Public access policy in the United States: Impact of the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable – Plutchak – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

The Scholarly Publishing Roundtable was formed in 2009 at the request of a US Congressional Committee to develop recommendations for public access policy.
Published in January 2010, the Roundtable’s recommendations had a significant impact on the guidelines for federal funding agencies issued in 2013.
The Roundtable was unique in bringing together individuals holding divergent views about open access policy.
The success of the Roundtable may provide important lessons for policymakers in addressing open access issues….”

Evaluating research assessment | Jisc

“A large-scale review, commissioned by Research England on behalf of the four higher education funding bodies and published by RAND Europe, collected attitudes to the REF in real time as UK institutions prepared their submissions. It gathered views via a survey (with 3,000+ researcher responses), as well as focus groups and one-to-one interviews with researchers, research managers, and institutional leads.

The review also considered the impact of changes made to the REF since the previous exercise in 2014….”

Gearing Up for 2023 Part II: Implementing the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy – NIH Extramural Nexus

“NIH has a long history of developing consent language and, as such, our team worked across the agency – and with you! – to develop a new resource that shares best practices for developing informed consents to facilitate data/biospecimen storage and sharing for future use.  It also provides modifiable sample language that investigators and IRBs can use to assist in the clear communication of potential risks and benefits associated with data/biospecimen storage and sharing.  In developing this resource, we engaged with key federal partners, as well as scientific societies and associations.  Importantly, we also considered the 102 comments from stakeholders in response to a RFI that we issued in 2021.

As for our second resource, we are requesting public comment on protecting the privacy of research participants when data is shared. I think I need to be upfront and acknowledge that we have issued many of these types of requests over the last several months and NIH understands the effort that folks take to thoughtfully respond.  With that said, we think the research community will greatly benefit from this resource and we want to hear your thoughts on whether it hits the mark or needs adjustment….”

SocArXiv Papers | Targeted, actionable and fair: reviewer reports as feedback and its effect on ECR career choices

Abstract:  Previous studies of the use of peer review for the allocation of competitive funding agencies have concentrated on questions of efficiency and how to make the ‘best’ decision, by ensuring that successful applicants are also the more productive or visible in the long term. This paper examines the function of peer review by examining how it can be used as a participatory research governance tool by focusing on the function feedback plays in assisting in the development of ECR applicants. Using a combination of survey, interviews and linguistic-based coding of reviewer reports, this study explores how reviewer reports provided to unsuccessful applicants as an artefact of the peer-review decision making process, can be considered as a method of feedback. Specifically, it examines which components of this feedback underpinned their decisions to re-submit their grant applications following first-failure; change their research topics or withdraw from academia entirely. Peer review feedback, we argue, sends signals to applicants to encourage them to persist (continue) or switch (not continue) even when the initial application has failed. The results lead to identification of standards of feedback for funding agencies and peer-reviewers to promote when providing reviewer feedback to applicants as part of their peer review process. The results also highlight a function of peer review overlooked by current research which is not concentrated solely on the development of an outcome, to one that can be used effectively to support the development of individuals and their future research plans.

 

Dismantling the ivory tower’s knowledge boundaries

“The major shift to open access during the pandemic began with the Free Read initiative, which launched the petition “

Unlock Coronavirus Research” for scientists in early February of 2020 and to which highly reputable medical publishers quickly responded. Before the pandemic, up to 75 percent of scholarly publications were behind a paywall. By comparison, a preliminary study of over 5,600 articles on PubMed suggests that more than 95 percent of scholarly articles related to COVID-19 are now freely available. This increase in accessibility resulted from the rapid adaptation by biomedical journals and publishers, including Elsevier, Springer Nature, Cell Press, New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. These journals and publishers granted open access to research on COVID-19 research, often making it 

immediately accessible on the platform PubMed Central and similar public repositories. Free and open access to COVID-19 research quickly became the new normal for biomedicine, with available findings directly impacting the development of treatment protocols and vaccines. Yet the pandemic became more than a health crisis. Understanding the social, psychological, and economic implications of the pandemic were imperative to its continued management.

Social science research, which delivers insights into human behaviors, relationships, and institutions, was instrumental to policymaking and healthcare solution development during the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of social science research to pandemic management was demonstrated by the 

shift in the topic of COVID-19 papers, from the initial focus on disease modeling, hospital mortality, diagnostics, and testing to an increasing focus on topics such as business closure, remote work, geographic mobility and migration, inequality, managerial decision-making, as well as accelerating innovation. Once the basic science on the virus were established, research on creating societal and economic resilience played an even larger role for beating the COVID-19 pandemic. One clear area that demonstrated the importance of social science research in informing COVID-19 management was the rollout of vaccines. Psychological, marketing, and information systems research played a central role in vaccine uptake across communities. A recent report by the National Institutes of Health called for the use of evidence-based strategies, such as 

behavioral nudges and strategic social norms, to increase vaccine uptake….”

