“In the progression of the Open Access (OA) movement, it’s become resoundingly apparent that true accessibility isn’t just about making research free to read but also making publishing practices more equitable. If we are to realize the Budapest Open Access Initiative’s vision to “lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge,” all stakeholders must have an opportunity to contribute to OA models, not just those historically in positions of power.
The theme for this year’s OA Week (October 25-31), “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity,” invites the academic community to weigh the current state of OA and what’s needed to promote greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) throughout the research ecosystem. At Scholastica, we were particularly drawn to the phrase “how we open knowledge” as a means to elicit discourse and, more importantly, action around the various ways scholarly organizations of all sizes are and can develop more equitable OA journal models. We’re proud to work with so many scholarly societies, academic institutions, and scholar-led non-profits publishing path-breaking OA journals committed to not only opening access to research but also lowering the cost of knowledge production. In honor of OA Week, we decided to reach out to some of those journal teams to ask them to share their take on the prompt “how we open knowledge.”
Throughout OA Week, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with Scholastica users on how they’re factoring structural equity into OA publication planning and advice for scholarly organizations looking to launch fully-OA journals….”
“I am thrilled to announce that Brianna Schofield has joined the Stanford Libraries as director of the new Office of Scholarly Communication. Brianna will support faculty, researchers, students, and staff with their scholarly communications concerns, including providing information on their intellectual property rights and responsibilities, implementing Stanford’s new Open Access Policy, and strategizing to improve access to Stanford’s scholarship and research outputs. Brianna looks forward to working with Stanford Libraries colleagues to advance new scholarly publishing models.
Prior to joining Stanford, Brianna was the Executive Director of Authors Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly. She is the co-author of a handbook that helps users evaluate whether works are in the public domain, a guide that helps authors revert copyrights, a guide to open access, and a guide to fair use in nonfiction. In addition, Brianna served as an editor to a guide to negotiating publication contracts and a forthcoming guide to navigating the third-party permissions process.
Brianna holds a JD from UC Berkeley, School of Law and a BSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a passionate advocate of access to knowledge. She brings expertise and commitment that will serve the scholarly communications needs of the Stanford community. I look forward to working with Brianna to promote the Libraries’ mission to expand open access publishing opportunities for Stanford faculty and students.”
“In this episode we chat with Kathleen Shearer, Executive director of Confederation of Open Access Repositories, hearing her views on repositories in open research.”
At DARIAH, recognizing and even celebrating the complexities of humanistic and artistic research practices has always been a heart of our interest. This includes connecting DARIAHns with fair Open Access players and showcasing, discussing innovations that are pushing the boundaries of what we can conceive as the scholarly monograph in the 21st century. The conversation below with Janneke Adema, author of Living Books: Experiments in the Posthumanities had started out as a twitter exchange that later we continued in the margins of the book. In this post, you can read its remediated, recontextualized version where the questions are not directly anchored in the introduction chapter of the book. We discuss how blogging helped her to rethink book publishing (of her own and of others); the fetishization of print books and how it relates to Zoom background, dynamic forms of publishing and many more. Enjoy!
“Eisen has always been in favor of sharing his research. When he was a graduate student, he shared findings about his work on genomics and evolution on his website before publishing them in any journal. But his commitment to and passion for open access to scientific research exploded in 2003 when the issue became personal.
While pregnant, Eisen’s wife underwent an amniocentesis — a relatively common procedure. Unfortunately, the procedure was not done correctly and the situation became very dangerous. One of the major complications this created was related to the issue of Rh incompatibility. Due to the mixing of fetal and maternal blood, his wife should have received a RhoGAM immunization. However, the doctors did not initially do this and when pressed a few days later they were unsure if a late immunization could work. So Eisen tried to examine the literature to figure out what to do. Eisen had the scientific training necessary to locate and understand research papers on the topic that could give him the answer. But he couldn’t access them.
