In order to gain greater insight into the state of library-publisher relations today, we asked Executive Director of AUPresses, Peter Berkery, and Executive Director of the Association of Research Libraries, Mary Lee Kennedy, to share their thoughts about how relations between the two communities have changed. Their answers ultimately reveal more similarities than differences. They note current sites of collaborations (particularly around open access) and common areas of tension (around financial sustainability). While there has been a refiguring of what publishing means, both groups have a heightened dedication to a just and equitable scholarly environment. We hope these interviews can continue the dialogue that librarians and publishers are having across and within our communities.
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) endorses the cOAlition S call to publishers asking for greater clarity and transparency in manuscript submission processes, enabling authors to exercise the right to retain their copyright and to meet Plan S grant obligations for immediate open access (OA) dissemination of their research articles. Urgent global challenges underscore a growing consensus on the benefits of immediate open access. In a time of experimentation with business models to achieve that goal, transparency is critically important for all stakeholders—including funders, research institutions, and their libraries—to make data-informed decisions with the resources they steward. What cOAlition S proposes will also reduce author burden with respect to decision-making and publication workflow as researchers navigate the policy environment to realize immediate OA. In alignment with cOAlition S’s request to publishers, ARL works for optimal institutional and public policies–including a balanced copyright regime–that expand access to knowledge. Our member libraries partner on implementation of those policies in the research ecosystem, including consultation on open licensing, publishing, and other open research practices….”
“SCOSS, OACIP, the SCIP census, and IOI are all promising initiatives to address the library community’s need for data, criteria, and transparency that would enable the operationalization of maintenance funding for community-based infrastructure necessary for sustainable scholarship. Research libraries can work with these new projects to supply and help standardize data about which scholarly infrastructures are used by their local communities and how their organizations are contributing to the infrastructures’ sustainability.”
“At a time when research discovery is more necessary than ever, it is also becoming more complicated. The work of tracking and identifying publications and other research outputs is taking place in a context of increased technological complexity, competing motivations and priorities, and constrained resources. As exemplified by the Microsoft case, one of the fundamental challenges and risks in the scholarly infrastructure landscape is the unpredictable availability of the platforms and services we rely upon to perform this work. When these platforms and services go away, what do we have left?
Such challenges and risks might be overcome or at least mitigated if and when scholarly infrastructure is built with open components that can persist beyond their packaging. “The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure” (POSI), which were initially outlined in 2015 and are seeing a revival in 2021, provide a set of guidelines for open infrastructure for research and scholarly communications.2 Within this framework, open infrastructure is a strategy for sustainability. Using the POSI principles as a backdrop, we examine one essential ingredient of open infrastructure: persistent identifiers, or PIDs. We explore ways in which the use of openly available PIDs, and investments in the services that support them, can enable the discovery of research outputs while promoting the sustainability of data and information. Research libraries have an opportunity to adopt a “PID-centric” approach to tracking, sharing, and publishing research. PIDs have the potential to address pain points, increase efficiencies, and save time. Promoting the implementation of open PIDs and the metadata associated with them serves a broader goal of improving information connectivity….”
“Virginia Tech and five other members of the Data Curation Network and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) were awarded a National Science Foundation EAGER grant (#2135874) to conduct research, develop models, and collect information related to cost for public access to research data. The group, led by ARL, is composed of data specialists from Virginia Tech, University of Michigan, Duke University, University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Public access to research data increases transparency of research results, heightens the visibility of institutional scholarship, and can accelerate the pace of discovery through scholarship. However, common questions around public access to research data remain. Where are funded researchers making their data publicly accessible, and what is the quality of the corresponding metadata? How do researchers make the decision on how and why to share data? What is the cost to institutions to implement the federally mandated public access to research data policy?…”
“The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and six universities involved in the Data Curation Network a $297,019 grant to conduct research, develop models, and collect costing information for public access to research data across five disciplinary areas. The project, Completing the Life Cycle: Developing Evidence-Based Models of Research Data Sharing, will start in August 2021….
This research seeks to answer the following questions:
Where are funded researchers across these institutions making their data publicly accessible and what is the quality of the metadata?
How are researchers making decisions about why and how to share research data?
What is the cost to the institution to implement the federally mandated public access to research data policy? …”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has named Micah Vandegrift as a visiting program officer in the Scholars & Scholarship program for July 2021–July 2022. Vandegrift is the open knowledge librarian at NC State University Libraries.
