From library budget to information budget: fostering transparency in the transformation towards open access

The discussion on the transformation of scholarly journals to open access (OA) increasingly concerns financial aspects. Considering the variety of funding strategies for article processing charge (APCs), the array of cost types for scientific information and the need for data monitoring to promote cost transparency, an integrated view of the financial dimension of the OA transition is needed. This commentary describes the need for implementing an information budget that looks beyond just the library budget and comprehensively targets all financial flows from universities and other research performing organizations to publishers. An information budget promotes an integrated perspective on the distributed costs at a given institution. This centralized approach of assessing financial flows can be used to strengthen the position of research institutions when negotiating with publishers.

From library budget to information budget: fostering transparency in the transformation towards open access

The discussion on the transformation of scholarly journals to open access (OA) increasingly concerns financial aspects. Considering the variety of funding strategies for article processing charge (APCs), the array of cost types for scientific information and the need for data monitoring to promote cost transparency, an integrated view of the financial dimension of the OA transition is needed. This commentary describes the need for implementing an information budget that looks beyond just the library budget and comprehensively targets all financial flows from universities and other research performing organizations to publishers. An information budget promotes an integrated perspective on the distributed costs at a given institution. This centralized approach of assessing financial flows can be used to strengthen the position of research institutions when negotiating with publishers.

India and a historical perspective of open access | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The environments of the library under open access (OA) are distinctively found as less expensive which ultimately reciprocates better services and technological support for the users as well. Focussing on the Librarians’ perspective, the purpose of the study is to highlight and establish a balance between the vision of OA initiatives and the support of Librarians in India. The principal and philosophy of the study are based upon the exploration of open source initiatives and their significance among the Library & Information Science community.

Design/methodology/approach

The study reflects the historical perspective of OA in India and around the world. The study further focusses on how the OA movement has taken a leap in adaptability by the librarians on the basis of acceptance model given. Considering the reviews of the librarians, the study reflects the librarians support OA initiatives in India. OA is a “provocation to thought”, it is a “social contract”.

Findings

Exploring beyond the researchers have come across that OA is a belief where knowledge evolves best when shared. Based on the acceptance the study given significant. It describes the librarian’s attitude while embracing the OA model with an increased acceptance towards OA, which supports in building Institutional Repositories and broadening the research horizons based on budgetary implications. The librarians and libraries adopt and work to build up a resilient model for OA to bring out awareness among the users.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of the study is limited to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The focus of the study is purposely laid down on the three given states of India keeping in mind Delhi being a capital city of India, Uttar Pradesh being the largest state of India (area wise) and Haryana state, which opened up multiple educational opportunities for the students and researchers Rajiv Gandhi Educational city plans to host many educational institutions including medical and engineering institutions.

Practical implications

The study describes the librarian’s attitude while embracing the OA model with an increased acceptance towards the OA, which supports in building Institutional Repositories and broadening the research horizons based on budgetary implications. The librarians and libraries adopt and work to build up a resilient model for OA to bring out awareness among the users.

Social implications

The present study brings out the need of different policies and mandates by Government of India for OA along with University Grants Commission, National Knowledge Commission and Research Organisation to promote the culture of OA. The study further recommends that LIS communities come together and build the learning culture to promote limitless sharing of information and knowledge for scholarly society.

Originality/value

This research work aims to make a difference in highlighting the librarians’ support on OA initiatives in India due to the role of librarians on transitional point. Dissemination and management of information using digital technology during pandemic have had a significant impact on divided environment. With this paradigm shift, the world struggles with the pandemic. The librarians try to keep themselves in pace by embracing the technology and LIS professionals do adopt the radical reventure the info technology.

Full article: The Buyback Dilemma: How We Developed a Principle-Based, Data-Driven Approach to Unbundling Big Deals

Abstract:  [University of Saskatchewan] is a publicly funded, medium-sized research intensive medical doctoral university in Canada. Like other academic libraries, we have been coping with the rising costs of Big Deal journal packages in the context of shrinking budgets and variable currency fluctuation between the Canadian and American Dollar. When faced with a need to cancel two Big Deal packages in order to balance our budget, we undertook a data-driven, principles-based approach. We discuss the context at [University of Saskatchewan], and the principles and steps we used to successfully determine which packages to cancel, and how to determine titles for re-subscription within a limited budget. We discuss how we compiled and used data that addresses scholarly (citation), pedagogical (downloads), and reputational (survey responses) concerns, and share the formula we developed. We also share some lessons learned and recommendations and ideas for future Big Deal assessment.

