Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe – The Guild

“Ahead of the June Competitiveness Council, where the ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on research assessment and implementation of Open Science policies, The Guild urges the member states to ensure that Open Access serves science, not publishers.

While research excellence requires free flow of knowledge, some Open Access strategies and models increase the financial burden on research institutions. Article Processing Charges (APCs), used by some of the Open Access journals, exacerbate the unsustainable situation of journal spending in university libraries and create unequal access to knowledge. Greater transparency on the publication costs for Open Access journals, and fair and transparent contractual arrangements with publishers are crucial for monitoring the proper use of public research funding.

It is important to develop alternative and sustainable non-APC Open Access models. The Guild calls for the member states to support the development and uptake of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms which consist often of community-driven, and academic-led and owned publishing initiatives. Unlike other Open Access models, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms do not charge any fees from the authors or readers. Thus, they can further empower researchers to disseminate their research results, ensuring bibliodiversity and vital academic publishing….”

Diversity, sustainability and quality must be the hallmarks of academic publishing in Europe – The Guild

“Ahead of the June Competitiveness Council, where the ministers will be invited to adopt conclusions on research assessment and implementation of Open Science policies, The Guild urges the member states to ensure that Open Access serves science, not publishers.

While research excellence requires free flow of knowledge, some Open Access strategies and models increase the financial burden on research institutions. Article Processing Charges (APCs), used by some of the Open Access journals, exacerbate the unsustainable situation of journal spending in university libraries and create unequal access to knowledge. Greater transparency on the publication costs for Open Access journals, and fair and transparent contractual arrangements with publishers are crucial for monitoring the proper use of public research funding.

It is important to develop alternative and sustainable non-APC Open Access models. The Guild calls for the member states to support the development and uptake of Diamond Open Access journals and platforms which consist often of community-driven, and academic-led and owned publishing initiatives. Unlike other Open Access models, Diamond Open Access journals and platforms do not charge any fees from the authors or readers. Thus, they can further empower researchers to disseminate their research results, ensuring bibliodiversity and vital academic publishing….”

The Libraries’ Will Cross receives a Fulbright to study open knowledge and copyright across the EU | NC State University Libraries

“Will Cross, Director of the Libraries’ Open Knowledge Center (OKC) and Head of Information Policy, will be a 2022-2023 Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Fellow studying the future of copyright law and open knowledge practices and policies across the EU.

His project, titled “Community-Based Copyright Literacy in the European Union: Codes of Fair Practice as Core Open Knowledge Infrastructure,” will be centered in the Netherlands where he will study the copyright literacy practices of Dutch researchers, conduct comparative research across the EU and explore the Codes of Fair Practice model for knitting together national laws in order to create shared open knowledge practices. As a Fulbright-Schuman Fellow, Cross will work with partners including the Institute for Information Law (IViR) in the Netherlands and consortium members participating in the reCreating Europe Project. …”

Open Education (OE) in European Libraries of Higher Education Survey 2022

“Welcome to the 2022 edition of SPARC Europe’s Survey of European academic libraries regarding Open Education (OE) and Open Education Resources (OER).

We define OE as resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment.

We define OER as learning, teaching and research materials that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. 

This survey was developed in consultation with members of the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL): The aim of this survey is to explore the work done by academic librarians to implement the UNESCO OER Recommendation, published in Nov 2019, and is structured around its five areas of action….”

Job: OPERAS Community Manager – OA eBook Usage (OAeBU) Data Trust

Offer:

The position will be offered for a period of 3 years, contingent on receipt of grant award funding.
This is a full-time position based in Brussels.
Remote working opportunities in Europe can be considered.
Salary depends upon the experience of the successful candidate. Full package may vary depending on the country of living, if working from a different country than Belgium.
Displaced qualified Ukrainian people are strongly encouraged to apply

This position is responsible for facilitating community consultation and engagement for the international Open Access eBook Usage (OAeBU) Data Trust effort, funded initially through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project, “OAeBU Data Trust: Advancing to Launch by Developing IDS Governance Building Blocks.” This project is a collaboration led by the University of North Texas, with co-PIs from OPERAS, OpenAIRE, and Educopia Institute.

This position will work under the supervision of the Canadian-American Executive Director of the OAeBU Data Trust effort to develop and manage mechanisms to engage community partners and solicit community input for the work-packages and projects related to the global OAeBU Data Trust effort. Based in Europe to provide the Data Trust with increased staff capacity to attend meetings within the Eastern Hemisphere, the position will be staffed through the OPERAS international not-for-profit association (AISBL).

