Suggested changes to the Open Courts Act

“We write on behalf of a group that has extensive experience building large public sites on the Internet. The purpose of this letter is to advance action on improving public access to federal court records, which are presently offered by the government through an outdated PACER system. We have extensive experience putting large government databases on the Internet and then working with public officials to help government do this work better. Our experience includes making available federal databases such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark database, the Securities and Exchange EDGAR database, the IRS Form 990 database, 14,000 hours of Congressional video from hearings posted at the request of the Speaker of the House, and over 6,000 government videos from the U.S. National Archives posted in cooperation with the Archivist of the United States. We have extensive experience working with legal information, and operate some of the largest sites for access to federal court filings, as well as the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the regulations of all 50 states, and much more….”

Signatories publish statement on Rights Retention Strategy

“The undersigned share with cOAlition S the goal to expand Open Research and are committed to supporting cOAlition S-funded researchers through the various paths provided for Open Access. However, we are unable to support one route to compliance offered by Plan S, the “Rights Retention Strategy”, in its current form. The Rights Retention Strategy provides a challenge to the vital income that is necessary to fund the resources, time, and effort to provide not only the many checks, corrections, and editorial inputs required but also the management and support of a rigorous peer review process, a process that is of fundamental value and is essential to the verification of results.  

The Rights Retention Strategy ignores long-standing academic freedoms and will work against the shared objective of a more open and equitable scholarly ecosystem. It provides an immediate free substitute that eliminates the ability to charge for the services that publishers provide, whether via subscriptions or Article Publishing Charges. As such, the Rights Retention Strategy is not financially sustainable and undermines potential support for open access journals. Additionally, it will undermine the integrity of the Version of Record, which is the foundation of the scientific record, and its associated codified mechanisms for corrections, retractions and data disclosure. 

While many publishers, including some of the undersigned, are able to provide options that allow authors to post versions of articles to repositories with broad reuse license, to be sustainable this is a decision that needs to be applied at the level of individual journals, not through blanket policies. The signatory publishers therefore oppose the approach of the Rights Retention Strategy in its current form and urge authors to consult with their journals of choice as to what is allowed. …”

Achieving Open Access in Physics | News Releases | The Optical Society

“We as physics societies exist to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society. We recognise the important role of universal access to knowledge in achieving this goal and are therefore committed to making open access (OA) to physics research a reality. We welcome the increased policy momentum towards open science publishing but urge all stakeholders to ensure that the routes by which we achieve OA preserve the diversity, quality and financial sustainability of the peer-reviewed publishing upon which our research community depends.

Physics has long embraced open science and OA to research results. Physicists were among the first to share preprints via arXiv (1991), launch fully OA journals such as Optics Express (1997) and New Journal of Physics (1998), and implement innovative OA business models like SCOAP3 (2014). We continue to invest in launching high-quality OA journals, such as Physical Review X and Optica, and have established a range of transformative agreements1 with institutions to facilitate their transition to OA. Over the past decade, such proactive engagement has resulted in an average annual growth in OA physics articles of more than 25%, compared with an overall average annual growth in physics articles of around 2%2.

Whilst there has been considerable progress in creating fully OA physics journals, more than 85% of all physics articles continue to be published in hybrid journals3. Hybrid journals therefore still have an essential role to play in balancing the expansion of OA with preserving researchers’ freedom to publish in the most appropriate journal for their research. The ability of these journals to transition sustainably is challenged by the prospect of free and unrestricted distribution of accepted manuscripts without concomitant funding for the peer review and publication costs involved4. We are concerned that policies such as the proposed cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy would undermine the viability of high-quality hybrid journals and mean that many physics researchers no longer have an adequate range of options or freedom of choice in where they publish their work….”

Redesign open science for Asia, Africa and Latin America

“Research is relatively new in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Across these regions, young scientists are working to build practices for open science from the ground up. The aim is that scientific communities will incorporate these principles as they grow. But these communities’ needs differ from those that are part of mature research systems. So, rather than shifting and shaping established systems, scientists are endeavouring to design new ones….”

