The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia joins cOAlition S | Plan S

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the first Australian organisation to join cOAlition S and the country’s first funding agency to introduce the requirement that scholarly publications arising from the research it funds must be made freely available and accessible.

Patient outcomes, open access: Ginny Barbour sets MJA agenda | InSight+

“There’s no doubt for me that we are moving along a trajectory where open access is absolutely going to be the outcome. The question is just how we get there and how quickly we get there.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Office of Science and Technology Policy from the United States White House put out an edict that all federally funded research in the US must be made open access by 2026. In Australia already, we have a number of moves that are going in that direction.

We know that our Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley is looking at that closely, and the [National Health and Medical Research Council] and the [Australian Research Council] have open access policies.

I think it’s fair to say that this is a topic of great interest and Australia probably needs to move a little bit quicker.

“For the MJA [Medical Journal of Australia], there’s no question that we want open access. We want that research to be read; it needs to be used and reused, not just by practitioners but by patients. Open access can only be a good thing for the Journal.”

Home – Open Educational Resources Advocacy Toolkit | LibGuides at CAUL – Council of Australian University Librarians

The OER Advocacy Toolkit was created as part of the CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum OER Advocacy Project. It was designed as a reference to support academic librarians in advocating for the creation and re-use of open educational resources (OER) at their institution.

The Toolkit contains:

information
resources
checklists
practice-based ideas

for communicating with and advocating to OER stakeholders such as academics, librarians, teaching and learning committees and university executives.

 

Freedom of the academic press | Open Access Australasia

The US Government recently introduced updated policy guidance around access to academic papers which would see embargos lifted on taxpayer funded research papers.

This will have significant impact both in the US and around the world for accessibility to a wide range of peer-reviewed publications.

So, how did this decision come about and what impact could it have on research?

Director of Open Access Australasia from Queensland University of Technology, Virginia Barbour, speaks with Breakfast’s Tom Mann about the implications of this change.

Planet Research Data Commons Consultation Roundtables Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

“The ARDC would like to invite environmental researchers and decision makers to a consultation roundtable for the Planet Research Data Commons.

The Planet Research Data Commons will deliver shared, accessible data and digital research tools that will help researchers and decision makers tackle the big challenges facing our environment, which include adapting to climate change, saving threatened species, and reversing ecosystem deterioration.

We invite environmental researchers and decision makers to get involved in the consultations for the Planet Research Data Commons to help guide the development of the new digital research infrastructure.

The Planet Research Data Commons is the second of 2 pilot Thematic Research Data Commons launching in the 2022-23 financial year with an initial budget of $15.8m. The first pilot, the People Research Data Commons, is focused on digital research infrastructure for health research. The Planet Research Data Commons will explore the digital research infrastructure needs for research challenges set out in the 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, including environment and climate resilience.

The Planet Research Data Commons will support environmental researchers to develop cross-sector and multi-disciplinary data collaborations on a national scale. It will integrate underpinning compute, storage infrastructure and services with analysis platforms and tools that are supported by expertise, standards and best practices. And it will bring together data from a range of sources to tackle the big questions….”

Open access research repositories provide diversity and innovation publishers can’t match. They have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities. | Plan S

“Where there is a lack of consensus is in how open access should be achieved. The majority of governments, international bodies such as UNESCO, institutions, researchers, and publishers along with groups such as Open Access Australasia (the group I work for), and prominent international organisations such as COAR and SPARC are committed to a diverse ecosystem of open publishing supported through a variety of means, nicely summed up in the phrase “bibliodiversity”.

Yet a minority of commercial publishers, especially and most recently articulated by Springer Nature’s Steven Inchcoombe insist that the only route to open access should be through journals, and not just any journals, but specifically hybrid journals, which of course are the journals that make up the bulk of the journals that Springer Nature and other large publishers still rely on for revenue….

The consolidation of infrastructure and services that underpin scholarly communication is perhaps even more alarming. Whereas journals changing hands does not generally lead to them being shut down or amalgamated into other journals, for services the reverse is true….

