OpenAIRE’s self-assessment of the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) | January 2022

“The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) offers a set of guidelines by which open scholarly infrastructure organisations and initiatives that support the research community can be run and sustained. OpenAIRE builds on these principles as a signal of our commitement to serve the research community in the long run….”

Say Hello to The Open Book Collective! | LJ infoDOCKET

From COPIM:

Within the COPIM project (Community-Led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs), we have been working to address the challenges of funding Open Access (OA) book publishing. Our particular focus is on how to make it easier for academic libraries to support OA publishers and publishing service providers, thinking beyond Book Processing Charges. We are very pleased to announce that one of the main outcomes of this work will soon be launched:

The collective will bring together OA publishers, OA publishing service providers, libraries, and other research institutions to create a new, mutually supportive ecosystem for the thriving of OA book publishing. At the heart of the work of the Open Book Collective (OBC) will be a new platform. This platform will make it far quicker and easier for libraries and others to financially support different OA publishers and service providers via membership offerings.

Sustainable eBook Acquisition and Access: The not-for-profit Perspective – Charleston Hub

“…We launched an OA eBook program in 2016 that has grown to include more than 7,700 titles. Libraries can use free MARC records or activate the OA titles in their discovery service, and users can cross-search all OA and licensed eBooks with all other content types on our platform. The ease of discovery on JSTOR has led to strong usage of the OA titles. In 2021 alone, there were more than 11 million uses of the OA eBooks worldwide.

A Learning Journey

While some publishers have eagerly experimented with OA models, others fear being left behind. These publishers share the mission to make scholarship more accessible but worry that the lack of grant support and viable business models are not well understood by the government agencies and funders that are creating OA mandates. The potential for libraries converting to models such as “subscribe to open” could alleviate these concerns, but few of our smaller and medium-sized publishers have the ability to undertake such a change themselves. They lack the resources and bandwidth to design new business models and advocate for funding. We have been working on various Open Access models in support of our publishers and to meet the demand from libraries and researchers for more OA content. First, in our “Convert to Open” model, publishers have identified eBooks already available for sale on JSTOR to convert to OA without incurring any additional costs to do so. The usage data for these titles shows the strong impact of opening up backlist scholarly content and making it discoverable to researchers around the world. We reviewed 336 titles from 30 publishers that were converted from licensed eBooks to OA in 2019 and 2020 and documented the usage for each title one to two years prior to being converted to OA and an equivalent one to two years after. The usage for these titles increased by 3,279% after being converted to OA. We have also developed a “Publish as Open” model in collaboration with libraries and publishers to support the publication of new titles directly as OA. In 2019, the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP, a CRL initiative) approached JSTOR to support a low-cost OA pilot for new titles from Argentinian publisher CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. To date, this collaboration has made 340 CLACSO titles freely accessible on JSTOR. The titles have been used more than 940,000 times by users across 195 countries. Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell and President of SALALM, described the project’s importance for bridging a critical gap in the scholarly communications system. “Despite established OA publishing models for scholarly works in Latin America, monograph discovery and preservation infrastructure for this important content in U.S. libraries is virtually nonexistent. This multi-partner, horizontal, and librarian-led pilot is testing out sustainable partnerships that take into account the monograph lifecycle from publisher to library” (JSTOR, 2021). Based on the success of this pilot and ongoing support to fund future OA titles for CLACSO, we are working with LARRP to expand our collaboration and support other selected Latin American publishers. In the coming years, we plan to expand this model to other publishers in partnership with the academic community….”

Live webinar 27 April: Is there a systemic problem with ebooks? | Research Information

“Earlier in 2022 the Library Association of Ireland hosted a booked-out online seminar to discuss the ebooks crisis and subsequently stated that there is a ‘systemic’ problem with the provision of ebooks, concluding that there is a need for the sector to work together to ensure a more equitable and sustainable approach.

In this free live webinar, on 27 April at 3pm UK time, we’ll be discussing the effects on academic libraries, and what needs to be done to ensure that they can meet their users’ needs….”