“Here I was at 2 a.m. in a hospital room across the street from the genomic center where I worked, and I couldn’t get papers on RhoGAM immunizations,” Eisen said. “There were papers on the topic, I just couldn’t get access to them.”
His wife survived, but the couple lost their baby. This was a galvanizing incident for Eisen, who said it was the moment he realized, “This is insane.”
“We paid for this research with public dollars,” Eisen continued. “The goal of this research is to benefit humanity and communicate science; here I am a trained person, trying to make a decision, and I couldn’t get the papers. I never looked back and became a relentless supporter of open access to scientific knowledge.” …”
“The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is pleased to welcome Ann Ludbrook as Visiting Program Officer (VPO) for Open Education.
Ann is the Scholarly Engagement and Copyright Librarian at Ryerson University. She provides copyright education and support for the Ryerson community and is an active member of the CFLA Copyright Committee and the CARL Copyright Specialist group. In terms of open education, Ann is an originating and current member of the CARL Open Education Working Group and chairs their Community of Practice team. She has worked for over 8 years in the field of open education at Ryerson University and regularly supports Open Education projects. She was one of the librarians that worked on the CARL Copyright Open Educational Resource for University Instructors….”
“With the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we are excited to introduce IOI’s first Research Fellows: Anne Britton and Teri Wanderi. They’ll be working with us over the next few months to expand and enhance our research to support and sustain open infrastructure….”
“To celebrate international Open Access week 2021, UTS Library is taking a closer look at how the UTS community can prioritise unlocking knowledge through open education and open research to support social equity and inclusion.
UTS Library’s Scholarly Communications Manager, Scott Abbott, sat down with leading voice in the open access movement Peter Suber, who is currently the Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and Director of the Harvard Open Access Project.
In this interview, Peter sets the scene for global scholarly communications, dissects how Australia sits within the context of open infrastructure and explores some of the current risks and opportunities of the open access movement….”
Today we are delighted to announce that the Board of Directors of Open Knowledge Foundation has appointed Renata Avila to be the new CEO of Open Knowledge Foundation – effective from October 4th 2021.
This paper is based upon the 2021 Miles Conrad Award Lecture that was given by Heather Joseph at the second annual NISO Plus conference held virtually from February 22–25, 2021. The lecture provided a brief look back at the emergence of the Open Access (OA) movement in scholarly communication beginning with the E-biomed proposal in 1999 that was shortly followed by the Budapest Declaration released on February 14, 2002, through how far it has come in almost two decades.
The author notes that the initial reaction to OA was often just a quick dismissal of it as an idealistic pipe dream and as the idea began to grow in popularity, skepticism changed into hostility. OA was criticized as being too disruptive to the then-existent publishing paradigm. Yet, far from disappearing, the movement towards the open sharing of knowledge steadily advanced. Today conversations about “why” or “whether” to open up the scholarly communication system have evolved into conversations about how best to do it.
The author notes that the Budapest Declaration underscored that the end goal of OA is to empower individuals and communities around the world with the ability to share their knowledge as well as to share in accessing the knowledge of others. She warns that members of the global scholarly communication community must look critically at who currently can participate in the production of knowledge, and whose voices are represented in the “global intellectual conversation” that need to be facilitated. Whose voices are still are left out because structural barriers – be they technical, financial, legal, cultural, or linguistic – prevent them from joining?
“Richard Baraniuk, the C. Sidney Burrus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and founding director of OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, has received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.
Known informally as the “Nobel Prize of education,” the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education bestows the annual award on “outstanding individuals whose accomplishments are making a difference in the lives of students.”
Baraniuk is among the founders of the open education movement promoting the use of free and open-source-licensed educational resources. OpenStax (formerly Connexions) is a nonprofit publishing project he founded in 1999 to bring textbooks and other learning materials into the digital age.
During the last academic year, free and open-source texts from OpenStax were used by 4.5 million students and 16,000 faculty at roughly 62% of U.S. colleges and universities. Since 2012, 14 million students have saved an estimated $1.2 billion. This academic year, the number of students benefiting from OpenStax publications already exceeds 5 million….”
