Open access: 54% of Victoria University research articles were open | Mirage News

“An analysis of journal articles published by Victoria University (VU) researchers in 2019 indicates that over half of the journal articles published were freely accessible.

Based on a methodology developed by New Zealand researchers to determine how many published journal articles were free-to-access, an analysis of journal articles published by VU researchers in 2019 indicates that 54% of VU research articles were open.

VU had a higher percentage of open access articles compared to the percentage recorded for all New Zealand universities where 41% of journal articles were open access.

While the VU figure is a pleasing result, the percentage could have been even higher. Nearly all the remaining closed articles published in 2019 had the potential to be open if the author accepted manuscripts were added to the VU Research Repository (VURR)….”

From principles to practices: Open Science at Europe’s universities: 2020-2021 EUA Open Science Survey results

“KEY RESULTS: • Open Science principles: over half (59%) of the surveyed institutions rated Open Science’s strategic importance as very high or high. Open Access to research publications was considered to be highly important for 90% of institutions, but only 60% considered its implementation level to be high. However, the gap between importance and implementation is much wider in data-related areas (RDM, FAIR and data sharing): high importance at between 55-70% of the institutions surveyed, with high levels of implementation at 15-25%. • Open Science policies: 54% of institutions have an Open Science policy and 37% are developing one. Only 9% of surveyed institutions lack an Open Science policy or are not planning to draft one. • Monitoring Open Access to research publications: 80% of institutions monitored the number of publications in their repository and 70% monitored articles published by their researchers in Open Access journals. In addition, almost 60% reported monitoring the cost of publications by their researchers in Open Access journals. • Infrastructure for Open Access to research publications: 90% of the institutions surveyed have their own repository, participate in a shared repository or both. For journal hosting or publishing platforms this figure reaches 66%, and levels out at 57% for monograph hosting/publishing. In addition, 66% of those surveyed reported that their institution has participated in or supported non-commercial Open Access publishing. Data-related skills: over 50% of the surveyed institutions reported that research data skills were only partially available. Moreover, all of the institutions that indicated the absence or partial availability of data skills, considered that more of these skills are needed at institutional level. • Emerging areas of Open Science: Approximately 50% of the respondents know of citizen science and open education activities at their institutions. • Open Science in academic assessment: In 34% of institutions, none of the Open Science elements examined by the survey were included in academic assessments. Amongst the institutions that included Open Science activities in their academic assessments, 77% took into consideration article deposition in a repository. …”

ERA Portal Austria – EUA presents report on Open Science survey at European universities

The European University Association (EUA) has recently published a report presenting the findings of the 2020-2021 EUA Open Science Survey and providing evidence-based recommendations for institutions, researchers, research funders and policy makers on the transition towards Open Science.

Collister | From “Patchy Endorsements” to Intentional Advocacy: Deconstructing Bias in the Language of Open Access | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  This paper argues that linguistic features common in discourse around Open Access Publishing are socially constructed in ways that lend themselves to implicit bias against the Open Access (OA) movement. These biases materialize through common linguistic practices such as de-centering OA and highlighting the uncertainty of OA Publishing, resulting in “patchy endorsements” of the status quo of Subscription Publishing. Following previous research that demonstrates how educational content on OA can lead to cognitive load and biases that reinforce the status quo in scholarly publishing, we analyze publicly available, online content from our own institutions with an eye towards how these biases manifest specifically in the practice of librarianship. Using examples from this analysis, we suggest strategies and intentional language that can be used by librarians and other OA advocates to counteract bias and shift towards a construction of OA Publishing as the status quo. While many strategies and difficult negotiations are needed to functionally establish OA as the default in scholarly publishing, language choice is a device through which advocates at any level can advance towards an open-centered culture.


Bond | Faculty Survey on OER: Perceptions, Behaviors, and Implications for Library Practice | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The Mary Couts Burnett Library at Texas Christian University (TCU) seeks to learn more about university faculty members’ perceptions and behaviors related to open educational resources (OER), and to identify one or more initiatives to increase adoption of OER at the university. METHODS The researchers sent a survey to all university faculty using Qualtrics™, and 104 persons responded. The survey used a combination of multiple-choice and free-text questions, and covered OER adoption and creation by faculty members, their perceptions of OER, and recommendations related to possible initiatives to increase OER interest. RESULTS Among respondents, almost half used OER either currently or in the past, while a fifth created their own OER. When comparing OER to traditional textbooks in terms of being scholarly, the majority indicated that OER and traditional textbooks were about the same level, but a quarter of faculty indicated that traditional textbooks were more scholarly. When asked about initiatives the library could pursue to increase faculty OER creation, the leading responses included financial support of faculty using OER, along with training opportunities. DISCUSSION The researchers were pleased to see that many faculty have used OER either currently or in the past, and that many had positive views surrounding OER. The researchers now have data that support the establishment of OER initiatives. CONCLUSION The survey informs the TCU Library and academic libraries in general. Two initiatives that libraries should consider are establishing an OER training program for faculty and developing a grant program to support faculty members who are adopting or creating OER. Libraries should collaborate with other units on campus such as the center for teaching excellence or the faculty senate.


Kakai | An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.