As visiting program officer, Vandegrift will design and deliver a pilot experience for a cohort of eight ARL member libraries that are advancing open research practices at their institutions. The pilot Accelerating the Social Impact of Research (ASIR) program will help participants develop a strategic approach for advancing the social impact of science, aimed at building and reinforcing institutional points of influence for open research practices. This initiative is in coordination with the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science and with the NASEM Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI)….”
“IIPA [International Intellectual Property Alliance] attacked subsection 12D7(a) as a threat to “academic freedom” because it gives the author of a scientific article that is the result of a research activity primarily funded by the government the right to make the article available on an open access basis. This is a truly Orwellian argument. How does preserving a scientist’s right to make her research publicly available undermine her academic freedom? The statute doesn’t obligate her to provide open access, although the Government certainly has the authority to do so as a condition of its providing the research funding. Indeed, the United States government conditions it research grants on making the resulting articles available on an open access basis. So do the EU and many other research funders around the world.
“On behalf of the leaders of 125 major research libraries, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to see that the US House of Representatives included the following policies in the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act (H.R. 2225), which center researchers and create public value by promoting the availability of publicly funded research:
Criteria for trusted open repositories to be used by federally funded researchers sharing data, software, and code. According to the House bill, the criteria would be developed with input from the scientific community. Research libraries look forward to partnering with NSF and the scientific community to develop these criteria.
Data management plans to facilitate public access to NSF-funded research products, including data, software, and code….
We strongly support public access to publications resulting from NSF-funded research with zero embargo, and we are heartened to see language in the Senate-passed US Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) requiring the publication of federally funded research data within 12 months, “preferably sooner.” Making research outputs publicly available to the widest possible audience in the timeliest manner possible, and machine-accessible for computation, is critical for developing scientific insights and solutions for public health, climate, technological advancement, and more….”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), representing 125 member organizations in Canada and the United States, has joined the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). ARL members are trusted sources of scholarly information and data, and constitute a significant share of the academic publishing market. A growing number of research libraries run their own publishing programs, house or partner with university presses, and collaborate with emerging scholar-led presses. The Association is proud to join publishing colleagues in C4DISC as part of a commitment to better understand the causes of, and to advance remedies for, racial inequity in scholarly communication. In joining, ARL endorses the C4DSIC Joint Statement of Principles.”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) seeks a visiting program officer (VPO) with a passion for, or knowledge of, advancing open research and scholarship practices within their institution. The VPO will work closely with the ARL senior director of Scholarship and Policy and the ARL Scholars and Scholarship Committee….”
ARL is heartened to see Congress acknowledge the necessity of machine-readable data management plans (DMPs) and open repositories in supporting the academic research enterprise. At a National Science Foundation–funded conference on effective data practices in December 2019, ARL, along with the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the California Digital Library, convened stakeholders including university research officers, scientists, and librarians. Conference participants agreed that data management planning is important for sharing and use of research data and outputs. Participants suggested that the ability to update plans (“just in time”) across the project life cycle and as part of progress reporting would accelerate the value and adoption of DMPs among researchers, beyond what is required for compliance.
ARL encourages the development of a collaborative set of data repository criteria. Coordination among federal agencies will be necessary, as will stakeholder input from researchers, repository managers, librarians, and others. ARL looks forward to continuing these conversations and building upon work already underway within groups such as the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, the Research Data Alliance, and the World Data System….”
“Distinct and intersecting institutional goals are driving libraries to the negotiating table under new frameworks. These goals include (1) reducing the burden of publishing fees (article-processing charges, or APCs) for authors and instead making an institutional commitment to pay those fees; (2) expanding access to research produced at the institution; (3) making the scholarly communication ecosystem more equitable; (4) supporting scholars’ research needs, such as rights retention and machine access to scholarship; and (5) containing or driving down costs….”
“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has appointed Darcée Olson as a visiting program officer in the Advocacy & Public Policy program from April 2021 through April 2022. Olson is the copyright and scholarly communications policy director at Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries.
As visiting program officer, Olson will write a series of briefs on topics related to digital rights, including controlled digital lending, digitization, licensing reform, and contract preemption. These briefs will include a description of the current public policy landscape, and data and evidence from practitioners at member institutions. The briefs will also identify practical political opportunities for legislation or other forms of advocacy for ARL to advance….”
“In 2020 scholars depended on access to digital research more than ever before. The Association saw this as a crucial moment to support controlled digital lending. We worked to increase open access in collaboration with our partners in higher education, and other research library associations, including our work on open science with the International Alliance of Research Library Associations. We stood with others encouraging publishers to open access to research to accelerate the science that ultimately led to COVID-19 vaccines, and beyond that to help our society deal with the public health consequences….”