Guidelines on Open Science
German Research Foundation warns against the growing influence of major publishers on research. Scientific freedom is under threat from two sides.
Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft warnt vor dem wachsenden Einfluss der Großverlage auf die Forschung. Die Wissenschaftsfreiheit ist hier von zwei Seiten bedroht.
We are excited to share that Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has been awarded a 3-year, $3.47M grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This grant will accelerate IOI’s work to increase investment, adoption, and sustainability of open infrastructure.
“And so, in early April, we decided to start Fast Grants, which we hoped could be one of the faster sources of emergency science funding during the pandemic. We had modest hopes given our inexperience and lack of preparation, but we felt that the opportunity to provide even small accelerations would be worthwhile given the scale of the disaster.
The original vision was simple: an application form that would take scientists less than 30 minutes to complete and that would deliver funding decisions within 48 hours, with money following a few days later….
The first round of grants were given out within 48 hours. Later rounds of grants, which often required additional scrutiny of earlier results, were given out within two weeks. These timelines were much shorter than the alternative sources of funding available to most scientists. Grant recipients were required to do little more than publish open access preprints and provide monthly one-paragraph updates….”
“The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has published its Persistent Identifier (PID) strategy to improve its capacity for analysing the impact of research. In the Persistent Identifier (PID) strategy NWO describes how it will gradually implement PIDs in the coming years. PIDs are an increasingly important component of scholarly communication because of the increased digitisation of research. They ensure that research is findable and contribute to save researchers time and effort.
The NWO PID strategy can be summarised by the following five recommendations:
Implement ORCID ID for researchers into grant application, peer review, and project reporting workflows.
Implement Crossref Grant ID in grant application and project reporting workflows.
Implement research organisation IDs in grant application and project reporting workflows.
Contribute to shaping the national PID landscape by participating in the ORCID-NL consortium and in a future PID Advisory Board.
Collaborate with other funders in the international PID landscape, for instance within the context of Science Europe….”
“An independent report released today by Information Power measures progress during 2020 and 2021 on Open Access agreements between consortia/libraries and publishers. OA agreements are now used around the world in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. During 2020 there was a clear uptick in the number of OA articles published in hybrid journals, which reverses a downward trend in the proportion of total articles published as OA in hybrid journals between 2016 and 2019. There is potential for further growth.
Smaller independent publishers – for example society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library presses, and small independent commercial presses – face some special challenges due to their scale. A number of practical task-and-finish groups are needed to align on shared principles, license language, data exchange, and workflows followed by engagement with standards bodies, intermediaries, and platform providers to ensure these can become embedded in practice.
The transition to OA requires change on the part of all stakeholders, and the report argues it is particularly crucial that there is active cross-stakeholder alignment focused on enabling smaller independent publishers to transition successfully. Amongst other things, the authors strongly recommend funders take steps to enable universities to aggregate all their expenditure with publishers via the library. They also encourage publishers who closely link the price of OA agreements to article volume to think carefully about more equitable models.”
Abstract: In this article, we provide a toolbox of resources and nudges for those who are interested in advancing open scientific practice. Open Science encompasses a range of behaviours that aim to include the transparency of scientific research and how widely it is communicated. The paper is divided into seven sections, each dealing with a different stakeholder in the world of research (researchers, students, departments and faculties, universities, academic libraries, journals, and funders). With two frameworks in mind — EAST and the Pyramid of Culture Change — we describe the influences and incentives that sway behaviour for each of these stakeholders, we outline changes that can foster Open Science, and suggest actions and resources for individuals to nudge these changes. In isolation, a small shift in one person’s behaviour may appear to make little difference, but when combined, these small shifts can lead to radical changes in culture. We offer this toolbox to assist individuals and institutions in cultivating a more open research culture.
“This Practical Guide provides guidance to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of research data, and supports organisations to provide a framework in which researchers can share their output in a sustainable way.
It includes three complementary maturity matrices for funders, performers, and data infrastructures. These allow them to evaluate the current status of their policies and practices, and to identify next steps towards sustainable data sharing and seeking alignment with other organisations in doing so….”
Abstract: Books play an essential role in scholarly communication, notably but not only within the Social Sciences and Humanities. Open science benefits the quality and value of research and scholarship. If open access is to benefit society as widely as possible, it is logical to include academic books. In a 2019 briefing paper, Science Europe reported that: “Open access to academic books must be considered in the wider open access policies developed by research institutions, funders, and governments”.
In recent years, Knowledge Exchange, a joint network of six key national organisations in Europe, has been working on gaining a better understanding of the open access book landscape, identifying existing initiatives as well as gaps that need to be addressed in the countries concerned. In general, there is a clear will in the scholarly community to accelerate open access for academic books in order to better serve research and society’s needs.
However, to overcome the obstacles identified by research activities, reports and networks, and to roll out good practices and increase opportunities, additional coordinated support is needed, in particular from research and funding organisations. In February 2021, a one-day virtual workshop brought together stakeholders from a number of European countries, all with a common understanding that open access for academic books needs further attention and support. The prerequisites for the implementation of a well-functioning and sustainable open access book infrastructure are discussed below.
This position paper, undersigned by the workshop participants, identifies three legs of a policy stool that together will support the full transition to open access for academic books. It brings together people, technology and knowledge.
The signatures in the first version of this document include workshop delegates. The document will stay open (https://tinyurl.com/PPOpenBooks) for additional signatures. We will update this document (and version it) as appropriate.
Investing in the Open Access Book infrastructure: a call for action
This is a guest blog post by Pierre Mounier, Jeroen Sondervan, and Graham Stone.