 

 

Guest Post – Open Access in Japan: Tapping the Stone Bridge – The Scholarly Kitchen

“April Fool’s Day is not really a thing in Japan, so whereas many companies in the West tend to avoid the first of the month when making important announcements, it is in no way unusual that the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the nation’s second-largest public-sector research funder chose April 1st, 2022 to unveil its revised open access policy and implementation guidelines with a typical lack of fanfare outside of its home country….

Such a comparatively low-key approach is in line with past precedent as Japanese funding bodies such as JST, have typically opted for a light-touch and iterative approach to open access policies – which for the most part have been developed in consultation with publishers – in contrast to counterparts in other countries that have put forward more radical and headline-generating open access initiatives such as the US OSTP “Holdren Memo”, Plan S, and UKRI’s open access policy announced in mid-2021. Previous versions of the JST open access policy issued in 2013 and 2017 went little remarked upon in many open science circles and were notable for their conciliatory approach, in contrast to the openly-stated ambition to disrupt and reform the world of scholarly publishing of many other funders. Following this consultative tradition, the current policy was circulated in draft form to publisher members of CHORUS, of which JST is a participating funder, for comment prior to publication….

The most noticeable difference between the new policy and previous iterations is the introduction of an embargo period which stipulates that at minimum the Accepted Manuscript (AM) of any paper arising from a project submitted for funding to JST after the go-live date of April 1, 2022, must be made publicly accessible in an institutional or public repository in Japan within 12 months of publication of the resultant journal article. Whilst cautious by European standards, this is the first time that an embargo of any type has been included in the JST policy. In addition to AMs of research articles, the policy covers those of review articles and conference papers. While the revised policy signals a preference for the green route and does not mandate that the VoR be made available open access, publication as an open access article is a “permitted” route and under the new policy, APCs are fully reimbursable from grant money….

Furthermore, it is notable that both the policy and its implementation guidelines are silent on the twin subjects of transformative journals and transformative agreements. …

Advocates of faster and more radical transformation will probably lament the lack of clarity or silence on certain issues – such as a ban on publishing in hybrid journals and gaps around CC BY licensing for the AM – that have become totemic in many open access circles and offer a more lukewarm response. Those in the latter group may find some consolation in the knowledge that in Japan, caution does not necessarily indicate disapproval and is often regarded as a virtue, encapsulated in the phrase: ???????? (Ishibashi wo tataite wataru) “to tap on a stone bridge before crossing.” Cautious progress may initially be slower than those who rush headlong, but caution helps avoids missteps. And you’re still going across the bridge.”

 

RE: Copyright Concerns With Public Access Language in U.S. Innovation and Competition Act – Section 2527(b)

“We write to express our serious concerns about Section 2527(b) of the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (“USICA,” S. 1260). Instead of supporting American innovation and competitiveness, this provision—which addresses public access requirements for certain copyrighted works that discuss federally funded research—would undermine copyright protection and weaken American intellectual property exports, ultimately impeding the commercialization of research and stifling American competitiveness. We understand that this language remained in the Senate-passed USICA last year largely because of procedural challenges with amending the bill following its introduction. We were grateful that this language was not included in the House’s America COMPETES Act 2022 (“COMPETES,” H.R. 4521), and we urge you to ensure that Section 2527(b) of USICA is not included in the final legislation following a conference on these two bills….”

Guest Post: Open Access and the Direction Moving Forward – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Perhaps in recognition of this state of play, the BOIA Steering Committee used their recent 20th Anniversary Recommendations to help clarify the goal of open, stating that “OA is not an end in itself, but a means to other ends, above all,” the document continues, “to the equity, quality, usability, and sustainability of research.” …

After six years of thinking about scholarly communication, I’ve come to think about what needs to happen to improve this system in ways that I believe are compatible with the high-level summary recommendations of BOAI20. What I believe is that:

 

no author should be asked to pay
no reader should be unable to access the record
the idea of “excellence” should be incompatible with exclusivity, artificial scarcity, or any other device not pertaining directly to the soundness of a scholarly activity
authors should be rewarded for behavior such as making usable data available whenever appropriate, for engaging with flourishing modes of experiential reporting or communication, or for exhibiting a history of collegial peer feedback….”

MPDL is supporting the Peer Community In (PCI) Initiative

Initiated at the request of several Max Planck institutes, the Max Planck Digital Library is supporting the platform „Peer Community in Registered Reports“ by making a one-time funding contribution of 5,000 Euro.

The Peer Community In (PCI) initiative is a non-profit, non-commercial platform that evaluates and recommends preprints in many scientific fields. The overarching aim of this researcher-run organization is to create specific communities of researchers reviewing and recommending, for free, unpublished preprints in their field.

 

Is Canada ready for open access? — University Affairs

“Canadian science could benefit enormously if all research articles in the country were made freely available to anyone immediately upon publication. But there are significant barriers that need to be overcome to achieve this.

Last year, 30 per cent of Canadian research was published as paid open access (OA). That’s slightly below the global average of 34 per cent but trailing many other high research output countries such as Sweden (54 per cent), Netherlands (50 per cent) and the United Kingdom (48 per cent), according to the  dimensions.ai database. As one of the top-quality research output countries in the world, according to Nature Index, Canada should be doing better. In our opinion, the fundamental reasons for the slow uptake of open access in Canada are (1) the lack of coordinated funding to support OA publishing, and (2) barriers that researchers face to publish in OA.

