John Willinsky, Copyright’s Constitutional Violation: When the Law Fails to “Promote the Progress of Science” (While Promoting Practically Everything Else)

Draft of a book by John Willinsky, shared in a Google doc.

“A summary of this book’s case for an open access reform of the United States Copyright Act:

A consensus has recently formed among scholarly publishing’s principal stakeholders (including the big publishers) that open access to published research does more than closed subscriptions for the progress of science.
 

This consensus means that the current use of copyright to restrict access to research places the law in violation of the Constitution, which holds that such laws are “to promote the progress of science,” rather than impede it.
 

In lieu of copyright reform, the National Institutes of Health and other parties have created legal and extra-legal workarounds that compromise open access (with embargoes, final drafts, illegal copies), slow its spread, and allow costs to soar, with copyright contributing to open access’ market failure to date.
 

Yet, copyright offers a promising strategy in “compulsory licensing,” which could require, in the case of scholarly publishing, immediate open access to published research and fair compensation to its publishers from its principal institutional users and funders.
 

Such reform would be daunting, if Congress had not amended copyright nearly 60 times in the digital era (but not for science), with many of its reforms now operating internationally, which is the goal for open access copyright reform. …”

 

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

After a golden age and a lost decade, where next for academic digital publishing? | Zenodo

“The resultant welter of narrowly defined projects and services does little to improve the overall ability of researchers to accomplish their primary goals, or drastically simplify their working lives, and so the transition to open is occurring at only a modest rate. The frustration this engenders amongst the open activists leads them to resort almost exclusively to political tools, the aim being to coerce the adoption of various ugly ducklings which, with luck and sufficient prayer, might over time develop into some kind of beautifully open research communications swan – but equally well might not. 

To adopt another metaphor, the approach to reaching openness pursued to date, and exemplified by Plan S, could be compared to an attempt to replace a plane’s fuselage whilst the plane is in mid-air. But rather than attempting massive ‘in-flight re-engineering’ of the existing scholarly communications system, which risks creating as many new problems as it solves, it would seem sensible to do what one does in any information systems project involving wholesale change: build a pilot of the new system which can be run alongside the existing system. Once the new system is proven, the old system can be retired. It would not be premature, after several decades of mudslinging, politicking and piecemeal tinkering, for interested stakeholders now to attend as a practical matter to the development of a parallel academic publishing infrastructure. I’m thinking here of a unified, global, end-to-end system that enabled authors to submit, with a single click, research outputs into a single academic content space, which would be indexed and clustered to enable readers to find content effortlessly according to multiple criteria.”  

Workshop: Global insights into Open Access and advocacy strategies. – UoN room bookings & classes – University of Newcastle Library

“Professor Ginny Barbour, Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) will lead two discussions  to provide insight into Open Access and advocacy strategies. 

The AOASG is a national leader in open access scholarly communications with a focus on advocacy, collaboration and building capacity with Australian and New Zealand to advance open access. 

The Changing Publishing Landscape & the drivers for change 1pm-1:50pm (incl 15 min Q&A)

Overview of international trends in scholarly publishing with reference to the drivers for change towards open scholarship, including emerging models such as pre-prints and policy shifts such as Plan S 

An Australian perspective on open access, the current landscape and possible future directions including ARC & NHMRC policy

What’s in it for academics

Open discussion and Q&A…”

Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Here we present our view on the current Open Access debate, predatory journals and the on-going publication and promotion strategy of some countries and research institutions. We urge the world’s researchers, journals and grant holders in collaboration to carefully consider how best to ensure continuous high-quality scientific publications in the future in a way so that limited funding results in important data and information being unpublished.

 

‘Location-specific’ blocks on journal access could be OA ‘interim solution’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Restricting ability to view open-access journal articles in nations that have not reciprocated with policies to remove paywalls could provide an incentive to aid the global spread of open access, according to a European Commission expert.

Jean-Claude Burgelman, the European Commission’s open access envoy, said – speaking in a personal capacity – that one of the arguments against open access was that although publishers were willing to commit to it in Europe, large parts of the world had not yet done the same. This would leave these nations free to access articles through initiatives such as Plan S – a global open access plan unveiled last year by European funders under the auspices of the commission – when their own country had not reciprocated with similar plans….” 

