Conversion to Open Access using equitable new model sees upsurge in usage

“Leading nonprofit science publisher Annual Reviews has successfully converted the first fifteen journal volumes of the year to open access (OA) resulting in substantial increases in downloads of articles in the first month.

Through the innovative OA model called Subscribe to Open (S2O), developed by Annual Reviews, existing institutional customers continue to subscribe to the journals. With sufficient support, every new volume is immediately converted to OA under a Creative Commons license and is available for everyone to read and re-use. In addition, all articles from the previous nine volumes are also accessible to all. If support is insufficient, the paywall is retained….”

About this Collection  |  Copyright Historical Record Books Collection, 1870-1977 (Preview)  |  Digital Collections  |  Library of Congress

“The U.S. Copyright Office is governed by Title 17 of the United States Code, which requires the Register of Copyrights to maintain and provide public access to copyright records. This collection is a preview of a digitized version of the U.S. Copyright Office’s historical record books. The collection contains images of copyright applications and other records bound in books dating from 1870 to 1977. The collection offers a historically-important snapshot of the culture of the United States, primarily relating to copyrightable expression, authorship, and copyright ownership.

This collection is a digital preview of the physical collection and should not be relied on for legal matters.  To access the official public records in the copyright historical record books, visit the Copyright Office Public Records Reading Room. In the future, as part of its overall modernization efforts, the Copyright Office plans to incorporate digitized, searchable versions of the official historical record books into the Office’s Copyright Public Record System (CPRS), which is currently in a public pilot.

The collection will be made available online starting with the most recent volumes from 1977, proceeding through the Copyright Office’s internal administrative classification system in reverse chronological order. Images of record books will be added to this collection as they are digitized….”

Thousands of older dissertations from UCSF newly available in eScholarship – California Digital Library

“Over three thousand dissertations and theses digitized from UCSF’s archives, originally submitted to the university between 1965 and 2006, were added to eScholarship this year. These titles cover topics as disparate as the pregnancy experiences of black women, AIDS and identity in the gay press of the 1980s, and models for examining the clearance of drugs from the liver. Before the project was undertaken to add these dissertations and theses to eScholarship, accessing them was challenging: you may have been able to find one in a database if you were at a subscribing institution, but if the title was old enough, your only option might have been to travel to California and visit a library storage facility. 

This is the case with dissertation literature around the world, especially older dissertations. Unique work produced by graduate students at thousands of academic institutions, representing their intellectual labor and that of their advisors and committees, sits behind paywalls or worse. As a result, researchers are often thwarted in trying to track down a citation to what sounds like the perfect source for their own studies….

Newer dissertations and theses — going back to 2007 — had been submitted electronically and were already available in eScholarship. Making older works available, however, proved complex. Even though the volumes had already been scanned as part of UC’s work with the Google Books project and the HathiTrust Digital Library, many questions remained. What permissions did students grant the university when they filed their dissertation paperwork? How could the image files generated by the scanning process be converted to document files for eScholarship? Where would the record data come from, so that each document’s title and author displayed properly? Answering these questions and several more required the expertise of numerous people at UCSF and the California Digital Library….”

Introducing the Atlantic Archive – The Atlantic

“To help our readers begin to explore the millions of words we’ve just uploaded to the web, we’re launching a special project spotlighting 25 writers from our past, with essays written by contemporary Atlantic writers. These featured writers include one of the two greatest figures of 19th-century American life, Frederick Douglass, along with Helen Keller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Raymond Chandler, and John Muir. And we’ll keep adding new writers, because the Atlantic bench has infinite depth….”

Why Open Access To The ACM Digital Library Matters | Associations Now

“ACM, in the midst of both a landmark celebration and a broader open-access initiative, is putting its history online for anyone to access. The archives give computing enthusiasts something to celebrate—and interested parties a window into ACM’s evolution….

