“Publicly funded research outputs should be immediately and openly available to all without barriers such as subscription fees or paywalls, say European scientific community leaders who welcomed a recent 20-point plan agreed by the Council of the European Union to encourage open science.
The Council, as it is informally known, represents government ministers from the 27 EU member states and is one of the key European Union decision-making bodies, along with the European Parliament and the European Commission.
After years of deliberations, which continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council’s Competitiveness Council (Research) agreed the text for 20 conclusions to encourage high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing, including cracking down on unsustainable author fees that currently prop up open science publishing….”
“As discussed at our joint UCOLASC and Council of University Librarians (CoUL) meeting held on February 15, 2023, the Project Transform Negotiating Team (PTNT) and Project Transform Working Group (PTWG) have learned that many publishers are requiring University of California (UC) authors to sign “License to Publish” (LTP) agreements, which purport to grant exclusive rights to publishers and contravene the spirit of the open access (OA) policies and declarations strongly endorsed by UC faculty. We find this now-common practice to be unacceptable and therefore ask you to prioritize the issue of author rights and act on our behalf when you negotiate with publishers….”
“EU ministers made a fresh call for open access to become the default mode for scientific publishing in a new set of Council conclusions today, prompting opposing reactions from the science community and journal publishers.
The Council conclusions call for a crack down on the unsustainable author fees that are currently propping up open science publishing, and undermining the ambition of making research results free to access. “We need to make sure that researchers can make their findings available and re-usable and that high-quality scientific articles are openly accessible to anyone that needs to read them,” said Mats Persson, Swedish minister for research, who currently holds the rotating council presidency chair.
The push for open access isn’t new and the EU has made a lot of headway with various initiatives and political statements. A big breakthrough came in 2018 in Plan S, under which a group of major research funding and performing organisations signed up to paywall-free science….”
“Joint response by the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA), Association of ERC Grantees (AERG), Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), cOAlition S, OPERAS, and French National Research Agency (ANR). We welcome the adoption by the Council of the European Union (EU) of the conclusions on highquality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing. As key public research and innovation actors in Europe, we are committed to supporting the development of a publicly owned, not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem in collaboration with policymakers in Europe and beyond….”
For European public research and innovation actors, scholarly knowledge is a public good. Publicly funded research and its results should be immediately and openly available to all without barriers such as subscription fees or paywalls. This is essential in driving knowledge forward, promoting innovation and tackling social issues.
Key representative organisations of the public research and innovation sector have welcomed today’s adoption of the ‘Council conclusions on high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing’.
“In its conclusions, the Council calls on the Commission and the member states to support policies towards a scholarly publishing model that is not-for-profit, open access and multi-format, with no costs for authors or readers. Some Member States have introduced secondary publication rights into their national copyright legislation, enabling open access to scholarly publications which involve public funds. The Council encourages national open access policies and guidelines to make scholarly publications immediately openly accessible under open licences. The conclusions acknowledge positive developments in terms of monitoring progress, like within the framework of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and suggest including open science monitoring in the European Research Area monitoring mechanism. The Council conclusions also encourage Member States to support the pilot programme Open Research Europe (to create a large-scale open access research publishing service), the use of open-source software and standards, to recognise and reward peer review activities in the assessment of researchers as well as to support the training of researchers on peer-review skills and on intellectual property rights.”
Abstract: There are two types of Contribution environments that have been widely written about in the last decade – closed environments controlled by the promulgator and open access environments seemingly controlled by everyone and no-one at the same time. In closed environments, the promulgator has the sole discretion to control both the intellectual property at hand and the integrity of that content. In open access environments the Intellectual Property (IP) is controlled to varying degrees by the Creative Commons License associated with the content. It is solely up to the promulgator to control the integrity of that content. Added to that, open access environments don’t offer native protection to data in such a way that the data can be access and utilized for Text Mining (TM), Natural Language Processing (NLP) or Machine Learning (ML). It is our intent in this paper to lay out a third option – that of a federated cloud environment wherein all members of the federation agree upon terms for copyright protection, the integrity of the data at hand, and the use of that data for Text Mining (TM), Natural Language Processing (NLP) or Machine Learning (ML).
