DORA receives $1.2M grant from Arcadia to accelerate research assessment reform | DORA

“Research assessment reform is part of the open research movement in academia that asks the question: Who and what is research for? The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), an initiative that operates under the sponsorship of the American Society for Cell Biology, has been awarded a 3-year, $1.2M grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The generous funding will support Tools to Advance Research Assessment (TARA), a project to facilitate the development of new policies and practices for academic career assessment. Project TARA is a collaboration with Sarah de Rijcke, Professor in Science and Evaluation Studies and director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University, and Ruth Schmidt, Associate Professor at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The grant for Project TARA will help DORA to identify, understand, and make visible the criteria and standards universities use to make hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. This information will be used to create resources and practical guidance on the reform of research assessment for academic and scholarly institutions. The grant provides DORA with crucial support to create the following outputs:

An interactive online dashboard that tracks criteria and standards academic institutions use for hiring, review, promotion, and tenure.
A survey of U.S. academic institutions to gain a broad understanding of institutional attitudes and approaches to research assessment reform.
A toolkit of resources informed by the academic community to support academic institutions working to improve policy and practice….”

Open Future

“Numerous organisations and initiatives have been launched with a belief in openness and free knowledge. Their proponents placed their bets on the combined power of networked information services and new governance models for the production and sharing of content and data. We – as members of this broad movement – were among those who believed it possible to leverage this combination of power and opportunity to build a more democratic society, unleashing the power of the internet to create universal access to knowledge and culture. For us, such openness meant not only freedom, but also presented a path to justice and equality….

The open revolution that we imagined did not, however, happen. At least not on the scale that we and many other proponents of free culture expected.

Nevertheless, the growing Open movement demonstrated the viability of our ideas. As proof we have Wikipedia, Open Government data initiatives, the ascent of Open Access publishing, the role of free software in powering the infrastructure of the internet and the gradual opening of the collections of many cultural heritage institutions….

Over time, we have observed the significant evolution of our movement’s normative basis – away from a justification based on the voluntary exercise of rights by individual creators and towards a justification based on the production of social goods….

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a wholesale transformation of the networked information ecosystem. The web moved away from the ideals and the open design of the early internet and turned into an environment that is dominated by a small number of platforms….

The concentration of power in the hands of a small number of information intermediaries negates one of the core assumptions of the Open movement….”

Know your rights: the key to eBook access – CILIP: the library and information association

“Maintaining the status quo for public libraries – to build collections, preserve and lend them – is now seen as a radical and frightening mission, according Ben White, PhD researcher at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Bournemouth University and co-founder of KnowledgeRights21. Here he speaks to Rob Mackinlay about why not challenging the methods used by publishers to protect their content will damage not only libraries, but also threatens research and innovation.

“Publishers can’t refuse to sell paper books to libraries, but they can and do refuse to sell them eBooks. And all we want to do is to be allowed to do what we’ve always done, to keep the status quo, to be allowed to build collections, preserve and lend, so it is strange that the solution sounds a bit frightening and radical,” says Ben White who has been immersed in the legal minutiae of intellectual property across Europe for decades….”

Infusion of funding boosts prospects for impact of Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) on information ecosystem – SPARC

“With commercial forces increasingly consolidating control of scholarly research and knowledge production services, there is growing momentum behind an effort to offer a more community-aligned alternative.

Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has brought together a variety of partners and funders to promote a community-governed system of infrastructure that can advance the health of the sector. SPARC was an early supporter of the non-profit initiative, working to catalyze its launch in the fall of 2019. The initiative has steadily developed into a growing global coalition….”

IOI receives $3.47M grant from Arcadia to increase investment in open infrastructure for research

We are excited to share that Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has been awarded a 3-year, $3.47M grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This grant will accelerate IOI’s work to increase investment, adoption, and sustainability of open infrastructure.

Biodiversity Literature Repository

“The Biodiversity Literature Repository (BLR) has been growing from a community on Zenodo to be a service dedicated to liberate and make open access, FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) data hidden in the hundreds of millions of pages of scholarly publications.

It is built on top of Zenodo, a digital repository hosted at CERN, which provides a sustainable and robust infrastructure for long tail research data, which can consist of small datasets that otherwise would be lost.

Originally a collaboration between Zenodo, Plazi and Pensoft, BLR began as a repository for taxonomic publications which lacked Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) and thus were effectively orphaned from the network of online citations. As it grew its scope expanded to morphed into a highly interlinked repository that focuses on include illustrations and taxonomic treatments contained in publications with all these content types interlinked among themselves and enhanced with and rich metadata.

The source data for BLR are scholarly publications that are most often in PDF or html format but sometimes in XML formats whose structured data facilitates the automated data extraction.

The largest data users are the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the United States’ National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Support of BLR comes from the Arcadia Fund and the three partner institutions Zenodo, Plazi and Pensoft.”

MAG replacement update: meet OpenAlex! – OurResearch blog

“Last month, we announced that we’re launching a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) this December–just before MAG itself will be discontinued.  We’ve heard from a lot of current MAG users since then. All of them have offered their support and encouragement (which we really appreciate), and all have also all been curious to learn more. So: here’s more! It’s a snapshot of what we know right now.  As the project progresses, we’ll have more details to share, keeping everyone as up-to-date as we can….”