Please sign the statement: Make knowledge accessible to all. No to banning Sci-Hub and LibGen – Breakthrough Science Society

“We are shocked to learn that three academic publishers — Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) — have filed a suit in the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2020, seeking a ban on the websites Sci-Hub and LibGen which have made academic research-related information freely available to all. Academic research cannot flourish without the free flow of information between those who produce it and those who seek it, and we strongly oppose the contention of the lawsuit.

International publishers like Elsevier have created a business model where they treat knowledge created by academic research funded by taxpayers’ money as their private property. Those who produce this knowledge — the authors and reviewers of research papers — are not paid and yet these publishers make windfall profit of billions of dollars by selling subscriptions to libraries worldwide at exorbitantly inflated rates which most institutional libraries in India, and even developed countries, cannot afford. Without a subscription, a researcher has to pay between $30 and $50 to download each paper, which most individual Indian researchers cannot afford. Instead of facilitating the flow of research information, these companies are throttling it.

Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan has taken an effective and widely welcomed step by making research papers, book chapters and similar research-related information freely available through her website Sci-Hub. Libgen (Library Genesis) renders a similar service. We support their initiative which, we contend, does not violate any norm of ethics or intellectual property rights as the research papers are actually intellectual products of the authors and the institutions.

We strongly oppose any form of commoditization of research information that is a hindrance to the development of science and the humanities. In the interest of the advancement of knowledge, Sci-Hub and Libgen should be allowed to operate in India.”

Please sign the statement: Make knowledge accessible to all. No to banning Sci-Hub and LibGen – Breakthrough Science Society

“We are shocked to learn that three academic publishers — Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) — have filed a suit in the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2020, seeking a ban on the websites Sci-Hub and LibGen which have made academic research-related information freely available to all. Academic research cannot flourish without the free flow of information between those who produce it and those who seek it, and we strongly oppose the contention of the lawsuit.

International publishers like Elsevier have created a business model where they treat knowledge created by academic research funded by taxpayers’ money as their private property. Those who produce this knowledge — the authors and reviewers of research papers — are not paid and yet these publishers make windfall profit of billions of dollars by selling subscriptions to libraries worldwide at exorbitantly inflated rates which most institutional libraries in India, and even developed countries, cannot afford. Without a subscription, a researcher has to pay between $30 and $50 to download each paper, which most individual Indian researchers cannot afford. Instead of facilitating the flow of research information, these companies are throttling it.

Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan has taken an effective and widely welcomed step by making research papers, book chapters and similar research-related information freely available through her website Sci-Hub. Libgen (Library Genesis) renders a similar service. We support their initiative which, we contend, does not violate any norm of ethics or intellectual property rights as the research papers are actually intellectual products of the authors and the institutions.

We strongly oppose any form of commoditization of research information that is a hindrance to the development of science and the humanities. In the interest of the advancement of knowledge, Sci-Hub and Libgen should be allowed to operate in India.”

#ASAPpdb: Structural biologists commit to releasing data with preprints – ASAPbio

“The Protein Data Bank (PDB) was established as the first open access repository for biological data, and the datasets it hosts have been invaluable to research in fundamental biology and the understanding of health and disease. Just this month, we witnessed the announcement of the AlphaFold2 results toward structure prediction, made possible thanks to the more than 170,000 freely accessible structures in the PDB which provided “training data” for the structure prediction software.

It was not always the case that such structural biology data were freely available, even upon journal publication. From the founding of the PDB in 1971 until the late 1980s, most journals did not require deposition of structures in a public database. A key moment was a petition, circulated in 1987 by a group of leading structural biologists, demanding that the data created be made openly available upon journal publication. This petition led to major journals adopting data deposition standards. In the early 1990s, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) imposed similar requirements on all grantees. 

The revolution in publishing made possible by preprints calls for a re-evaluation of data disclosure practices in structural biology. While journal review processes take weeks, months, or even years, preprints allow researchers to rapidly communicate their findings to the community. However, withholding access to PDB files that accompany preprints inhibits the progress towards scientific discovery which preprints can enable. 

Commitment

We pledge to publicly release our PDB files (and associated structure factor, restraint, and map files) with deposition of our preprints.