Once, this information—immensely valuable to historians and researchers alike—might have been locked behind a paywall. But as a part of its landmark campaign for its 75th anniversary celebrations, ACM is opening up a large portion of its archives, making the first 50 years of its published records—more than 117,500 documents dating from 1951 to 2000—accessible to the public without a login….”

Music Library Association Opens Publications at Internet Archive – Internet Archive Blogs

“For librarians who specialize in caring for music collections, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest technology and resources in the profession. The Music Library Association recently helped address this problem by making many of its publications openly available online.

The MLA donated 21 of its monographs to the Internet Archive for digitization and worked with authors to make the material free to the public under Creative Commons licenses. 

The new collection of backlist titles includes information on careers in music librarianship and history of the field. It also covers planning and building music library collections, which can be complicated and involve individual creators and small publishers, said Kathleen DeLaurenti, who helped lead the partnership with the Internet Archive in her role as MLA’s first open access editor. There are also valuable materials on music library approaches to technical services—everything from how to preserve music materials to how to bind and catalog them….”

Penn Libraries Joins Elsevier Open Access Pilot | Penn Libraries

“The Penn Libraries is pleased to join Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, Dartmouth, and other members of the NERL consortium on a first-of-its-kind open access agreement with Elsevier, the largest academic publisher in the world. The agreement was negotiated by a committee made up of representatives of NERL consortium members, including Katie Brady, the Penn Libraries’ Head of E-Resources and Licensing. “I’m delighted by this innovative agreement, which takes a completely novel approach to open access,” says Brigitte Weinsteiger, Gershwind and Bennett Family Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications, who serves on the NERL Program Council.  

As part of this three-year pilot, authors who have published with many Elsevier journals and who were affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania at the time of publication will retroactively have their articles made open access. For each year of the agreement, Elsevier will flip five years of publications; that means that by the end of the pilot, 15 years of published work, constituting tens of thousands of articles authored by leading researchers, will be newly available to everyone at no cost to them and regardless of institutional affiliation.  …”

ACM Opens First 50 Years Backfile

“ACM has opened the articles published during the first 50 years of its publishing program. These articles, published between 1951 and the end of 2000, are now open and freely available to view and download via the ACM Digital Library.

ACM’s first 50 years backfile contains more than 117,500 articles on a wide range of computing topics. In addition to articles published between 1951 and 2000, ACM has also opened related and supplemental materials including data sets, software, slides, audio recordings, and videos….”

Retroactively Open: Elsevier Backflips for NERL Agreement – The Scholarly Kitchen

“It will come as no surprise, then, to readers of The Scholarly Kitchen, that my interest was piqued by the announcement of an agreement between NERL and Elsevier that “pilots retroactive open access (OA) for participating institutions’ authors” and that “the retroactive OA pilot program is the first of its kind.” …

The core of the agreement is a renewal of subscription access to ScienceDirect, which is Elsevier’s discovery and delivery platform for Elsevier journals and books, as well as some content syndicated from other publishers. The subscription to this content access is paired with a retroactive open access program. In each year of the three-year agreement, five years of content authored by researchers based at NERL institutions is converted from subscription-only access to open access. …

The libraries are receiving greater value for lower spend. The value of the agreement is increased over the past agreement through the addition of the retrospective open access pilot, particularly for those libraries at institutions with higher publishing volume. In addition, the first-year price is discounted and coupled with decreased inflationary adjustments over time. 

It is worth noting that the agreement does not include any mechanism for prospective open access publishing, which is the typical approach to provisioning open access articles in a transformative agreement, usually through discounted or bulk APC payments. Transformative agreements that support prospective open access publishing are typically called read-and-publish or publish-and-read, depending on the financial structure of the contract. In this case, there is no separate payment for the retrospective open access; the retrospective over access is bundled into the reading fee, in a kind of “free gift with purchase” deal structure. …”

NERL and Elsevier continue agreement and develop open access pilot | News Direct

“NERL, a consortium representing some of America’s leading research institutions, and Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, have established a new three-year agreement. The deal provides 13 of the NERL member institutions with ScienceDirect access and pilots retroactive open access (OA) for participating institutions’ authors. In 2021, a project team of NERL and Elsevier representatives established the agreement terms to ensure continued access to Elsevier’s journals and support the NERL core values of transparency, sustainability, equity, reproducibility, and flexibility.

