Where Did the Open Access Movement Go Wrong?: An Interview with Richard Poynder – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Richard Poynder has long been one of the most respected and insightful commentators on the scholarly communication ecosystem, and in particular on the development and progress of the open access (OA) movement – to which he has always been a friend, but one admirably willing to speak truth even when the truth was uncomfortable or inconvenient. Recently he announced that he has decided the OA movement has failed, and that he is turning his attention to other topics and issues. I invited him to sit for an email interview to discuss his thinking and conclusions.”

bjoern.brembs.blog » German funder DFG: Why the sudden inconsistency?

“Given this long and consistent track-record, now complemented by two major official statements, one could be forgiven to think that applicants for funding at the DFG now feel assured that they will not be judged by their publication venues any longer. After all, journal prestige is correlated with experimental unreliability, so using it as an indicator clearly constitutes “inappropriate use of journal-based metrics”. With all this history, it came as a shock to many when earlier this year, one of the DFG panels deciding which grant proposals get funded, published an article in the German LaborJournal magazine that seemed to turn the long, hard work of the DFG in this area on its head….”

Do we really need another non-open source available license? • The Register

“Following in the tradition of Server-Side Public License (SSPL), Common Clause, and the Business Source License, the FSL nods at the importance of open source while sneering at its heart by claiming its approach is “Freedom without Free-riding.” …

As Thierry Carrez, vice chair of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) board, told me, “Some companies have built their software by leveraging the body of open source code available to them, without having to ask for permission before using hundreds of open source packages in their dependencies. They built their reputation by publicly committing to the open source principles. But in a short-sighted effort to capture incrementally more value, they later decide to abandon the model that made them successful in the first place.” Exactly so….

Maybe it will. But I agree with Carrez, who said: “Releasing yet another license variant that removes developers’ self-sovereignty in their technical choices is nothing novel: it is still about removing essential freedoms from the whole software ecosystem to clearly assert ownership over their proprietary software and the use you are allowed to make of it. This is not open source: it is proprietary gatekeeping wrapped in open washed clothing.” ”

Research assessment under debate: disentangling the interest around the DORA declaration on Twitter | Scientometrics

Abstract:  Much debate has been around the misapplication of metrics in research assessment. As a result of this concern, the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) was launched, an initiative that caused opposing viewpoints. However, the discussion topics about DORA have not been formally identified, especially in participatory environments outside the scholarly communication process, such as social networks. This paper contributes to that end by analyzing 20,717 DORA-related tweets published from 2015 to 2022. The results show an increasing volume of tweets, mainly promotional and informative, but with limited participation of users, either commenting or engaging with the tweets, generating a scarcely polarized conversation driven primarily by a few DORA promoters. While a varied list of discussion topics is found (especially “Open science and research assessment,” “Academics career assessment & innovation,” and “Journal Impact Factor”), the DORA debate appears as part of broader conversations (research evaluation, open science). Further studies are needed to check whether these results are restricted to Twitter or reveal more general patterns. The findings might interest the different evaluators and evaluated agents regarding their interests and concerns around the reforms in the research evaluation.


The neglect of equity and inclusion in open science policies of Europe and the Americas | SciELO Preprints

Abstract:  National, international, and organizational Open Science (OS) policies are being formulated to improve and accelerate research through increased transparency, collaboration, and better access to scientific knowledge. Yet, there is mounting concern that OS policies—which are predicated on narrow understandings of openness, accessibility, and objectivity—do not effectively capture the ethos of OS and particularly its goal of making science more collaborative, inclusive, and socially engaged. This study explores how OS is conceptualized in emerging OS policies and to what extent notions of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and public participation are reflected in policy guidelines and recommendations. We use a qualitative document research approach to critically analyze 52 OS policy documents published between January 2020 and December 2022 in Europe and the Americas. Our results show that OS policies overwhelmingly focus on making research outputs publicly accessible, neglecting to advance the two aspects of OS that hold the key to achieving an inclusive and inclusive scientific culture—namely, EDI and public participation. While these concepts are often mentioned and even embraced in OS policy documents, concrete guidance on how they can be promoted in practice is overwhelmingly lacking. Rather than advancing the openness of scientific findings first and promoting EDI and public participation efforts second, we argue that incentives and guidelines must be provided and implemented concurrently to advance the OS movement’s stated goal of making science open to all.


IPLC Response to the Article Development Charge Proposed by the American Chemical Society – Ivy Plus Libraries

“The 13 Ivy Plus libraries are both surprised by and united in opposition to the zero embargo option announced by the American Chemical Society (ACS) on 21 September 2023. This unexpected new charge is a clear challenge to both authors’ rights and the developing scholarly communications ecosystem. According to this policy, an Article Development Charge (ADC) of $2,500 would be charged to authors who seek to retain and exercise the right to deposit a pre-publication version of their article in an open repository once their manuscript enters the ACS peer review process….”

Scrutiny for thee but not for me: When open science research isn’t open | Steve Haroz’s blog

“A fundamental property of scientific research is that it is scrutinizable. And facilitating that scrutiny by eliminating barriers that delay or prevent access to research data and replication materials is the major goal for transparent research advocates. So when a paper that actually studies open research practices hides its data, it should raise eyebrows. A recent paper about openness and transparency in Human-Computer Interaction did exactly that.

