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….”

Update on open access and academic journal contracts: a presentation to the UC Board of Regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee – Office of Scholarly Communication

“On July 17, 2019, Acting Provost and Vice Provost Susan Carlson, University Librarian and Chief Digital Scholarship Officer Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, and Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director Günter Waibel briefed the UC Board of Regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee on open access and academic journal contracts.”

Following UC’s break with Elsevier, messages of support from around the world pour in | UC Berkeley Library News

“On Thursday, the University of California announced its separation with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest — and most profitable — publishers of academic research.

After months of negotiations, the publisher had refused to meet UC’s core demands: universal open access to UC research and a subscription plan that would account for open access publishing fees. So UC walked away.

In the days since, messages of support and congratulations have come pouring in from around the world. Here is a sample of the responses, by turns fiery, joyous, and heartwarming….”

UC ends contract with largest scientific publisher in a push for open-access research

The University of California will not renew its subscription to Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, citing inability to reach an agreement that would give public access to all UC research while keeping the costs associated with for-profit journals down.

According to a UC press release, the university aims to make the research produced by its 10 campuses — which account for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output — available to the world at no cost. UC said Elsevier’s proposed terms would charge UC authors large open-access publishing fees on top of its multimillion-dollar subscription….”

Breaking: UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research | UC Berkeley Library News – [https://news.lib.berkeley.edu/elsevier-outcome]

While we did make progress, particularly in the past few weeks, toward defining a model for open access publishing of UC research, Elsevier was ultimately unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research, as stated in UC’s faculty-driven principles on scholarly communication, while integrating open access publishing fees and subscription fees into a single cost-controlled contract….”