Reporting back on our ACRL 2021 conference panel: Open access investment at the local level – UC Berkeley Library Update

“Last year the UC Berkeley Library’s Collection Services Council charged a working group to develop local best practices to guide investment in open access (OA) products and services. Advancing open access to scholarship is one of the Library’s key goals, and addressing how and when UCB invests in OA resources and materials is one path to supporting this priority. In May 2020 the working group completed its report, recommending key criteria and a workflow for evaluating open access investment opportunities. 

Even though the Library is in the early stages of implementing the proposed criteria and review process, we submitted a proposal for the 2021 ACRL Conference to share our work with the broader academic library community and to receive feedback as we develop the process. We also wanted to hear how related projects address open access investments, and understand the challenges (and hopefully, solutions) others have encountered along the way. 

Our panel was titled Open access investment at the local level: Sharing diverse tactics to improve access & affordability. We know that many decisions about open access investments take place at administrative or consortial levels, but librarians frequently field requests for access, resources, or partnerships at the local level through their relationships with students, researchers, and faculty. The panel aimed to share real-world examples of where and how academic libraries decide to invest in open access resources, and discuss commonalities and differences in strategies and give attendees examples they can apply in their own roles….”

How the Pandemic has Changed Authentication and Access

“Librarians and information professionals with responsibility for providing access to digital scholarly resources need to understand all the authentication options available to them and their end-users. This free webinar will feature Springer Nature Senior Digital Product Manager Laird Barrett discussing all available approaches to authentication. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was overwhelmingly common for researchers to authenticate via IP address to access institutional subscriptions on Springer Nature websites. That behavior changed dramatically with the onset of the pandemic, as researchers in many countries quickly transitioned to working from home. Researchers now use a constellation of different methods in greater numbers to authenticate, including persisted access, Google Scholar CASA, and federated access. This free webinar will explore that change over time and across the world, and will share information about Springer Nature’s plans this year to continue to ease authentication and access for researchers during the pandemic. Expect details that will help you across many scholarly resource platforms, as well as measures that are specific to Springer Nature. This webinar is part of an ongoing effort to provide technical education programming for information professionals. …”

The Move to Open Access as Ebook Crisis Worsens – Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market

“1) In March 2020, several academic publishers and 3rd party vendors announced, to much fanfare, that they were opening up access to many of their resources for free. Whilst this move was welcomed by many in Higher Education, much of the content was withdrawn as little as three months later while COVID was still raging. Access has not been reinstated during this most recent lock-down. (One has to wonder if the original offer was little but a cynical marketing strategy).

2) Unlike March 2020, many students are starting the semester away from campus and so cannot make the dash to access hardcopy resources as they may have done last year….

Librarians, academics and, more importantly, students, cannot wait for senior figures to act at this critical time in the HE cycle. Librarians are increasingly turning to the complex world of open access resources to fill the huge holes in information provision bought about by traditional academic publisher business models. There is hope that open access will become more and more commonplace going forward….”

Structural inequalities in scholarly communications

“However, there are significant drawbacks to electronic resources:

Electronic versions of scholarly materials are subject to licenses, which often put strict limitations on who can use them. Libraries can share print materials by sending them through interlibrary loan — mailing materials to those who need them — but not all e-journal content can be shared this way. E-books usually can’t be shared between libraries, meaning that they are available only to those who have a current affiliation with the University or those who can physically visit one of our spaces.
E-materials are expensive and often do not have the “friendliest” terms. Multi-user licenses are not always available or may be prohibitively expensive. In a time when University budgets are facing large cuts, it is hard to accept that a print volume may cost $100, yet the multi-user e-version might cost $900.
Electronic materials also often lack perpetual access. This may mean that the same materials have to be purchased multiple times.
Access to electronic materials also requires access to the internet — stable broadband access. This is often lacking for scholars all over the world; even in the United States, it is estimated that only three-quarters of adults have broadband internet service at home….”

About the ICOLC Expanded Access Spreadsheet | Google Docs

This Complimentary Expanded Access Specifics (EAS) spreadsheet is designed and maintained on behalf of the ICOLC community by SCELC Library Consortium Licensing Services team staff members: Jason Price, Erik Limpitlaw, and Carly Ryan. 

 

Its purpose is to make information service provider announcements and offers of COVID19-related expanded access to resources more accessible to libraries and their users all over the world.

 

 

On March 13, ICOLC issued a Statement on the Global COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Library Services and Resources that urged publishers to consider a range of responses. The open letter links to an Information Service Provider Response (ISPR) Registry that is populated by members of the ICOLC community as they learn of these responses.

 

 

Providers, Consortia, or Libraries can recommend complimentary resources for addition to the lists using the ICOLC Complimentary Expanded Access Submission Form. Entries that are added to the EAS sheet are also added to the ISPR registry.

 

Improving access and delivery of academic content – a survey of current & emerging trends | Musings about librarianship

“Some readers might be thinking that this might be a odd time for us to start focusing on improving user experiences with delivery given that the coming of open access might make a lot of this moot.

 

There are two answers to this. Firstly open access even in the most optimistic of projections will still have a decade or more to go and is likely to cover only journal articles. Libraries will still need to provide access to other licensed resources (A&I indexes, image archives etc) that will not be covered by Open Access.

 

The other reason is that some content providers even in a open access world would still want users to authenticate, so they can track usage and users.”

Improving access and delivery of academic content – a survey of current & emerging trends | Musings about librarianship

“Some readers might be thinking that this might be a odd time for us to start focusing on improving user experiences with delivery given that the coming of open access might make a lot of this moot.

 

There are two answers to this. Firstly open access even in the most optimistic of projections will still have a decade or more to go and is likely to cover only journal articles. Libraries will still need to provide access to other licensed resources (A&I indexes, image archives etc) that will not be covered by Open Access.

 

The other reason is that some content providers even in a open access world would still want users to authenticate, so they can track usage and users.”

Rethinking assessment during the pandemic, particularly re. disability equality | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

The pandemic is not over. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just went back for a week of in-person term. Seven days later, they have shut down, with over 500 students in isolation. They can now offer only remote tuition. So I repeat to those who are being optimistic about this year: no, the pandemic is not over, it is far from over, and there are many many challenges ahead. In this post I want to turn particularly to the challenge of access to library resources over the coming year for students, with particular reference to the disability equality implications.

How can I get access to the article I need? | EIFL

“In order to help researchers retrieve legal copies of full-text articles that they can’t find in their library, EIFL has created a poster with useful links to other places where they can look for an article they need, such as open access search engines or browser extensions.

We are encouraging librarians to share the poster widely with faculty and students through their university and institutional websites, newsletters and social media. EIFL can help libraries customize the poster, for example, by adding the library’s logo and links to the library’s subscribed e-resources.”

How can I get access to the article I need? | EIFL

“In order to help researchers retrieve legal copies of full-text articles that they can’t find in their library, EIFL has created a poster with useful links to other places where they can look for an article they need, such as open access search engines or browser extensions.

We are encouraging librarians to share the poster widely with faculty and students through their university and institutional websites, newsletters and social media. EIFL can help libraries customize the poster, for example, by adding the library’s logo and links to the library’s subscribed e-resources.”