The paper is titled “Changes in Research Ethics, Openness, and Transparency in Empirical Studies between CHI 2017 and CHI 2022“. It looked at various open practices of papers sampled from the ACM CHI proceedings in 2017 and 2022. Then it compared how practices like open data, open experiment materials, and open access changed between those years. Sounds like a substantial effort that’s potentially very useful to the field! But it doesn’t live up to the very standards it’s researching and advocating for.

The paper’s data and many other replication/reproducibility materials are posted to OSF, which is a good sign! But the data does not state which papers were actually sampled. No titles. No DOIs. Just “paper1”, “paper2”, etc. So the scrutinizability and follow-up research that transparent research is supposed to facilitate is largely absent.

If you want to scrutinize which papers were sampled or excluded, you can’t.
If you want to scrutinize the results by checking a couple papers’ openness yourself, you can’t.
If you want to build upon the research by looking only at papers that weren’t sampled, you can’t.

I contacted the authors over 6 weeks ago to ask about the availability of that data. Over the course of a dozen emails, they revealed that they would only share which papers were studied if I received IRB (ethics) approval to study it….”

Zwanzig Jahre Open Access: Welche Rechte bleiben den Autoren?

From Google’s English:  “The theme of the week, “Community over Commercialization,” recalled the movement’s idealistic initial impulse. Open Access has now also become the business area of ??the major international publishers Elsevier, Springer Nature and Wiley, which have been criticized by the Open Access movement for years for their aggressive pricing policies. The contracts negotiated with the Deal Consortium, an association of German libraries and scientific organizations, give major publishers another tool to get rid of medium-sized publishing companies that were not involved in the negotiations.

Open Access has thus become the successful model of the oligopoly capitalism that gave birth to the movement back then. For him, the “great transformation” is now complete. You can now devote yourself to the emerging business area of ??data analysis. If you believe the deal group’s own statement, then the jointly negotiated contracts have at least reduced costs. Further price developments remain to be seen; the chances of price increases are good for major publishers….

In addition, author rights are sacrificed at the altar of “community”. The author license BB-CY, favored by the Deal Group, gives everyone the right to compile any essays by scientists and publish them in a different context without asking the author. In principle, it is then possible for the work of a left-liberal author to suddenly appear in a right-wing conservative publisher. With the CC-0 license, the author can even be omitted. Doubtful business models have already grown on this soil. Things also get confusing when a text is translated by an AI language model. Depending on the input command, this can lead to major changes. However, the author’s name must be retained for legal reasons. In the future, authors may come across texts that are marked with their name, but which they themselves never wrote that way….”

Meta’s AI research head wants open source licensing to change – The Verge

“In July, Meta released its large language model Llama 2 relatively openly and for free, a stark contrast to its biggest competitors. But in the world of open-source software, some still see the company’s openness with an asterisk….”

Archaeology society spars over publishing photos of Indigenous burial offerings | Science | AAAS

“As editor-elect of the journal Southeastern Archaeology, Rob Beck helped choose a cover photo for the penultimate issue of 2020. It showed about 20 ceramic vessels, some painted with colorful patterns. They had been excavated in the early 1900s from the Crystal River Archaeological State Park in Florida, home to some of the region’s oldest ancient Indigenous earthworks.

But Beck, an archaeologist at the University of Michigan, came to regret his choice. The vessels had been excavated from a funeral mound, and Indigenous members of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) objected, saying the images could severely offend tribal members who viewed them. The journal had already stopped publishing images of human remains for similar reasons. So Beck helped develop a new policy: The journal would publish only line drawings of funerary objects; photographs could only appear in a supplemental online database. And in both cases, researchers would be required to first consult tribes.

But that decision, too, sparked an outcry.

“I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut,” says Vin Steponaitis, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who says it’s crucial for scholars to freely share and study such images. “There’d been no discussion of it with the membership, and I could instantly see that this policy would have a major impact on shutting down research.” He was one of 30 SEAC members who signed a petition calling for a vote to revoke the image policy….”

COAR’s response to the American Chemical Society’s new fee for repository deposit – COAR

“COAR strongly objects to this charge for the following reasons:

Authors own their manuscripts and should retain their rights. Authors typically hold the copyright to their research, but too often transfer those rights to publishers when publishing their manuscript. When authors retain the copyright to their manuscript, they have the right to disseminate and use their own manuscript as they choose. If authors’ rights are retained, publishers do not own an article accepted manuscript (AAM) and researchers should not be duped into paying a fee to exercise a right they already have.
This fee is in direct contravention with the ethos of open science and scholarship and equity. Science is about sharing and advancing knowledge and open access policies are being designed very carefully to ensure that all researchers are able to do so, even if they do not have funding to pay to publish their articles.
ACS is charging $2,500 while providing no added value. There is not a fee for an extra service offered. It requires no extra work on the side of the publisher, but rather is an attempt to develop a new revenue stream, while at the same time they will be receiving funds from subscriptions and pay-to-access for this same article. ACS is creating a false impression about compliance with funder policies. There is no charge for complying with funder OA policies. Nor is there any charge for depositing manuscripts in OA repositories. A fee is only required if you want to publish in an ACS journal and sign over your rights….”

ACS Article Development Charge – Google Docs

“Recently, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has introduced a new authors’ fee that charges authors $2,500 US for the right to deposit their accepted manuscript into a repository without embargo period. 

This fee is unacceptable for several reasons: …”