“SPARC is seeking volunteers to help analyze the public access plans required by the OSTP Memorandum from the smallest federal agencies. SPARC is asking those interested in volunteering to fill out this form. SPARC will be back in touch with volunteers and provide additional information including training materials and next steps.”
Abstract: The 21st century has seen a paradigm shift in scholarly communication, with digital technology changing the entire process of the scholarly communication lifecycle. As the cost of online reference materials for research continues to rise and restrictive conditions persist, global academic and research communities are pursuing countermeasures to make knowledge equitable and accessible. This is made possible through the Open Science (OS) movement that aims to make knowledge accessible to researchers and citizens irrespective of their technical or financial capability. This paper explores open science to ascertain the status of open science practices in Tanzania. The paper highlights the policy interfaces and frameworks that favor open science practices in research endeavors. Also, it provides a baseline for understanding the situation to inform scientific research and education communities about the status of open science and possible areas of intervention. Open science is still in its infancy, although certain steps have been taken in adopting it for example the adoption of open access practices, including the creation of institutional repositories and the adoption of policies that direct its implementation. Additionally, the implementation of open data practices has been quite slow. Also, researchers and organizations in Tanzania are gradually adopting open data practices. Currently, some academic institutions, particularly public universities, have adopted and used open journal publishing systems, particularly the online journal system (OJS). The published journal articles through journal systems are freely accessible online like other open-access content, however, the journals are not yet registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) despite the fact that some are already indexed in different abstracting services such as Africa Journal Online (AJOL) and they have Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). The policy interface of open science needs to be harmonized and COSTECH is strategically positioned to take the lead.
From Google’s English: “These theses were developed by the members of the program committee in advance of the conference. They can be discussed in advance and form a topic of discussion at the conference. The aim is to further develop the theses at the conference with the participants. Following the conference, these theses will be published in a revised form.
Thesis 1: Overcome the strategic void
Science-led publication infrastructures require support through an overarching, large-scale strategy. Only a high-profile initiative can guarantee science policy support and the necessary funding commitments and thus strengthen digital sovereignty in science.
Thesis 2: Take diversity of financing and business models into account
Science-led publication infrastructures require different financing and business models depending on the community in order to meet the needs of the respective communities.
Thesis 3: Strengthen libraries as publication service providers
Science-led publication infrastructures require professional operation. Libraries are predestined to take an active role as publication service providers for science. Publication infrastructures in libraries should be systematically expanded.
Thesis 4: Ensure quality, apply standards
Science-led publication infrastructures are required to ensure the quality of the content of publications through quality assurance procedures recognized in the respective subject in the spirit of good scientific practice. Assuring formal and technical quality should be implemented by applying open publishing standards for publications and processes.
Thesis 5: Strengthen collaboration with specialist communities
Science-led publication infrastructures need to be firmly anchored in scientific communities and their organizational structures. The cooperation must be participatory. Libraries are required to interact significantly more with specialist communities and to proactively design services for science.
Thesis 6: Promote experiments and innovations
Science-led publication infrastructures have the potential to innovatively design scientific publishing as a field of experimentation. The open-ended testing of new publication formats and the further development of processes, standards and collaborations must be encouraged.
Thesis 7: Ensure sustainability
Science-led publication infrastructures require sustainable financing and business models. In addition to clear organizational integration, the publication infrastructures require a precisely defined mission statement and the commitment of the supporting organization.
Thesis 8: Orient infrastructures towards the common good
Science-led publication infrastructures should act with a focus on the common good and design their activities on the basis of the principles and values ??of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
Thesis 9: Enter into new collaborations
Science-led publication infrastructures under academic sponsorship should pursue new cooperation models and act across institutional boundaries so that their visibility and that of their publications increase. Cooperations with external service providers can also make sense if governance is ensured in the spirit of science.
Thesis 10: Implement open science as a paradigm
Science-led publication infrastructures should enable the publishing of texts, data, software and other materials and support their recognition in research evaluation. To this end, they must, wherever possible, be documented openly, machine-readable in accordance with the FAIR principles and made available sustainably….”
