Transformative Agreements in Australian Academic Libraries

Open access means making research available online, free of cost for anyone to access it. Open access is part of a wider ‘open’ movement to encourage free exchange of knowledge and resources to broaden access and encourage innovation, creativity and economic activity.  Publishing in academic peer-reviewed journals is a critical part of the academic process that maintains research integrity.[1] However, most academic journal articles are behind a paywall which means only those with subscription can access these publications. This blog post will discuss transformative agreements (TA) negotiated by the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) which aims to provide authors the opportunity to publish open access immediately on acceptance, and free of any transactional Article Processing Charges (APCs).

Wikidata Fellowships – Wikimedia Australia

“Keen to try something with Wikidata! Got a crazy idea? Or a provocation? Or an idea that needs investigating?

Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand are offering two creative fellowships grants of $1000 (AUD) and one of $1000 (NZD) to curate a data set, develop a prototype or undertake an investigation using Wikidata. You will be matched with a Wikimedian who will mentor you throughout your project offering resources, feedback and support.

We are open to applicants from all backgrounds and skill levels, and support proposals that involve investigations. We are looking for proposals that are enthusiastic and innovative as opposed to requiring pre-existing technical skills.”

How was the transition to open access advanced in 2022? | Research Information

“Undoubtedly, 2022 has been a year of growth for open access (OA). Funder policies and deadlines have come into play and, as a result of the pandemic, the impact and benefits of open research and open access are now better understood by people beyond academia. 

Overall, two themes featured strongly – the need for OA take up to become more global and the importance for authors to remain able to publish in their journal of choice. Taken together these themes were instrumental to enabling OA growth in 2022….

And when we look at the policy developments that have taken place this year with a number of countries reviewing their approach to OA and considering policy recommendations to speed up the transition, this move beyond Europe is likely to continue:

US- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)) has updated the US policy guidance to make the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public at no cost

Australia – Australian funding agency, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has introduced the requirement that scholarly publications arising from the research it funds be made freely available and accessible

India – the Ministry of Education has announced the deadline for the launch of the “One Nation, One Subscription” (ONOS) policy for scientific research papers and academic journals from April 2023 to ensure countrywide access for researchers and the broader public.

 

Come 2023, we are likely to see even greater take up by authors of OA. Moreover publishers, such as Springer Nature, continue to be ready to work with funders and others to ensure that these policies drive the OA transition in a sustainable way while ensuring the needs of the researchers continue to be met. For a long time we have had the ‘supply’ (the ability to publish OA), what we have been waiting for is the ‘demand’ (authors wanting to publish OA)….”

CAUL announcement 2023 – The Company of Biologists

“The Company of Biologists’ 2022-2024 Read & Publish Open Access agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) continues to be a great success, and we are delighted to announce that the number of institutions participating in 2023 will increase from 11 to 20.

All institutions that participated in the agreement in 2022 have chosen to renew, and a further nine institutions will be joining in 2023. Three institutions have also upgraded their Read & Publish package to include all our journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology, Disease Models & Mechanisms and Biology Open – bringing the total number of institutions with our five-journal package to 15….”

SAGE Publishing and Council of Australian University Librarians reach new “Read and Publish” agreement

“SAGE Publishing and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), the negotiating body representing universities in Australia and New Zealand), have announced a new Open Access Agreement which will expand publishing opportunities for ANZ researchers. The three year agreement, which begins on the 1st January 2023 and will last through to the 31st December 2025, provides researchers with: • Unlimited open access publishing rights in SAGE’s 900+ hybrid journals. • A discount on article publishing charges for SAGE’s 150+ pure Gold Open Access journals….”

Everything Open 2023 | Everything Open, All At Once!

“We invite you to submit a session proposal on a topic you are familiar with via our proposals portal. The Call for Sessions will remain open until 11:59 pm on Sunday 15 January 2023 anywhere on earth (AoE).

There will be multiple streams catering for a wide range of interest areas across the many facets of open technology, including Linux, open source software, open hardware, standards, formats and documentation, and our communities. In keeping with the conference’s aim to be inclusive to all community members, presentations can be aimed at any level, ranging from technical deep-dives through to beginner and intermediate level presentations for those who are newer to the subject. Where possible, talks on a related subject will be arranged sequentially in the schedule.

There will be two types of sessions at Everything Open: talks and tutorials. Talks will nominally be 45 minutes long on a single topic presented in lecture format. We will also have a few short talk slots (25 minutes) available, which are perfect for people new to presenting at a conference. Tutorials are interactive and hands-on in nature, presented in classroom format. Each accepted session will receive one Professional level ticket to attend the conference….”

SAGE Publishing and Council of Australian University Libraries reach new “Read and Publish” agreement — SAGE Publishing

SAGE Publishing and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), the negotiating body representing universities in Australia and New Zealand, have announced a new Open Access Agreement which will expand publishing opportunities for ANZ researchers. The three year agreement, which begins on the 1st January 2023 and will last through to the 31st December 2025, provides researchers with:

Chief Scientist plan for free research access for all

“The nation’s chief scientist will this year recommend to government a radical departure from the way research is distributed in Australia, proposing a world-first model that shakes up the multi-billion-dollar publishing business so Australian readers don’t pay a cent.

The proposed open access model would give every Australian  access to research without fee – not just researchers – with a new implementation body negotiating a deal with the publishers who have historically kept the work behind paywalls.

The model goes much further than open access schemes in the US and Europe by including existing research libraries and has been designed specifically for Australia’s own challenges.

After exploring the issue for decades, including the last 18 months working on a new national open access strategy, Dr Cathy Foley will recommend the new model to the Albanese government as a way to address key economic and social issues….

