Robert-Jan Smits, one of Europe’s most powerful figures in research, has been appointed as a special envoy on open science at the European Commission, to help push efforts to make all publicly funded research in Europe freely available by 2020.
“The global shift towards making research findings available free of charge for readers, so-called ‘Open access’, has been a core strategy in the European Commission to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation. It is illustrated in particular by the general principle for open access to scientific publications in Horizon 2020 and the pilot for research data.”
The European Commission recently announced plans to create “Open Research Europe” (ORE), an online platform allowing rapid, Open Access (OA) publication of Horizon 2020 related peer reviewed articles and preprints. The platform aims to be a fast, cost-effective high-quality service, with mechanisms for open review and alternative metrics. It will be a free, complimentary (i.e., non-compulsory) service for H2020 beneficiaries. In developing such a service, the EC will join a growing list of funders (e.g., Wellcome Trust, Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) who offer their researchers a direct, low-cost route to OA publication. Given this is the first initiative of its kind, from a large public funder, OpenAIRE would like to take the chance to make public its point of view.
OpenAIRE receives the initiative with great interest, and appreciates that a major funder recognises that scholarly publishing is a vital and integral part of the research lifecycle. The EC has long recognised the need to complement policy actions with investments in infrastructure to support OA implementation, through initiatives like OpenAIRE. ORE has the potential to extend further these activities by enabling a well-recognised, user friendly platform to publish researchers’ output in a timely and cost-effective manner. At the same time, however, it should be trusted, community led, open and transparent.
“Over 130 early- and mid-career researchers from around the globe have pledged to submit a manuscript to an Open Access outlet by the end of 2016.”
“This report aims to lay out a high level, living roadmap for the realisation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).”
“We welcome the European Commission’s commitment to making OA models of scholarly publishing a cornerstone of its Open Science policy. We consider the transition to OA one of the key policies the European Commission and national governments should pursue in order to foster progress across academic disciplines and enable European citizens and those of other countries to benefit from publicly funded research. However, we also urge European policy makers to ensure the viability and sustainability of OA scholarly publishing.”
“The European Commission is putting together a Commission Expert Group to provide advice about the development and implementation of open science policy in Europe. It will be known as the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP). This is potentially excellent news. The OSPP’s primary goal is to ‘advise the Commission on how to further develop and practically implement open science policy’. But there’s potentially a downside here. We can be sure that the legacy publishers will attempt to stuff the committee with their own people, just as they did with the Finch committee — and that, if they succeed, they will do everything they can to retard all forms of progress that hurt their bottom line, just as they did with the Finch committee. Unfortunately, multinational corporations with £2 billion annual revenue and £762 million annual profit (see page 17 of Elsevier’s 2014 annual report) are very well positioned to dedicate resources to getting their people onto influential committees. Those of us without a spare £762 million to spend on marketing are at a huge operational disadvantage when it comes to influencing policy. Happily, though, we do have one important thing on our side: we’re right. So we should do what we can to get genuinely progressive pro-open candidates onto the OSPP. I know of several people who have put themselves forward, and I am briefly describing them below (in the order I hear about their candidacy). I have publicly endorsed the first few, and will go on to endorse the others just as soon as I have a moment. If you know and admire these people, please consider leaving your own endorsement — it will help their case to be taken on to the OSPP …”
“The European Research Council (ERC) and OAPEN Foundation have announced today their cooperation in furthering open access to academic books and book chapters. With the help of an ERC grant OAPEN will develop a tailor-made deposit service for ERC grantees and their publishers. The OAPEN library provides a platform for the full-text dissemination of open access books from all scientific areas, in particular in social sciences and humanities. As part of the new project funded by the ERC, OAPEN will provide guidance and support to ERC grantees and their publishers to comply with ERC open access requirements for books. It will aggregate and allow the deposit of open access monographs and book chapters based on ERC funded research, provide quality assurance and dissemination of deposited publications and ensure their digital preservation …”
“Speaking at a bilateral meeting with Sander Dekker, the Dutch Secretary of State for Education, Culture and Science, Commissioner [Carlos] Moedas reiterated the strong commitment of the European Commission to open access to scientific peer reviewed publications, which is a cornerstone of one of his top priorities – the policy on Open Science …”
“After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules. There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment Replaces the six month embargo period with ‘no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner’ as anticipated; and Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to ‘adjust’ the embargo period if the12 months does not serve ‘the public, industries, and the scientific community.’ We understand that these modifications were made in order accomplish a number of things: Satisfy the requirement of a number of Members of HSGAC that the language more closely track that of the OSTP Directive; Meet the preference of the major U.S. higher education associations for a maximum 12 month embargo; Ensure that, for the first time, a number of scientific societies will drop their opposition for the bill; and Ensure that any petition process an agency may enable is focused on serving the interests of the public and the scientific community …”
“Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue to be an incredible source of learning for how impact works in each of our disciplines, locations or sectors.”
