Scholarly Transformation Advice and Review (STAR) Team Criteria Summary – UC Libraries

“In its evaluation of transformative scholarly communication initiatives, the STAR Team takes into consideration criteria in several categories:

Baseline UC Libraries Principles
Potential for Transformative Influence
Community Engagement or Endorsement
UC Long-Term Affordability
Operational Sustainability and Integrity
Disclosure & Transparency
Protection from Financial Risk

The particular criteria the STAR Team uses to evaluate scholarly initiatives accepted for review can be seen on the team’s criteria workbook. The STAR Team reserves the right to include additional criteria as needed to complete a full evaluation of the transformative nature of the scholarly initiative. In order to evaluate each scholarly initiative thoroughly, STAR Team members ask vendors/producers to complete a questionnaire detailing various aspects of the initiative.

Expedited reviews can be requested for scholarly communication initiatives which require a rapid recommendation and for which there is a low financial threshold for participation.  The STAR Team has created an expedited review template upon which these recommendations are based….”

Open access | UC Berkeley Library

“Publishing a scholarly article or book OA does not mean foregoing peer review or any of the other stringent editorial processes that ensure high quality scholarship. (In fact, peer review can be even carried out in more cost effective ways for OA journals.) Rather, at its core, OA is an outcome: Scholarship is published online in a way that can be read and used by anyone, and without any financial, legal, or technical barriers other than gaining access to the internet. 

So, the question, instead, is: How is OA funded? If we replace the subscription system with OA end products, who gets paid and how? The Library is a key stakeholder in evaluating, supporting, and advancing sustainable OA publishing models. We discuss many of them below….”

UC Berkeley author tips: What to do when you have to pay an open access publishing fee – UC Berkeley Library Update

“The University of California has been a long-time supporter of open access publishing—that is, making peer-reviewed scholarship available online without any financial, legal, or technical barriers. Just because the publishing outcome is open to be read at no cost, though, doesn’t mean the publishing enterprise as a whole is “free.” One of the most common ways for open access publishers to continue to finance their publishing and production of journals in the absence of selling subscriptions for access is to instead charge authors a fee to publish—moving from a publishing system based on paying to read to one based on paying to publish. Of course, not all methods of funding open access require authors to pay publication fees in this way. And in all cases (except those rare instances in which a publisher requests that you waive this right), the UC’s open access policy makes it possible for UC authors to share their author-accepted manuscript version of their articles on eScholarship, the UC’s research repository, immediately upon publication in a journal. 

But when a publisher does charge a fee to publish, we want to help you understand what UC Berkeley resources are available—whether from your grant funds or the University of California Libraries—to help with those costs. …”

UCOLASC Statement on Retention of Author Rights in License to Publish Agreements

“As discussed at our joint UCOLASC and Council of University Librarians (CoUL) meeting held on February 15, 2023, the Project Transform Negotiating Team (PTNT) and Project Transform Working Group (PTWG) have learned that many publishers are requiring University of California (UC) authors to sign “License to Publish” (LTP) agreements, which purport to grant exclusive rights to publishers and contravene the spirit of the open access (OA) policies and declarations strongly endorsed by UC faculty. We find this now-common practice to be unacceptable and therefore ask you to prioritize the issue of author rights and act on our behalf when you negotiate with publishers….”


“As a member of the California Digital Library’s Shared Collections program, the Licensing Services Manager is responsible for providing expertise and services related to all phases of license management for CDL and to librarians across the UC Libraries system. The position works to advance UC Libraries collection and service goals by securing advantageous license terms with publishers and other content providers in compliance with University principles and policies. In collaboration with CDL Shared Collections colleagues, UC librarians, and legal counsel, the position is responsible for license development and interpretation; the negotiation of license provisions with vendors; communicating and reporting on license information; and serving as the official contact for reporting and resolving license breaches.

