Why making academic research free is complicated – Vox

“Freeing research largely paid for by taxpayer money can seem like a no-brainer, but over time, the potential downsides of open science efforts like the Plan S mandate have become more apparent. While pay-to-publish but free-to-read platforms bring more research to the public, they can add barriers for researchers and worsen some existing inequalities in academia. Scientific publishing will remain a for-profit industry and a highly lucrative one for publishers. Shifting the fees onto authors doesn’t change this.

Many of the newly founded open-access journals drop the fees entirely, but even if they’re not trying to make a profit, they still need to cover their operating costs. They fall back on ad revenue, individual donations or philanthropic grants, corporate sponsorship, and even crowdfunding.

But open-access platforms often lack the prestige of well-known top journals like Nature. Scientists early in their careers — as well as those at less wealthy universities in low-income countries — often rely on precarious, short-term grant funding to carry out their research. Their career depends on putting out an impressive publication record, which is already an uphill battle….”

 

Everything Hertz: 161: The memo (with Brian Nosek)

“Dan and James are joined by Brian Nosek (Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Open Science) to discuss the recent White House Office of Science Technology & Policy memo ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research. They also cover the implications of this memo for scientific publishing, as well as the mechanics of culture change in science….”

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.

Episode 28: The Politics of Open Access, Alzheimer’s Research, and Ghost Work ft. Mary Gray — Shobita Parthasarathy

“It’s a new season of The Received Wisdom!! After their partial summer hiatus, Shobita and Jack discuss the fraud allegations that are rocking the foundations of what we know about Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Biden Administration’s directive to make freely available all publications based on federally funded research. And, they chat with Macarthur Fellow Mary Gray about the “ghost workers” behind digital technologies and supposedly artificial intelligence. Gray is Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and faculty in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University….

1. Why was the amyloid plaque hypothesis for Alzheimer’s so successful?

2. What are the potential drawbacks and limitations to the US government’s adoption of an open access publication policy?

3. What is ghost work?

4. Why can’t the problem of content moderation be solved solely through computation, and more generally computer science and engineering? What insights can deep understanding of the social dimensions of science and technology provide?

5. What don’t we think of ghost workers as experts? How might reframing it in that way change the discussion? What public policy options might it reveal?

6. How do Gray and Suri categorize different types of ghost work? ”

 

Asia tipped to follow US lead on open access | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Asian research powerhouses will introduce open access (OA) mandates within the next “two to three” years, experts have predicted, in the wake of last month’s landmark order by the Biden administration.

Under the US decision, the published results of federally funded research must be made immediately and freely available to readers, starting from 2025. This follows the introduction of similar rules across Europe and the UK, spearheaded by the Plan S initiative.

Home to four of the top 10 research-producing countries – China, Japan, South Korea and India – Asia now appears poised to become the next battleground….”

New rule expands public access to federally funded research

“Public access to publicly funded research is an obvious social good,” said Donna Hayward, interim university librarian and dean of libraries. She said the new directive is a further step in a positive direction that’s been gaining momentum in the last decade.

“Of course, these policy changes will require adjustments to the ways some U-M researchers manage and publish their findings,” she said. “Fortunately, the library has quite a bit of expertise and infrastructure to help people prepare for and navigate the new standards and requirements.”

[Eril-l] 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.

Achieving OSTP’s objectives will require multiple economic models, not just those that rely on article processing charges. Subscribe to Open is capable of opening a vast corpus of research output across all disciplines, including the social sciences and humanities, from society, nonprofit, university, and commercial publishers.
Subscribe to Open uses established market processes and accepted incentive structures to coordinate support for all types of open scholarship, including journals and monographs. S2O motivates subscribers to participate by making OA contingent on their ongoing support, in combination with exclusive incentives that make participation in their economic self-interest. The model distributes open access support costs broadly and equitably by converting subscriptions into stable, cost-neutral sources of open support.

The members of the S2O community are eager to engage with US federal funding agencies to identify policies that encourage varied, robust, and equitable economic models for disseminating open research….”

Taylor & Francis welcomes OSTP’s memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research – Taylor & Francis Newsroom

At Taylor & Francis, we extend our support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for its aims to make all federally funded research and subsequent data publicly available as soon as it has been published.

AAA’s Response to OSTP Public Accessibility Memo – News – Stay Informed

“The American Anthropological Association (AAA) supports the basic objective of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP’s) recent decision to make federally funded research freely available without embargo. AAA has been publishing scholarly content since 1889 and has always advocated for equitable access to research and data while maintaining an inclusive and sustainable publishing program….

AAA also has a flexible reuse policy as part of its author agreement. Authors can use the published article of record for educational or other scholarly purposes at the author’s own institution or company and/or place the accepted, post peer-review manuscript on a personal, institutional, or company website or on a non-commercial, discipline-specific public server….”

Who’ll pay for public access to federally funded research?

