Navigating the barbed wire of publisher access barriers | Plan S

“In many ways, the specific details of this situation are irrelevant. What does matter is the important points it raises:

From the baffling experiences described above, one concludes that not only is the assortment of access options confusing for readers but that major publishers are challenged to engineer and control access and authentication as they intended. Such examples validate the reasons why hybrid OA journals are problematic.

There is a significant effort associated with gatekeeping and preventing potential readers from accessing content, when research should be disseminated and read as widely as possible. This represents an increased cost in the production of publications – a cost which is ultimately borne by the subscriber or individual reader. 

There is considerable evidence that open access articles are more read than non Open access articles. Indeed, even SpringerNature, the publisher of the article example above, states that “Open approaches accelerate the progress of science…. OA is immediately accessible and highly discoverable… Previous research shows the OA advantage for researchers: OA articles are cited on average 1.6 times more than non-OA articles, downloaded 4 times more often and attract 2.5 times more attention, as measured by news and policy mentions”.

Wouldn’t it be better if the money, time and energy invested by publishers in attempting to build a complex variety of access barriers were directed towards providing a consistent approach to access? Then the money, time and energy spent by researchers and libraries in paying for and attempting to access content, via confused and confusing interfaces, could be better spent on research. If authentication and access control are so challenging, and we all, including publishers, agree that Open Access is beneficial, then we need to abandon these types of attempts at gatekeeping, and instead focus on making all research publications easily openly accessible.”

eBook Licensing in Europe and the Vanishing Library? – YouTube

“Unaffordable prices, an inability to buy eBooks due to a refusal to sell, bundling of unwanted titles in packages, and restrictions on research copying all affect access to eBooks in all types of libraries.

Confidentiality clauses in contracts between publishers and universities are also making understanding how the eBook market functions more challenging, and obscuring whether public money is being well-spent. The #ebooksos campaign has successfully highlighted via the BBC and the Guardian the issues faced by the education and research sectors in accessing and using e-Books. The same issues are also being faced by public libraries across Europe. This session will explore in depth the acute difficulties faced not just by higher education, but also by public libraries, caused by publishers’ pricing and licensing practices, and discuss possible solutions, including the potential to solve many of the problems with legal solutions in copyright law that allow Controlled Digital Lending. It will also include information about the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme (KR21), an initiative led by Stichting IFLA Foundation, setting out its aim to achieve and implement reforms to copyright law, regulation and practice that enable knowledge institutions to provide significantly greater possibilities to access and use copyright works. Working with public, national, educational, health and research libraries, universities and the wider access to knowledge movement, KR21 aims to promote copyright reform at the European and national levels, and through its work leave a lasting legacy that influences similar developments elsewhere in the world….”

Owens | Scholarly Communication Outside the R1: Measuring Faculty and Graduate Student Knowledge and Interest at a Doctoral/Professional University | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION This study explores the baseline knowledge and interest of faculty and graduate students at a Carnegie-classified Doctoral/Professional University regarding different components of scholarly communication. METHODS A survey was developed to inquire about such topics as scholarly research, scholarly publishing, access to research, copyright, measuring impact, promoting research, and open-educational resources. Responses more significantly represented the humanities and social sciences versus the natural and applied sciences. RESULTS & DISCUSSION Results showed some hesitancy in embracing the open access (OA) publishing model, especially the use of article processing charges (APCs). Faculty largely collect original data and believe public access to original data is important, but this varies by college and includes almost one-fourth of faculty who do not feel that sharing data is important. The areas in which respondents expressed the highest level of knowledge correlate directly with the areas in which respondents expressed the most interest in professional development. Preferences in professional development modality were split between virtual and in-person sessions. With virtual sessions specifically, graduate students prefer synchronous sessions while faculty prefer pre-recorded sessions. CONCLUSION Respondents were generally aware of the library’s current scholarly communications services, but additional promotion and marketing is still needed, especially for colleges with the lowest areas of engagement.

 

Collister | From “Patchy Endorsements” to Intentional Advocacy: Deconstructing Bias in the Language of Open Access | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  This paper argues that linguistic features common in discourse around Open Access Publishing are socially constructed in ways that lend themselves to implicit bias against the Open Access (OA) movement. These biases materialize through common linguistic practices such as de-centering OA and highlighting the uncertainty of OA Publishing, resulting in “patchy endorsements” of the status quo of Subscription Publishing. Following previous research that demonstrates how educational content on OA can lead to cognitive load and biases that reinforce the status quo in scholarly publishing, we analyze publicly available, online content from our own institutions with an eye towards how these biases manifest specifically in the practice of librarianship. Using examples from this analysis, we suggest strategies and intentional language that can be used by librarians and other OA advocates to counteract bias and shift towards a construction of OA Publishing as the status quo. While many strategies and difficult negotiations are needed to functionally establish OA as the default in scholarly publishing, language choice is a device through which advocates at any level can advance towards an open-centered culture.

