ODRL Information Model 2.2

“The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) is a policy expression language that provides a flexible and interoperable information model, vocabulary, and encoding mechanisms for representing statements about the usage of content and services. The ODRL Information Model describes the underlying concepts, entities, and relationships that form the foundational basis for the semantics of the ODRL policies.

Policies are used to represent permitted and prohibited actions over a certain asset, as well as the obligations required to be meet by stakeholders. In addition, policies may be limited by constraints (e.g., temporal or spatial constraints) and duties (e.g. payments) may be imposed on permissions….”

‘Price gouging from Covid’: student ebooks costing up to 500% more than in print | Higher education | The Guardian

“Librarians at UK universities say students’ reading lists for this term are being torn up because of publishers’ “eye-watering” increases to ebook prices, and some students are now reading what is available or affordable, rather than what their tutors think is best for their course.

With thousands of students studying in their bedrooms at home because of the pandemic, providing access to textbooks and research books online has become crucial. However, librarians say academic publishers are failing to offer electronic versions of many books, seen as critical to degree courses during the pandemic. And, they say, universities frequently cannot afford to buy the ebooks available, for which they can be charged more than five times as much as the printed version, often running into hundreds of pounds a copy, sometimes for one user at a time.


Nearly 3,000 librarians, academics and students have now signed an open letter calling for a public investigation into the “unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible” academic ebook market….”

The OA Switchboard Initiative

“The OA Switchboard moved to the operational stage on 1 January 2021 and we’re happy to be well underway. We’ll continue to keep you informed this year via regular updates and in this first blog of the year, I’ll tell you about our plans and priorities and how we continue to shape the collaborative nature of the initiative.


The OA Switchboard is now run from the new Stichting OA Switchboard, founded by OASPA in October 2020. The new set-up ensures a not-for-profit, collectively controlled collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers, where neutrality and independence are preserved by legal structure, governance and articles of incorporation. The OA Switchboard will be financed via a self-sustaining business model and participation and involvement is open to all who meet the OA Switchboard’s purpose and criteria. The OA Switchboard aims to support all OA business models, all policies and all types of scholarly output. OASPA is supportive and actively involved through a strategic partnership with the OA Switchboard….

In addition, we’ve defined a shared use case with launch customers to work on together as a priority: uniform reporting from publishers to institutions/consortia and funders. This use case is based on existing, operational functionality in the OA Switchboard (described in more detail in Q18 in our FAQ’s). This shared priority covers all scenarios: no-prior-agreement, prior-agreement (with and without article-level financials), and also specifically the scenario whereby a funder is not directly involved in settling APCs. Participants engage by manual interaction with the OA Switchboard through the user interface, by integrating from their own (or their third party’s) systems with our API in the standard message structure, or by (intermediate) solutions using ‘connectors’. More about this shared priority use case and technical details in our next blog and webinar.


A second priority use case we’re working on with our early adopters is: locating central OA funds, and getting publication charges paid in an efficient and cost-effective manner….”

COPIM releases free code for Open Access project sign up system

“The Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs project (COPIM) has today released the code originally written for their Opening the Future initiative, which collects and processes library signups. This release makes the software freely available for any publisher to adapt and use themselves – it is a generic signup system for open-access projects that have consortial membership models….”

Bay State College ‘Flips to Digital’ by Donating Entire College Library to the Internet Archive – Internet Archive Blogs

“Bay State College’s Boston Campus has donated its entire undergraduate library to the Internet Archive so that the digital library can preserve and scan the books, while allowing Bay State to gain much needed open space for student collaboration. By donating and scanning its 11,000-volume collection centered on fashion, criminal justice, allied health, and business books, Bay State’s Boston campus decided to “flip entirely to digital.”…”

NISO’s Recommended Practice on Reproducibility Badging and Definitions Now Published | Industry Announcements and Events SSP-L

“The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) today announces the publication of its Recommended Practice, RP-31-2021, Reproducibility Badging and Definitions. Developed by the NISO Taxonomy, Definitions, and Recognition Badging Scheme Working Group, this new Recommended Practice provides a set of recognition standards that can be deployed across scholarly publishing outputs, to easily recognize and reward the sharing of data and methods….”