Open Science and the UNESCO initiative – opportunity to republish ISC statement – International Science Council

In this statement made by the ISC delegation to the UNESCO Special Committee meeting on Open Science, 6-12 May 2021, the delegation explores how the recommendation and potential cascading interventions by Member States could develop along two divergent pathways

ERAC Guideline Paper ‘Research evaluation in a context of Open Science and gender equality’

The European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) “triangle task force” has recently published the guideline paper “Research evaluation in a context of Open Science and gender equality”. The ERAC “triangle task force” combines combines forces of the ERAC group on open science, gender and human resources. This report provides stakeholders involved in research evaluation reforms with a set of guidelines that aim at fostering both Open Science and gender equality. Both topics are key dimensions in the implementation of a new European Research Area and provide policy and decision makers, funders as well as researchers with a unique opportunity to substantially renegotiate, through evaluation, the social roles and responsibilities of publicly funded research, as well as to rethink the science system as a whole.

EIFL agreements result in increased OA publishing | EIFL

“The EIFL Licensing Programme has been negotiating open access agreements with publishers since 2016. These include waived and discounted Article Processing Charges (APCs), as well as free and discounted read & publish terms, and aim to increase the amount of open access publishing output. We currently have 11 agreements with publishers, six of which were signed in 2020. 

Many publishers have APC waiver and discount schemes for authors from developing and transition economy countries. However, publishers’ eligibility criteria can change unexpectedly; hybrid journals are usually excluded, and many researchers are not aware of these schemes as they are not always well publicized….”

Study of the Nordic SSH Journal Publishing Landscape

“The results of the bibliometric study reveal that the landscape of Nordic journals in SSH is diverse, with strong presence of both professional publishers and universities publishing journals. 75% of the journals publish all their content open access (OA) immediately, with a further 4% doing so after a delay. The open source editorial management software Open Journal Systems (OJS) was being used by at least 42% of the journals. Though the web survey only received a limited number of responses it provides indication that many journals function with sparse resources, rely on volunteer work to a high degree, and would like to see long-term funding opportunities for journals to develop….

The Nordic journal publishing space is very much in a state of change, driven both by the Nordic countries having national OA policies but also factors that relate to consolidation that has been happening in the broader international journal publishing space as well as technology maturity of open source software to support modern journal functions. A large proportion of Nordic SSH journals are run with low direct monetary funding, relying heavily on volunteer effort and in-kind support from universities, making their operations sensitive to even small changes in editorial membership or organizational support…. 

There has been a distinct movement towards collaborating with international commercial publishers among journals that reach outside of national scope, a change that often is accompanied by a name change and English-only publishing. Such journals are also often subscription-based while the rest of Nordic journals are more commonly OA. However, there is also another movement where universities and national journal portals publish journals on modern OJS-driven platforms and in such cases retain multilingualism in content. It would be important to align funding opportunities with this trend, allowing for cost-efficient OA journals to reach higher levels of operational and financial stability without necessarily involving a professional publisher…”

Public access to protocols of contemporary cancer randomized clinical trials | Trials | Full Text

Abstract:  Access to randomized clinical trial (RCT) protocols is necessary for the interpretation and reproducibility of the study results, but protocol availability has been lacking. We determined the prevalence of protocol availability for all published cancer RCTs in January 2020. We found that only 36.1% (48/133) of RCTs had an accessible protocol and only 11.3% of RCTs (15/133) had a publicly accessible protocol that was not behind a paywall. Only 18.0% (24/133) of RCTs were published in conjunction with the protocol on the journal website. In conclusion, few cancer RCTs have an accessible research protocol. Journals should require publication of RCT protocols along with manuscripts to improve research transparency.


A Strengths-Based Approach to Evaluation and Transformational Change in Publishing | Educopia Institute

“When Katherine Skinner and I published the Values and Principles Framework and Checklist last year, we introduced them as mechanisms to hold actors in the scholarly communication system accountable to their stakeholders and demonstrate their commitment to openness in concrete and documentable ways. We conceived the framework and checklist as living, iterative, and adaptable documents. Our first major revision, to be released this fall, reflects a deliberate shift to a strengths-based model of evaluation and change….

The revised framework will include resources that help organizations demonstrate their signature contributions to a more open, equitable, and productive scholarly communication ecosystem and that help them build towards their ideals….”

The Sustainability Argument for Open Science

Abstract:  Ever-increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions narrow the timeframe for humanity to mitigate the climate crisis. Scientific research activities are resource demanding and, consequently, contribute to climate change; at the same time, scientists have a central role in advancing knowledge, also on climate-related topics. In this opinion piece, we discuss (1) how open science – adopted on an individual as well as on a systemic level – can contribute to making research more environmentally friendly, and (2) how open science practices can make research activities more efficient and thereby foster scientific progress and solutions to the climate crises. While many building blocks are already at hand, systemic changes are necessary in order to create academic environments that support open science practices and encourage scientists from all fields to become more carbon-conscious, ultimately contributing to a sustainable future.

Negotiating Open Access Journal Agreements: An Academic Library Case Study | Hosoi | Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice

Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for academic libraries to advance open access (OA) to scholarly articles. Awareness among faculty on the importance of OA has increased significantly during the pandemic, as colleges and universities struggle financially and seek sustainable access to high-quality scholarly journals. Consortia have played an important role in establishing negotiation principles on OA journal agreements. While the number of OA agreements is increasing, case studies involving individual libraries are still limited. This paper reviews existing literature on publisher negotiation principles related to OA journal negotiations and reflects on recent cases at an academic library in Pennsylvania, in order to identify best practices in OA journal negotiations. It provides recommendations on roles, relationships, and processes, as well as essential terms of OA journal agreements. This study’s findings are most relevant to large academic libraries that are interested in negotiating with scholarly journal publishers independently or through consortia.