Lauren Kane Explores New Possibilities with Open and Partnerships at Helm of BioOne – SPARC

“BioOne, founded in 1999 and launched in 2001, provides libraries with a low-cost collection of curated titles and publishers with a community-based platform to distribute their journals. It works with more than 150 nonprofit publishers and 3,500 libraries, serving researchers, educators and students in the U.S. and internationally.

SPARC was a founding organization of BioOne, raising start-up funds from the library community to provide the capital to fund its launch.  From the start, the work of the organizations closely aligned: both are dedicated to a sustainable, equitable publishing ecosystem within the reach of all. 

BioOne’s structure allows its non-profit publishing partners to retain independence and editorial control, including the crucial decision of access and business model. Yet as the landscape changes, Kane said she is exploring ways to facilitate a sustainable transition to open access that works for smaller, less funded titles. Subscribe to Open (S2O) is among the approaches, Kane said, she’s following with interest. It’s appealing as a community-support model and one that the  library community is encouraging further investigation. (For details see Equity is at Heart of Subscribe to Open Model – SPARC) …”

OA.Works joins Code for Science & Society | Oct 18, 2022

“We’re thrilled to announce OA.Works has joined Code for Science and Society (CS&S), a US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering communities to build technology for the public good. “Joining CS&S marks a new phase of maturity for OA.Works, and their expertise in providing fiscal sponsorship to open source tech projects will allow us to capitalize on the many years of growth we enjoyed while being incubated at SPARC,” said Joe McArthur, Director of OA.Works. “Critically, this evolution reaffirms and continues to strengthen our commitment, and ability, to build free, open-source tools as a not-for-profit project.” … OA.Works will join CS&S as a fiscally sponsored project, a common arrangement for small nonprofit projects that enables us to focus on our mission while benefiting from the support of experts for operational and financial services. “We’ve been following OA.Works for years, and are thrilled to work with the team in their next phase of growth,“ said Danielle Robinson, Executive Director of CS&S. “We’ve been consistently impressed by OA.Works’ products to make open access easy. Beyond their products, OA.Works’ commitment to community engagement, transparency, and governance sets them up for sustainable impact.” Added Robinson, “At CS&S, our mission is advancing the power of data to improve the lives of all people through education, research, and technology. OA.Works’ open source software for open access improves public access to information, making them an ideal partner for fiscal sponsorship.” OA.Works joins others at CS&S, including Invest in Open Infrastructure, OpenRefine, and PREreview. You can learn more about CS&S’s work at codeforsociety.org….”

OA = Funders and Lobbyists | Oct 10, 2022

“Do OA and open science represent a set of aligned interests being pushed by the rich and powerful — politicians, funders, lobbyists, and larger commercial operators — to allow for techno-utopian political posturing while they double-dip on their already-plentiful societal advantages and increase the odds that their current advantages grow?

However you answer this very leading question, it’s increasingly clear that policies are not being implemented transparently and openly, but rather via a hidden web of relationships, deals, and coordination — from Plan S to OSTP.

More and more information is pointing to a gradual, purposeful, and internecine takeover of publishing, not to make it more author-centric, but to make it more funder-centric. The relationships among funders, governments, and oligarchs are often blurry, with lobbyists an indicator that some kind of alignment is in the works.

A recent paper in Science and Public Policy about inadequate transparency in the EU’s approach to creating its influential open science policy discusses the role of lobbyists in the paradigm shift from “science 2.0” to “open science” as policies were formulated in Brussels and elsewhere. This was a meaningful shift. Both phrases are vague, but the first is more commonly understood as connoting a digital future based on existing norms. The latter injects a new set of untested norms, with the authors worrying that: ‘. . . successful projects of openness tend to be exploited on the one hand by powerful commercial actors and, on the other hand, by non-serious or even criminal actors, sometimes working in a grey area.’