Preprints are open and accessible scientific manuscript or report that is shared publicly, through a preprint server, before being submitted to a journal. The value and importance of preprints has grown since its contribution during the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funders and publishers are establishing their position on the use of preprints, in grant applications and publishing models. However, the evidence supporting the use and acceptability of preprints varies across funders, publishers, and researchers. The scoping review explored the current evidence on the use and acceptability of preprints in health and social care settings by publishers, funders, and the research community throughout the research lifecycle.
A scoping review was undertaken with no study or language limits. The search strategy was limited to the last five years (2017–2022) to capture changes influenced by COVID-19 (e.g., accelerated use and role of preprints in research). The review included international literature, including grey literature, and two databases were searched: Scopus and Web of Science (24 August 2022).
379 titles and abstracts and 193 full text articles were assessed for eligibility. Ninety-eight articles met eligibility criteria and were included for full extraction. For barriers and challenges, 26 statements were grouped under four main themes (e.g., volume/growth of publications, quality assurance/trustworthiness, risks associated to credibility, and validation). For benefits and value, 34 statements were grouped under six themes (e.g., openness/transparency, increased visibility/credibility, open review process, open research, democratic process/systems, increased productivity/opportunities).
Preprints provide opportunities for rapid dissemination but there is a need for clear policies and guidance from journals, publishers, and funders. Cautionary measures are needed to maintain the quality and value of preprints, paying particular attention to how findings are translated to the public. More research is needed to address some of the uncertainties addressed in this review.
“The world of scholarly publishing continues to evolve.
Generative AI is currently trending, but new technology is nothing new. Remember the Information Superhighway? Web 2.0? The iPad revolutionizing the way we consumed content? The rise of XML?
Last summer’s OSTP memo made headlines. A zero embargo on open content is a significant and potentially disruptive change. But new policies have continued to shift: Plan S, the NIH deposit mandate, China’s publishing evolution, the Wellcome Trust’s early OA policies, to name a few.
Open Access was once an unproven model that many considered unlikely to be financially viable. Born-OA publishers now account for one fifth of content produced and have been growing an order of magnitude faster than the underlying market.
The APC-based OA business model is now itself being disrupted. Big OA publishers’ growth is slowing. Transformative Agreements and their like might move OA closer to the Big Deal. New Subscribe to Open launches are increasing even as calls for more equity are making publishers rethink their APC models entirely.
Operations change too. Publishers that once outsourced and divested their production suppliers have been acquiring publishing platforms and services companies as part of their competitive strategy….
Any change has the potential to disrupt the status quo. Another key set of questions therefore falls under the “what might break” category. If a particular policy was enacted or adopted, how might the revenue or cost change? Developing our example of looking at a policy promoting “open” publishing, you might ask:
What subscriptions might be at most or least risk?
Are there multiplier effects? For example, bundles or collections of journals that might be much less attractive if just a few key journals were removed or made open.
Are we clear about the value of subscriptions and of OA activity… by journal/collection/subject?
Are there other sources of value, such as advertising or licensing? How much are they dependent on paywalls or publishing fees?
At what threshold might we need to flip a journal from hybrid OA to fully OA?
At what threshold does a subscription journal become unviable?
How do we measure thresholds: Pricing? Volumes of output? Usage?…”
“The PALOMERA Project (Policy Alignment of Open Access Monographs in the European Research Area) focuses on ensuring that academic books and monographs are not neglected in Open Science and Open Access (OA) policies. The project is conducting a survey on the needs, obstacles and challenges of policy-making for open access books. LIBER, as partners in the project, encourage library stakeholders and the wider research community to take part in the survey to help provide actionable recommendations for the development of open access book policies on the European, national and institutional level….”