Different Goals, Different Strategies

“I think Michael Feldstein is directionally correct in his analysis of what has been happening to “open education” for the past several years. Without wading into the labeling fray (are we a movement? a coalition? a community? a field? a discipline?) I’d like to add a bit of my own perspective. Where Michael sees three groups with different goals, I see four groups who are trying to use OER to solve closely related – but ultimately very different – problems:

The negative impact on access to education caused by the high price of traditional learning materials
The negative impact on student success caused by limitations in the traditional publishing model
The negative impact on pedagogy caused by copyright-related constraints inherent in traditional learning materials
The negative impact on students caused by a wide range of behaviors related to the business models of traditional publishers….”

David Wiley steps down and adjourns the Open Education Conference

“Last weekend, at the Open Education Conference in Phoenix, David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning and the conference’s organizer for 16 years, announced that this would be its last gathering, or at least the last with him at the helm. The conference, which grew from 40 attendees in 2003 to 850 this year, was a meeting place for advocates of open education, a sometimes hard-to-define goal that often involved the use of open educational resources — free, openly licensed digital textbooks.

“This is not a call for another person or organization to come forward to keep the same conference running the same way into the future. Rather, it’s a call to reset and start over,” Wiley wrote on his blog. “This reimagining must be owned by the community. It must be driven by the community. And it would be inappropriate for me to try to facilitate that process beyond extending a brief invitation.”…

The announcement prompted reactions across blogs and Twitter feeds, with some commentators saying that the announcement represented a fracturing of the tenuously aligned coalition of open education advocates. Michael Feldstein, chief accountability officer at e-Literate, wrote on his blog that differences in the goals and preferred tactics of open education advocates could no longer be bridged. Tensions within the “coalition” of open education supporters had become insurmountable, he wrote.

Many people in the coalition had different goals, Feldstein wrote, such as increasing access to education, improving educational quality or promoting the values of education. They also had different strategies, such as lowering the cost of instructional materials, increasing their quality or fostering autonomy for educators. As awareness and adoption of open educational resources has grown, so have tensions, he said….”

The Crumbling of the OpenEd Coalition –

“The OpenEd coalition has long consisted of (at least) three different groups with three different primary goals:

Increase access to education by lowering cost of curricular materials
Increase quality of education by increasing quality of curricular materials
Promote values of education by fostering autonomy for educators and agency for learners…

Depending on how you interpret and rank these three priorities, your beliefs about strategy and values could be quite different. And there have long been signs that, in fact, there were very serious tensions among the views and priorities of the coalition members.

In 2015, Phil Hill and I gave a joint keynote at the OpenEd conference in Vancouver. The theme of our talk was precisely that OpenEd was a brittle coalition that could fracture if the coalitional challenges were not addressed. Phil, in his part, talked about the challenge and opportunity that faculty surveys about OER demonstrated. There was a lot to be accomplished. My half of the talk was about my experience as a climate activist and how hard it is to build a coalition that holds together and accomplishes its goals over time (hint hint)….”

Centring Our Values: Open Access for Aotearoa

“Key Recommendations Develop a National Strategy • National Library, CONZUL, and LIANZA should work together collaboratively to lead the development of a national level strategy. • Each University and Crown Research Institute should appoint a senior leader who can manage strategy development and local coordination, while liaising with the wider research community. • M?ori scientists, scholars, and researchers need to be specifically invited into this conversation and supported to participate. National Library, the Universities, and Crown Research Institutes should work to create the conditions needed for self-determination and an equitable outcome. Fill the Knowledge Gaps New Zealand has critical gaps in its knowledge around open access, scholarly publishing, and open data. To create good policies and move forward with this transformation, more research and more funding to conduct that research is needed. There is room for multiple robust research projects to help understand the needs of researchers, their current behaviors, and what interventions make the most sense in New Zealand. Centre Care • Work with the Tertiary Education Union to reform the Performance Based Research Funding system to support well-being and disentangle from proprietary non-transparent metrics. Refocus on traditional peer review and innovative ways of measuring excellence. • Fund and support education for librarians, academics, and administrators to develop a deeper understanding of scholarly communication and open access issues. • Support public and university community focused education campaigns to engage a wide range of people in open access issues and invite them into the conversation. Strengthen Open Access Infrastructure Transforming our scholarly communications system requires building both policy and technological infrastructure. To create a robust system that will support the kind of transformative change needed, we should prioritise developing this infrastructure as part of a deep engagement process with researchers, scholars, and scientists. • New Zealand universities should coordinate with our Australian counterparts and work to develop a regional response to Plan S. • Open Access policies across New Zealand universities and Crown Research Institutes should be harmonised to strengthen our national negotiating position – but, this process should be based on robust engagement with academics across disciplines and with the needs of M?ori and other marginalised scholars at the forefront. • Increase existing investment in university repositories to ensure that ‘green’ open access remains a robust path. • Expand the existing institutional repository system to Crown Research Institutes and others. • Develop a policy framework focused on carbon footprinting and monitoring to ensure that the system is as close to zero carbon as possible….”