“The White House painted an incomplete economic picture of its new policy for free, immediate access to research produced with federal grants. Will publishers adapt their business models to comply, or will scholars be on the hook?…”

Colleges Should Reward Efforts to Make Research Open | MIT Libraries News

“We applaud the August 25 memorandum from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research that calls on federal agencies to develop policies that will provide immediate open access to the outputs of federally funded research (“‘A Historic Moment’: New Guidance Requires Federally Funded Research to Be Open Access,” The Chronicle, August 25).

The potential benefits of immediate open access to research articles and to the data underlying the research include improving rigor and reliability, increased opportunity for reuse of data to ask new questions, faster and wider dissemination of new knowledge, broader participation in the research process, and the potential to reduce global inequities in publishing of and access to federally funded research.

Along with a diverse community of long-time advocates of open scholarship, we welcome the new OSTP guidance and its potential for accelerating a transition to a more open and equitable scholarly ecosystem. Funder requirements, however, are only one element of a complex system of norms and incentives. A major barrier to the widespread embrace of — and therefore the ultimate success of — mandates like the OSTP guidance is the degree to which scholars experience current incentive systems as at odds with practicing open scholarship. When individual career success incentives and reward systems — as codified in hiring, promotion, and tenure standards — are experienced as misaligned with open scholarship values and mandates, individual scholars are left in an impossible bind. Left unresolved, this misalignment will undermine the potential positive impacts of open scholarship generally and the OSTP guidance specifically, as many scholars are likely to navigate the seemingly inherent tensions via pro-forma compliance at best, and active resistance at worst. Something has to give.

The good news is that universities can make simple changes to hiring, promotion, and tenure practices to ensure that the work scholars do to make their research openly available is recognized and rewarded. Including language in hiring, promotion, and tenure guidelines that signal that open sharing of research outputs, and the impact of that sharing, is valued, will go a long way to aligning the incentives for career success with the practice of open scholarship — making what is now increasingly required, also what is rewarded.”

Guest Post – Quantifying the Impact of the OSTP Policy – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Here, I analyse data from the Web of Science (journal indexes of the Core Collection: SCIE, SSCI, AHCI, and ESCI) in order to (a) assess the current gold-OA landscape across regions and (b) quantify the potential impact of the policy.

The policy affects about 31% of US papers and 7% of papers published globally. Some of the papers in scope are already published in a gold-OA format (33%). Converting all underlying papers to a gold-OA format will be a significant contribution toward the global transition to OA (my working assumption for these estimates posits that ¾ of the papers that are not currently gold-OA, will turn gold-OA as a result of the policy). Yet the true impact of the policy may be greater than these numbers imply, given that several of the leading, mostly paywalled scholarly titles (Nature, Science,Cell, PNAS) get more than 40% of their papers from US, federally-funded research….”

A Critical Examination of the OSTP Memo | By Every Means Necessary

by Dave Ghamandi, also available via https://doi.org/10.17613/ejk2-ys30

“Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories . . .”

-Amilcar Cabral

INTRODUCTION

Open access (OA) takes many forms. It can be the product of voluntary associations that are cooperative and mutually supportive. It can result from the “free market,” where Springer Nature charges an $11,000+ article processing charge (APC) to make a single article OA. It can also be produced through a regulatory-compliance-and-punishment system. The latter is what’s found in the new Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo issued on August 25, 2022.[1] The OSTP’s stated aims in the memo give anti-imperialists much to be concerned about, especially as the biden administration previously justified increasing public access to federally-funded research as a way of battling China in a new Cold War. Those of us in the belly of the beast—the u.s. empire—have an obligation to develop, share, and act upon a critical analysis of the OSTP memo. This analysis is rooted in the historical and present-day evidence that the executive branch manages a corporately-controlled state and is not accustomed to giving gifts to the working class. I attempt to explain and predict in this essay.

[…]

 

Will New White House Open Access Rules Impact Researchers? | The Brink | Boston University

“To find out what the impact might be—including on Boston University and its researchers, many of whom receive funding from the federal government—The Brink spoke with Mark Newton, University librarian ad interim. An advocate for open access to research, he’s also a former journal editor, previously helping lead the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. …”

A Win for Open Science: White House OSTP’s Updated Guidance Advances Open Access and Data Sharing Across Federal Agencies

“The Center for Open Science (COS) supports the new policy update from the White House Office of Science Technology & Policy (OSTP) ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research.

“This updated guidance is probably the most important event for open science in the United States to date,” said Brian Nosek, Executive Director of COS. “This policy directive moves the thirty years of advocacy for open access within reach of the goal line for a complete transformation to open by default. Moreover, by also mandating sharing the data underlying reported results, this directive is a major leap forward for the open data movement.”

The new guidance calls on all federal agencies with research and development expenditures to implement a policy advancing open access of publications and underlying data of research funded by the agency immediately upon publication. “This is a watershed moment in the move toward better research,” said David Mellor, Director of Policy at COS. “No longer will policymakers, patients, students or any consumer of scientific knowledge be faced with unnecessary barriers to the best evidence available. Scientists will be more able to quickly build upon key discoveries by using important data to inform their next step. Open science is no longer a pie-in-the-sky dream; it is becoming the new reality.” …”