“Public access to research data is critical to advancing science and solving real world problems. In recent years a number of funding agencies have required the management and broad sharing of research data and other related research outputs to accelerate the impacts of their investments. In response many academic institutions have developed and launched infrastructure to support faculty in these requirements. These services are often spread across the institution and housed in various administrative units, such as campus IT, the university libraries, and the research office, among others. Given this distributed nature, coordination of services is often informal and the true institutional cost of public access to research data is not well understood.
In 2021 the Association of Research Libraries and six academic institutions involved in the Data Curation Network (DCN) were awarded a US National Science Foundation (NSF) EAGER grant (#2135874) to conduct research, develop models, and collect costing information for public access to research data across five disciplinary areas: environmental science, materials science, psychology, biomedical sciences, and physics.
This project addresses the following research questions:
Where are funded researchers across these institutions making their data publicly accessible and what is the quality of the metadata?
How are researchers making decisions about why and how to share research data?
What is the cost to the institution to implement the federally mandated public access to research data policy?…”
Abstract: This report sets out principles, opportunities and challenges for the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for UK Research and Innovation’s open access (OA) policy. The recommended evaluation questions were identified through interviews and workshops with a range of external stakeholders and in-depth desk research investigating existing monitoring and evaluation activities. The report also provides an overview of stakeholder views about key considerations for monitoring and evaluating the policy including principles of best practice. The report annex sets out recommended approaches to answering the questions, including data sources, aggregation and analysis methodologies. UKRI will consider the outcomes and recommendations of this project in developing its final monitoring and evaluation framework.
“It may look as if full Open Access is just around the corner. But out of the four million scientific papers published each year, some 61% are still behind subscription paywalls.
Notably in the medical field, progress has been painfully slow. Only 31% of all cancer-related publications are Open Access. For cardiovascular and respiratory diseases the figures are 20% and 16% respectively. In climate change, only 40% of publications are Open Access.
I think progress has been slow because there are still some people who believe that Open Access is synonymous with those predatory journals that publish for a fee without providing peer review or editing services. There are others who deliberately keep this myth alive.
Second, many academic libraries are locked into subscription budgets and cannot afford to liberate funds for Open Access. In other words, the switch from ‘pay to read’ to ‘pay to publish’ is complex.
Third, there is much criticism across the board that the Article Processing Costs charged for publishing an Open Access paper are just too high. But this is also misguided, since for example, Gold Open Access provides much better value for money than subscriptions.
While subscriptions cost between €4,000 to €9,500 per article, the article processing cost of Open Access publishing is on average €2,500 per article, although there are exceptional cases where almost €9,000 is charged. However, it has to be acknowledged that over recent years there has been an increase in processing charges.
Fourth and perhaps most importantly, the Transformative Agreements mentioned above, have not yet delivered.
Staying the course
To make further headway, my view is that we should stay on course and adhere to the principles of PLAN S. This means being ruthless about the 2024 deadline for transformative agreements to deliver a transition to full and immediate Open Access….”
“In September 2018, a group of national research funding organizations, with the support of the European Commission, rallied behind an initiative to make research publications openly accessible to all: Plan S. These visionary organizations came together as cOAlition S, and adopted a set of 10 principles that were intended to function as a catalyst for the accelerated transition to full and immediate Open Access. For most cOAlition S members, the policies and tools that support the implementation of Plan S came into effect in 2021.
Although the full impact of these policies will still take several years to unfold, it is a good moment to reflect on what has been achieved so far. I joined cOAlition S exactly one year after its inception, as its Executive Director, and have therefore been privileged to participate in the journey that the cOAlition S community – Experts, Leaders, Ambassadors, Supporters, and Office – have undertaken, and the remarkable progress we have achieved together.