Wakeling & Abbasi (2022) Why do journals discontinue? A study of Australian ceased journals – Jamali – 2022 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Jamali, H.R., Wakeling, S. and Abbasi, A. (2022), Why do journals discontinue? A study of Australian ceased journals. Learned Publishing, 35: 219-228. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1448

 

Abstract: Little is known about why journals discontinue despite its significant implications. We present an analysis of 140 Australian journals that ceased from 2011 to mid-2021 and present the results of a survey of editors of 53 of them. The death age of journals was 19.7 (median = 16) with 57% being 10?years or older. About 54% of them belonged to educational institutions and 34% to non-profit organizations. In terms of subject, 75% of the journals belonged to social sciences, humanities and arts. The survey showed that funding was an important reason for discontinuation, and lack of quality submission and lack of support from the owners of the journal also played a role. Too much reliance on voluntary works appeared to be an issue for editorial processes. The dominant metric culture in the research environment and pressure for journals to perform well in journal rankings negatively affect local journals in attracting quality submissions. A fifth of journals indicated that they did not have a plan for the preservation of articles at the time of publication and the current availability of the content of ceased journals appeared to be sub-optimal in many cases with reliance on the website of ceased journals or web-archive platforms.

 

 

Key points

 

One hundred and forty Australian journals ceased publishing between 2011 and 2020, with an average age of 19?years on cessation.
The majority of Australian journals that ceased publication 2011–2020 were in the social sciences, humanities and arts where local journals play an important role.
Funding was found to be a key reason for journal discontinuation followed by lack of support and quality submissions and over-reliance on voluntary work.
Metric driven culture and journal rankings adversely impact local journals and can lead to discontinuation.
Many journals have neither sustainable business models (or funding), nor a preservation plan, both of which jeopardize journal continuation and long-term access to archive content.

 

Library perspective: balancing investments and sustainability in Open Access

“The team at COPIM recently shared your CommonPlace blog post “Balancing Investments in Open Access: Sustainability and Innovation”. We found it really interesting to see evidence of libraries grappling with how to evaluate the proliferation of new OA models. What has the response been to your article?

One response was that Sharla Lair and Curtis Brundy edited a series of articles in CommonPlace, called “The Global Transition to Open.” It was gratifying to see that other libraries are also struggling with some of the issues I mentioned in my piece–how to keep up with all of the new open publishing models, and how to choose which initiatives to support. One potential way to combat this, as Marco Tullney and others noted, is to develop established workflows and evaluation criteria. I thought Alexia Hudson-Ward made a particularly compelling case that DEIA should be a core component of any such criteria. 

I’m also intrigued by the fact that some libraries seem to have dedicated, separate budget lines for supporting open scholarly initiatives. At the same time, I’m not convinced that having a dedicated budget line would really make the decision making process and administrative issues easier for us at Temple, as Demmy Verkebe says it does at KU Leuven. And honestly, I worry that separating open from the rest of collections might prevent us from seeing the big picture around how exactly this transition should happen. …”

Open access through Subscribe to Open: a society publisher’s implementation

As pressures mount from global funding mandates and initiatives like Plan S, publishers are seeking sustainable solutions to transition their subscription portfolios to open access. For self-publishing societies with niche portfolios and low publication volumes, traditional transition options such as article processing charge models or transformative agreements are limited or out of reach and often involve significant financial risk. In this article, we focus on one society publisher’s implementation of Subscribe to Open (S2O): an emerging open access model that moves away from article-level charges, instead leveraging existing subscription revenues and infrastructure to achieve seamless and sustainable open access. We outline the advantages of this model for society publishers, the parameters to consider when implementing the model, the initial community response to a successful implementation and some early data highlighting the effect of the S2O model on our journals.

POSI fan tutte | Crossref

by Geoffrey Bilder

Just over a year ago, Crossref announced that our board had adopted the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).

It was a well-timed announcement, as 2021 yet again showed just how dangerous it is for us to assume that the infrastructure systems we depend on for scholarly research will not disappear altogether or adopt a radically different focus. We adopted POSI to ensure that Crossref would not meet the same fate.

[…]

Accelerating Open Research: A Multi-stakeholder Discussion – The Scholarly Kitchen

“As we move through a transition to a fully open research environment, there are challenges for all stakeholders in the ecosystem. Many funders have taken a leadership role in driving this transition, yet even with funder mandates in place for nearly two decades, the transition to open research globally has been slow (Larivière and Sugimoto, 2018). 

A recent study led by the Research on Research Institute (Waltman et al., 2021 ) found that commitments to open research and data sharing fell short during the pandemic and that lack of collaboration was a key factor. 