“Open access for monographs and book chapters is a relatively new area of publishing, and there are many ways of approaching it. With this in mind, a recent publication from the Wellcome Trust aims to provide some guidance for publishers to consider when developing policies and processes for open access books. The Wellcome Trust recognises that implementation around publishing monographs and book chapters open access is in flux, and invites publishers to email Cecy Marden at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for further guidance that would be useful to include in this document. ‘Open Access Monographs and Book Chapters: A practical guide for publishers’ is available to download as a pdf from the Wellcome Trust website.”
“The purpose of this post is to shed some light on a specific issue in the transition to open access that particularly affects small and low-cost publishers and to suggest one strategy to address this issue. In the words of one Resource Requirements interviewee: ‘So the other set of members that we used to have about forty library members , but when we went to open access online, we lost the whole bunch of libraries. Yeah, so basically we sent everybody ,you know, a letter saying we are going to open access online, the annual membership is only $30, we hope you will continue to support us even though there are no longer print journals, and then a whole flu of cancellations came in from a whole bunch of libraries, which we had kind of thought might happen but given how cheap we are, I have to say I was really disappointed when it indeed did happen especially from whole bunch of [deleted] libraries [for which our journal is extremely relevant]. I was going, seriously $30?’ Comments: for a university library, a society membership fee, when not required for journal subscriptions, may be difficult to justify from an accounting perspective. $30 is a small cost; however, for a university the administrative work of tracking such memberships and cutting a check every year likely exceeds the $30 cost. With 40 library members at a cost of $30, the total revenue for this journal from this source was $1,200. A university or university library could sponsor this amount at less than the cost of many an article processing charge. The university and library where the faculty member is located have a support program for open access journals; clearly the will, and some funding, is there. One of the challenges is transitioning subscription dollars to support for open access, as I address in my 2013 First Monday article. Following is one suggestion for libraries, or for faculty to suggest to their libraries: why not engage your faculty who are independent or society publishers to gain support for cancellations or tough negotiations and lower prices for the big deals of large, highly profitable commercial publishers that I argue are critical to redirect funding to our own publishing activities? Here is one scenario that may help to explain the potential …”
[From Google’s English] “UKB , the consortium of thirteen university libraries and the National Library, the objectives of The Hague Declaration endorsed by signing the joint declaration. All signatories state that there are no copyright restrictions are scientific results and research data. Everyone should be able to freely analyze facts and data.Licensing and copyright rules may not raise barriers before. The knowledge economy has an interest in global open access or open science. According to the statement must be contained in the European copyright rules that authors the right to (re) use of data and texts not lose by signing a contract with a publisher …”
” Demand for a service to help institutions capture their research outputs remains unabated, and any drive to help automate it will need to break challenging new ground. Jisc Publications Router is now set for a new phase of development as it seeks to do just that. It aims to become a permanent service in 2016, expanding at an accelerated pace the range of content it can deliver … It’s difficult for institutions to identify accepted research articles by their academics, according to a recent report to Jisc, as they seek to make progress in implementing the open access policy for the next REF. Jisc Publications Router is a system that gathers information about journal articles from content providers such as publishers. By looking at the affiliations of the co-authors, it then sends a notification to the relevant institution(s). This could be at or near the point of acceptance, for example, or final publication. It could consist of metadata only, or it could include full-text files as well, depending on what the content provider can send. The institutions can then capture this information onto their systems, including their open repositories. In some cases, the metadata will include details of an embargo period the repository should respect before it makes the full text freely available. The initial Router project, funded by Jisc and operated by EDINA (University of Edinburgh) aimed to demonstrate a prototype system. That has been a success: the system has delivered real articles to real institutions in ways that they have used and found helpful, saving them time and effort …”