Abstract: The salient question, today, is not whether ‘copyright law [will] allow robots to learn’. The pressing question is whether the fragile data ecosystem that makes generative AI possible can be re-balanced through intervention that is timely enough. The threats to this ecosystem come from multiple fronts. They are comparable in kind to the threats currently affecting ‘water rivers’ across the globe.
First, just as the fundamental human right to water is only possible if ‘reasonable use’ and reciprocity constraints are imposed on the economic exploitation of rivers, so is the fundamental right to access culture, learn and build upon it. It is that right -and the moral aspirations underlying it- that has led millions to share their creative works under ‘open’ licenses. Generative AI tools would not have been possible without access to that rich, high-quality content. Yet few of those tools respect the reciprocity expectations without which the Creative Commons and Open-Source movements cease to be sustainable. The absence of internationally coordinated standards to systematically identify AI-generated content also threatens our ‘data rivers’ with irreversible pollution.
Second, the process that has allowed large corporations to seize control of data and its definition as an asset subject to property rights has effectively enabled the construction of hard structures -canals or dams- that has led to the rights of many of those lying up-or downstream of such structures to be ignored. While data protection laws seek to address those power imbalances by granting ‘personal’ data rights, the exercise of those rights remains demanding, just as it is challenging for artists to defend their IP rights in the face of AI-generated works that threaten them with redundancy.
To tackle the above threats, the long overdue reform of copyright can only be part of the required intervention. Equally important is the construction of bottom-up empowerment infrastructure that gives long term agency to those wishing to share their data and/or creative works. This infrastructure would also play a central role in reviving much-needed democratic engagement. Data not only carries traces of our past. It is also a powerful tool to envisage different futures. There is no doubt that tools such as GPT4 will change us. We would be fools to believe we may leverage those tools at the service of a variety of futures by merely imposing sets of ‘post-hoc’ regulatory constraints.
Publish a Knowledge Equity Statement for your institution by 2025, incorporating tangible commitments aligned with the principles and objectives below.
Commit to institutional action(s) to support a sustained increase of published educational material being open and freely accessible for all to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research.
Commit to institutional action(s) to support a sustained increase of new research outputs being transparent, open and freely accessible for all, and which meet the expectations of funders.
Use openness as an explicit criteria in reaching hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions. Reward and recognise open practices across both research and research-led education. This should include the importance of interdisciplinary and/or collaborative activities, and the contribution of all individuals to activities.
Define Equity, Diversity and Inclusion targets that will contribute towards open and inclusive Higher Education practices, and report annually on progress against these targets.
To create new mechanisms in and between Higher Education Institutions that allow for further widening participation and increased diversity of staff and student populations.
Review the support infrastructure for open Higher Education, and invest in the human, technical, and digital infrastructure that is needed to make open Higher Education a success.
Promote the use of open interoperability principles for any research or education software/system that you procure or develop, explicitly highlighting the option of making all or parts of content open for public consumption.
Ensure that all research data conforms to the FAIR Data Principles: ‘findable’, accessible, interoperable, and re-useable.
For Funding Agencies
Publish a statement that open dissemination of research findings is a critical component in evaluating the productivity and integrity of research.
Incorporate open research practices into assessment of funding proposals.
Incentivise the adoption of Open Research through policies, frameworks and mandates that require open access for publications, data, and other outputs, with as liberal a licence as possible for maximum reuse.
Actively manage funding schemes to support open infrastructures and open dissemination of research findings, educational resources, and underpinning data.
Explicitly define reward and recognition mechanisms for globally co-produced and co-delivered open educational resources that benefit society….”
“The International Labour Organization (ILO) has implemented an Open Access policy that will make the use of all its knowledge products easier.
The launch of the ILO Open Access policy supports the fundamental ethic that results of publicly funded research or work should be made available to the public to use, with the goal of increasing accessibility, visibility and impact.
As of 3 May 2023, all new ILO knowledge products will be freely available for use or reuse without needing to request permission – as long as ILO is cited as the source of material.
The policy covers all materials published or made available by ILO ranging from reports and publications to videos and datasets.”
“Open Pharma has developed a new, free-to-view, online tool that reports open access (OA) publishing rates, access types and OA licences for peer-reviewed medical publications with authors affiliated to pharma companies and universities.