Open Science nonprofit OurResearch receives $4.5M grant from Arcadia Fund – OurResearch blog

“The grant, which follows an 2018 award for $850,000, will help expand two existing open-source software projects, as well as support the launch of two new ones:

Unpaywall, launched in 2017, has become the world’s most-used index of Open Access (OA) scholarly papers. The free Unpaywall extension has 400,000 active users, and its underlying database powers OA-related features in dozens of other tools including Web of Science, Scopus, and the European Open Science Monitor. All Unpaywall data is free and open.
Unsub is an analytics dashboard that helps academic libraries cancel their large journal subscriptions, freeing up money for OA publishing. Launched in late 2019, Unsub is now used by over 500 major libraries in the US and worldwide, including the national library consortia of Canada, Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, and the UK. 
JournalsDB will be a free and open database of scholarly journals. This resource will gather a wide range of data on tens of thousands of journals, emphasizing coverage of emerging open venues. 
OpenAlex will be a free and open bibliographic database, cataloging papers, authors, affiliations, citations, and journals. Inspired by the ancient Library of Alexandria, OpenAlex will strive to create a comprehensive map of the global scholarly conversation.  In a recent blog post, the team announced that OpenAlex will be released in time to serve as a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph, whose discontinuation was also recently announced….”

Direct to Open

“Direct to Open harnesses collective action to support open access to excellent scholarship. Developed over two years with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund, in close collaboration with the library community, the model will:

Open access to all new MIT Press scholarly monographs and edited collections (~90 titles per year) from 2022 via recurring participation fees.
Provide participating libraries with term access to backlist/archives (~2,300 titles), which will otherwise remain gated. Participating libraries will receive access even if the model is not successful.
Cover partial direct costs for the publication of high-quality works that are also available for print purchase….”

American University Awarded $3.8 Million Grant from Arcadia Fund to Promote International Right to Research in Copyright Law – American University Washington College of Law

“American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) has received a three-year grant of $3.8 million from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for its Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). The project will study changes needed in international copyright policy to ensure equity in the production of and access to research….”

American University Awarded $3.8 Million Grant from Arcadia Fund to Promote International Right to Research in Copyright Law – American University Washington College of Law

“American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) has received a three-year grant of $3.8 million from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for its Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). The project will study changes needed in international copyright policy to ensure equity in the production of and access to research….”

Arcadia Fund Increases Support for our Work

“We’re thrilled to announce that Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, has generously committed to continue its support of our work with a four-year, $1,870,000 grant. Building on the investments we’ve already made in the past couple of years thanks to Arcadia, we’ll use this to double down on our flagship tools such as InstantILL.org and Shareyourpaper.org that make it easier to make papers Open Access and improve researchers’ ability to do their work without expensive subscriptions….”

Public Resource Receives $5 million, 5-year Grant From Arcadia

“Public.Resource.Org (“Public Resource”) is pleased and delighted to announce that we have received a $5 million grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This grant will support our work from 2020-2025, and is in addition to the $1.5 million in funding from Arcadia which supports our work from 2018-2020. This kind of sustained support over the long haul is so rare in the world of nonprofits, and Public Resource is very grateful for the help and inspiration Arcadia has shown us….”

Arcadia Fund | Our response to UKRI’s open access review consultation – Arcadia Fund

“The publisher must make efforts to advertise the existence of a freely available version on the DOI-landing page of the publisher version of the work, and in all metadata supplied in the form of MARC records, ONIX feeds, and CrossRef DOI associated metadata. The licence of the work should be clearly given on the DOI-landing page and in all forms of associated metadata that the publisher supplies be it MARC or ONIX or DOI or all. If the publisher is known to not provide adequate metadata about open access and open access licensing, then withhold all Book Publishing Charges from that publisher until they provide it. Better still, warn authors not to submit to the publisher with a ‘blacklist’ of non-compliant publishers.

Some publishers both in journals and in monographs have been doing rather sneaky things to hide the existence of a freely accessible version. See Piwowar (2018) ‘Where’s Waldo With Public Access Links’. For ‘gold’ open access works, ensure the publisher creates a link from which the entirety of the book can be downloaded as PDF (or other format e.g. EPUB) in one-click – far too many platforms break-up books into chapters with absolutely no provision of a link to download the work in its entirety – this is annoying for users….”

Arcadia Fund | Our response to the OSTP’s Request for Information on Open Access – Arcadia Fund

“A significant part of Arcadia’s mission is to protect endangered nature. In order to best protect threatened landscapes and biodiversity, it is vital that the latest research is easily and freely available to everyone engaged in conservation and restoration sciences. Yet recent analysis of a large survey conducted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicates that half of the 2,285 respondents find it ‘not easy’ or ‘not at all easy’ to access relevant scientific research [1]. This is no surprise, as 85% of all conservation biology papers are not open for public readership [2]. These include many studies funded by US federal agencies. The situation is similar across most disciplines. For instance, in ophthalmology: across medical institutions there is widespread inequality of access to field-relevant research [3]. As these examples show, the traditional subscription journals business model does not provide equitable access to research paid for by public or philanthropic funds. It fails to provide sufficient easy access to discipline-relevant literature even to practitioners of the discipline, be it conservation sciences, ophthalmology or other scientific endeavours.

With easier and cheaper access, both researchers and practitioners would be more effective and productive.

Federal agencies have the power to mandate that federally-funded research should be immediately publicly available online, without a paywall, on publication. The United States has digital research infrastructures that could and would support such a policy. Government scientific research funders in Austria, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Zambia have all committed to mandating the immediate public availability of government-funded research online, without a paywall. The world is now facing a pandemic that scientific research can help to solve. The United States would show leadership by making immediate public access to government-funded research the new normal. This would maximize the return on investment of US funded research – paywalled research outputs are a misuse and misappropriation of tax dollars.

We also note that academic paywalls harm national security: military consultancies and defense contractors have inadequate access to the latest research, which can deter them from turning concepts into reality [4]. The Department of Defense publishes unclassified research whilst protecting classified material. Open Access as practiced by Federal agencies is not a threat to national, military, or commercial interests….”