Given the trail of influence SPARC and ORFG have left in the US through the NLM and the OSTP — in addition to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) — and their efforts to obscure relationships, roles, and ties to the registered lobbying firm (New Venture Fund [NVF]) that is their fiscal sponsor, some statements in the paper hit familiar notes when it comes to lobbyists on this side of the Atlantic:…

Given the power dynamics — with subscription-based journals creating strong filters at the headwaters of various scientific communities, often leading to funded projects being unpublished or published in lesser journals than their funders imagined — it’s little wonder funders changed lanes, entering publishing in order to gain further influence, lower barriers, and put their interests at the headwaters. “Publishers being co-opted by funders” now seems to be the unspoken intent of OA and open science.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20221010111724/https://www.the-geyser.com/oa-and-its-lobbyists/

Statement by Library Futures and SPARC on Wiley E-Textbook Withdrawal | SPARC

In late August, at the start of the Fall 2022 school semester, Wiley Publishing Company abruptly withdrew 1,379 multidisciplinary titles from Proquest, a vendor for university ebook collections around the world. As a result, librarians and faculty members in the United States and internationally have scrambled to identify alternative textbook options for their students as the pandemic amplified the trouble with restrictive licensing and e-textbooks.

Library Futures and SPARC strongly condemn this action by Wiley, which seriously hinders students’ access to equitable, affordable course materials. The full list of titles and public contact information for their authors was compiled by Johanna Anderson of #ebookSOS.

[…]

 

Position Opening: Programs & Operations Specialist – SPARC

“The Programs and Operations Specialist position assists the Chief Operating Officer in the operational management of SPARC, which encompasses policy, advocacy, community organizing, and professional development initiatives. The Specialist provides key organizational support to the SPARC team, including coordinating virtual and in-person events, facilitating memberships, supporting the Steering Committee and their election process, and as well as general operational support. The position also coordinates parts of SPARC’s ongoing community programming and contributes to meaningful and impactful work across the organization. 

This full-time, virtual position is a prime opportunity for a motivated professional seeking to advance openness and equity in research and education while gaining valuable operational non-profit experience alongside experienced advocates and leaders. Candidates for employment must be authorized to work in the United States. Candidates outside of the United States may be considered as a contractor….”

Subscribe-to-Open Community of Practice Statement on the OSTP ‘Nelson Memo’

The Subscribe to Open (S2O) Community of Practice is an informal collective of over forty pro-open publishers, libraries, consortia, funders, service providers, and other stakeholders committed to providing equitable and economically sustainable OA publishing. The S2O Community of Practice welcomes the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research.

International Open Access Week

” “Open for Climate Justice” is the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (October 24-30).

Climate Justice is an explicit acknowledgement that the climate crisis has far-reaching effects, and the impacts are “not be[ing] borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” as the UN notes. These power imbalances also affect communities’ abilities to produce, disseminate, and use knowledge around the climate crisis. Openness can create pathways to more equitable knowledge sharing and serve as a means to address the inequities that shape the impacts of climate change and our response to them.

This year’s focus on Climate Justice seeks to encourage connection and collaboration among the climate movement and the international open community. Sharing knowledge is a human right, and tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.

International Open Access Week is a time to coordinate across communities to make openness the default for research and to ensure that equity is at the center of this work. Selected by the Open Access Week Advisory Committee, this year’s theme is an opportunity to join together, take action, and raise awareness around how open enables climate justice. Open Access Week 2022 will be held from October 24th through the 30th; however, anyone is encouraged to host discussions and take action around “Open for Climate Justice” whenever is most suitable during the year and to adapt the theme and activities to their local context….”

Fact Sheet: White House OSTP Memo on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research – SPARC

“On August 25, 2022, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research that will make taxpayer-funded research immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use. This new guidance calls on all federal agencies to generate policies that eliminate the current 12-month waiting period for access to the outputs of federally funded research, including articles and data. 

Specifically, the new policy guidance …”

Taxpayers to Get Immediate Access to Publicly Funded Research | SPARC

White House issues new guidance that will speed progress toward curing diseases, preventing pandemics, mitigating climate change, and more.