This mutually sustainable agreement includes numerous NERL Preferred Deal Elements. The retroactive OA pilot program is the first of its kind. Each year of the agreement will open five years of content by researchers based at NERL institutions—a total of 15 years constituting tens of thousands of articles authored by leading researchers. The agreement advances NERL’s values-based licensing agenda and Elsevier’s commitment to OA. The participating institutions—including Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester, the University of Miami and others—will all have content included as a part of the pilot….”

Open Access Books – Part II – Delta Think

“If a publisher decides to implement an OA books program, what does it do with older titles? Does it make its backlist retrospectively OA? Or reserve OA for frontlist titles only? (Or both?)….

The chart above analyzes the lead times in indexing books. It shows how many years after publication books were added to the index (the DOAB) and deemed to be made OA.

If titles are made OA in their year of publication (deemed to be frontlist titles), the lead time will be zero. Just over 25% of DOAB titles are frontlist.
If titles were made OA after their year of publication (deemed to be backlist titles), then the lead time will be a positive number. Around 16% of titles were made OA the year after publication. The remaining 69% or so of titles are deep backlist.
Although not shown above, the oldest titles in the DOAB date back decades. Earlier years (before 2000) typically have a handful of titles per publication year, with annual numbers increasing significantly in more recent years. The oldest title in the index was published in 1787….

Patterns in license usage are different if analyzed by publication year (left) compared with the year they were made OA or added to the index (right). We can clearly see license use by publication year shows distinct patterns, but license use by indexed year appears more random….


We see that the proportion of CC BY licenses (colors at the bottom of each bar) is significantly lower in books (32%) than in journals (51%). Likewise, CC BY-NC (2nd from bottom) – books (4%) vs. journal articles (15%). But CC BY-NC-ND licenses show the opposite: books have a greater proportion (29%) than journals (18%)….”

What Is BHL’s New Persistent Identifier Working Group DOI’ng? – Biodiversity Heritage Library

“In October 2020, BHL launched a new working group with a momentous goal: to make the content on BHL persistently discoverable, citable and trackable using DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)….

BHL has been retrospectively minting DOIs for historic publications since 2011, but the focus has primarily been on monographs. BHL’s new Persistent Identifier Working Group (PIWG) is (at least initially) focusing on journal articles. Minting DOIs for articles on BHL is a far more complex and time-consuming task than minting DOIs for monographs. This is because article DOIs need article data: every journal volume uploaded onto BHL must be accompanied by journal and volume data, but there is no requirement that contributors provide article data….

COVID-19 provided an unexpected opportunity to make a considerable dent in this work. With no access to scanners or library materials, a number of BHL contributors, including Harvard University Libraries, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle and BHL Australia, pivoted from making new content accessible to making their existing content on BHL more discoverable. For example, BHL Australia’s digitisation volunteers gathered, gap filled and checked article-level metadata for over 30,000 articles in 2020….”

Why did we stop collecting and showing the open access start date for journals? – DOAJ News Service

“When we released our new website and application form, people were quick to notice that some elements of information were no longer being collected or displayed. These elements all relate to questions which we removed from the application form, details of which were published in March 2020.

Of all the questions removed, emails to our Helpdesk show that the most missed is the open access start date or, to be more accurate: ‘What was the first calendar year in which a complete volume of the journal provided online Open Access content to the Full Text of all articles?’ People are wondering why we no longer collect and display that information. …

Over time, it has become harder to find the right answer to that seemingly simple question: when did open access start for this journal? Finding the true date could be time-consuming. And what is the correct date to use? …”