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? …”

A database of zooplankton biomass in Australian marine waters – PubMed

Abstract:  Zooplankton biomass data have been collected in Australian waters since the 1930s, yet most datasets have been unavailable to the research community. We have searched archives, scanned the primary and grey literature, and contacted researchers, to collate 49187 records of marine zooplankton biomass from waters around Australia (0-60°S, 110-160°E). Many of these datasets are relatively small, but when combined, they provide >85 years of zooplankton biomass data for Australian waters from 1932 to the present. Data have been standardised and all available metadata included. We have lodged this dataset with the Australian Ocean Data Network, allowing full public access. The Australian Zooplankton Biomass Database will be valuable for global change studies, research assessing trophic linkages, and for initialising and assessing biogeochemical and ecosystem models of lower trophic levels.


JHU Press celebrates Open Access Week by releasing 100 out-of-print titles online for free | Hub

“Johns Hopkins University Press is marking International Open Access Week this week with the release of 100 newly digitized open access books, including many seminal works by distinguished scholars that have been unavailable in recent years. The works are accessible for free through Project MUSE, the massive online collection of scholarship based at Johns Hopkins, which now offers opportunities for publishers to host free and open access content.

The release also represents the halfway point of the Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions initiative, which aims to create open access digital editions as well as print-on-demand paperback editions of more than 200 titles drawn from the Press’s backlist of noteworthy but currently out-of-print titles. The initiative is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities….”

Invitation to participate in a new project: Help open journals’ deep backfiles | Everybody’s Libraries

“As I’ve noted here previously, there’s a wealth of serial content published in the 20th century that’s in the public domain, but not yet freely available online, often due to uncertainty about its copyright (and the resulting hesitation to digitize it).  Thanks to IMLS-supported work we did at Penn, we’ve produced a complete inventory of serials from the first half of the 20th century that still have active copyright renewals associated with them. And I’ve noted that there was far more serial material without active copyright, as late as the 1960s or even later.  We’ve also produced a guide to determining whether particular serial content you may be interested in is in the public domain.

Now that we’ve spent a lot of time surveying what is still in copyright though, it’s worth turning more focused attention to serial content that isn’t in copyright, but still of interest to researchers.  One way we can identify journals whose older issues (sometimes known as their “deep backfiles”) are still of interest to researchers and libraries is to see which ones are included in packages that are sold or licensed to libraries.   Major vendors of online journals publish spreadsheets of their backfile offerings, keyed by ISSN.  And now, thanks to an increasing amount of serial information in Wikidata (including links to our serials knowledge base) it’s possible to systematically construct inventories of serials in these packages that include, or might include, public domain and other openly accessible content….”

OAPEN and De Gruyter enable retroactive open access for ERC-funded publications

“The OAPEN Foundation and De Gruyter have developed a framework agreement that outlines good practice for retroactive open access to books and chapters resulting from research funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7).

Since FP7 did not include a strict open access mandate for publications, publications resulting from these grants are generally not freely accessible. The framework agreement between De Gruyter and the OAPEN Foundation supports authors by establishing compliance with the “best effort” requirement to make publications open access….”