Washington, DC (August 25, 2022) – As a result of action taken today by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), taxpayer-funded research will be immediately available for the public to freely access and fully use. The new guidance issued to all federal agencies will eliminate the current 12-month waiting period for access to research outputs, including articles and data. 

“This is an enormous leap forward,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, which has worked for more than two decades to accelerate open access to research. “For the first time, everyone will have free and immediate access to the results of all federally funded research to speed solutions for global challenges—from cancer to climate change.”

Currently, U.S. taxpayers spend over $80 billion on research each year. The government funds this research in order to advance discovery, spur the economy, accelerate innovation, and improve the lives of citizens. Yet too often the articles that report on the results of this research are locked behind expensive paywalls. The world learned how critical open access to research was during COVID-19. In 2020, paywalls were lifted for coronavirus articles, enabling scientists and doctors to access the latest research without delay and leading to the fastest development of a vaccine in history. 

Now, the public will be guaranteed the same fast access to information on countless other areas critical to their lives. Today’s action will unlock both the articles reporting on the results of federally funded research and the data needed to validate their results. It will enable scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, and communities to more quickly turn research into real-world applications that can benefit everyone.

[…]

 

Celebrating 100 #LeadOER Graduates: Stories from the Class of 2022 – SPARC

“Last month, SPARC was thrilled to announce the graduation of the 2021-2022 cohort of the Open Education Leadership Program, a year-long fellowship designed to help leaders deepen their knowledge of open practices and build a network of professional colleagues with shared interests. This year’s graduating class also represents some important milestones for the program itself: it marks the program’s five year anniversary and it brings our total graduate count above 100.

To celebrate these milestones, we wanted to highlight stories from this year’s graduating class.This year’s cohort was incredibly unique in the varied perspectives and expertise that each fellow brought to the program, and you can learn about all of this year’s capstones on the 2021-2022 cohort page. …”

Announcing SPARC’s Knowledge Equity Discussion Series – SPARC

“Our knowledge systems exclude many perspectives because legacies of injustice are built into their foundations. Racism, colonialism, and other forms of discrimination limit whose voices are heard, whose interests are prioritized, and whose knowledge counts. Openness can create pathways to more equitable systems of knowledge sharing; however, in pursuing this potential, it is important to explicitly recognize the ways these inequities are built into the foundations of academic systems.

To help situate the work of opening up research and education within this essential context, SPARC will host a discussion series to provide an introduction to broad concepts and considerations of epistemic injustice and knowledge equity in the areas of academic libraries and archives. These discussions will examine how universities, and thus academic libraries, are rooted in oppressive systems like white supremacy, racism, and settler colonialism, and how that is connected to our current work in libraries.

This public series will consist of four 60-minute discussions from the end of July through early September. …”

Elsevier’s Acquisition of Interfolio: Risks and Responses – SPARC: Community Owned Infrastructure | report JUN 29, 2022

“This analysis details the potential risks posed by Elsevier’s acquisition of Interfolio, what institutions should watch for, and proactive steps institutions can take to reduce the negative impacts of consolidation….”

International Open Access Week: Open for Climate Justice

““Open for Climate Justice” is the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (October 24-30).

Climate Justice is an explicit acknowledgement that the climate crisis has far-reaching effects, and the impacts are “not be[ing] borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” as the UN notes. These power imbalances also affect communities’ abilities to produce, disseminate, and use knowledge around the climate crisis. Openness can create pathways to more equitable knowledge sharing and serve as a means to address the inequities that shape the impacts of climate change and our response to them.

This year’s focus on Climate Justice seeks to encourage connection and collaboration among the climate movement and the international open community. Sharing knowledge is a human right, and tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.

International Open Access Week is a time to coordinate across communities to make openness the default for research and to ensure that equity is at the center of this work. Selected by the Open Access Week Advisory Committee, this year’s theme is an opportunity to join together, take action, and raise awareness around how open enables climate justice. Open Access Week 2022 will be held from October 24th through the 30th; however, anyone is encouraged to host discussions and take action around “Open for Climate Justice” whenever is most suitable during the year and to adapt the theme and activities to their local context….”