On the 10th February 2022, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Publisher-Funder Task Force convened a closed forum of funders, publishers, librarians and academics to discuss how collaborating among stakeholder groups may accelerate a transition to open research. The meeting was conducted under the Chatham House Rule, enabling 22 international participants to freely express opinions and ideas without fear of comments being attributed to those present. …

To this end, they discussed these questions:

Where have funder policies and mandates succeeded as tools for change? What are some of the challenges?
How might we collaborate to ensure that researchers are able to engage constructively with this transition?
How might we collaborate to ensure that we are building a truly equitable global system of open research? 
How might we collaborate to ensure a sustainable approach to accelerating the transition to open research, allowing for stakeholders to thrive amidst a culture of openness? …”

Connecting Sustainable Development, Publishing Ethics, and the North-South Divide – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The divide between the North and the South in scholarly publishing is often discussed and studied. We have also made some progress in reducing this gap, for example, in accessing research (e.g., Research4Life brings many global publishers under one umbrella to support the Global South), in publishing research (e.g., open access (OA) journals offer article processing charge (APC) waivers and discounts to researchers of Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)), and in reducing geographical inequity (e.g., by publishing regional OA journals). Although we don’t often talk about the North-South divide in publishing ethics, a recent study shows a large variation in the awareness of academic integrity at the universities in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Developing countries’ organized battles against predatory journals can also be seen on some rare occasions….”

Open by Design: Arcadia Science, pushing the boundaries of open research | ICOR

“Arcadia Science, a research and development institute, uses biology as our most advanced technology, experiments with the broadest range of research organisms, and is inclusive of all scientific sectors. Our scientists share their insights and discoveries for collective benefit, accelerating scientific progress and commercial utility. We are building a new model for research, one that is financially self-sustaining, to empower scientists to focus on their work and capture their own value, free from traditional constraints.

Our specific ICOR-related goals are to:

Publicly post research data and products early and often to improve reach and utility for the scientific community
Broaden the nature of what is communicated beyond the content and organization of a typical journal article (e.g. full data sets, protocols, informative failures, future directions, challenges that may be collaborative tackled)
Encourage use of our research products by the scientific community and encourage public discussion to improve it by soliciting open feedback
Document our lessons learned to encourage others to adopt successful practices for broader sharing and evaluation of research…”

Connecting Sustainable Development, Publishing Ethics, and the North-South Divide – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Recently, I was preparing a talk for a NISO Plus 2022’s (February 15-17, 2022) panel on ‘Working towards a more ethical information community’. I started asking myself, if sustainable development works towards a just and ethical society, how does it deal with the Global North-South divide in the ethics of scholarly publishing?… 

Under global programs, like Research4Life, institutions of my Least Developed Country (LDC), Bangladesh, are now accessing thousands of journals for free and researchers are enjoying the APC waivers offered by many journals. But, all this will change in 2026, when Bangladesh will graduate from the LDC list. Do we realize that a change in a country’s economic status does not necessarily correspond with a change in that country’s research system and investments in it? Have we thought of any ethical coping mechanism for the researchers and authors of countries in similar economic transitions?

We need to ask ourselves, as we work toward the SDGs, can we really have an ethical scholarly community without addressing such a dynamic North-South divide? More specifically, are we contextualizing enough the ethical considerations of the North for the South as we address this divide? …”

 

Charting our Pathway to Sustainability | KFG Notes

Knowledge Futures Group is a non-profit technology organization that builds infrastructure for a more effective, equitable, and sustainable knowledge economy. We have two primary open-source products: PubPub for publishing documents and Underlay for producing datasets. Our work empowers communities with tools to publish knowledge and collaborate with their community members.

[…]

Meetz | Library Publishing Programs at Capacity: Addressing Issues of Sustainability and Scalability | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Introduction: This article discusses the changes to overall goals, direction, and services that were made to two library publishing programs at Pacific University and the University of South Florida when they were no longer able to grow their programs due to an inability to hire additional staff and COVID-19-instigated staff reassignments. Description of Programs: Pacific University’s publishing program grew out of its institutional repository and, at its peak, published seven open access journals. In addition, Pacific University Libraries founded a University Press in 2016, which has published six books as of 2021. The University of South Florida’s publishing program began publishing open access journals in 2008, and it has grown to include over 20 journals. Lessons Learned: Both the Pacific University and the University of South Florida publishing programs have faced scalability and sustainability issues, which were further exacerbated by COVID-19. The focus of our library publishing programs, as well as many others, has been on continual growth, which is not sustainable without the ability to hire additional staff or allocate staff time differently. We argue that standardizing services as well as creating a business plan can help ensure that publishing programs are sustainable and scalable. Next Steps: We hope to begin a conversation among library publishers about acknowledging limits and creating achievable definitions of success outside of continual growth.