Strategies for Open Science (Stratos)

“Stratos designs and implements solutions to increase the speed and transparency of scholarly research…Stratos assists partnering organizations with strategic planning, analysis of workflow and infrastructure needs, implementation and project management, and adopting or building technology…Stratos was founded by Kristen Ratan and draws upon a wide network of experienced and talented people including strategic consultants, financial analysts, designers, product managers, software architects and engineers, and project managers….Stratos operates as a 501c3 through its fiscal sponsor, Rapid Science, which is a nonprofit organization aiming to speed translational science, its accuracy, its dissemination to the clinic, and feedback regarding its efficacy….”

Libraries and Open Access

“Open Access (OA) is quickly becoming a ‘gold-standard’ for research quality internationally. A growing number of major research funders now require the outputs of the research that they support to be made OA. University libraries are playing a vital role in supporting this transition to open access. But in spite of early investment in library-based OA repositories, Australia continues to lag behind the United States and Western Europe in relation to the proportion of publications that its researchers make openly available. This project explores the intersection between cultural and implementation challenges facing libraries in Australia as they work to support a transition towards OA for research publications and data. Identifying practices and challenges specific to the Australian context, as well as opportunities to learn from international best practice in this space, will be a particular focus. Questions that the project will seek to answer include: * What do Australian librarians think researchers are doing in relation to OA? * What are Australian researchers actually doing? * How do the choices that Australian researchers make about where to deposit the OA version of their work compare to the choices made by researchers elsewhere in the world? * What do librarians think the barriers to open access are? * What do researchers think the barriers to open access are? * How do each of these groups frame their discussion of those barriers? * Where do non-institutional repositories and commercially supported services fit in? For example, are researchers using subject repositories (e.g. such as SSRN, H-Commons, or the Australian Policy Observatory) instead of institutional repositories? Are Universities choosing to pay for data deposit services like FigShare? Why? The project will draw on the large data sets and established data capabilities developed as part of the COKI project. This data provides new opportunities to explore patterns of repository choice and deposition at large scale, and to compare Australian patterns with those found elsewhere in the world. Quantitative approaches will be combined with qualitative perspectives, including surveys, interviews and ethnographic approaches….”

Collaborating for Equitable Access to Knowledge for All: A Renewed Strategy for DPLA | DPLA

A single point of access. A gateway to America’s cultural riches. Available to everyone. This was the founding vision of the Digital Public Library of America: an open, distributed national digital library to educate, inform and empower everyone. Today, we are doubling down on that vision with a new strategic plan to guide our work in the coming years. 

Our mission remains constant: to provide equitable access to knowledge for all. We will advance this mission by expanding the cultural heritage aggregation network that has been our hallmark achievement, growing our collaborative ebooks solutions for libraries, and heightening our role as a library convener and innovator. 

DPLA’s strategy is guided by three beliefs: that we are stronger when we work collaboratively; that everyone—particularly those historically marginalized from projects like ours—is included; and that digital technology can be a positive force for unleashing knowledge and enabling creativity. …”

Ambitious open-access Plan S delayed to let research community adapt

“A major push by some science agencies to make the research they fund open-access on publication — Plan S — has been delayed by a year. Funders now don’t have to start implementing the initiative until 2021, the agencies announced today, to give researchers and publishers more time to adapt to the changes the bold plan requires….”