Dr Foley has instead opted for a “gold” open access model, where publishers maintain the functional role they play and are paid for it, but must permanently and freely make research literature available online for any Australian to read….

National agreements with publishers would cover both open access publishing costs, also called article processing charges or APCs, for all Australian-led research, and read access for all of Australia to each publisher’s entire catalogue.

In the proposed model, a central body will pool the money usually spent on research access to negotiate a better deal with collective bargaining because even some of Australia’s biggest research institutions pale in comparison to global publishing giants, Dr Foley said….”

Left in the dark: the importance of publicly available clinical trial protocols – Braat – 2022 – Medical Journal of Australia – Wiley Online Library

“Prospective registration of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) based on a protocol with formal ethics approval is a benchmark for transparent medical research. The reporting of the primary results of the study should correspond to the design, analysis, and reporting specified in the protocol and trial registration. However, modifications to various aspects of the trial are often made after registration, ranging from administrative updates to substantial protocol amendments. To track the history of revisions, the protocol and registry entry should be updated, and the documentation trail should support an independent appraisal of whether any biases have been introduced that could affect interpretation of trial results.

In this issue of the MJA, Coskinas and colleagues report their investigation of changes to 181 phase 3 RCTs registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) during 1 September 2007 – 31 December 2013.1 The authors compared protocol documents (including ANZCTR registration information) with subsequent journal publications for any changes to the primary outcome, treatment comparisons, analysis set definition, eligibility criteria, sample size, or primary analysis method. They found that protocols were available for only 124 trials (69%); it could be determined that no major changes had been made to eleven of these trials (9%), while 78 had definitely been modified (63%). By comparing publications with trial registration information, it was found that no changes were made to five of the 57 trials without available protocols (9%), and it could not be determined whether changes had been made to a further ten (18%)….”

IOP Publishing is largest physics publisher to strike open access agreement with the Council of Australian University Librarians   – IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing (IOPP) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) have agreed a three-year transformative agreement (TA) for unlimited open access publishing and access to IOPP’s journals.

Open Publishing Case Studies released | Open Access Australasia

“A set of open publishing case studies supported by Australian university libraries has been released.

The Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies Project forms part of the Advancing Open Scholarship (FAIR) program as part of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.

Case studies were selected via a scoping activity that utilised Open Access Australasia’s curated Directory of Open Access initiatives in Australasia Directories (oaaustralasia.org). The Directory is a curated list of open access initiatives across Australasian institutions and is comprised mainly of higher education institutions, but also includes research organisations and associations.

Each case study describes the work of the featured institution, identifies critical success factors and sustainability issues and provides evidence of impact via a researcher’s perspective of using the publishing initiative.  The researcher’s impact narratives discuss the benefits of using these various publishing initiatives to improve research impact.  Making their research accessible to those relevant organisations outside of the usual academic environment ultimately improves not only their own professional visibility, but most importantly the value of their research….”

Free research access for all to cost Australia an arm and a leg

“The proposal by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley for an open access model that enshrines a national debt to international publishers is fundamentally flawed.

The world-first deal with international publishers to provide Australian readers with free access to the publisher’s research catalogues is likely to come with a hefty bill that will hurt the federal government’s budget bottom line.

The national agreement with the international publishers is likely to be subject to hefty increases in the annual fee after the initial agreement term expires….

There are two parts to this issue.

The first issue is the increasing cost of publishing.

Open access publishing is, for some publishers, a license to print money. Large international publishers turn over billions annually.

The Article Processing Charges can be as much as $5,000 for an article in a high-profile journal. Large international publishers can publish more than one hundred journals and high-profile journals can publish more than 15,000 articles per year.

The second issue is the cost to access research publications that are behind paywalls. Dr Foley told InnovationAus that her office had estimated that “academic libraries are paying between $350-to-$400 million to publishers every year for research access”. …”

The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Abstract:  In the current era of worldwide competition in higher education, universities are caught up in market processes that encourage compliance with the measurement systems applied by world university rankings. Despite questions about the rankings’ methodologies and data sources, universities continue to adopt assessment and evaluation practices that require academic researchers to publish in sources indexed by the major commercial bibliographic databases used by world rankings. Building on a critique of the limited bibliometric measures and underlying assumptions of rankings, the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative interdisciplinary research project aggregates and analyses scholarly research data including open access output from multiple open sources for more than 20,000 institutions worldwide. To understand who is creating knowledge and how diversity is enacted through the transmission of knowledge we analyse workforce demographic data. In this article, we discuss the project’s rationale, methodologies and examples of data analysis that can enable universities to make independent assessments, ask questions about rankings, and contribute to open knowledge-making and sharing.  Expanding on our presentation to the LIBER Online 2021 Conference, we discuss collaboration with academic libraries and other scholarly communication stakeholders to develop and extend the open knowledge project.

 

The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Abstract:  In the current era of worldwide competition in higher education, universities are caught up in market processes that encourage compliance with the measurement systems applied by world university rankings. Despite questions about the rankings’ methodologies and data sources, universities continue to adopt assessment and evaluation practices that require academic researchers to publish in sources indexed by the major commercial bibliographic databases used by world rankings. Building on a critique of the limited bibliometric measures and underlying assumptions of rankings, the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative interdisciplinary research project aggregates and analyses scholarly research data including open access output from multiple open sources for more than 20,000 institutions worldwide. To understand who is creating knowledge and how diversity is enacted through the transmission of knowledge we analyse workforce demographic data. In this article, we discuss the project’s rationale, methodologies and examples of data analysis that can enable universities to make independent assessments, ask questions about rankings, and contribute to open knowledge-making and sharing.  Expanding on our presentation to the LIBER Online 2021 Conference, we discuss collaboration with academic libraries and other scholarly communication stakeholders to develop and extend the open knowledge project.