers, universities, libraries, policy makers, funders and infrastructure providers to work together to support greater diversity in scholarly communications – referred to as bibliodiversity.

The paper argues that diversity is an essential characteristic of an effective scholarly communications system that can address complex challenges faced in today’s world. 

Titled ‘Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications – A Call for Action!’, the paper is written by Leslie Chan, Centre for Critical Development, University of Toronto Scarborough; Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager; Pierre Mounier, EHESS/OpenEdition, OPERAS, and Kathleen Shearer of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories).

It urges greater diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures that will allow the research communications to accommodate the different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities. Diversity also reduces the risk of monopoly and high prices for publishing and accessing research….”

Long read | Science needs to inform the public. That can’t be done solely in English | LSE Covid-19

“Science, when communicated exclusively in English, risks not fully meeting its third mission, which is to inform the public. Never before have we seen this phenomenon as intensified as it has been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally health-related studies, measures, and responses can be produced and examined by scientists, professionals, governing authorities, and individuals with the benefit of time. In the case of COVID-19, scientific communities have been called upon to assert new knowledge that will satisfy a remarkably urgent dual mission. Doing that only in English will leave many people behind, write Zehra Taskin (Adam Mickiewicz University), Guleda Dogan (Hacettepe University), Emanuel Kulczycki (Adam Mickiewicz University), and Alesia Ann Zuccala (University of Copenhagen)….”

Long read | Science needs to inform the public. That can’t be done solely in English | LSE Covid-19

“Science, when communicated exclusively in English, risks not fully meeting its third mission, which is to inform the public. Never before have we seen this phenomenon as intensified as it has been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally health-related studies, measures, and responses can be produced and examined by scientists, professionals, governing authorities, and individuals with the benefit of time. In the case of COVID-19, scientific communities have been called upon to assert new knowledge that will satisfy a remarkably urgent dual mission. Doing that only in English will leave many people behind, write Zehra Taskin (Adam Mickiewicz University), Guleda Dogan (Hacettepe University), Emanuel Kulczycki (Adam Mickiewicz University), and Alesia Ann Zuccala (University of Copenhagen)….”

Power and the paywall: A Black feminist reflection on the socio-spatial formations of publishing

“Who owns knowledge? How do we disseminate it to benefit societal goals and values that speak norms of justice? Who should have access to knowledge? For whom should knowledge serve? In our time, the highly active landscape of knowledge production via publication, with widespread immediate interconnectivity of scholars around the world, allows for the making of a stronger intellectual community. It can be argued that this one of many impacts of globalization, in that academics are more interconnected than ever before, just as world economies, geopolitics, and global media. Moreover, the scholars who present new knowledges or make visible alternative knowledges come from a wider range of backgrounds than ever before, including non-white/Euro-descendant racial and ethnic groups, working class people, all genders, all sexualities, and non-Western nations. Beyond that, scholars are engaging with a broader body of research subjects and ideas that can transform society in exciting ways.

Understanding this means that theorizing the possibilities of open access is a productive dialogue. The challenges of paywalls are multiple and overlapping. Engaging in such debates calls for deconstructing the value of knowledge repositories guarded behind a pay schedule. There are a number of questions to raise regarding the gatekeeping mechanisms of paywalls: How do paywalls represent a form of power? For what reason do we create a financial barrier to intellectual labor? Aside from hosting intellectual work (in digital and print form), what is the necessity of creating a corporate system that profits from labor that journal hosting bodies are not financially or otherwise accountable to? The perspective in this paper is largely situated in a North American – primarily United States-based – perspective….

Widespread open access publishing would bring about a more just distribution of knowledge within the United States and globally.”

Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action | Zenodo

“Diversity is an important characteristic of any healthy ecosystem, including scholarly communications. Diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures will allow the scholarly communication system to accommodate the different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities. In addition, diversity reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, which inevitably leads to monopoly, monoculture, and high prices. 

As we transition to open access and open science, there is an opportunity to reverse this decline and foster greater diversity in scholarly communications; what the Jussieu Call refers to as bibliodiversity. Bibliodiversity, by its nature, cannot be pursued through a single, unified approach, however it does require strong coordination in order to avoid a fragmented and siloed ecosystem. Building on the principles outlined in the Jussieu Call, this paper explores the current state of diversity in scholarly communications, and issues a call for action, specifying what each community can do individually and collectively to support greater bibliodiversity in a more intentional fashion. We are calling on the community to take concerted efforts to foster bibliodiversity through several specific actions.”

Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications – A Call for Action! – COAR

“We are calling on the community to make concerted efforts to develop strong, community-governed infrastructures that support diversity in scholarly communications (referred to as bibliodiversity).

Diversity is an essential characteristic of an optimal scholarly communications system. Diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures will allow the research communications to accommodate the different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities. In addition, diversity reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, which inevitably leads to monopoly, monoculture, and high prices.

We are living through unprecedented times, with a global pandemic sweeping the world, leading to illness, death, and unparalleled economic upheaval.  Although our concerns about bibliodiversity have been growing for years, the current crisis has exposed the deficiencies in a system that is increasingly homogenous and prioritizes profits over the public good….

For those who were not in favour of open access before, this global crisis should settle the debate once and for all….”

Making Academia an Open Book? Bibliodiversity and Open Access Publishing | Global Policy Journal

“Journals vary widely in terms of their size and status within their respective disciplines; Prestigious, high impact ones tend to receive higher levels of citation from academics across the world, while others have smaller readerships and have lower impact factors.They can be accessed via commercial or non-commercial journal-hosting sites, with some combining both methods. Large platforms, who index and provide search abilities for journals and the work published in them, tend to be commercial sites. Based within the Global North, these include well-known brands such as Elsevierand SAGE that charge expensive subscription fees to universities in order for their staff and students to access these journals. This is in contrast to non-commercial sites such as AJOL in South Africa, which is a fully ‘open source’ platform that publishes scientific research without using a paywall.

However, the persistence of digital divides mean that not all Higher Education Institutions, nor their staff or students, can access these journals. Many have limited financial resources and technical  infrastructures (such as computers or an internet connection), while others may not have English (the main language of these journals) as their language of instruction.

This results in the production and distribution of academic knowledge being dominated by the Global North. Those without access are often left behind, exacerbating existing digital divides in the educational sector.

Although academics from poorer countries cannot always access this information, they still have important contributions to make to their respective disciplines. Consequently, academia itself has joined the calls for greater ‘open access’ to research in order to address this divide.

The concept of bibliodiversity hails from Latin America and refers to the need for a culturally diverse and balanced range of published materials for generating knowledge. It is said to be threatened when there is an undue focus (or ‘overproduction’) on a limited number of publications, which are often commercial interests. With journals being increasingly accessed online, advocates suggest that publishing platforms should work collaboratively, increasing access to knowledge. Hence, open source platforms like AJOL have been launched with the intention of promoting these open forms of knowledge, albeit that many have a limited budget….”

Archive ouverte HAL – Bibliodiversity in Practice: Developing Community-Owned, Open Infrastructures to Unleash Open Access Publishing

 

 

Abstract : Academic publishing is changing. The drive towards open access publishing, which is being powered in the UK by funding bodies (SHERPA Juliet), the requirements of REFs 2021 (UKRI) and 2027 (Hill 2018), and Europe-wide movements such as the recently-announced Plan S (‘About Plan S’), has the potential to shake up established ways of publishing academic research. Within book publishing, the traditional print formats and the conventional ways of disseminating research, which are protected and promoted by a small number of powerful incumbents, are being challenged. Academic publishing, and academic book publishing, is at a crossroads: will it find ways to accommodate open access distribution within its existing structures? Or will new systems of research dissemination be developed? And what might those new systems look like?In this article we look at the main features of the existing monograph publication and distribution ecosystem, and question the suitability of this for open access monographs. We look specifically at some of the key economic characteristics of the monograph publishing market and consider their implications for new infrastructures designed specifically to support open access titles. The key observations are that the production of monographs displays constant returns to scale, and so can (and does) support large numbers of publishing initiatives; at the same time the distribution and discovery systems for monographs display increasing returns to scale and so naturally leads to the emergence of a few large providers. We argue that in order to protect the diversity of players and outputs within the monograph publishing industry in the transition to open access it is important to create open and community-managed infrastructures and revenue flows that both cater for different business models and production workflows and are resistant to take over or control by a single (or small number) of players.