The ideal candidate will use advanced professional concepts and organizational objectives to resolve complex problems in creative and effective ways; work on nuanced issues where analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of variable factors; and exercise judgment in selecting methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. The position interfaces with and actively contributes to a full range of services offered by the CDL Shared Collections program, including but not limited to participating in the emerging transformative and open access agreement schema, supporting effective electronic resource strategies and workflows, analyzing usage data, and engaging with relevant UC-wide committees. The Licensing Services Manager reports to CDL’s Assistant Director of Systemwide Licensing and Collection Services….”

Celebrating UC San Diego’s Mass Contributions to HathiTrust

“This month, the University of California San Diego will send its final shipment of carts filled with library books to be digitized by Google as part of the Google Books Library Project. In total, well over half a million UC San Diego Library volumes have been sent to Google to be digitized and deposited in HathiTrust. This will be the third time the university has taken part in the project. 

UC San Diego joined as an early Google Books partner in 2008. From 2008 to 2011 the campus sent over 470,000 volumes to be digitized. Since rejoining the project in 2017, UC San Diego Library has sent over 111,000 books. The project paused in March 2020 due pandemic shutdowns, but the campus resumed sending shipments to be digitized in November 2021.

Tens of thousands of volumes from UC San Diego’s International Relations, Pacific Studies, and East Asian Language collections were digitized in the first three years of the project. When UC San Diego rejoined the Google Library Project in 2017, the campus included large numbers of US federal government documents, dissertations, and special collections volumes in its shipments. But throughout all phases of participation in the project, hundreds of thousands of books from the general library collection were digitized….”

Open Scholarship: A Decade of Progress – UC Davis Library

“In July, I will retire from UC Davis, after more than a decade serving as University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship.

A significant focus of my tenure at UC Davis has been advancing free and open access to information — both research and, for our students, affordable course materials….”


University of California Agreement with Wiley Expands to all 10 UC campuses | STM Publishing News

“The University of California, which generates nearly 10 percent of U.S. research output, and Wiley, one of the world’s largest publishers, announced today an expansion of their open access agreement. Researchers at all 10 UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will now receive funding support to publish open access, making significantly more UC research freely available to people around the world.”

Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices

Abstract:  This project focused on open access (OA) publishing, which enhances researcher productivity and impact by increasing dissemination of, and access to, research. The study looked at the relationship between faculty’s attitudes toward OA and their OA publishing practices, including the roles of funding availability and discipline. The project team compared University of California Berkeley (Berkeley) faculty’s answers to questions related to OA from the 2018 Ithaka Faculty Survey with the faculty’s scholarly output in the Scopus database. Faculty Survey data showed that 71% of Berkeley faculty, compared to 64% of faculty nationwide, support a transition to OA publishing. However, when selecting a journal to publish in, faculty indicated that a journal having no cost to publish in was more important than having no cost to read. After joining faculty’s survey responses and their publication output, the data sample included 4,413 articles published by 479 Berkeley faculty from 2016 to 2019. With considerable disciplinary differences, the OA publication output for this sample, using data from Unpaywall, represented 72% of the total publication output. The study focused on Gold OA articles, which usually require authors to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) and which accounted for 18% of the publications. Overall, the study found a positive correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing Gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Thus, Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA. 

Library Impact Research Report: Open Access Publishing: A Study of UC Berkeley Faculty Views and Practices – Association of Research Libraries

Overall, the UC Berkeley study found a positive correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s support for OA (no cost to read). In contrast, the correlation between publishing gold OA and the faculty’s concern about publishing cost was weak. Publishing costs concerned faculty in all subject areas, whether or not their articles reported research funding. Therefore, UC Berkeley Library’s efforts to pursue transformative publishing agreements and prioritize funding for a program subsidizing publishing fees seem like effective strategies to increase OA.

Project LEND – UC Libraries

“In January 2023, the University of California libraries launched a landmark research project – Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery) – to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries. The project seeks to analyze all aspects of a digital access program — including user needs, legal frameworks, technical requirements, and collection scope — in designing an expanded service or set of services for UC faculty, staff, and students.”

UC Libraries-research-expanding-use-digitized-books | UC Davis

“The University of California libraries — which comprise the largest university research library in the world — are launching a landmark research project to investigate the potential for expanded lawful use of digitized books held by academic and research libraries.