“[Q] What is your opinion on Open Access versus the traditional subscription publishing model?
[A] I start with the observation that there was not one traditional publishing model. On the one hand, there are commercial publishers such as Elsevier but also Nature, Cell Press, etc., who published a whole range of journals from the very prestigious to the not so prominent and made their money by charging often high fees to libraries and in some cases individual subscribers. These attracted increasing disapproval because they were publishing work that had been funded by public bodies and/or charities who were interested in discoveries and not publications/publishers’ profits. On the other hand, there are journals published by learned societies such as the Biochemical Journal (UK) and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Here, the income, again mainly from libraries, was used to support the scholarly activities of the sponsoring societies, but even here there was variation; some journals such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry charged their authors’ page charges, whereas others, such as the Biochemical Journal, did not. In general, those that did not impose page charges charged higher prices to libraries. A third model was that of FEBS who have always worked with commercial publishers to generate revenue for FEBS from their journals. All these journals made additional money from the sale of reprints. Most of the content of these journals was available only to subscribers, of which the majority were affiliated to institutional or company subscribers. The idea that all publicly funded knowledge should be available to all was given impetus by the move to online publication when it became feasible for an individual, almost anywhere in the world and without institutional or company connection, to gain access to all publications provided there was no paywall. I have always questioned how many such individuals exist, but to make publications truly open access, the costs of publication have had to shift to investigators and their institutions. At my own institution, the large sums allocated for this purpose were exhausted before the financial year was complete, thus leading to delays in publication. It is now understood that spending large sums of money this way instead of on research is unsustainable. The dream, of course, is deposition of papers on the internet at close to zero cost, but then who would organize review and proper presentation? Some will argue that we don’t need review—rubbish will sink ignored—but then how would we know about papers hosted only on an institutional website? Overall, I am inclined to think the traditional model had much to recommend it and it is not clear to me how the scientific community can stop profit-driven commercial publishing, an original aim of open access, other than boycotting of certain journals….”
“At the end of this month, as the new OASPA Board’s annual term begins, Caroline Sutton will step down from the OASPA Board after 14 years of service. Caroline has been involved with OASPA since a shared idea became reality back in 2007. She was our founding President and is the last of the founding members to leave the board. For us, her departure offers a chance to reflect on both the end of a critical, formative stage in open access, and to look forward ambitiously to a new and incredibly exciting phase, secure in the knowledge that Caroline, in common with all of our founding members, has helped create a robust foundation on which to build towards realising our mission. …”
“My view is that we are in the stone age. If you look at AI and semantic search — it hasn’t taken off. Folks are still using a standard boolean search. AI can be used in so many different ways. Blockchain is very early days and has so much great promise. Unfortunately, it is equated to cryptocurrency, but it’s not about that at all.
This is my caution to publishers. You don’t want to be Telerate. Telerate had 100% of the market before Bloomberg. Bloomberg had better analytics, better customer service, better user experience. Unfortunately, the Bancroft family took a multibillion-dollar bath with Telerate. A lot of publishers are very hesitant to try Blockchain. Someone will create a better mousetrap that will make publishing so much more effective than it currently is.
I remember speaking with a librarian in 1999, as we were rolling out ScienceDirect, who insisted that the internet would go away and print would resurge. We’ve had so many panels about whether ebooks will ever come to fruition. In this industry, we make the error of ignoring so much new technology — it’s great to challenge it for efficacy — that debate is always worthwhile, but any new technology shouldn’t be dismissed outright….”
“Now in Wikipedia’s 20th year, it is with immense gratitude that we announce that the Wikimedia Endowment has reached its initial $100 million goal ahead of schedule. With this milestone, the Wikimedia movement will have a critical base level of funds to continue to flourish and thrive over the long-term. This milestone was achieved thanks to the generosity of our Endowment donors, who find value in the volunteer-created content on Wikimedia projects and want to protect and support its growth for others to benefit from. …”