Publishing Philosophy Open Access Without a Particle Collider | Impact of Social Sciences

Open Access often appears to be a monolithic concept, covering all fields of research and publication. However, in practice its application is to a large extent determined by the needs and resources available to different academic communities. In this post, Bryan W. Roberts and David Teira discuss open access publishing in philosophy and how an emerging generation of open publications has developed to meet the needs of an academic discipline where funding for publication is scarce.

Don’t believe the hype: repositories are critical for ensuring equity, inclusion and sustainability in the transition to open access | Plan S

“The rhetoric of some scholarly publishers lately has shown a troublesome trend with respect to Open Access repositories (often referred to as Green OA). Most recently, the CEO of Springer Nature, Frank Vrancken Peeters, delivered a presentation to the Academic Publishing in Europe conference in which he mischaracterizes OA repositories in several ways. In that presentation, which I did not attend personally, but has been reported on by Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives, Peeters echoes a number of inaccuracies posted in an earlier OASPA guest blog, to which COAR immediately responded with Correcting the Record: The Critical Role of OA Repositories in Open Access and Open Science.

Unfortunately, I must again speak out, to correct the many errors contained in Peeters’ presentation. Contrary to what Peeters states:

OA repositories support Open Access and Open Science. The original definition of open access as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative included two paths: OA journals and OA repositories. Depositing an article in an OA repository without embargo is full open access (and, as such, this route is an option for compliance with Plan S).
OA repositories most often provide access to the author’s accepted manuscript (AAM), which can be licenced CC-BY and the text contained in the AAM differs very little from the formatted publisher version.
OA repositories can easily link to related content held elsewhere, including published versions, datasets, and other related materials. They also include open metrics and employ open standards and software.
Articles in OA repositories are discoverable through major discovery systems including Google Scholar, Unpaywall, OpenAIRE, CORE, LA Referencia and so on. Researchers do not need to search through individual repositories to find the articles contained in repositories….”

Why we should stop publishing in open-access journals with article processing charges | AESOP Young Academics

“Within this framework, a question emerges: should we publish in these journals? My opinion is that we should not do it at all (for a similar viewpoint, see Eric Verdeil’s opinion). It is not only an issue of individual ethics, but of public ethics, which concerns the whole academic system. As a matter of fact, feeding the APC journal system has three serious negative consequences.

It sets a barrier to access for those without research funds. This system creates a barrier for researchers who do not have access to substantial research funds (such as young or precarious researchers or scholars from not-so-affluent universities). This increases the hierarchical segmentation of the academic world even further.
It risks not adequately guaranteeing the quality control of the scientific publications. “Predatory journals” have repeatedly been suspected of lowering the review process standards. Can the same suspect apply also to many non-predatory APC journals? My answer is affirmative. All APC journals make money and survive thanks to the articles sent to them. The very mechanism of requiring a fee from authors for publishing their article could push every APC journal to lower qualitative standards in order to publish as much as possible. The fact that, in many cases, the publication time of APC journals is very short (three or four weeks maximum, from sending the paper to its publication) seem to support these suspicions.
It makes serious research work impossible. Many APC journals publish a significant number of articles. The case of Sustainability is blatant. During 2020, Sustainability published around 10,500 articles. For a researcher working on questions of sustainable cities, how is it possible to stay on top of everything that is published in this journal, so as to be aware of recent research developments in his/her field? Publishing a reasonable number of carefully selected articles is an essential task of scientific journals, which allows robust research work to be possible. In this regard, serious scientific journals are an essential component of the academic world: through their rigorous filter, they make the development of cumulative knowledge and robust research possible, as well as the flourishing of scientific debates. The publication of an exaggerated number of articles with almost no filter is, therefore, extremely detrimental to everybody’s research….”

Trump EPA’s Fast Track for ‘Secret Science’ Rule Nixed (1)

“The Trump administration’s EPA broke the law when it finalized a “science transparency” rule and made it effective immediately, a federal court ruled Wednesday in a decision that could help the Biden administration scrap the rule.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana said the Environmental Protection Agency failed to justify its decision to make the controversial rule take effect right after its publication in the Federal Register, instead of after 30 days, as is typical….”