 

Llebot | Why Won’t They Just Adopt Good Research Data Management Practices? An Exploration of Research Teams and Librarians’ Role in Facilitating RDM Adoption | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Adoption of good research data management practices is increasingly important for research teams. Despite the work the research community has done to define best data management practices, these practices are still difficult to adopt for many research teams. Universities all around the world have been offering Research Data Services to help their research groups, and libraries are usually an important part of these services. A better understanding of the pressures and factors that affect research teams may help librarians serve these groups more effectively. The social interactions between the members of a research team are a key element that influences the likelihood of a research group successfully adopting best practices in data management. In this article we adapt the Unified Theory of the Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis, & Davis, 2003) to explain the variables that can influence whether new and better, data management practices will be adopted by a research group. We describe six moderating variables: size of the team, disciplinary culture, group culture and leadership, team heterogeneity, funder, and dataset decisions. We also develop three research group personas as a way of navigating the UTAUT model, and as a tool Research Data Services practitioners can use to target interactions between librarians and research groups to make them more effective.

 

Kakai | An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.

 

SocArXiv Papers | Dynamics of Cumulative Advantage and Threats to Equity in Open Science – A Scoping Review

Open Science holds the promise to make scientific endeavours more inclusive, participatory, understandable, accessible, and re-usable for large audiences. However, making processes open will not per se drive wide re-use or participation unless also accompanied by the capacity (in terms of knowledge, skills, financial resources, technological readiness and motivation) to do so. These capacities vary considerably across regions, institutions and demographics. Those advantaged by such factors will remain potentially privileged, putting Open Science’s agenda of inclusivity at risk of propagating conditions of “cumulative advantage”. With this paper, we systematically scope existing research addressing the question: “What evidence and discourse exists in the literature about the ways in which dynamics and structures of inequality could persist or be exacerbated in the transition to Open Science, across disciplines, regions and demographics?” Aiming to synthesise findings, identify gaps in the literature, and inform future research and policy, our results identify threats to equity associated with all aspects of Open Science, including Open Access, Open/FAIR Data, Open Methods, Open Evaluation, Citizen Science, as well as its interfaces with society, industry and policy. Key threats include: stratifications of publishing due to the exclusionary nature of the author-pays model of Open Access; potential widening of the digital divide due to the infrastructure-dependent, highly situated nature of open data practices; risks of diminishing qualitative methodologies as “reproducibility” becomes synonymous with quality; new risks of bias and exclusion in means of transparent evaluation; and crucial asymmetries in the Open Science relationships with industry and the public, which privileges the former and fails to fully include the latter.

Factors that influence data sharing through data sharing platforms: A qualitative study on the views and experiences of cohort holders and platform developers

Abstract:  Background

Infrastructures are being developed to enhance and facilitate the sharing of cohort data internationally. However, empirical studies show that many barriers impede sharing data broadly.

Purpose

Therefore, our aim is to describe the barriers and concerns for the sharing of cohort data, and the implications for data sharing platforms.

Methods

Seventeen participants involved in developing data sharing platforms or tied to cohorts that are to be submitted to platforms were recruited for semi-structured interviews to share views and experiences regarding data sharing.

Results

Credit and recognition, the potential misuse of data, loss of control, lack of resources, socio-cultural factors and ethical and legal barriers are elements that influence decisions on data sharing. Core values underlying these reasons are equality, reciprocity, trust, transparency, gratification and beneficence.

Conclusions

Data generators might use data sharing platforms primarily for collaborative modes of working and network building. Data generators might be unwilling to contribute and share for non-collaborative work, or if no financial resources are provided for sharing data.

EIFL agreements result in increased OA publishing | EIFL

“The EIFL Licensing Programme has been negotiating open access agreements with publishers since 2016. These include waived and discounted Article Processing Charges (APCs), as well as free and discounted read & publish terms, and aim to increase the amount of open access publishing output. We currently have 11 agreements with publishers, six of which were signed in 2020. 

