“…We launched an OA eBook program in 2016 that has grown to include more than 7,700 titles. Libraries can use free MARC records or activate the OA titles in their discovery service, and users can cross-search all OA and licensed eBooks with all other content types on our platform. The ease of discovery on JSTOR has led to strong usage of the OA titles. In 2021 alone, there were more than 11 million uses of the OA eBooks worldwide.
A Learning Journey
While some publishers have eagerly experimented with OA models, others fear being left behind. These publishers share the mission to make scholarship more accessible but worry that the lack of grant support and viable business models are not well understood by the government agencies and funders that are creating OA mandates. The potential for libraries converting to models such as “subscribe to open” could alleviate these concerns, but few of our smaller and medium-sized publishers have the ability to undertake such a change themselves. They lack the resources and bandwidth to design new business models and advocate for funding. We have been working on various Open Access models in support of our publishers and to meet the demand from libraries and researchers for more OA content. First, in our “Convert to Open” model, publishers have identified eBooks already available for sale on JSTOR to convert to OA without incurring any additional costs to do so. The usage data for these titles shows the strong impact of opening up backlist scholarly content and making it discoverable to researchers around the world. We reviewed 336 titles from 30 publishers that were converted from licensed eBooks to OA in 2019 and 2020 and documented the usage for each title one to two years prior to being converted to OA and an equivalent one to two years after. The usage for these titles increased by 3,279% after being converted to OA. We have also developed a “Publish as Open” model in collaboration with libraries and publishers to support the publication of new titles directly as OA. In 2019, the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP, a CRL initiative) approached JSTOR to support a low-cost OA pilot for new titles from Argentinian publisher CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. To date, this collaboration has made 340 CLACSO titles freely accessible on JSTOR. The titles have been used more than 940,000 times by users across 195 countries. Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell and President of SALALM, described the project’s importance for bridging a critical gap in the scholarly communications system. “Despite established OA publishing models for scholarly works in Latin America, monograph discovery and preservation infrastructure for this important content in U.S. libraries is virtually nonexistent. This multi-partner, horizontal, and librarian-led pilot is testing out sustainable partnerships that take into account the monograph lifecycle from publisher to library” (JSTOR, 2021). Based on the success of this pilot and ongoing support to fund future OA titles for CLACSO, we are working with LARRP to expand our collaboration and support other selected Latin American publishers. In the coming years, we plan to expand this model to other publishers in partnership with the academic community….”
“At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, we promised that fees would not increase for JSTOR participants through 2023. We also introduced a year-long program that provided participating academic institutions with access to all Archive Collections at no additional cost. Since then, we extended that program for another year, and to date nearly 5,000 institutions have taken advantage of it….
Consistent with our mission-driven aspirations, and considering the current public health, economic, and political environment, we have decided to extend the expanded access program to participating higher education institutions for a third year, through June 2023….”
Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce OA Heroes 2022, highlighting the countries, institutions, publishers, disciplines and scholarly titles seeing the most usage worldwide. The number of total user interactions (including downloads and views) for KU titles has grown year on year by 16 percent and now stands at a total of 16.2 million. On average, each title unlatched through KU gets 5,450 user interactions.
“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded ITHAKA a new $1.5 million grant to provide incarcerated college students with access to JSTOR, a digital library of journals, books, and other materials. Our aim is for every incarcerated college student in the United States to have access to JSTOR, along with the research skills to use this and other digital resources.
One of the most significant educational challenges that incarcerated college students face is easy, reliable access to high-quality library resources to support their learning. Prisons often do not provide internet access to individuals or offer only limited access to digital resources, sometimes at high cost. This challenge has only grown in the last 12 to 18 months as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up the need for digital learning solutions and higher education became more accessible to incarcerated individuals through financial aid expansions, including Second Chance Pell….”
“JSTOR’s platform team has publicly released Pharos, JSTOR’s new design system, as open source. The system serves as a guide for ITHAKA’s product teams to create cohesive, supportive, and beautiful experiences for JSTOR’s users….”
“JSTOR’s Open Community Collection initiative has surpassed the 350 collection mark and is steadily growing, with more than 100 current contributing partners at libraries, museums, universities, and other institutions around the world….”
“To meet the need for content related to racism, anti-racism, and Black voices, JSTOR has created a complementary, extensive open library to support readers and scholars seeking to engage with BIPOC+Q-authored reading lists, starting with a unique set of resources related to the Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List….”
“The challenges faced by the higher education community due to COVID-19 are deep and lasting. We are all affected and need to respond. At ITHAKA, our not-for-profit mission is to make access to knowledge and education more accessible for all. We have asked ourselves what it means to fulfill that mission during these difficult times and have discussed with our trustees creative ways we can respond. Through these discussions we decided to establish a $4 million fee relief program and to develop a range of expanded access offerings to help schools and universities that have had to rapidly pivot to online instruction.
Our expanded access offerings for JSTOR-participating institutions in response to COVID-19 include access to unlicensed JSTOR Archive and Primary Source collections as well as Artstor at no cost. Participation in these programs has been remarkable; to date this content has been accessed more than 24 million times by users at nearly 12,000 institutions….”
“Jisc and JSTOR are collaborating to support discovery, use, and impact of open digital collections for the benefit of the research and teaching community and collection owners. Jisc functions as the UK node for engagement with and take-up of the programme by UK universities with JSTOR providing the service delivery platform….”
“Learn more about the Open Community Collections programme and how to get involved.
We’ll talk about how the project fits into the context of Jisc’s goals for digital archival collections, followed by a description of the Open Community Collections programme and its benefits from JSTOR/ITHAKA personnel….”
“Open Community Collections unlocks the potential of an institution’s special collections by making them freely available on a platform already known and used by researchers, teaching staff and students.
After a successful pilot scheme with a select number of members, we are collaborating with JSTOR to open up the programme to the wider UK higher education community.
As part of our project with JSTOR to improve the discovery and impact of your digitised collections, we’re inviting members to propose their digitised collections for inclusion in the scheme….
Taking part is easy – simply let us know if you have any collections of digitised content that you would like to make accessible on the JSTOR platform, as part of Open Community Collections.
All work on ingesting content, delivery processes and ongoing platform support is carried out by JSTOR at no cost to the institution….”
“Not-for-profit ITHAKA, JSTOR’s parent organization, and the UK education and technology not-for-profit Jisc have agreed to a pioneering initiative that will allow institutions to make their digital special collections freely available to millions of researchers, faculties, and students around the globe.
The partnership gives UK higher education institutions the opportunity to add their digitized content to JSTOR’s Open Community Collections program, which enables libraries, museums, and cultural organizations around the world to bring together their materials, creating an unparalleled free resource for teaching and research….”
“But now, in an attempt to extend solidarity during the coronavirus crisis, JSTOR has announced free access to over 6,000 books and 150 journals. Great news, right? Except it’s not. Twitter users have pointed out that JSTOR has not released any essay that was under paywall; instead, it is just replugging those articles and papers that users already had open access to.
Essentially, JSTOR has simply tried to score brownie points on the back of a deadly virus that has claimed more than 10,000 lives globally. But then, the archival site is not known to be particularly kind to people.
Just for perspective, JSTOR has been unable to bring itself to give academics and researchers open access to ‘publicly sourced’ content at a time when the whole world is under quarantine and going through an unprecedented and unnatural crisis. Then again, it’s also a time to get on the bandwagon and be appreciated for doing nothing….”
“As JSTOR begins to reach people who would normally have not accessed articles in its database, Pfefferkorn said she hopes to see JSTOR acknowledge the ties between the current situation and what Swartz was trying to do. …”