The Mellon Foundation is providing $1.1 million support for Project LEND (Library Expansion of Networked Delivery), a two-year project that the UC Davis Library will lead on behalf of the 10-campus UC system….

The project’s broad investigation aims to extend and strengthen the historical role of academic libraries in making information as broadly accessible as possible for use in research and education. Project teams will:

use focus groups and other methods to understand the needs of UC faculty and students for a range of research, education and clinical care scenarios
evaluate the legal frameworks under which libraries could provide expanded access to digitized books, including those still in copyright
review and analyze existing technology platforms and systems for sharing and interacting with digital books, and explore the possibilities for creating new systems and services
determine the optimal composition of a digital book collection to meet user needs; what digitized collections are currently available or where more digitization efforts may be required; and how best to manage both print and digitized collections.”


Guest Post – Charleston 2022 — Finding Paths to Open Access Book Publishing – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In 2015, my former boss and current Scholarly Kitchen Chef/PLOS CEO Alison Mudditt led a team at the University of California Press who launched our Luminos open access monograph publishing program. The program survives to this day largely unchanged. Briefly, the program starts with the assumption the baseline cost of publishing a monograph is roughly $15,000. In order to recover those costs, Luminos uses a cost-sharing model that involves direct contributions from the author’s institution, money from a library membership fund, direct subsidy from the Press, and sales of print copies of the book. The elevator pitch for the program was (and is) that these funds combined allow for the global digital distribution of an openly licensed edition of the monograph. When it was launched, the Luminos program was one of the very few initiatives that was really trying to tackle the whole issue of open access books. Since then, many others have now waded into the fray, including the TOME project, which was launched in 2017, and Luminos is far from the only initiative that allows for open access book publication.

At dinner one night in Charleston, another publisher leaned over to me and asked bluntly, “Is Luminos working?” My answer at the time was, yes. But this question forced me to reflect a bit more carefully about the economics of Luminos and of OA monograph publishing more generally and what the library’s role in facilitating open access for books can really be. Answering the question about Luminos’s success depends a lot on what the measures of success are and how publishers, particularly university presses, deal with the difficult problem of the relationship between the costs of open access and the revenue derived from sales, largely to individuals, of their lengthy backlist of previously published books. Looking at Luminos strictly as a financial proposition, I think the results are a mixed bag. However, looking at Luminos as a way to create a pathway to immediate, unembargoed open access for the monographs published in the program that enhances these books’ impact and usage, I think it’s hard not to argue that it has been a success.

A chief challenge of the business of open access book publishing for university presses, however, has been the tremendously high costs of publishing a book. These are well documented in the 2016 Ithaka S+R study on the costs of publishing monographs, which is still in my opinion a highly valid and very important study, although not everyone agrees with the conclusions. The $15,000 figure that Luminos has used since its launch in 2015 is on the very very low end of the spectrum that is documented in that report, and is likely not realistic. But while not dismissing the cost side of the equation, I think what a lot of folks are beginning to consider is the revenue side, which is how university presses actually recover their costs of operation since most of us receive a small amount of direct institutional support at best….”

National Archives at Riverside Collaborates With California Universities to Digitize Chinese Heritage Records | National Archives

“More than 2,200 Chinese Exclusion Act case files held by the National Archives at Riverside are now available online in the National Archives Catalog, thanks to a collaboration with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California .

The project began in 2018 after a fortuitous meeting at a local American Archives Month event. Shortly thereafter, professors and students from California State University, San Bernardino, and the University of California at Riverside joined the team.  …”

University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship MacKenzie Smith to Retire in June 2023 – UC Davis Library

“MacKenzie has led our library during a period of transformative change in how scholars create, access and share research,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan. “She has made substantial contributions to the campus’s research enterprise at every level, from data science and informatics to the establishment of an undergraduate library research prize. MacKenzie has also elevated our library’s leadership role, within UC and far beyond, in advancing free and open access to research. We will miss her leadership and collaboration, but wish her all the best in her retirement.”