We encourage all structural biologists to also deposit raw data in appropriate resources (e.g. EMPIAR, proteindiffraction.org, https://data.sbgrid.org/, etc). …”

Free the California Jury Instructions: Call for Legal Practitioner, Law Professor and Law Librarian Support for a California Rule Change Proposal

“We at the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law are representing Public.Resource.Org in a petition to the Judicial Council of California to clarify that California’s jury instructions are in the public domain and free for public use. We’re requesting support for the petition from legal practitioners, law professors and law librarians. Please consider signing the statement below; thank you!

Your name, title, and institutional affiliation will accompany the below statement as a signatory. Your affiliation is for identification purposes only; we will make clear that it does not imply endorsement by your firm, law school, or other institution….”

DECLARATION TO IMPROVE BIOMEDICAL & HEALTH RESEARCH

“We are an international group of researchers and patients who believe that:

it is ethically untenable to remain complicit in the crises that undermine science,

there are simple measures which can improve the quality and openness, and

the public and patients have a right to full access of the research they fund….”

Open Letter to the American Society of Criminology Concerning Access to Its Journals: Make It Legal for Authors to Immediately, Publicly Share the Accepted Version of Their Manuscripts · Criminology Open

“We are writing with respect to the American Society of Criminology’s journals, Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Criminology & Public Policy.undefined Their self-archiving policy prohibits authors from sharing the accepted version of their manuscripts, or “postprints,”undefined for a period of 24 months on all publicly accessible websites.

This policy is in conflict with the Society’s Purpose & Objective and Code of Ethics. It directly opposes free and open access to knowledge; hinders the study of crime and social control; impedes exchange and cooperation among stakeholders; shrinks the forum for disseminating criminological knowledge; thwarts public discourse on findings and dissemination of them; and, forbids a key countermeasure to social injustice. 

Therefore, we ask the Society to revise the journals’ self-archiving policy. It should be legal for their authors to immediately share their postprints on any website….” 

500 signatures collected and no sign of slowing down.. – Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market

“We have now collected and published 500 signatures to the open letter. This is a phenomenal result given this is only the first “working” day of the campaign. To quote one respondent “This evidences the current impasse with ebook acquisition in HE libraries. Review and culture shift is definitely required to drive change”

We all want to support our students as best we can. It is unacceptable and distressing that we cannot even provide the basics to our students due to the over-commodification of information and gross profiteering….”

Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market – Academic publishing practices are making ebooks unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible to university libraries. We call for urgent regulation of the market

“The letter below calls on the UK Government to investigate the practices of the academic ebook publishing industry. Ebooks are becoming increasingly unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible for academic libraries to purchase. Urgent action is needed now. Please read and consider adding your signature via this link . Read more about the campaign here….

GitHub – FreeOurKnowledge/community: Place to discuss Project Free Our Knowledge (including campaign proposals, posted as separate Issues) and store project documents

“Academia functions like a ‘tragedy of the commons dilemma’ (or collective action problem) — the widespread adoption of open science practices could benefit everyone in the research community, but their adoption is impeded by incentive structures that reward sub-optimal research and publication practices at the individual level. Our platform functions much like Kickstarter, but for cultural change rather than products. Any researcher can propose a campaign calling for their peers to adopt a particular behaviour if and when there is a critical mass of support in their community to do so. Pledges remain inactive and anonymised until this time, allowing vulnerable individuals to signal their desire for positive culture change without risking their career in the process. Then — after the critical mass is met — all signatories are de-anonymised on the website and directed to carry out the action together, thus creating momentum for change and protecting one another’s interests through collective action. We envisage that over time, these campaigns will grow increasingly larger in size and scope, and eventually become a powerful driving force in aligning the academic system with the needs of research community and principles of science itself….”

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto

“We are supposed to learn from history, yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon? History books use photos to help us relate to narratives and see a shared reality. But how can we look through our own communities’ photographic heritage, share it with each other and use it for research and education?

Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical materials. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but ensuring the conditions and freedom to live.

Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.

The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it….”

The Open Covid Pledge: lifting the lid | Association for Learning Technology

“Since we launched the Open Covid Pledge for Education, more than 100 open educators and more than 40 organisations have pledged to share their knowledge to support the educational response to COVID-19.

It’s a wonderful expression of solidarity in the face of enormous challenges. But what does an open pledge really mean, and what could it achieve? …”