The Open Pharma OA position statement emphasizes the importance of publishing research OA to ensure that high-quality, peer-reviewed evidence is available to anyone who needs it, anywhere in the world and without charge.
The recognized benefits of OA publishing include improved equity in access to medical knowledge and scientific advances, increased research transparency and the potential to foster greater public trust in scientific research (Figure 1). Emerging data from global publishers Taylor & Francis also suggest that research published OA typically has higher reach and impact than comparable paywalled articles of a similar age….”
“Scholarly communication is a complicated sector, with numerous participants and multiple mechanisms for communicating and reviewing materials created in an increasing variety of formats by researchers across the globe. In turn, the researcher who seeks to use the products of this system wishes to discover, access, and use relevant and trustworthy materials as effortlessly as possible. The work of driving efficiency into this complex sector while bringing its multiple strands together seamlessly for the reader (or, increasingly, for a computational user) rests on a foundation of infrastructure, much of it shared across multiple publishers. In this landscape review, we seek to provide a high-level overview of the shared infrastructure that supports scholarly communication. The purpose of this landscape review is to provide scoping for the array of shared infrastructure that we intend to examine in a larger project about the strategic context that has driven and will continue to drive the development of this infrastructure. That project will include a needs analysis on what parts of the shared scholarly communication infrastructure are working well and where they can be improved, culminating in recommendations for where additional or revised collective action and community investment is indicated….”
Hall, G. (2023). Experimenting with Copyright Licences. Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM). Retrieved from https://copim.pubpub.org/pub/combinatorial-books-documentation-copyright-licences-post6
As part of the documentation for the first book coming out of the Combinatorial Books Pilot Project, we are discussing our rationale for chosing a CC-BY licence for this project as well as the limitations and potentials of this licence regarding more collaborative scholarship.
This is the sixth blogpost in a series documenting the COPIM/OHP Pilot Project Combinatorial Books: Gathering Flowers. You can find the previous blogposts here, here, here, here, and here.
When it comes to publishing a book, many authors and presses show a surprising lack of concern about whether the copyright licence used is consistent with what’s actually being said in the content of the work. Now it’s not our intention to single anyone out for particular criticism: our reservation is about a system more than individuals. But perhaps we can start with a brief analysis of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s 2017 book Assembly, just to explain what we mean and illustrate why the choice of license matters far more than most people seem to think.
We are taking Hardt and Negri as our example because, as the authors of volumes such as Empire (2001), Multitude (2005) and Commonwealth (2009), they are among the most politically radical of theorists at work today. But we’re also focusing on them because, like us, they are interested in the generation of new forms of human and nonhuman collaboration. What’s so intriguing about Hardt and Negri in this context is that, in terms of their relationship to the decentralised, self-organising mobilisations they take inspiration from in Assembly – the Occupy movement, the Indignados movement in Spain, etcetera – these two autonomous Marxists can be seen to repeat much the same behaviour they criticise platform capitalist companies for engaging in with regard to the social relations of their users.
“This response to the “NIH Plan to Enhance Public Access to the Results of NIH-Supported Research” request for public input is submitted on behalf of the Open Research Funders Group. The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is a partnership of 25 philanthropic organizations committed to the open sharing of research outputs. We believe openness is better for philanthropy, better for research, and better for society. Open research accelerates the pace of discovery, reduces information-sharing gaps, encourages innovation, and promotes reproducibility. Collectively, the ORFG members hold assets in excess of $250 billion, with total annual giving in the $12 billion range. Members’ interests range the entirety of the disciplinary spectrum, including life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. This response has been prepared by Greg Tananbaum and Dr. Erin McKiernan, Director and Community Manager (respectively) of the ORFG, in conjunction with representatives of the ORFG membership.
The Open Research Funders Group applauds both the substance of the NIH’s draft plan and the added step of making it available for public comment. From a process perspective, the NIH’s approach reinforces the federal government’s stated desire to co-develop practical public access strategies in a transparent and inclusive manner. The plan itself identifies practical mechanisms for the timely sharing of scholarly publications and research data. The draft plan wisely builds upon the lessons learned by NIH through both their long-term stewardship of PubMed Central and their recent rollout of the 2023 Data Management and Sharing Policy. In this regard, the plan articulates clear, easy-to-follow guidance for grantees….”