In five years, cOAlition S has grown from a dozen to a network of 28 funders. What is remarkable is that this reach extends beyond Europe, encompassing agencies from the US, Australia and South Africa. This expansion has sparked a ripple effect, with even non-cOAlition S funders developing policies that are largely aligned with Plan S. This is evident in the US with the August 2022 Nelson memo, Canada, India, Germany and elsewhere. Governments in Europe and beyond have also become more vocal about Open Access to research results, as evidenced in the European Council Conclusions and the G7 Science and Technology Ministers declaration of last May. Plan S and cOAlition S have certainly contributed to a consensus among research funding agencies worldwide that Open Access to research results is a priority that requires international alignment.
During those five years, publishers have changed tack as well. They seem to increasingly recognise that it is no longer about whether they should flip to Open Access, but how they should flip to Open Access. Some of them have made changes to their policies to comply with Plan S principles, or they are exploring new models such as Subscribe to Open, Diamond Open Access, and other non-APC models….”
“There are three specific issues that could be taken up by the G20:
Endorsement of cOAlition S: While initial efforts may have facilitated a shift towards a pay-to-publish model that does not work for most of the world, cOAlition S remains the most promising vehicle for reform and is actively exploring alternative models from emerging economies.
Championing equitable funding: There will be costs to infrastructure that is likely to be needed for research publishing reforms. This necessitates innovative and equitable funding mechanisms that ensure all researchers, irrespective of their geographical location or institutional affiliation, can publish their work Open Access.
Policy harmonization: G20 is a high-level political platform and may not be the right forum for negotiating comprehensive Open Access policies. But if the G20 nations were to endorse specific Open Access policy positions, it would provide direction for national and multilateral initiatives.
There is a window of opportunity. India, which holds the G20 presidency, is already lighting a path by putting research publishing on the agenda of several G20 engagement groups. These groups, particularly the Chief Scientific Advisers Roundtable, can seize the moment and harness the influence of the G20 to pursue effective, efficient, and equitable research publishing. They would do well to work with leaders from Brazil and South Africa, who will hold the presidency in 2024 and 2025 respectively, to ensure momentum for reform is sustained.
“Most major research funders now have policies that require research outputs acknowledging their funding to be made open access (OA). Jisc is working with publishers to offer authors compliant routes that meet a range of different funders’ requirements. We are contacting publishers that have published one or more UKRI funded research article per year on average over the past five years to ensure that all UKRI funded authors have the option to publish in their journal of choice….”
UKRI commissioned Research Consulting to undertake a project to support the development of its monitoring and evaluation framework.
“Representing the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation comprised of 13 academic libraries, we write to express our strong opposition to Section 552 of the House Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, which would block American taxpayers from immediately accessing the results of the more than $90 billion in scientific research that the US government funds each year. We urge you to remove this language from the final bill.
As representatives of libraries at institutions with high research output, we support our researchers in achieving the highest impact possible for their research results. There is a need for the United States to invest in the infrastructure that is the critical foundation for a more open system of research that will result in better, faster answers to the problems of our time.
Immediate access to this research will advance discovery, spur the economy, and accelerate innovation across the state and our nation, helping to address our shared priorities. The result will be faster progress toward curing diseases, preventing pandemics, mitigating the impacts of natural disasters, and improving public wellbeing.
The policy guidance outlined in the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s August 25, 2022, Memorandum is the culmination of many years of steady progress towards making research more openly available. It provides a much-needed update to strengthen U.S. policy that will bring our country to equal footing with governments across the world that have established strong open access policies to promote their national innovation agendas.
We hope you will remove any appropriations language that bars implementation of this important Office of Science & Technology Policy guidance that guarantees taxpayers immediate access to the results of research they fund….”
“We acknowledge the importance of working together to synergise and align our open and public access policies and programs based on best practices in cognizance with the respective national legislations and policies. Such open and public access policies should uphold respect for universal human rights, the protection of national security, and principles and rules related to academic freedom, research integrity, privacy, and protection of intellectual property rights….
We recognize the importance of evolving approaches to providing immediate and free access to appropriate publicly funded research publications. We recommend establishing interoperability standards that would allow interlinking among various national as well as international repositories to expand access to publicly funded research outputs. We recommend that such policies should align with the FAIR principles….”