 

Library funding for open access at KU Leuven

Abstract:  As main buyers of scholarly literature, research libraries have always provided essential economic support for sustaining the market of academic publishing. With the switch to open access (OA), libraries are now faced with transitioning this support from the demand (subscriptions) to the supply (publications) side. The way in which this is currently done, in general, risks strengthening the preponderance of the for-profit approach to scholarly communication. We therefore believe that it is essential to apply library budgets to foster a greater diversity. That is exactly the purpose of the Fund for Fair Open Access, set up by KU Leuven Libraries in 2018, which is exclusively devoted to stimulating the development of non-profit and community-led initiatives. This is achieved by library memberships to sustain open scholarship infrastructure, by supporting diamond OA programmes and by subsidizing OA books published by Leuven University Press. In this article, we will demonstrate the accomplished successes of the fund and share some insights we have gathered along the way, such as our decision to cease financing article processing charges, even in a Fair OA business model.

 

Library Funding for Open Access at KU Leuven

As main buyers of scholarly literature, research libraries have always provided essential economic support for sustaining the market of academic publishing. With the switch to open access (OA), libraries are now faced with transitioning this support from the demand (subscriptions) to the supply (publications) side. The way in which this is currently done, in general, risks strengthening the preponderance of the for-profit approach to scholarly communication. We therefore believe that it is essential to apply library budgets to foster a greater diversity. That is exactly the purpose of the Fund for Fair Open Access, set up by KU Leuven Libraries in 2018, which is exclusively devoted to stimulating the development of non-profit and community-led initiatives. This is achieved by library memberships to sustain open scholarship infrastructure, by supporting diamond OA programmes and by subsidizing OA books published by Leuven University Press. In this article, we will demonstrate the accomplished successes of the fund and share some insights we have gathered along the way, such as our decision to cease financing article processing charges, even in a Fair OA business model.

Thinking politically about scholarly infrastructure: Commit the publishers to 2.5% | Boston | College & Research Libraries News

Boston, A. (2021). Thinking politically about scholarly infrastructure: Commit the publishers to 2.5%. College & Research Libraries News, 82(6), 265. doi:https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.82.6.265

Abstract

Maybe it’s unsurprising that I think about scholarly communication in terms similar to U.S. politics. I originally drafted this article for the Library Publishing Coalition blog before the 2020 election and revised it for C&RL News during the weirdly long interregnum period before the actual inauguration. The 2016 Republican National Committee was the backdrop to my becoming a scholarly communication librarian in February of that year. That’s also when I joined Twitter, to better follow politics and librarianship, and maybe that’s to blame.

“STEM Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) Tool Overlap Analysis” by Joshua Borycz, Alexander J. Carroll et al.

Abstract:  Objectives: Compare journal coverage of abstract and indexing tools commonly used within academic science and engineering research.

Methods: Title lists of Compendex, Inspec, Reaxys, SciFinder, and Web of Science were provided by their respective publishers. These lists were imported into Excel and the overlap of the ISSN/EISSNs and journal titles was determined using the VLOOKUP command, which determines if the value in one cell can be found in a column of other cells.

Results: There is substantial overlap between the Web of Science’s Science Citation Index Expanded and the Emerging Sources Citation Index, the largest database with 17,014 titles, and Compendex (63.6%), Inspec (71.0%), Reaxys (67.0%), and SciFinder (75.8%). SciFinder also overlaps heavily with Reaxys (75.9%). Web of Science and Compendex combined contain 77.6% of the titles within Inspec.

Conclusion: Flat or decreasing library budgets combined with increasing journal prices result in an unsustainable system that will require a calculated allocation of resources at many institutions. The overlap of commonly indexed journals among abstracting and indexing tools could serve as one way to determine how these resources should be allocated.

The New Abnormal: Periodicals Price Survey 2021 | Library Journal

“A large number of public and academic libraries are also looking at moderate to severe budget contractions due to unplanned COVID-related expenses, declines in tuition dollars, and/or local and state funding cuts. Many institutions are seeing or planning for permanent cuts between 9 and 13 percent to their base budget, a key difference from temporary cuts made after the Great Recession. Public libraries may fare better than academics: in an LJ survey of 223 public libraries across the United States, 84 percent reported an increase in FY21 total operating budgets for a rise of 2.9 percent. (See “The Price of a Pandemic.”) This was more modest than last year’s 3.5 percent increase, but represents continued, if uneven, gains….