Many publishers have APC waiver and discount schemes for authors from developing and transition economy countries. However, publishers’ eligibility criteria can change unexpectedly; hybrid journals are usually excluded, and many researchers are not aware of these schemes as they are not always well publicized….”

over 33TB of distributed data to secure the future of open science – SamaGame

“The good news is that we had more and more data, little by little, the internet was filling up with repositories, APIs and open databases with which to work. The bad news is that, for that very reason, the transfer of this huge data set was increasingly cumbersome, strenuous and expensive….

Cohen and Lo began to think about the problem and came to a conclusion that today may seem obvious: the best tool to transfer large files was BitTorrent. Why not develop a solution based on the world’s best-known p2p exchange protocol? Thus was born Academic Torrents….

The main obstacle was not technical. It was social. In these four years of work, the hardest thing has been convincing the researchers that a technology as demonized as torrents could have legitimate scientific use. And not only that because, once they convinced the researchers, they touched an even tougher bone: convincing the institutions….”

Open Education Challenge Series – Bite-Sized Learning for the Busy Educator

BCcampus is hosting an open education challenge series for educators interested in learning more about open education practices (OEP). This series is a fun way to get a taste of  OEP – over the course of 5 days we will release 2 challenges per day.  A challenge is a micro activity that you can do in 10 minutes or less that will cover a small aspect of open education.

PIJIP and Wikimedia Germany Co-Host RightsCon 2021 Panel – American University Washington College of Law

“PIJIP Director Sean Flynn co-hosted a panel titled Access to Digital Education in the Time of COVID-19: Copyright and Public Health Emergencies as part of RightsCon 2021. He hosted the discussion with Justus Dreyling, the project manager of international regulation with Wikimedia Germany.

The panel focused on the impact of inadequate copyright rules on access to and use of educational materials in digital setting as well as how new legal instruments at the international level could solve these problems and facilitate access to knowledge….”

Open Science in Kenya: Where Are We? | Research Metrics and Analytics

“According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It has great potential for advancing science. At its core, it includes (but is not limited to) open access, open data, and open research. Some of the associated advantages are promoting collaboration, sharing and reproducibility in research, and preventing the reinvention of the wheel, thus saving resources. As research becomes more globalized and its output grows exponentially, especially in data, the need for open scientific research practices is more evident — the future of modern science. This has resulted in a concerted global interest in open science uptake. Even so, barriers still exist. The formal training curriculum in most, if not all, universities in Kenya does not equip students with the knowledge and tools to subsequently practice open science in their research. Therefore, to work openly and collaboratively, there is a need for awareness and training in the use of open science tools. These have been neglected, especially in most developing countries, and remain barriers to the cause. Moreover, there is scanty research on the state of affairs regarding the practice and/or adoption of open science. Thus, we developed, through the OpenScienceKE framework, a model to narrow the gap. A sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model was applied in Nairobi, the economic and administrative capital of Kenya. Using the model, we sensitized through seminars, trained on the use of tools through workshops, applied the skills learned in training through hackathons to collaboratively answer the question on the state of open science in Kenya. While the former parts of the model had 20–50 participants, the latter part mainly involved participants with a bioinformatics background, leveraging their advanced computational skills. This model resulted in an open resource that researchers can use to publish as open access cost-effectively. Moreover, we observed a growing interest in open science practices in Kenya through literature search and data mining and that lack of awareness and skills may still hinder the adoption and practice of open science. Furthermore, at the time of the analyses, we surprisingly found that out of the 20,069 papers downloaded from BioRXiv, only 18 had Kenyan authors, a majority of which are international (16) collaborations. This may suggest poor uptake of the use of preprints among Kenyan researchers. The findings in this study highlight the state of open science in Kenya and challenges facing its adoption and practice while bringing forth possible areas for primary consideration in the campaign toward open science. It also proposes a model (sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model) that may be adopted by researchers, funders and other proponents of open science to address some of the challenges faced in promoting its adoption in Kenya….”

 

Prinzipien und Barrieren von Knowledge Equity in der Wissenschaft – Lernraum Freies Wissen

From Google’s English:  “This learning unit dares to try to approach different questions concerning the principles and barriers of knowledge equity in (open) science and in the broadest sense free knowledge. Depending on the frame of reference, they can be applied and discussed from a variety of perspectives – e.g. gender, level of education, origin, global north / global south. The aim is to initiate an examination of one’s own knowledge culture in order to create awareness of what can be understood by knowledge and equity and to reflect one’s own role in enabling and restricting knowledge equity….”