Join Pierre Mounier (EHESS, OpenEdition, OPERAS), Jeroen Sondervan (Knowledge Exchange Open Access Working Group and Utrecht University Library), Graham Stone (Jisc), and key stakeholders in signing a position paper calling for investment in the open access book infrastructure (Zenodo version of record, Google doc version for signatories).
In June 2020, we published a blog Open Access to academic books: Working towards the “tipping point”, which reflected on the work of the Knowledge Exchange (KE) task and finish group’s work around open access books (see “Towards a Roadmap for Open Access Monographs: A Knowledge Exchange Report”. The blogpost led to a number of valuable discussions with stakeholders and key experts in the OA books community regarding the need to develop a joined up approach to the open infrastructure required for a successful transition to open access for books.
In light of forthcoming (and existing) policy on open access for books, the KE task and finish group agreed to extend their work on open access books by facilitating a partner exchange in February 2021. This one-day virtual workshop gathered key stakeholders, including representatives of cOAlition S, SPARC Europe, OASPA, OAPEN, DARIAH-EU, OpenAIRE, national funders, KE partner organizations and many more.
After a brief overview, the day used a workshop approach to develop a common understanding on the need for further attention and support for open access for academic books. Delegates explored the key issues in three parallel sessions (OA Book Watch, OA Book Network, OA Book infrastructure), before a Mentimeter poll was used to prioritise areas for further discussion. At the end of a long day of vibrant and fruitful discussion, we took stock of the contributions and discussed the idea of a position paper on open access books infrastructure. A writing group was formed and we started work on the position paper.
“The majority (44/50) of sampled funders indicated funding health research. 38 (of 44, 86%) had publicly available information about disseminating funded research, typically called “policies” (29, 76%). Of these 38, 36 (95%) mentioned journal publication for dissemination of which 13 (36.11%) offer variable guidance on selecting a journal, all of which relate to the funder’s open access mandate. Six funders (17%) outlined publisher requirements or features by which to select a journal. One funder linked to a document providing features of journals to look for (e.g. listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals) and to be wary of (e.g., no journal scope statement, uses direct and unsolicited marketing).”
“Thus, researchers need to modernize the way they do their scholarship, institutions need to modernize their infrastructure such that researchers are enabled to modernize their scholarship. These have now had more than 30 years for this modernization and neither of them have acted. At this point it is fair to assume, barring some major catastrophe forcing their hands, that such modernization is not going to magically appear within the next three decades, either. Funders, therefore, are in a position to incentivize this long overdue modernization which institutions and hence researchers have been too complacent or too reticent to tackle.
If, as I would tend to agree, we are faced with a collective action problem and the size of the collective is the major determinant for effective problem solving, then it is a short step to realize that funders are in a uniquely suited position to start solving this collective action problem. Conversely, then, it is only legitimate to question the motives of those who seek to make the collective action problem unnecessary difficult by advocating to target individual researchers or institutions. What could possibly be the benefit of making the collective action problem numerically more difficult to solve?”
This briefing paper aims to support decision makers at research organisations and research funders to develop new monitoring exercises or assess and improve existing processes to measure the Open Access status of publications.
The availability of data and information on the current state of scholarly publishing is invaluable to help advance Open Access. Given the complexity of the scholarly publishing system, this involves a multitude of decisions.
This briefing paper provides recommendations on the three main questions an organisation should answer to develop a monitoring exercise: Why, What, and How?
Examples of different monitoring exercises have been selected to represent different use cases, organisational setups, data sources, and strategies of interpretation.
“Last month the National Health and Medical Research Council sought submissions on going immediate OA on publication. If publishers refuse the council suggested authors’ accepted manuscripts could be made available by named institutional repositories (CMM April 16).
Which is good, but Drs Kingsley and Smith (both ex Cambridge University’s Office of Scholarly Communication) suggest tighter wording to make intent impossible to ignore.
And they call for checks, which institutions could use to make sure OA actually occurs. “There is evidence that even ‘light touch’ compliance checking results in significant behavioural change,” they write. Especially if “there is a significant consequence for non-compliance,” – which could be tying grants to OA rules….”
“In the discussions about the merits and demerits of collaboration, what tends to be missed though are the untapped potentials that exist in collaborations not just between academics, or between disciplines, or between academics and external organisations, or between academics and the public, but between academics, scholarly libraries, and publishers of scholarly work. This the subject of a new report co-authored by Elli Gerakopoulou, Izabella Penier and me. It focuses on the possibilities that might exist for collaboration between scholarly libraries and open access book publishers, including the kinds of open access publishers led by academics represented by ScholarLed, one of the partners in the COPIM project and with which I am also involved. The report draws on a combination of interviews, workshop discussions (including one workshop with librarians in the US, one in the UK, and one with publishers), and pre-workshop surveys with librarians and individuals involved in library consortia, as well as desk research.
In the report we examine various forms of collaboration that characterise the existing landscape of open access book publishing. This includes examining library membership programmes, of the kind run by both publishers — examples include programmes run by Lever Press, Luminos, punctum books, and Open Book Publishers — and infrastructure providers — notably the OAPEN library membership programme. We also look at intermediaries that aim to increase the likelihood of open access book publishers being able to receive financial support from scholarly libraries, such as Knowledge Unlatched and TOME. This forms part of a scoping exercise to enable us and our readers to understand the diversity of types of collaboration that already exist between and around open access publishers and scholarly libraries and where there are possibilities to learn from such initiatives….”