As the second of two full-time positions working for the Data Trust, this individual will be responsible for developing and managing engagement strategies for OA book usage metrics stakeholder constituencies. This position is highly international and interdisciplinary in scope; the manager must have a positive record of communicating and engaging professionally with commercial, academic, and non-profit audiences worldwide. The individual recruited for this position must also have professional experience in scholarly communication and must be a reliable, independent worker that appreciates the importance of open access policies to global knowledge distribution.

‘The EMA is withholding too much information”, 1 May 2022

“Transparency is a requirement for better and safer patient care. There is no valid reason to hide information about clinical trials, their methodology or their results, or evaluation data obtained on drugs after their market introduction, particularly data on adverse effects.

The creation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 1995 constituted a step forward, compared with the practices of France’s drug regulatory agency at the time. For example, the EMA’s online publication of information on drug evaluations, such as European Public Assessment Reports, was a major advance in transparency as to the data in its possession….

It is one thing for pharmaceutical companies to consider that data showing the limitations of their drugs are commercially sensitive. But it is quite another – and utterly unacceptable – for the EMA to actually orchestrate the concealment of these data by pharmaceutical companies.

Transparency is not a fad or an end in itself. In the pharmaceutical field, it is a requirement for better and safer patient care. There is no valid reason to hide information about clinical trials, their methodology or their results, or evaluation data obtained on drugs after their market introduction, particularly data on adverse effects.

 

Perhaps there are certain individuals within the EMA who are dissatisfied with this situation? Or who are simply resigned to the power relations at play? Or who feel that the way the EMA operates is a necessary compromise, given the varying legislation? If so, these individuals are not speaking up and their opinions are not reflected in the EMA’s practices. Whatever the case may be, Prescrire’s negative assessment of the level of transparency at the EMA is intended as a wake-up call for policy makers and for legal bodies (such as the Ombudsman) who are in a position to improve the EMA’s operational practices….”

 

OpenAIRE’s self-assessment of the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) | January 2022

“The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) offers a set of guidelines by which open scholarly infrastructure organisations and initiatives that support the research community can be run and sustained. OpenAIRE builds on these principles as a signal of our commitement to serve the research community in the long run….”

Study on quality in 3D digitisation of tangible cultural heritage | Shaping Europe’s digital future

“The purpose of this call for tenders is to carry out a study to map parameters, formats, standards, benchmarks, methodologies and guidelines, relating to 3D digitisation of tangible cultural heritage, to the different potential purposes or uses, i.e. preservation, reconstruction, reproduction, research, and general-purpose visualisation, by type of tangible cultural heritage, i.e. immovable or movable, and by degree of complexity of tangible cultural heritage, e.g. low, medium, high, and very high (reference VIGIE-2020-654)….”

CoNOSC Member needs report published

SPARC Europe took on the facilitation of the Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC) late last year. To kick-start its efforts and plan the work ahead, it investigated the needs of CoNOSC members. We are pleased to publish this report today. 

The report investigates the needs of national policymakers, presenting key takeaways from interviews with CoNOSC members’ representatives – national OS coordinators, ministry officials, research funders and other policymaking decision-makers.

SPARC Europe conducted interviews with 30 representatives from 18 different European nations during January and February 2022, as well as with the Deputy Head of the Open Science Unit from the European Commission, which attends CoNOSC as an observer. The interviews were designed to identify what activities and areas would provide the most significant value through collaboration at CoNOSC without duplicating any current efforts. 

Based on responses, the report identifies the priority areas for CoNOSC as follows:

Data management
Policy monitoring
Research assessment
Copyright and licensing
Open Access funding
Bibliodiversity

 

3Os in Horizon Europe: Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World – part III | Europa Media Trainings

“The series of blog posts on 3Os in Horizon Europe is trying to introduce how Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World principles affect your following Horizon Europe proposal or funded project.

