» New England Journal of Medicine – and you thought Nature was expensive?

The New England journal of Medicine has come out strongly against Open Access. Apparently, this journal does not seem to value access to medical information very highly. This lack of valuation could be due to several reasons. For one, the NEJM is leading the medical publishing industry in retractions….

Finally and perhaps equally likely (the reasons are, of course, not mutually exclusive) it could simply be about money….

Salary sum: 4,088,010….

This would amount to an article processing charge (APC) for NEJM of around US$314,000.

Or, phrased differently, the current business model of NEJM entails the tax-payer paying more than US$300k for each research article in NEJM, which, at the same time:


  • pays their management staff the 3-7 fold income of one of their professor-authors
  • for each research-type article, cross-subsidizes about four other news-type or opinion articles, some of which insult scientists
  • pays for the rejection costs of 95% of all submitted articles
  • overpays the actual publishing costs by about 1,200-fold …”


Paywalls block scientific progress. Research should be open to everyone | Jason Schmitt | Education | The Guardian

“Academic and scientific research needs to be accessible to all. The world’s most pressing problems like clean water or food security deserve to have as many people as possible solving their complexities. Yet our current academic research system has no interest in harnessing our collective intelligence. Scientific progress is currently thwarted by one thing: paywalls.

Paywalls, which restrict access to content without a paid subscription, represent a common practice used by academic publishers to block access to scientific research for those who have not paid. This keeps £19.6bn flowing from higher education and science into for-profit publisher bank accounts. My recent documentary, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, uncovered that the largest academic publisher, Elsevier, regularly has a profit margin between 35-40%, which is greater than Google’s. With financial capacity comes power, lobbyists, and the ability to manipulate markets for strategic advantages – things that underfunded universities and libraries in poorer countries do not have….”

Welcome to Post-digital Community Science! – Generation R

GenR has made a conscious choice to use Community Science over the more common term Citizen Science as its umbrella term for the participation of the wider public in scholarship. The primary reason for this choice is the understanding that it is an unintended category error to denote citizenship as a prerequisite for participation in scholarship and instead being a person would be enough to take part — citizen or not.

Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) include Citizen Science (Haklay 2018) as one of the seven focus areas for its Open Science Roadmap which shows the importance of the field for research, institutions, and policy….”

Assembly Democrats’ Bill to Make College Textbooks More Affordable Heads to Governor – Insider NJ

The bill (A-327-3254-1149) requires each institution of higher education to submit a plan to the Secretary of Higher Education to expand the use of open textbooks and commercial digital learning materials. “Open textbooks” are educational resources for college courses that are available online for free or at a reduced cost….”

REF must ‘bring hammer down’ on open access books, says professor | Times Higher Education (THE)

It is time to “bring the hammer down” and extend open access requirements for the UK’s research excellence framework to monographs, a professor has said.

Cameron Neylon, professor of research communication at Australia’s Curtin University, said that he was “running out of sympathy” for academics who complained that there was not enough time to prepare for the requirement that long-form scholarly works must be made available easily and free of charge, if they are to be submitted to the 2027 assessment….

While open access monographs was a complicated issue that was “the price of being the leader”, he said. “Leadership requires taking risks. If everyone was comfortable all the time, what would be the point?” “

European copyright directive ‘opens door to mass digitalisation’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

Librarians believe that a new copyright directive passed by the European Parliament could open the door to the mass digitalisation of books, films and audio recordings, potentially meaning fewer trips to distant libraries for scholars and students who need access to obscure material….

It should make it easier for libraries to digitalise documents that are still in copyright but are not commercially available. These could include radio broadcasts, out-of-print books and unpublished oral histories, said Ben White, a member of the legal working group at the Association of European Research Libraries.

It could help to make available “huge amounts of unpublished material with a big research value”, he said.

At the moment, libraries must seek permission to digitalise these documents one by one, painstakingly tracking down the copyright owner for each, he explained, meaning that digitalisation is not possible at scale….”

Open Science in Africa | Elephant in the Lab

Open Science is becoming increasingly popular globally and provides unprecedented opportunities for scientists in Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America. African scientists face several difficulties when attempting to get their work published in peer-reviewed journals  – there is a small number of publication platforms, a lack of knowledge and access difficulties related to existing journals (whose visibility on the web is not very good) (Piron et al., 2017). There are also obstacles related to the functioning of the journals themselves ( notably the duration of the revision process and the cost of publications)  and the result is that science and scholarly publishing are often perceived as a prerogative of the Northern countries. The methods and techniques (including the peer-review process) that are being developed for its dissemination are not necessarily adapted to the contexts of other regions of the world, including Africa. Indeed, many African-based peer-reviewed scholarly journals are unable to host their content online due to resource limitations and the digital divide (Agaba et al., 2004).

In this article, we provide an overview of the most important initiatives and actors in the Open Science movement in Africa. We further identify three major challenges for Open Science on the African continent and offer perspectives for African researchers to actively contribute to the global scientific community and share knowledge to meet the challenges we all face….”

Digital Library of the Caribbean

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. The dLOC partner institutions are the core of dLOC. dLOC partners retain all rights to their materials and provide access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections. (Information on how to become a dLOC partner).

Read the dLOC Fact Sheet (and more about dLOC), register for a free mydLOC user account, or please contact us with any questions.

dLOC also supports collaborative project development and funding initiatives for partners, including the Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative and a collaborative funding model with institutional members and personal member to contribute funding. These activities complement the work by the dLOC partners, who contribute content, and time and expertise in shared governance….”