New services to support open research – BioMed Central blog

“This service builds on our Research Data Support helpdesk, launched in July 2016, and will further help authors comply with funder policies, prepare their data for deposition in a repository and enhance their peer-reviewed publications. The service provides secure and private submission of data files, data curation and publisher-managed release of datasets. Authors will make their data openly available, under either a Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY) or the CC0 public domain waiver. The service is run by professional Research Data Editors and provided by Springer Nature in partnership with figshare….”

hybrid oa monographs was RE: OA funds

“University of Michigan Press recently did a study of our http://www.digitalculture.org/books/ imprint — started a decade ago as an OA-to-read-online, purchase print or downloadable ebook “freemium” model like MIT Press’s approach. We found that while some books lost money and others made money the overall picture was one where the “direct” costs of production could be covered by the sales of print and downloadable ebooks. 

These “direct” costs are around half of the actual costs of publishing books (they don’t take account acquisitions editorial activity, for example) so the picture was not ultimately of a sustainable approach for high investment university press books, but workable for titles with a more lightweight workflow. Of course electronic reading behavior keeps changing so assuming that readers of an OA book on screen might still buy print is a risky proposition.

This is perhaps a rather convoluted reply, but I think it illustrates that the question about sustainability of “freemium” models conducted without subventions doesn’t have an easy answer. There are case studies where it may seem to work, but there are others which tell a more nuanced story….”

Letter: Expand public access to Congressional Research Service reports

[Apparently this letter was taken offline soon after it was posted. This is the version in the Google cache.] 

“Dear Chairman Harper, Chairman Shelby, Chairman Yoder, Chairman Lankford, Ranking Member Brady, Ranking Member Klobuchar, Ranking Member Ryan, and Ranking Member Murphy:

We write in support of expanded public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. Longstanding congressional policy allows Members and committees to use their websites to disseminate CRS products to the public, although CRS itself may not engage in direct public dissemination. This results in a disheartening inequity: insiders with Capitol Hill connections can easily obtain CRS reports from any of the 20,000 congressional staffers and well-resourced groups can pay for access from subscription services. However, members of the public can access only a small subset of CRS reports that are intermittently posted on an assortment of not-for-profit websites. Now is the time for a systematic solution that provides timely, comprehensive free public access to and preservation of non-confidential reports while protecting confidential communications between CRS and Members and committees of Congress.

CRS reports—not to be confused with confidential CRS memoranda and other products—play a critical role in our legislative process by informing lawmakers and staff about the important issues of the day. The public should have the same access to information. …

Taxpayers provide more than $100 million annually in support of CRS, and yet members of the public often must look to private companies for consistent access to CRS reports. Some citizens are priced out of these services, resulting in inequitable access to information about government activity that is produced at public expense….”

[Signed by 42 organizations and 47 individuals.]

The Price of On-Screen Reading Interfaces Versus Print Interfaces: Open Access Publishing | History and Future of the Book

“In conclusion, screen reading interfaces may contain an array of pros and cons, but the assumption that online information and publishing are always free is false. Internet access, electricity use and production, manufacturing of electronic devices, and the labor of writing and editing all come at a cost. Open access publishing is a solution created to solve this problem, which aimed to remove a portion of these costs from consumers and instead have the authors pay to become published. However, this model also contains many pros and cons, being very controversial in the publishing domain. Open access publishing may widen the audiences of articles, yet it can also lead to lower quality in articles and to legal issues. The future of open access publishing relies on authors themselves, because they make their own decision to publish their articles in open access, or to publish their article in an academic journal.”

A new game puts the public into public radio archives – Poynter

“[A] new game has launched that not only develops public awareness of public broadcasting archives, but actually deepens the public’s relationship with material in the archive.

The game, called Fix It, was launched by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation. It asks the public for help in identifying and correcting errors in public media transcripts — which improves both the searchability and accessibility of archival material from the collection….”