Open to the World principle may mean many things for your Horizon Europe proposals and projects, e.g.,

How to ensure international knowledge and information exchange outside Europe to tackle global challenges?
How to involve organisations from third countries? (We discuss this question in a separate blog post)
How to promote and use science diplomacy? …”

Toward openness and transparency to better facilitate knowledge creation – Mahony – – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Changes in modes of publication over recent decades and moves to publish material freely and openly have resulted in increased amounts of research and scholarly outputs being available online. These include teaching and other material but consist mostly of research publications. There have been significant UK and European initiatives as part of the Open Agenda that facilitate and indeed mandate the move to open whether that is for educational materials, research output and data, or the mechanisms for ensuring the quality of these materials. A significant issue is that although making research outputs freely available is praiseworthy, without the data on which that research is based, reproducibility and so verification, which are fundamental principles of scholarly methodology, are not possible. When discrete datasets are linked openly and freely, are able to interact by using common standards, they become more powerful with extended possibilities for research questions that cross disciplinary divides and knowledge domains. There are always objections and resistance to new innovations, and open publication is no exception; published research, nevertheless, indicates that publishing material openly is becoming considered to be “good research practice” and that the positives of “new collaborations and higher citation” outweigh any perceived negative effects.

EU: academic publishers are monopolists | bjoern.brembs.blog

The market power of academic publishers has been a concern for all those academic fields where publication in scholarly journals is the norm. For most non-economist researchers, the anti-trust aspects of academic publishing are likely confusing and opaque.

For instance, libraries and consortia are exempted from organizing tenders for their publication needs as each article exists only in one journal with one publisher. This is called the single or sole source exemption from procurement law and essentially means that academic publishers have monopolies on each of their articles and hence each of their journals.

At the same time, this conglomerate of monopolies is often referred to as the “publishing market“, where there is market consolidation or concentration, leading up to an “oligopoly“.

So which is it now, a market with competing providers or a conglomerate of monopolists?

 

Research and research-enabling services must be excluded from requirements of the Digital Services Act – The Guild

“The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities joins a coalition of organisations representing Europe’s universities and other organisations enabling, funding and performing research to issue an urgent call to exclude not-for-profit research and research-enabling services from the obligations of the Digital Services Act.

The Guild shares a deep concern that universities are likely to be affected by the proposed Digital Services Act. The use of digital repositories, archives and libraries by researchers, and the accessing of digital content by students and researchers alike, must continue to be unfettered. This is essential for academic freedom, and the public interest. The Guild shares a concern with other European organisations representing universities and other organisations, that the Digital Services Act would impose significant additional costs and administrative burdens on universities. It is therefore essential that the Digital Services Act exempts public research (and all those services supporting it), as well as the impact and public outreach stemming from publicly funded research and education, from its obligations….”

Open Science and Intellectual Property Rights: How can they better interact? State of the art and reflections

“Open science (OS) is considered the new paradigm for science and knowledge dissemination. OS fosters cooperative work and new ways of distributing knowledge by promoting effective data sharing (as early and broadly as possible) and a dynamic exchange of research outcomes, not only publications. On the other hand, intellectual property (IP) legislation seeks to balance the moral and economic rights of creators and inventors with the wider interests and needs of society. Managing knowledge outcomes in a new open research and innovation ecosystem is challenging and should become part of the EU’s IP strategy, underpinning EU policies with the new open science–open innovation paradigm. The usual justification for copyright and patents is the incentive and reward for inventors, resulting in benefits for society, fostering innovation and societal impact. Various organisations recognise the need to maintain a balance between the rights of authors and the larger public interest, particularly in education, research and access to information, and to consider the scope, extent and application of intellectual property rights (IPR) in relation to the equitable production, distribution and use of knowledge. However, there are cases of tacit tension in the relationship between IPR and open knowledge distribution noticed on a global scale in different contexts, initiatives and attitudes of the scientific community. This tension has been confirmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, where there is a concern that IPR may prevent public access to medicines, particularly vaccines. Governments, scientists, media and society at large are discussing new licensing provisions to circumvent barriers to human rights such as the right to health or the right to science, without preventing innovation. There is a clear need for reflections such as the one we present here, to address the necessary compatibility of some IPR with OS and open innovation. This report provides a critical analysis of the literature on the relation between OS and IPR protection and how they might live harmoniously, by scoping the statement ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. The starting point for the analysis about IPR and OS in Europe is the following hypothesis. • There are no incompatibilities between IPR and OS. ‘On the contrary the IPR framework, if correctly defined from the onset, becomes an essential tool to regulate open science’ (Barbarossa et al., 2017, p. 2). • The European Commission has a role in promoting OS and its balance with IPR. This was especially important when copyright was redefined in Europe and the European Open Science Cloud was being established. • Existing best practices have to be a source of inspiration, for example understanding how public research-performing organisations and industrial partnerships are striking a balance between IPR and open knowledge….”