Transformative agreements will make more content openly available, but they won’t pump any more money into library budgets or promise to make scholarly communications more sustainable. In the absence of national or statewide plans for funding OA (California being the notable exception), it’s difficult to see most “publish” universities in the United States agreeing to shoulder the costs of transformative agreements to make content open for all to read, particularly when faced with permanent budget cuts….

For the first time in a decade, libraries can anticipate subscription price increases of less than 6 percent: 3-4 percent is predicted for 2022. If a local serial portfolio skews toward large publishers, then the increase will be toward the 4 percent level. But with most institutions preparing for further collection cuts, even such a modest increase is not sustainable. Supported by faculty and emboldened by seeing the goals of Plan S and OA2020 start to come to fruition, libraries will be likely more prepared than ever to walk away from the table. Publishers will need to sharpen their pencils….

Although there were increases in the metrics for Impact Factor and Eigenfactor, the increases were not comparable to the increase in price. The average price ($6,637) for the most expensive journals was 18 times higher than the least expensive ($338), while the Impact Factor slightly more than doubled. The price increases for the more moderately priced titles were also lower than the more expensive titles, which showed close to a 4 percent increase. This analysis continues to show that higher priced titles do have higher Impact Factors and Eigenfactors, but the increase in the metrics is small when compared with the huge increase in costs….”

Repurposing Subscription Dollars for Open Access Investments: OACIP Pilot Opportunities

“If you are like many libraries, consortia, and academic units, you are interested in supporting open access publishing. You may be looking for ways to repurpose your subscription publishing dollars, but struggling with the administrative burden of evaluating how and where to reinvest precious funds.

 

In December 2020, we launched the Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP), a community-funded open access publishing project. OACIP’s goal is to help match libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with non-profit publishers and journal editorial boards that are seeking financial investments to sustain or transition to open access publishing of journals or books.

Do you want to get started in evaluating OA investment opportunities? The OACIP pilot phase has launched with crowd-sourced investment opportunities for two journals. We invite you to learn more about OACIP’s criteria-driven funding approach and determine if investing in these two journals is right for you. We are hosting a webinar about the OACIP pilot premised on engaging discussion with the editorial boards and publishers of the participating journals….”

Repurposing Subscription Dollars for Open Access Investments: OACIP Pilot Opportunities

“If you are like many libraries, consortia, and academic units, you are interested in supporting open access publishing. You may be looking for ways to repurpose your subscription publishing dollars, but struggling with the administrative burden of evaluating how and where to reinvest precious funds.

 

In December 2020, we launched the Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP), a community-funded open access publishing project. OACIP’s goal is to help match libraries, consortia, and other prospective scholarly publishing funders with non-profit publishers and journal editorial boards that are seeking financial investments to sustain or transition to open access publishing of journals or books.

Do you want to get started in evaluating OA investment opportunities? The OACIP pilot phase has launched with crowd-sourced investment opportunities for two journals. We invite you to learn more about OACIP’s criteria-driven funding approach and determine if investing in these two journals is right for you. We are hosting a webinar about the OACIP pilot premised on engaging discussion with the editorial boards and publishers of the participating journals….”

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….”

With 50% Cut, Virginia Research Libraries Recalibrate Relationship with Elsevier – SPARC

“Equity, affordability, and accessibility were at the center of the recent decision by the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) consortium to cut their spend with Elsevier nearly in half while maintaining access to their most frequently used materials.

The decision by six members of VRL (William & Mary, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and James Madison University) was grounded in a values-driven negotiation process that relied on data to make the case to move away from Elsevier’s “Big Deal” Freedom Collection. The new one-year agreement with Elsevier for 2021 significantly reduced the overall spend for each campus and allowed for a collection tailored to include each institution’s most used materials….”

Gold Open Access Mandates May Be Associated with Publisher Revenue Losses and Library Cost Increases | Open Research Community

A recent analysis outlining alternative scenarios for the publishing market development in the United Kingdom (UK) suggests a strong likelihood of lose-lose outcomes for publishers and universities for mandate-driven transitions to Open Access.