The Tri-Councils’ OA policy stipulates that any publications coming from research should be freely accessible within 12 months of publication. However, there is low compliance with this request. Researchers are expected to pay for open access via article publishing charges (APCs). As noted in the “Open Science Dialogues,” organized by the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA) to gain feedback on their Roadmap for Open Science, researchers are expected to pay these APCs from their research grants. Unfortunately, the APCs commanded by the high impact factor journals can represent an unfeasibly large percentage of the researchers’ total grant. APCs of US$5,000 to $10,000 are not uncommon for the prestige journals published by the large commercial publishers. But even the more moderate APCs of US$1,000 to $3,000 of lesser journals and those of not-for-profit publishers can also quickly deplete smaller research grants. For example, average NSERC grants in 2020 ranged from C$26,000 to $53,000, which leaves little room, if any, for the added expense of APCs….

The slow adoption of OA in Canada is probably not due to a lack of money per se. A back-of-the-envelope calculation of the number of Canadian articles being published as OA multiplied by the average APCs (from publisher websites), suggests that C$30-40 million was spent on OA publishing last year, 80 per cent of which was spent with the large commercial publishers….

So can Canada achieve a national OA strategy? We believe so, but to overcome the barriers we need an approach that captures the following principles:

Unity: bring together all stakeholders in the scientific research enterprise to establish a unified front and determine priorities, requirements and challenges.
Coordination: to move beyond consultation, there is a need for a coordinating body to establish a path forward, timelines, funding needs and to organize this collaborative action.
Evidence: There is an immediate need to assess data on costs, sources of funds being allocated to subscriptions and APCs, trends in OA publishing outputs, and to determine if there is sufficient existing funding to support a full switch to OA….”

DOAJ receives funding from the French National Fund for Open Science | April 2022

DOAJ is pleased to announce that it will be receiving €70,000 EUR in funding from the French National Fund for Open Science. The decision to allocate the funds was taken by the Steering Committee for Open Science who recognized the strategic role that DOAJ plays in promoting and vetting high-quality open access journals. 

SPARC / ORFG Webinar – Apr 20, 2022 – SPARC

“The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is a partnership of 24 leading philanthropic organizations committed to the open sharing of research outputs, representing the first community of practice of its kind. ORFG members have a shared belief that open research benefits society by accelerating the pace of discovery, reducing information-sharing gaps, encouraging innovation, and promoting reproducibility. The ORFG is an initiative of SPARC.

The ORFG has, since its inception in late 2016, worked to serve both as a community of practice and as an amplifier of the funder’s voice with respect to open research. Over the last year, the ORFG launched several new initiatives designed to advance open research within the membership, as well as enact systems-level change in the larger ecosystem. 

In this webinar, the ORFG team will share information on some of these initiatives, including the Open Access Funder Cohort Program, the Open & Equitable Model Funding Program, the ORFG-led National Academies Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, and the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS). An open Q&A will follow….”

Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access

“Three central arguments support this transformation: 1 ? Openly accessible publications can be read, reviewed and used more quickly and more widely by other researchers. This increases the quality of research and accelerates scientific progress. 2 ? OA makes scientific knowledge more widely available outside of the scientific community and lowers the threshold for various transfer activities. This increases the social effectiveness of (publicly funded) research. 3 ? Up to now, the business model of publishers has been based on rights of use. As they will no longer be granted exclusive rights under OA, publishers will become publication service providers and will compete with other providers. This may strengthen the negotiating position of scientific institutions vis-à-vis such service providers and improve the innovative capacity, cost transparency and cost efficiency of the publication system.

As far as the Council is concerned, the goal of the transformation is for academic publications to be made freely available immediately, permanently, at the original publication venue and in the citable, peer-reviewed and typeset version of record under an open licence (CC BY). This so-called gold route to OA (gold OA) is compatible with various business models…. 

For orientation in this market, the Council recommends that the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany agree on common requirements for quality assurance of content (especially in terms of peer review processes) as well as for high-quality publication services. In the medium term, academic publications should not only be openly accessible, but also machine-readable through open, structured formats and semantic annotations….

“Gold OA” should not be equated with funding via article processing charges (APC)….

As the WR sees it, all third-party funders are obliged to fully finance the publication costs arising from publishing the results of the research they are funding….”

 

Highlights from 5 years of publishing | Wellcome Open Research Blog

“2021 marked another successful year for the Wellcome Open Research (WOR) publishing platform. Publication output on WOR continued to grow, with the diversity of research outputs published increasing. The Platform showcases the broad portfolio of research that Wellcome funds.

In this blog, Hannah Hope, Open Research Lead at Wellcome Trust, provides an overview of WOR’s publishing activity of the past year as well as the initiatives we plan to implement in 2022….

This growth has enabled us to continue to be the most used publication venue (by volume of articles) for Wellcome-funded researchers according to Europe PMC and Dimensions data….”