Institutional and disciplinary repositories offer a community-owned, robust alternative. Their very distributed state gives a degree of stability and flexibility of approach that publishers simply can’t replicate. Repositories provide access to publications, but also an array of unique content including theses, research reports, audiovisual-content, code and data. They also support the retention of rights by authors, as the recently updated UNSW OA policy enshrines. Yet, publishers decry repositories, claiming that “Green [repository based open access] doesn’t offer the benefits of higher citations and increased downloads that come with gold [journal based] open access; it isn’t the version that researchers want, and is not sustainable for publishers”. However, the facts simply don’t support these arguments and fail to recognise the huge use of and, increasingly, innovation happening within the repository system.

Repositories have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities so it can be used by others and have the greatest impact on our society. Repositories such as QUT’s, for example, see a huge volume of downloads of their content — more than 1.3 million downloads so far this year of its just over 122,000 items. In Latin America, there is a distributed network of national repositories, La Referencia which hold more than 2.3 million articles as well as more than 400,000 doctoral theses. And repositories are now at the forefront of non-commercial innovation in open access, aligning with services such as overlay journals that review and distribute content held by repositories, interoperability that links outputs across the whole research lifecycle, and open peer review….”

ARC bans preprints, again

“The information pack for Excellence in Research for Australia 2023 advises that the Australian Research Council consulted on including preprints and feedback, “was overwhelmingly supportive of not including preprints as an eligible research output type.”

And lest anyone miss the point, “as a consequence, preprints will not be eligible for ERA submission.”

This follows last year’s fiasco when the ARC enforced a rule that many Research Offices had missed, banning pre-prints from grant applications, generating outrage on behalf of excluded applicants who did not know about it (umpteen CMM stories last year but September 23 covers it)….”

FOLIO + ReShare | August 2022

“CAVAL is the first in Australia to be implementing FOLIO (supported by IndexData) as we see this modern, open-source Library Management Platform benefiting and empowering the entire library community. In the next phase we are also looking at offering a new vendor-neutral resource-sharing platform, ReShare, to our members and the wider community….”

more info: https://librarytechnology.org/pr/27641

OER Capability Toolkit – Simple Book Publishing

“The OER Capability Toolkit aims to provide educators a fundamental understanding in the use and creation of OER. This book provides a higher education Australian perspective and content is broken down into five parts: Defining Open Education and OER; Understanding Open Licensing; Finding and Evaluating OER; Adapting, Creating and Sharing OER; and Open Pedagogy, Principles and Practices. Each part features interactive elements culminating in a final exercise that enables educators to reflect on their own course curriculum to include OER and think about how open pedagogical principles can be introduced in their own teaching practice….”

 

Changing the Academic Gender Narrative through Open Access

Abstract:  In this article, we ask whether dominant narratives of gender and performance within academic institutions are masking stories that may be both more complex and potentially more hopeful than those which are often told using publication-related data. Influenced by world university rankings, institutions emphasise so-called ‘excellent’ research practices: publish in ‘high impact’, elite subscription journals indexed by the commercial bibliographic databases that inform the various ranking systems. In particular, we ask whether data relating to institutional demographics and open access publications could support a different story about the roles that women are playing as pioneers and practitioners of open scholarship. We review gender bias in scholarly publications and discuss examples of open access research publications that highlight a positive advantage for women. Using analysis of workforce demographics and open research data from our Open Knowledge Initiative project, we explore relationships and correlations between academic gender and open access research output from universities in Australia and the United Kingdom. This opens a conversation about different possibilities and models for exploring research output by gender and changing the dominant narrative of deficit in academic publishing. 

 

A quest to digitize 1 million plant specimens

“The Australian National Herbarium in Canberra is imaging nearly a million plant specimens using an automated system developed by Netherlands company Picturae….

The full digital collection of the Australian National Herbarium will be made available through the Atlas of Living Australia, including for the general public.”

Open Access: an Australian model – Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM FAA FTSE, Chief Scientist of Australia

The publication process is a cornerstone of scientific research, but unequal access to journals means Australian innovation can be stymied behind a paywall. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, will outline her work to develop a model for open access to benefit all Australians.

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.